Washington, County Naturalization Records - FamilySearch Historical Records
|Access the Records|
Washington, County Naturalization Records, 1850-1982
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|Flag of Washington|
|Location of Washington|
|State Archives, Bellevue, Washington|
- 1 What is in This Collection?
- 2 What Can These Records Tell Me?
- 3 Collection Content
- 4 How Do I Search This Collection?
- 5 What Do I Do Next?
- 6 Known Issues With This Collection
- 7 Citing This Collection
- 8 How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]
This collection includes records of naturalization proceedings the years 1850 to 1982 from the following counties:
- Grays Harbor
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.
To Browse This Collection[edit | edit source]
|You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the 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]
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.
View the Images[edit | edit source]
View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page.
- Select County
- Select Record type, year range and volume number or letter
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 than 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]
- 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.
- Beginning Research in United States Naturalization Records
- Washington Guided Research
- Washington Record Finder
- Research Tips and Strategies
- Step-by-Step Research: 1850-1907 | 1907-Present
|Don't overlook FHL Keyword Washington State, Naturalization and Citizenship items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see the wiki article Washington Archives and Libraries. For additional information about this state see the wiki article Washington.|
Known Issues With This Collection[edit | edit source]
For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered
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.
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
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]
|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 Historical Records.|
Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.
To access available information, first log into FamilySearch.