Lawrence County, Ohio - NaturalizationEdit This Page

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Indexes - Naturalization


How to Access Index
Time Period
Record Type
Court
Library or Archives where index is located:
First film number or book number if at FHL
Note about the index:
Where the records are located (film number or repository)
Online
1819-1906
Petitions
Clerk of Courts
Lawrence County Courthouse, Ironton, Ohio

This index does not provide the court where  the naturalization took place, or the reference info. You must use the date of naturalization to help locate the correct document either in the Court of Common Pleas or the Probate Court
1303193; 317748; Lawrence County Courthouse, Ironton, Ohio
Book
1817-1860; 1862
Declarations, Petitions, Journal
Probate Court; Court of Common Pleas
Lawrence County Courthouse, Ironton, Ohio
977.1 A1 no. 725

1303193;
317748

Microfilm or Original Records
1852-1991
Petitions
District Court: Southern District
Chicago Branch of the National Archives, Chicago, Illinois
1819410
Surname index, separated by district court. Includes Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, and Steubenville
1839184; Chicago Branch of the National Archives, Chicago, Illinois


Records - Naturalization

How to Access Time Period Record Type Court Library or Archive where records are located: First Film # or book #, if at FHL
Note about the Records:
Microfilm 1852-1878 Journal Probate Court Lawrence County courthouse, Ironton, Ohio 317748 Index is at the beginning of the journal. This record contains naturalization records as well as other records mixed in.
Microfilm or Original Records 1877-1906 Declarations and Petitions Probate Court Ohio University Library, Athens, Ohio; Archives/Library Division, Ohio Historical Society, Columbus, Ohio 1303193 Includes surname index at the beginning of each volume.
Microfilm 1907-1954 Declarations and Petitions Court of Common Pleas Ohio University Library, Athens, Ohio 1845758 Includes surname index at the beginning of each volume.
Microfilm or Original Records 1916-1951 Declarations District Court: Southern District Chicago Branch of the National Archives, Chicago, Illinois 1839182 Includes surname index at the beginning of each volume.
Microfilm or Original Records 1916-1951 Petitions District Court: Southern District Chicago Branch of the National Archives, Chicago, Illinois 1839184 item 4  Includes surname index at the beginning of each volume.
Microfilm 1918-1919 Petitions District Court: Southern District Chicago Branch of the National Archives, Chicago, Illinois 183918 item 2 Military Naturalizations
Original Records
1852-1905 unknown Circuit Court: Southern District: Western Division Chicago Branch of the National Archives, Chicago, Illinois Not at FHL
Original Records
1859-1963 Petitions District Court: Southern District: Western Division, Cincinnati Chicago Branch of the National Archives, Chicago, Illinois Not at FHL
Original Records
1906-1930 unknown District Court: Southern District: Western Division, Dayton Chicago Branch of the National Archives, Chicago, Illinois Not at FHL
National Archives reference number:
RG 21.37.3

Key to Libraries/Archives


How to Find Naturalization Records

By Index

The top chart contains the indexes to naturalization records available for Lawrence County. It should be noted that many of the naturalization record volumes containing declarations and petitions also contain indexes at the beginning of the volume. Note the years and courts that each index covers to make sure that all possible sources are searched for the applicant’s naturalization records.

By Time Period

The first naturalization law was passed by Congress in 1790.  Throughout the 19th and 20th Century there were many naturalization laws passed that altered the naturalization process.  For most years, there was a 5 year residency required before an immigrant could complete the naturalization process and be naturalized.

Lawrence County was created in 1815 from the counties of Gallia and Scioto, Ohio. The earliest naturalization records in Lawrence County begin in 1817 although some only exist in index form with no records surviving.

Before 1906

Before 1906, naturalization records, declarations of intention and petitions, contained limited information. Each court determined the necessary information to process the immigrant. Thus, the contents of records are inconsistent. Because the information could vary significantly from court to court, it is highly recommended that both the declaration and the petition should be located for the applicant. Generally speaking, the information provided on a declaration or petition record MAY include:

  • Port of arrival
  • Date of immigration
  • Country of origin
  • Age of applicant

After 1906

The information provided on naturalization records change significantly in 1906, when the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) was created (now the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services or USCIS). INS began to keep copies of naturalization records and provide forms for the courts that naturalized. Information included on both the declaration and petition generally included the following information for the applicant:

  • Birth date and place
  • Last foreign address
  • Personal description
  • Port and date of arrival
  • Wife and children with their birth dates and places
  • Residence
  • Occupation
  • Country of birth or allegiance

By Record Type

There are two major record types in naturalization records: declaration of intention and petition.

Declaration of Intention:

Also referred to as first papers, the declaration of intention is the first court record stating the applicant’s desire to become a citizen of the United States. It usually is filed after 1 to 2 years residency in the United States. It usually includes a renouncing of allegiance to their former country and an oath of allegiance to the United States. Before 1906, the declaration of intention may contain different information than the petition and both documents should be obtained. Before 1906, information on a declaration may include port of arrival, date of immigration, country of origin, and age of applicant. After 1906, much of the same information is listed on both the declaration and petition including (among other information): birth date and place of applicant, port and date of arrival, wife and children with their birth dates and places.

There were times the declaration of intention was not required for someone naturalizing.  From1824 to 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. The declaration could be submitted with the petition.

Honorable discharge from military service also exempted soldiers from having to apply a declaration of intention.  In 1862 only the Army had this provision.  Navy and Marines also had this provision starting in 1894.

Petition:

The petition is also referred to as “second papers” or “final papers.” It is recorded approximately 2 to 3 years after the declaration is filed and after 5 years residence in the United States, depending on the naturalization law in place at the time. The petition is the final paper filed with the court by the applicant. Before 1906, the petition may contain port of arrival, date of immigration, country of origin, and age of applicant. After 1906 it may include birth date and place of applicant, port and date of arrival, wife and children with their birth dates and places.

Other Naturalization Records:

For Lawrence County, there are other miscellaneous naturalization records. These include journal entries about dates of declaration and naturalization. It also includes oaths of allegiance. Information in these records varies by time period. Search for the declaration and petition first, then look for other naturalization records.

By Court

Naturalization could be granted by any court - including city, county, state or federal courts.  The immigrant was not required to naturalize in his county or district court boundaries but could choose the most convenient court.  This court could be in the neighboring county, such as Scioto, Galia, or Jackson.   After 1906, more naturalizations took place in the federal courts, but local courts did continue to naturalized.  Therefore, both federal and local courts should be searched.

The declaration and petition could be processed in different courts in different parts of the country depending on where the immigrant lived. After 1906, a copy of the naturalization records (declaration and petition) were always submitted to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). If a naturalization record cannot be located in the records listed above for an individual naturalized after 1906, a copy can be obtained for a fee from the former INS, now called United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

The courts granting naturalization to applicants living in Lawrence County included the Clerk of Court, Probate Court, Court of Common Pleas, Circuit Court and District Court. Lawrence County was in the Ohio District in 1815 when it was created. Lawrence County was assigned to the Ohio Southern District in 1855. In 1911, it was assigned to the Southern District, Western Division where it remains today.

AT USCIS - AFTER 1906

Beginning in September 1906, the federal government began regulating the naturalization process. The Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (now the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services or USCIS), required specific forms for declarations and petitions. Only these forms could be used and the Bureau controlled the number of courts able to naturalize by controlling distribution of the forms. However, local, state, and federal courts were all allowed to naturalize. Therefore, copies of the applicant's naturalization papers were kept by the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization.

The Declaration of Intent (Form 2202) was completed in triplicate. The court kept the original and gave copies to the applicant and the Bureau. The Petition for Naturalization (Form 2204) was kept by the court and a duplicate was sent to the INS. The Certificate of Naturalization (Form 2207) was given to the new citizen. A duplicate was sent to the INS and the court kept the stub. Additional files were created by the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization and are discussed on the the USCIS website.

Genealogy Program

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has instituted the Genealogy Program for the public to access all records up to 1956 created by this agency, formerly Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). Be sure to review the Genealogy Frequently Asked Questions website to expedite your order and ensure success in your request.

The following records can be requested online or by mail:

When ordering by mail, use forms G-1041 (for an index search) and G-1041A (to obtain the file). Do not submit G-1041A until you have completed a search with form G-1041 UNLESS you have a valid file number. Once the form is filled out, include a money order or cashier's check. Cash or a personal check will not be accepted. There are NO refunds for incorrect file numbers submitted or for negative results. The mailing address is:

USCIS Genealogy Program
P.O. Box 805925
Chicago, Illinois 60680-4120

The fee schedule is:

Index Search--$20 (form G-1041)
Microfilm copies--$20 (form G-1041A)
Paper copies--$35 (form G-1041A)

Form G-639, the Freedom of Information Act/FOIA form, should be used for naturalization records after 1956.


References

There are several books written on naturalization records and proceedures in the United States.  Those include the following:


  1. Newman, John J. American Naturalization Records 1790-1990. Bountiful, UT: Heritage Quest, 1998.
  2. Szucs, Loretto Dennis. They Became Americans.  Salt Lake City, UT: Ancestry Inc., 1997

 

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  • This page was last modified on 25 July 2014, at 16:30.
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