Washington, Western District, Naturalization Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|Access the Records|
Washington, Western District, Naturalization Records, 1853-1957 .
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|Washington, United States|
|Flag of the United States of America|
|Seal of the National Archives|
|Record Group||RG 21: Records of District Courts of the United States|
|Microfilm Publication||M1542. Naturalization Records of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, 1890-1957. 153 rolls.|
|National Archives Identifier||5927795709976|
|National Archives and Records Administration|
- 1 What is in the Collection?
- 2 Collection Content
- 3 What Can this Collection Tell Me?
- 4 How Do I Search the Collection?
- 5 What Do I Do Next?
- 6 Citing this Collection
- 7 How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
What is in the Collection?
This collection consists of naturalization records and indexes of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, 1853-1957 for Seattle and Tacoma. These records correspond to NARA publication M1542 and is part of Record Group 21 Records of the District Courts of the United States.
- Seattle, rolls, 1-121
- Tacoma, rolls 121-153
|You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Washington, Western District, Naturalization Records, 1853-1957.|
What Can this Collection Tell Me?
Records may contain the any of 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
- Last foreign residence
- Current residence
- Arrival place
- Marital status
- Name of spouse
- Maiden name of wife
- Birth date of spouse
- Residence of spouse
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 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.
Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information in the list to what you already know about your ancestor to determine if it is the correct family or person. You may need to compare several persons in the list before you find your ancestor.
View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒ Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒ Select the "Record Type, Year Range, and Volume number or letter" which takes you to the images
Some of these volumes have indexes at the beginning or end. You should search these first. If your ancestor is in the index download a copy or write down the page numbers listed for your ancestor. You can then quickly turn to those pages.
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 naturalization records to:
- Learn foreign and “Americanized” names
- Search the naturalization records to identify relatives who may have naturalized in the same area or nearby. The witnesses may have been relatives.
- You may want to obtain the naturalization records of every person who shares your ancestor’s surname if they lived in the same county or nearby. You may not know how or if they are related, but the information could lead you to more information about your own ancestors.
- Find birth, christening, marriage or census records in your ancestor's country of origin that might help you find additional family members.
- Repeat this process with additional family members found to find more generations of the family.
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.
- 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.
- Look for the Declaration of Intent soon after the immigrant arrived, and then look for the Naturalization Petition five years later, when the residency requirement would have been met. Look for naturalization records in federal courts and 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.
- If your ancestor had a common name, be sure to look at all the entries for a name before you decide which is correct.
- Look for an index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
|Don't overlook FHL Keyword Washington, Naturalization and Citizenship items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see the wiki article Washington Archives and Libraries. For additional information about this state see the wiki article Washington.|
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.
- “Washington, Western District, Naturalization Records, 1853-1957.” Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing NARA microfilm publication M1542. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.
|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 Washington, Western District, Naturalization Records, 1853-1957.|
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.