Tracing Immigrants Arrival Naturalization and Citizenship
|Tracing Immigrant Origins|
|News and Events|
|Part 1. General|
|Part 2. Country of Arrival|
|Part 3. Country of Origin|
|For Further Reading|
The naturalization process varies by country, state, and time period. The records also vary. Earlier records usually give the immigrant's name, age, and country of origin. More recent records tend to be more informative. Some give a wealth of data about the immigrant and his or her family, including specific places of origin.
Not all immigrants were naturalized. In many countries, adult males were the only immigrants to be naturalized because women and children had citizenship if their husbands or fathers were citizens.
Naturalization was generally not required if the immigrant settled in a colony of the mother country. Thus there are no naturalization records for British settlers of the United States before the Revolutionary War or in Canada before 1947. (Before 1947, British subjects entering Canada were considered Canadian citizens without naturalization.) During colonial times, each colony established its own laws regarding naturalization.
Although the specifics vary by place, the naturalization process was similar for most immigrants. After a specified period of residency, the alien filed a declaration of intent to be naturalized. Later he or she petitioned a court for naturalization. Seek the records for each of these steps. Declarations of intent to become a citizen and petitions for naturalization usually provide the most information.
- James H. Kettner. The development of American citizenship, 1608-1870 Chapel Hill, North Carolina : University of North Carolina Press, 1978. FHL 973 P4k
Additional sources of United States emigration and records are—
- James C. Naeglas and Lila Lee Naeglas. Locating your immigrant ancestor : a guide to naturalization records. Logan, Utah : Everton Publishers, c1975. FHL Digital
- John J. Newman. American Naturalization Processes and Procedures 1790-1985. Indianapolis, Ind.: Indianapolis Historical Society, 1985. FHL book 973 P4n
- Christina K. Shaefer. Guide to naturalization records of the United States Baltimore, Maryland : Genealogical Publishing Company, c1997, 1998 FHL 973 P4s
- Loretto Dennis Szucs. They became Americans : finding naturalization records and ethnic origins.Salt Lake City, Utah : Ancestry Publishing, c1998 FHL 973 P47t
- United States Naturalization and Citizenship
- Beginning Research in United States Naturalization Records
- United States Naturalization Types
- Naturalization Terms and Acronyms
- United States Naturalization Laws