Declaration of Intention
Naturalization is the process by which a alien (foreign-born resident) becomes an American citizen. Prior to 1906, this was not a mandatory requirement.
Only males could apply for naturalization. Women and minor children were admitted with the male head of household. However,once a male child had attained adulthood (age 21), he could petition the Police Court for his own naturalization. This was called an "APPLICATION OF A MINOR".
The first step in the process was the Declaration of Intention to become a citizen. A male individual living in Manchester or in a surrounding town would petition the Police Court to declare his intention to become a citizen of the United States and to renounce all allegiance to his country of origin.
Once he had lived in the United States for approximately five years, he was then eligible to become a naturalized citizen. The Police Court was also the naturalization court. The individual would appear with witnesses who attested to his good character and his attachment to the principles of Constitution of the United States.
An individual who had served in the United States military could apply for naturalization by submitting a record of service, usually signed by his commanding officer. A declaration of intention was not required. This was called an "APPLICATION OF A SOLDIER".
An individual could file his declaration of intention in one location but become a naturalized citizen in another. The database states if the Archives has either the naturalization papers or the declaration of intention papers or both.
The fee for each document is $5.00, payable by money order or by check drawn on a New Hampshire bank to the City of Manchester. Please mail your request to:
Manchester Muncipal Archives
Office of the City Clerk
One City Hall Plaza
Manchester, NH 03101
WHAT TO REQUEST
If "yes" is under the heading DECLARATION, this means there are both naturalization and declaration of intention papers. Cost $10.00
If "yes" is missing under the heading DECLARATION, there are only the naturalization papers. Cost $5.00.
If "Yes-No Naturalization" is under the heading DECLARATION, this means there is a Declaration of Intention but the naturalization papers are missing. Cost $5.00.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DATABASE
The database contains the first and last name of the individual, the country of origin and his place of residence. The Police Court utilized a pre-printed, standardized form which stated that the individual was a "free white person and an alien and subject of Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland". If the individual did not emigrate from the United Kingdom, this phrase was crossed out and the appropriate ruler and country were substituted.
Most of the applicants resided in Manchester. However, individuals living in other towns could apply to the Police Court.
Naturalizations/Declaration of Intentions Database
1st page of Naturalization Papers
OTHER LOCATIONS FOR NATURALIZATION PAPERS:
The National Archives Facility in Waltham, MA has naturalization records for the New England states on microfilm.
The New Hampshire State Archives in Concord, NH also has naturalization records and declarations of intention.
New Hampshire State Archives
Application of a Minor