Mastering Immigration & Naturalization Records

Earlier this year I reviewed Mastering Online Genealogy, a new book by W. Daniel Quillen. This book was the first in what Quillen was planning on as his “Essentials of Genealogy” series of genealogical primers. Well, it is officially now a series. Quillen has just published the second volume in his “Essentials” series, Mastering Immigration & Naturalization Records.

The author feels that many of the records available for researching ancestors who came to the U.S. from overseas have been overlooked for years. Efforts of the LDS Church and companies like and have helped bring forth, and continue to do so, searchable, digital copies of many critical records. These records are the key focus of this new book. Instructions are on basic skills necessary for researchers to productively use these records. Here are a few of the topics covered:

  • What are Immigration Records?
  • What is the genealogical value of Immigration Records?
  • Where do I find Immigration Records?
  • What are Naturalization Records?
  • How to located Naturalization Records
  • The genealogical value of naturalization records
  • How to use the Internet and other sources to refine your search

As he has with other books, Quillen uses his own family in his examples, showing his research tactics. There are also plenty of sample documents within these pages. Plus, the author uses a digital “post-it-note” style offset to share extra tips and guidance notes. These are found throughout the book.


Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. The Basics

  • U.S. records first
  • What’s in a name?
  • Know your history
  • Be flexible
  • Ethnic gatherings
  • Religion
  • Immigration records
  • Naturalization records

3. A Little History

4. Immigration Records

  • Passenger lists
  • National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
  • Border-Crossing records
  • United States Customs Passenger Lists
  • and the LDS Church
  • Immigrant Servants Database
  • Old Newspapers
  • Genealogy Societies
  • Ethnic Societies
  • Family Histories
  • Local Histories
  • Funeral Home Records
  • Voter Registration Records

5. Naturalization Records

  • Questions
  • Declaration of Intent
  • Petition for Naturalization
  • Oath of Allegiance
  • Certificate of Arrival
  • Case Study
  • Visa Applications
  • Immigration and Naturalization Service
  • Certificate Files
  • Alien Registration Files
  • Visa Files
  • Registry Files
  • Genealogy Societies
  • Voter Registration Records

6. Other Records

  • Death certificates
  • Alien Enemy Registration records
  • World War I
  • World War II
  • Passport Records

7. Finding Records

  • Googling
  • Where to find Passenger Lists
  • Where to find Naturalization Records
  • Where to find Alien Registration Records

8. A Small Case Study

9. Glossary of Terms



Mastering Immigration & Naturalization Records, second volume in W. Daniel Quillen’s “Essentials of Genealogy” series, is available from Family Roots Publishing; Price: $9.75.

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