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 been 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 two 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 – about 4 awesome documents 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.
Below is a list of links to free online naturalization record and index collections for the district:
Note: Some of the links listed take you to a FamilySearch Collection of digital images. Near the bottom of the page under Film/Digital Notes is the name of each sub-collection. If there is a camera icon at the right of the name (in the Format column) then the collections’ images are browsable. If there is a camera with a key icon, it is only available at a Family History Center or affiliated library. If there is a film reel icon, then it is only available in microfilm format, not digital. To take full advantage, please make sure that you are logged in to FamilySearch. The results may be different if you are signed in, rather than not.
(Updated April 2022)
- Unfortunately, I have not as yet found any free online Naturalization Records for the District of Columbia