Genealogy: Certificates of Naturalization and where to find Immigration records

Certificates of Naturalization and where to find Immigration recordsBy Barry J. Ewell

Most certificates of naturalization contain only the name of the individual, the name of the court, and the date of issue. Certificates were issued to naturalized citizens upon completion of all citizenship requirements. The Certificate of Naturalization includes name, address, birthplace or nationality, country from which they emigrated, birth date or age, personal description, marital status, name of spouse, age (or birth date) and address of spouse, information about children (including names, ages, and addresses), and date of document.

Certificate of Citizenship. This document granted the individual United States citizenship.

Oath of Allegiance. This document was used to renounce an immigrant’s allegiance to a foreign country and declare his or her allegiance to the United States. The Oath of Allegiance includes the petitioner’s signature and date of document.

Where to find immigration records. Begin by looking for naturalization records in the courts of the county or city where the immigrant lived. Look first for the petition (second papers), because they are usually easier to find in courts near where the immigrant eventually settled. After 1906, the declaration can be filed with the petition as the immigrant was required to submit a copy when he submitted the petition.

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