What? American women could lose their citizenship?

 

Hal Bookbinder

Noted Jewish genealogist Hal Bookbinder will discuss how American women could lose their citizenship in the early 1900s and the history of Castle Garden, the Barge Office and Ellis Island at the next Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Orlando meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 7, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at The Roth Family JCC in Maitland.

A longtime genealogist, Bookbinder is known around the world for his leadership and knowledge of genealogy. His presentation will help genealogy enthusiasts understand the strange twists and turns of U.S. immigration laws and practices over the years, and help in finding and understanding immigration records. These records are among the most important data for family history researchers.

Why would a woman born in 1895 in St. Louis, Missouri, be naturalized as an American in 1936? Bookbinder's grandmother, Missouri-born Sarah Sacharow, married Edward Horwitz, who had immigrated as a toddler but had never been naturalized. Since he was not an American citizen, upon her marriage to him, she ceased to be an American citizen! Later, in 1936, she was naturalized in Newark, N.J. Bookbinder's grandmother, who had never been out of the U.S. even had to forswear allegiance to the Soviet Union!


Bookbinder explained that between 1907 and 1922, American women who married foreign males lost their citizenship. And yet, foreign women who married Americans automatically became citizens.

Bookbinder's research specialties are Jewish history, finding missing relatives, European border changes, immigration, citizenship and safe computing. He has authored articles and spoken at numerous conferences and Jewish genealogical society meetings both in person and through webinars. He is a former president of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) and currently serves on the JewishGen Board of Directors. In 2010, he was honored with the IAJGS Lifetime Achievement Award.

Bookbinder has identified 4,000 relatives in 26 states and eight countries. He traces his and his wife's roots to modern Ukraine and adjacent areas of Moldova, Poland, Belarus and Russia. He is an information technology director for UCLA Health, teaches for the University of Phoenix, and directs a job skills program for individuals in recovery at the LA Midnight Mission.

Prior to the program, starting at 6:30 p.m., there will be time for newcomers to network, and to receive free assistance or mentoring from a Jewish genealogy expert. This event is free and open to the public.

 

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