Source Information

Dutchess County, New York
Ancestry.com. Dutchess County, New York, Naturalization Records, 1932-1989 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012. This collection was indexed by Ancestry World Archives Project contributors.
Original data: Dutchess County, New York, Naturalization Records, 1932–1989. 10 Market St., Poughkeepsie, New York 12601: Dutchess County, New York.

About Dutchess County, New York, Naturalization Records, 1932-1989

This database contains a collection of naturalization documents from Dutchess County, New York.

What’s in These Records

This database contains records created as aliens applied for U.S. citizenship through courts in Dutchess County. These include Declarations of Intention, Petitions for Naturalization, Certificates of Arrival, affidavits of witnesses, and other documents.

Forms vary, but they may include the following information:

Declarations of Intention

  • name
  • age
  • date of birth
  • place of birth
  • nationality
  • gender
  • physical description
  • spouse’s name
  • spouse’s birthplace
  • children (names, birth dates, birthplaces, residences)
  • occupation
  • former residence
  • current address/residence
  • ship/vessel name
  • port of arrival
  • date of arrival
  • photograph

Petitions for Naturalization

  • name
  • age
  • date of birth
  • place of birth
  • nationality
  • current address/residence
  • gender
  • physical description
  • occupation
  • marital status
  • marriage date and place
  • spouse’s name
  • spouse’s date and place of birth
  • number of children
  • children’s names, gender, and dates and places of birth
  • date admitted into the U.S.
  • ship name or mode of arrival
  • port or place of arrival
  • date of arrival
  • dates of residence in the U.S.
  • dates departed and returned to the U.S. during the residency requirement period
  • witnesses’ names

Certificates of arrival typically list

  • name
  • port of entry
  • date
  • vessel name or manner of arrival

These records often include more than one page. Once you locate a record, make sure you scroll through surrounding images to find all records applicable to your ancestor.

The Naturalization Process

The act and procedure of becoming a citizen of a country is called naturalization. In the United States, from the time the first naturalization act was passed in 1790 until 1906, there were no uniform standards for naturalization records. After 1906 the vast majority of naturalizations took place in federal courts and used standardized forms like the forms in this database.

The first step for an immigrant wanting to become a U.S. citizen was completing a Declaration of Intention. These papers are sometimes called First Papers because they are the first forms completed in the naturalization process. These papers were typically filled out fairly soon after an immigrant's arrival in America, though there were times when certain groups were exempt from this step, such as aliens enlisting for military service for the United States during World War I.

After the immigrant had completed these papers and met the residency requirement (which was usually five years), the individual could submit a Petition for Naturalization. Petitions are also known as Second or Final Papers because they are the next and last set of papers completed in the naturalization process. They include an oath of allegiance and, depending on the form, may also include affidavits or depositions of witnesses.

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