Use the index record given at the website as a pointer to the appropriate film at the Family History Library, as in my related questions about FHL microfilms.
Your index entry is:
(Book No:) 13 Sellers Hugh (Page No:) 506
- Go to FamilySearch.org, select Search, and select Catalog from the drop-down menu.
- Enter one of the given film numbers, or enter the title, to pull up the catalog entry for Declarations of intention, 1827-1895.
- Read the table to find the appropriate film for Book 13, Page 506. This appears to be Declarations of intention v.13(p.360 to end)-15(p .1-595) 1856-1864 which is the next-to-last entry in the table, film 1301575.
- Click on the link for that film number and it will send you to the order form so you can view the film at your local Family History Library.
If you were planning a trip to the US, another option might be to consult the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Here's their guide to finding Naturalization Records.
Records before 1906 were filed with the local courts -- we know from the entry at the FamilySearch Catalog that the record you want was created by the New York. Justices' Court (Albany). After that, copies were filed with the federal government. So you have two possible avenues to find the records. NARA says:
- Contact the State Archives for the state where the naturalization occurred to request a search of state, county, and
local courts records.
- Contact the NARA regional facility that serves the state where naturalization occurred to request a search of Federal court records. For your record, that is the New York Office.
As far as I can tell, the records for your period from the local courts are not online. Fold3 and Ancestry's catalog entries list records filed with the District Courts. The New York State Archives' Naturalization Pathfinder sends us back to NARA, which has holdings for the District Courts, but not the local courts. So let's go back to Albany County, New York.
A search at the Albany County Court for Naturalizations gives us these results.
On the Genealogy: How to Research Page it says:
The Archives staff will assist all researchers whether in person or by
mail. If the research is done by mail request, there is a $20.00 per
hour search fee. The only charges for research on site is for paper
copies of records (50 Cents per page) or for written certification
that the record is a copy of the original ($4.00). You may print out a
research request form by clicking here.
I searched for Hugh Sellers in their online index, but I could not get a search result that matched the information you got from the index posted at http://www.naturalizationrecords.com/usa/ . I tried searching for anyone named Hugh, any name containing Sel, anyone who came from Scotland or England, and any location containing Albany. However, in the search results I did get, I did not see any entries for Book 13, so it may be that the Albany County site is missing part of the index in their own online search.
It would be cheaper to order the FHL microfilm than to pay the research fees at Albany County, but looking at the Albany County site is still worthwhile. Their description of the records says:
- Declaration of Intention and Naturalization (1827 - 1991)
These records are for Albany County only. The Declaration of Intention
includes name of alien, age, homeland, port of departure, two
references, intended settlement, an oath to support the U.S.
Constitution and to renounce allegiance to their former ruler. The
Naturalization record is a statement of a person's required residence
and good character, petition to become a citizen and the court's
ruling to admit him or her as a citizen. Some of the petitions record
the name of the ship the person sailed on and the name of other family
members. By the mid Twentieth Century, naturalizations included Ellis
Island certificate of admission and an identification photo. Note:
until the early 1900's naturalization proceedings were not required
for married women, who were automatically naturalized when their
husbands were, or children. Naturalizations do exist for unmarried
For more information about naturalization proceedings for Women, see these articles at NARA:
A Google image search for "Declaration of Intention" will yield results from many different eras, but generally the Declaration is a one-page form, which sometimes included a photo. Microfilmed images are likely to be two pages, one for the front side of the form, and one for the reverse, as you can see from the Declaration of Intention for Greta Garbo at NARA. This is a federal form from a much later period, but the earlier examples I've seen via Google also seem to be one sheet forms.
NARA's research guide for Naturalization Records gives an overview of the entire process in the United States. In some cases, you may not be able to find a Declaration of Intention. A FAQ at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, Why Some C-Files May Lack a Declaration of Intention, explains some of the exemptions. In the sidebar, they also say that a person may have filed a Declaration and never finished the process, so just because you find a Declaration, that by itself won't guarantee the existence of a Petition or a Naturalization Certificate. Unfortunately, USCIS destroyed their copies of expired Declarations, so any surviving copies will be in the court files.
One other note: if you did not have the index record from the FHL film which told us which court the records came from, I would have suggested searching the surrounding counties as well as Albany County.
Another thing to watch out for: if you find a record which has a bundle of documents, sometimes the outside folder which bears the file number will be at the end of the image group. So if you find what appears to be the cover or file jacket for Hugh Sellars and the next image on the roll belongs to a different person, go through the images backwards until you find the next file jacket.