Colorado Naturalization Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Colorado, Naturalization Records, 1876-1990 .
CID2285702
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Colorado, United States
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Record Description
Record Group RG 21: Records of District Courts of the United States
Collection years 1876-1990
National Archives Identifier 350
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
National Archives and Records Administration


What is in the Collection?

This collection contains naturalization records, declarations of intention, court orders granting petitions, and case files from eight different NARA collections.The collections are part of Record Group 21 Records of District Courts of the United States at the NARA Regional Archives in Denver, Colorado. The Colorado Division of Court Services Naturalization Cards are from Record Group 85 Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. The collection covers the years 1876 to 1990.

  • US District Court for the District of Colorado. Denver Term. Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1877-1966,NAID 649217
  • US District Court for the District of Colorado. Denver Term. Court Orders Granting Petitions for Naturalization, 1952-1966,NAID 649271
  • US District Court for the District of Colorado. Denver Term. Naturalization Records, 1972-1986NAID 3514570
  • US District Court for the District of Colorado. Denver Term. Naturalization Case Files, 1876-1947,NAID 649183
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. Naturalization Petitions, 1982-1988,NAID 5049445
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. Naturalization Records, January 1, 1987- December 31, 1990,NAID 5955511
  • Colorado.Division of Court Services. RG 85 Naturalization Cards, 1880-1906,NAID 1307044
  • U.S. District Court for the Pueblo Division for the District of Colorado. Orders and Petitions Concerning Naturalization, 1926-1949,NAID 720245

To Browse this Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Colorado, Naturalization Records, 1876-1990.

Collection Content

Sample Images

Naturalization is the process of granting citizenship privileges and responsibilities to foreign-born residents. The first naturalization act was passed in 1802. 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 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.

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

Naturalization Records usually include the following information:

  • Name of court
  • Full name of Petitioner
  • Place of residence
  • Occupation
  • Date and place of birth
  • Date of emigration, date of arrival
  • Port of entry and name of ship
  • Date and place of Declaration of Intent to become citizen
  • Name of spouse
  • Date of marriage
  • Number of children, name and residence of each child
  • Birth date and place of birth of each child
  • Able to speak English?
  • Affidavit of witness(es)

How Do I Search the Collection

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • 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 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. If your ancestor naturalized before 1900, check the census records to see when he or she first appeared in the census. This will give you a 10 year window in which they may have immigrated.

Compare the information on the image to what you already know about your ancestor to determine if it is the correct family or person. You may need to compare several images before you find your ancestor.

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Pagethen:
⇒ Select the "Record Type"
⇒ Select the "Date range, volume"


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

What Do I Do Next?

Whenever possible, view the original records to verify the information and to find additional information that might not be reported. These pieces of information can lead you to additional records and family members.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • Use the information to find other records such as emigrations, port records, ship’s manifests, birth, christening, census, and land records.
  • Learn foreign and “Americanized” names
  • Use the information to find additional family members.
  • Repeat this process with additional family members found, to find more generations of the family.
  • Church Records often were kept years before government records were required and are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900.

I Can’t Find Who I’m Looking for, What Now?

  • Try viewing the original record to see if there were errors in the transcription of the name, age, residence, etc. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • Collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you identify possible relations that can be verified by records.
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby locality in an area search.
  • Standard spelling of names typically did not exist during the periods our ancestors lived in. Try variations of your ancestor’s name while searching the index or browsing through images.
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well.
  • Search the indexes and records of Colorado, United States Genealogy.
  • Search in the Colorado Archives and Libraries.

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:

“Colorado Naturalization Records, 1876-1990.” Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing various NAID. Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685 - 2009, RG 21 or Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, RG 85. National Archives at Denver.


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 Colorado, Naturalization Records, 1876-1990.


How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

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