Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Carl Albert Gillberg's Two Declarations of Intention

Carl Albert Gillberg Cropped

For some reason, my paternal great-grandfather, Carl Albert Gillberg, filled out two separate Declarations of Intention to become a United States citizen – one in 1924 and the other in 1939.

I thought it would be interesting to compare the two documents. I've highlighted these differences in bold.

Declaration of Intention - Dated May 5, 1924

Carl Albert Gilberg Declaration of Intention 1924

Information gleaned from the May 5, 1924 Declaration of Intention -

  1. Name: Carl Albert Gilbert (Gilbert instead of Gillberg)
  2. Age: 42
  3. Color:  White
  4. Complexion:  Light
  5. Height: 5 feet 7 inches
  6. Weight:  178 lbs.
  7. Color of Hair:  Blonde
  8. Color of Eyes:  Gray
  9. Other Visible Distinctive Marks:  Left Forefinger Off
  10. Place of Birth:  Stockholm, Sweden
  11. Date of Birth:  8 January 1882
  12. Current Residence:  142 Hawthorn Avenue, Salt Lake City, Utah
  13. Emigrated to the U.S.A. from: Eskilstuna, Sweden
  14. Name of Vessel:  S.S. Canada
  15. Last Foreign Residence:  Eskilstuna, Sweden
  16. Marital Status:  Married
  17. Name of Spouse:  Hilda Maria Carlson
  18. Spouse's Place of Birth:  Eskilstuna, Sweden
  19. Spouse's Current Residence:  142 Hawthorn Avenue, Salt Lake City, Utah
  20. Port of Arrival:  Chicago, Illinois
  21. Date of Arrival:  18 September 1909

Declaration of Intention - Dated July 24, 1939 2

Carl Albert Gilberg Declaration of Intention 1939
Information gleaned from the July 24, 1939 Declaration of Intention -
  1. Name:  Carl Albert Gillberg
  2. Current Residence:  4810 St. Elmo Drive, Los Angeles, California
  3. Current Occupation:  At Home
  4. Age:  57
  5. SexMale
  6. Color:  White
  7. Complexion:  Light
  8. Color of Eyes:  Gray
  9. Color of Hair:  Blonde
  10. Height:  5 feet 8 inches
  11. Weight:  188 lbs.
  12. Other Visible Distinctive Marks:  Left Forefinger Off
  13. Race:  Scandinavian
  14. Nationality: Swedish
  15. Place of Birth:  Stockholm, Sweden
  16. Date of Birth:  8 January 1882
  17. Marital Status:  Married
  18. Spouse's Name:  Hilda M.
  19. Date of Marriage:  3 April 1901
  20. Place of Marriage:  Eskilstuna, Sweden
  21. Spouse's Place of Birth:  Eskilstuna, Sweden
  22. Spouse's Date of Birth:  17 February 1878
  23. Spouse Immigration Information:
    1. Entered the United States at:  Salt Lake, Utah
    2. Date of Entrance:  9 July 1910
    3. Current Residence:  Los Angeles, California
  24. Number of Children:  Eight
  25. Children's Names, Dates and Places of Birth:
    1. Margit – 20 July 1902 in Sweden
    2. Maimi – 4 October 1907 in Sweden
    3. Ruth C. – 17 June 1911 in Salt Lake, Utah
    4. Ingrid A. – 5 November 1913 in Salt Lake, Utah
    5. Helen A. – 4 September 1915 in Salt Lake, Utah
    6. Ida M. – 26 October 1916 in Salt Lake, Utah 
    7. Edith E. – 26 October 1916 in Salt Lake, Utah
    8. Ruby H. A. – 15 July 1920 in Salt Lake, Utah
  26. Current Residences of Children:  Los Angeles, California
  27. Previous Declaration of Intention:  About 1924 at Salt Lake City, Utah
  28. Last Foreign Residence:  Eskilstuna, Sweden
  29. Emigrated to the U.S.A. from:  Eskilstuna, Sweden; Quebec, Canada
  30. Lawful Entry in the United States:  Port of Entry Not Shown
  31. Name at Entry:  Carl A. Gillberg
  32. Date of Entry:  17 September 1909
  33. Name of Vessel:  Canada

As you can see, there are definite differences in the amount of information provided in each of these declarations.

Obviously, the 1939 Declaration of Intention provides a lot more information, including the marriage date and place for Carl and Hilda and a list of their children with each child's date and place of birth. How great is that?

If you find a Declaration of Intention for an immigrant ancestor, congratulations! That's awesome! But don't stop there. Check to see if your immigrant ancestor filled out additional Declarations of Intention. 
Your immigrant ancestor may be like my great-grandfather Carl, who filled out more than one.

Thanks for reading!


© 2013 Copyright by Jana Last

1 Utah State Archives and Records Service; Salt Lake City, Utah; County: Salt Lake; Record Group: Salt Lake County, Third District Court Declarations of Intention Record Books, 1896-1959; Series: 85108. Ancestry.com. Utah, Naturalization and Citizenship Records, 1858-1959 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

2 National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Naturalization Records of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, Central Division (Los Angeles), 1887-1940; Microfilm Serial: M1524; Microfilm Roll: 54. Ancestry.com. U.S., Naturalization Records - Original Documents, 1795-1972 (World Archives Project) [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010.


  1. Does this mean he didn't complete the requirements for citizenship the first time? Did he run out of time?

    1. Hi Wendy,

      That's a great question. I did a little research and couldn't find a definitive answer. But, lo and behold, the answer was right there on the forms themselves. Haha! Right there at the top of both forms it states, "Invalid for all purposes seven years after the date hereof."

      Carl must not have completed the naturalization process in time, so he had to refile another declaration.

    2. Ha! More new information! And of course, those two different forms give you more clues to follow. I like the photo by the way - he looks all gussied up for something formal -?

    3. Hi Celia,

      He does look all dressed up doesn't he? This photo of Carl is part of a larger family photo. That bow tie he's wearing is pretty fun.

  2. An interesting post Jana. Thanks for sharing.

    Did you also notice that he grew an inch between ages 42 and 57?? I certainly understand putting on the ten ounds during the intervening years, but growing an inch after age 42? Hmmmmmm. Maybe he had elevator heels on! ;-)

    Also, entering the U.S. at Salt Lake City in 1910? Seems odd to me. MAYBE if their were air transport then, but usually the port of entry was the first place you hit U.S. territory and Salt Lake City being very land locked would seem to be a difficult place to make first contact without air transport being available. Puzzling and interesting.

    Wow -- eight children and eight girls. I wonder what the odds are of that?

    1. Hi John,

      Haha! Yes, I did notice he gained ten pounds in weight AND a whole inch in height by the time of the 1939 declaration. Not sure how he grew taller, but ya, I did notice that. =)

      I'm not sure why Carl said his wife Hilda entered the U.S. at Salt Lake City. That was incorrect. She actually did enter in 1910, but she entered the U.S. on Canadian Pacific Railway at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. This is according to her Declaration of Intention. And she's on a Canadian Passenger List, having sailed from Liverpool, England.

      And yes! Eight girls! Carl and Hilda actually had one boy, but he died at a very young age in the old country (Sweden) before they came to America.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. How fortunate to have that second declaration, Jana! The amount of new and improved information is striking, isn't it? I haven't run into a case where an immigrant filed two declarations before, but I'll be on the lookout from now on. Thanks for this helpful post!

    1. Hi Shelley,

      Yes, the amount of additional information in that second declaration is amazing. I'm so glad you found this post helpful. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. What a great find! I'd be happy finding just one!

    1. Hi Colleen,

      These documents really are amazing sources of genealogical information.

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

  5. There certainly is a lot more information on the second Declaration of Intention. And this appears to be really reliable information, too, much more trustworthy than the notes of a census taker. I assume your great-grandfather then became a citizen?? What a richly informative document.

    1. Hi Mariann,

      Yes, he did go on to become a citizen. And I have his Certificate of Naturalization too. It was found inside one of my grandmother's (his daughter) Books of Remembrance. What a treasure! I will be sharing this document in a future post.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Jana, I'd settle for an ancestor arriving in the 1900s in order to get all the information on either of the declarations! The ones my ancestors filed were general and nonspecific other than country of origin. Lucky you to find not one, but two!

    1. Hi Nancy,

      There really is such a difference between the two declarations even though they were both from the 1900s. From what you said, it sounds like the ones from before 1900 must have been even less informative. How sad is that?

      Thank you for stopping by!

  7. What great finds! I wondered about that entry to Salt Lake City too - how exactly one would accomplish such a feat in 1910 leaves a lot to the imagination!

    1. Hi Kathy,

      Thanks! Yes, these are quite amazing finds for sure. Thank you for stopping by!




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