Welcome to the Genealogy Notebook!
This tool is a place for the USCIS Genealogy Program to share answers to commonly asked Genealogy research and record questions, research tips, and provide updates. Do you have a genealogy research question you would like to see answered in the Genealogy Notebook? Send us your question.
Why Some C-Files May Lack a Declaration of Intention
USCIS Genealogy records requesters sometimes discover that their subject's Certificate File ("C-File") does not contain a Declaration of Intention record. The Declarations are not missing. Rather, these C-Files...
Immigrant Name Changes
We know from experience that records of entry of many aliens into the United States contain assumed or incorrect names and other errors...
Immigrant Name Change - Letters
Read some letters from immigrants explaining their name changes and an essay about immigrants' tendency to change their names…
Researching Deportation Records
The USCIS Genealogy mailbox regularly receives questions about locating historical deportation or exclusion records. The question usually follows...
Quick Guide to finding INS Case and Correspondence Files Related to Specific Individuals
The vast collection of historical Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) subject, policy and correspondence files now stored as Entry 9 of Record Group 85 at the U.S. National Archives in Washington, D.C. includes...
Why Request a USCIS C-File?
A researcher sent the USCIS Genealogy Notebook a very important question..
Where do I find a C-File number?
Certificate numbers can be found in a variety of documents in the public domain.