Your Quick Tips, 09 October 2006

Requesting U.S. Passport Applications
Using Boston Passenger Lists I discovered my great-grandfather returned to Ireland in 1932, at the age of sixty. On the passenger manifest, next to his name and address, was a United States passport number and its issue date. I was intrigued. Why did he go to Ireland at the height of the depression? How long was he there?

I wrote to the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Information Resources Management requesting a copy of his passport application under the Freedom of Information Act (5 USC 552). By doing this, I saved the $60 fee the Department of State normally charges for this service. The downside is I had to wait five months for the document.
But it was worth it!

I received a copy of his application today and it contains his birth date, place and country of birth; the location and date of his naturalization; his current address; the name of his father and his father’s country of birth; the countries he planned to visit with the passport, the reason for his visit; how long he was traveling for, the port he was sailing from, the name of the ship, the date he was departing; his height, age, hair and eye color; his occupation; his signature; a signature and address for an identifying witness (his brother-in-law in this case); and best of all, a copy of his photograph! There is space on the application for names of a wife and children, with personal data, but these were left blank.

So for those of you with U.S. naturalized immigrants in your ancestry, don’t stop searching for a passenger manifest just for their first trip to the USA. Look for a possible trip home later in life. If you find a passport number and date of issue, you can submit a request for a copy under the Freedom of Information Act (5 USC 552). You will need to provide credible evidence to indicate the person is deceased, in order to overcome the Privacy Act restrictions. (I used photocopies of his Irish birth certificate and obituary.) You will also need to provide the following information: The passport applicant’s name; passport number; year of birth; naturalization date; place of residence at the time of the application; approximate year of travel; and your name, mailing (postal) address, and telephone number.

Submit the request to:

Department of State
Office of Information Resources Management
515 22nd Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20522-6001

And then just wait patiently–within six months you could have a treasure trove in your mailbox and answers to your questions! In my case, my great-grandfather wished to visit relatives, and stayed there for nine months!

Susan Daily

Grandchildren Albums
For each of my grandchildren, I bought small photo albums with clear envelopes to slip photos into. On the first page, I gave a preview of what was contained in the album. Then, on every left-hand page, I put a photo of one of their ancestors and on the facing page, a little bio of that person. The oldest photo is of my husbands’ ancestor who was in the Civil War. Where I didn’t have photos of the ancestor, I printed a flag of the country from which they came and I used that. The children have been fascinated by it, and it has certainly sparked an interest in genealogy in my youngest granddaughter who is seventeen. Maybe she will take over when I “meet my demise!”

Beryl Flynn
Las Vegas

Click Through
Please remind your readers to check the “Print or comment on this article” option on the Quick Tips column. Some time ago I sent in a paragraph on the foreword in a book by Dr. William Alonzo Stanton who compiled a superb history on the descendants of Thomas and Anna Stanton. Today we enjoyed a visit from Dr. Stanton’s granddaughter, a sprightly young lady of seventy. I opened your newsletter which I had saved and just as a matter of interest clicked on the print or comment line. Imagine my surprise to find some really amusing comments by several of your readers. It added a great and funny touch to our lovely day. From now on I’ll regularly review those comments and quite possibly add some of my own.
Louise Hawley

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6 thoughts on “Your Quick Tips, 09 October 2006

  1. Grandchildren Albums:
    For a family reunion I made laminated placemats of collages of various ancestors. After the reunion they went to my parents who use them when family visit and share them with close friends, as scrapbooks.

  2. Grandchildren Albums:
    I did a much smaller version of the album as a new sister gift, when one of my husband’s nephews had another baby born to their family. I used a small (brag) picture album and placed in it photos of Daddy and Mommy before Marriage, then their Wedding photo, next the baby photo of the girl that I made booklet for and last a photo of the newest baby. Opposite each of the pictures was information relating to the family member. I left room for the family to add more pictures of their own. I thought it was a good way to pass on the information as well as help the little girl adjust to a new member of the family.

  3. I too did a similar thing for my daughters for their 21st birthdays. It is a scrapbbook with pictures of each side of their families as far back as I had I. Then moved on to them with pictures of things like their firsts (haircut, school, etc.)their interests, and vacations. It went over very well and can be added to as more happens in their lives such as my eldest daughters first child.

  4. I have started a family history, scrapbook style, for my children, grandchildren, and nieces and nephews. It is such a large project that I e-mail sections to my relatives in other states, rather than try to mail everything. I asked them to put their own scrapbook together from the materials I send.

  5. My daughter passed away at 15 and I spent the next year putting together a book about her life. She has beeen gone over 15 years now and I am still working on it. My grandchildren, her nieces and nephews, and their children love to look thru it when they visit me. Her great niece who is named for her especially loves it.

  6. This was a wonderful sugestion but I don’t think I’d ever get it done for my six grandchildren and my seven greats. I just hope one of them takes over a Dozen notebooks full of info I’ve collected.

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