The Index Cards
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The Index Cards | Print |

Between 1821 and 1906, naturalizations took place in numerous St. Louis courts. In the 1930s, the WPA staff made index cards for the naturalization records indicating

  • Name
  • Date of record
  • Court
  • Former country
  • Some cards also listed witnesses to the event

A sample of the original naturalization record shows the limited information available. It provides the name of the new citizen, his former country, and the date of naturalization. These early records do not provide the port or date of entry, the name of the ship, names of other family members, or the name of the town from which they came.

Note: The WPA staff often wrote "Germany" on the index card even if the immigrant came from Hesse-Darmstadt, Baden, or some other state or province. Many of the handwritten entries in the record books on microfilm may contain the real principality of origin or other information.

The Courts

Due to the numerous courts used for naturalizations, a court code was included on the card. A guide to the court system will assist you in locating the microfilm of the original record.

The Society

St. Louis Genealogical Society sorted, alphabetized, and indexed nearly 92,000 names included on these cards. The Missouri State Archives microfilmed the cards.

The original naturalization records are available on film at the Missouri State Archives, St. Louis County Library, State Archives, the Family History Library, St. Louis Public Library, and the Office of the Circuit Clerk, City of St. Louis.

Missing Records

If your ancestor’s name is not included in this index, try alternate spellings, the Soundex code, and checking the original records. Additional naturalization information may be found, if the WPA overlooked an original record.

Naturalizations After 1876

If you believe the naturalization took place after 1876, the record may be located at the current St. Louis County Government Center. In 1876, St. Louis County and St. Louis City separated. St. Louis City became an independent city; however, St. Louis City retained all previously recorded documents. In 1876, a new county courthouse and record center was established in Clayton, St. Louis County, Missouri. It may be necessary to check both locations for any St. Louis record.

 

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