Monday, July 25, 2011

Amanuensis Monday: Naturalization Petition for Salomon Deutsch - 1921

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

I continue my project to transcribe family letters, journals, newspaper articles, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts. Not only do the documents contain genealogical information, the words breathe life into kin - some I never met - others I see a time in their life before I knew them.

I began this project back in February of 2009, and since then, many others have joined in on the meme.  Why do we transcribe?  I provide my three reasons in the linked post.  You may find others.  If you participate, feel free to leave a link to your post in the comments.


This week, I look at the Petition for Naturalization my great grandfather, Salomon Deutsch, filled out in 1921.  When I looked at the petition for my other great grandfather, Barney Newmark, back in May, I knew I had to retrieve Salomon's from the Chicago courts.  I realized there was a very good chance it could help solve a family mystery.  I said nothing to anyone as I applied, because I didn't want to get the hopes up for any family members reading the blog.  My hopes were only partially answered, and in some ways, I'm no closer to any answers than before.

Naturalization Service
United States of America
Petition for Naturalization

To the Honorable the Superior Court of Cook County, Illinois:
The petition of Solomon Deutsch, hereby filed, respectfully showeth:

First, My place of residence is 1323 N. Campbell Ave.

Second, My occupation is Laborer

Third, I was born on the 24 day of November anno Domini, 1867, at Warmezo, Hungary.

Fourth, I emigrated to the United States from Bremen, Germany, on or about the 25 day of February anno Domini 1913, and arrived in the United States, at the port of Baltimore, Maryland, on the 21 day of March anno Domini 1913, on the vessel Rhein.

Fifth, I declared my intention to become a citizen of the United States on the 28 day of December, anno Domini 1915 at Chicago, Illinois, in the Superior Court of Cook County, Illinois.

Sixth, I am married. My wife’s name is Helen; She was born on the 5 day of April, anno Domini 1881 at Szilagy Megye Hungary, and now resides at 1323 N. Campbell Ave, Chicago, Ill.

I have 8 children, and the name, date and place of birth, and place of residence of each of said children is as follows:

Rose – Born – 25 – March – 1887 – at Zutan Kolos Megye Hungary – Resides Sidalmash, Hungary
Jennie – Born – 22 – April – 1899 – at Varalmas Hungary – Resides at Chicago, Ill
Isadore – Born – 6 - October – 1902 – at Varalmas Hungary – Resides at Chicago, Ill
Edward –Born – 22 – October – 1904 - at Varalmas Hungary – Resides at Chicago, Ill
Martin – Born – 28 – March – 1907 - at Varalmas Hungary – Resides at Chicago, Ill
Morris – Born – 18 – June – 1909 - at Varalmas Hungary – Resides at Chicago, Ill
Bertha – Born – 6 – April – 1911 - at Varalmas Hungary – Resides at Chicago, Ill
Adolph – Born – 24 – January – 1914 – at Chicago, Ill – Resides at Chicago, Ill

Seventh. I am not a disbeliever in or opposed to organized government or a member or affiliated with any organization or body of persons teaching disbelief in or opposed to organized government. I am not a polygamist nor a believer in the practice of polygamy. I am attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, and it is my intention to become a citizen of the United States and to renounce absolutely and forever all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, and particularly to Hungary or any independent State within Former Austria-Hungary Empire, of whom at this time I am a subject, and it is my intention to reside permanently in the United States.

Eighth. I am able to speak the English language.

Ninth. I have resided continuously in the United States of America for the term of five years at least, immediately preceding the date of this petition,to wit, since the 21 day of March, anno Domini 1913, and in the State of Illinois continuously next preceding the date of this petition, since the 27 day of March , anno Domini 1913, being a residence within the state of at least one year next preceding the date of this petition.

Tenth, I have not heretofore made petition for citizenship to any court.
Attached hereto and made a part of this petition are my declaration of intention to become a citizen of the United States and the Certificate from the Department of Labor, together with my affidavit and the affidavits of the two verifying witnesses thereto, required by law. Wherefore your petitioner prays that he may be admitted a citizen of the United States of America.

Signature (Salomon Deutsch)

Declaration of Intention No 50297 and Certificate of Arrival No. Blank from Department of Labor filed this 2 day of March, 1920.

Note to Clerk of Court – if petitioner arrived in the United States ON OR BEFORE JUNE 29, 1906, strike out the words reading “and Certificate of Arrival No ____ from Department of Labor.”

State of Illinois
County of Cook

The aforesaid petitioner being duly sworn, deposes and says that he is the petitioner in the above-entitled proceedings; that he has read the foregoing petition and knows the contents thereof; that the said petition is signed with his full, true name; that the same is true of his own knowledge except as to matters therein stated to be alleged upon information and belief, and that as to those matters he believes it to be true.

Signature (Salomon Deutsch)

Sarah Goldberg, occupation Leather Operator, residing at 1304 N. Campbell Ave, Chicago, Ill
and Adolph Rosenblum, occupation Tailor, residing at 1008 N. Mozart St, Chicago, Ill

Each being severally, duly, and respectively sworn, deposes and says that he is a citizen of the United States of America; that he has personally know Salomon Deutsch the petitioner above mentioned, to have resided in the United States continuously immediately preceding the date of filing his petition since the 1st day of Feby, anno Domini 1915, and in the State in which the above entitled petition is made continuously since the 1st day of Feby, anno Domini 1915, and that he has personal knowledge that the said petitioner is a person of good moral character, attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, and that the petitioner is in every way qualified, in his opinion, to be admitted a citizen of the United States.

Signature (Sarah Goldberg)
Signature (Adolph Rosenblum)

Subscribed and sworn to before me by the above-named petitioner and witnesses in the office of the Clerk of said Court at Chicago, Ill., this ___ day of ___, anno Domini ___.

Signature (illegible) Clerk
By Signature (illegible) Deputy Clerk.


1) What I noticed on the petition of my great grandfather, Barney Newmark, was the list of names of his children.  The document didn't specify the children that were living in the US.  Barney's children were all living in the US.  However, my great grandfather, Salomon Deutsch, had a daughter from a first wife who remained in Hungary.  She was mentioned in the audio recording my grandfather and his siblings created in the 1970s, however, they didn't remember her name.

Now I have a name - Rose - a date of birth - and a location in Hungary.  At first glance this is the initial crumbling of a brick wall.  However, there are some problems.

2) The date of birth for Salomon doesn't match up with his military documents. The petition says he was born in 1867. His military document say he was born in 1861. Since he began his service in the army of Franz Josef in 1881, I believe the 1861 date is likely correct.  He may have fibbed by a year or two to serve early, but no 14 year old is going to be able to pass for 20.

However, I am not surprised he would make himself six years younger to make it appear more likely to immigration officials that he was young enough to find a job.  The Deutsch family came close to being deported as it was due to his inability to find work.

3) So, let's return to his eldest daughter. The birth of Rose is provided as March 25,1887. It appears that 1877 was originally written down, and then the 8 was written over the 7. It is conceivable that he found himself caught in his first lie, because if he was born in 1867, fathering a child in 1877 would have been
impossible. Born in 1861, it's technically possible, though he would only have been 16. Or a normal
mistake was made in writing it down, and Rose was really born in 1887.

However, my grandfather and his siblings in the 1970s recalled she had married and had six children. It's possible she kept in touch after they left Hungary, but it's also possible she may have already married and had those six children before they left.

4) There are other facts on the petition in contradiction to other documents.  Isadore (aka Ted) and Edward were both born in October. Salomon confuses their two birthdates. He matches the years up correctly, but
identifies the wrong day of the month for each of them.

5) Allen is listed as Adolph. This actually matches his birth certificate. He is listed in the census as Abraham in 1920, and as Albert in 1930, but it's clear now that the birth certificate wasn't a clerical error, and Adolph may have originally been his given name, even though they called him something else from early on.

(It's possible they may have looked at Adolph as his American name, and Abraham as his Hebrew name.  Adolph may have changed to Albert by 1930.)

6) The names given for all the children are their "American" names.  For some of them, like my grandfather, this wasn't very different from their Hungarian names.  My grandfather's Hungarian name was Marton.  However, for others, the name did vary.  Salomon's daughter "Jennie" was "Jenka" in Hungarian. (And she later went by the name, Jean.)  I'm unsure how Isadore morphed to Ted, or Theodore.

"Rose" doesn't sound like a Hungarian name, and I suspect any Hungarian documents I might find for her wouldn't say, "Rose."  Furthermore, on his military documents, my great grandfather is listed as Salomon Deuts, so the surname went through some changes as well.

So while I have a name, and date of birth for his first daughter, it's not clear either would match any Hungarian documents, so I'm not much closer to finding out what happened to her and her children.

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