Almost every family's American tale begins with an immigrant.

Who was the one who made the journey that forever altered your family's history?

If you don't know, now is the time to find out! All of our immigration and travel, US marriage and US, UK, and Irish censuses are free until July 6th.

Sign up for our naturalizations webinar

Immigrant ancestors can be a little tricky to trace, but one great resource to use are naturalization petitions. Many immigrants applied for citizenship, and that process generated some very useful genealogical records.

Let's take a look naturalization records and what you can find.

Click on the image to search naturalization records.

Generally, each transcript will contain:

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Any aliases
  • Birth date
  • Birth location
  • Age at event
  • Event type (petition of naturalization, declaration of intention or oath of allegiance)
  • Event year
  • Event location
  • Relations (spouse, children, parents, siblings)
Search tip: Always look at the images for extra information.

Images will have additional information, such as the certificate of arrival, which will indicate when the immigrant arrived and how they traveled to America.

Some forms will contain other interesting notes and even photographs (typically found in the declaration of intention forms).

Don't miss out: The naturalization process was a multi-year, multi-step process, and most applications have at least two documents. Be sure to use the previous and next buttons to make sure you don't miss anything!

Search naturalization records

Slideshow: Different kinds of naturalization records (and a badly damaged passenger list)

Use the left and right arrows to navigate the slide show, which shows the many things you can learn from these deep records.

A nice mini case-study concerning one Irish immigrant, Ellen A'Hearn:

Declaration of intent

Certificate of arrival

Passenger List

Passenger List

Passenger List

Petition for Citizenship

Oath of Allegiance


You can examine Ellen's naturalization records by clicking here or the S.S. Samaria ship lists by clicking here.

Learn more about immigration and travel records

  1. Search guide: Travel and immigration records
  2. Passenger list search tips
  3. Naturalization petitions search tips (you are here)
  4. Passport application search tips
  5. A brief history of US immigration policy
  6. How Findmypast helped identify my immigrant ancestors