When Searching Naturalization Records

posted in: Family History, Genealogy | 0

When doing research, I continued to find naturalization records for ancestors who lived in the American colonies in the 17th Century and early 18th Century before the

Certificate of Naturalization

American Revolution.

Common sense said that this was not my ancestors.  They would not have naturalization records, because they were from Great Britain and living in the colonies, which were still British at the time.

So when did naturalization records begin?

According to the National Archives website, any “court of record” could grant U.S. citizenship before 1906.  The national archives does not have this information and records should be researched in state or local court records.

The United States became a country in 1776, in which time anyone living here became an American citizen.  Congress passed the first naturalization law in 1790.

Naturalization is a process by which an alien {person born in a foreign country} becomes an American citizen.

In 1906, copies of naturalization records were forwarded by the court to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).

If you are searching for naturalization records search the local and state archives first.

For Federal court records, check with the National Archives regional facility for the area where you are researching.

What information have you found in searching naturalization records?