U.S. citizenship is considered a privilege; those living abroad for an extended period were required to declare their intent to retain citizenship. An interesting record for widowed and divorced women and minor children, shows the process required not only declaring their intent, but also verifying their right to citizenship by birth, marriage or naturalization. As a result, these records contain a treasure of key genealogical information, which may include birth and marriage; dates and places; the names vital information of children; death date of spouse or termination of marriage information; how citizenship was acquired; etc.
In partnership with the National Archives, Ancestry.com recently released the U.S., Registration Certificates - Widows, Divorced Women, & Minors, 1907-1914, which contains the original images of these certificates. The certificates are arranged by certificate number assigned in "rough chronological order," but are, of course, searchable by name on Ancestry.com. These original images are of great value to researchers and are intensely interesting in the type and quality of family information they can reveal. Just browsing the collection can provide ideas and insights for researchers, whether or not they have ancestors in the record.
An index to this record is also available on microfilm at the Family History Library, in the collection, Passport applications, 1795-1925 ; Indexes, 1830-1831, 1850-1852, 1860-1923.
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