I received my maternal grandparents’ petitions for naturalization in the mail yesterday, with hope that I would find new information on my grandparents.
I learned the witnesses of my grandparents’ naturalization were longtime friends and a co-worker. I didn’t see other new information until I looked closer.
My grandparents’ alien numbers were on the petitions. I thought their alien numbers were listed on their certificates of naturalization. So, I compared the numbers and they were different.
That made me realize I finally have the correct alien numbers for my grandparents. For the past two years, I have been frustrated that the National Records Center for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) could not find their Alien Files.
Now, I have renewed hope that I could get their Alien Files, which are gold mines of information on immigrants. I have submitted new Freedom of Information Act requests to USCIS, hoping that the correct alien numbers could help with finding their files.
My mother gave me lots of records from her parents but their marriage record is very faded and her father’s birth record is missing. Could these records be in the Alien Files? I could know in two months.
I am crossing my fingers that I can get these files, which could tell my mother how her parents traveled with her through Ukraine, Poland and Germany before they immigrated to the USA. My mother knows some information but documents in her parents’ Alien Files will confirm those stories.
We’ll see if the U.S. government will deliver me a Christmas present from my grandparents.
More info on Alien Files: