Category Archives: Italian

Jus Sanguinis: The Old Certificate

I know.
I fucking did it again. A long time and no posts.

But, I have finally made some time, so here’s what’s going on:

I received my bisnonno’s marriage certificate on either April 29th or 30th, I believe; I didn’t check my mail on the 29th, but retrieved it on the 30th, if I remember correctly.

There are two possible steps left to the collection process:

1. Request my bisnonno’s alien file to find out when he naturalized, and
2. try to obtain a court order for my grandpa’s birth certificate.

I will admit something: I’ve been avoiding step 1 because I’m afraid that it will say I am ineligible. As I mentioned a while ago, I may be able to hire a lawyer in Italy to obtain dual citizenship through my great-grandmother, but…it takes all of the fun out of it, doesn’t it? Long journeys make a person value something so much more, more often than not.

Stay tuned…

Jus Sanguinis: Lots of Certificates

There have been a lot of certificates being mailed recently, and I am proud to say that I have almost all of the papers I have ordered.

I spent Friday night with my mom, and found out that she had received she and my father’s marriage certificate. I’m honestly not sure when she got it, but she got it.

Here’s the strange thing: The next freaking day, all three birth certificates that we ordered from New York came.

This means that I am only waiting on one more marriage certificate.

Wow.

I know that I still need to order the information on my bisnonno’s naturalization, but if I’m honest, I’ve kind of been putting it off. I know it needs to be completed, though.

Stay tuned.

Jus Sanguinis: Aww…

Last night, I noticed that I had left the garbage and recycling bins out by the curb, as it was garbage day yesterday. When I went to retrieve them, I opened the mail box and found a letter from New York…the country clerk, to be specific.

My grandma and grandpa’s marriage certificate is officially here.

I had absolutely no idea that my grandmother packed hosiery in a factory as a job before she got married…isn’t that amazing? (Well, it may not be to you, but it was to me.)

As sweet as it was to finally receive the certificate, I couldn’t help but cringe at all of the spelling inconsistencies in the names of my family members; if I ever get to the consulate, there may be a few boo-boos to cover with that. Italians really do not take kindly to name inconsistencies…

But still…so freaking sweet.

Stay tuned.

Jus Sanguinis: Postal

I received my certified letter from Italy at last.

Apparently, the whole why-will-you-not-deliver-my-certified-letters thing was the fault of a substitute mail woman. My regular mail woman came to my door on Friday and the conversation went something like this:

Me: Oh, hi!
Mail woman: Hi there! Here’s your mail and your letter!
Me: Awesome! Thanks!
Mail woman: Yeah, the woman who was on the route that day was a substitute; I spoke to her, and she said that she came up to the door, and left your mail on the front step.
Me: …No. She didn’t.
Mail woman: Yeah, I figured she was lying about that, but I down-played everything so that she wouldn’t get in trouble.

…And I would not want her to get in trouble, either. I just want my mail.

Anyway, I ran to my dining room and opened the letter and…well, it wasn’t a birth certificate.
As a matter of fact, I didn’t know what the fuck it was. It had my bisnonno’s information on it, along with his parents’ names and date of birth, but it was in no way a certificate.

A bit later that day, I showed the document to my friend, and he noticed that some parts were in French, and he knows French. After giving it a squint, he translated what it was: An abstract of birth.

Why would they send an abstract of birth?

Then, I realized something:
It could be that there is no actual certificate.
Way back when, people typically wrote the birth of children in a church book or something of the sort, so maybe that’s all they have to give me. It is stamped and everything looks very official, so I have decided that I need to email the consulate and ask them if they would accept this document.

Stay tuned.

Jus Sanguinis: Don’t Ever Ask If It Can Get Any Worse…

A yin yang of information has come my way.
In a yin yang, there is a big, white section with a small black dot and a big black section with a small white dot, right? Well:

The dark side:

Concerning the matter of how long it’d take for my bisnonno to reapply for citizenship, I realized I could obtain the information in two different ways.
1. Order an ILL (inter-library loan) book with relevant information, and wait an undetermined length of time for it to arrive.
2. Ask a librarian.

As a librarian, I knew which of these options would be easier, and that is obviously the second option, especially knowing that USCIS does have a library.

So, I found the library’s website, and sure enough, they have an online reference service. Here is a partial text of the reply I received:

It was not all that uncommon for immigrants to let their declarations lapse or “spoil.” Many filed the Declaration or “first paper” with no or little intent to follow-up, but for other reasons related to employment, or is some states, voting. Once the first declaration had spoiled, your great-grandfather would have been required to file a new declaration. He would not have needed to wait an additional 5-years of residency (unless he had broken his U.S. residency) but he would have been required to wait the mandatory 2-years that was required between filing a declaration and filing a petition or “second papers.”

Of course. Of course it’d be only two years.

I am guessing, but I’m relatively certain my bisnonno didn’t break residency, as he had a job and a very large family to take care of, so this trail could end anywhere. In some circumstances, a bit of uncertainty can be exciting or even comforting, but I’m finding this a bit frustrating. There’s a reason why I don’t often gamble.

The white dot:

I don’t know if I’m eligible or not.

The light side:

I received a card in the mail box saying ‘Sorry we missed you,’ and it was in reference to a certified letter from Italy. This was yesterday.

The black dot:

1. I was home the entire day yesterday, and the obstinate mail person (for some reason) refuses to walk up to my house with any kind of letter or package. This has happened before, and I’m not sure why. My porch doesn’t smell, I’ve never been mean to her, we’ve never had an altercation…my mom believes that it has to do with the fact that my driveway is half paved, half dirt, and the dirt part is a bit muddy. But come on…the saying is something like ‘snow, sleet, rain, or hail,’ right? I’d believe mud is a few steps down from all of those. Besides, she COULD avoid the mud by walking on the grass. I mean, really, for fuck’s sake.
I called the post office and asked why I’m not allowed to receive certified letters, and the man who answered the phone said he’d ask the carrier, and if she hadn’t left yet, he’d send my letter along with her. Whatever it is, it’d be good to know so I may have the opportunity to remedy this situation. If I have to buy gravel for the driveway, so be it, but just bring me my fucking mail, please!
2. The letter could say anything…it could be a letter saying that they couldn’t find the birth certificate. Who knows?

Stay tuned.

Jus Sanguinis: Oh Shit

I received my very first response from all of the document requests I sent out in the mail today, and it was from USCIS.

As I struggled to open the big, brownish envelope, I was nearly shaking in trepidation; did I waste all of that money ordering all of the birth and marriage certificates only to find out that I somehow wasn’t qualified for dual citizenship after all?

RecordFound

(Edited for privacy.)

Probably.

So, my bisnonno did, indeed, become a naturalized citizen.

Yes, I was very freaking sad and disappointed to receive the letter, but I decided not to give up on my bisnonno. My Grandpa DeMasi was born in the beginning of 1919, and if my bisnonno naturalized after my grandpa’s birth, I should still qualify. I’ve conducted a bit of light research on the reapplication process, but haven’t found any definite information on New York naturalization procedures. I’ve found sources that may have the information, but not the information, itself.

What I’m hoping is that it takes five years before the prospective citizen can reapply, and that my bisnonno drug his feet by a few months. The original (or denied) petition was dated January 7, 1914, so if it takes five years to reapply (because it typically took five years to initially apply) AND my bisnonno applied in 1919 AFTER my grandpa’s birthday OR any time thereafter, I could still be in the realm of qualification, but that’s a lot of stipulations that (let’s be honest) probably won’t fall in my favor.

I’ve printed out the G-639 form (http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/files/form/g-639.pdf), as I really want to know WHEN he naturalized. Besides…that 1930s census DID have the ‘Na’ crossed out, and that was after my grandpa was born.

Stay tuned.

Jus Sanguinis: Notorized

This is a bit on the late side, but I finally got the birth certificate applications notarized by my mom. If you go to your bank, it’s typically a free service they offer, so we did that last Thursday, and was able to send them on Friday.

Funny thing, though:

As I was stuffing the envelope with the applications, I could smell something…bad. It smelled like pee…old pee. I frantically sniffed around my dining room, trying to find where the smell was originating from because…no. Then I paused for a moment and looked down at the envelope.

Sniff

‘Oh my God…’

I took the applications out of the envelope and sniffed the notary’s stamp.

‘UGH! That’s disgusting!’

Yup. The stamp was definitely the source of the smell.

Those poor sons of bitches at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene should be in for quite the out-of-tune symphony of fragrance upon opening that envelope, granted it gets there.

And that’s right: Absolutely freaking nothing has been delivered to me as of today…oh, bureaucracy.

Stay tuned.

Jus Sanguinis: The Well-Traveled Letter

Three letters made it to the mailbox yesterday:
1. My parents’ marriage certificate request (signed by my mother with her photo identification, the return address being hers, but the money order signed by me);
2. My grandparents’ marriage certificate request (signed by me with my photo identification, the return address being mine, and the money order signed by me);
3. My bisnonno’s birth certificate request.

I drove to the post office to send the letters because honestly, I was paranoid that something stupid would happen if it sat in the mailbox in front of my house for a full 24 hours, and I was not having that. First, I popped the grandparents’ certificate request, then the parents’ certificate request, and when I came to my bisnonno’s birth certificate request, I gave the envelope a kiss before I sent it on its long journey.

I did learn something, though…something important about stamps.

The commune where my bisnonno was born requested a self addressed, stamped envelope. Not being all that seasoned of an international mailer, I figured I’d just need the equivalent postage cost of American stamps.

I was wrong.

American stamps are worthless outside of the American post. I’d basically done the equivalent of flush three stamps down the toilet.

Deeerp.

Like a champ, I’d researched this after I’d sealed the envelope. So, I carefully opened the envelope, took out the self addressed, stamped envelope, and made a new one without stamps. I happened to find two 10 euro notes in my safe, and chose to send one of those in lieu of useless American stamps. I stuffed both the euro note and the new self addressed envelope into the commune’s envelope and taped it closed.

I have four more missions at this point:

1. Get my mother to notarize the three birth certificate requests and
2. send them. Then,
3. get the court order for my grandfather’s birth certificate and
4. send away to get that one, as well.

I did call my good friend’s lawyer mother; she answered and told me that she was driving and couldn’t talk, but she’d call me when she got home. This was Thursday. I still have not received a call back.

And I still haven’t received anything from USCIS.

Stay tuned.

Jus Sanguinis: Check or Money Order?

I received a phone call at around 11:30 am from my mother; she wanted to know if she could come over to pick up something.

Once she entered, though, I trapped her in my dining room and made her sign for her marriage license; then, I commandeered the driver’s license of which I so desperately needed two copies.
Remember the printer? The jammed printer?
Well, I figured that I could just scan the license, but, haha, no. My computer is pissed at the printer, as well, so it seems, as they refused to speak to each other.

But then, something very wonderful happened: A back panel to the printer was discovered. Out came the paper, and the printer is now in working order for the time being.

It seemed like an opportune time to get my mom’s/brother’s/my birth certificates started, so I went to http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/services/vr-order-other.shtml and checked everything out.
New York City really encourages one to order from VitalCheck; the issue with VitalCheck is that each record costs $8.30 more.
Fuck…that.
So, I printed off the three applications, and tried to convince my mom to stick around until I completed them. They need to be notarized before being sent.

Well, my mom refused to stay around for me to fill in the applications. I kind of can’t even blame her…she’d sat there and watched me fight with a printer for a very long time. I was about to very quickly throw the marriage certificate application together for her to mail, and I just happened to study the instructions one more time before I did so. It was good that I did, because I learned that the fucking city clerk does NOT accept checks, only money orders or cashier checks.

The good news? Long form or, as they call it in New York, vault form birth certificates don’t cost more than the normal ones.

So, here’s what these certificates should cost me:

3 Birth certificates at $15.00 each: $45.00
2 Marriage certificates at $35.00 each: $70.00
Total: $115.00

Add the $26.00 that I already spent at the Manhattan Municipal Archives, and that brings the grand total to $141.00. And I’m sure that the fucking money orders will tack on even MORE money.

New York City Clerk, why are you too good to take a check from me?

Stay tuned.