Series 82957
District Court (First District : Box Elder County) Naturalization records

Dates: 1896-1957.

0.35 cubic foot and 2 microfilm reelsSkip to Containers

These records are housed in the Utah State Archives' permanent storage room.

Scope and Content

This series contains loose pages and other records concerning naturalizations in Box Elder County. They were used by resident aliens to become U.S. citizens. They include the following completed forms: Facts for Petition of Naturalization; Facts for Declaration of Intent; and Notice for Admission to Citizenship. They contain the name, place of birth, residence, date of arrival, place of arrival, date of final hearing, and name of witnesses. It appears they were sent to the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service and then returned to the county.

To become a citizen of the United States, an individual normally filed a "declaration of intention to become a citizen" at least two years prior to applying for citizenship. The next step was the naturalization hearing at which the candidate and witnesses either made oral statements or filed written petitions and affidavits attesting to the applicant's character, worthiness to become a citizen, and the validity of statements made to the court. If the judge found the applicant eligible to become a citizen, an oath was administered and the individual renounced his former citizenship. At this point a certificate of citizenship was issued documenting the fact.

By late 1903, the preprinted application forms consisted of an applicant's affidavit and witness affidavits, as well as a certificate of citizenship. The applicant's affidavit gave his name, birthplace, date and place of filing his declaration of intention, birthdate, sovereign, and date of entrance to the United States. The affidavit included an oath of renunciation of allegiance to his former sovereign and a declaration that the applicant is not insane, epileptic, a pauper, begger, contagious, a felon, guilty of moral turpitude, a polygamist, anarchist, or pimp. The affidavits of two witnesses confirmed the applicant's statements and declared his worthiness to become a citizen. A copy of a certificate of citizenship form was then completed reiterating this information and ordering his admittance as a citizen.

By 1905, the applicant's form was abbreviated but included blanks for birthplace, age, allegiance, place from which emigrated, date of arrival in the U.S., port of arrival , age at arrival, length of residence in the jurisdiction, any U.S. military service, and place and date of filing a declaration of intention. Aside from a renunciation of his former sovereign, the oath was simplified to a disavowal of anarchy and polygamy plus a statement of support of the U.S. constitution. The affidavit of witnesses was similarly shortened, as was the certificate of citizenship form.

After 1906, courts were required to use pre-printed forms in volumes furnished by the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization of the Department of Commerce and Labor (later the Naturalization Service of the U.S. Dept. of Labor). Each volume was to be indexed and the petitions numbered consecutively beginning with number 1 in volume 1. A duplicate copy was to be sent to the Bureau of Naturalization.

The petitions include the individual's name, residence, occupation, birthdate, and birthplace; the place from which he emigrated, the date, port of arrival, and vessel name; the date on which he declared his intention of becoming a citizen and the name of the court involved; his wife's name, birthplace, and residence; his children's names, birthdates, birthplaces, and residences; and any previous petitions filed. The applicant was also required to take an oath that he was not an anarchist or a polygamist and to renounce his former sovereign. An applicant had to be able to speak English and have resided continuously in the United States for five years and in the state for one year.

Also included on the petition form were the affidavit of two citizen witnesses who validated the individual's petition information and declared that he was of good moral character. The printed oath of allegiance and court order admitting the petitioner to citizenship are also included. Later space was added for memoranda of continuances in the proceedings, names of substitute witnesses, and space to record the denial, not just the acceptance, of the petition .

Various corroborating documents had to be produced at the time of application and hearing. These are usually bound into the volumes along with the petitions. They include declarations of intention, filed earlier in a variety of courts in several states, of the individual's desire to become a citizen. Certificates of U.S. military service may also be included, as they could be used in lieu of a declaration of intention or to shorten residency requirements. The volumes also include certificates of arrival, required of those who entered the country after 1906, from the Bureau of Naturalization showing the individual's name, date, place and manner of arrival in the United States. If the witnesses who could vouch for his length of residency lived out of state, depositions could be mailed in. The depositions, which describe how long the witness had known the applicant and confirm his moral character, were then bound in with the petition and other forms. Correspondence is sometimes included, usually from the Bureau of Naturalization, detailing changes in naturalization law and procedures. Occasionally court orders revoking citizenship are included.


Chronological by date.

Related Records

Minute books from the District Court (First District : Box Elder County), Series 3688, contain summaries of the naturalization hearings noted in these records.

Declarations of intention record books from the District Court (First District : Box Elder County), Series 85172, contain another set of naturalization records created by the court.

Access Restrictions

This series is classified as Public.

Preferred Citation

Cite the Utah State Archives and Records Service, the creating agency name, the series title, and the series number.

Processing Note

This series was processed by Jim Kichas in July 2010.

Finding Aids

Indexes: Several of the record books that were microfilmed contain indexes. They have been identified on the container list.

Indexing Terms

Container List

1 1 Facts for Petition for Naturalization; 1896-1903
1 2 Notice of Application for Admission to Citizenship; 1909-1911
1 3 Facts for Petition for Naturalization; 1905-1911
1 4 Notice of Application for Admission to Citizenship; 1911-1912
1 5 Facts for Petition for Naturalization; 1913-1914
1 5 Notice of Application for Admission to Citizenship; 1913-1914
1 6 Naturalization Record Packet; 1911-1918
1 7 Facts for Declaration of Intention; 1883-1912
1 Volume 2 (Indexed); 1913-1929
1 Volume 3 (Indexed); 1910-1920
1 Book 3 - Naturalization Register (Indexed); 1907-1916
1 Declaration of Intent Record Book - Volume 2 (Indexed); 1913-1929
1 Declaration of Intent Record Book (Indexed); 1929-1952
1 Citizenship Petitions; 1929-1952
2 Petition for Naturalization Record Book; 1939-1957

Page Last Updated October 18, 2012.