American Ancestors New England Historic Genealogical Society - Founded 1845 N.E. Historic Genealogical Society Seal View Your Shopping Cart Join NEHGS
  • Naturalization Records

  • Rhonda McClure Late 2013 200x260
    By Rhonda R. McClure

    | How-To | Searching for Records | Locating and Viewing Records |
    | Articles | Need Help? |

    citizenship class_LOC


    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.

    How-To Guides

    They Became Americans: Finding Naturalization Records and Ethnic Origins by Loretto Dennis Szucs
    NEHGS, 7th Floor Reading Room Reference CS47.S96 1998

    Guide to Naturalization Records of the United States by Christina K. Schaefer
    NEHGS, 7th Floor Reading Room Reference CS68. S33 1997

    Locating Your Immigrant Ancestors: A Guide to Naturalization Recordsby James C. Neagles and Lila Lee Neagles
    NEHGS, 7th Floor Stacks CS68 .N42 1975

    Naturalization Records in the National Archive System by Jill D. Glenewinkel
    NEHGS, 7th Floor Stacks CS68 .G5642 1991

    The Portable Genealogist: U.S. Naturalization by Rhonda R. McClure
    NEHGS Bookstore

    FamilySearch – United States – Naturalization and Citizenship
    This wiki (or community website) covers the various laws, records, and other information in regards to naturalization and citizenship in the United States.

    Signing naturalization papers_LOC

    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.
    Records 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.
    Has 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.
    Has 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.

    Locating and Viewing Records

    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.

    Digitized Records
    The bulk of the records currently available on can only be browsed image by image. Records from a certain states are searchable. Years vary, but range from 1749 to 1992.
    Has 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.
    Has images for naturalization records ranging from 1795 to 1946 for a handful of states. Can be accessed within the NEHGS Library.

    Microfilmed Records

    Family History Library
    The 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.

    Waiting in line at the naturalization office_LOC


    “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

    Need help?

    Want to maximize your research? The experts at NEHGS can help! We offer a number of services that can help you break down brick walls and expand your research.

    Meet one-on-one with our genealogists

    Want research guidance from a professional genealogist? Our experts provide 30-minute to two-hour consultations in person or by phone.

    • Find elusive ancestors—Whether you are searching in the U.S. or abroad, in the 17th or 20th century, our genealogists have the knowledge to assist you.
    • Locate and use records—Vital records, military records, deeds, probate, and more—if you’re wondering where to look for them, how to read them, or what data you can find in them, we can guide you.
    • Get more out of technology—Feel like you could be making better use of your genealogy software? Curious about websites and databases that might be relevant to your research? Let us help!

    Schedule your consultation today or contact

    Hire our experts in Research Services

    Whether you are just beginning your family research or have been researching for years, NEHGS Research Services is here to assist you. Our team of experts can:

    • Conduct hourly research
    • Break down “brick walls”
    • Retrieve manuscript materials
    • Obtain probate records
    • Research and prepare your lineage society application
    • Organize your materials and files
    • Write narrative biographies about your ancestors
    • Create customized family charts

    Hire Research Services today or contact, 617-226-1233.

New England Historic Genealogical Society
99 - 101 Newbury Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116, USA

© 2010 - 2014 New England Historic Genealogical Society