In 1912, my great-grandfather, Dominik Kowalski, immigrated to America from Poland and settled in Cleveland, Ohio. Like several of my other immigrant ancestors, I found his Oath of Allegiance certificate and Naturalization Card from April of 1932:
With my other immigrant ancestors, finding these forms has been the final step in learning about their citizenship process. However, thanks to GenealogyBank, I found out a little bit more about Dominik's citizenship experience. On July 4, 1932, Dominik's name appeared in The Cleveland Plain Dealer as one of 1,500 immigrants who were to receive citizenship diplomas at Cleveland's Edgewater Park. I like to think that Dominik DID attend the ceremony, but there is no way to know for sure. Maybe his wife and children even came with him to watch. In any case, after a lot of searching, I'm pretty sure it was the only time he ever made it into the 'big city' newspaper, and it's just another great reminder that MY citizenship as an American really began the moment he received his citizenship in 1932.
©2013, copyright Emily Kowalski Schroeder
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Emily Kowalski Schroeder