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Naturalization Petitions, Maryland, 1906-1930. M1640
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Documents in NARA Publication M1640
Although the title of this publication is Naturalization Petitions, several supporting documents may be included with each petition. Usually attached is the Declaration of Intention from the U.S. District or Circuit Courts, or from a state circuit court. It was necessary for an immigrant to declare his intention of becoming a citizen some time prior to actually petitioning to become a citizen; the amount of time of residency and the time between Declaration of Intention and Petition for Naturalization varied by state and by time period. Oaths of Allegiance may also be found with Petitions.
Information found in any of these documents may include the immigrant's name, age or birth date, birth place (city and country), occupation, a physical description, current residence, place of embarkation, ship's name, his last foreign residence, and port and date of arrival. You may also get the names of his wife and children with their birth dates and places, as well as witnesses' names, addresses and occupations. The reason for a denial of a Petition is also given.
American censuses between 1900 and 1930 give information on immigration date and country of birth, and whether the immigrant was an alien (Al), naturalized (Na), or was in the process of obtaining citizenship (Pa for "Papers Submitted"). Having this information prior to searching for Petitions can be useful in narrowing your search for your ancestor.