Naturalization is the process by which U.S. citizenship is conferred upon a foreign citizen or national after he or she fulfills the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). While individuals today are naturalized through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), individuals at one point could become citizens through the local municipal or county court.
If an individual was naturalized through a municipal, county, or federal court prior to 1906, their petition and certificate will be found in that particular court’s records. After 1906, municipal courts lost their authority to naturalize individuals, and county courts were required to forward the certificates to the federal government. The county courts however retained the petitions and declarations of intention. More information about the history of naturalization is available from the National Archives.
Accessing Naturalization Records of Individuals Naturalized In Vermont
Most Vermont naturalization records have been transferred from municipal and county courts to the Vermont State Archives. Other naturalization records however remain in the custody of the courts.
The State Archives also holds copies of petitions and declarations of intention filed with the United States District Court for Vermont from 1801 to 1972.
Individuals should note that all certificates of naturalization issued after 1906 are only available from the federal government. Researchers interested in certificates issued for Vermonters by a federal court should contact the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) Records Center in Waltham, MA. Researchers searching for all other post-1906 certificates should contact the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service.