GenToday-L Archive

United States Passport Applications

The United States of American began the practice of issuing passports in 1795. There were not many issued and the information contained in those applications were minimal. As the years passed there was an increase until the early & mid-1800's when there was a great exodus from Europe. Possession of a passport became required and the information on the applications included more personal information.

Since the early 1900's a passport application had the applicant's full name, birth date, birthplace, current residence and dates of departure and destination. Foreigh-born applicants need to provide documented proof of the naturalization. Minor children needed the name of the father and his date of birth and place of birth and proof of the father's naturalization. Physical descriptions were also provided, and many had pictures attached.

If there is even a remote chance that your ancestors may have traveled abroad, it may be to your advantage to search the passport applications. It could lead you to the families of your ancestors, their towns, naturalizations records, etc. Passport applications indexes through 1925 are available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. These applications have been microfilmed and are available through your local Family History Centers. Also passport applications since 1925 are available with the United States State Department and a copy can be obtained for $14.00 per applicant (there are some restrictions: If the applicant was born since 1900, you need to provide a certified death certificate.)You need to provide the applicants name, date of birth and enough information to identify the individual. Also submit your own name, your birth date and place, your relationship to the applicant and your reason for requesting the application.

Then have your request notarized. Send all of this to Passport Office, U.S. State Department, 1425 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20520.

USENET: What is that?

Usenet is an Internet-based type of communication system. It is the newsgroup sites that pass newsgroup postings back and forth, allowing users of the newservers to read them online/offline using newsreading programs/web browsers with news capability. Is is a full participatory environment that enables multitudes of information to be exchanged. There is approximately 15,000 topic-specific newsgroups in this system with a potential audience of more than three million readers. You can see the advantage of this system to genealogists!
Here are the most popular newsgroups for genealogists: alt.genealogy; soc.genealogy.african; soc.genealogy.australia+nz; soc.genealogy.benelus; soc.genealogy.computing; soc.genealogy.french; socgenealogy.german; soc.genealogy.hispanic; soc.genealogy.italian; soc.genealogy.jewish; soc.genealogy marketplace; soc.genealogy.medieval; soc.genealogy.methods; soc.genealogy.misc; soc.genealogy.nordic; soc.genealogy.slavis; soc.genealogy.surnames(which is now broken down to subgroups usa, canada, britain, ireland, german, misc and global);; and soc.genealogy.west-indies.
To subscribe is easy if you are already connected to the Internet and have some familiarity with email and the web. Those with Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer just enter news:soc.genealogy." onto their location line. Or use DejaNews ( Shareware and freeware newsreaders for Windows and Windows 95 are available to download at

Tip of the Month

Seaman Protection Certificates: An Act of Congress in 1796 made provisions for the Seaman Protection Certificates. They were issued as proof of citizenship in order to protect the American seamen from being shanghaied into the navy of a foreign port.

These certificates were indexed by the WPA in the 1930's and are on file in Washington, DC. Write Judicial Fiscal and Social Branch, Civil Archives, Washington, DC 10408.


PRINCE, Edward Nathaniel, bn ca 1834, s/o Silvester Prince & Francis Rouse, Came to Canada 1850 then to Michigan 1872. Md 1)Eliza Brown 2)Anne Carter 3)Rachael Levy Johnson, died 1906 in Levering, Mich.

Searching for info about Wm. JAMES GARLAND who m 20 May 1866, Jasper Co., Iowa to HENRIETTA REES. He disappeared, last heard from in Oklahoma. Who are his parents, where was he born, etc.?

Does anyone know what nationality the name EAVES is?

Seeking marriage info for Jesse Sidney Cornel to Lucinda McLord in Tenn. prior to 1840.

Seeking info on Micheal Hines Roby and Micheal Sullivan Robey will exchange

Researching: SNODGRASS - OAKMAN - STARR - LaHUE - SETZER - DeLAY - ROSSMILLER - REMMERS - KIRBY - OLLER - and many (Omer Leslie Snodgrass II)

Searching for ROBERT BOWKER NORTON, born 1810 in Chautauqua NY, moved to Minnesota 1850's. Carlota Norton Robinson

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