Naturalization – Obtaining Records

Lake County, Ohio

Probate Records

It is always advisable to obtain a copy of the original record as there are errors in this work. Most early Probate records are one page long, but may be two or three, and the later ones are two pages or may have up to eight if there were letters included.
Probate Court holds Vol. B, 1, 2, 3, and 4 in the Marriage Department, and copies may be ordered inexpensively from the Probate Court at 25 N. Park Place, Painesville, Ohio. Include SASE.
Digitized microfilm is on FamilySearch. Vol. A, B and 1 are on FHL US/CAN Film 974911 (DGS 4591682). Vol. 2, 3 and 4 are on FHL US/CAN Film 974912 (DGS 4591683). These volumes are now browseable and searchable. See “Ohio, County Naturalization Records, 1800-1977.”

Common Pleas Records

Common Pleas records are on microfilm at Morley Library, consisting of one reel of index cards (both courts), two reels of declarations of intention; and ten reels of petitions. The first half of reel 6 of the petitions is actually declarations of intention. They may also be ordered from Lake County Genealogical Society, 184 Phelps St., Painesville, Ohio 44077. There could be as few as three pages or as much as fifteen for a complete record. The actual petition is two pages. Cost is $1.00 per page. A self-addressed stamped envelope is appreciated. Although we do not recommend it, some people send a check with the amount blank and write in “amount not to exceed $xx.00” where the xx is replaced by an estimate of the cost plus a little in case there are extra pages. This allows prepayment without the need to request the total number of pages in a record before ordering. Please include petitioner’s full name and petition number with the order, as well as your name and postal address.
Copies may be obtained from the court in person.

Northern Ohio District Court (prior to 1967)

INS records were done through other courts, and in the case of Cleveland by the Northern Ohio District Court, but actually done by the Common Pleas Court, and kept separate. These are at the National Archives branch at Chicago. They may be ordered from there, or more recently these records including the images have been put on-line at This is a fee web site, which can be accessed for free at Family History Centers, or with certain library cards.

Ohio District Court Records (pre 1860)

The Court Docket Ohio District Court, Lake County, Ohio 1845-1884 is available through FamilySearch and can be viewed at a local Family History Center. The volume 1845-1852 is on FHL film US/CAN 00885057 Item 1.

Other Lake County Courts (pre 1860)

A variety of courts, US District Court, Chancery Court, Supreme Court, Courts of Appeals may have naturalization records among the other cases. Some of these are on FamilySearch, others are not. Most of these are in storage under the clerk of courts.

United States Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) 1893-1975

This federal agency (formerly INS then ICE) maintains an index of the records they hold including copies of naturalizations 1906-1975 from any court; alien registrations; and other items. An index search should be ordered and then the appropriate files.

Remember, only the Common Pleas (CP) records are available through the Lake County Genealogical Society. Please include petitioners full name and petition number with the order, as well as your name and postal address.