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Naturalization Papers

Greater Cleveland Genealogical Society


Home Up Naturalization Quest 1 Quest 2 1900_Cens

Cuyahoga County Archives
Rhodes House
2905 Franklin Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44111
Phone: (216) 433-7250
Hours: 8:30 am to 4:00 pm

Free parking in lot on west side of building. No fee for self-done research. Fee for copies: $.25
Open Monday through Friday - Closed Weekends & Holidays

When you enter the large doors at the front of the building, you must sign in at the security desk located in the foyer. While facing the desk, there will be a door on each side of the foyer. The room to the right (west side of building) is where you will start your search for Naturalization Papers processed through the Probate Court of Cuyahoga County.
Upon entering the room, there will be a tall grey file cabinet to your right. This is one of the two card catalogs for Naturalization Papers. The drawers are divided alphabetically and, in some cases, sub divided within the letters. These cards have the name, date of arrival, port of arrival, date of birth and other minimal information. Most importantly, they have the location of the original papers on them.
When you have selected the cards you need, sometimes several with the same name, you will take them to the hall. Across the hall you will see a desk blocking an arched doorway. Take the cards to the attendant at this desk and she (or he) will go into the depths of the building to find the appropriate papers. Within minutes, you will have in your hands the original documents your ancestors actually signed!!! These will include, "First papers", statements from witnesses vouching for the character of the applicant, and the final Naturalization papers.
Let me make a personal observation here. In all my dealings at the Archives, I have found the staff to be very helpful and courteous. They go out of their way to assist you whenever possible.
After carefully examining the papers to make sure they actually are the ones you want, approach one of the staff members and request copies of what you have. The copies are 25 cents per page.
There is one other place for finding Naturalization Papers at the Archives. In the same room that you found the grey cabinet, is another wooden file cabinet. When you enter the room, across from the door you are standing in is a fireplace. To the left of the fireplace is a short, small wooden file cabinet. This is another set of index cards, only these are hand-written on old data cards. However, don't let their looks fool you. They have the same power as the nicely typed ones. They contain volume and page information so that you can find Naturalization Papers.
There is another way to find Naturalization Papers. That is through the Federal Court House. That will be another "Tip" article at a later time. Keep an eye out for it!!!




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last edited 18 Mar 2009

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