When I first started using Ancestry.com to search historical records for my ancestors, I came across naturalization index records for Moses Landes. The only pieces of comparable information were an approximate birth date and the occupation listed as “standkeeper.” These didn’t match closely enough to any other information I had in order for me to conclusively say that the index records pertained to my second great grandfather. I made a note of the index and moved on.
Now with access to Fold3, I searched that site for additional naturalization records for Moses. Fold3 has digitized more full naturalization records, whereas in many cases for New York City, Ancestry.com only offers indices. The full petition for naturalization included a familiar address, but it was off by one house, and it would be Moses’s children who lived there several years later. The declaration of intention, however, filed a few years before the petition for naturalization included yet another address, 541 5th Avenue in Manhattan.
Realizing I hadn’t yet tracked down the 1905 New York state census record for Moses and his children, I used the Family History Library’s familysearch.org to try again to find this record. I found the family indexed under “Landers,” a common misspelling. The address on the census record from 1905 matched the address on the declaration of intention for 1903.
Putting all of the above together, I’m confident the naturalization records pertain to my second great grandfather, and I’ve added the information as sources to my family tree on Ancestry.com. This has given me a more accurate birth date (Dec 1852 rather than about 1851), the date of naturalization, and definitive residential addresses for Moses and the rest of his family. It has also provided the date on which he arrived in New York, 20 Oct 1900, but according to the 1901 Census of Canada, he is later living in Montréal. The Canadian immigration records state Moses immigrated to Canada in 1900. The question remains about whether Moses, and possibly part of his family, lived in both Canada and the United States at the same time.