Maryland Naturalization and Citizenship
Few naturalizations were required in the colonial period since most immigrants came from the British Isles. The legislature and the Governor and Council naturalized some foreigners, but most persons were naturalized in the later colonial period under a 1740 Act of Parliament.
The Maryland State Archives has several indexes to colonial naturalizations found in Provincial and General Court, General Assembly, and Governor and Council records of 1634 to 1776. Naturalizations of colonial German immigrants, including lists previously published in the Archives of Maryland (see the "Public Records" section of this outline), are in:
Wyand, Jeffrey A., and Florence L. Wyand, Colonial Maryland Naturalizations. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1975. (FHL book 975.2 W5w.) This source may include religion, birth date and place, death date and place, or residence.
After 1790 under federal naturalization law, aliens could declare intention to become citizens and later be naturalized in any federal, county, or city court. The Family History Library does not have copies of these court records.
The Maryland State Archives has most county naturalization records, indexes to many county records from 1778 to 1906, and indexes to Baltimore city and county naturalizations from 1793 to 1933. The archives also has a card index to naturalizations in the U.S. circuit and district courts from 1797 to 1951.
You can find abstracts of naturalization records in:
Oszakiewski, Robert Andrew, comp. Maryland Naturalization Abstracts. Two Volumes. Westminster, Maryland: Family Line Publications, 1995, 1996. (FHL book 975.2 P48o.) Volume one is County and Baltimore City, Maryland 1784-1851; the U.S. Circuit Court for Maryland, 1790-1851. Volume two is The County Court of Maryland, 1779-1851; the U.S. Circuit Court for Maryland, 1790-1851. These two volumes list name, place of origin, sources, naturalization date, and age.
The National Archives—Mid-Atlantic Region has:
- Declarations of intention, 1911 to 1957, and petitions for naturalization, 1903 to 1955, from the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.
- Declarations of intention, 1906 to 1911, for the U.S. Circuit Court for the District of Maryland.
- Indexes to naturalization petitions to the U.S. Circuit and District Courts for the District of Maryland, 1797 to 1951. These are also on film at the Family History Library (FHL films beginning with 1380472).
- Circuit court declarations of aliens and registry of aliens, 1816 to 1828.
The Family History Library also has microfilms of:
- U.S. District Court intentions and petitions, 1792 to 1931 (on 67 FHL films beginning with 1738367).
- U.S. Circuit Court intentions, 1906 to 1911 (FHL film 1738366).
- U.S. Circuit Court petitions, 1790 to 1911 (FHL films 940136-142).
Additional naturalization records are at the National Archives—General Branch (see the "Court Records" section of this outline).
For naturalization records after September 1906, you can also contact the local office of the Immigration and Naturalization Service.