A little more than 93 years ago, Abraham Kaplan became naturalized as an American citizen at Queens Supreme Court in Jamaica, officially swearing allegiance to the county he had arrived to 17-years earlier.
Kaplan, at that point a 35-year-old Jewish man in the laundry business, had come to the United States as Ahram Kapelowitz from Poland on the vessel Ultonia. He stepped into the country on Christmas Eve of 1913. On the day that he renounced the State of Russia and the Republic of Poland, he was living with his wife, Eva, and their three children on 106th Street in Ozone Park.
Kaplan’s naturalization record, along with thousands of others, can now be found through the new free online naturalization documents database, a joint project from the Queens Public Library and the Office of Court Administration.
The new program, which can be seen at NYnaturalizations.com, gives public access to around 400,000 naturalization records signed in the courts of Queens and the Bronx between 1794 and 1952.
The database is the culmination of a plan that was hatched four and a half years ago and unveiled Thursday at the Queens Public Library on Merrick Boulevard.