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NATURALIZATION RECORDS IN THE USA
Finding an Ancestor in Naturalization Records
Find your ancestor's immigration or naturalization year. Search Passport Applications, Alien Registrations, Almshouse Records, Oaths of Allegiance, Census Records, City Directories, Land Records, Ships Passenger Lists, Newspapers or Voters Registrations
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.
Naturalization Records Before 1906
Before September 27, 1906, there was no US Naturalization Service, and the BCIS has no naturalization records dated before September 1906. Before the 1906 act, declarations of intention had no expiration date.
1832 Declaration of Intent includes name, birthplace, age, settlement location
Before 1906, the declaration of intent generally contains more genealogically useful information than the petition. Petitions before 1906 usually show only a name, former allegiance, and date of naturalization.
The declaration may include the alien's exact date of immigration into the United States.
Note that all naturalizations prior to Sept. 27, 1906, are termed Old Law (OL). Any replacement had to be issued by BCIS on an OL certificate (There will be an OL number at top right). These
C-Files have genealogy valule because many pre-1906 court naturalization records contain little or no information. The application for the OL replacement contains information
often unavailable elsewhere.
Only BCIS has the OL series of C-Files containing the applications for replacement. It is important to note that OL certificate files exist ONLY when the following three conditions occured:
- the person was naturalized before 1906 AND
- they lost their original certificate AND
- they applied for and got a replacement AFTER 1906.
To locate pre-1906 naturalization records, or any naturalization records filed with courts, start your research at the National Archives (NARA)
Are you looking for Naturalization Records after 1906?
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.|
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