They say that patience is a virtue. It’s something that takes a lot of practice, especially in this world of near instant gratification. Patience is being lost. People in the US are not as willing to wait for things that they want. They want whatever and they want it now. it’s a direct result of the information age. The Internet has brought us into a world where whatever we want to know is literally at our fingertips. It doesn’t seem to matter if it is correct or not, it’s at our fingertips and that’s good enough for us. Unfortunately, Life doesn’t always work that way.
I located a nugget of family history in an index on Ancestry.com two days ago. It was the naturalization of my great-grandfather, Carl Mauritz Hendrickson. The index provided me with the date of his naturalization, 1 September 1904. The year gels with what he told the census in 1900. It also gave me his birth date of 28 July 1867, which also gels with the 1900 census, which gives his birth month as July and the year 1867. This means that I have the information for the correct person. It also means that the information I found in the Swedish Church records is also correct. The index also provided his date of arrival in the US, 25 June 1894. This also gels with the 1900 census. The US Department of Immigration, now, handles naturalizations, but in the 1890s, a variety of places handled naturalizations.
The index lists the record as in volume 18, page 39 of the records of the US District Court in Burlington Vermont. Now I had a problem. Who archived the records and where? I looked online at the Vermont website and there was no listing for court records. Therefore, I moved on to NARA, the national archives. There I found a section on Naturalizations that covered the 1890s. I found that it would only cost $7.50 to have them search for, copy and mail me paper copies of the record, so I requested it. I am still not 100% certain that NARA holds the record in Boston, but they will search their records and notify me by mail. I can check the status online, but it has only been two days since I requested the information. Waiting is so hard. In the meantime, I have found a naturalization record for my great-great-grandfather, Thomas Lemay in St. Clair county Michigan along with a possible naturalization record for my great-grandfather William McTaggart. I think those records might be held in St. Clair County or the Michigan Archives. I am not sure that William McTaggart did become a citizen of the US as he later moved back to Canada and died there in 1930, but if the record is not too expensive to retrieve, I’ll get that one as well. So, the search goes on.