Search for content in message boards

Application for Citizenship Wyoming 1873

Application for Citizenship Wyoming 1873

Elizabeth Quinn (View posts)
Posted: 8 Jun 2005 8:55AM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Owen
I have just been presented with a copy of an application for citizenship made in 1873 by my gg grandfather James Owen. The application was made in the County of Uinta on 2 Sept. Citizenship was granted in San Franscisco 1879. This has come as a complete shock to me as I did not even know that James Owen had gone to the US, let alone taken out citizenship as he was married a second time in the UK in 1884 and came to Australia in 1886.

Can anyone tell me how I would go about getting further details, such as his address and occupation at the time and whether citizenship was also applied for, for his first wife Jane and son William.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Elizabeth

Re: Application for Citizenship Wyoming 1873

Posted: 11 Jun 2005 3:24AM GMT
Classification: Query
You did not tell us much about James. There are a few in the US in that time frame.

When was James born? Why did you post it to the Wyoming Board?

What did he do in Australia?

Re: Application for Citizenship Wyoming 1873

Elizabeth Quinn (View posts)
Posted: 11 Jun 2005 12:10PM GMT
Classification: Query
Hi Errol,

Thank you for your response. James Owen was born c. 1846 at Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales. He arrived in New York in Sept 1871 with his wife Jane and infant son William.

I posted the message to the Wyoming board because James applied for US citizenship in 1873 in Wyoming, Uinta County. He was finally granted citizenship in 1879 in San Francisco.

I know that he worked as a ships Engineer whilst in California and he also worked in this capacity in Australia, although there is no record of him being a ships engineer in the UK. The UK 1871 Census lists him as a Fitter & Turner.

My problem is, I don't know what he was doing in Wyoming and I don't know what happened to Jane and William - did they also apply for citizenship? I am looking for additional information such as occupation (certainly not ships engineer!), were Jane and William with him in Wyoming?

James returned to the UK and was remarried there in 1884 and sailed from London to Australia in 1886. Learning that he had taken out US citizenship came as a complete surprise to me as I was not even aware that he gone to the US.

Hope this makes the picture a little clearer. Cheers, Elizabeth

Re: Application for Citizenship Wyoming 1873

Posted: 12 Jun 2005 9:02AM GMT
Classification: Query
Hello Elizabeth,
I thought you might be interested in this article from NARA. Below is an exert. The full ariticle is at: http://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/summer_1998_wo...

And have you tried BLM yet to see if perhaps he was homesteading in WY? http://www.blm.gov/offline/

Good luck with your search, I wish I knew what my ancestors were doing or thinking half the time, too. :) Susan

The act of February 10, 1855, was designed to benefit immigrant women. Under that act, "[a]ny woman who is now or may hereafter be married to a citizen of the United States, and who might herself be lawfully naturalized, shall be deemed a citizen." Thus alien women generally became U.S. citizens by marriage to a U.S. citizen or through an alien husband's naturalization. The only women who did not derive citizenship by marriage under this law were those racially ineligible for naturalization and, since 1917, those women whose marriage to a U.S. citizen occurred suspiciously soon after her arrest for prostitution. The connection between an immigrant woman's nationality and that of her husband convinced many judges that unless the husband of an alien couple became naturalized, the wife could not become a citizen. While one will find some courts that naturalized the wives of aliens, until 1922 the courts generally held that the alien wife of an alien husband could not herself be naturalized.(3)

Re: Application for Citizenship Wyoming 1873

Posted: 13 Jun 2005 1:49AM GMT
Classification: Query
James Owen arrived in New York aboard the Steamship Nevada with wife, son and an apparent brother William. The Nevada was a favorite ship of the Mormon Immigrants from Europe.

We checked the Mormon history for that sailing. We found:

Wed. 6.--The steamship Nevada sailed from Liverpool, England, with 263 Saints, under the direction of John I. Hart. The company arrived at New York Sept. 18th, and at Ogden (Utah) Sep. 27th. The ship carried 620 on this sailing, so not all aboard were Mormon. As you can see you could travel across the US quicker then you could cross the Atlantic Ocean.

Uinta County is next to the State of Utah.

We are unsure if James was a member of the LDS or just decided to go west during the crossing. This however is why he went to the western United States.

We suspect that “ships engineer” means that he cared for the steam engines in steamships. Most sailors were called mariners or by their position on the ship (Captain, 1st Mate, etc). If he is a steam engine engineer, his occupation would be in high demand in the mines of the western states. Steam Engines were new in the west in those days. They provided power to haul the ore out of the mines and transport it to the market. Someone who could operate a steam engine was highly valued.

We think that James was in Plymouth, Amador, CA in the 1880 census. He is listed as working in a mine. Jane and son William are not there.

We haven’t given you much help. We suggest that you explore the Mormon connection. The LDS has a lot more information on the immigrants than they have on the web. If James was a member of the LDS immigrant group, the church will have information on what happened to Jane and William even if James left the church.

Re: Application for Citizenship Wyoming 1873

Elizabeth Quinn (View posts)
Posted: 13 Jun 2005 6:49AM GMT
Classification: Query
Hi Errol,

Thank you for all the trouble you have gone to on my behalf. It is appreciated.

The William Owen who accompanied James was only an infant and on the shipping documents I have sited, he is listed as such.

You are most probably right about you assumption that James may have gone to Wyoming to work as a steam engine engineer as the ships he worked on were steam ships.

I am doubtful, however that the James Owen on the 1880 Census working as a miner, is my James. I have shipping employment papers for James up to the end of 1879. I also doubt that he converted to the Morman religion as when he died he was buried as a Methodist, into which religion he was christianed - but anything is possible and worth investigating.

Errol, do the US states have birth marriage and death indexes, similar to those on rootsweb. Each state in Australia has these indexes from the commencement of registration up to 1905 at least. Most you can search on the web. I really need to find out now where and when Jane died and if William also died. Certainly he did not accompany James to Australia.

Thanks again Errol. Cheers, Elizabeth

Re: Application for Citizenship Wyoming 1873

Elizabeth Quinn (View posts)
Posted: 13 Jun 2005 7:10AM GMT
Classification: Query
Hi Susan,

Thank you for the leads you gave me to explain the system of naturalisation in the US. I will now give up pestering for information on Jane and William.

Naturalisation works differently in this country. Marrying an Australian citizen does not automatically give you citizenship. You have to apply for citizenship in your own right.

I appreciate you taking the time to contact me and adding to my knowledge.

Kind regards, Elizabeth

Re: Application for Citizenship Wyoming 1873

Posted: 14 Jun 2005 2:28AM GMT
Classification: Query
You are correct about William Owen (b 1847). He did come to the US aboard the Nevada, however it was an earlier sailing in 1871.

If James lived in Wyoming, he was a farmer, a logger, or a miner. There was nothing else to do in that area of the county.

This area of the country was really remote. The Native Americans were still resisting the white man invasion. There were not many places that you could register a birth or death. A lot of burial’s were “prairie burials” on the family farm or in “Boot Hill”. There were also lot of court house fires, so if there were records, there is a good chance they were lost. Some of what remains is available on the Web, but deciding where to look is a major problem.

We recommend that you work with the LDS church to find if James and Jane were members as your 1st step. How to do that, we don’t know. The past research projects that we have been involved in for LDS immigrants, someone else always did the LDS contact.

Re: Application for Citizenship Wyoming 1873

Elizabeth Quinn (View posts)
Posted: 16 Jun 2005 10:43PM GMT
Classification: Query
Hi Errol,

Thank you once again for your help. I will follow through on the Mormon Church suggestion and to this end I have made an appointment, for Saturday morning, to see someone at the local Famiy History Centre. Hopefully they can point me in the right direction.

In the meantime, I contacted the Uinta County Court and unfortunately all they have is what I already have - A copy of the notice of intention to take out US citizenship.

Cheers from chilly but sunny Sydney.

Elizabeth

Re: Application for Citizenship Wyoming 1873

Posted: 17 Jun 2005 1:33AM GMT
Classification: Query
Like most genealogists, the volunteers at the Family History Centers like to talk. I think I would ask them one question. That would be:

What are names of the saints that arrived in New York on the steamship Nevada Sept. 18th, 1871 under the direction of John I Hart? They arrived in Ogden Sept 27th.

This maybe a hard question for the folks in the local Center to answer. If they don’t know, ask them who in the church would.

Other questions about records and stuff can be asked later. Remember these are volunteers who have learned genealogy like we have. Doing for themselves.
per page

Find a board about a specific topic