The Resource Portsmouth (Va.) Naturalization Records, 1843-1891
- Portsmouth (Va.) Naturalization Records, 1843-1891
- Inclusive dates
- Portsmouth (Va.) Naturalization Records, 1843-1891, include reports for naturalization, declarations of intent to become United States citizens, and notices of application for admission of citizenship. The reports are narrative accounts made by applicants summarizing their journey to the United States. The declarations of intent record the person's name, place of birth, age, country of previous citizenship, renunciation of allegiance and fidelity to the nation of which the person is currently a citizen, and the date the intention was sworn. Also found in the collection are affivdavits filed with the reports and declarations. They were given by individuals who knew the applicant and could vouch for their loyalty to the United States. Declarations of intent from other states such as Delaware, Maryland, New York, and Pennsylvania are found in the collection. The notices for applications are lists of individuals who have petitioned the court for naturalization. Information included in the lists are name of petitioner, place of birth, residence, date of arrival in the United States, place of arrival, date of hearing, and name and residence of witnesses
- Biographical or historical data
- Portsmouth was established in 1752 in Norfolk County, a county which is now extinct. Incorporated as a town in 1836, it was incorporated as a city in 1858. The city of Norfolk was established in 1680 and in 1845 was incorporated as an independent city.
- Prior to 1906, the naturalization process was the responsibility of local and state courts. Declarations of intent were the record by which an applicant for U.S. citizenship declared their intent to become a citizen and renounced their allegiance to a foreign government. A declaration of intention normally preceded proof of residence or a petition to become a citizen by two or more years. Beginning in 1795, a person could declare their intent to become a citizen at any time and in any place after they arrived in the United States.
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