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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
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Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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What were the requirements for U S citizenship around the year

Resolved Question:

What were the requirements for U S citizenship around the year 1830, when my great great grandparents came over to Ohio from Ireland., Was there a time requirement? How were these people identified when they came across. Was there a registration in New York?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 8 years ago.

Under the Naturalization Act of April 14, 1802, an alien immigrant had to wait 5 years before being "naturalized" as a U.S. Citizen.


And, under the Steerage Act of March 2, 1819, passenger lists or manifests of all arriving vessels to the U.S. had to be delivered to the local Collector of Customs, copies transmitted to the Secretary of State, and the information reported to Congress.



Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Was this law in place in the years 1830 or 1831 when my great great gandfather arrived in Akron, Ohio? Or was it superceeded by newer laws. Did one have to apply for citizenship after five years or was in sort of automatic. How could one prove that they had become a U S citizen? Was there a certificate or piece of paper that one was given to prove that they were citizens? Was something of this sort required in order to vote?


Thank you


Malachi J. Flanagan, M.D.

Expert:  socrateaser replied 8 years ago.
The quoted law was the law in force in 1830. The next major immigration act was in 1847.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Again, what sort of proof was required for my great great grandfather to vote in Ohio after he became a citizen in about 1836. Was it sort of a voter's card, or was he issued some sort of proof on citizenship?


The reason I am asking is that for a while in the 1830's up through the 1850's, the Know Nothing Party attempted all immigrants, particularly those from Ireland, not to permit them to vote until they had been in the country for fifteen years.


Thank you


Malachi J. Flanagan, M. D.

Expert:  socrateaser replied 8 years ago.

Voting rights were provided on a state by state basis at the time you are discussing. The original colony states permitted land-owning immigrants to vote. After the war of 1812, new states only permitted citizens to vote. Ohio entered the Union in 1803, so it probably followed the lead of the original 13 colonies. But, I don't have any further info in this area. You are asking a very narrow question, and I'd have to run off to a research library to find the anwer.


I done my best.



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