Michigan, Eastern District, 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: Michigan, Eastern District, Naturalization Index, 1907-1995 .
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What is in the Collection?

This collection contains images of soundex cards to naturalization petitions. A guide to using a soundex appears at the beginning of most of the image ranges within this collection. Corresponds with NARA publication M1917: Index Cards to Naturalization Petitions for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division, Detroit, 1907-1995. Images 5-19 contains instructions for using the soundex. For additional information on soundex indexes see the wiki article Soundex.

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Michigan, Eastern District, Naturalization Index, 1907-1995.

Collection Contents

The records usually include the following information:

  • Full name of citizen
  • Date naturalized
  • Name of court
  • Certificate number

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • Name
  • Other identifying information such as the approximate date of naturalization or probable place of naturalization

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 "Soundex 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. 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.

What Do I Do Next?

Remember this is only an index. Be aware that the indexes 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

  • Images 5-19 contains instructions for using the soundex. For additional information on soundex indexes see the wiki article Soundex.
  • 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.

I Can't Find Who I'm Looking For, Now What?

  • 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

National Archives and Records Administration - Naturalization Records

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:

"Michigan, Eastern District, Naturalization Index, 1907-1995." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing NARA microfilm publication M1917. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.

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 Michigan, Eastern District, Naturalization Index, 1907-1995.