Sunday, May 25, 2014

August 28, 1919: Soldiers to Receive Naturalization Free

Thanks to Dick Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter, I've just discovered the free digital archives of newspapers offered by Advantage Preservation. Although the offerings are not as comprehensive as most paid sites, it just so happens that one of the collections is for Erie County, specifically for the Digital Archives of the Huron Public Library. One of the newspapers in the collection is the Erie County Reporter, which was published in Huron, Ohio. My mother and her older sister were both born in Sandusky, a small town in Erie County, on the shores of Lake Michigan, so I thought that looking for something related to their childhood might be good for a trial run.

According to Larry Parker, who is the person who alerted Eastman of the archives, the search feature doesn't work well for the newspapers, so I decided to browse through an issue. I chose the August 28, 1919 edition because it was the first edition (the newspaper was a weekly) immediately following the birth of my mother's sister, Marion Virginia Rote, who was born the 24th of that month. So far, I haven't found an announcement of Marion's birth, but I did find a short article on page 5 that I feel fits the spirit of Memorial Day very well:

Here's the text the transcript (with one misspelled word corrected):
"Soldiers to Receive Naturalization Free"

No soldier of foreign birth who served in the U. S. armies during the world war need pay a fee for naturalization, according to instructions [received] by Clerk of Court Carroll. It is not necessary for him to obtain a declaration of intention, or certificate of arrival, if he presents his discharge.

What a wonderful and appropriate celebration of veterans, to ensure that all who served, regardless of their country of birth or the status of any immigration paperwork, had the opportunity to be citizens of the United States for which they had offered their lives and service, without question and without paying any monetary fees.