Wisconsin. Circuit Court (Polk County): Naturalization Records, 1855-1954

Scope and Content Note


For preservation purposes some volumes have been dismantled and placed in boxes. For these volumes the Contents List below gives the volume number for identification purposes and the box and folder number for location purposes. Also, some of these records have been microfilmed. For these the Contents List gives the volume number and also the reel and item number where the volume is located on the microfilm.

Certificates of Naturalization and Petitions

To locate a Certificate of Naturalization or a Petition, the researcher should begin with the Card Index to Citizenship (1859-1906, 1927-1954). If the name being researched is not found there, the Index to Citizenship (1907-1954) should be consulted. In both of these indexes the key information is the Certificate or Petition number. These indexes also give the volume, page number, and other identifying information, but this information, because of inconsistencies, is often misleading.

The Card Index is alphabetical. It gives the Certificate number for papers filed prior to 1907; this number is also the number of the corresponding Petition. For those filed after 1907 the Petition number is the key piece of information provided by the Card Index. Unfortunately, this index does not include information for Petitions filed between 1907 and mid-1927.

The Index to Citizenship (1907-1954), Volume C, is arranged in alphabetical segments by first letter of surname and therein more or less chronologically by date of the Petition. It gives the date, volume, page, and document number of Declarations, Petitions, and Certificates for those who completed the naturalization process after 1906.

There is also an Index to Petitions and Certificates (1859-1906), Volume B, which is arranged in alphabetical segments and more or less chronologically therein. It gives the date, volume, and page number, but it is inconsistent in its numbering of the volumes. Thus, the date is the only reliable finding aid. This index should be used only as a last resort.

Declarations of Intention

The Index to Declarations of Intention (1855-1889), Volume A, is also arranged in alphabetical segments and therein more or less chronologically by date of Declaration. It gives the date of the Declaration and sometimes the volume and page number. For Declarations filed between 1889 and 1907 the researcher should consult the indexes at the front of Volumes 4 and 5. Declarations for people who completed the naturalization process after 1906 are indexed in the Index to Citizenship (1907-1954), which is described above. All Declarations filed after 1906 are contained in Volumes 6-10 and each of these volumes is individually indexed at the front.