Posted by Ancestry Team on December 3, 2007 in Collections, News

Walt Disney. Babe Ruth. Tom Cruise’s great-grandparents. Our new collection of U.S. Passport Applications reveals the travels of several of America’s early-20th-century rich and famous. In total, the collection captures some 2.4 million Americans who traveled between 1795 and 1925, including vacationers and immigrants who often returned to their native countries to bring other family members back to America. The collection includes information on the applicants’ occupations, foreign destinations, and physical descriptions. One of the most interesting features, however, is that applications beginning in 1914 also include personal photographs.

Both Walt Disney and Ernest Hemingway submitted applications so they could travel to Europe and drive ambulances during World War I.

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Ernest Hemingway Thumbnail

Babe Ruth filled out an application before sailing to Havana, Cuba, for a 1918 baseball game.

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Author F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wife, Zelda, was pregnant when they arranged a pleasure trip of Europe in April 1921.

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Pictures of Tom Cruise’s great-grandparents – Thomas and Anna Mapother – adorn their application filled out in 1924 in preparation for a European tour. Note it appears that Anna’s taller.

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Alexander Graham Bell’s 1920 application describes him as having a high forehead, straight nose and slim mouth, a clean tanned complexion, and a full white beard.

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Visit the U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 on or read the press release to learn more.


  1. Gerry Lawton

    Your latest database addition of US Passport Applications is great. Although I probably won’t find any of my relatives in them I have found many families that I’m researching in an around Boston. The birthdates, nativity information of the principal and sometimes children are very exciting to obtain. I’ve also found several marriage dates and possible honeymoon cruises as well. I saw that many of the later applications had pictures attached but didn’t see them on the first page. Then it dawned on me that if I click the forward button maybe there’s another page. Sure enough there it was. I also found some letters that were sent to the Passport Office or a spouses application on yet another forward click after the picture page. All I can say is More, More!!


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