3 Replies Latest reply on Nov 4, 2021 11:20 AM by Julia Jennings-Jarrell

    Seeking declarations of intention filed in Porter County, Indiana

    Giannis Daropoulos Wayfarer

      I am seeking Indiana naturalization records. Could you please inform me where one can find declarations of intention filed in Porter County, Indiana between 1908 and 1910? Thank you in advance for your help.

        • Re: Seeking declarations of intention filed in Porter County, Indiana
          Susannah Brooks Pioneer

          There is an index to the Porter Co, IN naturalization records and a link to an order form for the records at NWIGS - Porter County Naturalizations Index (rootsweb.com).

          • Re: Seeking declarations of intention filed in Porter County, Indiana
            Julia Jennings-Jarrell Adventurer

            Dear Mr. Daropoulos,


            Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


            In general, naturalization was a two-step process that took a minimum of five years. After residing in the United States for two years, an alien could file a "declaration of intention" ("first papers") to become a citizen. After three additional years, the alien could "petition for naturalization" (”second papers”). After the petition was granted, a certificate of citizenship was issued to the alien. These two steps did not have to take place in the same court.


            Beginning September 27, 1906 and if a naturalization took place in a Federal court in Indiana, naturalization indexes, declarations of intention (with any accompanying certificates of arrival), and petitions for naturalization will be in the custody of the National Archives at Chicago (RM-CH). No central index exists. To ensure a successful request with RM-CH via email at chicago.archives@nara.gov, please include the following: the name of petitioner (including known variants); date of birth; approximate date of entry to the US; approximate date of naturalization; where the individual was residing at the time of naturalization (city/county/state); and country of origin. In certain cases county court naturalization records maintained by the National Archives are available as microfilm publications.


            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 RM-CH. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


            Since all INS records are now overseen by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), USCIS maintains duplicate copies of court records (including the Declaration of Intention) created from September 27, 1906 through March 31, 1956 within Certificate Files (C-Files). Beginning on April 1, 1956, INS began filing all naturalization records in a subject’s Alien File (A-File). C-Files and certain A-Files may be requested through the USCIS Genealogy Program.


            We also suggest that you contact the Indiana State Archives for information about the naturalization records in their custody.


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