[APG Public List] "First Papers"

Michael John Neill mjnrootdig at gmail.com
Wed Jul 28 10:39:52 MDT 2010

First papers are generally considered to be the declaration of intent, the
"first paper" filed in the process of naturalization. The content of these
papers varies, some provide immigration detail and some do not. They usually
should indicate to whom the declarant originally owes allegiance to. The
content sometimes depends upon time period and location. The "oath" is the
final paper and is usually separate from the first papers. In some places
the final oaths are recorded separately and are usually referred to as the
"final" papers. In some locations and some courts they are filed as "one
record." In others they are separate. In others, the first papers were not

And for how much of these are online, I'm staying off that soapbox.
Ancestry.com has some indexes based from NARA microfilm. Footnote has
similar. Without knowing the time period and location, I can't say
specifically whether Ancestry.com has them or not online, but I have my

Michael John Neill
Casefile Clues

On Wed, Jul 28, 2010 at 10:29 AM, Leslie Drewitz <ldrewitz at mybpl.org> wrote:

> Naturalization records have never been my strong suit, but one of my
> students was having a problem with getting the full file of naturalization
> records from someone that she had contracted with on Genlighten.  It was
> my impression that the term "First Papers" would net you everything in the
> file from the declaration up to the oath - but this is not what she's
> getting.
> The person that she contracted with just sent her a copy of the
> declaration and charged her $16.  here is what my student said:
> "..This  lady is telling me that the declaration is the first papers and
> that is what I got. To tell you the truth it was not worth $16 I paid for
> them. Is that not true.
> http://www.genealogybranches.com/naturalization.html  - this is the link
> that I got. She told me to go look on ancestry to find the petition papers
> or final oath then she could find them. Am I still not understanding?..."
> Could someone clearly define the term "First Papers"?
> Thank You
> Leslie Drewitz PLCGS
> Certified Genealogical Librarian
> Local History/Genealogy
> Bloomingdale Public Library
> 101 Fairfield Way
> Bloomingdale, Illinois 60108
> (630) 924-2765
> LDrewitz at mybpl.org

Michael John Neill
Casefile Clues-Genealogy How-Tos
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <../attachments/20100728/dd45723c/attachment.htm>

More information about the APGPublicList mailing list