The National Archives at New York City

Research in Naturalization Records

Order records online Now you can order copies of naturalization records online.

Holdings and Indexes

Please see a complete list of our naturalization holdings and indexes (with online indexes available as indicated). More...

Federal Courts (U.S. District and Circuit Courts) in New York, New Jersey, and Puerto Rico

Researcher note: The Federal District Courts are organized according to the United States Code, the codification by subject matter of the general and permanent laws of the United States. For your naturalization records research, it is important to determine which court covers the area where you believe an individual was living when he or she filed for naturalization. Please see our page listing the Federal courts in New York, New Jersey, and Puerto Rico and the areas they cover.

  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • U.S. Circuit Court for the Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey - Newark Office
  • U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey - Camden Office
  • U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey - Trenton Office
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico - San Juan Office

Complete or partial indexes are available for some of the courts.

Federal, State, and Local Courts in New York City, 1792 - 1906

We also have a reference collection of naturalization records filed in Federal, State, and local courts in New York City, 1792 - 1906. Please see the section below on Naturalizations in Local (Non-Federal) Courts for more information.

Clinton and Essex Counties, NY

We also have naturalization records filed in Clinton and Essex Counties, NY, up to 1906, and indexes to these records.

Obtaining Copies of Records

Fees

Onsite
The size, format, and condition of the naturalization records in our holdings varies. For the most part, researchers can make self-service copies of the records from the originals or the microfilm; however in some cases staff must make the copies. Our naturalization records are typically 2 - 4 pages.

  • Self-service, plain paper copies at our facility are $.25 each.
  • Copies from the microfilm are $.60 each.
  • Staff-made copies are $.80 each.

Certified copies onsite
Staff must also make the copies if you require a certified copy, and there is an additional charge of $15 per certification.

Please see the section below on Obtaining Copies at Our Facility for more information.

Mail order copies/certified copies
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Obtaining Copies at Our Facility

You can visit our facility Monday - Friday (except Federal holidays) to use our indexes, view original documents, and obtain copies. You can obtain on-site, self-service copies of paper records and self-service copies of microfilm records. We can make copies for you, and sometimes it will be necessary for us to do this depending on the age, format, and condition of the original documents. If you require certified copies, we must make the copies, and there is an additional $15 fee per record. Please see our web site for information on our location and hours.

Ordering Copies Through the Mail

You can also obtain copies of naturalization records from us through the mail. We must receive payment in advance, and you must provide the name of the court where the person was naturalized and the petition # (or volume/bundle and record/page number for pre-1906 records). If you do not have this information, you can write to us or send an e-mail and we can search on your behalf. Please see our section below on Beginning Research in Naturalization Records.

If you have the information indicated above, you can order records in two ways. You can send a check or money order for the appropriate amount -- $10.00 per record for mail order copies, with an additional charge of $15 if you require a certified copy (for a total cost of $25.00 for a certified copy) -- payable to the National Archives Trust Fund or just NATF to the following address:

National Archives at New York City
One Bowling Green, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10004

You don't need to put your letter to anyone's attention in particular. Your request will be assigned to a staff member, and we respond to all requests within 10 business days. Please be sure to include the name of the court and the petition # (or volume/bundle and record/page number for pre-1906 records).

You can also use the National Archives' Order Online! system. The cost is the same -- $10.00 per naturalization record, with an additional charge of $15 if you require a certified copy ($25.00 per certified copy). You will have to register and enter credit card information, and your card will be charged upon shipment. Please be sure to include the name of the court where the person was naturalized and petition # (or volume/bundle and record/page number for pre-1906 records). The web site is http://www.archives.gov/research/order/.

Beginning Research in Naturalization Records

You need to know as much as possible about where an individual was living when you think he or she may have naturalized, and you must contact the National Archives office that covers that area. See our web site for information on our facilities across the country.

Our office has naturalization records filed in various Federal, State, and local courts located in New York, New Jersey, and Puerto Rico. If you believe an individual was in these areas when he or she filed for naturalization, and you are unable to visit our facility, we can search our indexes on your behalf. Contact us by mail or e-mail and provide as much of the following information as you can:

  • Person's name (with alternate spellings)
  • Date and place of birth
  • Name of spouse & children (if any)
  • Approximate year of arrival
  • Place of residence when naturalized (city, county, etc.)
  • Approximate date of naturalization
  • If a minor child, the parents' names

The search is free, and we respond to all requests within 10 business days. If we identify records that you want, reproduction fees as described above will apply.

You can do some searching on your own. You can access free online indexes to some of our records, and indexes for records held by other area repositories, at the following web sites:

The web sites include information on ordering copies from us and from other repositories. They also contain databases for other types of genealogical records -- vital records, church records, and more -- for the New York City area.

You can access further indexes at the following web sites:

These web sites are fee-for-service, and you must visit their sites or contact them to determine costs. They are available for free public use at all National Archives research facilities and many public libraries. Please see the complete list of our naturalization holdings and indexes (with online indexes available as indicated) for information on what these online indexes cover.

Naturalizations in Local (Non-Federal) Courts

New York City, 1792 - 1906

The records
We have a collection of naturalization records filed in Federal, State, and local courts in New York City, 1792 - 1906. This includes original records from the Federal courts, and reference copies of naturalizations from the State and local courts that served New York City during this time period. Please note that these earlier naturalization records (those filed prior to October 1906) generally do not record the name of the petitioner's spouse, the names of the children, or the names of the petitioner's parents. Birth dates, arrival dates, and the names of birthplaces seldom appear on these earlier records, particularly those filed before 1893.

Indexes
A microfilm index, National Archives microfilm publication M1674, Soundex Index to Petitions for Naturalizations Filed in Federal, State, and Local Courts in New York City, 1792-1906, is available in our research room. You can also access online indexes to this collection through Fold3 (the index is called Naturalization Index - NYC Courts) or Ancestry (go to their Immigration Collection, and select the database New York Petitions for Naturalization).

After 1906 - All Areas

Under the naturalization act passed by Congress on March 26, 1790, and later laws, aliens could be naturalized in many different Federal courts and also in State and local courts. After 1906 we only have the records as indicated above for the Federal Courts, so you may wish to check with the local courts in the appropriate area. We suggest starting with the County Clerk's offices.

New York (Manhattan) and Kings (Brooklyn) Counties, NY

For example, a person residing in Brooklyn could have filed with the Kings County Court up to 1924. You can search an online index to their holdings (1907-1924 only), and obtain information on ordering copies of records, on the web sites of the Jewish Genealogical Society, the German Genealogy Group and the Italian Genealogical Group. Please note that you must contact the Kings County Clerk's Office for access to these records.

Persons residing in Manhattan could have filed with the New York County Supreme Court up to 1924. Ancestry has two indexes pertaining to naturalizations held by the New York County Clerk's Office: Index to Declarations of Intent for Naturalization: New York County, 1907-1924; and New York County Supreme Court Naturalization Petition Index, 1907-24. Please note that you must contact New York County's Old Records and Archival Material office for access to these records.

New Jersey

We have naturalization records filed in the Federal courts in New Jersey. Please see the complete list for more information. We can search these records for you, according to our procedures described above.

However, please note that in many cases, simply for reasons of travel limitations and convenience, persons residing in New Jersey would have been more likely to naturalize in a local rather than Federal court. We do not have access to any local (non-Federal) naturalizations for New Jersey here at the National Archives.

We suggest contacting the relevant county clerk's office as your first step. You may also wish to contact the New Jersey State Archives, which has taken custody of several county court naturalization series in addition to their collections of naturalizations filed at the New Jersey State courts. You can find a list of their naturalization records holdings through their online catalog, though we suggest contacting their reference services office directly for the most current information.

Naturalizations of Women

Before September 27, 1906, wives were rarely named on the naturalization papers of their husbands, although they received derivative citizenship through them. Adult women were seldom individually naturalized until the law of September 22, 1922, first required all women to file separately for naturalization.

Please also read this article from Prologue, the National Archives magazine, from summer 1998:
"Any woman who is now or may hereafter be married . . .": Women and Naturalization, ca. 1802-1940 - An examination of why women are not represented in early naturalization records.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

Genealogy Program/FOIA Request
The USCIS has duplicate records of all naturalizations that occurred after September 26, 1906. If you are unable to locate naturalization records through us or through other research, you may wish to contact their Genealogy Program. You can read more about this on their web site (go to Services and Benefits on their top menu, and then choose Genealogy).

You can also file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with USCIS. We believe you use the G-639, Freedom of Information Act/Privacy Act Request form for this. From their web site, go to Immigration Forms on their top menu, and then scroll down to G-639 to access the form and instructions. You must contact the USCIS directly with any questions or concerns about the FOIA process.

Naturalization Certificates
Only the USCIS has naturalization certificates, and only the USCIS can provide replacement certificates. We believe you use the N-565, Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document form for this. From their web site, go to Immigration Forms on their top menu, and then scroll down to N-565 to access the form and instructions. You must contact the USCIS directly with any questions or concerns about obtaining replacement certificates.

The web site for the USCIS is http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis.

State Department Services

Documentation of United States Citizens Born Abroad
According to the State Department, the birth of a child abroad to U.S. citizen parent(s) should be reported as soon as possible to the nearest American consular office for the purpose of establishing an official record of the child's claim to U.S. citizenship at birth. The State Department maintains these records; we do not have access to them at the National Archives. If you are seeking such a record, please see the State Department's page on Documentation of United States Citizens Born Abroad for information on obtaining copies of these documents.

However, we have encountered cases where this procedure was not followed. A person in this situation may then have had to go through immigration procedures similar to foreign-born immigrants. In other words, there may be a naturalization record. We encourage you to start with the State Department, but we will also be happy to search our files. Please note that you must follow our research processes as outlined in the above section on Beginning your Research.

You may also wish to contact the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The USCIS has a record of every naturalized citizen, and only the USCIS can make an official determination of a person's citizenship. Please see the above section on U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Records.

Apostille
The U.S. Department of State has the authorization to issue an apostille of a copy of a document certified by the National Archives and Records Administration, legalizing it for international use under the terms of the 1961 Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents. Documents which have been notarized by a notary public, and certain other documents, and then certified with a conformant apostille are accepted for legal use in all the nations that have signed the Hague Convention.

See our informational handout on the apostille process and how to obtain an apostille on a document from the National Archives at New York City.

Additional Resources

See also:

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