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April 5, 2007

Finding American Naturalization Records

Many Declarations (not the Petitions) have an exact date of immigration. Be careful to look for all records in the Naturalization Process: Declarations of Intent, Petitions and so on... for each contains different information.

There is an explanation and Resource Guide to Naturalization
Records at Naturalization Records

Before 1906, the declaration of intent generally contains more genealogically useful information than the petition. Petitions before 1906 usually show only a name, former
allegiance, and date of naturalization. The declaration may include the alien's exact date of immigration into the United States

An immigrant who arrived after June 29, 1906 could not naturalize until the government located their immigration record (a passenger list). Petitions (not the Declarations) after 1906 have information that has been verified and matched to an immigration record. In fact a a certification of the immigrant's arrival record was a required part of the process

The easy way to remember is to think of opposites: BEFORE 1906, the Declaration has more useful genealogical info than the Petition (usually) and AFTER 1906 it's the opposite - the Petition is more useful and accurate than the Declaration

For a Resource Guide to the records, what you can expect to find, where to find them, and alternate sources of finding those important years (immigration and naturalization) at USA Naturalization Records Read the intro then choose your state of interest.

There are also many online records and links to searchable online records at Naturalization Records

Permission granted to republish this article provided all links remain intact and credit is given to the author Lorine McGinnis Schulze and the website

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