8 Replies Latest reply on Sep 15, 2020 12:25 PM by Cara Jensen

    Seeking naturalization papers for grandfather

    denisecm Newbie

      I have located a "petition for citizenship" for my grandfather.  It was filed in the Court of Common Pleas, New Castle, PA. I'm doing this for genealogy research and may need to have certified copies. She cannot give me certified copies because she says the original is not there; it's only on microfiche.

      It references a declaration of intention made to that court 12/17/1930. It is witnessed by two individuals, who vouch for his character; that is dated 8/15/1935. On the back it says "Petition granted" and is signed 11/23/1936.  It has a 7-digit certificate number. Is this the final citizenship paper?

        • Re: Seeking naturalization papers for grandfather
          Susannah Brooks Tracker

          The certificate of naturalization, referenced on the petition with the 7 digit number,  would have been given to your grandfather.  CIS probably has a copy of it, since the documentation or copies of the petition had to go to INS (now CIS).  The Court of Common Pleas in New Castle may have the original or might be able to certify the copy you have, since they created the original record.

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          • Re: Seeking naturalization papers for grandfather
            Amy Woytovich Newbie

            Good morning Denise,


            You may want to check with the Pennsylvania State Archives. They have some immigration and naturalizations records in the County Government Records group. https://www.phmc.pa.gov/Archives/Research-Online/Pages/Naturalization-Immigration.aspx . Their contact information is at: https://www.phmc.pa.gov/Archives/Pages/default.aspx . At the moment, the Archives is physically closed due to Covid-19 but you may be able to contact them by email.



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              • Re: Seeking naturalization papers for grandfather
                denisecm Newbie

                Thanks, Amy.  I checked out the PA State Archives and it led me back to Lawrence County, PA, where the document was filed in the Court of Common Pleas.  I don't know what else to do since the clerk said they don't have originals, only microfiche copies.  I will try the "triple seal" approach and see if that will suffice.  I am also waiting to hear what USCIS has. 

              • Re: Seeking naturalization papers for grandfather
                Cara Jensen Tracker

                Dear Ms. Musser,


                Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


                As you have previously noted, in most cases, the National Archives will not have a copy of the certificate of citizenship. Two copies of the certificate were created – one given to the petitioner as proof of citizenship, and one forwarded to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).


                Certificates of citizenship were issued by the Federal courts until October 1991 when INS took over responsibility for naturalization proceedings.  All INS records are now overseen by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). USCIS maintains duplicate copies of court records (including the certificate of citizenship) created September 27, 1906-March 31, 1956 within Certificate Files (C-Files).  If your grandfather’s C-file is available, you will be able to obtain a copy regardless of the date it was filed.


                Per USCIS, the Genealogy Program cannot provide certified copies. A record request will  provide a photocopy of a naturalization record only. The National Archives cannot certify records that are not in our custody.  If you need the certified copy for dual citizenship, the consulates are aware that USCIS does not provide certified copies. Just be sure to maintain all letters/envelopes/etc received from USCIS during the request process. You may check the status of your USCIS request here.


                We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research


                [some information provided by Elizabeth Burnes, Subject Matter Expert]


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