Alien Registration and Naturalization Records Online

CR_049_902_1_012 Photograph from Haywood County Alien & Naturalization Papers

Thumbnail image from Theresia Weill’s Alien Registration Record, Haywood County, Call number: C.R.049.902.1.

We recently added Alien Registration and Naturalization records to North Carolina Digital Collections. Here is a brief synopsis on these materials from the Guide to County Records in State Archives:

Alien, Naturalization, and Citizenship Records are records relating to the naturalization of foreign-born citizens, in which the clerk of superior court acted as federal agent. These materials are arranged by county and include information on each person’s name, age, nationality, address, and previous address, together with the names and addresses of five persons who knew each alien. These records may also include a Declaration of Intent to Become a Citizen, Petitions for Naturalization, and/or Alien Registration.

For more information about the background or contents of the Alien Registration and Naturalization records, see the description in the MARS online catalog.

CR_001_902_1_007 Photograph from Alamance County Alien and Naturalization Records

Photo of John Alfred Jeffery from the Alamance County: Alien, Naturalization and Citizenship Records: Alien Registration; Call number: C.R.001.902.1.

These records are such a good resource for genealogists looking for information about families that immigrated to North Carolina. The collection covers from 1821-1944 with a majority of dates in the 20th century, with the exception of Mecklenburg, Rowan, and Wake counties. Citizens emigrated from places from all over the world including Russia, Austria, Germany, Italy, and Turkey. One of the best parts about this collection is that some applications include a photograph of the applicant, which really gives a sense of the person behind the information.

The Alien Registration and Naturalization records are presented here as PDFs. The structure of the PDFs largely reflect the physical order of the original records; however, some of the larger volumes were divided into two or more PDF files. For each PDF file an index prepared by Archives staff precedes the actual records. The index for each file relates only to records contained in that file. At the top of the index is the call number, county name, and the name of the volume. The index contains relevant information about what is found in the records, usually names, dates, countries of origin, family members, and occupation. Not all records contain the same level of detail, so some indexes are less complete, and not all 100 of North Carolina’ s counties have Alien Registration and Naturalization records.