United States, New England, Petitions for Naturalization (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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United States, New England, Petitions for Naturalization, 1787-1906
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island & Vermont, United States
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Record Description
Record Type Naturalization Petitions and Records
Record Group RG 85: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service
Collection years 1787-1906
National Archives Identifier 4752894
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
National Archives and Records Administration


What is in This Collection?

This collection consists of naturalization records from Federal, state and local courts filed in the National Archives Northeast Region which includes: Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont, NARA ARC Identifier 4752894 and is part of Record Group 85 Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. The collection covers the years 1787 to 1906. The collection is indexed in NAID 4752892 Index to Naturalizations in New England Courts, 1939-1942.

To Browse This Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for United States, New England, Petitions for Naturalization, 1787-1906.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

Petitions for naturalization may include the following:

  • 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

Declaration of Intent and Naturalization Petitions usually include:

  • Name of court and date of hearing
  • Name of immigrant
  • Date and place of birth
  • Date of arrival and port of entry
  • Date of Declaration of Intent or Naturalization
  • Names of witnesses
  • Signature of judge or court official
  • Age
  • Race
  • Last foreign residence
  • Current residence
  • 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
  • The ancestor’s residence

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

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:

  1. Select the State
  2. Select the County or Federal Court
  3. Select the Court
  4. Select the Record Type, Date, Volume/Page 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. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?

When you have located your ancestor’s petition for naturalization, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family.

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

You can 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 birth or marriage
  • Look for the Declaration of Intent soon after the immigrant arrived, and then look for the Naturalization Petition five years later, when the residency requirement would have been met. Look for naturalization records in federal courts and 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
  • 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 a different index if there is one for the years needed. You may also need to search the naturalization records year by year
  • Search the indexes of nearby counties

Research Helps

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the United States.

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:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details page in the section Citing this Collection.
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?

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