West Virginia Naturalization and CitizenshipEdit This Page

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Most West Virginia courts or counties recorded naturalization proceedings in the minutes and dockets of the courts rather than keeping separate registers. Prior to 1906, any court of record could naturalize immigrants. From 1906 to 1929 the federal government regulated naturalization but allowed most state or county courts to continue naturalizing immigrants. After 1929 only federal courts handled naturalizations.

For pre-1906 naturalizations, you will have to search the records of all local, state, and federal courts in the area where your ancestor lived. In West Virginia, most immigrants were naturalized in the state circuit or county courts so you will want to begin your search in those courts. These records are in the possession of the clerk of the circuit court or county clerk of the county. The Family History Library has copies of most West Virginia court records to the early 1900s (see the “Court Records” section of this outline).

For naturalization records after September 1906, contact the National Archives—Mid-Atlantic Region(for the records of the U.S. district courts in West Virginia) or your local office of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Some records between 1906 and 1929 are also at the office of the clerk of the circuit court in each county.


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