Utah Naturalization and Citizenship Records
Some records may not be available for research from June 1-11, 2015 due to equipment upgrades. Please consider visiting beforehand or contacting the Research Center for more information.
The naturalization process consisted of two parts. First, a resident alien declared his intent, in court, to become a United States citizen at some future date. This was called the Declaration of Intention. Second, the individual renounced his allegiance to his home county and swore allegiance to the United States in a citizenship hearing at least two years after the declaration. After completing these requirements, he received the Certificate of Citizenship.
Federal law outlined the naturalization process, but individual courts dictated many of the specifics. In many courts, much of the procedure was oral, particularly in the early years or in outlying regions. An individual could make the Declaration of Intention at any court in the nation; not necessarily to a court in his place of residence. The form varied somewhat from court to court but generally it provides the researcher with only minimal information: the individual's name, country of origin, and the names of two witnesses.
The individual could apply for citizenship two years later provided he had been a U.S. resident for five years and was a resident of the state or territory where the court was located for at least one year. There was no upper time limit to apply for citizenship. Those who had come to the U.S. as minors (whose parents were not naturalized) did not have to file a prior declaration of intention. At the citizenship hearing, the resident alien renounced his allegiance to his home country, witnesses swore to his worthiness of becoming a citizen, and he took an oath to the United States. The court issued a certificate of citizenship to the successful candidate indicating his name, country of origin, witnesses' names, and his sworn fidelity to the United States.
If an individual had completed either part or all of this process in Utah, there are many courts to check prior to statehood (1896). Each county had a County Probate Court until 1896. There are also District Courts which served multiple counties. Furthermore, district court boundaries changed over time (see historical jurisdictions chart), so you may need to check the records of several district courts. The Supreme Court's records should also be checked. If you know where an individual lived, it is possible that he filed in the most geographically convenient court, but remember that there was no legal requirement to do so.
In 1906 the federal Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (now Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services) standardized naturalization procedures. This included providing the same forms for all the courts to use. These contain much more information than the earlier records. The declaration and naturalization forms not only include name and country of origin, but often age, occupation, marital status, immigration information, names of children, etc.
At this time, the individual was required by law to file with the court having jurisdiction over the area in which he lived, not just in any court in the country. The time frame was also narrowed. An individual had to declare his intent to become a citizen at least two years prior to applying for citizenship, but he could only apply for citizenship within seven years after the declaration. Therefore, checking for a Declaration of Intention first can narrow the search for the exact date of naturalization to five years.
Naturalization records are available from many Utah district courts up to the middle of the twentieth century. However, all naturalization records since 1906 have copies available from the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services. A Genealogy program has now been established to handle requests for historical records dated 1906-1956. Read the Genealogy Program Frequently Asked Questions for information on specific record types and services offered. An index exists and may be searched for a fee. Requests for searches and copies of documents are made by mail using forms available on the BCIS site.
For records after 1956, contact the appropriate field office with a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. For example, Utah is:
Salt Lake City Field Office
5272 South College Drive, Suite 100
Salt Lake City, UT 84123
These records are set to be transferred to the U.S. National Archives, which should ease the request process in the future.
If you were naturalized more recently than that, you may be able to request a Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document from BCIS. Submit Form N-565 which is available online at www.uscis.gov/n-565.
Various minorities (e.g., Chinese, Blacks, Native Americans, Hawaiians) were not permitted citizenship at various times. From 1855 to 1922, a married woman automatically assumed the citizenship of her husband; if an American woman married a foreign national, she lost her U.S. citizenship. Similarly, if a foreign national married a U.S. citizen, she automatically became a citizen. Her only documentation would be her marriage license and the naturalization (or birth) record of her husband. After 1922, a married woman was required to meet the naturalization laws although no declaration of intention was needed and residency changed from five years to one.
Major changes following the Civil War affected immigration policy, including reduced residency requirements and exemptions from filing declarations of intention. Because of all these variants, it is important for you to become familiar with the naturalization laws in effect during your period of interest.
The following are the principal naturalization holdings of the Utah State Archives. Record books include a full transcription of the declaration or naturalization record and are thus the most informative. Dates reflect holdings of the Utah State Archives in film and or paper copy. Aside from the Utah State Archives, other portions may still be held by the court or have been transferred to the federal Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services. The Rocky Mountain branch of the National Archives holds some naturalization records for the Second District Court-Weber County (ca. 1907-1913; 1930-), the Third District Court- Salt Lake County (ca. 1930-), and the Fourth District Court- Utah County (ca. 1939-), as well as some federal district court naturalization records from Utah.
|Territorial Supreme Court (multiple counties)|
|Declarations of Intention and Certificates of Citizenship
Record Books, 1851-1895
(also includes some First District Court, 1852-1856 and Third District Court, 1859-1860)
|Territorial District Courts (multiple counties)|
|First District Court|
|Declaration of Intention Record Books, 1880-1896||Series 85113|
|Certificates of Citizenship Record Book, 1890-1892||Series 83895|
|Second District Court|
|Declarations of Intention Record Books, 1874-1895||Series 85174|
|Certificates of Citizenship Record Book, 1878-1895||Series 85175|
|Third District Court|
|Declarations of Intention Record Books, 1869-1895||Series 85111|
|Certificates of Citizenship Record Books, 1880-1895||Series 85110|
|Fourth District Court|
|Declarations of Intention Record Books, 1878-1895 | online index||Series 85169|
|Certificates of Citizenship Record Book, 1894-1896||Series 85170|
|Territorial Probate Courts|
|Beaver County (Utah). Probate Court|
|Record Books, 1856-1897.||Series 14893|
|Box Elder County Probate Court|
|Certificates of Citizenship Record Book, 1868-1869 | online index||Series 85171|
|Iron County (Utah). Probate Court|
|Minutes, 1853-1868.||Series 17477|
|Millard County (Utah). Probate Court|
|Minutes, 1854-1862.||Series 26151|
|Salt Lake County- Probate Court|
|Declarations of Intention and Certificates of Citizenship Record Books, 1858-1872||Series 85109|
|Sanpete County Probate Court and Sanpete County- Seventh District Court|
|Naturalization Records, 1859-1955||Series 15840|
|Sevier County (Utah). Probate Court|
|Record book, 1865-1874.||Series 23908|
|Weber County Probate Court|
|Declarations of Intention Record Book, 1860-1866||Series 20786|
|Statehood District Courts|
|Beaver County, Fifth District Court|
|Declarations of Intention Record Books, 1896-1940||Series 85176|
|Naturalization Record Books, 1896-1940||Series 85177|
|Box Elder County, First District Court|
|Declarations of Intention Record Books, 1896-1929||Series 85172|
|Cache County, First District Court|
|Declarations of Intention Record Books, 1896-1929||Series 6176|
|Naturalization Record Books, 1896-1929||Series 85173|
|Davis County, Second District Court|
|Naturalization Record Books, 1902-1929||Series 11628|
|Naturalization Records, 1907-1938||Series 11804|
|Emery County, Seventh District Court|
|Naturalization Records, 1904-1942||Series 16856|
|Juab County, Fourth District Court|
|Naturalization Record Books, 1904-1958||Series 85178|
|Citizenship Certificate Stubs, 1908-1928 | online index||Series 85180|
|Declarations of intention record books, 1896-1951||Series 85224|
|Millard County, Fifth District Court|
|Naturalization Record Book, 1896-1906||Series 83326|
|Piute County, Sixth District Court|
|Naturalization Records, 1896-1920||Series 18234|
|Salt Lake County, Third District Court|
|Declarations of Intention Record Books, 1896-1959||Series 85108|
|Naturalization Record Books, 1896-1929||Series 3573|
|Citizenship Certificate Stubs, 1907-1925||Series 85112|
|Sanpete County, Seventh District Court Probate Court|
|Naturalization Records, 1859-1955||Series 15840|
|Sevier County, Sixth District Court|
|Declaration of Intention Record Books, 1896-1929||Series 13476|
|Naturalization Record Books, 1896-1929||Series 13475|
|Wasatch County, Fourth District Court|
|Declarations of Intention, 1896-1935 and Naturalization Record Books, 1906-1935||Series 10146|
|Naturalization Record Books, 1896-1906 | online index||Series 84156|
|Citizenship Certificate Stubs, 1907-1924 | online index||Series 85182|
|Washington County, Fifth District Court|
|Naturalization Record Books, 1896-1940||Series 23595|
|Declarations of Intention Record Books, 1897-1939||Series 23596|
|Citizenship Certificate Stubs, 1913-1929||Series 23597|
|Wayne County, Sixth District Court|
|Naturalization Record Book, 1896-1902||Series 85225|
|Weber County, Second District Court|
|Declarations of Intention Record Books, 1906-1929||Series 83896|
|Naturalization Memorandum Books, 1906-1982||Series 83454|
|Naturalization Record Books, 1896-1939||Series 83892|