5 Replies Latest reply on Nov 2, 2019 8:35 PM by Linda Koller

    Question about Naturalization record from 1860s

    Linda Koller Newbie

      I have documentation showing my great-great grandfather, born in Ohio, having Naturalization records in 1860. He would have been just about 12 years old at the time. Can anyone tell me why he would have a Naturalization record?

        • Re: Question about Naturalization record from 1860s
          Henry Rosenberg Tracker

          Were his parents citizens when he was born? Only after the 14th Amendment passed were people born here automatically granted citizenship.

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            • Re: Question about Naturalization record from 1860s
              Linda Koller Newbie

              Hello,

               

              Thank you for your quick response because it gave me other avenues to focus on. My original focus was way too narrow! Your question regarding whether my great-grandfather's parents were citizens and the 14th Amendment lead me to look further into the American colonies and their definition of citizenship prior to the American Revolution and once the war ended. I now have a much more clear understanding of the naturalization documents I found for my great-grandfather in 1860.

               

              Thank you so much for the help!

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            • Re: Question about Naturalization record from 1860s
              Lisha Penn Tracker

              Dear Ms. Koller,

               

              Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

               

              If your ancestor was indeed born in Ohio, then he would have birthright citizenship. However, without seeing the documentation but based entirely on his age and being a minor, it could be possible that your ancestor’s’ naturalization was derivative in nature meaning that he obtained his citizenship through a parent.

               

              Prior to 1906, any "court of record" (municipal, county, state, or Federal) could grant American citizenship. As a general rule, the National Archives does not have naturalization records created in State or local courts. However, a few indexes and records have been donated to the National Archives from counties, states and local courts and are available as NARA microfilm publications. See the list of this county and state microfilm available.

               

              For pre-1906 naturalizations and to confirm if the document was a naturalization record:

              • Contact the State Archives for the state where the naturalization occurred to request a search of state, county, and local courts records.
              • Contact the NARA regional facility that serves the state where naturalization occurred to request a search of Federal court records.

               

              Please see the NARA’s website Naturalization Records for more information.

               

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

               

              [Some information provided by Elizabeth Burnes, Subject Matter Expert]

               

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