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Passport Applications, 1795-1905

Passport Applications, 1795-1905

Overview Description

NARA M1372. Letters and form applications for U.S. passports. An application may include supporting letters and affidavits from friends and relatives concerning the applicant's citizenship, residence, and character. It also may contain information regarding the applicant's immediate family, date and place of birth, occupation, physical characteristics, and (if foreign) of naturalization. Images are ordered by the surname initial, then by application date, yet not alphabetically beyond the surname initial.

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Herman Melville's Passport Application Passport Application of Frederick Douglass Sample Sample


Publication Title:
Passport Applications, 1795-1905
Content Source:
The National Archives logo The National Archives
Publication Number:
Record Group:
Published on Fold3:
Last Update:
May 13, 2011
NARA M1372. Images of handwritten letters and application forms for U.S. passports, 1795-1905.


The NARA descriptive pamphlet is available here. It is a 14-page list of date ranges for each of the 694 rolls of microfilm within this publication. No names or other descriptive information are in this pamphlet.

Related resources

Passport Applications, an online essay is adapted from Kathie O. Nicastro and Claire Prechtel-Kluskens, " Passport Applications: A Key to Discovering Your Immigrant Ancestor's Roots," Prologue: Quarterly of the National Archives 25 (Winter 1993): 390-394.

Skillbuilding: Passport Applications: A Rich Genealogical Resource, by Patricia O'Brien Shawker, "Passport Applications: A Rich Genealogical Resource," OnBoard 13 (May 2007): 12-13.

"Passports in Perspective," by Leonard S. Goodman, Texas Law Review, vol. 45 (1966-67), no. 2. Described in the abstract: In “Passports in Perspective,” the author seeks to define the historic governmental role of the American passport as it either assisted or controlled movement abroad during the era prior to the War of 1812 and to describe the course of administrative discretion.  In an effort to explain the several types of passports and their relation to any possible historic freedom to travel abroad, the article examines the sources of executive authority to issue the documents and to exercise control over travel abroad.

Index to Passport Applications, 1850-52, 1860-1880, 1881, 1906-23 (NARA publication M1848), rolls 59-61, contain an index to consular registrations, 1907-21, and roll 61 contains an index to registration certificates of widows, divorced women, and minors, 1907-17.

"Immigration Records," by Loretto Dennis Szucs, Kory L. Meyerink, and Marian Smith in The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy, ed. Loretto Dennis Szucs and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking; Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2006.

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The records shown here are scanned from the National Archives Microfilm Publication, M1372, Passport Applications, 1795-1905. The original records are located in Record Group 59, General Records of the Department of State in the National Archives.

Roll one starting date should be 1795

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