MDWASHIN-L ArchivesArchiver > MDWASHIN > 2006-06 > 1149696062
Subject: Re: [MDWASHIN] Naturalization 1760 Process
Date: Wed, 7 Jun 2006 12:01:02 EDT
In a message dated 6/7/2006 11:43:20 AM Eastern Standard Time,
What role did the "Oath of Allegiance" play in naturalizations? (This would
be during the War for American Independence.) I somehow had the idea that
many, if not most, of our immigrant ancestors became citizens upon taking
oath. However, many of my ancestors were already landowners at this point.
Depends upon which oath of allegiance you mean. The oath taken by
non-English citizens when arriving in Philadelphia had nothing to do with becoming a
citizen of Great Britain. It merely assured the somewhat nervous Brits that
the mostly Germanic immigrants into PA were not attempting to turn the Colony
into a German state...that they were disavowing any allegiance to any foreign
power and agreeing to accept the authority of the Brits and the Pennsylvania
Leading up to the Revolution the oath would have been to support the Patriot
cause rather than the British government. Neither oath would have resulted
in citizenship but could have been a step towarding becoming a citizen.
I, too, have seen German immigrants who didn't become Naturalized (or that I
have not found a record of their Naturalization) who owned land, but it was
supposed to have been a requirement to do so.
I know that my ancestor John George ARNOLD arrived in Philadelphia in 1738
and later that same year became a Naturalized citizen and purchased land in
Frederick County, MD in 1739. So there must not even have been much of a
waiting period in that early time.
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