A Guide To Finding Ross County, Ohio
From the first naturalization law passed by Congress in 1790 through much of the 20th century, an alien could become naturalized in any court of record. Thus, most people went to the court most convenient to them, usually a county court. The names and types of courts vary from State to State. The names and types of courts have also varied during different periods of history, but may include the county supreme, circuit, district, equity, chancery, probate, or common pleas court. Most researchers will find that their ancestors became naturalized in one of these courts. Ross County, Ohio Naturalization Records are found the county Probate Court after 1851. Do not be surprised if county court employees tell you that their naturalization records are at "the National Archives" or that their court never conducted naturalizations. Most current court employees are probably not genealogists and may not be familiar with the court's older records. It is up to the researcher to determine the location of older court records.
Prior to 1906 an alien could be naturalized in any court of record. In most cases it is best to begin a search for naturalization documents in courts in the county where the immigrant is known to have resided. It is not uncommon to discover that, your immigrants, began the citizenship process by taking out first papers in the county in which they first arrived in this country. They may have started the process somewhere on Eastern or Southern Seaboard, and then completed the requirements in the county or state when final residency was established in the Ross County.
Work Projects Administration (WPA)
During the 1930s and 1940s, most states participated in a nationwide project, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice and carried out by the Work Projects Administration (WPA), to locate and photograph naturalization records predating 27 September 1906. Although all photo static copies were to be deposited with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), few of the states or districts were completed when the WPA was disbanded in 1942.
Naturalization Records Created from Colonial period to Revolutionary War.
If your ancestors arrived prior to the Revolutionary War non-British ancestors may have taken an oath of allegiance in the colony in which they resided. Many of these records have been published.
Naturalization Records Created from Revolutionary War to before 27 September 1906
Naturalization records recorded at the County Probate court can
be found on microfilm from the
Family History Library. Microfilm rolls can be ordered from local Family
History Centers. Also, the book listed below is extremely helpful for finding
Guide to Naturalization Records of the United States by Christina Schaefer. This book will show you how to locate Naturalization records (especially those prior to Sept 1906). It contains a directory divided by State and then by County, showing the available records for each place, and where to find them. You can order the book from Amazon.com by clicking on the title. Or try your local library.
Naturalization Records Created after September 27, 1906
These are to look for your ancestors Naturalization records after September 27, 1906.
Federal District Court - After 1917, Naturalization Records became federal-level records and were held at the regional Federal District Courts of Ohio. The United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Columbus, served Ross County, Ohio. The Family History Library - Film containing records from the US District Court Southern District of Ohio, Columbus 1917-1933
The Immigration & Naturalization Service (INS), now called the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) maintains a duplicate file of naturalizations that took place after 27 September 1906. The Bureau of Immigration and Naturalizationwas established in 1906, and copies of ALLl naturalizations made after this date in courts around the country were forwarded to this agency. INS naturalization certificate files, known as C-Files, include a duplicate copy of all naturalization records dated after September 26, 1906. All C-Files contain at least a copy of the Declaration of Intention (184k) to become a US Citizen (to 1952), Petition for Naturalization (279k), and Certificate of Naturalization (223k). Occasional files contain additional documents or correspondence. C-Files include all US naturalizations from all States and Territories, and from all courts (Federal, State, and local). INS maintains an index to the C-Files, and can retrieve individual records based on name, date of birth, and place of birth.
You can use the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to obtain these records by following the these instruction.
The National Archives... See: Naturalization Records at the US National Archives