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Immigration & Naturalization Records

What Are They?

What CAN They Tell You?

  • Naturalization Records

  • Declaration of Intents

  • Passenger Lists

  • Nationality

  • Ship names

  • Entry date to the U.S.

  • Someone's age

  • Occupation

  • Destination

Online Resources

Where Are Immigration & Naturalization Records Located?

How to Find Immigration & Naturalization Records on Our Website


For specifically German immigrants. There is a 67 volume set "Germans to America: Lists of Passengers Arriving at U.S. Ports". This spans from January 1840-June 1897. These books can tell you names, dates, ages, province or county, villages, occupations, their destination, name of the ship, departure port, and arrival port.


**German ancestry is some of this most common ancestry researched in the history room.**


Among other German immigration texts available include:

  • Baden Emigration Book;

  • German Immigration Servant Contracts, Port of Philadelphia (1817-1831)

  • Germany Ship Passenger Lists: 

       "N.G.S.S. Hansa" (May 1868)

       "Schiller" (1875)

       "N.G. Lloyd S.S. Mose" (1876)

       "Russia" (1893)

       "Stutlgart (1893)

       "Trave" (1893)


For other general immigration texts (these aren't used very often):

  • Emigrants to America (1718-1733)

  • Mayflower Families

  • Passengers Who Arrived in the U.S. (Sept. 1821-Dec. 1823)

  • Port Arrivals & Immigrants to the City of Boston (1715-1716) (1762-1769)

  • Ship Passenger Lists: National & New England (1600-1825)

  • Ship Passenger Lists: New York & New Jersey (1600-1825)

  • They Came in Ships

There are naturalization binders in the room for Sandusky, Wood & Lucas County.  Just look for them in their sections.

Many of the Immigration Records we have are uploaded to our website under the Local History Section. On this page, you have the options of doing a keyword search or browsing the collection


Under the Browse Digital Collections, you will find a specific Naturalization Section. This is useful in narrowing your search.


You can browse or keyword search within this collection. These are mostly Declaration of Intentions. A Declaration of Intention is the record by which an applicant for United States citizenship declared their intent to become a citizen and renounced their allegiance to a foreign government. These records usually will have: name, country of birth or allegiance (but not town), date of the application and signature. Some show the date and port of arrival in the United States. A Declaration of Intention normally preceded proof of residence or a petition to become a citizen by two or more years. Exceptions: a person who entered the country while a minor, honorable military discharges, a person married to a citizen. The Declaration of Intention requirement ended in 1952.


One of the main places to look for Naturalization & Declaration of Intent (DOI) records is this pink binder.  It tells you the location of all of the original Ottawa Co. records on our microfilm. 


There is an index for DOI and another for Naturalizations.  These tell you the Microfilm # and pg. # to find the original record.  The two numbers also tell you where to find the transcription of the record (located after each index)

Example:  Book A  p. 123  look for the Transcription that says Book A and then number 123 should be the person you are looking for

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