Due to a
small Archives staff and unanticipated
eventualities, patrons are urged to call ahead to
verify public hours for a given day or week.
TIPS ON SEARCHING FOR NATURALIZATION RECORDS
The UWSP ARC maintains the naturalization records for the
following counties: Adams, Juneau, Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon,
Portage, Waupaca, Waushara, and Wood.
There is no statewide index for naturalization records. Determine
the county the applicant resided in. In addition, keep in mind that
the applicant did not have to apply for citizenship in their county
of residence. If the applicant is not found in the county they
resided in, check neighboring counties. Applicants could also file
the declaration of intent in one location and the petition in
another location including a different state.
If the applicant’s papers are not found in the county of
residence, or in neighboring counties, contact the National Archives
and Records Administration Regional Center in Chicago. The records
of Wisconsinites that were naturalized in federal courts, rather
than county courts, are housed here.
The amount of information found in naturalization records varies
greatly before 1906. The process was standardized in 1906 when the
federal government established the Immigration and Naturalization
Service. Generally, the post-1906 records contain more information
than earlier records.
Before 1908, under the Wisconsin Constitution, men were allowed to
vote and to acquire government land by purchase or under the
Homestead Act of 1862 once they filed a declaration of intent.
Before 1908, many applicants took advantage of this, filed only a
declaration of intent and did not petition for citizenship.
Until 1922, women were automatically naturalized when their
husbands were or if they married a citizen. Since women could not
vote until about 1919, many single women did not bother to seek
citizenship. Children were also automatically naturalized when their
Beginning in 1862 military service could be substituted for the
declaration of intent.