9 Replies Latest reply on Jan 29, 2021 11:32 AM by Susannah Brooks

    Seeking mother's passport for entrance into the US

    Matthew Kirschenbaum Newbie

      Hi I am trying to find a record of what country my mother's passport was from on Sept 14, 1948 when she entered the US. How can I find a record of her passport upon entry?  I do have her entrance records showing she arrived in El Paso, TX on Sept 14, 1948 from Sweden but it does not indicate what country her passport was from. I know for sure it was not Swedish.


      What I am trying to do is actually prove that she was still a Latvian Citizen when she entered the US permanently. What I am not sure of is if she had changed her citizenship to Germany before or during the war, so having a record of her nationality on her passport when she entered the US would help validate her Latvian Citizenship. Thanks

        • Re: Seeking mother's passport for entrance into the US
          Susannah Brooks Pioneer

          Could you give us her name and the name of the ship she was on?

            • Re: Seeking mother's passport for entrance into the US
              Matthew Kirschenbaum Newbie

              Hi Susannah

              Thank you for your email. I do not have the name of the ship she came to US on unfortunately-I only have the record of her 5201-A on 9-14 1948. Her city destination upon entry was Colorado Springs, CO. Where she would stay with her father, Jan Gustav Ruhtenberg before moving to NYC around 1950. Her mother's maiden name was Helmsling and her name on the her 5201-A shows as Cornelis Ruhtenberg/Helmsling. She would have gone to Sweden from Berlin after the war, but would have only been in Sweden for 1 year at the most. Probably it was shorter than a year.


              There may however be another way to find her passport record. She and my father Jules Kirschenbaum were married in NYC in 1956 at which time she would also have applied for, and was granted, her US citizenship. My Father was born in the Bronx, NY March 25, 1930 to Anna Kirschenbaum/Gitlitz and Louis Kirschenbaum.


              I am 95% sure she had not changed her citizenship to German during the war. Actually I do have a recollection of having her Latvian passport however if I do have it, it would be someplace in storage in Seattle, but as I am currently living in the UK and due to the pandemic, I have no possibility of traveling back to the US anytime soon to try to search for it. Thus I need some way to show proof that she was indeed still a Latvian Citizen as she entered the US.


              Thank you so much for your help and response-It is greatly appreciated.


              Matthew Kirschenbaum

            • Re: Seeking mother's passport for entrance into the US
              Cara Jensen Tracker

              Dear Mr. Kirschenbaum,


              Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


              We searched the National Archives Catalog and located Alien Case Files, 1944 - 2003 in the Records of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (Record Group 566) that include some  digitized records and are available via the Catalog. For access to the non-digitized records, please contact the National Archives at Kansas City (RM-KC) via email at kansascity.archives@nara.gov.


              We also located 2 series of Alien Case Files, 1944 - 1959 in the Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (Record Group 85) that have not been digitized. For access to these records, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at archives2reference@nara.gov.


              Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RM-KC & RDT2. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


              A-Files occasionally contain passport records and can document immigration to the US.  If the NARA Catalog does not contain a complete A-File for your mother,  we suggest that you submit a request to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Genealogy Program to obtain a copy of her Alien Files (A-Files) using the information from the file unit located in the Catalog.


              If a record is not located in the NARA Catalog, we suggest that you request an index search through the USCIS Genealogy Program to identify any naturalization records for your mother.  You also may order any records using the same site.


              We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!