Therefore, during the colonial period,
Germans were the only major "foreigners" to settle in British possessions.
They are the only ones for which significant colonial naturalization
lists exist. Primarily an 18th century immigration, Germans came predominantly
to Pennsylvania, with others arriving in New York, New Jersey, Maryland,
Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia. For foreigners, such as Germans
(and other 18th century European immigrants), to be considered citizens,
the adult men had to swear to an "Oath of Allegiance," typically written
by the colony.
The largest, and most well-known collection
of these records are those connected with the arrival of 30,000 Germans
at Philadelphia during the 1700s. These were published by William Henry
Egle, editor, as Names of Foreigners Who Took the Oath of Allegiance
to the Province and State of Pennsylvania, 1727-1775, 1890 (reprint,
Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1967).
Another list, including more than just
Germans, was published by Montague Spencer Giuseppi, editor, as Naturalizations
of Foreign Protestants in the American and West Indian Colonies, 1921
(reprint, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1964, 1979). Several
briefer lists have appeared in various genealogical and historical journals.