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Citizenship by descent: don't know details of grandparents' American citizenship

dzef 1 | 2  
30 Oct 2009 /  #1
I'm an American of Polish ancestry. I'm trying to determine if I may be able to claim Polish citizenship by descent. The biggest challenge I have is that I have no idea when/if some of my deceased relatives (grandmother, and some great-grandparents) became American citizens.

Does anyone have any suggestions of where to look for this information?
I know that they arrived in the US between 1900 and 1930 (I have more specific dates for each person), and I've located death certificates in the US for most of them. Only one of these indicated that a person was a US citizen, but no further details were given.

Sorry if this is a bit off-topic, but I wasn't really sure where else to start looking.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446  
30 Oct 2009 /  #2
They most have had Polish citizenship and that was possible only after 1918. Prior to then Poels were were subject of the three foreign emperors.
richasis 1 | 420  
30 Oct 2009 /  #3
Polonius3, of course, is correct. The key is that you have UNINTERRUPTED lineage between yourself and your Polish ancestor(s).

IMHO, to better answer your question(s), perhaps the BEST place to begin is here: expat to poland.

This is where I myself had first started out about a year ago - and I have just recently had my own Polish citizenship confirmed.
OP dzef 1 | 2  
2 Nov 2009 /  #4
Polonius3: thanks, and I was aware of that. The part I have been unable to figure out is if or when they may have lost Polish citizenship by becoming American.

richasis: that looks like a very good link... it hasn't answered my question so far, but it'll definitely provide with me with many resources!

For the benefit of anyone who may be in a similar situation, I believe I found the answer: the US department of Citizenship and Immigration Services seems the correct place to look. On their website, one can submit requests to perform such searches thanks (for a fee, of course)
catt - | 1  
15 Nov 2009 /  #5
citizenship/polish passport/relatives

Hello! My grandmother never got US citizenship but my grandfather did. My grandmother, Katarzyna Bartyzel,from Boknia, and grandfather, Jan Jacob Imiolek, from Jauwuf(?). I would like to get Polish citizenship or a passport and also find both sides of my family there.

Where to begin? Thank you!
richasis 1 | 420  
15 Nov 2009 /  #6
Hello. I just recently got my own polish citizenship confirmed after about a one-year process.

To answer briefly, a good place to begin is here: poland expat.

Depending on circumstances, you may want to retain the services of an attorney in Poland.

Good Luck - I am proof that obtaining Polish citizenship is not an impossible task to achieve!

P.S. You MUST have your Polish citizenship confirmed BEFORE you receive a Polish passport.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,322  
15 Nov 2009 /  #7
My company, Lindenia, can help - lindenia.

A lot can vary - the Polish State (despite their lip-service to the Polonia) can and will make it very difficult to obtain if they feel like it - the biggest problem here is that people make their own interpretation of laws.

As for finding relatives - this is certainly something that we can assist with - upto and including making inital contact and more. We can do literally anything you need!

If you decide to consult a Polish lawyer, be careful - there are plenty of examples out there where people have retained the services of a lawyer from abroad who has then charged an extortionate amount for something that should cost considerably less. This is partially what we do - my company exists to save people money and time, and to obtain them services at Polish rates rather than expat rates.

The numerous comments about the Charsky case just goes to illustrate how many crooks are out there when it comes to this sort of thing :(
richasis 1 | 420  
15 Nov 2009 /  #8
@dzef: yes, USCIS is a valuable means to determine the status of American citizenship if not in possession of a Certificate of Naturalization.
Be mindful of the fact this process can take 18 months to complete - this may be done simultaneously to Confirmation of Polish Citizenship.
Ironically, sometimes 'No Record Found' (or words to that effect) is your best outcome as this implies American citizenship was not obtained.

@delphiandomine: you are correct in that the Polish bureaucracy might seem as inefficient as any - including the American one (see above).
However, this is because Confirmation of Polish Citizenship is decided at the Regional (Wojewoda) Level of one's ancestor's known residence.

While I have not obviously addressed all nuances and caveats, my understanding of this process comes from my own successful Confirmation.

P.S. Again, I recommend a thorough read of the link I have provided. If needed, most attorneys are honest and reliable - I used one myself!

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