Sunday, January 3, 2010

Tierney family treasure: Patrick's naturalization papers, 1876

It was one-hundred years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.  It was the year that the Sioux and Cheyenne defeated Custer and his troops at Little Big Horn.  It was the year that baseball's National League was founded, and that prominent Boston resident Alexander Graham Bell patented the telephone.

The year 1876 was also of personal importance for another Boston resident, my great-great-grandfather Patrick Tierney. On September 14, 1876 Patrick Tierney (and his wife Catherine by virtue of their marriage two years previous) became citizens of the United States.

Patrick's Declaration of Intent to become a citizen and Petition for Citizenship, which I obtained from the National Archives,  are both very special family treasures for several reasons.  One of those reasons is the mention of Patrick's birth in County Tipperary, Ireland.  I find it very interesting to compare Patrick's naturalization papers with those belonging to my grandfather (on another branch of my family tree) who attained his citizenship in the early 20th-century.

Probably my favorite part of Patrick's documents is his signature. We have no photographic image of my great-great-grandfather, and no written description of what he looked like. His signature is the closest that we can get to an "image" of him. Here it is as it appears on his citizenship papers:


Patrick Tierney's Declaration of Intent and Petition for Citizenship are shown below followed by their transcriptions.



The document reads:

U.S. District Court
Boston, Mass. Vol 95 Page 5 5

United States of America
55

To the Honorable Judges of the Circuit Court of the United States, begun and holden at Boston, within and for the District of Massachusetts.

Respectfully represents Patrick Tierney of Boston in said District Laborer an Alien and a free white person; that he was born in County Tipperary, Ireland the 14th day of March in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and forty-one and is now about thirty-five years of age; that he arrived at Buffalo, NY in the District of New York in the United States of America, on or about the tenth day of April in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and fifty-eight being then a minor under the age of eighteen years; that it then was, and still is, his bona fide intention to reside in and become a citizen of the United States of America, and to renounce all allegiance and fidelity to every foreign Prince, State, Potentate and Sovereignty whatsoever – more especially to Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland,

whose subject he has heretofore been. [Struck out: All of which appears in the record of the Honorable…Court,…to wit, on the…day of…A.D. 18…]

And the said petitioner further represents that he has ever since continued to reside within the jurisdiction of said United States; that he has never borne any hereditary title, or been any of the orders of nobility; that he is ready to renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to every foreign Prince, Potentate, State or Sovereignty whatsoever; and particularly to Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom and Great Britain and Ireland,

whose subject he has heretofore been; that he is attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States of America, and well disposed towards the good order and happiness of the same.
[Struck out: And the said petitioner further represents that he enlisted in the Armies of the United States, and was honorably discharged therefrom.]

Wherefore, your petitioner prays that he may be admitted to become a citizen of the said United States of America, according to the forms of the Statutes in such case made and provided.

x Patrick . Tierney
[Signature of Patrick Tierney]

187 Sworn to by said Petitioner,
Before me,
John G. Stetson,
Clerk.

Key to Transcription

Black = pre-printed on form
Blue = handwritten
Green = stamped on record
Red = not in record; my notes


~

Below is Patrick's Petition for Citizenship.



The document reads:

U.S. District Court
Boston, Mass. Vol 95 Page 5 5 A

United States of America

Massachusetts District, to wit: City of Boston, Sept. 14th 1876.
We Austin Quigley and John Mitchell All of Boston
and both citizens of said United States, severally depose and say, that we have known the foregoing petitioner for five years last past, during which time he has resided in said
Boston
and that he has resided within the State of Massachusetts one year at least; and has conducted himself and behaved as a man of good moral character, attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, and well disposed towards the good order and happiness of the same.

Sept 14, 1876 Sworn to by Austin Quigley
the above named witnesses, John Mitchell
Before me,
John G. Stetson
Clerk.

Oath Taken by Petitioner

I, Patrick Tierney do solemnly swear, that I do absolutely and entirely renounce and adjure all allegiance and fidelity to every Foreign Prince, Potenate, State or Sovereignty whatsoever, - particularly to Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland,

whose subject I have heretofore been; and that I will support the Constitution of the United States of America, - so help me God.

United States of America

District of Massachusetts, to wit:
At a Circuit Court of the United States, begun and holden at said Boston, on the fifteenth day of May in the year of our Lord 1876, to wit, on the 14th day of September A.D. 1876, the said Patrick Tierney took the aforesaid oath and was admitted to become a citizen of the United States of America; and the Court ordered that record thereof by made accordingly.

Attest:
John G. Stetson Clerk.

Key to Transcription

Black = pre-printed on form
Blue = handwritten
Green = stamped on record
Red = not in record; my notes


~

This article originally appeared here at A light that shines again.  I have republished it as part of the 17th edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture on "Irish genealogy treasures".

7 comments:

Donna said...

Lisa,

This is a good one - I like how you gave a little bit of the historical context besides just the document itself!

Donna

hummer said...

Lisa,
I love the feel and look of your blog.
The transcription key is great.
Thank you for more help in meaningful documentation.

Bill West said...

I've given you a Happy 101 Award over at:
http://westinnewengland.blogspot.com/2010/01/happy-101-award.html

Janice said...

Lisa, I absolutely love your blog and am awarding you the "Happy 101" award. Please visit Mississippi Memories to pick up your award.

hummer said...

I have given you an award it is at my blog http://joyoustomorrows.blogspot.com/

I understand you might not be able to accept, just wanted to let you know you are appreciated.
Frances

JJT said...

Hello,

Nice post! I'm also working on my Tierney family (in NY) and am jealous of that citizenship information.
I recently found my great grandfather Michael Tierney's 1885 naturalization, but it did not include anything beyond name, address, occupation and sponsor.

Lisa / Smallest Leaf said...

Thanks for all of the kind comments, everyone.

John - I'm sorry that your great-grandfather's file did not include his home county or townland in Ireland. It can be tough to trace those Irish-American immigrant ancestors back to the old country! I look forward to hearing good news from you someday soon that you've found the place and that you're on your way to Ireland!

Lisa
Smallest Leaf

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