1 Reply Latest reply on Jul 10, 2019 10:43 AM by Becca Simons Branched to a new discussion.

    How to acquire naturalization certificates of ancestors


      I am searching for the naturalization certificates of my great grandparents. I have 2 originals for one set of ancestors but require a certified copy and need to search for naturalization certificates for the other set of great grandparents. How do I get certified copies and how do I search for the unidentified set?

        • Re: How to acquire naturalization certificates of ancestors

          Dear Ms. Lucarotti,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          Certificates of Citizenship do not normally appear within NARA’s holdings. As a rule, The National Archives (NARA)  only has the naturalization proceedings (Declaration and Petition) completed at Federal courts. Certified copies of the Declaration/Petition can be ordered through the NARA office which covers the state where the individuals were residing. You may also want to check the Immigration and Naturalization blog post and NARA’s webpage on Naturalization.


          After September 27, 1906 when a certificate was issued, two copies were created - one was given to the new citizen as proof of their citizenship status, and one was sent to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).


          Depending on the date of the naturalization the INS copy of the certificate may show up in a Certificate File (C-File, naturalization dated September 27, 1906-March 31, 1956) or an Alien File (A-File, naturalization dated April 1, 1956 or after). Some A-Files are now maintained by NARA and are name searchable via the National Archives Catalog.  NARA can provide a certified copy of any A-File within our holdings.  Learn more about A-Files at NARA here.


          If you do not find a match in the Catalog, we suggest that you request all C-Files and any A-Files through the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Genealogy Program.  Please be note that USCIS does not certify their records and NARA cannot certify records ordered through USCIS.


          If you are pursuing 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.


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


          [Information provided by Elizabeth Burnes, Subject Matter Expert]