Today I’m sending off another big step on my road to being certified Italian! All kinds of fun certificates are going to the Louisiana Secretary of State to get an apostille (certification). I’m quite excited as this takes a huge chunk off my check list. Though I still have a ways, and a lot of wait time to go…
Let me catch you up on what I’ve gone through thus far:
- April 2008 – Discover that I might qualify for Dual Citizenship in Italy.
So, I’m third generation Italian-American. Many moons ago, my great-grandparents, independently of each other, decided to journey to this great nation in the late 1890s. They met somewhere stateside and were married in Texas about 1900. They then moved to the wonderful state of Louisiana and had five beautiful kids (I know this because I’m a descendant of these people, and we’ve got good genes). My grandfather was born in 1909, so as long as my great-grandpappy was naturalized after my grandfather was born, I’m would be in the clear on the dual citizenship thing.
Except that isn’t the only factor for me here, my mother, being a woman and obviously inferior to man, would not be able to pass down this citizenship that she unknowingly was born with, unless she was born after 1948. Apparently 1948 is the magical year when Italian women were deemed equals and thus granted the “right” to pass down this highly coveted blood right to Italian citizenship. So that being sad, my mother was born in 1950, so yes I’m in the clear as long as the naturalization situation worked in my favor.
- May 2008 – Began gathering documents from everywhere & found that great-grandfather was naturalized 3 years after my grandfather was born. Woo hoo!
Documents needed: Birth, Death, Marriage, Naturalization for every person between yourself and the ascendant that was born in Italy. All US documents must be apostilled by the Secretary of State. And then of course all US documents must then be translated into Italian, presented to the Italian Consulate, and then we just wait… but I’m not nearly to that step yet, so we’ll let that just sit there for now.
- June 2008 – My amazing uncle found a dusty old box at the back of an untouched closet that, low and behold, held a copy of the original naturalization certificate for my great grandfather! And where I had previously thought him to be naturalized in 1912 (per the 1920 census I had referenced), he had actually been naturalized in 1910… 13 months after grandpa was born. Phew!
This brings us to, well, today, where I’ve received the majority of my long form certified birth, death, and marriage certificates. Now, I’ll warn anyone who dares to venture on this long road toward dual citizenship, depending on where you live you may have issues finding documents. See, I come from the great state of Louisiana who has been plagued with fires and floods and many more terrible things that I dare not mention. Many documents have been “misplaced” and take extra time to locate and/or replace. Not to mention, the errors on death certificates… I’m sure my great-grandmother would have loved to claim she was four years younger than she was and perhaps my great-grandfather preferred being a Virgo instead of a Leo. However, for some unknown reason, the Italian government likes such trivial information as birth dates and such to be consistent. Go figure.
Anyways, I’ve been learning all kinds of cool things about our family history. I think it’s pretty important to keep all the stories going with each generation. It’s sad to think that one day someone might not know, or even care what we’ve done and how we’ve gotten here.
By the way, that photo up there is Palermo. And one day (hopefully soon) all my documents I’ve been gathering will sit in the Province of Palermo. Sigh.