Tuesday, February 12, 2013


The subject of U.S. naturalization is an important one.  For our families coming to MI from NY, we think they probably would have been naturalized in NY.  At least we have found one declaration of intent for the James Greer family, but no others.  This subject might also explain why I have not found much in the way of land records for our families in NY - one could not own property in the U.S. unless a citizen.  I'm not sure who was really checking, but by the War of 1812, it was probably something that was being tracked better.

I should probably also add a note here that I'm not sure how naturalization laws applied to single women, which we so far can assume would apply to Elizabeth Gillespie.  That research is ongoing.

But now let's talk about the family who supposedly came to U.S. via Canada - the Robert Gillespie family.  The Library of Michigan has a wonderful index of naturalization records in their holdings.  Curiously though, there are NO Gillespie families listed in Oakland County.  Ah, but the lesson of an earlier post I made to this blog tells me to go check other spellings, and voila!  A declaration of intent for

Robert Gallaspie, 27 Apr 1860, (2:100)d, GBI (Great Britain), signed by his mark

According to the index, he did not ever follow through with getting his second paper.

Curiously, there was another declaration of intent which is interesting:

James Greer, 26 Mar 1859, (1:253)d, GBI

Well, the James Greer in our story died in 1857.  So what James Greer was in Oakland County at that time who was new (or somewhat new) to this country?  No idea whatsoever.  He also never applied for his second paper.

1 comment:

  1. I recently learned that the residents of a territory automatically became naturalized when that territory became a state. I believe this was some act of Congress that allowed this. So all the Greer and Gillespie pioneers who went to Michigan before 1837 automatically became naturalized at the point Michigan became a state (1837).