What You get For Your $20 Each

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I have been very lucky that in the past couple of months I have had generous help from fellow genealogists on the brick walls of my father’s family because the luck hasn’t come from the immigration office. I did finally receive another envelope from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration office, almost 2 months past their 90 day wait.


The last envelope I received from them included a letter folded so that the send to address did not display in the open window. See the story on that delivery below. Today the second of 4 arrived. This time the letter was dated February 5, 2010. The stamp on the outside of the envelope was dated February 12, 2010 and some where along the line the envelope was opened and the letter refolded in order for the send to address to display.


One month ago, on January 22, 2010 I notified the immigration office of the problem they had with the way they had set up their letterhead. Supposedly the woman that I sent the information to by email with included photo and spoke with on the phone notified the office of Lynda K Spencer, Chief genealogy Section, that there was a problem with her form letter. The phone call neither included an apology for the mistake or a thank you for the warning. She also stated that there shouldn’t be any problem with my remaining requests; I should get them just fine. Seems it should be a simple enough fix in these days of computer template word docs. One month later, the problem still exists, obviously.


The letter itself stated that they were unable to find immigration information on my great grandmother Clemence Mary Defruytier Van Houtte, even with using 3 different spellings. They did suggest that I could submit a request with new or different information about her immigration for an additional fee of $20.00, as the same old information would grant me the same result. And I would want to do this why exactly?



  1. On January 26, 2010 I received a letter from Lynda K. Spencer. The Letter Head does not have an address. The address is on the envelope. There is no e-mail adddress. I had request naturalization records. I set $40. to the NARA; as of March 22, 2010 have not gotten the records. I appears the people that work for the US. Citizenship and Immigration Service lack the skill to run the agency.

  2. John, I sent an email requesting status to this address – The reply I got back chastized me for asking for an expidite, although all I had asked for was a status. It does take at LEAST (more than) 90 days and did take almost 6 months for me to get a response back on all 4 of my requests, all with a zero files found reply. To call it frustrating is an understatement.

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