The Naturalization Database was compiled from an index card system that was created in the early 20th century, though the entries include information for immigrants from as early as 1832. The database was created based on the original indexing system; each entry is an exact transcription of the original index card (misspellings and all).
Naturalization is the legal process immigrants go through to become citizens of the United States. Naturalization records contain a wealth of information, including an immigrant’s birth country, dates and places of arrival in the United States, date of naturalization, and the names of witnesses.
Ohio’s first state constitution, ratified in 1802, consolidated the court system by giving the court of common pleas authority over issues relating to probate, which included naturalization. When Ohio ratified a new state constitution in 1851, a separate probate court division was established to relieve the high volume of cases being heard by the common pleas courts. Counties were effectively given a choice as to which court would handle naturalization. Most counties moved the naturalization process to the jurisdiction of the new probate division, while others choose to keep the process under the common pleas court. A few counties, choose to split the process between the two court divisions. The Naturalization Database contains entries for both the Clerk of Courts and Probate Court divisions.