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By Rhonda R. McClureGenealogist
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Naturalization records are important resources for the family historian. They provide the immigrant's origins, age or birth date, and approximate arrival to the U.S. Learn what records exist, how to search them, and where to locate these essential resources.
They Became Americans: Finding Naturalization Records and Ethnic Origins by Loretto Dennis SzucsNEHGS, 7th Floor Reading Room Reference CS47.S96 1998Guide to Naturalization Records of the United States by Christina K. SchaeferNEHGS, 7th Floor Reading Room Reference CS68. S33 1997Locating Your Immigrant Ancestors: A Guide to Naturalization Recordsby James C. Neagles and Lila Lee NeaglesNEHGS, 7th Floor Stacks CS68 .N42 1975Naturalization Records in the National Archive System by Jill D. GlenewinkelNEHGS, 7th Floor Stacks CS68 .G5642 1991The Portable Genealogist: U.S. Naturalization by Rhonda R. McClureNEHGS BookstoreFamilySearch – United States – Naturalization and CitizenshipThis wiki (or community website) covers the various laws, records, and other information in regards to naturalization and citizenship in the United States.
There are a few online indexes that can be used to first see if a naturalization record exists. Through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) (formerly known as the Immigration and Naturalization Service - INS), genealogists can request searches of their index. A great deal of information about the records created and maintained by the USCIS can be found on their website.FamilySearch.orgRecords are available for various date ranges between 1791 to 1991 for much of the United States. Some are searchable and others require browsing by image.Ancestry.comHas a number of searchable indexes ranging in dates from 1791 to 1995 for many parts of the United States. Can be accessed within the NEHGS Library.Fold3.comHas a few searchable indexes ranging in dates from 1792 to 1966 for some states. Has the Index to Naturalizations of World War I Soldiers, 1918. Can be accessed within the NEHGS Library.
A number of records have either been microfilmed or digitized and are available through the repositories and/or websites listed below. The National Archives website offers information about where to locate naturalization records. Individuals found via online indexes (listed above) for whom online documents do not yet exist, can be ordered through the National Archives website.
FamilySearch.orgThe bulk of the records currently available on FamilySearch.org can only be browsed image by image. Records from a certain states are searchable. Years vary, but range from 1749 to 1992.Ancestry.comHas a number of searchable databases said to cover dates from 1727 to 2001 for many parts of the United States. Can be accessed within the NEHGS Library.Fold3.comHas images for naturalization records ranging from 1795 to 1946 for a handful of states. Can be accessed within the NEHGS Library.
Family History LibraryThe FHL has microfilmed the naturalization records of many states, catalogued primarily under county. Some of these records may not exist in any other format at present. This film can be ordered from FamilySearch and used at NEHGS.
“A Gold Mine of Naturalization Records in New England” by Walter V. Hickey, Prologue: The Journal of the National Archives, (Fall 2004)NEHGS, 5th Floor Stacks CD3020.P72“’Any woman who is now or may hereafter be married…’ Women and Naturalization, ca. 1802-1940” by Marian L. Smith, Prologue: The Journal of the National Archives (Summer 1998)NEHGS, 5th Floor Stacks CD3020.P72
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