The mission of LowellIrish is to collect and preserve the history and cultural materials, which document the presence of the Irish community in Lowell. As the first immigrant group in a city that continues to celebrate its immigrant past, LowellIrish will serve as an advocate to support a better understanding of the historical, political, religious, and social function the Irish played in the formation of the city.
NEW Genealogy Information- Lowell Police Court Naturalization Records
Walter V. Hickey at work!
In the last few months, LowellIrish has released tens of thousands of names of interments, inscriptions, burial purchases, and civil war burials of 19th century Irish and Irish-Americans living in Lowell, many not recorded in any other location. Those interested in genealogy or researching Lowell's Irish past finally have a central location to find previously unpublished material. It is with great pleasure we now add the Lowell Police Court Naturalization Records for certain periods in the 19th century. Major thanks goes to Walter Hickey for sharing the decades of work he has compiled here. We ask that that any genealogists share our website so we can better disseminate these important records.
Lowell Police Court
The Naturalization records of the Lowell Police Court
prior to September 1906 are broken into two major groups, each with several
annually by Volumes (Years) and thereunder by Number, for example: 1838-1;
NOTE: There are no records,1855 through 1884. The court
could not grant citizenship during those years.
Group II: 1885-1906
are two major sub groups:Regular and
First series, 1885-1890
First Series, 1890-1896
Second series, 1896-1899
Second Series, 1899-1902
Second Series, 1902-1906
Minor Series, 1885-1892
Minor Series, 1892-1897
“Minor Series” papers were filed by those individuals
who ARRIVED in the United States under the age of 18.The age of the applicant did not
matter.If he arrived before his 18th
birthday, he was considered a Minor for naturalizaiion purposes.A Declaration of Intention was not required.
Between 1838 and 1853, there 959 naturalizations in the
Lowell Police Court, 826 of whom were Irish.The remaining 133 were primarily English & Scots.
The top Five Irish Countieswere: Cork – 127; Tyrone – 102 ; Leitrim –
79; Cavan – 67; and Roscommon – 52.
These records were extracted from the dexigraph
(negative) copies held at the National Archives on Trapelo road in Waltham, MA.They were photographed as part of a WPA
project in the late 1903's.A
combination of the negative image AND the handwriting left many words (mainly
place of birth) illegible or at best questionable.
Subsequent to this extraction, the original papers became
available at the Massachusetts State Archives.On Saturdays over a couple of years, these were examined to clarify many
( but not all) unclear entries.The
original papers also contained Declarations of Intention (DI) as well as
requests for Duplicate (DU) Certificates.
Despite this cross referencing, there are still many
relying on the “best read” of the extractor.
Many spellings appear to be phonetic and should be
checked in various reference sources, such as:
Listings of Irish place names in the eightvolumes of Missing Friends
Lewis, Samuel. A Topographical Dictionary of
Ireland. Vol. I. London, England: S. Lewis and Co., 1837. [Ancestry.com, also Familyearch.org
Lists of Towns & Townlands by County in Internet
For more on the filming of the “dexigraphs” by the WPA,
A Gold Mine of Naturalization Records in New
Walter V. Hickey , http://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2004/fall/genealogy-2004-fall.html
The INDEX to these is available on FamilySearch.org