Do you research naturalization records? No? Why not? Does the thought of going through paper files in dusty court basements turn you off? Well – I’m here to tell you that it is worth it – and with recent digitization efforts – more and more original documents have been scanned and made available via microfilm or online.
Some of the larger subscription sites have also made some source documents available – as well as index cards that can lead you to the court that handled the proceedings.
If you wish to get educated first about all of these documents and the naturalization process and how it has changed over time – please read these terrific summaries:
- The U.S. Archives Naturalization Records
- FamilySearch’s Wiki entry United States Naturalization and Citizenship
- Women and Naturalization
Okay – now that you are educated and know that post-1906 there are 4 awesome documents that just drip with great information: Declaration of Intent, Petition for Citizenship or Naturalization, Certificate of Arrival, and the Certificate of Naturalization. Many of the online genealogy websites may not have all of these documents available but do have index cards that are searchable – which have information regarding the court handling the proceedings. With this information, you might be able to track down some of the source documents.
(Updated January 2024)
Below is a list of links for each of the Mid Atlantic states’ collections:
- Free Delaware Online Naturalization Records
- Free District of Columbia Online Naturalization Records
- Free Maryland Online Naturalization Records
- Free New Jersey Online Naturalization Records
- Free New York Online Naturalization Records
- Free Pennsylvania Online Naturalization Records
- Free Virginia Online Naturalization Records
- Free West Virginia Online Naturalization Records
Good Luck and Happy Hunting!