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# Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Free Database of the Week: Cook County Naturalization Records
Posted by Diane

If your immigrant ancestor settled in Chicago or the surrounding area, here's one for you:

Cook County, Ill. (home of Chicago), has posted a database of transcribed information from declarations of intention filed in the county’s circuit court between 1906 and 1929.

A declaration of intention, sometimes called “first papers,” was the first step toward becoming a US citizen.

Records are still being added. So far, the database contains information from more than 150,000 of the 400,000 declarations of intention filed. A grant from the National ArchivesNational Historical Publications and Records Commission funds the project.

The search is pretty flexible: You can search on a name or part of a name, birthdate, birth place, occupation or other parameters. My search on Syria as the country of birth netted 94 matches.

Click on a match to see the date the intention was filed, birth information, occupation, current residence, port of departure for the United States and date of arrival.

To order the original declaration of intention (for a search fee of $9, plus photocopying charges), click the How to Order link at the bottom of the page.

See Family Tree Magazine's online guide to learn more about finding your ancestors’ naturalization records.


Free Databases | Genealogy Web Sites | immigration records
Wednesday, October 15, 2008 1:54:43 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [3]
Thursday, October 16, 2008 2:24:17 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
I'm so excited. Thank you for posting this information. I never thought to look for my great grandfather's declaration before this blog post. His Naturalization records were completed in Boston right before his death in 1940. So, I was really surprised to find him listed in 1912 along with his son.

Thank you!
Thursday, October 16, 2008 2:40:06 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Thanks for the tip! A question about the records being added: do they fall between 1906 and 1929 or will they be older records? If so, how far back are they going to post?
Thanks-Jim
Jim Austin
Thursday, October 16, 2008 2:47:26 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Hi, Jim,

From what I can tell, the court doesn't plan to post pre-1906 Declarations of Intention online. It does have records going back to 1871; see the FAQ page for information about obtaining them: http://www.cookcountyclerkofcourt.org/NR/faq.aspx

Diane
Diane
Comments are closed.