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
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 August 2020; recently added links are in BOLD)
- Bon Homme County, Declaration of Intent Index
- Bon Homme County Declarations of Intent Index
- Brule County Naturalization Records Index
- Davison County Declarations of Intent Index
- Davison County Naturalization Papers Index
- Davison County Naturalization Records Index
- Hughes County, Naturalization Records, 1892
- Hutchinson County Naturalizations Index
- Lawrence County, Naturalization Records, 1890-1900
- Lyman County Applications for Citizenship Index
- Lyman County Naturalization Index
- McPherson County Declarations of Intent Index
- Minnehaha County, Naturalization Records, 1879-1963
- South Dakota Counties Naturalization Records Indexes
- South Dakota Naturalization Records Index, First Papers
- South Dakota Naturalization Records Index, Second Papers
- South Dakota, County Naturalization Records, 1865-1972
- South Dakota, Name Index to Naturalization Records from Dakota Territory and South Dakota
- South Dakota, Declaration of Intention, 1890-1924
- South Dakota, Declarations of Intention, 1891-1906
- South Dakota, Naturalization Records, 1904-1906; Petitions and Records, 1906-1928
- South Dakota, Naturalization Records, 1907-1923
- Tripp County, Naturalization Records Index, First Papers
- Yankton County Declarations of Intent Index
- Yankton County, Naturalizations Index
- Yankton County, Naturalization Records, 1861-1883
Good Luck and Happy Hunting!
For other Free South Dakota Links, click on the category of interest:
Probate and Wills