Texas, 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: Texas, Naturalization Records, 1906-1989 .
The collections consists of naturalization records from the National Archives - Southwest Region. The records include indexes and declarations of intention. This collection is being published as images become available. The index covers the years 1898 to 1991. The records cover the years 1906 to 1989.
For a list of records by categories and dates currently published in this collection, select the Browse link from the collection landing page.
The information generally found in the indexes includes the following:
- Document or page number
Declaration of Intent and Naturalization Petitions usually include the following:
- Name of the immigrant
- Date and place of birth
- Port of departure
- Name of ship
- Port of entry and arrival date
- Date of Declaration of Intent or Naturalization
- Personal description of immigrant
- Age, occupation and marital status of immigrant
- Name of spouse
- Last foreign residence
- Current residence
- Names of witnesses
- Signature of judge or court official
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 or 1910 census and 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.
Search the Collection
To search the collection image by image
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select the "Record Category"
⇒Select the "Record Type, Volume, and Year Range" which takes you to the images
Search the collection by image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors 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.
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.
- 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.
Additional Information About These Records
Naturalization is the process of granting citizenship privileges and responsibilities to foreign-born residents. Counties recorded naturalization procedures in the court records as legal proof of citizenship. 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 index is very accurate and 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.
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Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
Citations for individual image records are available for this collection. Browse through images in this collection and click on the "Show Citation" box: Naturalization Records, 1906-1989
When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published on FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.
- "Texas, Naturalization Index, 1898-1991" Images. i>FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing National Archives and Records Administration, Southwest Region, Fort Worth, Texas.
- "Texas, Naturalization Records, 1906-1989" Images. i>FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing National Archives and Records Administration, Southwest Region, Fort Worth, Texas.
- This page was last modified on 10 June 2014, at 20:13.
- This page has been accessed 3,383 times.
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