The above document from the DuPage County Clerks office show Matthias Daleiden’s signature on a Declaration of Intent to file Naturalization Papers. The date of filing was on 13 October 1856. Shows him announcing his renunciation of affiliation with the Prussian King. Matthias was the father of Christopher and Michael Daleiden. He was the patriarchal head of the Daleiden family.
Naturalization was a two-step process. First, a declaration of intention to become a citizen would be filed in any court of record. This step is labeled “Declaration” and is sometimes referred to as “first papers.”
After a waiting period of a set number of years, which varied depending upon the statutes in effect at the time, the potential citizen would file a petition, forswear allegiance to the United States. This second step often called “final papers” likewise could be filed in any court of record. There were residency requirements [in Illinois it was a five year period of residency with one year residing in the United States], which varied, but the two steps did not have to be, and often were not, performed in the same court.
There were exceptions to the first step. Men who had entered the country as minors were able to peition directly upon reaching teh age of 21. At various times the declaration was waived for soldiers and for alien wives of citizens.
A Declaration of Intent could be invalidated. Thus a candidate may have filed more than one declaration. Not all applicants who filed first paper necessarily followed through with the final papers in the same court, or at all. It is entirely possible to find two or more declarations of intent for the same individual, yet no petition.
Likewise a petition could be invalidated and mutiple petitions may be recorded using one or more declarations.
No doubt a certificate was issued to the new citizen from the earliest days. It was not until 1900, however, that DuPage (County in Illinois) Circuit Court recorded teh issuance of these Certificates of Citizenship by number and retained a copy. Issuing a certificate was the culmination of the petition phase. In early days it was issued on the day the applicant peitioned the court; later there was a delay of a few weeks. More recent naturalizations typically had a six-month span between petition and certificate dates. Factors could delay the certificate even longer, particularly during wartime.
(Source of the above paragraphs were excerpted from: Index to the Naturalization Records of DuPage County, Illinois. DuPage Co. (IL) Genealogical Society. Wheaton, Illinois. 2006. This book is able in several DuPage County Illinois Public and College Libraries. It indexed by name of Naturalization records filed from 1872 to 1906).