Arizona Naturalization and Citizenship
Naturalization is the process of granting citizenship privileges and responsibilities to foreign-born residents. Naturalization papers are an important source of information about an immigrant's place of origin, foreign and Americanized names, residence, and date of arrival.
Immigrants to the United States have never been required to apply for citizenship. Of those who applied, many did not complete the requirements for citizenship. Evidence that an immigrant completed citizenship requirements can be found in censuses, court minutes, homestead records, passports, voting registers, and military papers.
Persons living in the territory in 1848 and those residing in the area of the Gadsden Purchase were automatically granted U.S. citizenship.
Naturalization records for later immigrants were filed in the district courts. They were recorded in the U.S. district court from September 1906 until 1912 when Arizona became a state. Since then, naturalization records have been filed in the superior courts, except for Maricopa County in which the U.S. district court has had jurisdiction since 1919.
Declarations, petitions, certificates, and other early records from about 1864 to 1912 are located at the National Archives—Pacific Region (Laguna Nuguel) and the Department of Libraries, Archives and Public Records. The Family History Library has copies of many of these Arizona naturalization records on microfilm for 1864-1955.
In 1906 the Immigration and Naturalization Service (now United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) was created, forms were standardized and duplicate records were created by the courts and sent to the INS. The USCIS has created a Genealogy Program, affective 13 Aug 2008, to access these post-1906 records. You may also contact the National Archives—Pacific Region (Laguna Niguel), or the U.S. district court.
The Family History Library has records of Arizona Superior Court and the U.S. District Court Arizona Territory and Arizona See Arizona-Naturalization in the Family History Library Catalog.
- Family History Library
- National Archives—Pacific Region (Laguna Nuguel)
- United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
- United States District Courts
Arizona Research Outline. Salt Lake City, Utah: Intellectual Reserve Inc., Family History Department, 1998, 2001.
- NOTE: All of the information from the original research outline has been imported into this Wiki site and is being updated as time permits.