Naturalization records relate to citizenship. They represent a change in allegiance from the 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 ("first papers"), and Petitions for Naturalization ("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.
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. The 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. Researchers should also understand that family members of the applicant (wife and children) automatically became United State citizens when the husband/father became a United States citizen and are not listed in the record.
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 from the indexes, please review our research request page for information on submitting your request.