California, San Diego Naturalization Index (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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California, San Diego Naturalization Index, 1868-1958 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
San Diego, California, United States
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Record Description
Record Type Naturalization Index
Collection years 1868-1958
Microfilm Publication M1526. Index to Naturalized Citizens from the Supreme Court of San Diego, California, 1868-1958. 5 rolls.
Arrangement Alphabetical by petitioner's name
National Archives Identifier NAID 757551473
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
National Archives and Records Administration


What is in This Collection?

The California, San Diego Naturalization Index collection is a card index to naturalization records for the San Diego Superior Court. The naturalization petitions between 20 April 1904 to 19 June 1956 are included in this index. The records in this collection are California State records that have been archived with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and have been assigned the NAID number NAID 757551473. The cards are arranged alphabetically by surname and cover petitions numbered 2788 to 19883.


General Information About Naturalization Records “’Naturalization’” is a voluntary process through which immigrants can become American citizens. By becoming naturalized citizens, immigrants are granted the same rights, privileges and protections as natural born citizens. Individual States handled naturalizations until 1906 when the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization standardized immigration laws and procedures. Naturalization to become a U.S. citizen is 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 general requirements for citizenship include residency in one U.S. state for one year and in the United States for five years The First Papers were normally filed five years before the Final Papers because of the five-year residency requirement to become a citizen. Naturalization papers are an important source of information about an immigrant's nation of origin, his foreign and “Americanized” names, residence, and date of arrival. Naturalization records were created to process naturalizations and keep track of immigrants in the United States. Naturalization records are generally reliable, but may occasionally be subject to error or falsification. Be sure to search all possible spellings for the surname of the person for whom you are looking. Think about how the surname was pronounced, and how it sounded in the immigrant’s probable accent. Immigrants or their families often changed or “Americanized” the spelling and pronunciation of their names especially their surname, thus the surname may be spelled differently in records that were closer to your ancestor's immigration date. Also, because immigrants were allowed to naturalize in any court, they often selected the most convenient court. For example, if an immigrant lived in Maine, but worked in Vermont or New Hampshire, they may have gone to a court closer to work.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

The index cards include the following:

  • Petition number
  • Date of petition
  • Name of person naturalized
  • Date and place of naturalization
  • Volume and page number of the petition

Some of the index cards also show:

  • Declaration number
  • Date of declaration
  • Volume and page number of the declaration
  • Certification number
  • Date of issuance

Declaration of Intent and Naturalization Petitions usually included the following:

  • 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

In post-1906 records, you may also find:

  • 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

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.
  • The ancestor’s residence.

If you do not know this information, check the 1900 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. Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information in the list to what you already know about your ancestor to determine if it is the correct family or person. You may need to compare several persons in the list before you find your ancestor. You can search the index or view the images or both. Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • Name of the person
  • The age or date of immigration

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


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 California, San Diego Naturalization Index

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

records.

  • Search for death or burial information in BillionGraves Index.
  • If applicable, search for military records as well.
  • Repeat this process with additional family members found, to find more generations of the family.

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 other possible localities or ports of entry like Port of entry, San Diego.
  • Try different spellings of your ancestor’s name.
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well.
  • 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 the infobox above for additional FamilySearch websites and related websites that may assist you in finding similar records.

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, San Diego Naturalization Index, 1868-1958." Database. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 14 June 2016. From "Naturalization Index Cards from the Superior Court of San Diego, CA, 1868-1958." Database. Fold3.com. http://www.fold3.com : n.d. Citing NARA microfilm publication M1526. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record.

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