New Hampshire Naturalization and Citizenship
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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.
Even if an immigrant ancestor did not become a citizen, he or she may have filed a declaration, or first papers. These declaration records still exist and contain some genealogical information.
In the late 1930s, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) copied and indexed New England naturalization petitions for 1791 to 1906. The copies and index are at the National Archives Northeast Region (Boston). (They did not index the declarations of intention, according to an article in the 2004 Prologue magazine, volume 36, number 3, by Walter V. Hickey of the National Archives Northeast Region.)
- United States, Immigration and Naturalization Service. Index to New England Naturalization Petitions, 1791-1906. Washington, D.C.: The National Archives, 1983.
The index gives the name and location of the court, the date of naturalization, and the volume and page number (or certificate number) of the naturalization record. Some of the records are more recent than 1906.
This index is online at FamilySearch Historical Records. (Learn more.)
- Microfilm copies of this index are at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., and at the Family History Library on FHL films 1429671-787..
Some early New Hampshire naturalization records as well as civil court cases can be found in the Colonial Court Records, 1638–1772. (See the section on New Hampshire Court Records.) This includes an alphabetical card index.
Other New Hampshire naturalization records can be found in the Locality Search of the FamilySearch Catalog under:
NEW HAMPSHIRE- NATURALIZATION AND CITIZENSHIP
NEW HAMPSHIRE, [COUNTY]- NATURALIZATION AND CITIZENSHIP
Post 1906 Records
For naturalization records after September 1906, use the Genealogy Program at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (formerly INS), or the National Archives Northeast Region (Boston).