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Naturalization and Related Records

Connecticut Naturalization Records

The original indexes and naturalization records for Connecticut are located at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in Waltham, Massachusetts. Here at the State Library, we have a microfilm copy of the index as well as a small collection of naturalization records that were filmed by the Latter-day Saints. (A list of these records is available below as a pdf file).  Researchers are welcome to use these materials here, and/or contact NARA for a copy of the record. Family Search and Ancestry.com have also put the index online.

Beginning in 1906, Connecticut naturalization records were filed at the federal district courts in Hartford, New Haven, or Bridgeport, and copies were forwarded to the newly created Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization in Washington, now called the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The USCIS offers a genealogy search for naturalization and other records pertaining to Aliens.

Unfortunately prior to 1906 when naturalization records began to be filed at the federal district courts, Connecticut naturalizations contained very little information. A typical record might consist of a one page affidavit where the person swears allegiance to the United States, although clues to the exact date or year of immigration might be included which would help in finding a passenger list. Most records only show the person's name, residence, date of naturalization, and place and date where he declared his intention to become a citizen.

More about Records At the National Archives

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, naturalization records from some of Connecticut's municipal courts were transferred to the US District Courts for Connecticut. Those records were subsequently transferred to the National Archives along with naturalization records from the federal courts for Connecticut (United States District and Circuit Courts) for the 131 years from 1842 to 1973. All of these records -- municipal and federal court -- are cataloged as National Archives Record Group 21 at the National Archives -- New England Region, 380 Trapelo Road, Waltham, MA 02154 (tel. 781-663-0130).

Under a November 5, 1984 agreement between the National Archives and the Chief Court Administrator of the State of Connecticut Judicial Department, Connecticut naturalization records for non-federal courts (including Superior Court, Courts of Common Pleas, County Courts, and several municipal courts) were transferred to the National Archives -- New England Region beginning in December 1984. These records were organized as National Archives Record Group 200 in the Gift Collection.

This means that the National Archives keeps some Connecticut municipal court naturalization records in Record Group 21 and others in Record Group 200. Many of the nineteenth century records consist only of ledger book lists of names and dates; the original papers never were located in the courthouses.

More Connecticut naturalizations, included in the records of the US Immigration and Naturalization Service, are at Waltham in National Archives Record Group 85.

To conform to the agreement mentioned above, beginning in 1984, post-1789 naturalization records found among court records in the State Archives at the Connecticut State Library (approximately 1% of the total) were transferred to the National Archives -- New England Region. As additional naturalization records are found among civil court files in the State Archives, those dated 1790 or later will continue to be transferred to Waltham. The State Archives will still retain any earlier naturalization records.

 

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