US—Passport Applications, 1795–1925 [Part A]

Project Instructions

Read the Instructions

  • Please read these project instructions carefully before indexing any batches.
  • Review this page and the field helps frequently for updates to the instructions.
  • Click here for a summary of project updates.

Sample Images

What to Index

  • Index only passport application forms. Do not index back of passport application forms.
  • This project contains many supplemental forms, sources that an individual had to produce to prove they were eligible for a passport. These records include affidavits, birth certificates, proof of address, letters, etc. Do not index these supplemental records. Only index the actual application form.
  • If an image contains only a document that either does not include a name or that has only a given name of a person, without a surname or an event date, then mark the image as a No Extractable Data Image.

Indexing Names

  • The passport applications were usually filed in alphabetical order by surname.
  • In the Given Names and Surname fields, index only the name of the person who was the principal or primary person. Do not index any other names that may appear on the document, such as the names of witnesses, judges, or family members.
  • If alias names were included on a document or if an individual’s name was listed with various spellings on the card, include all variants, separating each with the word Or. For example, if a name was written as "Georgios (George), George Broski, George Browzowski, or George Brzozowski," you would index the name fields as follows:
    • Given Names: Georgios Or George
    • Surname: Broski Or Browzowski Or Brzozowski
  • Name variations may have been noted at the bottom of naturalization records, with the name variation written above the signature of the principal and prefaced by a notation such as "Name Changed From."  Be sure to examine the record carefully for name variations, and index all name variations in the proper name fields, separating each variation with the word Or.

Indexing Dates and Ages

  • If the age of an individual was recorded but not a birth year, do not index the age in the Birth Year field, and do not calculate a birth year based on the age.
  • If a birth year was recorded for an individual but not the age, do not calculate the age based on the birth year and the naturalization year.


  • Overlays are normally small handwritten or typed notes that cover up part of an original record.
  • Read through the overlay to determine whether information that matches the type of information you are gathering in the project is found on the overlay (for example, additional information on a birth if you are capturing birth records). If the overlay has extractable information that matches the type of information you are indexing in the project, go ahead and index that information. If not, do not index information from the overlay; in this project almost all overlays should not be indexed, they are not application forms.
  • When indexing information behind the overlay:
    • If the information behind the overlay is a duplicate of information that is fully shown on another image in your batch, do not index the information.
    • If the information behind the overlay seems to be unique and is not included on another image in your batch, index as much as you can see.

Diacritics and Other Characters

  • If the name of a person or locality was written with a character not on your keyboard, such as the ò in Nicolò, please insert the character by clicking the Enter special international characters icon (a square with an "ñ" in it) and selecting the character you want to insert, or:
    1. In the menu bar, click Edit.
    2. Click International Letters.
    3. Click the letter you want to insert.

Corrected or Crossed-Out Information

  • When information was crossed out and then replaced, type the new data in the appropriate fields.
  • When information was crossed out, was not replaced, and can be read, type the crossed-out information.
  • When information was not crossed out but was replaced or was added to, type the most complete version of the record.
  • When information was crossed out, was not replaced, and cannot be read, mark the field as unreadable by pressing Ctrl+U.
  • When every entry on a record cannot be read, mark the entire record as unreadable by pressing Ctrl+Shift+U.

Highlights and the Ruler

  • Highlights are not available for this project. You may use the ruler instead to follow a record across an image.
  • If you choose to use the ruler, please be aware that it is not anchored to the indexing screen and does not automatically move as you move to a new entry. To use the ruler:
    • In the menu bar, click View.
    • Select Show Ruler.

Additional Information