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Banaters in Naturalization Papers in Dawson County, Montana

Dave Dreyer of San Mateo, CA conducted this research and published it in the Donauschwäbische Familienkundliche Forschungsblätter (DFF) #175-176, June 2020 of the Arbeitskreises donauschwäbischer Familienforscher (AKdFF). For the uniliingual English among us (myself included), that is the Danube Swabian Family History Research Bulletin of the Working Group of Danube Swabian Family Researchers. Dave was kind enough to share the English text below. Hertha Schwarz, Editor of the DFF, generously shared the PDF of the data she formatted for the magazine.

Because the table stretches across two pages, there is a bit of a trick to viewing it. In your PDF viewer menu select View->Page Display->Two Page Viewer OR Two Page Scrolling AND Show Cover Page in Two Page View.

Column headings should be fairly self-evident, but here is a brief translation list to help out.

Name = Name

Geburtsdatum = Date of birth

Geburtsort = Place of birth

Schiff – Häfen = Ship – ports

Ankunftsdatum = Date of arrival

Beruf = Job

Antrag/Einbürgerung = Application for naturalization

Familie = Family

I noticed one Zichydorfer and another man from Georgshausen. A handful of people came by wagon from Saskatchewan. A fellow from Dolatz via Ceylon SK (The recorder either spelled it wrong, heard it wrong, or his writing was unreadable.) was married to a Zichydorfer. I also noticed people from Melville and Weyburn in Saskatchewan.




The first Banat settlers to North America homesteaded in Southwestern North Dakota starting in 1892. By ca 1903 most of the land opened for settlement had been taken up. The Northern Pacific Railroad, a major transcontinental railroad passed through the Banater settlement area. The railroad provided employment for many Banaters especially in the winter months when farming operations were at a low ebb. Much of this work was in track maintenance.


In time, Bana ter s from the core settlement area of North Dakota drifted westward to the NP’s division point of Glendive on the Yellowstone River in Eastern Montana where they found steady employment in the shops and yards of the railroad. Many later arrivals from the Banat came directly to Glendive following relatives who wrote back describing employment prospects with the NP.


Glendive was the county seat for Dawson County and the location of the county courthouse where naturalization papers were filed for citizenship. Images of these unindexed naturalization records have recently come online at They can be found in the Family History Catalogue under the locality, “Montana-Dawson Co Naturalization records” In this study these records have been searched and abstracted for Banaters


Not all immigrants took the trouble to file for citizenship records but it was necessary for those who wanted to vote or to homestead. Since naturalization papers were frequently filed many years after arrival many applicants had forgotten details especially the name of the ship and dates of arrival which accounts for the missing arrival data in some cases.