Home: Guide 2 Genealogy

Genealogy Articles

Basics
 What Is Genealogy
 Why Study Genealogy?
 How Far Can You Go?

Fun Activities
 Family Videos
 Personal History

Research Methods
 3rd Party Stories
 Cite Your Sources
 Historical Context
 Immigrant Ancestors
 Name Changes
 Research Logs

Sources
 Cemeteries
 Census Data
 Church Records
 Foreign Records
 Interviews
 Libraries
 Military Records
 Naturalization Records
 Probate Records
 Published Genealogies
 Vital Records


Resources & Tools

Software

Web Sites
 Genealogy Downloads
 Genealogy eBooks


Further Reading

Books
 Heraldry
 Online Research
 United Kingdom
 United States

Magazines

Find your ancestors at OneGreatFamily.com


 
 














































 
Guide 2 Genealogy   >   Sources   >   Naturalization Records

 

Using Naturalization Records in Genealogy


Naturalization records can yield valuable information on immigrant ancestors. Since the first Naturalization Act of 1790, aliens coming to the United States were required, in most instances, to establish residency and file for citizenship. Becoming "naturalized" usually required declaration of intention and, after meeting the residence requirement, a petition to become a citizen. A individual might also be required to obtain depositions from friends and neighbors in support of their application. The petition, if successful, resulted in a certificate of naturalization.

Although there are various kinds of naturalization records, declarations of intention and certificates of naturalization are usually the most helpful to genealogists. Before the immigration law of 1906, declarations of intention recorded name, date, signature, and country of birth or allegiance. Additionally, some also stated the date and port of arrival in the United States. After 1906, the form was expanded to include each applicant's age, occupation, personal description, date and place of birth, citizenship, present and last foreign address, ports of embarkation and entry, name of passenger vessel traveled, and date of arrival in the United States.

Naturalization records are thus very useful for identifying our immigrant ancestors' places of origin. Remember, however, that many immigrants lived briefly in other countries (often Canada, the Caribbean basin, or South America) before finally coming to the United States. As a result, the last foreign address may reveal a migration pattern much more complex than you may have expected to find. Furthermore, since the declaration of intention records the vessel and port of embarkation as well as the port and arrival date in the United States, you can thus readily identify the immigration passenger list that records the arrival of your ancestor in America.

However, while naturalization records can be a goldmine of information, locating an ancestor's naturalization records in the first place can prove very frustrating:-
  • Prior to 1906, an alien could go before any court (federal, state, or local) and petition to become a naturalized citizen. And the records were maintained only by that court to which the petition was made. Thus, you would need to check every jurisdiction in which a forebear might have been naturalized, and this search could, of course, required many hours of effort.

  • After 1906, all courts were required to forward copies of naturalization proceedings to the Immigration and Naturalization Service in Washington, D.C.

  • In the 1930s, a WPA project was begun to abstract information from naturalization papers. Unfortunately, this project was terminated at a relatively early stage, but after the work had been completed for New York City, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. These extracts, two pages for each applicant usually include place and date of birth, occupation, vessel, port of entry and date of arrival in the United States, place of residence at the time of application, and the name and address of a witness.

Go to Irish Origins - Trace your origins online


 
 
 
 

 
 
Copyright © 2006-2017, Answers 2000 Limited

CERTAIN CONTENT THAT APPEARS ON THIS SITE COMES FROM AMAZON SERVICES LLC. THIS CONTENT IS PROVIDED 'AS IS' AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE OR REMOVAL AT ANY TIME.
CERTAIN CONTENT THAT APPEARS ON THIS SITE,COMES FROM AMAZON EU S. r.l. THIS CONTENT IS PROVIDED 'AS IS' AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE OR REMOVAL AT ANY TIME.

Disclosure: Our company's websites' content (including this website's content) includes advertisements for our own company's websites, products, and services, and for other organization's websites, products, and services. In the case of links to other organization's websites, our company may receive a payment, (1) if you purchase products or services, or (2) if you sign-up for third party offers, after following links from this website. Unless specifically otherwise stated, information about other organization's products and services, is based on information provided by that organization, the product/service vendor, and/or publicly available information - and should not be taken to mean that we have used the product/service in question. Additionally, our company's websites contain some adverts which we are paid to display, but whose content is not selected by us, such as Google AdSense ads. For more detailed information, please see Advertising/Endorsements Disclosures

Our sites use cookies, some of which may already be set on your computer. Use of our site constitutes consent for this. For details, please see Privacy.

Contact Us   Privacy   Terms of Use   Advertising/Endorsements Disclosures

In Association With Amazon.com
Answers 2000 Limited is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
In Association With Amazon.co.uk
Answers 2000 Limited is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk.
All trademarks are property of their respective owners.
All third party content and adverts are copyright of their respective owners.