Genealogical Research

If you are a current member of a genealogical society that is incorporated or authorized to do business or conduct affairs in Connecticut (see the current list on the CT State Library Website, you are entitled to access all vital records except confidential files related to adoption, paternity, surrogacy agreements and sex amendments related to gender re-assignment. Also, note that genealogists may not access the social security numbers on vital records consistent with federal law.

If you would like to access the Granby vital records you may make an appointment with the Town Clerk by calling 860-844-5308 or you may do research with the State Vital Records Office at 860-509-7955. The vital records registry maintained by the State contains records from 1897 to the present. For older records, you will need to contact the local vital records office or the Connecticut State Library. You are required to provide a valid genealogical research card at the time of your appointment.

Naturalization Records

Naturalization is the process by which an alien becomes an American citizen. It is a voluntary act and is not required.

Prior to September 27, 1906, any "court of record" (municipal, county, state, or Federal) could grant United States citizenship. Often petitioners went to the court most geographically convenient for them. As a general rule, the National Archives does not have naturalization records created in state or local courts. However, a few indexes and records have been donated to the National Archives from counties, states, and local courts. Researchers should contact the National Archive Facility serving the state in which the petitioner resided to determine if records from lower courts are available. In certain cases, county court naturalization records maintained by the National Archives are available as microfilm publications. Records from state and local courts are often at state archives or county historical societies.

Beginning September 27, 1906, the responsibility for naturalization proceedings was transferred to the Federal courts. It took time for the lower courts to let go of the practice, so researchers may need to look at lower courts if the National Archives does not maintain a record of naturalization from the early to the mid-20th century. In general, naturalization was a two-step process (see note) that took a minimum of five years. After residing in the United States for two years, an alien could file a "declaration of intention" ("first papers") to become a citizen. After three additional years, the alien could "petition for naturalization" ("second papers"). After the petition was granted, a certificate of citizenship was issued to the alien. These two steps did not have to take place in the same court.

Note: Exceptions can include cases of derivative citizenship, processed for minor aliens from 1824 to 1906, and special consideration for veterans.

If naturalization took place in a Federal court, naturalization indexes, declarations of intention (with any accompanying certificates of arrival), and petitions for naturalization will usually be in the National Archives Facility serving the state in which the federal court is located. No central index exists.