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DECLARATIONS
OF INTENT

(First Papers)
1858-1892
1906-1931

PETITIONS
(Second Papers)
1841-1900
1893-1906
1906-1931



The Naturalization Process
In the United States, before 1952, the naturalization process began with a Declaration of Intent to become a citizen. This declaration is also refered to as "First Papers." Three years after this declaration was filed, and five years after arriving in the country, a Petition for Naturalization ("Second Papers") could be filed in the same or a different court. A Certificate of Citizenship could then be issued.
Until 1922, a foreign-born woman married to a naturalized citizen was automatically made a citizen. Until 1940, a child under the age of 21 was granted citizenship based on the status of his father. After 22 Sept 1922 an alien woman who married a US citizen could skip the Declaration of Intention and file for a Naturalization Petition. But if an alien woman married an alien man she would have to start her naturalization proceedings at the beginning with a Declaration of Intention.

What the Records Include
Early naturalization records included here, 1858-1892, provide little information. For the Declarations of Intent (first papers) only the name, country of origin and date signed are included. Later records include much information—birthplace, physical description, immigration and residence information. The same is true for the Petitions for Naturalization (second papers). The early records are sparse, but after about 1900 a considerable amount of information is available.

Jones County Records
These records from the Jones county courthouse were transcribed by Diania Rigby with help from Joanne Wilken. The employees in the county clerk's office are not familiar with these naturalization records. If people want copies of the papers, they should write to Diania or Joanne to make them.
Joanne says, "I think that some of these people completed some papers more than once. It is hard to tell because parents named their children after ancestors and so the same names were used over & over.... We are not certain that we transcribed all of the naturalization records at the Jones Co. courthouse. We plan to continue to hunt for further records."

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Last updated on Thursday, 17-Apr-2014 09:16:06 MST