My first Naturalization papers wound up being for my maternal great-great-grandfather- Jacob Hamman. Armed with his Naturalization papers I wondered what I could learn about Jacob? (Unfortunately, I do not have any photos of Jacob.)
What I have learned about Jacob:
Jacob was born in Luxembourg in July 1839.
Jacob and Kate (Catherine Hein Hammond) were married about 1860. Not sure where.
Jacob filed his ‘First Papers’ or Declaration of Intention to become a citizen of the United States in Plymouth County, Iowa on 23 October 1880 stating his Nativity was Luxembourg. First Papers could be filed any time after arriving in the United States. He was the only person to file a Declaration of Intention on this date in Plymouth County, Iowa. In reviewing the list of those filing First Papers in Plymouth County, Iowa from 1871-1888 I am seeing other people from Luxembourg but no other families with the last name of Hamman.
In the 1900 US Federal Census (8 Jun1900) Jacob (60 yo) and wife Kate (55) are living in Fredonia, Plymouth, Iowa with children Mike (22 yo), John (17 yo), Jo (15 yo), Maggie (16 yo), Francis (7 yo). Jacob is listed as a Farmer who can read, write and speak English. He owned his farm and had a mortgage on it. He was 60 on the farm schedule. Year of Immigration 1862, He is listed as being in the US for 37 years. Number of years married 40. (So he and Kate must have been married before they came to the United States??)
Jacob and Kate/Catherine had 8 children (as best as I can figure out): Arthur (b. 1869), Nickolaus (b. 1873), Henry (b. 1873) (my great-grandfather), Michael (b. 1877), John Paul (b. 1883), Joseph (b. 1884 ), Margaretha/Maggie (b. 1888), and Francesa/Frances (b. 1893).
Jacob died 18 November 1900 in Fredonia Tp, Plymouth Iowa at the age of 65 years 3 months 9 days (that would make birth in 1835?) of Asthma. Buried in Remsen, Iowa at St. Mary’s Cemetery. (I find it interesting that 5 months before Jacob’s death on the US Federal Census it states he is 60 but on his death record it states he is 65. I wonder who gave the information for the Federal Census?)
Thoughts and Questions:
- I find it interesting that on Jacob’s first papers his name is spelled as ‘Hammond’ but on his Naturalization papers it is spelled as ‘Hamman’ by the same Clerk of the Court.
- I have had Jacob’s Naturalization papers since the early 1990s when I learned he was from Luxemburg and not Germany as previously thought. It wasn’t until I transcribed them this week that I really thought about what Jacob was giving up to become a Citizen of the United States. Did he find what he was looking for in the US?
- I wonder what brought Jacob to America?
- I wonder why Jacob wound up in Plymouth County, Iowa?
- Did he miss Luxemburg? Did he leave family behind that he missed?
- Why can’t I find him in any of the Iowa State Census records?