My Afternoon at The Archives

Today, I took some time out of my busy day to actually do bit of researching for my Jonas line. One of my goals is to be able to prove/disprove is Wilhem Jonas (my great-great grandfather) is related to Johann Jonas (who lived in the same general area and who’s children share the names of Wilhelm’s).

A few months back, I found the index record for both of their naturalization records on At that time, I printed each index out knowing I would go to find their actual paperwork at IRAD. This morning, I decided today was that day. After I found the print outs of the index, I grabbed a quick lunch and set out on my mission.

Once I got to IRAD and requested my film, I sat and searched through the first roll of film. I was so upset because the index told me exactly what page I should find the record on and it was no there. I rewound the film, set it to the side and moved on tithe next roll. This roll was supposed to hold the record for Johann Wilhelm’s, I went to the page it listed and did not find him. I scrolled through every book that was on this roll and found zilch! I was disappointed, to say the least.

I went back to the desk and spoke with the lady that was kind enough to assist me. We again looked at my ancestry index print out and decided we would try another volume. The index showed it should be volume 76 and I had already been through 73-76 and found nothing. So, looking at the printout, I suggested we try 78. The 8 could easily have been mistaken for a 6.

While the lady looked for that roll of film, I went back to my first roll to see if Wilhelm’ would make an appearance. When I started rolling through the film, I did not understand that there were multiple books on a film. I quickly went to the second book and then rolled forward to get to the correct page number, and there he was, Wilhelm’s Jonas! I was so excited. I printed off the paperwork and got ready for the next roll.

                    165 United States of America State of Illinois, Cook County Pleas, before the honorable EW Burke one of the Judges of the Circuit Court of Cook County, at a term thereof begun and held at Chicago, in said county and state, on the third Monday (being the 15th day) of October in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred 4and the Independence of the United States the one hundred 19th. Present, Honorable EW Burke one of the Judges of the Circuit Court of Cook County. Jacob J. Kern States Attorney, James H. Gilbert Sheriff. Attest Frank J Gaulter clerk, On the 23d day of October A.D. 1894, being one of the days aforesaid, came Wilhelm Jonas an alien, into court, and applied to be admitted as a naturalized citizen of the United States, and it having appeared to the satisfaction of the Court that the said applicant has resided within the limits and under the jurisdiction of the United States, for and during the full term of five years last past, and one year and upward immediately proceeding date hereof, in the State of Illinois, and that during said term of five years he has sustained a good moral character, and appeared to be attached to to the principle contained in the Constitution of the United States, as well disposed to the good order, well being, and happiness of the same, and two years and upwards have elapsed since the said applicant filed the declaration of his intention to become a citizen of the United States, according to the provisions of the several Acts of Congress heretofore passed on that subject; and he having now here, in open Court, taken and subscribed the oath required by those laws to support the Constitution of the United States, and to renounce and abjure all allegiances and fidelity to every foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty whatever, and more particularly all allegiance which he may in anywise owe to Emperor of Germany whereof he was heretofore a subject. It is Therefore Ordered and Adjudge, by the Court, that the said Wilhelm Jonas be, and he is hereby admitted to all and singular the rights, privileges and immunities of a naturalized citizen of the United States, and that the same be certified by the Clerk of this Court, under the seal of said Court accordingly.


Searching roll number 3, I was able to easily locate Johann Jonas. I printed his information and moved forward. I wanted to find the intent and petition paperwork as well.

In order to find the intent and petition paperwork, I needed to look at a tool that is a handwritten, alphabetized book that has been filmed. Not an easy task! After about 15 minutes, I had to give up because I needed to get to school to pick up my daughter. So, I asked the nice lady if they can pull the rest of the paperwork for me and mail it to me. She said that she would handle it for me.

I love the way that IRAD handles things for upon. They will search for me, free of charge, and print everything out. When they mail it to me, there will be a bill for printing fees. $1 for the first page and .20 for each additional page. Not too shabby if you ask me. The only real problem I the amount of time it will take. Which is usually 4 – 6 weeks.

But, to get this paperwork, I will wait patiently. I have many other records waiting for me to transcribe them. I need to get to work, soon!



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