sfgenealogy.com Boards

Ida Domenica Giorni - Citizenship

[San Mateo County Query Board]

Posted by Kevin Ahern on Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 08:30:19 :

Briefly, yes the matter has to do with the citizenship of her husband. The Citizenship Commission of 1906 recommended that female U.S. citizens who married alien men automatically lose their citizenship and assume that of their husband; the suggestion was adopted and enacted in the Expatriation Act of 2 March 1907. So after 1907, the citizenship of all married women in the U.S. essentially depended upon that of their husbands. In 1915, the Supreme Court actually upheld the Expatriation Act observing “the identity of husband and wife is an ancient principle of out jurisprudence.” Congress and the Court may have misread public opinion as the law and decision were the object of growing opposition particularly in light of the growing women’s suffrage movement.

The Cable Act of 22 September 1922 did away with the provision that stripped a woman of her citizenship. An Act of 3 March 1931 further rescinded the provision going forward; further legislation in 1936, 1940 allowed resumption of citizenship but did not restore it retroactively. It was not until 1994 that Congress passed legislation that retroactively restored citizenship to persons such as your aunt. As your aunt married after 1907 and before 1922, she lost her citizenship on marriage and would have to have waited for her husband to become eligible for and acquire citizenship [1919] and then apply for citizenship herself [1928]. The obscure note on her index card about her declaration of intent “Omitted pursuant to Act of Sept. 22, 1922” points to the Cable Act.

As these matters can affect the citizenship of children born or resident abroad, there is a good overview in the U.S. Department of State Foreign Affairs Manual, Vol. 7.

copyright © 1996-2010 SFgenealogy. All rights reserved.
powered by SpudBoard