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Naturalization records have been filed in the U.S. District and Circuit Courts and in the local courts in Ohio counties, especially in the courts of common pleas and the probate courts (after 1851). No centralized files exist before 1906.
Various types of records were created by the courts, including declarations, petitions, alien dockets, and military petitions for naturalization. Each record in the naturalization process may give different details about the person's travels, such as the date and port of arrival or the name of the ship. Not all counties recorded the same information.
For a statewide list of Ohio naturalization records, see:
- Schaefer, Christina K. Guide to Naturalization Records in the United States. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing, 1997. (FHL book 973 P4s.)
For each county, this book describes the court; the years the records exist; where the originals are housed; and the FHL film numbers, if they have been microfilmed. Pages 259 to 273 cover Ohio. The introduction discusses the naturalization process, the types of records created, and the usual genealogical content of each record.
An index to the records for the court at Cincinnati is:
- United States. District Court (Ohio: Southern District). Naturalization Index, 1852-1991. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1992. (On 16 FHL films beginning with 1819410.) There are three indexes in this set: 1852 to 1892; 1906 to 1986; and 1917 to 1991. The original records are at the U.S. District Court, Cincinnati.
The Family History Library also has the U.S. District Court records which have been microfilmed for the Ohio Southern District Courts held at Dayton and Columbus. Mostly for the period 1916 to 1931, the records include petitions, declarations of intention, and military petitions for naturalization. They are listed in the Place Search of the Family History Library Catalog under OHIO - NATURALIZATION AND CITIZENSHIP.
The National Archives—Great Lakes Region has many naturalization records that have not been microfilmed. These include:
- U.S. District Court, Ohio Northern District, Eastern Division, Cleveland. Naturalizations, 1855-1943.
- U.S. District Court, Ohio Southern District, Eastern Division, Columbus. Naturalizations, 1916-51.
- U.S. District Court, Ohio Southern District, Western Division, Dayton. Naturalizations, 1906-30.
Available on microfilm, but not at the Family History Library, is:
- U.S. Circuit Court, Ohio Southern District, Western Division. Naturalization Records, 1852-1905.
For naturalization records after September 1906, contact the National Archives—Great Lakes Region. After 1917, records may also be found at the U.S. District Courts in Dayton, Columbus, Cincinnati, and Cleveland or in the nearest office of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. See the United States Research Outline for more information about records after 1906.
The Ohio Historical Society in Columbus includes a listing of their holdings of naturalization records on their Internet site, which is mentioned in Ohio Archives and Libraries.
The Family History Library has microfilms of naturalization applications from most counties, generally covering the years 1850 to about 1906 or later. These are listed in the Place Search of the Family History Library Catalog under OHIO, [COUNTY] - NATURALIZATION AND CITIZENSHIP. Records of larger cities may also be found under OHIO, [COUNTY], [TOWN] - NATURALIZATION AND CITIZENSHIP.