United States Naturalization Types
In some instances, entire groups have been collectively granted U.S. citizenship. In these cases you will not find individual naturalization papers. This occurred for residents of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, Texas in 1845, Hawaii in 1898, and for Blacks in 1868 and American Indians in 1924.
Denization was a type of naturalization used for land purposes. You could buy and sell land, but could not hold public office. There were no political priviledges associated with denization.
Citizenship may have been granted to individuals based on military service or family relationship. A declaration of intention was not usually required in advance (see below). Instead the individual was usually naturalized at the time he filed an application or petition. Three types of derivative citizenship were:
- Children under 21 years of age (until 1940) and wives of citizens (until 1922) automatically became citizens when their father or husband became a citizen.
- Until 1906 immigrants under the age of 21 (whose parents did not naturalize) could be naturalized without filing a declaration of intent after they reached the age of 21 and had met the residency requirements.
- Since 1862, non-citizens who have served in the U.S. military have not been required to file a declaration of intention. After one year's residency and honorable discharge from the military, they could petition for naturalization. Since World War I, citizenship could be granted while an individual served in the military.
- From 1855 to 1922 a woman took the citizenship of her husband. An alien woman who married a United States citizen became a United States citizen.
- From 1907 to 1922, a woman born in the United States who married an alien lost her U.S. citizenship and became an alien. For more information, read Marion L. Smith's article, Women and Naturalization, ca. 1802-1940.