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West Virginia Naturalization Records

Naturalization to become a U.S. citizen was a two-part process: the Declaration of Intent to Naturalize, or First Papers, and the Naturalization Record (including the Naturalization Petition), or Final Papers. The First Papers were normally filed five years before the Final Papers because of the five-year residency requirement to become a citizen. No centralized files existed before 1906. In 1906 federal forms replaced the various formats that had been used by the various courts. Copies were sent to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), creating a central file for naturalization papers. The INS is now known as the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). These naturalization records can be found on two different websites, one paid and one free. There is no difference between the indices at either location, it really depends on what software you may be using to record your family tree, as you will want to use Ancestry’s database if you’re using either their online tree or FTM and have a membership. Ancestry – West Virginia, Naturalization Records, 1814-1991 – $$$ Family Search – West Virginia, Naturalization Records, 1814-1991 – Free Barbour County WV Naturalization Law Orders, 1903-1904 Berkeley County WV Declarations of Intention, 1908-1922, v. 1 Declarations of Intention, 1922-1929, v. 2 Declarations of Intention, 1930-1978, v. 3 Naturalization Certificates, 1911-1916 Naturalization Certificates, 1917-1924 Naturalization Certificates, 1924-1929 Naturalization Lists, 1840-1991, v. 1 Naturalization Loose Papers, 1840-1905 Naturalization Petitions, 1930-1946 Naturalization Petitions, 1946-1958 Naturalization Records, 1904-1906, v. 1 Naturalization Records, 1930-1953 Naturalization Records, 1953-1991 Petition Records, 1908-1920, v. 1 Petition Records, 1921-1929, v. 2 Brooke County WV Applications for Oath of Allegiance, 1937 Declarations of Intention,...

The Switzers in Virginia

“The Switzer family is of German and Swiss origin and was founded in America by three brothers, John, Valentine and Nicholas, sons of John Swit­zer, who never came to America. About 1770 the three brothers settled in Hardy, then Hampshire ‘County.” FROM “THE HISTORY OF BARBOUR COUNTY” Cornelia Switzer-Burkholder, a daughter of Daniel Morgan Switzer, a son of Valentine’ Switzer, a son of Nicholas Switzer, immigrant, who obtained in her life time much information concerning the genealogy of the Switzer family, and at her death left with Frank C. Switzer, of Harrisonburg, Va., certain rec­ords and correspondence, made the following statement: “That Rev. William Franklin Switzer, D. D., of Gary, Indiana, in 1929, wrote me as follows: “The Switzer family is of German and Swiss origin, and was founded in America by three brothers, John, Valentine and Nicholas, sons of John Swit­zer, who never came to America. About 1770, three brothers settled in Hardy County, West Virginia, which was then a part of Hampshire County, Virginia.’ “This information was given him by Mrs. Olga Switzer Riley of Gary, Indiana, a daughter of Charles Kenna Switzer, a son of David U. Switzer and a great-grandson of immigrant John. In 1929, she visited at her childhood home in Phillip, West Virginia, and found this information in an old history that had belonged to her father. “Dr. Switzer also wrote ‘There is a Switzer Coat-of-Arms.’ The record of the same in the Newberry Genealogical Library in Chicago, gives the’ origin of a certain Nobleman in the Grand Duchy of Hesse, who, by bravery and noble service was advanced to high honor “I...

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