3 Replies Latest reply on Oct 4, 2021 12:01 PM by Josette Schluter Branched from an earlier discussion.

    Seeking letter of no record of naturalization

    Greg Camilli Wayfarer

      Thank you for this information! Does this mean you need to email a request to a general email address? I can't find any information at the Philadelphia archive about how obtain a letter of negative search, finding a form that needs to be filled out, or whether any of this can be accomplished online. This is such a mystery! Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.  I followed some of the links provided in other messages on the HUB, and they all turned out to be dead ends.

        • Re: Seeking letter of no record of naturalization
          Rebecca Collier Ranger

          Dear Mr. Camilli,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          The information provided was specific to the ancestor of Ms. Battaglia. To receive a negative search reply, a member of the National Archives reference staff would need to search a specific index of a federal court where your ancestor petitioned to become a U.S. citizen and not locate a record for your ancestor. A negative search reply is NOT the same as a letter of no record of naturalization. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has exclusive authority over matters concerning citizenship records after 1906 and can provide a Certification of Non-Existence of a Record of Naturalization.


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


          1 person found this helpful
            • Re: Seeking letter of no record of naturalization
              Greg Camilli Wayfarer

              For others who are interested, go to: https://www.archives.gov/research/immigration/naturalization

              Then scroll down to order copies of naturalization records online

              Unfortunately, the system seems to be down, so I couldn't determine whether this works. I'll try to update as I find more information on the process.


              P.S. Even though the system doesn't appear to be operational, when you get to the order reproduction page, click on Immigration and naturalization records. Then click on frequently asked questions, and then Naturalization records in the left panel. For records before Sep 27, 1906 (relevant to my grandfather), the info reads


              "Before September 27, 1906, any "court of record" (municipal, county, state, or federal) could grant U.S. citizenship. As a rule, the National Archives does not have naturalization records created in state or local courts. However, a few indexes and some records have been donated to the National Archives from county, state, and local courts and may be ordered as paper reproductions or National Archives microfilm publications."


              At this point, I went to Berks County PA, where my grandfather lived. Their Prothonotary office seemed to have what I need... but they are taking no phone calls, and the link to search genealogical records is dead. Bummer, I did find a form for requesting a record, which may work for a naturalization record. One category or response is "the information/record does not exist." Hmmm. Not great, but not a dead end yet.

                • Re: Seeking letter of no record of naturalization
                  Josette Schluter Tracker

                  Dear Mr. Camilli,


                  Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


                  Please note that the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has suspended reproduction and digitization services until further notice due to COVID-19. Orders will not be serviced until operations can resume safely. Once operations resume, document reproduction requests will be filled in the order in which they were received. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


                  Since we now know when your grandfather was naturalized, we were able to search the National Archives catalog and located Indexes to Petitions of Naturalization, 1971- 1952 in the Records of District Courts of the United States (Record Group 21) that may include your grandfather. For more information about these records, please contact the National Archives at Philadelphia (RE-PA) at philadelphia.archives@nara.gov.


                  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RE-PA. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


                  Digitized versions of the Indexes to Naturalization Petitions to the U.S. Circuit and District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 1795-1951 (M1248) available on Ancestry as a part of our ongoing partnership. There may be a fee for using Ancestry. Instead, please check for access at your local library as many library systems subscribe to these sites, making them free for their patrons.


                  As you mention, Naturalization records filed in the county courts are held in the Prothonotary's office of that county.  Berks County Prothonotary: Berks County Courthouse 633 Court Street, Second Floor Reading, PA 19601 phone: 610-478-6970 fax: 610-478-6969. In some cases the microfilmed copies of county records are available at the Pennsylvania State Archives as a part of their County and Municipal records collections.


                  An additional helpful resource would be the FamilySearch Catalog has Naturalization papers, 1798- 1852; index 1798- 1915 for the Pennsylvania. Court of Common Pleas (Berks County). This website requires you to create an account to view their collections but does not have a fee.


                  We hope that this has been helpful and good luck with your family research!