Alabama Naturalization and Citizenship
Various types of records were created during the naturalization process, including declarations of intention, petitions, and oaths of allegiance. Each record in the process can give different details about the person, such as age, country of birth, ethnic background, date and port of arrival, the name of the ship, previous residences, or current address.
Records for earlier years usually contain less information than those after 1906. Details such as birth date and place, physical description, and marital status may be given in later records. See United States Naturalization and Citizenship for a more complete discussion of the naturalization process and the records created during the process.
Naturalization records have been filed in city, county, state, and U.S. district courts. Few of these courts kept separate registers of naturalization. Entries of naturalization, like other court actions, are scattered throughout the various court minute books, especially in the records of the county circuit courts.
Many naturalizations were handled by the federal courts, especially the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama. Their records are at the National Archives—Southeast Region. Some records, such as those for the U.S. court at Mobile, begin as early as 1820. An index of about 7,000 names is in:
King, Clinton P. Naturalization Records: Mobile, Alabama, 1833–1906. Baltimore, Maryland: Gateway Press, 1986. (FHL book 976.122/M1 P4k; film 1940594.)
The Family History Library has district court records from 1855 to 1960 for Alabama. Contact the clerk of the court for the county of interest to find naturalization records in the county courts. For naturalization records at the Family History Library, use the
Place Search in the Family History Library Catalog under:
ALABAMA- NATURALIZATION AND CITIZENSHIP
ALABAMA, [COUNTY]- COURT RECORDS
ALABAMA, [COUNTY]- NATURALIZATION AND CITIZENSHIP
In 1906 the Immigration and Naturalization Service (now United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) was created, forms were standardized and duplicate records created by the court were sent to the INS. To access these records, download a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) form from www.uscis.gov, fill it in and send it to the address listed on the form. You may also contact the National Archives—Southeast Region branch, at East Point, Georgia for naturalization records.
Alabama Research Outline. Salt Lake City, Utah: Intellectual Reserve, Inc., Family History Department, 1988, 2001.