March 11, 2010

Did you have an ancestor naturalized in Police Court?

Recently, I received 2 documents in the mail from one of my husband's cousins.  Though I'd been told that my husband's two Consentino grandfathers were never naturalized, these documents are #1. a petition to become a citizen signed by him and #2. the oath etc. that gave him U.S. citizenshi in 1905.

What baffled me was the margin that states these records came from "Police Court Lawrence, MAss Vol. 1903-1906".

I phoned the Lawrence History Center and they had no idea what Police Court might have been.  I called the city clerk's office and the response was the same.  I called Lawrence Heritage State Park director who I know and he didn't know.  I finally decided to call the National Archives in Waltham, Ma
- bingo!  Police Court is what we know today as District Court.  from 1901 to 1906 Naturalizations were held at "Police Court" in some New England States and other parts of the country.  I asked where these volumes are now housed - Massachusetts State Archives but Waltham has copies of all of them (they did not in the past).  Too, you cannot just walk in off the street at the Mass Archives and expect to be taken care of.  You must call ahead to ask what about the protocal.

So I thought I would share this with you.  If you can't find the naturalization records for some of your ancestors at the National Archives offices, check to see if there was a Police Court at the time you believe your ancestors might have been naturalized.  I've always believed that my grandmother (my mother's mother) was naturalized.  I could find nothing in Waltham now I will look into the Police Court naturalizations.  What a great find!

These documents are a real gift that fell into our hands!

Your Cousin,

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Lucie's Legacy
Lucie LeBlanc Consentino


Michelle Robillard said...

Nice tid bit of info Lucy. My great-grandfather Robillard was naturalized at the Lowell Police Court ; )

Lucie LeBlanc Consentino said...

Imagine that! I wonder where I've been that I never heard of this before now!!! lol