Every one has that immigrant ancestor who came to America looking for a new life full of freedom and opportunity. It’s thrilling to find this ancestor, because they give you a new appreciation for the struggle that they endured just to come to this country.
But figuring out the U.S. Naturalization laws for the time period your ancestor lived – not much fun at all. But it is critical that we know these laws so that we can find the records that go with our ancestor becoming a U.S. citizen.
With my great-great-grandfather, I was fortunate enough to find an index on the Missouri Digital Heritage Website, which gave me all the information I needed to order the record. And the great part? It only cost me $1. But without knowing the naturalization laws, I would have been much more lost.
I found a great reference article about the U.S. naturalization laws that can be found here. I highly recommend that you print it and keep it in an easy to reach place (You can also download the document).
Using these laws, you can figure out if there is a naturalization record to be found and exactly what kind of records you are looking for.