Guide to Naturalization Records
This document seeks to provide guidance to researchers seeking information about naturalizations that occurred in Alaska before 1959. The Alaska State Archives holds some of the naturalization records for pre-1959 Southeast Alaska and portions for the remainder of Alaska, most all of which have been indexed by name. Additional pre-1959 naturalization records for Alaska are held by National Archives, Seattle, and have not been indexed by the Alaska State Archives.
District Courts of Alaska were a designated authority for allowing and recording naturalizations. The courts evolved from one district court in Sitka, first established 1884, and were organized into four divisions in 1909, which have served Alaska since. Different courts maintained different naturalization records as well as procedures before 1906 that are reflected in documents transferred to the State Archives. The clerk of the court generally recorded naturalizations.
An index has been created that captures the names of individuals who sought naturalization in Alaska pre-1959 according to the records held by the Alaska State Archives. Naturalization files for these individuals were created in the courts of Juneau, Sitka, Petersburg, Ketchikan, Wrangell, Skagway, Cordova, Fairbanks, Nome, and a few additional cities. These naturalization files include Declarations of Intention, Petitions for Naturalization (approved and denied), Fact Sheets for Declarations and Petitions, Depositions in Support of Petitions, Certificates of Naturalization, lists of applicants for admission to citizenship and Native Alaskans citizenship case files. Some files contain correspondence with the clerk of court, notification of court procedures with regard to the application for citizenship or a request to withdraw the application. Some files include photos of applicants. The index represents the vast bulk of holdings by the State Archives.**
** A small selection of records have not yet been indexed and added to the accompanying index. These include box/volume #s OS 1647, 1650, AS 6280, 28146, and 29458-60. Portions of OS 1507 remain un-indexed. Early ledgers created by the Clerk of the Court prior to 1900 contain information on naturalizations, which have not yet been indexed. Some of these are housed in Series 69, 355, 415, and possibly others.
The index is arranged alphabetically by name – last, first, AKA (also known as, or previous name) and includes country of origin, date of application, applicant's residence and occupation, judicial precinct, record type, case number, and the identifying archives box/volume number.
Microfilmed Index of Naturalizations for Skagway 1901-1917 and Juneau 1900- 1929 is available at the State Archives upon request. Note: this information may be duplicative and of secondary value in comparison to the index created by the State Archives.
[name of individual, box/volume#], Naturalization Record, Alaska State Archives, Juneau, Alaska