Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Michael Hastings Naturalization


As anyone that has done research for early 19th century naturalization records, they can be a frustrating search. They are rare finds, and when you do find them, they can be very pro-forma that don't provide much in the way of details. It was a two step process, an "intent" to be naturalized and then after the statutory time, the naturalization. Michael Hastings' naturalization is shown above. Both of the documents could be found in any number of courts, at any given point of time along an immigrants travels. So even though I found his naturalization document, his "intent" document could be anywhere (any Missouri county that he lived in at the time, or State for that matter), or not survived. I had hoped to have found the initial document as I'm told it may contain more details, but so far in the locales that I've checked I haven't come up with anything. It is gratifying, however, to have seen him go through the formal process and become a U.S. Citizen! His sons would have had to go through the same process, but so far nothing has shown up for them. The one son I did track, Thomas, was in the Civil War, and his honorable service would have shortened the time to have been eligible for naturalization, but he did go through the process before his untimely and tragic death later that year. My paraphrase:

Lafayette County, Missouri Circuit Court Records (LDS film: 959821]
Vol 15, p 479 May Term 1859, 10th Day (June 2)
Thomas Hastings admitted as citizen (native of Ireland)....resided in the U.S. at least 5 years, and in Missouri for at least 1...& to the satisfaction of the court...good moral character...taken prepatory steps required by law....declaring his oath that he will support the constitution...Thomas Hastings admitted

and the notice on his accident, just after he married on November 4th:

Missouri Valley Register, Lexington, Missouri, November 7, 1867
Fatal Accident. - Last Tuesday evening as Mr. Thos. Hastings, was riding  towards home in the west end of this city, his horse became fractious and threw him and his foot being caught in the stirrup, he was dragged a distance of about 300 yards over the rough road. He was taken home in an insensible condition, and died the following morning. Mr. H.had just been married, the day before the accident occurred, and leaves a wife and an afflicted family to mourn his death. Mr. H. was a young man of good qualities, and had served in the 10th Mo. [sic.] Vol. during the late war.
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The weekly Caucasian., November 09, 1867, Image 3
HURT - We understand that Mr. Thomas Hastings was thrown from a Texas pony, a day or two since, in this city, and that after he was down the animal set upon him with its fore feet, but which he was severely injured. he is of Adamson's posse.
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a column over:
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DEAD - Tom Hastings, alluded to in another place as injured by a horse, died on Wednesday last.

Two other sons may also have naturalizations, but I've been unable to find them, or records of them besides some early references. James, who got off the ship in New Orleans with his Mom and two of his sisters, never shows up after that day in 1855. Peter is identified in the Liverpool Census, and one more record which I'm uncertain whether it is him, or a mis-identified Thomas:

Page 389 of Lafayette County, Missouri Probate Court Records. "In Vacation, February 27th A.D. 1856; Now at this day comes Walter M. Smallwood and J.M. Julian and files indentures of Apprenticeship entered into between Peter Hastings and his Father Michael Hastings, the said Smallwood and Julian Masters which is approved and filed by me. Edward Stratton, Judge". 

Side note: W. M. Smallwood is shown as a Probate Judge in 1860 census (p565), Lexington, Lafayette, Missouri. I also note, from exactly where I don’t recall, that Julian Masters was an editor. Maybe they were going to apprentice to be newspaper men (printers?). Also it is possible that given middle (baptismal?) and first names could be mixed up. Either Peter was very young (11-13 years old) when he went in on an indenture with his father (not impossible, though), or Thomas' middle name was Peter, which would have been a better age fit (~17). This might not be very far off since, for instance, Michael Hastings obit has his name listed as "Thomas", and Bridget Hastings, his daughter, later on in life was referred to as Anna (Hastings) Wise/Mahany, presumably her middle name.

One of the reasons I point out these details on my own family, is to provide others with ideas of other records that they might not have considered researching. In this latter case of the indenture, it places the family in the county prior to the next record I have, the 1860 census. In that census, Michael is identified as a laborer, and later as a coal miner, so it appears that the indenture didn't develop into a trade. Finding a record of the release of the indenture might be my next order of business...

Happy Tuesday...