2 Replies Latest reply on Jul 3, 2021 6:57 PM by Bruce Altobelli

    Seeking certified copy of relative's naturalization records for dual citizenship

    Kyle Hack Newbie

      Hello, I'm seeking my great-grandfather's naturalization records for the purpose of applying for dual citizenship. The records are stored at the Cook County Circuit Court Archives Department in Chicago. However, the Department's website states "Pursuant to federal law, the Archives can only provide informational copies, and not certified copies, of Naturalization Records. Please see Title VIII, Section 1454, Paragraph D of the United States Code for further information." I need a certified true copy that can be "authenticated" by the Illinois Secretary of State. What are my options? I know the regional National Archives offices certify nationalization records in their possession, but my relative's naturalization records are at circuit court, which apparently doesn't follow the same rules. Thanks in advance.

        • Re: Seeking certified copy of relative's naturalization records for dual citizenship
          Eric Kilgore Adventurer

          Dear Kyle Hack,


          Thank you for posting your question on History Hub!


          Your best bet would be to reach out to the folks at the National Archives at Chicago here: https://www.archives.gov/chicago .  Being the repository for records in the region, and being in Cook County, they've most-likely run into this situation before and may be able to provide the guidance you seek. Additionally depending on when the naturalization records are from, you could request certified copies from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). USCIS has copies of all naturalization records filed from September 27, 1906 to present. If yourt grandfather naturalized prior to Sept. 1906, then USCIS would not have a copy. 


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

          • Re: Seeking certified copy of relative's naturalization records for dual citizenship
            Bruce Altobelli Adventurer

            I am not sure about IL, but in MA, the Circuit Courts are part of the State Judicial System.

            I obtained a letter from the Archives and Records Preservation Department of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts on their letterhead.

            The body of the letter says:

            To Whom It May Concern:

            Please find attached a true photocopy of the original record of Naturalization for Name, Name, Superior Court Department, Worcester Division, Petition #XXXXX Certificate # YYYYYYY, of Admission: October 1st, 1929, Alien Registration. NA.  For further information or assistance please contact our office.


            It is signed by a local authorized person, in my case, the Director of Archives and Records Preservation.


            Attached to the letter are copies of the Petition for Naturalization including the Oath of Allegiance, the  Declaration of Intention and the Certificate of Arrival.  What is critical is the Petition which includes the Oath of Allegiance where they renounce their prior citizenship.

            You will very likely not get a Certificate of Citizenship because the new citizen received that and copies of it were not kept by any governmental agency.


            Simply ask whoever you are talking to if they can provide a simple letter as I outlined stating it is a true photocopy including the various unique certificate numbers of whatever documents they can provide a copy of.


            Once you get these copies with the letter, you will need to send them to the Secretary of State of IL to have an apostille attached to it.  This is the certification that your application needs.


            You do need to be careful about naturalization dates of your great grandfather.  It has to be AFTER the date your grandfather or grandmother was born else your petition for dual citizenship will be turned down.