rovern wrote:If a birth and/or a death certificate can be secured as far back as early 1800's, why can't we find a copy of the passports of the immigrant by roverm thank you
I'm not sure if you are referring to Italian passports but, if you are, the following info may interest you, which I had previously posted on other threads-
from the year 1869, and the unification of Italy, any Italian citizen who wanted to travel outside of Italy had to be issued a passport. They could not leave their country without one, although the country to which they were traveling did not necessarily require them to have a passport to enter that new country. So the U.S. did not require an Italian passport to enter this country in the early 1900s, but Italy required its citizens to have a passport in order to leave there. For one thing, the Italian government wanted to make sure that men who were eligible for their draft did not leave the country before they had served in the military there. Another thing was that the Italian government wanted to insure that any of its citizens guilty of a crime did not leave the country.
Now, in order for an Italian citizen to be issued an Italian passport in their country, they had to go to their closest police headquarters with their birth certificates. There the officials would check the names on the certificates. So it was the Italian police who issued the passports. Some Italian citizens requested a passport but never left Italy. Some made multiple trips abroad using only 1 passport. Some actually made two or three requests for a passport before finally setting sail. The records kept by the questura (in the archives of the headquarters of the internal police in each province) are not available to the public.
Every passport request, however, also had to be approved by the ministero degli interni (minister of internal affairs) in Rome. So a list of passport requests and approvals is kept by this ministero in Rome. The problem is that the passports are indexed by town or province for each year, so you need not only the town name but also the year the passport was issued (which may not be the same year your ancestor arrived in the United States). Also these indices do not even contain the actual date of departure from Italy of your ancestor, as he may have requested his passport months before he actually left there. According to Trafford Cole, in his book about researching Italian records, this index contains very little info of actual worth (p.161).
Photos with naturalization papers were only included from 1929 on, but not all naturalization papers which took place after that year contain a photo. I was disappointed when I sent for my husband's grandfather's brother's papers, and there was no photo. That naturalization was in 1931.
U.S. passport applications had photos starting Dec 21, 1914.