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Rockland County Archivist Naturalizations Database

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The USGenWeb Archives contains over 24,000 records, comprising an index of naturalization records available from the Rockland County Archivist. These are records originally filed with the County Clerk. They are largely Declarations of Intention. (Final Papers would typically be found in court records, not County Clerk records.)

A search engine for this database can be found at http://userdb.rootsweb.com/naturalization/NY/Rockland/. This search engine also includes 2,331 records of Rockland County NY Naturalization Oaths covering a period from 19 Jan 1836 to 24 Oct 1896.

Most researchers will simply want to use the above search engine, but the Declarations of Intent database is also available as 38 files, broken up alphabetically by last name, at  ftp://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/ny/rockland/court/naturalizations .

Rockland County Archivist Peter J. Scheibner describes this naturalizations databases developed at the Archives as follows:

The project was started in 1996 with funds through the New York State Library Discretionary Grant Program. The project was for preservation microfilming of original Naturalization Declaration of Intentions, Official Naturalization Oaths, Certificate of Notice of Filing in the Matter of the Final Application, Petition and Affidavit of Petitioner. These are original source documents that were filed with the County Clerk's Office. The collection covers a period from (1812-1991). At the end of 1991 the Federal Immigration and Naturalization Service took over the process of filing for citizenship.

When the project first began I decided that we needed to set up an automated process for identifying and retrieving over 30,000 names of individuals filing for naturalization. There were over 30 dusty boxes of material that we unearthed from an old wooded Clerk garage in New City. Many of the earliest Declarations of Intentions were not in any type of order so we assigned an index number for each (1-5444) covers 1812-1889. Since the records needed an index or finding aid - as part of the preservation microfilm project it made sense to set up a database that could be used to retrieve documents, internet, searches...

The fields in each record include:

Once you have used the index files to identify the record or records you want copies of, the cost for obtaining copies is  $5 for the search and $1 for each copy. A check should be made out to the "Rockland County Clerk". (The best way to handle this would be to send a check which is not to exceed $10, since its not known in advance how many photocopies are needed for a particular record).

Send check and request specifying full name and date of the naturalization document(s) to:

Peter J. Scheibner, County Archivist
Bldg S, Sanatorium Road
Pomona, New York 10970

Sample Declaration of Intention. (This is a scan of a photocopy, so you can probably expect better readability than what you see here.)

Note: the LDS Family History Library also filmed these papers. However, Pete Scheibner considers his more recent filming to be of better quality.


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Copyright 1998-2000 Bruce A. Hamilton. All rights reserved. Reproduction for commercial purposes prohibited.
Last updated Sunday, 06-Aug-2000 13:36:51 MDT  by Bruce A. Hamilton