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Bernard E Oberson, 1937

Declarations of Intention  say a lot about someone applying to become a naturalized citizen of the United States.  According to the one filed by Bernard Emil Oberson, he emigrated from LeHavre, France and entered the United States via the Grand Trunk Railway on October 22, 1913 at Port Huron, Michigan under the name Bernavin Oberson and gave his last foreign residence as Montet, Switzerland.  He was blonde, 5 feet 9 inches tall, had light-blue eyes, weighed 155 lbs, was French by race and of Swiss nationality.  Bernard was born April 8, 1897 in Chavones-les-Forts, Canton Fribourg, Switzerland. He married wife Martha on September 17, 1817 in St. Johns, Oregon.  (Their marriage record gives her full name as Martha De Cuser.)  They lived in Dole, Clark County, Washington from 1918 to 1923, where they had four daughters: Mary, born July 14, 1918; Cecelia, born November 23, 1920; Henrietta, born September , 12, 1922; and Leona, born October, 1923.  They moved to Vancouver, Washington, where on October 24, 1924 their twin sons, Robert and Richard, were born. Their youngest son, Laurence Oberson, was born September 17, 1926 in Oregon City, Oregon.  Bernard filed another Declaration of Intention on March 11, 1920 with the Superior County of Clark County, Washington.  His wife Mary, was born July 24, 1899 in Ruderude, Belgium and entered the United States in 1910 at Portland, Oregon.  She resided with Bernard and their children at Route 3, Box 284, Oregon City, Clackamas County, Oregon when he filed the second application on June 16, 1937 with the District County of the United States at Portland, Oregon.

An image of this Declaration of Intent can be viewed at

Johni Cerny


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