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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
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Pennsylvania Naturalization Records

* Pennsylvania Naturalization Records Search online free Pennsylvania Naturalization Records, arranged by County
* Find Naturalization Records for Pennsylvania Obtaining ancestor records at National Archives, FamilySearch and more

Naturalization Before 1906

Colonial Naturalizations
Oaths of Allegiance: The Pennsylvania State Archives maintains naturalization lists of the Supreme Court and Courts of Nisi Prius (Record Group-21) for the years 1740-1773. These lists consist of names of those people who swore an oath of allegiance to the British Sovereign.

All naturalizations filed in Pennsylvania prior to 1790 occurred in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and are located in the Pennsylvania State Archives

The Philadelphia City Archives has declarations of intention and petitions for naturalization which were filed in the city and county courts only between 1790 and 1930.

The Division of Archives and Manuscripts of The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, located in the William Penn Memorial Museum and Archives Building in Harrisburg, has the official lists fo aliens naturalized by Pennsylvania Courts, 1740-1773.

Records pertaining to names of those naturalized in Pennsylvania by special and private acts are found in COLONIAL RECORDS (vol. 1, 2, 3, 9, and 10), THE STATUTES AT LARGE OF PENNSYLVANIA (vol. 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, and 8), and PENNSYLVANIA ARCHIVES (Series 1, Vol. 1, 3, and 4). These volumes are readily available in historical and genealogical collections in libraries throughout Pennsylvania. Outside of Pennsylvania the volumes are generally found only in the larger public and state libraries.

Early provincial and state records can be found in the published "Pennsylvania Archives" series. Naturalizations through the county court are held in the courthouse records and many are being published. Federal court naturalizations and their indexes are available on microfilm. Early "oaths of allegiance" required of many "foreign" immigrants are in published form. Since Philadelphia was a center for immigration, numerous oaths and naturalizations of persons who later moved westward may be found there.

County naturalizations are often held in the office of the "prothonotary" who is simply a county official who functions as a clerk of courts.

Naturalization records of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, 1794-1868 (Record Group-33) are available for the Eastern District (Philadelphia), Southern District (Chambersburg), and Western District (Pittsburgh). An index of the records of the Eastern District in Philadelphia covering the years 1794-1868 has been published in Philadelphia Naturalization Records: An Index to Records of Alliens' Declarations of Intention and/or Oaths of Allegiance, 1789-1880, in the United States Circuit Court, United States District Court, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Quarter Sessions Court, Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia (Detroit, MI: Gale Research Company, 1982)

Naturalization After 1906

BCIS naturalization certificate files (C-Files) include a duplicate copy of all naturalization records after September 26, 1906. C-Files include all US naturalizations from all States and Territories, and from all courts (Federal, State, and local). C-Files contain a copy of the Declaration of Intention to become a US Citizen (to 1952), Petition for Naturalization, and Certificate of Naturalization. Declarations filed after Sept 27, 1906, were only good for 7 years. If the immigrant did not petition within the 7 years, the declaration expired and the immigrant had to start over again from the beginning. Most C-Files from 1906 to 1956 are on microfilm, with the remainder in paper form, and BCIS has an index to those that have been filmed. They are available with a Freedom of Information/Privacy Act request to BCIS Headquarters in Washington, D.C. For naturalization records after 1956, Freedom of Information requests must be sent to the appropriate BCIS District Office


NARA Mid-Atlantic Region
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Philadelphia PA 19107-3000

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