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Naturalization: An Explanation

According to the New York State Archives and Records Administration, a naturalization "is a grant of full legal rights and privileges of a native-born individual to a non-native foreigner."

An immigrant who wishes to become an American citizen must first file a Declaration of Intention with a local court, stating his intent to become a citizen. If the applicant has been a resident of the United States for at least five years, he or she may petition the court to become a US Citizen. This petition is the Naturalization.

What You Can Learn from Naturalization Records

Naturalization records have long been popular in genealogical research. Depending on the time period they cover, the records can reveal much valuable information. All records will show which nation the person immigrated from, his or her current address, and the date naturalized. Some records will also reveal the port left from and the port arrived at, the name of the vessel traveled on, as well as the person's date of birth and occupation. Post-1906 Naturalizations contain the most information.

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