Online resource: Naturalizations Index

Naturalization records pertain to citizenship. They represent an immigrant’s change in allegiance from their country of previous residence to the United States government. For the most part, naturalization records held by Special Collections and Archives consist of Declarations of Intention (sometimes called “first papers”) and Petitions for Naturalization (aka “second papers” or the final Record of Naturalization).

Naturalization records in Ohio are found in the Clerk of Court or Probate Court records in the county where the naturalization request was filed. Special Collections and Archives has the naturalization records and indexes for all the counties in its eleven-county area as part of our local government records. The naturalization records begin when the county was formed and end in 1906. After 1906, naturalization records became federal-level records and are held at the regional Federal District Courts of Ohio. (In some cases, we have post-1906 naturalization records as well.)

Naturalization records prior to 1906 contain minimal information about the person’s immigration journey to the United States. Generally, the records contain the country of origin, the date of application, and, in some cases, the names of witnesses. These early records do not contain information about the ship the person arrived on, the date or place of arrival in the United States, or the names of family members who may have accompanied the person.

Naturalization documents for William Collins, filed in Montgomery County, Ohio, 1867 and 1869.

Naturalization documents for William Collins, filed in Montgomery County, Ohio, 1867 and 1869. (click the image to enlarge)

The above two documents were filed separately in Montgomery County, Ohio, Probate Court, as part of William Collins’ path to citizenship. The document on the left is his Declaration of Intention (or “first papers”), filed in 1867, stating his intention to become a citizen of the United States. The document on the right is his Petition for Naturalization or Petition for Citizenship (“second papers”), filed in 1869, stating that he has now met the requirements and granting that citizenship.

Researchers should also understand that family members of the applicant (wife and underage children) automatically became United State citizens when the husband/father became a United States citizen but are not necessarily listed in the record. (NARA’s Naturalization Records page has a wealth of additional information and specifics on naturalization and citizenship rules.)

Later naturalization records often do include information such as names of other family members and the date and vessel of arrival.

Petition for Naturalization of Charley Caserta, Darke County, 1910, front and back

Petition for Naturalization of Charley Caserta, Darke County, 1910, front and back (click the image to enlarge)

The above is a single-page, front-and-back Petition for Naturalization for Charley Caserta, filed in Darke County, Ohio, in 1910. This record includes the date and place of arrival, as well as the ship name, in addition to various other facts.

The images below comprise the Petition for Naturalization of Josephine Astorino, filed in Champaign County, Ohio, in 1911. In this case, we had copies of the full naturalization file with its supporting documents. Among these documents are the names of Josephine’s spouse, children, parents, as well as her own maiden name; date, place, and vessel of arrival; and a variety of other useful facts. Click to view a larger version of each image:

Now are you wondering what your ancestors’ naturalization records have in store?

We have created an electronic master name index of all naturalization records (all counties) that we can provide access to. The Naturalization Index is searchable on our web site.  To begin your research, please enter a last name in the search box or use one of our browse options to find the record you want within the naturalization indexes.

If you would like to request a copy of a naturalization record that you found in the indexes, please send us the citation via your preferred method of contact: review our research request page for information on submitting your request. In most cases, we can email you a copy of the record at no charge.

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Huffman Prairie Aviation History Society Mtg., July 6

The next meeting of the Huffman Prairie Aviation History Society will take place this coming Monday, July 6, 2015, at 7:00 p.m.

At this month’s meeting, we will show an aviation film and have a discussion. The film will be selected at the beginning of the meeting, from a few options to be provided. (view PDF flyer)

The meeting and presentation will take place at the Huffman Prairie Flying Field Interpretive Center at 2380 Memorial Road (intersection of State Route 444 and Kauffman Road), Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. There is ample free parking, and light refreshments will be provided.

You can view the upcoming schedule of meetings and speakers anytime at :  http://www.libraries.wright.edu/community/outofthebox/events/huffman-prairie-aviation-history-society/.

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Exploring STEMM in the Archives

When you think of “STEMM” — Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, & Medicine — what is the first thing that comes to mind? Okay, we admit we’re betting it probably wasn’t Special Collections & Archives.

Isn’t the Archives full of old history stuff, not science?

Au contraire, my friend. Special Collections & Archives is full of materials that fit the description of both “old history stuff” and STEMM materials.  Our collection focus areas include the history of aviation & aviation technology, the history of the Miami Valley (a hotbed of invention and innovation for over 100 years), and the history of medicine. And what is science but a collection of knowledge in a certain field, which can be formulated into laws and truths and then built upon?

Early medical equipment from our collection, mostly 19th century

Early medical equipment from our collection, mostly 19th century

We just happen to be the custodians of materials from some of those earlier efforts, including the notes and tools of their creators, as well as some of their study materials from the school days when they first learned how to “do” science.

Recently, Special Collections & Archives participated as part of the University Libraries’ sessions of Exploring STEMM, one of WSU’s Pre-College Programs. Teams of students participated in a friendly competition while learning about the University Libraries. The competition included answering questions based on a set of clues, documenting those answers with photographs, and ultimately creating a video with their results.

Archivist Gino Pasi shared some of our science and medicine materials with the teams, then they answered their clues and took their pictures.

Archivist Gino Pasi explaining the items on the table to a group of Exploring STEMM students, June 22, 2015

Archivist Gino Pasi explaining the items on the table to a group of Exploring STEMM students, June 22, 2015

Students trying on archivists' protective clothing

Students trying on archivists’ protective clothing

Students with Orville Wright's botany sketchbook and their team banner.

Students with Orville Wright’s botany sketchbook and their team banner.

Here are some close-ups of some of the materials shared with the students during our Exploring STEMM sessions:

Physician's pocket medical case

Physician’s pocket medical case

Surgeon's kit

Surgeon’s kit

Early 19th century medical books

Early 19th century medical books

Physician's pocket medical case, mortar and pestle

Physician’s pocket medical case, mortar and pestle

Orville Wright's botany sketch book, 1887-1888 (MS-1)

Orville Wright’s botany sketch book, 1887-1888 (MS-1)

Wallpaper with calculations scribbled on the back by one of the Wright Brothers-- because you never know when the urge to do science may strike! (MS-1)

Wallpaper with calculations scribbled on the back by one of the Wright Brothers– because you never know when the urge to do science may strike! (MS-1)

Charles F. Kettering's chemistry notebook (MS-363)

Charles F. Kettering’s chemistry notebook, 1910-1912 (MS-363)

In all, approximately 45 students participated in the Special Collections & Archives sessions of Exploring STEMM. It was a fun program, and we’re glad they could join us!

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