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Commonwealth Government Records about South Australia


Naturalisation

The Archives holds naturalisation records created by South Australia prior to 1904. From 1904, naturalisation became a function of the Commonwealth Government.

At Federation in 1901, 'British subject' was the sole civic status noted in the Australian Constitution. The Australasian Federal Convention of 1897–98 was unable to agree on a definition of the term 'citizen' and wanted to preserve British nationality in Australia. An administrative concept of citizenship arose from the need to distinguish between British subjects who were permanent residents and those who were visitors. This was necessary for the Commonwealth to exercise its powers over immigration and deportation. Motivated by the nationalism of Arthur Calwell, Minister for Immigration from 1945 to 1949, this administrative concept was formalised in the Nationality and Citizenship Act 1948. In 1958 the Act was amended so that naturalisation could only be revoked if obtained by fraud. This prevented a naturalised person being stripped of citizenship and deported.

Throughout the 1960s Australian citizens were still required to declare their nationality as British. The term 'Australian nationality' had no official recognition or meaning until the Act was amended in 1969 and renamed the Citizenship Act. This followed a growing sense of Australian nationalism and the declining importance of the British Empire for Australians. In 1973 the Act was renamed the Australian Citizenship Act. It was not until 1984 that Australian citizens ceased to be British subjects.

Records held by the Archives relating to naturalisation in South Australia include indexes, certificates, journals, application files and investigation case files.

Selected series relating to naturalisation in South Australia
Canberra
Recorded by: Australian Archives, Central Office
Nominal index for pre-1904 South Australian naturalisations, 1848–1903 A7419
Canberra
Recorded by: General Registry Office (Province of South Australia)
Cancelled certificates of naturalisation, South Australia, 1883–87 A805
Adelaide
Recorded by: General Registry Office (Province of South Australia)
Memorials of naturalisation, with unenrolled or uncollected certificates, 1848–58 A821
Naturalised aliens journals, 1848–88 A730
Books of enrolled certificates of naturalisation, issued 1848–1858, enrolled, 1850–89 A729
'Index to Aliens', name index book to certificates of naturalisation, issued 1848–1858, enrolled 1850–1888; list of aliens registered, 1850–76 A731
Oaths of Allegiance, 1856–90 A735
Journal and index, naturalised aliens, 1858–65 A732
Miscellaneous papers and correspondence relating to aliens, 1858–65 A824
Memorials and certificates of naturalisation (unenrolled or uncollected), for South Australia, 1858–64 A822
Enrolled certificates of naturalisation and memorials, 1859–66 A823
Quarterly returns for South Australia, of aliens who have made application to be naturalised, 1860–64 A6549
Uncollected certificates of naturalisation, 1883–87 A826
Volumes of enrolled letters of naturalisation, 1865–1903 A733
Journal and index, naturalised aliens, 1865–66 A734
Memorials of naturalisation, unregistered, 1865 A825
Memorials of naturalisation, 1865–1903 A711
Canberra
Recorded by: Department of External Affairs, Melbourne
Volumes of duplicate certificates of naturalisation, 1904–17 A40
Canberra
Recorded by: Department of Home and Territories, Central Office
Duplicate certificates of naturalisation, 1917–21 A227
Duplicate certificates of naturalisation, 1917–21 A228
Duplicate certificates of naturalisation, 1918–21 A229
Duplicate certificates of naturalisation, 1921–37 A240
Duplicate certificates of naturalisation, 1921–37 A241
Duplicate certificates of naturalisation, 1921–37 A242
Duplicate certificates of naturalisation, 1921–36 A234
Duplicate certificates of naturalisation, 1921–36 A244
Sydney
Recorded by: Department of Immigration, South Australia Branch
General correspondence files, 1966 AP649/1
Sydney, Adelaide
Recorded by: Department of Immigration, South Australia Branch
Correspondence files, 'SA/S', 1948–66 D400
Correspondence files, 1966– D399
Sydney
Recorded by: Department of Immigration, South Australia Branch
Citizenship applications (notice of desire), 1974–75 D3178
Citizenship applications (notice of desire), 1974–75 AP933/1
Citizenship applications (notice of desire), 1974–75 AP990/4
Citizenship files, 'AD', 1985–91 D3820
Adelaide
Recorded by: Investigation Branch, South Australia/Commonwealth Investigation Service, South Australia
Investigation case files, 1917–69 D1915

Note

Many of these series are also available on microfilm in various Archives offices.
Selected items relating to naturalisation in South Australia
Adelaide
Memorial of naturalisation – South Australia's first rabbi, Abraham Tobias Boas, 1901 A711, 4122
Memorial of naturalisation – trade unionist and factory inspector, Christiane Susanne Augustine (Augusta) Zadow, 1895 A711, 2989
Application for naturalisation – Oskars Lukstins, 1951–58 D400, SA1957/1020

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Chapter 10
Immigration and naturalisation