Source Information

Ancestry.com. Idaho, Naturalization Records, 1903-1982 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
Original data: A full list of sources can be found here.

About Idaho, Naturalization Records, 1903-1982

This database contains naturalization records created in U.S. District Courts in Idaho.

The Naturalization Process

The act and procedure of becoming a citizen of a country is called naturalization. In the United States, from the time the first naturalization act was passed in 1790 until 1906, there were no uniform standards for naturalization records. After 1906 the vast majority of naturalizations took place in federal courts and used standardized forms.

The first step for an immigrant wanting to become a U.S. citizen was completing a Declaration of Intention. These papers are sometimes called First Papers because they are the first forms completed in the naturalization process. These papers were typically filled out fairly soon after an immigrant's arrival in America, though there were times when certain groups of individuals were exempt from this step, such as aliens enlisting for military service for the United States during World War I.

After the immigrant had completed these papers and met the residency requirement (which was usually five years), the individual could submit a Petition for Naturalization. Petitions are also known as Second or Final Papers because they are the next and last set of papers completed in the naturalization process. They include an oath of allegiance and, depending on the form, may also include affidavits or depositions of witnesses.

What You May Find in the Records

The majority of records in this database are Declarations of Intention and Petitions for Naturalization, but you may also find certificates of arrival, certificates of loyalty, personal descriptions, requests for withdrawal and transfer, miscellaneous letters concerning an individual's case, and other documents associated with the naturalization process. Not all record types are available for each individual, though most will have a Petition for Naturalization, and not all variations of a form contain extended information concerning the individual's family. When you find a document, use the arrow keys to scroll forward and backward to see if there are other documents related to this person included in the collection.

Forms vary, but they may include the following information:

Declarations of Intention

  • name
  • age
  • date of birth
  • place of birth
  • nationality
  • gender
  • physical description
  • spouse’s name
  • spouse’s birthplace
  • children (names, birth dates, birthplaces, residences)
  • occupation
  • former residence
  • current address/residence
  • ship/vessel name
  • port of arrival
  • date of arrival
  • event date
  • photograph

Petitions for Naturalization

  • name
  • age
  • date of birth
  • place of birth
  • nationality
  • current address/residence
  • marital status
  • gender
  • physical description
  • occupation
  • spouse’s name
  • marriage date and place
  • spouse’s date and place of birth
  • number of children
  • children’s names, gender, and dates and places of birth
  • date admitted into the U.S.
  • name change information
  • alien registration number
  • ship name or mode of arrival
  • port or place of arrival
  • date of arrival
  • event date
  • dates of residence in the U.S.
  • dates departed and returned to the U.S. during the residency requirement period
  • witnesses’ names

Certificates of arrival typically list

  • name
  • port of entry
  • date
  • vessel name or manner of arrival

Much of the information on the naturalization process was adapted from Loretto D. Szucs. They Became Americans: Finding Naturalization Records and Ethnic Origins (Salt Lake City, UT: Ancestry, Inc., 1998).