Source Information

Ancestry.com. Washington, Naturalizations, 1853-1980 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.
Original data: Washington Naturalizations, 1853–1980. Cheney, Washington: Washington State Archives—Digital Archives.

About Washington, Naturalizations, 1853-1980

This database contains both images of naturalization records and an index of details extracted from naturalization documents from Washington.

Historical Background

The act and procedure of becoming a citizen of a country is called naturalization. Starting in 1790 with the first naturalization act, aliens who wanted to become citizens of the United States had to declare their intent in a court of law. However, from the time the first naturalization act was passed in 1790 until 1906, there were no uniform standards for naturalization records. As a consequence, before September 1906, various federal, state, county, and local courts generated a wide variety of citizenship records. After 1906 the vast majority of naturalizations took place in federal courts on standard forms.

What You Can Find the Records

This database contains records created as aliens applied for U.S. citizenship in Washington. It includes both original records and an index of details extracted from naturalization documents such as

  • Certificates of Arrival
  • Declarations on Intent
  • Petitions for Naturalization
  • Oaths of Allegiance
  • Certificates of Naturalization

This database does not contain an image for every document included in the index.

Details contained on naturalization documents vary widely by both form and date. An oath of allegiance may contain only a name and a date, while a Declaration of Intent can list a broad range of facts about the applicant. But you may find details such as these:

  • name
  • birth date
  • country of origin
  • arrival date
  • place of arrival
  • spouse
  • children
  • document type
  • county