Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
If your relative’s naturalization took place in a Federal court prior to October 1991, then the Declaration of Intention (with any accompanying certificate of arrival) and Petition for Naturalization will be found in the National Archives facility serving the state in which the Federal court is located.
On the other hand, if the naturalization took place prior to September 1906, it could have occurred at any "court of record" (municipal, county, state, or Federal). Often petitioners went to the court most geographically convenient for them. As a general rule, the NARA does not have naturalization records created in state or local courts. However, a few indexes and records have been donated to the NARA from counties, states, and local courts. Researchers can contact the National Archives facility serving the state in which the petitioner resided to determine if records from lower courts are available. Records from state and local courts are often at state archives or county historical societies.
To ensure a successful request with the NARA include:
- Name of petitioner (including known variants)
- date of birth
- Approximate date of entry to the United States
- Approximate date of naturalization
- Where the individual was residing at the time of naturalization (city/county/state)
- Country of origin
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!
[Information provided by Elizabeth Burnes, Subject Matter Expert]