Utah Department of Administrative Services

Division of Archives & Records Service

Series 85109

Salt Lake County (Utah). Probate Court Declarations of intention and certificates of citizenship record book

Dates: i 1858-1872.

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These records are housed in the Utah State Archives' permanent storage room.

Historical Note

An agency history is available.

Scope and Content

To become a citizen of the United States, an individual normally filed a "declaration of intention to become a citizen" at least two years prior to applying for citizenship. The next step was the naturalization hearing at which the candidate and witnesses either made oral statements or filed written petitions and affidavits attesting to the applicant's character, worthiness to become a citizen, and the validity of statements made to the court. If the judge found the applicant eligible to become a citizen, an oath was administered and the individual renounced his former citizenship. At this point a certificate of citizenship was issued documenting the fact. All the steps in this process are documented in this volume kept by the court clerk.

The first section of the book contains statements of individuals' intentions to become citizens of the United States. These "declarations of intention" have blanks for the insertion of the individual's name, his former sovereign, date, and signatures of the individual and the court clerk witnessing the statement. Declarations of intention document the applicant's intention to later become a U.S. citizen and to renounce his current citizenship.

The certificates of citizenship which constitute the second half of the volume document aliens' applications for citizenship. They summarize the hearing and oaths. Each form gives the date, applicant's name, nationality, date of declaration of intention, names of those testifying, ruler's name, and a standardized summary of the procedures. The applicant swore that he had filed his intention to become a citizen. Two U.S. citizens testified that the applicant had resided in the territory for a year and in the United States for five years. They further swore that he was of good moral character and attached to the principles of the U.S. Constitution. The applicant then took an oath to support the U.S. Constitution and renounced allegiance to any foreign sovereign, and particularly to the ruler whose subject he had been. The court clerk served as witness.

There are two sections of similarly worded certificates, one for those who had entered the United States after age 18, and one for those who had entered the United States while under age 18. If they met the residency and other requirements, the latter could apply for citizenship at age 21 without actually having filed a declaration of intention.

Arrangement

Entries are grouped by category, with declarations of intention at the beginning, followed by certificates of citizenship for adult entrants, and certificates of citizenship for minor entrants at the back. Within each section, entries are chronological.

Related Records

Naturalization record books from the District Court (Third District : Salt Lake County), Series 3573, contains naturalization records from Salt Lake County after statehood in 1896.

Civil and criminal case minute books from Salt Lake County (Utah). Probate Court, Series 3939, record details of the naturalization hearings documented in the record books.

Declarations of intention and certificate of citizenship record books from the Territorial Supreme Court, Series 3942, from the Supreme Court also contain some records of the 1st and 3rd district courts from 1852-1856 and 1859-1860 respectively. Naturalizations of a Salt Lake County resident may be recorded in this series.

Declarations of intention record books from the District Court (Third District : Salt Lake County), Series 85108, contains further records of Salt Lake County residents after 1896.

Certificates of citizenship record books from the District Court (Third District), Series 85110, of the 3rd District Court may also contain records of Salt Lake residents as Salt Lake County has been in the 3rd judicial district since 1856.

Declarations of intention record books from the District Court (Third District), Series 85111, of the 3rd District Court may contain records from Salt Lake County, perhaps of those whose final naturalizations are recorded here, as Salt Lake County has been in the 3rd district since 1856.

Custody History

These records were transferred to the State Archives by the county before the creation of the Salt Lake County Archives. Hard copy was returned to the County Archives in August 2001; the Utah State Archives retained a film copy for reference.

Access Restrictions

This series is classified as Public.

Preferred Citation

Cite the Utah State Archives and Records Service, the creating agency name, the series title, and the series number.

Processing Note

Archival processing was completed by A.C. Cone in 1989. The volume was microfilmed in 1998. The volume, and a copy of the microfilm, was transferred to the Salt Lake County Archives in August 2001; the Utah State Archives retained a microfilm reference copy.

Finding Aids

Indexes: There is an index at the beginning of the volume. Entries are alphabetic by the first letter of the alien's surname. , covering from January 22, 1858 thru January 28, 1869.

Indexing Terms

  • Declaration of intention—Utah—Salt Lake County.
  • Naturalization—Utah—Salt Lake County.
  • Emigration and immigration—Utah—Salt Lake County.
  • Citizenship—Utah—Salt Lake County.
  • Declaration of intention—Utah—Salt Lake County.
  • Naturalization—Utah—Salt Lake County.
  • Emigration and immigration—Utah—Salt Lake County.
  • Citizenship—Utah—Salt Lake County.

Container List

REEL DESCRIPTION
1 1858 - 1872