Dear Ms. Andrew,
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 on September 27, 1906, the responsibility for naturalization proceedings was transferred to the Federal courts. If your ancestor’s naturalization took place in a Federal court in Texas, naturalization indexes, declarations of intention (with any accompanying certificates of arrival), and petitions for naturalization may be in the custody of the National Archives of Fort Worth (RM-FW). Please email RM-FW at email@example.com for a search by including 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.
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-FW. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.
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. Certificates may be requested through the USCIS Genealogy Program.
If you determine that she was not naturalized, the USCIS can provide a Certification of Non-Existence of a Record of Naturalization. Please follow the instructions listed in the FAQs.
For more information, you may wish to visit NARA’s Naturalization Records web page.
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!