The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) has duplicate records of all naturalization’s that occurred after September 26, 1906. Requests for information must be made through a Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act request, sent to:
2nd Floor, ULLB
425 I Street NW
Washington, DC 20536
INS Historical Reference Library
Chester Arthur Building (CAB)
425 I Street NW
Washington, DC 20536
Information about the INS Historical Reference Library collection and services, documents concerning the history of the Service as well as of immigration law, procedure, and immigration stations, and instructions for historical and genealogical research using INS records.
- Overview of INS History
- An Immigrant Nation: The Regulation of Immigration, 1798-1991
- Early Immigrant Inspection Along the US/Mexican Border
- Mexican Border Arrival Records Glossary
- Chinese Immigration Records
- INS facilities for the detention and internment of WW II Enemy Aliens
- INS Commissioners by INS Commissioners, by date
- Glossary of Passenger List Annotations
- INS History, Genealogy and Education – Ports of Entry and Their Records
The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) kept a variety of records at numerous ports at different times. To locate an immigrant arrival record, it is important to know not only the immigrant’s specific Port of Entry, but also where that POE’s records were filed.
Immigration and Naturalization Records from National Archives
Naturalization of Members of the US Armed Forces During World War I
A historical article from the INS about the reduced or waived requirements for US citizenship during WWI.
Changing Immigrant Names
A historical article from the INS about immigrants changing their names or taking assumed names upon entering the United States.
American Names / Declaring Independence
An essay at the INS website about immigrants’ tendency to change their names.
Baden, Germany Emigration Index, 1866-1911 – Free Search
In 1814 the Congress of Vienna recognized Baden as a sovereign member of the German Confederation. For more than 100 years following this event, Baden would be involved in both political and economic turmoil, which led many people to leave the area. While it may take months or years to find an American document stating where an immigrant ancestor was born or resided in Germany, searching emigration records may produce that information in far less time. This index, compiled by the Badischen Generallandesarchive Karlsruhe and microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, contains the names of over 28,000 persons who left Baden between 1866 and 1911. Each entry includes the emigrant’s name, residence or place of birth, and the year of departure. Wives were not indexed separately unless they traveled alone or with their children. Children who left with one or both parents were not indexed. Some cards state that the person whose name is listed was traveling with “five persons” without naming each individual. The emigration lists were sent from district offices scattered throughout the state of Baden, to one central office. From these lists a card index was developed. This electronic index was translated and keyed from the microfilmed copy of the records. Anyone with ancestry based in this German state should find these records interesting. (A paid database)
Irish Records Extraction Database – Free Search
This 100,000 name database of Irish vital records is unique for two reasons. First, it represents one of the first major databases of records from outside the continental United States. This posting represents the beginnings of a vigorous international content acquisition effort. Second, rather than just raw data, this database is accompanied by a significant amount of contextual and historical information. This information can help researchers understand the significance and the source of the data and also extend their research beyond the names available in the database. (A paid database)
United States Ship Passenger Lists
- Ellis Island
This event, long-awaited by genealogists, will provide easy access to ships’ passenger manifest records of immigrants who entered through Ellis Island. Since it is estimated that 40 percent or more of Americans can trace their roots back to an ancestor who came through Ellis Island, millions may be able to find their immigrant ancestors in these records.
- Olive Tree Genealogy Ship Lists
Search hundreds of free ships’ passenger lists. Find your immigrant ancestors on ships arriving in U.S.A., Canada and other ports.
- Russian Mennonite Immigrants From Harbin, China To United States 1930
- CIMO – Cimorelli Immigration Manifests Online
Ships Arriving US From Europe, 1797 – 1930
- Mayflower Passenger Index
- The Dutch Emigration HomepageShips Passenger Lists 1627-1920 well over 100 lists (Dutch & non Dutch immigration)
United States Migration
Tracing Your American Immigrant Ancestor: AHGP’s project ran by Susan Dorris, which is attempting to bridge the gap of our American ancestor’s and their relatives over the “pond.”
They Came in Ships
They Came in Ships is the first comprehensive manual to navigate the vast landscape of these ship records!
Author John Philip Colletta will guide you through the difficult task of uncovering and understanding these essential records. You’ll learn where and how to begin your search for your ancestors! Study the sample research scenarios to make your research time more effective! Colletta has even introduced a special chapter in this edition dedicated to helping you find a ship if your ancestor arrived in a year not included in National Archives! (A book for purchase)