Posted by Ancestry Team on November 16, 2007 in Collections

Old Passport RecordWe have a fun collection coming very soon to It is a US passport collection with millions of names from the years 1796 to 1925. Passports became more popular in the late 1840s. In 1914, American citizens were permitted to travel abroad without passports. If your ancestors were travelers this will be a great collection for you. If you find a hit for one of your ancestors you will get a little gold mine of information. Many of these applications include photos. The applications can reveal:

  • Name at Birth
  • Birth Date
  • Birth Place
  • Residence
  • Naturalization (if foreign-born)
  • Spouse Name
  • Occupation
  • and some of the newer applications include marriage and family information

I would love to hear of any success you may have when this collection is released.



  1. Knowing that my granadparents came to the USA, it never entering my mind to look up their passports. I think it is a great idea. Another way of knowing who my grandparents were.

    I have a lot of info about them, like knowing when they came into the USA, the ship they arrived on. I, also, found the 1910, 1920, and 1930 censes.

  2. Lisa Ross

    What a wonderful idea! I have found a lot of family information about my grandmother and her parents through the ship manifests. It would be wonderful to be able to look at their passports. It think it gives us glimpse into our ancestor’s past on an even more personal level.

  3. Judy Mitchell

    I am hoping that this may unlock a door for us regarding my grandfather. I have been told that he was born in USA and married there however left that family and then met my grandmother in Australia. It has been a very frustrating search so far with no success and I am researching for my father who is 85. Even though his father was present in his life until Dad was 26, he really knows nothing about him other than the fact that he traveled extensively.

  4. I think it sound like some people are confused about this database. This is the US database. Comments like “my grandparents CAME to the US” means that probably you WON’T find your grandparents here. This is for US citizens who travelled abroad and applied for a passport to do so. You won’t see passport images of those who immigrated.

  5. Michele

    If they “came to this country” and then travelled abroad after they got their citizenship, wouldn’t they then have passports?.

  6. Jenny Stephenson

    I too have used the passport microfilms at the National Archives. Often US immigrants went back to visit folks in the “Old Country” after having some initial success in the U.S. (to introduce spouses and children to parents, etc.) I found a number of “foreign” ancestors who obtained passports and went back home for a visit.

  7. This is going to be wonderful, now I will be able to connect the immigration information that I have found on
    I truly enjoy this site, and search on a daily basis. I am addicted to finding my family genealogy, and has actually taken the place of watching TV. Ancestry has made this possible for me, to find my family, and share it with all my relatives and the world. Then to pass it on to my children and grandchildren. I only wish you would add more files like 1940 census and change the Italian site to read in English also.

  8. Linda Egan Flynn

    My husbands grandparents came here from Ireland but took a trip back in the 1920’s and I found their Passports at NARA. They had become citizens and needed US passports to prove it when they returned. Good stuff, and I’m looking forward to searching for other family members who may have done the same. Thanks for getting this online.

  9. Georgia

    I am anxious to see the passports on ancestry. I was looking for my g g grandparents coming to the U. S. in 1840’s and hoping I can find them. Found them in the census, but not in the immigration lists. Hope it will be soon. I need passports coming from England to Pennsylvania if possible.

  10. Caroline Tuttle

    what would you suggest I do to find my ancestors? not having much luck! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

  11. Netzband

    It’s GREAT. I went through the various genealogies I’ve done, and in one I found a friends’ g-grandfather’s application. The cool thing about it is that he was a naturalized citizen, and the application details when he arrived here PLUS has his Italian name. When I went back to Ancestry’s records with the original name, I immediately picked up several more generations through the Italian records. My friend can now travel to Italy and know exactly where to go to find her ancestral homes!
    THANK you, Ancestry.

  12. Netzband

    In one passport application I found a picture of a friend’s mother holding a baby. This was my friend’s only sister who died on that trip–a year long contract as educational adviser to Nicaragua. In another Ancestry record I found the ship list as they were traveling home, bringing the body of the young sister to be buried in the U.S. These were older parents, grieving and thinking they had lost their only child, their only hope of having children. However, as they stopped in the Panama Canal, the mother discovered she was pregnant again. That’s my 85+ year old friend! Ancestry’s records tied it all together, and, no, I don’t work for Ancestry.

  13. Kevin Lacy

    I found my Irish Grandfather’s picture at age 32. in 1920!!! Aside from seeing his picture at that age (we only have pics of him from age 46 on), the most exciting bit of new was that he was going to Ireland to see his mother. We werent sure when she died but now we know that she lived at least untiil then! It will help me narrow my searches for her deat record in Ireland! Thank you so much for adding this database!!!!

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