Series 85172
District Court (First District : Box Elder County) Declarations of intention record books

Dates: i 1896-

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

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 declarations of individuals' intentions to become United States citizens in which an applicant vows to later become a U.S. citizen and to renounce his current citizenship.

The first volume contains preprinted forms which have blanks for the insertion of the individual's name, his former sovereign, date, and signatures of the individual and the court clerks witnessing the statement. Beginning in 1906, the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization of the Department of Commerce and Labor (later the Naturalization Service of the U.S. Dept. of Labor) furnished the court clerks with the necessary blank forms. The forms were furnished in bound volumes as a court record. Each volume was to be indexed and the declarations numbered consecutively beginning with number 1 in volume 1. Loose sheets were also furnished so the duplicate copy could be given to the declarant and the triplicate copy mailed to the Bureau of Naturalization.

The forms contain blanks for the name and location of the court; the individual's name, age, occupation, color, complexion, height, weight, hair color, eye color, visible distinctive marks, birthplace, birthdate, and current residence; the location from which he emigrated to the United States and the vessel name; his last foreign residence; the name and title of the ruler to whom he would be renouncing allegiance; and the port and date of arrival in the United States.

By 1916, the applicant's marital status was inserted, and if married, his wife's name (or "spouse's name" after 1922 when married women could seek citizenship on their own instead of automatically assuming the nationality of their husbands), birthplace and birthdate. He was to take an oath that he was not an anarchist or polygamist, and that it was his intention to become a United States citizen and make the country his permanent residence. Blanks were provided for his signature and for the date and signature of the court clerk who witnessed his oath.

By the 1930s, naturalization laws had been revised, and new forms were issued.



Related Records

Naturalization records from the District Court (First District : Box Elder County), Series 82957, contain another set of naturalization records created by the court.

Certificates of citizenship record books from Box Elder County (Utah). Probate Court, Series 85171, contains some territorial period citizenship records from the county.

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.

Finding Aids

Indexes: Each volume has its own index. Entries are alphabetical by the first letter of the individual's surname, covering from 1896 thru 1929.

Indexing Terms

  • Declaration of intention--Utah--Box Elder County.
  • Naturalization--Utah--Box Elder County.
  • Emigration and immigration--Utah--Box Elder County.
  • Citizenship--Utah--Box Elder County.

Container List

1 N/A 1896-1903 N/A
1 1 1906-1913 1-100
1 2 1913-1929 101-272

Page Last Updated October 18, 2012.