Ohio, County Naturalization Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: Ohio, County Naturalization Records, 1800-1977 .
The collection consists of images of naturalization records from county courthouses in Ohio for the years 1800 to 1977. The record content and time period varies by county. Some counties have indexes that cover years later than 1954.
Naturalization is the process of granting citizenship privileges and responsibilities to foreign-born residents. 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.
|You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Ohio, County Naturalization Records, 1800-1977.|
The information found in Naturalization Records vaires by county and individual record.
Information found in this collection may include:
- Full name of petitioner
- Name of court
- Date of emigration
- Place of residence
- Date and place of birth
- Date of declaration
- Date of marriage
- Spouse's full name (usually a woman's maiden name is given)
- Spouse's date and place of birth
- Names of children and their places of birth
- Name of judge
- Names of witnesses
How to Use the Record
To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:
- 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 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. If your ancestor naturalized before 1900, check the census records to see when he or she first appeared in the census. This will give you a 10 year window in which they may have immigrated.
Search the Collection
To search for your ancestor by name fill in your ancestor’s name in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.
To search the collection image by image,
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select the "County"
⇒Select the "Record Type, Year Range, and Volume" which takes you to the images.
Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.
As you are searching it is helpful to know such information as your ancestor’s given name and surname, some identifying information such as residence and age, and family relationships. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name as your ancestor and that your ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times.
For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line video at FamilySearch Search Tips.
Using the Information
When you have located your ancestor’s record, 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. For example, 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 emigrations, port records, or ship’s manifests.
Tips to Keep in Mind
- 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 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.
Unable to Find Your Ancestor?
- Check for variant spellings. Realize that the indexes may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings and misinterpretations.
- Look for an index. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
- Search the naturalization records year by year.
- Search the indexes of nearby counties.
|FHL Place United States, Ohio items or FHL Keyword Ohio items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see Ohio Archives and Libraries.|
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Citations for This Collection
Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.
- "Ohio, County Naturalization Records, 1800-1977." Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2015.
Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):
|The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for Ohio, County Naturalization Records, 1800-1977.|
|The citation for an image is available on each image in this collection by clicking Show Citation at the bottom left of the image screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Ohio, County Naturalization Records, 1800-1977.|
- This page was last modified on 10 August 2015, at 20:39.
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