oathSouth Australian 19th century naturalisations

Shortly after arrival in SA the first German settlers sought to become British subjects. A petition was granted and the oath of allegiance was administered to 123 German men during the Queen's Birthday celebrations on 24 May 1839. However, to own land these men needed to become British Subjects by a naturalisation process.

The first legislation was put in place on 24 August 1841 when Act No 6 was passed "for the Naturalisation of certain persons native of Germany". As a consequence thirty-seven people, together with their families, became British subjects. This Act had to name the candidates. Further Acts were promulgated in 1846, 1857/58, 1864, 1872 and 1895.

The Commonwealth Constitution placed naturalisation under the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth and in 1903 existing naturalisations were confirmed except for the Chinese and uniform requirements for future memorialnaturalisations made in new legislation.

The National Archives of Australia holds the naturalisation records for South Australia and these have been microfilmed and are available in South Australia at the National Archives office, the State Library and the SA Genealogy & Heraldry Society Library. State Records also has some limited records relating to naturalisation.

National Archives of Australia Series:
A729/1 Enrolled certificates of naturalisation May 1848– Feb 1862 5 vols
A733/1 Enrolled letters of naturalisation 1865–1903 48 vols
A823/1 Certificates of naturalisation & Memorials 1859–1865 (106 certificates - images online)
A826/1 Uncollected certificates of naturalisation 1865–1903 (156 certificates)
A805/1 Cancelled certificates of naturalisation 1883–1887 (10 certificates issued to Chinese)
Access to these records is through the indexes:
A730/1 Naturalised Aliens Journal, 1848–1865 2 vols
A731/1 List of Aliens registered, 1850–1876 1 vol
A732/1 Journal and index 1858–1865 1 vol
A734/1 Index to naturalisation, 1865–1903 2 vols

State Records Series:

GRG 1/36 Naturalisation statistics 1858–1863
GRG 24/55 Naturalisation records 1858–1864

Government publications:
Parliamentary Paper 147/1872 and Government Gazette 15 Aug 1872 pp 1146–1167 (alphabetical list of naturalisations).

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Pictured top down: Oath Certificate, Memorial document, Naturalisation Certificate in Series A823/1 available as virtual images online at the National Archives web site.
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