Finding the minimum information for naturalization records
To find an individual's ethnicity on a naturalization record, you must at least know the individual's full name and approximate date of birth. If you do not have the minimum information to find a naturalization record, you can either:
Get help finding some of the minimum information by selecting one of the following items,
click the Back button on your browser to return to the list of other places where you can find an individual's ethnicity, or
read the paragraphs below for a few additional tips.
Finding naturalization records
When you're checking for naturalization records, make sure that you check with the courts in all locations where your ancestor lived during his or her lifetime. The naturalization process took several years, because individuals first had to file papers of intent, then fill the residency requirement, and then file final papers. This means that the papers that you need may not be located in the area where the individual was living at the time that he or she became a citizen. If you would like help locating different places where the individual may have lived see the topic Places the family has lived.
Finding ethnic background
You can also check for your surname in surname dictionaries, which are available at most libraries. Surname dictionaries normally give information about the ethnic background associated with a surname. However, if your family's surname has changed over time, you may not find the current version in the dictionary, or the dictionary may be misleading. Other family members may have ideas about your ethnic makeup, too, so try asking around. While information gleaned from dictionaries and family members is valuable, it's probably a good idea to use other records to verify what you've learned.
Previous research about your family is another good source for information about your ethnic background. For help with finding previous research, see the topic Previous research. Make sure to check photo albums, scrapbooks, diaries, and family Bibles at home. See the topic Finding information at home for more information.
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