A. E. Jordan
From: Marilyn Levinson via groups.jewishgen.org <wallachlevinson=aol.com@...>
If I am unable to find a passport online is there any agency I can write to to request a passport application. It is unclear to me whether Morris was a U.S. citizen at the time of his second trip.
US Passport applications are still at the Passport Bureau but the applications to 1925 are online at Ancestry (and maybe other databases).
I am not sure if the Passport Bureau would even search a year before 1925 since as far as it is concerned the records went to the National Archives who microfilmed them and then shared them with Ancestry.
Start with the online database and use all the variations of the name or wildcards for the search. Passport applications were usually a few weeks or months in advance of the departure. Most people did not go over and right back so if he returned in 1921 he might have gone over in 1919 or 1920 for example.
It might help to see if he is in the 1920 census because that will also confirm where he was living before he departed. Otherwise go backwards from 1920 with city directories or WWI draft cards or 1915 state census, etc. to see if you can figure out where he was living. However passports were always federal government so they will not exist at the state level.
If you have his 1921 return passenger list that should show if he was a citizen or not. The lists separated citizens normally although since he was bringing in immigrant family members it might be confused. Also sometimes on the passenger list you will see either handwritten or even typed in a pp# notation which is his passport number. Look for that notation because it is usable to search for the passport application. For late 1920s and 1930s applications I have actually sent the Passport Bureau copies of the passenger list highlighting the person. (The first time I applied for my great grandfather's passport the bureau said not found but then I found his passenger list with the notation and sent it to them and they then found what had been not found on the first search.)
I am not certain, but I would think, you family would have gotten a passport or some sort of identification before leaving the USA so that he would not have had a problem coming back. After World War I the USA was getting a lot tougher on entry even before the quotas went into effect. Also interestingly I have seen a lot of early 1920s passport applications to go to Eastern Europe and there were restrictions on the travel. So the applicants in the USA had to state not only a reason but in most cases had to provide supporting information and were investigated. One application I saw from that period had copies of a multi-page handwritten letter from the father and relatives in Yiddish to the son in America along with a full translation of the letter sawing how bad things were in Poland and the son stating he wanted to go visit his elderly parents. Another application I aw a man was trying to get into Poland and it was denied so he ended up saying her was going to Austria ... leaving you to wonder did he sneak across the border to see his family.