Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Passports: A Journey To Enlightenment!

The word is out and the rush is on for Ancestry subscribers to find ancestor passports in the newly released U.S. Passport applications from 1795 to 1925. I logged on this morning and searched first for those ancestors that I knew made trips abroad. Folks like my husband’s grandfather and great grandfather on his father’s side, and his great uncle on his mother’s.

In the case of his grandfather and great grandfather no records existed, which confirms my suspicions that these English immigrants had not completed the naturalization process by 1925. While I know they made a return visit home to England, they did not have U.S. passports.

Great uncle Clint Mansfield was a renowned travel writer. However, having been born in 1898 he was not yet in the full swing of his career by 1925 (at age 27) and therefore there were no records to be found.

However, tenacious podcast listener Pat Dalpiaz had better luck with her husband’s great uncle and emailed to tell me about it:

“I was recently pleased to find one of my husband's great granduncle's. To my delight (the application) included a picture. Although the quality is not great, which is to be expected, my husband glanced at it and immediately noticed how much he resembles this great granduncle. I think a light went on for him at that moment and with a little bit of careful work on my part, perhaps I will have a new research partner!”

Oh, the excitement of seeing that little light go on in the eyes of our non-genealogist loved ones! That’s the icing on the cake!

I also discovered some very interesting and surprising things about the passport database that I’ll be talking about in Episode 36 of the Genealogy Gems Podcast that you won’t want to miss. If you haven’t subscribed to the podcast yet, go to and click the iTunes button. You will also find a Google button for adding the a Genealogy Gems feed gadget to your iGoogle homepage. Episode 36 will be published on Sunday Dec. 9. Talk to you then!


P.S. Be sure and leave a comment and tell us about your passport discoveries!

1 comment:

TreeDetective said...

Lisa, I searched for two uncles I knew had traveled to Ireland. I didn't find either, but came across a third uncle I did not know traveled abroad. His application contained an exact date of his father's arrival in the U.S. from Ireland. Information I had not found anywhere previously. Now to follow up on that!