Naturalization Records: Search Example

I knew from the obituaries for my great-grandparents Andrew and Oline Otterberg that they lived in South Dakota until 1910 when they moved to southwestern North Dakota. So, I started my search for Andrew's naturalization papers in South Dakota. Using the online search at the South Dakota Historical Society, I found his first papers:

Andrew Otterberg's First Naturalization Papers

I could not find his second papers in South Dakota, but was able to find them in North Dakota using the online search at the North Dakota State University Archives:

Andrew Otterberg's Second Naturalization Papers

Andrew Otterberg's Second Naturalization Papers

I wanted to use these naturalization papers to obtain ship passenger manifests for Andrew. One thing, the port of departure in his second papers is "Gottenhagen, Denmark." Andrew probably meant Copenhagen.

Before I searched for ship manifests for Copenhagen and Boston, I needed Andrew's Swedish name. I was pretty sure his Swedish fisrt name was Andreas, because he used that name in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. Research on the part of relatives in Sweden helped me determine his full Swedish name as Andreas Svensson Otterberg.

I searched the Boston ship passenger manifests using both Andreas Svensson and Andreas Otterberg, but could not find him. Thinking that there may be a transcription error, I browsed through the microfilm images for March 1889 at both and There were no images for the Port of Boston for March 30, 1889. This is the date that Andrew stated he arrived in Boston. The ship passenger manifests may have been lost, but there was another date wrong—Andrew's birth year. According to the Swedish Household Records, Andrew was born in 1865 and not 1864 as stated in his second papers. I never knew my great-grandfather, but maybe dates weren't important to him.

At any rate, this is as far as I could go with this naturalization record. Even by looking for other arrival months and ports, I was not able to find ship passenger list records for Andrew Otterberg.

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If you are not sure that searching for a naturalization record is the next best option for your research, consider using the advice feature of this site. This will help you pick your next best steps in your research. Go to Genealogy Search Advice.