Annotations Regarding Nationality and Citizenship

Annotated references to a passenger's nationality are usually, and usually should be, in the nationality column. In fact these references might be found anywhere on the list page, and are frequently found in the name column or the left margin (as were two of the examples on this page).

References to a passengers citizenship, either by birth or naturalization, were added upon arrival by the Immigrant Inspector. The fact of the person's citizenship is the Inspector's explanation of why the individual could be admitted without further questioning.

USB, or US Born
Persons born in the United States are US citizens (unless they later expatriated themselves), and are entitled to admission to their own country. Thus the annotation "US Born" has great meaning to the passenger's admission under immigration law, and it is not surprising the fact of their citizenship would be noted. The "USB" annotation is often seen in the case of children returning home after a visit abroad with their foreign-born parents. These children, though citizens, were frequently listed on a "List of Alien Passengers" so they might be listed with their parents. The fact of their US birth is noted to explain why the children were not inspected in the same manner as non-citizens.
The same principle explains the example at right, taken from the "Visa" columns of a late 1924 passenger list. Those columns normally contain information about when, where, and what sort of visa was issued to the immigant. U.S. citizens did not need such documents, so their absence was explained by giving the birthdates of the children. These may have been taken from birth certificates carried by the parents as their children's travel papers. Some similar annotations have been seen to provide the specific birth certificate number.

USC, Nat, Natz, Naturalized, or Naturalization Certificate Number
Though the example shown above right is from the name column, references to a passenger's naturalized status are usually found farther right, in the nationality column or in the blank space left in the columns under heading concerning health condition, height, weight, and eye color. This example indicates the passenger was issued naturalization certificate #383553. The number "2271" means the naturalization occurred in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn. The date may be the date of naturalization, but could be the date of a verification. The six-digit number at left remains a mystery, and may have been added years later.
The images above come from the passenger list record of a naturalized citizen returning home. The annotated "USC" appears in the nationality column. Farther right, in empty space, is the reference to his naturalization in the Superior Court at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on October 31, 1911. In the case of both examples shown, the immigrant carried evidence of his naturalization (probably his naturalization certificate) on his journey, and the Immigrant Inspector took the information directly from that document. Unfortunately, on a busy day, the Inspector might note the "USC" status and fail to record the details of the passenger's naturalization.
Yet another annotation capturing information about a naturalization is found in the name column, above the name. This naturalization took place in the US District Court in Chicago (750), and Walter Kochman was issued certificate number 2367921.

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