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Portal:United States Naturalization >Iowa



Naturalization proceedings in Iowa are handled primarily by district courts. These records include declarations of intention, petitions for naturalization, and certificates of naturalization and citizenship. Naturalization records may give a person's age, country or city of origin, date of arrival, port of arrival, and names of witnesses. After September 1906, the records may also give birth date and birthplace, names of spouse and children (with their birth dates and birthplaces), and name of the ship. Naturalization papers may be included with homestead land applications.


The Family History Library has microfilm copies of the district court records for most Iowa counties. For Polk County, for instance, the library has naturalization applications and military petitions from 1907 to 1927 and an index to the records from 1852 to 1884:

  • Iowa. District Court (Polk County). Naturalization Records, 1907–1927. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1977. (Family History Library films 1015201–17 item 2.)
  • Iowa. District Court. (Polk County). Index to Naturalization, 1852–1884. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1977. (Family History Library film 1015217 item 1.)

District Court Index

The following district court index can be a useful source:

  • United States. District Court (Iowa: Central Division). General Index to Declaration of Intentions and Petitions, 1909–1948; Declaration of Intentions, 1917–1936; Petitions, 1909–1936. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1991. (On 11 Family History Library films beginning with 1769765 item 12.)

National Archives--Central Plains

The National Archives-Central Plains Region (Kansas City, Missouri) has the records of the U.S. District Court in Keokuk for 1853 to 1874. These records are available on film:

Soundex Index

The index below includes naturalization petitions from 44 counties of eastern Iowa:

United States. District Court (Illinois: Northern District). Soundex Index to Naturalization Petitions for U.S. District & Circuit Courts, Northern District of Illinois and Immigration and Naturalization Service District 9, 1840–1950. National Archives Microfilm Publication; M1285. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1988. (Family History Library films 1432001–183) The Family History Library Catalog entry alphabetically lists the Iowa counties in this collection, all of which were formerly in Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) District 9.

Post 1906 Records

For records of naturalizations after September 1906, contact the National Archives-Central Plains Region (Kansas City, Missouri) or the local office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services (formerly INS). The Citizenship and Immigration Services has instituted a Genealogy Program to obtain their records.


Iowa Research Outline. Salt Lake City, Utah: Intellectual Reserve, Inc., Family History Department, 1998, 2001.


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