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Pennsylvania Eastern District Naturalization Indexes - FamilySearch Historical Records

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Pennsylvania, Eastern District Naturalization Indexes, 1795-1952
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Pennsylvania, United States
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Record Description
Record Type Naturalization Indexes
Record Group RG 21: Records of the District Courts of the United States
Collection years 1795-1952
Microfilm Publication M1248. Indexes to Naturalization Petitions to the U.S. Circuit and District Courts for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania,1795-1931. 60 rolls.
National Archives Identifier 350
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
National Archives and Records Administration


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

Three soundex card indexes to naturalization petitions and declarations of intention from the U.S. Circuit and District Courts for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The information typically includes the name of the individual, petition number, declaration number, birth date, date of petition or declaration, and occasionally other pieces of information: name variations, marriage information, etc. This collection corresponds to NARA M1248: Indexes to Naturalization Petitions to the U.S. Circuit and District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 1795-1952 and is part of Record Group 21 Records of the District Courts of the United States.

  • 1795-1906, Rolls 1-8
  • 1906-1926, Rolls 9-36
  • 1926-1952, Rolls 37-60

The soundex index is a phonetic index that groups together names that sound alike but are spelled differently, for example, Stewart and Stuart. The index cards are filed according to the soundex number associated with each family name and then by given names. For more information on soundex indexes and help with coding names and using the index, see the Soundexwiki article.

“’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. Before 1790, British immigrants were considered citizens of the British colonies in America, and later American citizens. Some Protestant immigrants from other European countries requested citizenship from civil authorities. After swearing allegiance, immigrants were generally granted citizenship. The process by which other immigrants could become citizens of the British Empire or the American colonies, and later American citizens, was handled by the individual colonies then states until 1906, when the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization standardized immigration laws and procedures. The general requirements for citizenship include residency in one U.S. state for one year and in the United States for five years. 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. The surname may be spelled differently in records that were closer to your ancestor's immigration date.

To Browse This Collection[edit | edit source]

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Pennsylvania Eastern District Naturalization Indexes, 1795-1952.

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

The following information may be found in these records:

Soundex

  • Name
  • Birth place
  • Age, Gender, Occupation and Nationality
  • Last permanent residence
  • Final destination
  • Name and address of relative or friend
  • Arrival date and port of entry
  • Name of ship
  • Line number on passenger list
  • Volume, page number

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

Sample Image[edit | edit source]

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

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of your ancestor
  • The approximate date of naturalization

Search the Index[edit | edit source]

Search by name by visiting 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 Browse Page:

  1. Select the Date Range
  2. Select the Name Range 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]

Whenever possible, view the original records to verify the information and to find additional information that might not be reported. These pieces of information can lead you to additional records and family members.

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

  • Use the information to find other records such as emigrations, port records, ship’s manifests, birth, christening, census, and land records
  • Learn foreign and “Americanized” names
  • Use the information to find additional family members in census records
  • Search for vital records, such as marriage and death
  • Search land and probate records

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

  • Collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you identify possible relatives
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby locality
  • Standard spelling of names typically did not exist. Try variations of your ancestor’s name while searching the index or browsing through images
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names, or even initials

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

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

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.

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?[edit | edit source]

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