Michigan, Eastern and Western Districts, Naturalization Records - FamilySearch Historical Records
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Michigan, Eastern and Western Districts, Naturalization Records, 1837-1993
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|Record Type||Naturalization Records|
|Record Group||RG 21: Records of District Courts of the United States|
|National Archives and Records Administration|
- 1 What is in This Collection?
- 2 What Can These Records Tell Me?
- 3 Collection Content
- 4 How Do I Search This Collection?
- 5 What Do I Do Next?
- 6 Citing This Collection
- 7 How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]
This collection contains naturalization records, declarations of intention, court orders granting petitions, and case files from eight different NARA collections including records from 1837-1993. These records were originally captured at the NARA Great Lakes Region Office in Chicago, Illinois.
The actual naturalization volumes vary in size and format. Prior to 1906 each document was usually handwritten on one page. From the late 1800s and on, printed forms were used. After 1906, many entries were typewritten.
While there were various types of naturalization records, the Declaration of Intent and Naturalization Petition usually had the most complete genealogical information.
The first naturalization act was passed in 1802. Immigrants to the United States were not required to apply for citizenship. Of those who did apply, many did not complete the requirements for citizenship.
Naturalization to become a U.S. citizen was a two-part process: the Declaration of Intent to Naturalize, or First Papers, and the Naturalization Record (including the Naturalization Petition), or Final Papers. The First Papers were normally filed five years before the Final Papers because of the five-year residency requirement to become a citizen.
No centralized files existed before 1906. In 1906 federal forms replaced the various formats that had been used by the various courts. Copies were sent to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), creating a central file for naturalization papers. The INS is now known as the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Naturalization records are generally well preserved, but some records may have been lost to fire or other disasters.
Naturalization Records in this publication include the following: Eastern District of Michigan
- Naturalization Petitions and Records, 1906 - 1991. NAID 1137682 Southern Division, Detroit]
- Naturalization Certificate Stubs, 1907 - 1991. NAID 18222300 Southern Division, Detroit
- Overseas Military Naturalization Petitions and Records,1942 - 1956. NAID 1151138 Southern Division, Detroit
- Naturalization Application Files, 1837 - 1897. NAID 1151178 Southern Division, Detroit
- Naturalization Petitions and Records, 1906 - 1991. NAID 1137682 Southern Division, Detroit
- Declarations of Intention, 1856 - 1989. NAID 1151287 Southern Division, Detroit
- Naturalization Hearing Dockets, 1912 - 1920. NAID 17407964 Southern Division, Detroit
- Naturalization Depositions, 1909 - 1980. NAID 18233305 Southern Division, Detroit
- Naturalization Court Order Books, 1926 - 1999. NAID 18462267 Southern Division, Detroit
- Naturalization Depositions Transferred, 1952 - 1965. NAID 74231744 Southern Division, Detroit
- Naturalization Petitions, 1895 - 1895. NAID 74860353 Northern Division, Bay City U.S. Circuit Court
- Naturalization Index, 1965-1984 NAID 74883380 Northern Division, Flint
Western District of Michigan
- Index to Naturalization Orders, 1866 - 1962. NAID 75573424 Southern Division, Grand Rapids
- Petitions for Naturalization, 1/10/1907 - 11/13/1991. NAID 5742972 Southern Division, Grand Rapids
- Index to Petitions for Naturalization, 2/12/1926 - 1/14/1992. NAID 6891020 Southern Division, Grand Rapids
Image Visibility[edit | edit source]
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What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]
The following information may be found in these records:
Declarations of Intent and Naturalization Petitions
Collection Content[edit | edit source]
Sample Images[edit | edit source]
How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]
Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:
- The full name of your ancestor
- The approximate immigration and naturalization dates
- The ancestor’s residence
If you do not know this information, check the 1900 or 1910 census and then calculate the possible year of naturalization based on the date of immigration. The 1920 census may tell you the exact year of immigration or naturalization.
Many of these volumes have indexes at the beginning or end. You should search these first.
- Check the index for the family name (surname) and then the given name. Indexes enable you to access records quickly by searching for the names of the primary individuals. Realize that some entries in earlier years may have been missed. Indexes may also contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings or misinterpretations.
- Make a list of the volumes and page numbers for each deed you wish to check.
- For each deed, search the noted volume and page number.
If you do not find your ancestor in the index, look at each image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination. Keep in mind:
- There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
- You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
- Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.
Search the Index[edit | edit source]Search by name on the Collection Details Page.
- Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
- Click Search to show possible matches
How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]
Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.
What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]
I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]
Use naturalization records to:
- Learn an immigrant’s place of origin
- Confirm their date of arrival
- Learn foreign and “Americanized” names
- Find records in his or her country of origin such as emigrations, port records, or ship’s manifests.
- Look for the Declaration of Intent soon after the immigrant arrived, and then look for the Naturalization Petition five years later, when the residency requirement would have been met. Look for naturalization records in federal courts and then in state, county, or city courts.
- An individual may have filed the first and final papers in different courts and sometimes in a different state if the person moved. Immigrants who were younger than 18 when they arrived did not need to file a Declaration of Intent as part of the process.
- If your ancestor had a common name, be sure to look at all the entries for a name before you decide which is correct.
- Continue to search the naturalization records to identify siblings, parents, and other relatives in the same or other generations who may have naturalized in the same area or nearby.
- The witnesses named on naturalization records may have been older relatives of the person in the naturalization process. Search for their naturalizations.
- You may want to obtain the naturalization records of every person who shares your ancestor’s surname if they lived in the same county or nearby. You may not know how or if they are related, but the information could lead you to more information about your own ancestors.
I Can't Find the Person I'm Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]
- Check for variant spellings of the names.
- Look for an index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
- Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
Research Helps[edit | edit source]
The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the state of Michigan.
Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]
Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.
How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?[edit | edit source]
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