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Source Information

Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington, comp. U.S. Consular Posts, Emergency Passport Applications, 1915-1926 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008.
Original data: National Archives. Records of the Foreign Service Posts of the Department of State. Record Group 84. Washington, D.C.: National Archives. This data is provided in partnership with JewishGen.org.

About U.S. Consular Posts, Emergency Passport Applications, 1915-1926

This database consists of an index to Jewish names among the applications for Emergency Passports made at various U.S. Consular Posts in the period of 1915-1926.

Historical Background:

Although passports were not required for U.S. citizens who were returning home from travel abroad until 1918, after U.S. entry into World War I, passports were useful as a means of identification and protection while traveling outside the U.S. Congress authorized U.S. consular posts to issue Emergency Passports which were, generally, issued if the passport of a U.S. citizen traveling abroad, was lost or stolen. However, this type of passport came to have special, and, perhaps, Congressionally unintended significance for the wives and children of naturalized citizens who had not yet joined their husbands and fathers in the United States.

Prior to September 1922, women could not become U.S. citizens in their own right, with some special exceptions, usually requiring Congressional intervention. However, foreign-born women and children automatically became citizens when they married a native-born U.S. citizen or when he became a naturalized citizen. Minor children of these native born or naturalized fathers also received derived citizenship.

Because these wives and minor children of a U.S. citizen had derivative citizenship, they could present themselves at the nearest U.S. Consular Post and apply for an Emergency Passport for themselves and their minor children.

About the Database:

Here is a description of fields in the Emergency Passport Applications database:

  • Surname, Given Name — Last name and first name(s) of the individual whose name appears in the original document

  • Birthplace — Place of birth (town and country)

  • Country — Country where application was made
  • Box # / Book # — Two numbers, indication that Box and Book numbers. (Ignore the zeros in front of the number)
  • Page / Application # — The number in this column refers either to the page number or the number given to the document. (Ignore the zeros in front of the number)

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