Wisconsin, Milwaukee Naturalization Index (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.
Access the records: Wisconsin, Milwaukee Naturalization Index, 1848-1990 .
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What is in the Collection?

Index to petitions filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in Milwaukee from 1848-1990. The corresponds with NARA publication NAID 6948573 and is part of Record Group 21 Records of District Courts of the United States.

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Wisconsin, Milwaukee Naturalization Index, 1848-1990.

Collection Content

The index cards include the following information:

  • Certificate number
  • Full name of citizen
  • Residence
  • Birth date
  • Admission date
  • Certificate date
  • Name of court
  • Place of court
  • Petition number
  • Alien registration number
  • Signature of immigrant

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know the name and some other identifying information such as the approximate date of naturalization or probable place of naturalization.

Search the Collection

To search the collection by name:
Fill in the requested information on the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about those in the list to what you already know about your own ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.

To browse by image:
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select the appropriate "Name Range" which takes you to the images.

Look at each image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.

With either search keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.

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

What do I do Next?

Remember this collection is an index. Be aware that its may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings and misinterpretations.

Use the information in this index to located your ancestor's actual naturalization records. You can then use those naturalization records to:

  • Learn an immigrant’s place of origin
  • Confirm their date of arrival
  • Learn foreign and “Americanized” names
  • Find records in his or her country of origin such as emigrations, port records, or ship’s manifests

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Immigrants could naturalize in any court that performed naturalizations. That included city, county, state and federal courts. Begin by looking for naturalization records in the courts of the county or city where the immigrant lived.
  • Look first for the petition (second papers), because they are usually easier to find in courts near where the immigant eventually settled.
  • After 1906, the declaration can be filed with the petition as the immigrant was required to submit a copy when he submitted the petition.
  • Because immigrants were allowed to naturalize in any court, they often selected the most convenient court. If they worked somewhere other than their residence, they may have gone to a court closer to work to naturalize.
  • 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.
  • Continue to search the naturalization records to identify siblings, parents, and other relatives in the same or other generations who may have naturalized in the same area or nearby.
  • The witnesses named on naturalization records may have been older relatives of the person in the naturalization process. Search for their naturalizations.
  • 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.

What if I Can't Find Who I'm Looking For?

  • Check for variant spellings of the names and for nicknames.
  • Try a different index if there is one for the years needed. You may also need to search the naturalization records year by year.
  • Search the indexes of nearby localities.

Related Websites

Related Wiki Articles

How You Can Contribute

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.


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:

"Wisconsin, Milwaukee Naturalization Index, 1848-1990." Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, Milwaukee 6/30/1870, NAID 6948573. Records of District Court of the United States, 1685 - 2009, RG 21. National Archives at Chicago, Illinois.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for Wisconsin, Milwaukee Naturalization Index, 1848-1990.

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 Wisconsin, Milwaukee Naturalization Index, 1848-1990.