Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon recently made an amazing discovery. While settling into her new job and familiarizing herself with the various functions of her office, Hanlon discovered the naturalization records of 34,677 Monmouth County residents who applied for United States citizenship between 1800 and 1991.
Until 1991 when the the responsibility of granting citizenship was transferred solely to the federal Immigration and Naturalization Service, the recording and filing of records from naturalized citizens was the responsibility of the County Clerk.
“The books hold a tremendous amount of history, documenting the naturalization of citizens; people who immigrated to the United States and came through Monmouth County,” said Hanlon. “These books are very special in that they provide us with insight as to the immigrant experience in Monmouth County during different periods of our history including World War I and World War II. The books contain photographs, family information, military service information and much more. We want to transfer these books to our Archives Division so that they can be properly preserved.”
Hanlon and Monmouth County Archivist Gary Saretzky will oversee the transfer of the books to the Archives facility, located in the Monmouth County Library Headquarters in Manalapan.
“Moving the books to Archives will protect the records of 34,677 people who applied for naturalization from light, dust and unnecessary handling,” said Saretzky. “All of these measures will help increase the longevity of the books.”
The County Archives can be visited Monday through Friday from 9 a.m through 4 p.m. The rules for archive visits can be found here.