Naturalization application for 1765 - PA

+4 votes

Hello everyone! 

I am searching for naturalization applications for my ancestor, Johannes Riegel - below is something I found about him, that he was naturalized in 1765 in PA to become a US Citizen. I am sure there are records of these applications - just not sure where to look? Can anyone direct me in the right place to find his application? I am trying to connect other family members and documentation to Johannes.





More About Johannes Riegel:
Event 1: February 11, 1753, Baptized in Pennsylvania.
Interesting Fact: September 01, 1765, Became a citizen while living in Ruscombmanor Twp., Berks County, Pennsylvania. (Source: "Naturalizations of Foreign Protestants in the American Colonies", Page 115.)

in Genealogy Help by Jen Riegle G2G1 (2.0k points)
retagged by Ellen Smith

4 Answers

+3 votes
Here is a link that may give you information []
by Rodney Long G2G6 Pilot (495k points)
Thank you! I did search on ancestry and - no luck. That is why I wondered if there might be 'applications' archived somewhere in Pennsylvania that aren't online yet.....
Also Jen, over on your Johannes Riegel has a profile, it does not have the information you are looking for though.
Hi Rodney,

I did find the information you mentioned on Geni - however, that information is totally off base from what I have and I didn't see any documentation. I will dig in it deeper today and maybe reach out to the person who posted it and find out where they gottheir info - that might help me out a bit.

Thanks for the information!

+2 votes
There were no naturalization applications back then. There wasn't a nation until 1776.
by Eddie King G2G6 Pilot (558k points)
+1 vote

There doesn't seem to be a WikiTree profile for this man yet, so I wasn't able to check the life details and sources.

The "fact" that you quote looks like it comes from an online family tree somewhere, so the authority for this information is an unidentified person who posted something on the Internet. Reliance on that kind of "source" leads many of us badly astray.  It looks to me like the "source" may have combined data from unrelated records. It's not clear where the baptism date might have come from. In any event, a child who was born in Pennsylvania would not have needed to be naturalized, and if they were naturalized, it would not have been at age 12. Probably the naturalization record is for a completely different person. 

The naturalization reference is a citation to a book that's available for free on the Internet. At various times in American colonial history, adult male citizens of countries other than Great Britain were required to be naturalized -- or take oaths of allegiance to the king or crown. The book cited contains lists of people recorded as being naturalized. As your source indicates, the naturalization of John Riegell (note spelling) is on page 115.

by Ellen Smith G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
Hi Ellen!!


You are right! I found this information on another family history website and I wanted to validate it! I can't believe people just put stuff out there with NO documentation - It makes me crazy! Anywhoo - thanks for the answer on the naturalization - that tells me that John Riegel DID come over from Germany (most likely) and needed to be naturalized. Children - most of them would have been about 10-12 when they came over, so you are saying they are most likely become naturalized just by being brought over at a young age? That is most helpful information!
Yes, a John Riegell was naturalized in 1765, but additional analysis may be needed to determine which of the several men with that name (or a variant) is the one who was naturalized.

Naturalization was for foreign-born men, not for women or children. And not normally required for people born in the colony. The text of the book tells about the history.

And note that non-British men who arrived at Philadelphia in 1727 and years after had to sign a document that said they would support the British in place of whichever prince or similar authority previously claimed their loyalty (don't quote me on the contents -- this is a only vague description of something I read once). Those signings are what generated the lists of arrivals at Philadelphia from 1727 to 1776.
+1 vote
After independence there was a bit of an orgy of destruction of anything to do with British administration.  Oaths of loyalty to George III would have been the last thing they wanted to keep records of in Philadelphia.

(The book is from lists that were sent to London)
by Anonymous Horace G2G6 Pilot (566k points)

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