South Carolina Naturalization and Citizenship Records
by Victoria Proctor
SOUTH CAROLINA NATURALIZATION RECORDS
1600s - 1776
It wasn't until 1740 that England's Parliament passed a law setting forth
requirements for naturalization in it's colonies: 7 years' residence and an
oath of allegiance to the British Crown. Prior to that time, immigrants to
South Carolina were often from the British Isles and therefore already citizens.
Those from other nations, the French Huguenots for example, were not required to
become British citizens but sometimes chose to officially petition for citizenship.
COLONIAL RECORDS ONLINE:
Petition for Naturalization by French Huguenots - 1696
All those who supported the Revolution were automatically considered
citizens of South Carolina. In 1788, the Articles of Confederation made all citizens
of all states citizens of the new nation. In 1790, Congress enacted a naturalization
act which required: one year's residence in the state, two year's residence in the U.S.,
and a loyalty oath to be sworn in a court.
By 1802 naturalization laws had settled upon five years' residence and a declaration
of intent to be filed three years before taking an oath.
COUNTY AND DISTRICT RECORDS ONLINE
Laurens District, South Carolina
Petitions for Naturalization - BOYD Surname (predominantly Irish, on Clan Boyd web site)
In 1906 the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization
was set up and naturalization records
from October of that year will be found via this agency.
Naturalization records usually
list the petitioner's date of birth, sometimes just the year and their age.
An immigrant could apply for naturalization at any state supreme, superior, district,
or circuit court, or at any federal circuit or district court.
Most naturalization records for the period before 1906 have been microfilmed
by the LDS church and the films may be rented through the LDS Family History Centers.
Many have been indexed or transcribed for publication and are available
at local and regional libraries.
Copyright © 2001, 2002, 2004, 2008, 2011, 2014 Victoria Proctor. All rights reserved.
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