Let Passports Be Your Passport to British Genealogy Research
This is a guide to tracing historical passport records. If you are looking for information about a current issue with your own passport, please contact the Passport Office. Old passports themselves have not been kept in large numbers and you are unlikely to find original passports in our collection. You are more likely to find registers and indexes of passport applications but even these records have been kept in relatively small proportions.
In general, it is not unusual for there to be no trace of a passport or a passport application in our records.
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Before the First World War it was not compulsory for someone travelling abroad to apply for a passport. Possession of a passport was confined largely to merchants and diplomats, and the vast majority of those travelling overseas had no formal documents.
There are no indexes at all for or for to The indexes for are missing the entries for A-G. The indexes are not in strict alphabetical order but are listed chronologically by initial letter of surname. Browse the registers of British passport applications in FO , which are arranged by date and by passport number. They generally contain little more than the information in the online indexes and sometimes even less, but provide a longer, unbroken run of years. These are small collections of records and therefore not comprehensive.
Browse entry books of passes issued by Secretaries of State to people travelling into and out of Britain. Browse or search the various record series within the records of the Passport Office FO Division 17 , some of which are covered in this guide, above, and include Passport Office correspondence FO For quick pointers Tuesday to Saturday to Who determined whom to allow in and whom to keep out?
What happened to the records?
obtaining a copy of an ancestor's passport
The paper trail that genealogists love to follow began. The documents were usually used by upper class travelers on government or financial business and could be utilized in conjunction with a letter of introduction. One of its duties was granting passports. They were now required for overseas travel.
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British passports and emigration records can go hand in hand for genealogical researchers tracing ancestry. Keep in mind that the record keeping system evolved; to start with passports were not required. There are estimates that between and , , English citizens relocated to the Americas.
Whether you are a professional genealogist or just enjoy family search genealogy, The National Archives TNA in the UK is a good place to start to trace your ancestry. TNA has worked with findmypast genealogy website to create indexes of British passport applicants from to They can be accessed for a fee through the U.
There are no indexes for or to More information on the passport resources can be found on the TNA website. Genealogical research would be easy if all the information was located in one place.
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Record Description. Passport Applications, Passport Applications, Jan 2, Mar 31, FamilySearch Resources. United States Guided Research.
Irish citizenship through birth or descent
United States Record Finder. Research Tips and Strategies. United States Passports. Related Websites. National Archives and Records Administration. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for United States Passport Applications, Some catalog records link to multiple references. In this case, click on a reference to find a camera icon to see images.
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