California, Southern District Court (Central) Naturalization Index - FamilySearch Historical Records
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California, Southern District Court (Central) Naturalization Index, 1915-1976
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|Flag of the United States of America|
|US Flag 1912-1959 (48 stars)|
|National Archives and Records Administration Logo|
|Record Type||Naturalization Index|
|Record Group||RG 21: Records of the District Courts of the United States|
|Microfilm Publication||M1525. Naturalization Index Cards of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, Central Division, Los Angeles, 1915-1976. 114 rolls.|
|Arrangement||Alphabetical in two parts. Part A 1915-1930 and Part B 1930-1976.|
|National Archives Identifier||618115|
|National Archives and Records Administration|
- 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 is a card index to naturalization records in the circuit and district courts of California. The cards are arranged alphabetically by surname in two parts. Part A 1915 -1930 and Part B 1930 -1976. The actual naturalization volumes vary in size and format. Prior to the late 1800s each document was usually handwritten on one page. From the late 1800s and on, printed forms were used. After 1906, many entries were typewritten. For the petitions covered in this index see National Archives NAID 594890 Petitions for Naturalization, 1887-1991.
While there were various types of naturalization records, the Declaration of Intent and Naturalization Petition usually had the most complete genealogical information.
Naturalization is the process of granting citizenship privileges and responsibilities to foreign-born residents. California’s counties recorded naturalization procedures in the court records as legal proof of citizenship. The courts handling naturalizations changed several times so the card index was created as a way to quickly access specific records.
The index is very accurate and 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.
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).
Image Visibility[edit | edit source]
Whenever possible FamilySearch makes images and indexes available for all users. However, rights to view these data are limited by contract and subject to change. Because of this there may be limitations on where and how images and indexes are available or who can see them. Please be aware some collections consist only of partial information indexed from the records and do not contain any images. 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 California, Southern District Court (Central) Naturalization Index, 1915-1976.|
What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]
The index cards include the following:
Declaration of Intent and Naturalization Petitions usually included the following:
In post-1906 records, you may also find:
Collection Content[edit | edit source]
Sample Image[edit | edit source]
How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]
Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:
- The full name of your ancestor
- The approximate immigration and naturalization dates
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.
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 Description to view the images.
|More images are available in the FamilySearch Catalog at California, Southern District Court (Central) Naturalization Index, 1915-1976. 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]
Indexes and transcriptions may not include all the data found in the original records. Look at the actual image of the record, if you can, to verify the information and to find additional information.
I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]
- Add any new information to your records
- Use the record to learn the place of origin and find vital records such as birth, baptism, and marriage
- Use the information found in the record to find land and probate records
- Use the record to see if other family members who may have immigrated with the person
- Search for the family in census records
I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]
- If your ancestor does not have a common name, collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you find possible relatives
- If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby town or county
- Try different spellings of your ancestor’s name
- Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names.
- 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, 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
Research Helps[edit | edit source]
The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the state of California.
- Beginning Research in United States Naturalization Records
- California Guided Research
- Research Tips and Strategies
- Step-by-Step Research: 1850-1905 | 1905-Present
Related Family History Library Holdings[edit | edit source]
- Southern District. Central Division. General card index to naturalized citizens, 1915-1978. M1525
- Southern District. Declarations of intention, 1927-1948.
- Index cards to overseas military petitions of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, Central Division (Los Angeles), 1943-45, 1954, 1955-56: M1606
- Naturalization records of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, Central Division (Los Angeles), 1887-1940 ; index to naturalization records of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, Central Division, Los Angeles, 1887-1937 M1524 and M1607
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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.