Monday, August 10, 2009

Naturalization Papers

I just took a course about bilingual children and education in America. I learned a lot about language, language loss, and second language acquisition. I thought a lot about my grandfather's eventual loss of Norwegian through the years. We also discussed immigration and culture, and the 'American Story' in general.

Below are two documents aptly illustrating my family's story-- the naturalization papers of my great-grandmother Mary Margaret Downing and my grandmother Margaret Gwendolyn Grimstad.

As an amateur genealogist, if you can find the naturalization records of your ancestor, you will glean a lot of information. Some of the details given are birthplace, port of entry to the United States, children, address, physical description, signature, and usually a photograph. There is a website,, that has naturalization papers, but it costs money to access them.

Obviously I didn't get my height from this side of the family!

click on documents for detailed view

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