California County Naturalizations (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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California, County Naturalizations, 1849-1949 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
California, United States
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Flag of California
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Location of California
Record Description
Record Type County Naturalizations
Collection years 1849-1949
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites


What is in This Collection?

The collection consists of naturalization records for the years 1849 to 1949 from the following counties (coverage dates will vary by county):

  • Nevada
  • Orange
  • Placer
  • Sacramento
  • San Francisco
  • Sonoma
  • Santa Clara
  • Stanislaus
  • Santa Barbara
  • San Benito
  • San Diego
  • Solano
  • Sutter
  • Yolo
  • Yuba

To Browse This Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for California, County Naturalizations, 1849-1949.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

Naturalization petitions may include:

  • Name of the petitioner
  • Residence
  • Country of birth
  • Place and date of arrival
  • Names of two witnesses
  • Petition number
  • Date of petition
  • Volume and page number of the petition

The Declaration of Intent may include:

  • Name of the immigrant
  • Country of birth
  • Arrival date
  • Date of Declaration of Intent or Naturalization
  • Names of witnesses
  • Signature of judge or court official
  • Birth date
  • Birthplace
  • Age
  • Race
  • Last foreign residence
  • Current residence
  • Arrival place
  • Marital status
  • Name of spouse
  • Maiden name of wife
  • Birth date of spouse
  • Residence of spouse

Collection Content

Sample Images

How Do I Search This Collection?

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • The full name 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

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

View the Images

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:

  1. Select the County
  2. Select the Record Type, Year Range and Volume Number or Letter to view the images.


How Do I Analyze the Results?

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.

What Do I Do Next?

If these are indexes, the original records may contain additional information than was not indexed, or the information might have been indexed incorrectly. You may want to search for the original record at the [URL of Custodian (space) Custodian Name].

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?

  • Use the information found in the record to find port records and ship’s manifests.
  • Use the information found in the record to find additional family members in census records.
  • If applicable, search for military records as well.

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?

  • 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 records of a nearby town or county.
  • Try different spellings of your ancestor’s name.
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names.
  • 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.
  • Check other possible ports of entry.

Citing This Collection

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

"California County Naturalizations, 1849-1949." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. County clerk offices, California.

Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

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How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.