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Index to Naturalization, 1834-1903

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Name search for non-British subjects wishing to own land or vote in NSW. This index contains over 5500 entries and was compiled from one record series.

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About the Index

The index was compiled from:

NRS 1042, Index to Registers of Certificates of Naturalization and Lists of Aliens to Whom Certificates of Naturalization have been issued, 1849-1903
Each naturalization certificate shows: the person's name; native place; the date of certificate; and the relevant volume and page numbers in the register. For copying purposes the Item and Reel numbers have also been added to the Index.

It is the index to the following record series from which the copies are available:

NRS 1040, Registers of Certificates of Naturalization, 1849-59, 1876-1903, Reels 128A-141A

NRS 1041, Lists of Aliens to whom Certificates of Naturalization have been issued 1859-76, Reel 130

Accessing the records

Microfilm copies of the records can be viewed in our reading room.

Copy ServiceThere is a photocopy service available from this Index. You will see an 'Add to Cart' tickbox option on the search results page(s).

About the records

Letter numbers from the Colonial Secretary's Correspondence

The index notes a number of letter numbers recorded on the original index. These relate to the Colonial Secretary's correspondence and generally concern the reissuing of certificates due to loss where a certificate was required for travel, business or to apply for the old age pension. Occasionally the original application for naturalization may be included. Where the letter has been located we have added the State Records' item number, for example Letter no 97/19399 in [5/6407].

Important!Please note - Applications for naturalization up to 1903 are not available to order unless a letter number and State Records item number is known. You can undertake research to find the numbers in our reading room.


Impounded appears as an annotation beside a number of entries in the original index. Where letters have survived the term impounded appears to indicate that the certificate was impounded by customs or that a duplicate certificate was withheld and not reissued in cases such as where the person in possession of the certificate or applying for a duplicate was suspected of not being the person to whom the certificate was originally issued.

About Naturalization

Naturalization records are a good source of information for tracing details of an immigrant ancestor's arrival and native place.

Why people were naturalized

Non British subjects who wished to vote or own land needed to be naturalized.

Conditions for naturalization

One of the conditions of naturalization was a five year period of residency in New South Wales.

Who was naturalized

Most of the records relate to people, mainly men, from European countries as well as from countries such as China and those in the Americas.

Who was NOT naturalized

People from countries that were part of the British Empire, such as Canada and Ireland did not need to be naturalized to vote or own property.

Few women are documented in the naturalization records.


We would appreciate any feedback and suggestions you may have on using the Index.