This page is part of Family history documents: Ruth Schwartz & family.
-- Margaret Fulford
BENJAMIN SCHWARTZ - NATURALIZATION - OCT. 28, 1893
- These documents show Benjamin Schwartz -- the father of Ruth (Schwartz) Black -- applying for and being granted American citizenship.
- The first document is a certificate of naturalization inherited by Benjamin's grandson.
- The naturalization date on this certificate made it possible to find the second document online; this petition for naturalization was digitized by the National Archives at New York City).
- The third document is an index card (found on ancestry.ca), from the National Archives' "Index to Petitions for Naturalizations Filed in Federal, State, and Local Courts in New York City, 1792-1906." Since this index uses the "soundex" system, which wasn't invented until 1918, the index must have been created decades after the petition.
- The petition gave us the following new information:
- Benjamin arrived in the U.S. on June 19, 1885.
- At least at this point in his life, he used the first name "Beny"
- His birth date is given as Oct. 3, 1872. (Note: The birth date given in Gladys (Schwartz) Kaminsky's family history is Nov. 19, 1873, and the year of death on Benjamin's gravestone is 1873. However, in both this petition for naturalization and his 1918 draft registration, Benjamin gave his date of birth as Oct. 3, 1872.)
- His address is either 123 E. 6th St. or 723 E. 6th St. (It's hard to read.) See 123 E. 6th St today and 723 E. 6th St today in Google Maps.
- This is the same street Benjamin listed on his marriage certificate five years later; at that point (1898) he was at #738 E. 6th St.
- His occupation is given as Tailor.
- The witness who swore that Beny had resided in the U.S. at least 5 years, was of good character, etc. was named Izrael Friedman, a tailor, who lived at 120 Wilet St., New York City. The date when he became acquainted with Beny is given on the petition as Oct. 9, 1887. Probably his street was Willet St., on the Lower East Side. Here is a link to 120 Willett St. today in Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/
- In becoming a citizen, Beny had renounce his allegiance to the Emperor of Austria. He was from Hungary, which at the time was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
- A note about Benjamin's year of arrival: In the petition, it's hard to read some of the handwriting, and the year of arrival could possibly say 1883 rather than 1885. However, given the horizontal line in the digit, it seems more likely to be a "5." Also, the person who filled in the index card about this petition (decades later) interpreted it as a "5," and that person may have been indexing all the petitions from a certain date at once and/or may have become adept at reading the clerk's handwriting, so their interpretation is likely correct. And the census forms from 1900, 1910, and 1925 all give 1885 as Benjamin's year of immigration (although the 1915 form says 1880 and the 1930 form says 1890). Benjamin's daughter Gladys believed that he had arrived in 1883; she wrote, "One of his earliest memories of New York was the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge on a very hot day - so hot that women fainted, especially when thousands of people struggled to be the first to walk across the Bridge. Since the Bridge was opened on May 24, 1883, his arrival in New York was somewhere between January and May 1883." But even if the year on the petition is 1883, his date of arrival, June 19, would still be too late for him to have witnessed the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge. Also, a New York Times article the next day said "A fairer day for the ceremony could not have been chosen. The sky was cloudless, and the heat from the brightly shining sun was tempered by a cool breeze. The pleasant weather brought visitors by the thousands from all around." So perhaps the story Gladys remembered hearing was about a later event at the Brooklyn Bridge, rather than the opening.