State of New Jersey
Immigration and Naturalization Records Research

Naturalization is the procedure of awarding citizenship to foreign-born residents. Naturalization documents are an crucial resource of details about an immigrant’s place of origin, his or her foreign and Americanized names, residence, and also day of arrival.

Immigrants to the United States haven't ever been required to fill out an application for citizenship. Individuals that applied, quite a few just didn't complete the requirements for citizenship. Facts that an immigrant achieved citizenship prerequisites could be uncovered in censuses, court minutes, homestead records, passports, voting registers, and military papers. Even when an immigrant ancestor failed to complete the process and turn into a citizen, he / she could possibly have filed a declaration. These kind of declarations might be very useful.

Different sorts of records were created through the naturalization process, among them declarations of intention, petitions for naturalization, oaths of allegiance and certificates of naturalization and citizenship. Each and every record can give details about a person, for instance age, residence, country or city of origin, ethnic background, the date and port of arrival, the name of the ship, names of spouse and children along with their birth dates and places, and former residences or current address.

The majority of the immigrants coming to New Jersey by boat in the 1800s and 1900s went through either Philadelphia or New York. However, some came straight to New Jersey. Passenger lists for those ships can be found at the National Archives-Northeast Region. Those included:

  • Perth Amboy (1801-37, With Gaps)
  • Bridgetown and Cape May, 1828
  • Little Egg Harbor, 1831
  • Newark, 1836

Those records have been indexed. That index, which is called "A Supplemental Index to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Atlantic and Gulf Coast Ports," is widely available.

Naturalization records for the 1800s and 1900s are generally found in each county clerk's office. The WPA also created a guide to naturalization records from 1702 to 1886. the following original county clerk's records can be found at the state archives:

  • Burlington (1790-1956, Excluding Fort Dix)
  • Camden (1844-1932)
  • Essex (1792-1931)
  • Mercer (1838-1940)
  • Ocean (1850-1966)
  • Union (1857-1906)

The National Archives-Northeast Region holds various naturalization records for Trenton, Newark, Camden, and Fort Dix. Those records range in date from 1838 through 1981. Some early record abstracts are also available.

The New Jersey State Archives has naturalization records from the 1700s and 1800s. Microfilms of county records through 1906 area also available there, but they are incomplete. Also, researchers should note that New jersey residents may have filed for naturalization in Philadelphia or New York City, rather than in New Jersey.

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