211 S. Court Street
Rockford, IL. 61101
Phone: (815) 987-4355
Hours: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
The Northern District of Illinois, Western Division encompasses ten counties which include, Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, McHenry, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside, and Winnebago.
The U.S. District Court for the Western Division did not start immigration proceedings until 1930. The court was located from 1906-1978 in Freeport, Illinois. Those records are kept in the U.S. District Court, here in Rockford, IL.
If a person was naturalized between 1920-1978, and it would have occurred in Freeport, IL., then the person could have been naturalized in the U.S. District Court or the Stephenson Circuit Court because at that time, the individual County Courts were naturalizing also. So if a person said they were naturalized in Winnebago County in 1955, you would need to research that information with the Circuit Clerk's Office in Winnebago County.
From the time of 1978 through 1983, both the U.S. District Court (which is now in Rockford) and the Winnebago Circuit Court naturalized people, so you must check the certificate for the name of the court if possible. People sworn in the U.S. District Court will have that court on the certificate, as does the Winnebago Circuit Court have that court typed on the certificate.
The U.S. District Court has the petitions of those naturalized up through 7/91. After that time, Immigration and Naturalization processes and retains the petitions. This was done by act of Congress in October of 1991.
On those petitions you will find the following:
Prior to 1982, all petitioners were required to have TWO Witness affidavits attesting to the knowledge of that person to be of good moral character. The petitions prior to 1967 also have the following information in addition to that above:
Every certificate has a duplicate but those duplicates are usually kept by Immigration and Naturalization. (Immigration and Naturalization Service, Northern Service Center, P.O. Box 87400, Lincoln, Nebraska 68501-7400). There are some Circuit Courts in this Division of the Northern District of Illinois that do have the "Certificates of Naturalization". These are very old Naturalizations.
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Naturalization is a court activity because only the Judge is empowered to naturalize anyone, therefore, the records are kept with the Circuit Clerk of each county if done in the Circuit Court, and with Clerk of the US. District Court, if the naturalization was done by a U.S. District Judge.
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This page created by Cecelia Yeruski for the ILGenWeb Project.
Last updated: Monday, 10-Sep-2018 12:20:49 MDT