United States, Index to Naturalizations of World War I Soldiers (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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United States Index to Naturalizations of World War I Soldiers, 1918
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
United States
United States flag.png
Flag of the United States of America
NARA seal300.jpg
Seal of the National Archives
Record Description
Record Type World War I Naturalizations
Record Group RG 85: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service
Collection years 1918
Microfilm Publication M1952. Index to Naturalizations of World War I Soldiers, 1918. 4 rolls.
Arrangement Alphabetical
National Archives Identifier 4486701
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
National Archives and Records Administration


What is in This Collection?

Card index to naturalizations of soldiers of foreign birth during World War I. The index is from National Archives publication M1952 Index to Naturalizations of World War I Soldiers, 1918, part of Record Group 85 Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

"Aliens serving in the U.S. military did not gain citizenship through service alone. The naturalization of soldiers was performed under certain provisions of nationality law facilitating the naturalization of members of the U.S. armed forces. These provisions waived the Declaration of Intention requirement and waived or reduced the residency requirement. Thus many soldiers filed petitions and were naturalized the same day. The expedited naturalization of soldiers could have been performed at either a Federal, State or local court having jurisdiction over the soldier's military base, or a judge from any of those courts might have held "naturalization court" at the military base. In either case, one copy of the petition should be on file in the court's records. Another copy was filed with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) which holds duplicate copies of all naturalizations granted after September 26, 1906." -- Introduction: National Archives Publication M1952 Index to Naturalizations of World War I Soldiers, 1918.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

Information found in this collection may include:

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

Declarations 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

Collection Content

Sample of indexed information:

John Smith United States Index to Naturalizations of World War I Soldiers, 1918
Name John Smith
Event Type Naturalization
Event Date 1918
Event Place United States
Military Base Name Devens
Court Number 1500

How Do I Search This Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • The 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 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

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. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?

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

Use naturalization records to:

  • Learn an immigrant’s place of origin
  • Confirm their date of arrival
  • Learn foreign and “Americanized” names
  • Find records in his or her country of origin such as emigrations, port records, or ship’s manifests
  • 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
  • If your ancestor had a common name, be sure to look at all the entries for a name before you decide which is correct
  • Continue to search the naturalization records to identify siblings, parents, and other relatives in the same or other generations who may have naturalized in the same area or nearby
  • The witnesses named on naturalization records may have been older relatives of the person in the naturalization process. Search for their naturalizations
  • You may want to obtain the naturalization records of every person who shares your ancestor’s surname if they lived in the same county or nearby. You may not know how or if they are related, but the information could lead you to more information about your own ancestors

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

  • Check for variant spellings. Realize that the indexes may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings and misinterpretations
  • Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor

Record Finder

Consult the United States Record Finder to search other 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
"United States, Index to Naturalizations of World War I, 1918." Database. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 14 June 2016. From "Index to Naturalizations of World War I Soldiers, 1918." Database. Fold3.com. http://www.fold3.com : n.d. Citing NARA microfilm publication M1952. 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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