Need help narrowing search for US naturalization records #usa #records

Aaron Slotnik

Hi Mark - I'm replying to the group for the benefit of others who may also have an interest or roots in Canton, Ohio like myself.  We're fortunate that the Stark County Court's naturalization records have been digitized, indexed and placed online.  You can find and search them here - .  I may have found your grandfather's and will message you privately.

Aaron Slotnik
Chicago, IL

Barbara Ellman

Mark Horowitz is searching for his grandfather's naturalization.  No first name was provided.  Apparently from the writing, he lived in Ohio.
After 1927, naturalizations had to be issued in Federal Court.  The index cards for the District Court of Northern Ohio are online at FamilySearch.
They are not indexed, with a little effort the Horowitz naturalizations begin at image 2641 of

Barbara Ellman
Secaucus NJ USA
ELLMAN, COIRA, MAIDMAN - Minkovtsy, Ukraine
KAGLE, FASS - Ulanow, Poland

David Oseas


1. The reason why Edward's first papers (Declaration) state "District Court, Cleveland, OH" on top, but "Common Pleas Court, Canton, OH" on the bottom is that he filed twice:  the first time in Common Pleas in 1924, but he apparently did not continue the process.  The Declaration expires after 7 years, so he had to re-file, which he did in District Court in 1941.

2.  Papers were portable, so the final papers did not need to be filed in the same court as the first papers.  He filed his final papers (Petition) in L.A. District Court in 1944.

3. There were multiple copies made of naturalization papers: one stayed with the court and one went to INS (now USCIS).  USCIS response time was very slow, even before the pandemic.  NARA has copies from the district courts, but not local & state courts from early naturalizations.  Also, NARA has not yet digitized all of their holdings. 

The good news is that FamilySearch does have the images from many courts.   I would start by searching the FamilySearch catalog ( ).  Since you do not know which court, or exactly when your grandfather naturalized, you will first need to look at indexes.  I'd do keyword searches on both "Stark County naturalization" and "Cleveland naturalization" and look at the collections of indexes.  You will find that digital images of the index cards are available; however, only some can be viewed from home, whereas others are restricted to viewing at a Family History Center.

Once you have found the court and date/petition number for the naturalization, do the keyword search again, but this time you want to look at the collections of records, not indexes. 

David Oseas

KLEIN: Satoraljaujhely (Ujhely), Hungary > New York > Los Angeles
Hungary > New York
OSEAS/OSIAS/OSIASI/OZIAS: Iasi, Romania > Chicago > Milwaukee > Los Angeles
SCHECHTER/SHEKTER: Kishinev, Bessarabia > New York  
SHERMAN: Iasi, Romania > New York > Los Angeles
STRUL:  Iasi, Romania > Haifa, Israel
WICHMAN: Syczkowo (Bobruisk), Belarus > Milwaukee > Los Angeles

Mark Horowitz

Looking for my grandfather's records. The 1940 census indicates he had his "first papers". His brothers also applied/received citizenship around the same time. My question is: Are my grandfather's records at the county court or USCIS (or somewhere else)? 
Here's the situation: I found records for one brother (Edward) on Ancestry, I suppose because he finished in Los Angeles, and Ancestry has those records transcribed. Anyway, the first papers say "District Court, Cleveland, OH" at the top, but they say "Common Pleas Court, Canton, OH" at the bottom. The second papers say "District Court, Los Angeles" at the top and "District Court, Cleveland" at the bottom.

I searched the National Archives' online scans of the Northern District of Ohio, Cleveland, (here and here), and I couldn't find any records on my grandfather or his brothers, not even Edward, even though he sent his first papers to Cleveland. (And I checked all spelling variations of our last name). 

But just now, a relative sent me another brother's (Hyman) certificate of naturalization which he received in 1940. It says it was issued by the Common Pleas Court of Stark County, Canton, OH.

I've already submitted an index search request to USCIS, but I'm wondering if I should also find someone to search the Stark County Court's archives (has to be done in-person). Where are they supposed to be? Maybe another location? Any advice would be appreciated.


Mark Horowitz