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 state:
Note: Some of the links listed below 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.
(Updated September 2021; recently added links are in BOLD)
- Aiken Naturalization Records, 1917-1955
- Charleston and Columbia, Naturalization Records, 1907-1910, 1918
- Charleston and Columbia, Naturalization Records, ca. 1885-1936
- Charleston County Dowers, Citizenship Petitions, etc., 1796-1905
- Charleston Military Petitions, 1918-1924
- Chester County Citizenship Petitions and Naturalization Book, 1785-1901
- Chester County, Naturalizations Index 1783-1950
- Columbia Naturalization Records, 1910-1939
- Darlington County Records, 1798-1923
- Fairfield County Naturalizations Index 1783-1950
- Florence Naturalization Records, 1910-1943
- Lancaster County Naturalizations Index 1783-1850
- Laurens County, Naturalizations Index 1783-1950
- Lexington District Registration of Aliens, 1840-1861
- Newberry County Abstracts of Citizenship Petitions 1807-1890
- Newberry County Naturalizations 1783-1850
- Orangeburg Naturalization Records, 1938-1955
- Pendleton District Naturalization Papers for 1806-1825
- Pickens County Citizenship Petitions, 1823-1871
- South Carolina, Eastern District Naturalization Petitions, 1908-1965 ; Index Cards
- South Carolina, Western District Naturalization Records, 1910-1965
- South Carolina, Naturalization Records, 1790-1906
- South Carolina, Record of Admissions to Citizenship, 1790-1906
- South Carolina State Records
- Union County Naturalizations Index 1783-1850
- Union County Naturalizations, 1808-1908
- Union District Index to Old Writs, Declarations, Insolvent Debtors, Naturalization Papers, etc., 1832-1867.
- York County Naturalizations Index 1783-1950
Good Luck and Happy Hunting!
For other Free South Carolina Links, click on the category of interest:
Probate and Wills