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 has 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)
- Davidson County Naturalization Records Index, 1904-1906
- Davidson County Naturalizations, 1871-1902
- Eastern District, Chattanooga Index to Naturalization Records of the U.S. District Court, 1888-1955
- Eastern District, Chattanooga Naturalization Records 1907-1933
- Gibson County Naturalization Records, 1850-1896
- Greene County Naturalization Records, 1855-1896
- Greenville Naturalization Records 1913-1944
- Knox County Naturalizations 1792-1907
- Knox County Naturalizations Index Search 1792-1907
- Knoxville Naturalization Records 1891-1929; Index, 1907-1941
- Shelby County Naturalization Records 1856-1906
- West Tennessee, Minute Books for the U.S. District Court for West Tennessee, 1797-1839 and of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, 1839-1865
- Western District of Tennessee at Memphis Naturalization Papers Index, 1906-1967
Good Luck and Happy Hunting!
For other Free Tennessee Links, click on the category of interest: