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Research Tip #3

Alien Depositions

Alien depositions are statements of intent to become a US citizen, enabling an individual to buy/transfer real property. Original, signed alien depositions (Series A1869) are arranged roughly chronologically (1825-1913). They typically give the name of alien, date and place of deposition, and (sometimes) country of origin. 

Abstracts of depositions (series A1870) were compiled from original depositions and assigned consecutive numbers. They give only the alien's name, residence (sometimes), and date and place of deposition.

There is a three-volume index to the abstracts (series A1898).   The index can be used to find original documents in A1869 through a multi-step process:

  1. A1898 index to abstracts (gives name and vol./pg. nos. in A1870)
  2. A1870 abstracts (gives name and DATE)
  3. A1869 original depositions (search for DATE as given in A1870)