Sample Naturalization Index Cards

In reference to the 08 September 2008 article on the naturalization index at Ancestry and how it pertains to the USCIS records that are available for the post-1906 era, I was able to obtain some examples of various cards that were used.

Card Missing C-Number
The index cards for the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan (Detroit) did not use the standard U.S. Naturalization Service index card form. The Certificate number (C-number) is missing from the Court record from Ancestry on the left. Circled in red on the USCIS index card on the right, it is the number required for requesting the naturalization file from USCIS.










Alien Registration Number 
In the example below, in addition to the C-number (circled in red), we also find an alien registration number (circled in green). It’s also interesting to note that while the Court card on the left only gives the immigrant’s original name, the USCIS card on the left, also provides the immigrant’s new name and the fact that it had been changed along with the original name. When you’re searching the Ancestry index, keep this in mind and search for names in the immigrant’s home language. See for translations of many given names.  









Information on Some Index Cards
In some cases, we find more information on the Court index card on the left. It provides a street address, date and place of birth, occupation, wife’s name, date of admission (naturalization), and the Certificate or C-number (circled in red). Be careful not to confuse it with the petition number when you request the records, or you’ll get that dreaded “file not found” response!








Carbon Copies
By the 1920s and into the 1930s, the USCIS card is literally a carbon copy of the court card. As mentioned in the article, be sure to use the date of admission (naturalization), rather than the “issued” date which is found in the index to the cards on Ancestry.








The Switch from Age to Date of Birth
In the 1940s, the field for “age” was changed to “date of birth.” Also, circled in green below is the number to th Alien Registration. C-Files dated after 01 April 1944 typically also include a copy of the Alien Registration form, so submit your request for the C-File first. If it does not come with the Alien Registration form, then go ahead and submit a request for the Alien Registration form separately.


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