New Jersey Naturalization

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This entry was originally written by Roger D. Joslyn, CG, FUGA, FGBS, FASG for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

This article is part of
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the New Jersey Family History Research series.
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A search for nineteenth- and twentieth-century naturalization records should usually begin with the county clerk. A guide to these records for 1702 to 1886 was prepared by the WPA (Newark, N.J.: New Jersey Historical Records Program, 1941). The state archives has original county clerk’s naturalizations for the counties of Burlington (1790–1956, excluding those for Fort Dix); Camden (1844–1932); Essex (1792–1931); Mercer (1838–1940); Ocean (1850–1966); and Union (1857–1906). U.S. district court naturalization records for Camden, Camp Fort Dix, Newark, and Trenton, for various periods 1838 to 1981, arranged alphabetically or indexed, are at the National Archives—Northeast Region. The earliest of these U.S. district court records were abstracted by Kenneth Scott in “New Jersey Naturalizations, 1838–1844,” National Genealogical Society Quarterly 69 (1981): 27-33.

For the 1700s and 1800s, naturalization records are at the New Jersey State Archives, where there are also microfilms of many of the county records up to 1906. Some of the earliest records were published in Laws of the Royal Colony of New Jersey, 1703–1775, volumes 2–5 of the “New Jersey Archives” 3d series (Trenton, N.J.: Division of Archives and Records Management, 1977–1986). See also John R. Stevenson, “Persons Naturalized in New Jersey Between 1702 and 1776,” The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record 28 (1897): 86-89. It is important to keep in mind that many New Jersey residents may have become naturalized or at least filed a declaration of intention in New York City or Philadelphia if they stayed long enough in those port cities before settling in the Garden State.