California County Naturalizations (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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California, County Naturalizations, 1849-1949 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
California, United States
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Location of California
Record Description
Record Type County Naturalizations
Collection years 1849-1949
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites


What Is in the Collection?

The collection consists of naturalization records for the years 1849 to 1949 from the following counties (coverage dates will vary by county):

  • Nevada
  • Orange
  • Placer
  • Sacramento
  • San Francisco
  • Sonoma
  • Santa Clara
  • Stanislaus
  • Santa Barbara
  • San Benito
  • San Diego
  • Solano
  • Sutter
  • Yolo
  • Yuba


To Browse This Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for California, County Naturalizations, 1849-1949.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

The petition includes the following:

  • Name of the petitioner
  • Residence
  • Country of birth
  • Place and date of arrival
  • Names of two witnesses
  • Petition number
  • Date of petition
  • Volume and page number of the petition

The Declaration of Intent usually includes the following:

  • Name of the immigrant
  • Country of birth
  • Arrival date
  • Date of Declaration of Intent or Naturalization
  • Names of witnesses
  • Signature of judge or court official
  • Birth date
  • Birthplace
  • Age
  • Race
  • Last foreign residence
  • Current residence
  • Arrival place
  • Marital status
  • Name of spouse
  • Maiden name of wife
  • Birth date of spouse
  • Residence of spouse


Collection Contents

Sample Images

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know at least some of the following:

  • The full name of your ancestor.
  • The approximate immigration and naturalization dates.

If you do not know this information, check the 1900 or 1910 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.

View the Images

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page. br>

  1. Select ‘’’County’’’
  2. Select ‘’’Record Type, Year Range, and Volume number or letter’’’

How Do I Analyze the Results?

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images.

For more tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

What Do I Do Next?

Indexes and transcriptions may not include all the data found in the original records. Look at the actual image of the record to verify the information and to find additional information.

I Found Who I Was Looking For, What Now?

  • Copy the citation below, in case you need to find this record again later.
  • Use the information found in the record to find other records such as emigrations, port records, and ship’s manifests.
  • Use the record to learn your ancestor’s foreign and “Americanized” names, if they were different.
  • Use the record to learn the place of origin and find their church and vital records such as birth, baptism, and marriage records.
  • Use the information found in the record to find land and probate records.
  • Use the record to see if other family members who may have immigrated with the person you are looking for are listed and have additional information or leads; you may also find additional information on new family members in censuses.
  • Repeat this process with additional family members found, to find more generations of the family.
  • Church Records were kept years before counties began keeping records. They are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900.


I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?

  • If your ancestor does not have a common name, collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you find possible relatives.
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby town or county.
  • Try different spellings of your ancestor’s name.
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well.
  • 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, 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.
  • Check other possible ports of entry
  • Check the info box above for additional FamilySearch websites and related websites that may assist you in finding similar records.


Citing 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. Collection Citation:

“California County Naturalizations, 1849-1949.” Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. County clerk offices, California.

Image Citation

The image citation is available by clicking on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for California, County Naturalizations, 1849-1949.


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How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.