[APG Public List] Naturalization papers

Gladys Paulin gpaulin at sprintmail.com
Wed Jul 28 13:46:48 MDT 2010

Naturalization papers generally consist of: 

Declaration of Intent (first papers) 

Petition for Naturalization (or Citizenship): second and sometimes final

The oath of allegiance may be a separate document although after September
1906 I was on the back of the Petition. 

Required papers and content are dependent on the date and location of the

Prior to September 1906, once could be naturalized in any court of original
jurisdiction and there was no standard format beyond the requirements for a
declaration and a petition. Therefore, the amount of information varied
greatly from court to court. 

The federal law of June 1906 (effective late in September of the same year)
restated and updated all prior laws and standardized the forms and fees for
all courts. These standardized forms were changed from time to time and much
of the information on the Declaration was repeated on the petition but the
petition includes much family information, concerning spouse and children
not always included on the Declaration. 

Note: Special requirements and exemptions were enacted for aliens who served
in the Union Army or U.S. military during every military action beginning
with the Civil War. Frequently these exemptions had to do with residency and
Declaration requirement. There were other special considerations at
different times for arrived as minors, married women, and reinstatements of
citizenship. Information can be found in several publications including
_American Naturalization Records 1780-1990_ by John Newman; and _They Became
Americans, Finding Naturalization Records and Ethnic origins_ by Loretto
Dennis Szucs. 

I think $16 for one Declaration is a bit high. Some courts charge nothing
for copies, many files have been microfilmed and are available through the
National Archives (www.archives.gov/genealogy/naturalization) and LDS; some
are on various Web sites such as Ancestry and Footnote. 

Hope this helps. 


Gladys Friedman Paulin, CG 

Winter Springs, FL 


CG, Certified Genealogist, is a service mark of the Board for Certification
of Genealogists and is used under license by Board-certified persons who
meet program standards and periodic rigorous evaluations. 

Member, Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) 


Date: Wed, 28 Jul 2010 10:29:35 -0500 

From: "Leslie Drewitz" <ldrewitz at mybpl.org> 

Subject: [APG Public List] "First Papers" 

To: apgpubliclist at apgen.org 

Message-ID: <WC20100728152935.613E02 at mybpl.org> 

Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" 

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

The person that she contracted with just sent her a copy of the 

declaration and charged her $16. 

More information about the APGPublicList mailing list