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* Finding a date of arrival with naturalization records

If the individual whose date of arrival you are looking for became a naturalized citizen, then you should be able to find the date from their naturalization papers. Please note that women were not naturalized prior to 1923. They became naturalized citizens with their husbands.

Before September 27, 1906, a person could apply to a local, state, or federal district court to become a naturalized citizen. Therefore, if your ancestor was naturalized before that date, contact the local, state, and federal district courts in the area(s) where your ancestor lived. The clerk of the court should be able to direct you in your search for naturalization papers. In some cases the court will still have the records, and in other cases, the records may have been transferred to a local library or archive. Many federal district court records may have been transferred to the National Archives or to a regional branch of the National Archives. Chapter 3 of the Guide to Genealogical Research in the National Archives lists the location of district court records by state. To contact the National Archives or regional centers, see the topic The National Archives and regional centers.

After September 27, 1906, copies of naturalization papers were sent to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in Washington, D.C. If your ancestor was naturalized after this date, you can write to the following address and ask for a copy of the form G-641, Application for Verification of Information from Immigration and Naturalization Service Records.

Immigration and Naturalization Service
425 Eye Street N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20536

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