Jan 302012

Earlier I received naturalization records for my great-grandfather, Angelo Palmeri. Like many records from the years after my great-grandfather came to the U.S., it has his name misspelled "Palmieri" rather than "Palmeri". Angelo Palmieri was naturalized 5 July 1921.

Because naturalization records cannot be amended by court order, I requested a search for the name "Angelo Palmeri". As expected, no record was found. Hopefully, this will be sufficient to show that the previously received naturalization record was indeed for my great-grandfather, despite the misspelling of the last name.

Jan 152012

In another attempt to clear up the spelling errors, where Angelo Palmeri was spelled Angelo Palmieri, I am writing a letter to the USCIS chief asking for a letter stating that the declaration of intent, petition for naturalization, and certificate of naturalization for Angelo Palmieri belong to one and the same person as the other vital records documents I have. Who knows if this is going to work. But it's worth a few stamps to see.

Here is the redacted text from the letter I am sending:

January 15, 2012

Lynda K. Spencer
Chief, Genealogy Section
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service
Genealogy Program
1200 First Street NE
Washington, DC 20529-2206

RE: C-File XXXXX / Case Number XXXXX

Dear Lynda Spencer,

I recently requested and received naturalization documents for my great-grandfather, Angelo Palmeri (see Exhibit A).

Unfortunately, because my great-grandfather was illiterate, several documents, including his naturalization papers, had his last name misspelled as Palmieri rather than Palmeri. Indeed, on his Declaration of Intent (Exhibit A), signed XXXXX, he signed by giving “his mark” and someone else signed his name on his behalf and presumably filled out the form for him as well.

I understand that it is impossible to amend naturalization documents for people who are now deceased.

Because I am using these naturalization documents for an Italian dual citizenship application, I respectfully request a letter from your office stating that the Angelo Palmieri on the naturalization documents is a.k.a Angelo Palmeri. I have included a description of the enclosed exhibits that I use to support this assertion, which includes his Italian birth and American death certificate.

I understand that this is a nonstandard request. If helpful, I have included a proposed letter that may be sufficient to document that my great-grandfather, Angelo Palmeri, is one and the same person as the Angelo Palmieri on the naturalization documents.

My great-grandfather, Angelo Palmeri, was born XXXXX in Serradifalco, Italy to Giuseppe (Joseph) Palmeri and Maria (Mary) Calabrese (see birth certificate for Angelo Palmeri, Exhibit B).

As noted on his application for citizenship, he arrived in the New York XXXXX on the vessel XXXXX. I have included a copy of the Passenger Arrival Record I received from the National Archives that shows his name spelled Angelo Palmeri, that he is XXXXX years old (born in XXXXX), his father is Giuseppe, and that he is going to Yatesboro, PA (Exhibit C).

In Yatesboro, PA, on XXXXX, he married my great-grandmother. On the marriage license, (Exhibit D) his name is now misspelled Angelo Palmieri, giving his parents are Giuseppe and Maria Palmieri, with his age as XXXXX (born in XXXXX). On this form, he gave his mark, and someone else filled out the form and signed his name.

The 1920 Census in Buffalo, Erie, New York (Exhibit E) indicates that my great-grandfather was unable to read (column 17) or write (column 18). It gives his age as XXXXX (born in XXXXX), his wife Maria, his son, my grandfather, Joseph, and notes his citizenship status as “pa”. His brother (Calogero) and his family lived next door. His father-in-law (Giuseppe Giambrone) lived next door. Here, the name appears to be grossly misspelled as something like Palmire or Palmiri.

Around this same time, he filled out his Declaration of Intent and Petition for Naturalization, where his named was misspelled Angelo Palmieri.

The 1930 Census in Buffalo, Erie, New York (Exhibit F) shows his and his brother’s families living in the same home. Now all family members have the last name correctly spelled Palmeri. While my great-grandfather was still illiterate, my American-born 18 year old grandfather was able to read and write.

Finally, the death certificate for my great-grandfather, dated XXXXX, correctly spells his name as Angelo Palmeri (Exhibit G), the spelling that appeared on his Italian birth certificate (Exhibit B).

I thank you for your attention and your help in resolving this matter.





Our letter XXXXX reported that we successfully retrieved a copy of the records of naturalization for Angelo Palmieri, born XXXXX in Serradifalco, Italy.

File Series    File Number
C-File            XXXXX

We sent you The Declaration of Intent for Angelo Palmieri dated XXXXX, the Petition for Naturalization for Angelo Palmieri dated XXXXX, and the Certificate of Naturalization for Angelo Palmieri dated XXXXX.

Angelo Palmieri, born XXXXX in Serradifalco, Italy was also known as (a.k.a.) Angelo Palmeri, born XXXXX in Serradifalco, Italy.

It is our determination that the Declaration of Intent dated XXXXX, Petition for Naturalization dated XXXXX, and Certificate of Naturalization dated XXXXX for Angelo Palmieri belong to one and the same person as the birth certificate for Angelo Palmeri from XXXXX in Serradifalco, Italy, the marriage certificate for Angelo Palmieri from XXXXX in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, and the death certificate for Angelo Palmeri from XXXXX in Erie County, New York.

Sep 292011

One particularly critical piece of documentation I need for dual Italian citizenship is my great-grandfather Angelo Palmeri's naturalization record.

In order to qualify for Italian citizenship, my grandfather must have been born before my great-grandfather became naturalized. 

I need a statement from homeland security showing his full name, place of birth and date of birth, date of the naturalization, certificate number (or, if a legal alien, his permanent resident card number). Before ordering this record, I had found my great-grandfather's birthdate when I found his Social Security Death Index record on ancestry.com.

My first filed attempt was a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. Apparently, since 2008, naturalization records are no longer access via FOIA. So my request by email and fax was rejected.

Instead, I submitted an online request through the Genealogy Program website at http://www.uscis.gov/genealogy. Requests can also be mailed to USCIS Genealogy Program, PO Box 805925, Chicago, IL 60680-4120.

It took a few clicks to find the right place on the web site. First, I clicked on "Make a Genealogy Request" along the left hand side. "Order Online Now" appeared on the right hand side. Apparently, this is a two step process. First, for $20, you need to do an Index Search Request. If that returns a match, for $35 you need to do a Record Request.

We'll see how long it takes to get a result of the index search.