Sunday, 17 August 2008

Naturalized British Subject

Mum knew that Joe had been given British Nationality at sometime which saved him from being interned in WW II. She had no idea where the documents were so I started to search the web and struck lucky when I found the National Archives website.
I put a search in for Desio, but had no luck and eventually searched for someone who was going to Kew and would be willing to do look ups if you pay part of the costs. I asked him to look up the naturalization records for me from the ledgers that are in the Open reading room and up he came with a reference number for 1922. Due to the fact that 100 years had not passed my mother as a direct descendant had to request and fill in the forms.

The National Archives at Kew in London (see helpful links), have a fairly good search engine, sadly it won’t do wildcat* so remember what I said in my last post “In the Beginning” if you don’t find it at first try variations. From the late 1800’s most of the immigrants applied British naturalisation and these normally come under Naturalization and Denization records, luckily the National archives have now put the complete list of names into the archive search and Joe is now on there. If for any reason the person you are looking for doesn’t come up try the London Gazette.

Below is a list of the National archives references that include naturalization and denization records.
Denizations can be found in the Patent Rolls in C66, with supplementary Patent Rolls in C 67. There is a name index to C 97 for the period 1751 to 1793, the Westminster denization roll is held at Westminster Abbey Muniments and Library, London.

Background Naturalisation papers can be found in HO 1 for 1844 to 1871, HO45 for 1872 to 1878, HO144 from 1879 to 1934 and HO405 for 1934 to 1948. All records dated after 1922 are closed for periods up to 100 years though the Home Office will consider opening files on request, these records can be searched using the search on the NA website.
Between 1844 and 1873 naturalisations were also enrolled on the Close Rolls in C54, duplicate copies of Naturalisation certificates, which gives limited information of what is contained in the background papers, can be found in HO 334 between1870-1987.

Eventually a number of large sheets of paper arrived with copies of all contact that there had been with grandfather and others related to his petition. The form requesting naturalization included his parents names which was Edoardo (Mum got that right) and Annetta Arrigo (Hum that’s not Eleanora is it!!!!) When he requested naturalization both parents were deceased and further down he mentions a brother in America.
As he was a merchant seaman he had to fill in a list of all the ships he had worked on over the years, this included the date, name of ship and sometimes the ships registration number. According to the record he had arrived in the UK in 1898 and before working on the ships he had been working as a machine operator, he was living with his cousin and gave a list of people who vouched for him, including one who was brother in law to the lady Joe was engaged to…… and that wasn’t my grandmother, this is still an unsolved mystery.

When you receive the documents these will give you details of their date of birth, where they were born, parent’s names and surnames and if they are still alive, and any other information that might help prove that they have lived in the UK during the past 7 years this includes where they have lived and what they have done. 7 people (referees) have to give a written oath confirming that they know this person and for how long and the type of person he/she is. Sometimes letters written by your ancestor may also be included requesting information about their naturalization from the Home Office. Normally the local police are the ones that had to go to visit the list of 7 people and double check that they know the person mentioned and then send the inform back to the HO. Finally the last document is a signed oath by your ancestor and a letter confirming that they are now British Subjects.

Joe stated that he had been living with his cousin, Nicola Macchiavello was also Italian (one that doesn’t appear to have become British) due to this he was not accepted as the home referee, as you must be British. A great deal can be learnt about your ancestor from the details given about his/her character, so bit by bit you start to get to know them a little more.

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