1 Reply Latest reply on Nov 23, 2020 11:16 AM by Jason Atkinson

    Seeking passport application for Sophia Majewska

    Judith Kapp Newbie

      An ancestor of mine by the name of Sophia Majewska (or Majewski) traveled from NY to Poland to see her parents in 1895.  I am not sure if passports were issued at this time, but if so, I would like to obtain a copy of the application.  If passports were not issued, what kind of papers would she need to return to the US?  She was born in Poland in 1869 (nee Golankiewicz) and immigrated to the US in 1886.  I am not sure whether she had or submitted papers for naturalization.  Thank you all for any help or guidance you can give me.

        • Re: Seeking passport application for Sophia Majewska
          Jason Atkinson Pioneer

          Dear Ms. Kapp,

           

          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

           

          We searched the National Archives Catalog and located Passport Applications, 10/31/1795 - 12/31/1905 in the General Records of the Department of State (Record Group 59). This series has been reproduced in National Archives Microfilm Publication M1372 Passport Applications, 1795-1905, and is indexed by the series Registers and Indexes for Passport Applications, 1810-1906 in Record Group 59. These records also are described on our web page Passport Applications. Please note that, as a general rule, until 1941, U.S. citizens were not required to have a passport for travel abroad. There were some time periods where there were exceptions to this but 1895 was not one of them. Therefore, it is possible that your ancestor may not have applied for a passport. For more information about these records, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) at Archives2reference@nara.gov

           

          As part of our on-going commitment to preserve our records, the National Archives has entered into partnerships with Ancestry and Fold3 to digitize some of NARA's holdings. The records you seek are now available in digital form and can be viewed online via Ancestry at U.S., Passport Applications, 1795-1925 and via Fold3 at Passport Applications, 1795-1905. There may be a fee for using this service. You may check with your local public or university library as these institutions often provide access to Ancestry.com. You may also access these records with a free account on FamilySearch at United States Passport Applications, 1795-1925.

           

          If she was naturalized, prior to September 27, 1906, any "court of record" (municipal, county, state, or Federal) could grant United States citizenship. Often petitioners went to the court most geographically convenient for them. As a general rule, the National Archives does not have naturalization records created in state or local courts. However, a few indexes and records have been donated to the National Archives from counties, states, and local courts. We suggest that you contact the National Archives facility serving the state in which the petitioner resided to determine if records from lower courts are available. If the records are not available, we suggest that you request a search for the naturalization records from the State Archives or County Historical Societies.

           

          Beginning on September 27, 1906, the responsibility for naturalization proceedings was transferred to the Federal courts. If a naturalization took place in a Federal court, naturalization indexes, declarations of intention (with any accompanying certificates of arrival), and petitions for naturalization will usually be in the custody of the National Archives facility serving the state in which the Federal court is located.

           

          Unfortunately, no central index exists. To ensure a successful request, please include the name of petitioner (including known variants); date of birth; approximate date of entry to the US; approximate date of naturalization; where the individual was residing at the time of naturalization (city/county/state); and country of origin.

           

          In most cases, the National Archives will not have a copy of the certificate of citizenship. Two copies of the certificate were created – one given to the petitioner as proof of citizenship, and one forwarded to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).

           

          Certificates of citizenship were issued by the Federal courts until October 1991 when INS took over responsibility for naturalization proceedings. All INS records are now overseen by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). USCIS maintains duplicate copies of court records (including the certificate of citizenship) created since September 27, 1906 and may be requested through the USCIS Genealogy Program.

           

          We suggest that you review NARA’s Naturalization Records website and the FamilySearch Research wiki United States Naturalization and Citizenship for an overview of the naturalization process.

           

          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 RDT2 & other NARA reference units. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.

           

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