Naturalization Records

Naturalization records in Oregon are found in the court records of the county where the documents were filed. These records are either found at the Oregon State Archives or with the County Clerk or Trial Court Administrator for that county. Naturalization information may also be found in County Court Journals, County Court Case Files, Circuit Court Journals, Circuit Court Case Files, Probate Records and the Miscellaneous Records. However, extensive research may be necessary in order to locate naturalization records interfiled within these record series.

Following is information regarding common series of naturalization records, a list of naturalization records in the Oregon State Archives, information regarding naturalization records maintained by the federal courts and Immigration and Naturalization Service, and useful resources for naturalization research.

Most of the hyperlinks in the naturalization records list are included in the searchable Oregon Historical Records Index on this site.

Common types of naturalization records
Naturalization records list
Federal records
Published resources


Common Types of Naturalization Records

Certificate of Arrival: No alien who arrived in the United States after 29 June 1906, could make a valid Declaration of Intention until it was established that his entry was lawful and that he was admitted for permanent residence. If the alien established that his entry was lawful, then a Certificate of Arrival was issued. This Certificate showed the date, place and manner of the aliens' arrival. Any alien that established that he entered the United States on or before 29 June 1906, could file a Declaration of Intention without the issuance of a Certificate of Arrival. In Oregon, this certificate is part of the Declaration of Intention.

Declaration of Intention: Any person 18 years of age or over who was lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence could file a Declaration of Intention in the office of any clerk of court having charge of naturalization. No period of residence in the United States was required before filing a Declaration of Intention. This form was initially issued by the United States Department of Commerce; and after 1926, it was issued by the United States Department of Labor. Its form number was #2202. The form was also used for and titled Certificate of Arrival. It carries the following information: name, age, occupation, color, complexion, height, weight, color of hair, color of eyes, distinctive marks, place and date of birth, current residence, port of departure and vessel, last foreign residence, port and date of arrival in the United States, date of declaration.

Petition for Naturalization (Petition for Citizenship): When the Declaration of Intention was at least two years old and not more than seven years old, and the applicant had lived in the United States, its Territory, or the District of Columbia for five years continuously, with the previous six months in a particular state, then the alien could file a Petition for Naturalization.

A hearing was then held to determine if all documents were in order, and if educational and other requirements had been met. Two witnesses were required to support the petition. The witnesses had to be United States citizens over 21 years of age. They had to testify as to the applicant's good moral character for the past sixth month period. In addition, witnesses were required to support the fact that the applicant had been a United States resident for the preceding five years.

Before 1938, this form was titled "Petition for Citizenship." After 1938, this form was entitled "Petition for Naturalization." The documents usually contain the following information: name, residence, occupation, date & place of birth, date and port of departure, name of transport, date and port of arrival, date and place of declaration of intent, affidavits of witnesses. After about 1915, this record also included name, date & place of birth, and residence of wife and minor children.

Oath of Allegiance: If the Court was satisfied that all requirements of the law had been satisfied, then the alien could take the Oath of Allegiance. This required the applicant to swear to defend the United States and be loyal. The alien had to give up all allegiance to his former country and to also give up any titles of nobility.

Record of Naturalization (Certificate of Citizenship): This record was created during the years ca. 1867-1941. It contained the following information: name, date, term of court, name of naturalized aliens, and their former nationality.

Certificate of Naturalization (Stubs): This type of record appears to have been created during the period ca. 1907-1929. The series contained the following information: name, age, record of declaration of intent, record of petition, name of wife and minor children.

Petition and Record (of Citizenship or Naturalization): This series title contains a combination of the Petition for Naturalization (Form 2204), the Declaration of Intention (Form 2203), and usually a copy of the Certificate of Arrival.


Naturalization Records List

If listings for a particular county of interest are absent, please refer to the Oregon Historical County Records Guide inventories of naturalization declarations, petitions, and certificates held by counties and other repositories.

Benton County
Citizen Certificates, 1903-1906
Naturalization Declarations of Intention, 1889-1928
Naturalization Petitions & Records, 1908-1929

Clackamas County
Naturalization Certificates, 1891-1926
Naturalization Citizenship Application Record, 1905-1906
Naturalization Declarations of Intention, 1850-1931
Naturalization Petitions, 1905-1929

Curry County
Naturalization Certificates, 1903-1928
Naturalization Declarations of Intention, 1904-1929
Naturalization Petitions and Records, 1896-1929

Hood River County
Naturalizations, 1880-1940

Jackson County
Naturalization Declarations of Intention, 1854-1975
Naturalization Deposition Notices, 1946-1972
Naturalization Index, 1886-1981
Naturalization Petition Court Orders, 1942-1982
Naturalization Petitions and Records, 1906-1981
Naturalization Records, 1903-1906
Naturalization Transferred Petitions, 1958-1971

Josephine County
Naturalizations, 1854-1970
Naturalization Certificates, 1907-1936
Naturalization Declarations of Intention, 1855-1966
Naturalization Index, 1860-1970
Naturalization Orders, 1942-1970
Naturalization Petitions, 1903-1969

Linn County
Naturalizations, 1850-1956
Naturalization Certificates, 1891-1956
Naturalization Correspondence, 1917-1939
Naturalization Declarations of Intention, 1855-1952
Naturalization Deposition Notices, 1930-1942
Naturalization List, 1854-1929
Naturalization Petitions, 1906-1956
Naturalization Records, 1923
Women's Naturalization Applications, 1941-1953

Marion County
Naturalization Declarations of Intention, 1849-1972
Naturalization Petitions and Records, 1851-1975
Naturalization Repatriation Records, 1937-1956

Polk County
Naturalization Certification Records, 1903-1925
Naturalization Certification Records Index, 1872-1906
Naturalization Declarations of Intention, 1889-1939
Naturalization Petitions and Records, 1906-1928

Tillamook County
Naturalization Certificates, 1907-1927
Naturalization Declarations of Intention, 1890-1954
Naturalization Declarations of Intention Docket, 1888-1892
Naturalization Index Cards, ca. 1871-1954
Naturalization Notices to Take Depositions, 1935-1940
Naturalization Petitions, 1923-1954
Naturalization Petitions Granted, 1930-1954

Umatilla County
Naturalization Declarations of Intention, 1906-1914

Wasco County
|Naturalizations, 1851-1962
Naturalization Certificate Stubs, 1885-1926
Naturalzation Certification Records, 1894-1903
Naturalization Declarations of Intention, 1856-1958
Naturalization Docket, 1916-1930
Naturalization Index, 1854-1939
Naturalization Oaths of Allegiance, 1863-1865
Naturalization Petitions and Records, 1906-1962
Naturalization Register, 1906-1910

Yamhill County
Naturalizations, 1849-1959
Naturalization Certificate Cards, 1853-1959
Naturalization Certificates, 1907-1927
Naturalization Declarations of Intention, 1853-1956
Naturalization Index, 1853-1951
Naturalization Petitions, 1903-1959


Federal Records

The National Archives-Pacific Alaska Region, 6125 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115, tel. 206-526-6507, holds the following naturalization records:

U.S. Circuit Court for the District of Oregon
Court Journals of proceedings, 1859-1877
Declarations of intention, 1859-1906
Indexes to declarations and petitions, 1906-1956
Journals of admission to citizenship, 1877-1906
Petitions, 1904-1970
Unindexed petitions based on military service, 1868-1879

U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon
Court Journals of proceedings, 1863-1877
Declarations of intention, 1897-1911
Indexes to declarations and petitions, 1906-1911
Journals of admission to citizenship, 1877-1906
Petitions, 1904-1911

The indexes to naturalization records for both of these Oregon courts are on microfilm and available in the Oregon State Archives Reference Room. Refer to Oregon Federal Court Naturalization Records General Indexes (National Archives film M1242).

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has duplicate naturalization records for all U.S. naturalizations dated after September 26, 1906, and an index to those records.

Requests to USCIS for records of naturalizations dated September 27, 1906 to March 31, 1956 must be sent to the fee-for-service Genealogy Program (www.uscis.gov/genealogy).

Requests to USCIS for records of naturalizations dated on or after April 1, 1956 must be sent to the Freedom of Information/Privacy Act (FOIA/PA) Program (www.uscis.gov/foia).


Published Resources

American Passenger Arrival Records, by Michael Tepper, published by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1988

Guide to Genealogical Research in the National Archives, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., 1985

How to Find Oregon Naturalization Records, by Connie Lenzen, 1991

The Archives: A Guide to the National Archives Field Branches, by Loretto Dennis Szucs & Sandra Hargreaves Luebking, published by Ancestry Publishing Company, 1988

The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy by Arlene Eakle & Johni Cerny, published by Ancestry Publishing Company, 1984

State Archives • 800 Summer St. NE • Salem, OR 97310

Phone: 503-373-0701 • Fax: 503-378-4118 • reference.archives@state.or.us