Texas, Naturalization Records - FamilySearch Historical Records

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Texas Naturalization Records, 1906-1989
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Texas, 
United States
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Record Description
Record Type Naturalization
Record Group RG 21: Records of District Courts of the United States
Collection years 1906-1989
National Archives Identifier 45097805661974424085 350
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
National Archives and Records Administration


What Is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]

The collections consists of naturalization records for Dallas and San Antonio from the National Archives - Southwest Region. The collections are from Record Group 21 Records of District Courts of the United States.

U.S. District Court for the Dallas Division of the Northern District:

  • Index to petitions, 1908-1989, NAID 4509780
  • Declarations of intention from 1906 -1922, NAID 566197

U.S. District Court for the San Antonio Division of the Western District:

  • Index to petitions covers 1933-1985 NAID 4424085

Naturalization is the process of granting citizenship privileges and responsibilities to foreign-born residents. Counties recorded naturalization procedures in the court records as legal proof of citizenship. 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 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.


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, please see the Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections page.


To Browse This Collection[edit | edit source]

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Texas, Naturalization Records, 1906-1989.

What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

The following information may be found in these records:

Indexes

  • Name
  • Date
  • Volume
  • Document or page number

Declaration of Intent and Naturalization Petitions

  • Name of the immigrant
  • Date and place of birth
  • Port of departure
  • Name of ship
  • Port of entry and arrival date
  • Date of Declaration of Intent or Naturalization
  • Personal description of immigrant
  • Age, occupation and marital status of immigrant
  • Name of spouse
  • Last foreign residence
  • Current residence
  • Names of witnesses
  • Signature of judge or court official

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

Sample Images[edit | edit source]

How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • The full name of your ancestor
  • The residence
  • Immigration and naturalization dates

If you do not know this information, check the 1900 or 1910 census and 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 by visiting the Collection Details Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

View the Images[edit | edit source]

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:

  1. Select Record Type, Volume, and Year Range to view the 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]

  • Make sure to fully transcribe and cite the record entry for future reference; see the section Citing this Collection for assistance. Save or print a copy of the image
  • Use the information found in the record to find other records such as emigrations, port records, and ship’s manifests
  • Use the record to learn your ancestor’s foreign and “Americanized” names, if they were different
  • Use the record to learn the place of origin and find their church and vital records such as birth, baptism, and marriage records
  • 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 you are looking for are listed and have additional information or leads; you may also find additional information on new family members in censuses
  • Repeat this process with additional family members found, to find more generations of the family

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. Try searching for these names as well
  • 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
  • Check other possible ports of entry
  • Check the info box above for additional FamilySearch websites and related websites that may assist you in finding similar records

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the state of Texas.

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.

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?[edit | edit source]

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Historical Records.

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