Delaware, County Naturalization Records - FamilySearch Historical Records
|Access the Records|
Delaware, County Naturalization Records, 1796-1958
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|Flag of Delaware|
|Location of Delaware|
|Record Type||Naturalization Records|
|Delaware Bureau of Archives and Records Management, Dover|
- 1 What is in This Collection?
- 2 What Can These Records Tell Me?
- 3 Collection Content
- 4 How Do I Search This Collection?
- 5 What Do I Do Next?
- 6 Citing This Collection
What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]
This collection contains naturalization records from county courthouses in Delaware. The record content and time period vary by county.
Image Visibility[edit | edit source]
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For additional information about image restrictions see Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections.
To Browse This Collection[edit | edit source]
|You can browse through images in this collection using the waypoints on the Collection Browse Page for Delaware, County Naturalization Records, 1796-1958.|
What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]
The following information may be found in these records:
Declaration of Intent
Collection Content[edit | edit source]
Sample Image[edit | edit source]
Naturalization is the process of granting citizenship privileges and responsibilities to foreign-born residents. The first naturalization act was passed in 1802. Immigrants to the United States were not required to apply for citizenship. Of those who did apply, many did not complete the requirements for citizenship.
Naturalization to become a U.S. citizen was a two-part process: the Declaration of Intent to Naturalize, or First Papers, and the Naturalization Record (including the Naturalization Petition), or Final Papers. The First Papers were normally filed five years before the Final Papers because of the five-year residency requirement to become a citizen.
No centralized files existed before 1906. In 1906 federal forms replaced the various formats that had been used by the various courts. Copies were sent to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), creating a central file for naturalization papers. The INS is now known as the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Naturalization records are generally well preserved, but some records may have been lost to fire or other disasters.
The information that was current at the time of naturalization was usually reliable. However, there was always a chance for misinformation. Errors may have occurred because of the informant’s lack of knowledge or because of transcription errors or other circumstances.
How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]
Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:
- The name of the individual
- The approximate date of naturalization
If you do not know this information, check the 1900 census and then calculate the possible year of naturalization based on the date of immigration. The 1920 census may tell you the exact year of immigration or naturalization. If your ancestor naturalized befor 1900, check the census records to see when he or she first appeared in the census. This will give you a 10 year window in which they may have immigrated.
Search the Index[edit | edit source]Search by name on the Collection Details Page.
- Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
- Click Search to show possible matches
View the Images[edit | edit source]
View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
- Select the County
- Select the Record Type, Year Range, and Volume to view the images.
|More images are available in the FamilySearch Catalog at Delaware, County Naturalization Records, 1796-1958. Some catalog records link to multiple references. In this case, click on a reference to find a camera icon to see images.|
How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]
Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.
What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]
When you have located your ancestor’s naturalization record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors.
I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]
- Add any new information to your records
You can use naturalization records to:
- Learn an immigrant’s place of origin
- Confirm their date of arrival
- Find records in his or her country of origin such as emigrations, port records, or ship’s manifests
- Look for the Declaration of Intent soon after the immigrant arrived, 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
I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]
- Check for variant spellings. Realize that the indexes may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings and misinterpretations
- Look for an index. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records
- Search the naturalization records year by year
- Search the naturalization indexes of nearby counties
Research Helps[edit | edit source]
The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the state of Delaware.
- Beginning Research in United States Naturalization Records
- Delaware Guided Research
- Research Tips and Strategies
- Step-by-Step Research
Related Family History Library Holdings[edit | edit source]
Related FamilySearch historical Record Collections[edit | edit source]
Related Digital Books[edit | edit source]
Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]
Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.