Ohio Naturalization Records

Family historians are often in search of the Immigrant: that person who was the first to step foot in America.  Naturalization records are one resource genealogists can use to determine the country of origin and the method of transportation used by their ancestors.  A brief description of Ohio naturalization records and the information contained in them is available at http://www.ohiohistory.org/resource/archlib/natural.html. 

OHS has some county level naturalization records.  A complete listing of available public records is available in our online catalog at www.ohiohistory.org/occ .  Researchers should search the Local Government Records portal and do a General Keyword search for “County Name naturaliz* .“  For example:  “Franklin County naturaliz*.”   We recommend that researchers interested in tracking immigrants review a book that discusses how best to research these types of records.  Some of the guidebooks that we have in our library are listed below.   

Title: They Became Americans : Finding Naturalization Records and Ethnic Origins /by Loretto Dennis Szucs.
Author: Szucs, Loretto Dennis
Imprint: Salt Lake City, Utah : Ancestry, 1998.
Description: viii, 294 p. : ill. ; 28 cm.
Bibliography:  Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN:  091648971X (soft) 
Title:The Source : A Guidebook of American Genealogy / edited by Loretto Dennis Szucs and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking.
Author:  Szucs, Loretto Dennis
Edition:  Rev. ed.
Imprint: Salt Lake City, Utah : Ancestry, 1996.
Description: [8], 834 p. : ill., geneal. tables ; 29 cm.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN:  0916489671 

Both of these books should be available through your local library directly or through interlibrary loan.  Please note that since 2001, handling of immigration and citizenship records has changed.  This may affect the way older records are processed/stored.  The books above were published before 2001 and will note address any recent changes in record storage and access.   OHS holds very few naturalization records for the time period after 1917, when immigration documentation became federalized. 

As a result, we usually refer people who are seeking more recent naturalization records to a variety of resources connected with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, the United States Federal Courts, and the National Archives and Records Administration.  We do not have copies of these federal records in our archives.   

The records of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services are stored with the National Records Center in Lee’s Summit, Missouri.  They only take requests in writing.  If you make a written request, they ask that you take the following into consideration when preparing your letter:
1. On your written request, include a daytime phone number so that they may contact you. 
2. Provide as much information as possible on the subject matter.  This will help expedite the search process.
3. Verification of Identity, Guardianship, Accompanying Persons, and Amendment requests are requirements for making a request for records of a personal nature.  Requests for disclosure of records on individuals other than yourself require consent or proof of death. Brian Welsh
National Records Center
FOIA/PA Office
PO Box 648010
Lee’s Summit, MO 64064-8010
Phone: 816-350-5570
Fax: 816-350-5785
E-mail: uscis.foia@dhs.gov 

After 1917, the naturalization processes were often handled by the United States Federal District Courts.  Northern District of Ohio
United States District Court
102
U.S. Courthouse
201 Superior Ave
Cleveland, OH 44114-1201
(216) 522-4355
http://www.ohnd.uscourts.gov/  Southern District of Ohio

United States
District Court
85 Marconi Blvd, Room 260
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 469-5835
http://www.ohsd.uscourts.gov/ 

If the records have been transferred for storage, they may have been placed at the National Archives and Records Administration’s Great Lakes Region Office in Chicago.  National Archives and Records Aministration
Great Lakes Region
7358 South Pulaski Rd
Chicago, IL 60629
773-948-9001
chicago.archives@nara.gov
http://www.archives.gov/great-lakes/ 

However, we note that some county courts continued to process naturalizations after 1917, so you may wish to ask the County Clerk of Courts in the county of the immigrant’s residence if their office has records for the period you are researching.

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