26 Apr 2013

Finding Alien and Naturalization Records Using USCIS

Recently I was helping a client try to prove that his immigrant ancestor had not been naturalized and this resource was very helpful:

The USCIS (US Customs and Immigration Service) maintains historical records documenting the arrival and naturalization of millions of immigrants who arrived in the United States since the late 1800s or/and naturalized between 1906 and 1956.

The USCIS Genealogy Program is a fee-for-service program that provides researchers with timely access to historical immigration and naturalization records of deceased immigrants.


2 Aug 2010

Cook County Illinois Naturalization Index Online

I don’t know how I missed this before, but there’s a Cook County Illinois Naturalization Index online. The Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County Archives is producing an online index to 500,000 naturalization petitions covering the years 1871 to 1929, presumably for the Midwest.

When I visited the Clerk of the Circuit Court office in person in the summer of 2008, I was told that the Declarations of Intention (aka, “first papers,” the initial step in the process and usually the one with the most information) had been destroyed years ago and all that was left were the final petitions. The final petitions for my ancestors merely stated the country of origin and not the town or province.

So this is great news. Of the 500,000 records currently being indexed, more than 400,000 of these records are Declarations of Intention from 1906-1929. Wow!

The project started in 2006 using grant funds […]