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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Searching for Naturalization Records

 Robert's question was about Naturalization records:
NAT records of Stanislaus/Stanley/Charles Regeleski c. 1892 to 1899

NARA and the State of New Jersey ( Middlesex County Archives) report they DO NOT have a record for this Subject during this time period. The Surname could have been: Regeliski; Rogalski; Regielski and evenRegilski.

The 'court of record' could have been located in the State of New Jersey or New York. Not much to go on -right ? Thought you may have some input regarding NAT records. Thanks anyway..
OLIVE TREE RESPONSE: Dear Robert, First things first. You haven't said how you know that Stanley naturalized. Did you find information on his citizenship in census records? If not, that would be your first step - to verify that he did indeed naturalize. I'd visit the website and read what census records have citizenship information. (Hint: 1870, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930 all have various details) Remember, it is a voluntary act, Naturalization is not required

 If you have found that Stanley indicated he did indeed naturalize, then you will want to read about finding Naturalization Records before 1906. Before 1906, the declaration of intent generally contains more genealogically useful information than the petition. Petitions before 1906 usually show only a name, former allegiance, and date of naturalization. The declaration may include the exact date of immigration into the United States.

Lastly, have you found a ships' passenger list for your ancestor?  These are steps I would follow to find his naturalization records IF they exist.


  1. Thank you for answering this question. I have the same problem. My great grandfather, Thomas Dowd emigrated in 1880. It says he was NA in the census records. I find him as a witness or sponsor for his brother in law but can not find his record.

    I will also check those suggestions above.

  2. The previous comment raises a question - what were the functions and requirements of a witness for U.S. naturalization proceedings? Were they attesting only to identity and address or more? Were they required to be citizens? If they had to be citizens, then being a witness to someone's naturalization isn't just evidence for residence but also for citizenship status.