Washington, County Naturalization Records - FamilySearch Historical Records

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Washington, County Naturalization Records, 1850-1982
This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
United States
Washington flag.png
Flag of Washington
US Locator Washington.png
Location of Washington
Record Description
Record Type Naturalization
Collection years 1850-1982
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
State Archives, Bellevue, Washington

What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]

The records include petitions, declarations of intention, certificates, depositions and final papers. The records are arranged chronologically. Naturalization is the process of granting citizenship privileges and responsibilities to foreign-born residents. Counties recorded naturalization procedures in the court records as legal proof of citizenship. The first naturalization act was passed in 1802. Immigrants to the United States were not required to apply for citizenship. Of those who did apply, many did not complete the requirements for citizenship.

Naturalization to become a U.S. citizen was a two-part process: the Declaration of Intent to Naturalize, or First Papers, and the Naturalization Record (including the Naturalization Petition), or Final Papers. The First Papers were normally filed five years before the Final Papers because of the five-year residency requirement to become a citizen.

No centralized files existed before 1906. In 1906 federal forms replaced the various formats that had been used by the various courts. Copies were sent to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), creating a central file for naturalization papers. The INS is now known as the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Naturalization records are generally well preserved, but some records may have been lost to fire or other disasters.

The information that was current at the time of naturalization was usually reliable. However, there was always a chance for misinformation. Errors may have occurred because of the informant’s lack of knowledge or because of transcription errors or other circumstances.

Image Visibility[edit | edit source]

Whenever possible FamilySearch makes images and indexes available for all users. However, rights to view these data are limited by contract and subject to change. Because of this there may be limitations on where and how images and indexes are available or who can see them. Please be aware some collections consist only of partial information indexed from the records and do not contain any images. For additional information about image restrictions see Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections.

To Browse This Collection[edit | edit source]

You can browse through images in this collection using the waypoints on the Collection Browse Page for Washington, County Naturalization Records, 1850-1982.

What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

The following information may be found in these records:

  • Name and age of petitioner
  • Current residence
  • Date and number of petition
  • Date and place of birth
  • Race, and last foreign residence

  • Date of arrival and port of entry
  • Marital status and name of spouse if married
  • Maiden name of wife
  • Date and place of birth of spouse
  • Date of Declaration of Intent or Naturalization

  • Volume and page number of petition
  • Names of two witnesses
  • Signature of judge or court official

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

Sample Image[edit | edit source]

Coverage Table[edit | edit source]

As of 31 December 2019 the following records were included in this collection.

County Record Type Years
Clark Application & oaths 1939-1965
Clark Declaration of Intention 1890-1982
Clark Declaration of Intention Index 1890-1937
Clark Depositions 1933-1953
Clark Final Record 1880-1906
Clark Military petitions 1919
Clark Naturalization certificate receipts 1907-1926
Clark Petition records 1906-1940
Clark Petition records index miscellaneous naturalization records 1924-1929
Cowlitz Application & oaths 1938-1950
Cowlitz Declaration of Intention 1906-1951
Cowlitz Final Record 1890-1916
Cowlitz Index cards A-Z 1850-1939
Cowlitz Index cards 1930-1979
Cowlitz Journal of citizenship 1886-1890
Cowlitz Petition records 1906-1950
Cowlitz Petition records index 1910-1950
Grays Harbor Application & oaths 1937-1963
Grays Harbor Declaration of Intention 1884-1951
Grays Harbor Declaration of Intention Index 1888-1951
Grays Harbor Journal of citizenship 1890-1906
Grays Harbor Journal of citizenship index 1884-1903
Grays Harbor Naturalization certificate receipts 1918-1926
Grays Harbor Petition index 1888-1951
Grays Harbor Petition records 1906-1946
Grays Harbor Petition records index 1925-1927
King Declaration of Intention 1854-1924
King Naturalization case files 1861-1927
King Naturalization case files index 1864-1881
King Naturalization final papers 1894-1906
King Naturalization index 1882-1889
King Naturalization petitions 1906-1910
King Naturalization records finding aid 1866-1924
Kitsap Declaration of Intention 1929-1936
Kitsap Naturalization petitions 1910-1911
Lewis Application & oaths (Repatriation ) 1937-1965
Lewis Certificate of citizenship 1890-1906
Lewis Citizen papers 1890-1906
Lewis Declaration of Intention 1885-1882
Lewis Declaration of Intention (invalid) Depositions 1884-1921
Lewis Depositions 1907-1963
Lewis Naturalization card index 1930-1979
Lewis Naturalization certificate receipts 1907-1927
Lewis Naturalization index 1888-1962
Lewis Notices of application for citizenship 1909-1924
Lewis Petition records 1886-1947
Mason Application & oaths 1937-1974
Mason Declaration of Intention 1906-1969
Mason Final Record 1890-1906
Mason Miscellaneous correspondence 1908-1938
Mason Petition records 1880-1948
Pacific Declaration of Intention 1883-1973
Pacific Journal of citizenship 1891-1906
Pacific Naturalization card index 1833-1973
Pacific Naturalization certificate receipts 1889-1925
Pacific Naturalization index 1891-1942
Pacific Petition records 1872-1975
Pacific Petition records index 1923-1925
Pacific Petition denied 1954-1975
Pierce Certificate of citizenship 1889-1906
Pierce Declaration of Intention 1853-1924
Pierce Index to declarations and final decrees of citizenship 1854-1906
Pierce Naturalization index 1854-1911
Pierce Naturalization petitions 1906-1924
Pierce Record of citizenship 1954-1881
Skamania Declaration of Intention 1884-1964
Skamania Final Record 1893-1973
Skamania Miscellaneous naturalization records 1906-1974
Skamania Naturalization certificate receipts 1906-1923
Skamania Petition records 1907-1964
Thurston Declaration of Intention 1833-1906
Thurston Final Record 1903-1906
Thurston Naturalization Journal 1891-1905
Thurston Petition records 1889-1929
Wahkiakum Declaration of Intention 1890-1951
Wahkiakum Final Record 1891-1906
Wahkiakum Final Record index 1930-1958
Wahkiakum Miscellaneous naturalization records 1884-1974
Wahkiakum Naturalization certificate receipts 1907-1925
Wahkiakum Petition records 1907-1961

How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]

To begin your search, it is helpful to know at least some of the following:

  • The full name of your ancestor
  • The birth date or place of your ancestor
  • The approximate immigration and naturalization dates

If you do not know this information, check the 1900 or 1910 census and then calculate the possible year of naturalization based on the date of immigration. The 1920 census may tell you the exact year of immigration or naturalization.

Search the Index[edit | edit source]

Search by name on the Collection Details Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

View the Images[edit | edit source]

View images in this collection by visiting the Collection Browse Page:
  1. Select County
  2. Select Record Type, Date Range and Volume to view the images

How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]

If these are indexes, the original records may contain additional information that was not indexed, or the information might have been indexed incorrectly. You may want to search for the original record at the Washington State Archives.

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Add any new information to your records
  • Use the information found in the record to find other records such as emigrations, port records, and ship’s manifests
  • Use the record to learn your ancestor’s foreign and “Americanized” names, if they were different
  • Use the record to learn the place of origin then search there for church or vital records such as birth, baptism, death, and marriage records
  • Search this collection for other family members who may have immigrated with the person you are looking for
  • Search for additional family members in census records
  • Look for the Declaration of Intent soon after the immigrant arrived. Then look for the Naturalization Petition five years later, when the residency requirement would have been met. Look for naturalization records in federal courts, then in state, county, or city courts. An individual may have filed the first and final papers in different courts and sometimes in a different state if the person moved. Immigrants who were younger than 18 when they arrived did not need to file a Declaration of Intent as part of the process

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • If your ancestor does not have a common name, collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you find possible relatives
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching in other locations
  • Try different spellings of your ancestor’s name
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the state of Washington.

FamilySearch Catalog[edit | edit source]

FamilySearch Historical Records[edit | edit source]

FamilySearch Digital Library[edit | edit source]

Known Issues[edit | edit source]

Click here for a list of known issues with this collection.

Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.