The Extended Batke Family with Link neighbors

The Extended Batke Family with Link neighbors
Pictured in the photo: (Back row, standing, left to right) Herman Fredrick, Anna Batke, Henry Batke, Sr., Selma Batke, Henry Robert Batke, William Batke and Arthur Engler. (Front row/sitting, left to right) Donald Fredrick, Robert Fredrick, Katherine Batke Fredrick, Ruth Batke, Edwin Batke, Katherine Reck Batke, Jerald Batke, Edna Kwiatkowski Batke, Mary Batke Engler and Elaine Engler. Taken c1940, possibly to celebrate Henry and Katherine’s 30th wedding anniversary, October 22, 1940. Photo courtesy: Don Fredrick.

About Henry Batke and Katherine Reck

Heinrich Batke, the son of Martin Batke (c1848-b1912) and Anna Lock (1848-1939) was born in Chortitza, Russia on September 7, 1877. Also in Russia, Catharina Reck was born on October 14, 1890. Her parents were John Reck and Renata Shirk. Henry and Katherine married in Russia on September 22, 1910. On July 13, 1912, Henry, his wife and seven month old daughter, Katherine, sailed from the Port of Bremen, Germany on the ship Pallanza. They traveled to Quebec City, Canada arriving on July 28, 1912. They immediately left on a special Canadian Pacific Railroad train to Saskatchewan, Canada. The Batkes homesteaded in Lydiard, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan between 1913 and 1918. On October 3, 1917 Henry Batke became a citizen of Canada. Due to England's sovereignty over Canada, he became a British citizen. Finding farming in Canada difficult, on December 7, 1921 the Batke family, now also including Mary, William and Selma, left for Yellow Pine, Alabama. After the birth of Anna and much hardship in Alabama, the family moved to St. Joseph, Michigan where children Henry, Ruth and Edwin were born. Henry, a furniture maker in Russia, became a machine operator at the 1900 Corporation, a fore-runner of Whirlpool, in St. Joseph. After Henry's death on April 7, 1949, Katherine Reck Batke married Gustav Schmeichel in 1959. Katherine Reck Batke Schmeichel died at the Claremont Nursing Home in Benton, Michigan on October 28, 1979.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Henry Batke, Certificate of Naturalization, 1917

On October 3, 1917, Henry Batke became a British citizen of the Dominion of Canada. It is very likely Henry had to go to Swift Current to collect his Certificate of Naturalization.

There is a curious line in this document:

"This is therefore to certify to all whom it may concern that, under and by virtue of the said Act Henry Batke has become naturalized as a British subject, and is, within Canada, entitled to all political and other rights, powers and privileges and subject to all obligations to which a natural born British subject is entitled or subject within Canada with this qualification, that he shall not when within the limits of the foreign State of which he was a subject previous to the date hereof, be deemed to be a British subject unless he has ceased to be a subject of that State, in pursuance of the laws thereof, or in pursuance of a treaty or convention to that effect."

So, Henry could, theoretically, still be a Russian subject if he returned Russia!  Also, if I read this correctly, he was only a British subject in the Dominion of Canada, not in the other countries which formed Great Britain.

With Henry's naturalization final, he could now complete his patent for his homestead which he began on March 22, 1913.

Henry Batke, Certificate of Naturalization, File #7313, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, MF#2294910, (October 3,1917); Swift Current Judicial District, Saskatchewan, Canada.

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Henry Batke, Oath of Residence/Allegiance, Canada, 1917

Before anyone could become a citizen of Canada, an Oath of Residence was required. The individual had to swear that "in the period of five years preceding this date, I have resided at least three months in the Dominion of Canada, with the intent to settle therein, without having been during such three months a stated resident in any foreign country, So help me God." Henry Batke swore to this on July 18, 1917. (Note in the following post, the Certificate entitling Henry Batke to Naturalization states that he has been in the country for three years.  This is confusing.)

Additionally, an "Oath of Allegiance" was required. The document reads:
"I, Henry Batke, formerly of Thortz in the Province of Jekaterinslaw, Russia, and known there by the name of Henry Batke and now residing at Lydiard, P.C. in the Province of Saskatchewan, farmer, do sincerely promise and swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to His Majesty King George V., as lawful Sovereign of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and of the Dominion of Canada, dependent on and belonging to said Kingdom, and that I will defend him to the utmost of my power against all traitorous conspiracies or attempts whatsoever which shall be made against His Person, Crown and Dignity, and that I will do my utmost endeavour to disclose and make known to His Majesty, His heirs or successors all treason or traitorous conspiracies and attempts which I shall know to be against Him, or any of them; and all this do swear without equivocation, mental evasion or secret reservation. So help me God."
Henry swore this oath before George Mayson, Justice of the Peace, in Chaplin, Saskatchewan on July 18, 1917.

Henry's signature appears twice on this document. Note that "Chortitza" has variant spellings depending on whether the document is in English, German or Russian. "Choritiza" and "Thortz" are the same place.  Also, "P.C." after Lydiard, stands for "Postal Code." 

The Justice of the Peace then drew up another document entitled: "Certificate that Alien is entitled to Certificate of Naturalization." That document follows in the next post.
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Henry Batke, Certificate Entitling Naturalization, 1917

Once the oaths of residence and allegiance were sworn to by the alien, as Henry Batke did in the above post, the Justice of the Peace would make a determination whether the alien had met all of the conditions for citizenship. Having made this determination, he prepared the document you see to the left: "The Naturalization Act: Certificate that Alien is Entitled to Certificate of Naturalization." He would fill out the top portion from information on the previous document. The Justice of the Peace then forwarded this document along with the Oath of Residence and Oath of Allegiance to the Clerk of the District Court, in Henry Batke's case it was to the Judicial District of Swift Current.  On the wrapper of Henry's naturalization papers, it is stamped "Judicial District of Swift Current, July 20, 1917, RECEIVED"

When the Clerk of the District Court received the documents he posted them for at least two weeks in his office/court to see if anyone objected to the alien being naturalized.  If no objections were received, as it appears in Henry Batke's case, the Clerk signed the document.  This document then became the basis for Henry's Certificate of Naturalization which is shown in the following post.   Note the court in Swift Current received the papers on July 20, 1917 but didn't complete the process until October 3, 1917.

For a short introduction into the Naturalization Process in Canada, click on Canadian Naturalization Process.
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