District Court (Third District : Salt Lake County) Naturalization record books
These records are housed in the Utah State Archives' permanent storage room.
An agency history is available.
Scope and Content
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.
These volumes contain documentation of the final steps of becoming a United States citizen. They include petitions for naturalization, certificates of citizenship, and accompanying documentation. The first volume contains only certificates of citizenship. Each form gives the date, applicant's name, former country and kingdom, current county of residence, and a standardized statement that the applicant had produced the necessary evidence and taken the required oaths. The judge then signed the certificate. Someone has later scribbled in the names of the applicant's witnesses on each certificate.
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.
Numerical by entry number.
Volumes and entries are chronological by petition date, except for the first part of the first volume 2 which contains some overflow from the beginning of the first volume 3. After 1906, they appear by case number, chronologically arranged by petition date, in sequentially numbered volumes.
Minute books from the District Court (Third District : Salt Lake County), Series 1650, contain summaries of the naturalization hearings noted in these records.
Declarations of intention and certificate of citizenship record books from the Territorial Supreme Court, Series 3942, of the Supreme Court also contain records of the 1st district 1852-1856 and the 3rd district 1859-1860. Salt Lake was in those districts at those times, as well as being the seat of the Supreme Court throughout the territorial period.
Declarations of intention record books from the District Court (Third District : Salt Lake County), Series 85108, of the 3rd District Court in and for Salt Lake County contain declarations filed earlier, perhaps by some of the same individuals whose final naturalizations are recorded in this series.
Declarations of intention and certificates of citizenship record book from Salt Lake County (Utah). Probate Court, Series 85109, of the Salt Lake County Probate Court contain records from Salt Lake County prior to statehood in 1896.
Citizenship certificate stubs from the District Court (Third District : Salt Lake County), Series 85112, contain a summary of the naturalization records entered here; they are the stub left following the issuing of a certificate of citizenship.
This series is available on microfilm.
This series is classified as Public.
Cite the Utah State Archives and Records Service, the creating agency name, the series title, and the series number.
This series was processed by A.C. Cone in March 1990.
Indexes: Most of the volumes have name indices at the beginning. Entries are alphabetic by the first letter of the petitioner's surname, covering from July 7, 1896 thru 1928. Indexes: Some volumes were indexed in a composite index along with the declarations of intention. By 1927, they are only recorded in the composite index. Entries are alphabetic by the first letter of the petitioner's surname covering thru 1929. Indexes: The L.D.S. Genealogical Society produced a card index of naturalizations and declarations which is available on microfilm in the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, covering from 1858 thru 1980.
- Naturalization--Utah--Salt Lake County.
- Emigration and immigration--Utah--Salt Lake County.
- Citizenship--Utah--Salt Lake County.
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