Locating the U.S.A. naturalization records for one????????s immigrant ancestor can be a challenge at times. For many years the immigrant could become a citizen by filing a Declaration of Intention, waiting the appropriate number of years (typically from three to seven), and then filing the Final Papers. This didn????????t have to be done in the same court, or even the same state for that matter. If your ancestor moved, there????????s a good chance you????????ll find his papers in more than one courthouse ???????? and it could be most any kind of court.
The documents that you might find include the Declaration of Intention (or First Papers); a Naturalization Declaration; a Petition for Naturalization; a Certificate of Naturalization and Oath of Allegiance, as well as Court Minutes, and Dockets.
The easiest and possibly the best place to search for naturalization papers is at Ancestry.com. During the week of August 29 through September 5, 2011, all visitors to Ancestry.com will be able to search for free the indices and images of new and updated U.S. immigration records as well as selected international immigration records from the United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Australia, Canada, Germany, Sweden and Mexico. Millions of Americans can trace their family history to other countries, and these collections provide valuable information about the travels and journeys that brought them to America or other countries around the world. These immigration records include not only naturalization records, but millions of ship passenger records as well.
The best guide to naturalization records is Christina K. Schaefer????????s Guide to Naturalization Records of the United States. It is a 439-page volume, laid out state-by-state, and is invaluable for locating where records are to be found, as well as detailing the naturalization process and the records.