Arkansas Naturalization and CitizenshipEdit This Page

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Naturalization is the process of granting citizenship to foreign-born residents. Naturalization papers are an important source of information about an immigrant’s place of origin, his foreign and Americanized names, residence, and date of arrival.

Immigrants to the United States have never been required to apply for citizenship. Of those who applied, many did not complete the requirements for citizenship. Evidence that an immigrant completed citizenship requirements can be found in censuses, court minutes, homestead records, passports, voting registers, and military papers. Even if an immigrant ancestor did not complete the process and become a citizen, he may have filed a declaration. These declarations can be very helpful.

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Online Genealogy Records

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Various types of records were created during the naturalization process, including declarations of intention, petitions for naturalization, oaths of allegiance and certificates of naturalization and citizenship. Each record can give details about a person, such as age, residence, country or city of origin, ethnic background, the date and port of arrival, the name of the ship, names of spouse and children with their birth dates and places, and previous residences or current address.

Records for earlier years usually contain less information than those after 1906, when the federal court system for naturalization was revised and details such as birth date and place, physical description, and marital status may be given.

Naturalization records in Arkansas were filed in the county circuit courts or in the U.S. District Courts located in Fort Smith, Arkansas; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Fort Worth, Texas.

About 40 percent of the counties in Arkansas have pre-1906 records. The following is a statewide index:

Post-1906 Records

For naturalization records after September 1906, contact the National Archives Southwest Region (Ft. Worth) or access the Genealogy Program at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (formerly INS).

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  • This page was last modified on 30 June 2014, at 20:32.
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