Search for your ancestors in free Naturalization Records in U.S.A. and Canada. Find Declarations of Intent, First Papers, Alien Registrations, Passport Applications, Naturalization Petitions and Citizenship Certificates. Search substitute naturalization records - ships passenger lists, census records, oaths of allegiance, voters registration lists and more!
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Naturalization Records --> Naturalization Records are very important to your genealogy research.
Naturalization is the process by which an alien becomes an American citizen. It is a voluntary act. Naturalization is not required.
Naturalization records can help you find the date, ship, and port of arrival, and the place of birth for your ancestor. How much information is found on them will depend on when the naturalization was done.
The naturalization process did not have to happen in one court, or in one state. Not all aliens became citizens, and not all completed the process once they started it.
Declaration of Intention
Naturalization was a two-step process that generally took a minimum of 5 years. In general, after living in the United States for 2 years, an alien could file a Declaration of Intention (also called First Papers) to become a citizen.
Information found on this Declaration of Intention includes: Name, age, occupation, physical description, place and date of birth, current residence, how he immigrated from Canada to USA, his ports of arrival and departure, date of immigration, marital status, name of wife, original signature
Click on image to view full-size Declaration of Intention
After 2 additional years, the alien could Petition for Naturalization. After the petition was granted, a Certificate of Citizenship was issued to the alien. See Changes in Requirements for specific time periods from 1790 to present.
To locate naturalization records, start your research at the National Archives (NARA) -->
If you want to know if first papers were ever filed, check the 1900 USA Federal census. Under the question of whether or not an individual was naturalized, you should see one of these three abbreviations regarding his status:
AL was used to signify that the individual was still an alien and was not naturalized nor had not begun the naturalization process.
PA was used to signify that the individual had gone through the Declaration of Intent and had filed his "first" papers.
NA was used to signify that the individual had completed the naturalization process and was a naturalized citizen.
Did you find your ancestor in our free Naturalization & Citizenship Records? Don't leave without searching for your family origins on Olive Tree Genealogy Free Ships' Passenger lists, family surnames, church records, military muster rolls, census records, land records and much more will help you find that elusive ancestor.