Brief Overview

Passport for Louise Sofie Horn and her son Gunnar, 1920

2001.173.002 – Gift of the Gunnar Horn estate

Passport for Laurits Christian Larsen, 1916 

1987.081.003 – Gift of Marcella Larsen Carey

Passport for Niels Mikael Christiansen, 1925

2002.055.003 - Gift of Joan Sindlinger

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Passports have changed appearance many times over the years, from single sheets of paper to small folders. Early passports included a written description of the passport holder. Photographs began to be attached to passports in the early decades of the twentieth century, when photography became widespread. From WWI on having a passport became much more common. Before that time Danish passengers did not need a passport to enter the U.S. but merely had to fill out the documents provided by the shipping line before arrival at Ellis Island. 

The passport of Laurits Christian Larsen is a good example of how passports had to be bought for each journey, with a specifically stated destination. His passport was issued in Aalborg by the Chief of Police. From Northumberland in England a second passport allowed him to travel on to America.
Immigrants also occasionally traveled back to Denmark for visits. The passport of Louise Sofie Horn was issued in Chicago by the Danish Consulate and states the bearer's intention of traveling to Denmark and returning to the U.S. Underage children were usually included on the mother's passport.

Niels Christiansen was a carpenter and a farmer who immigrated in 1903, moved back to Kjellerup in Denmark in 1910 and immigrated again in 1923.

Passports contain names, middle names and maiden names as well as adresses and a picture or a physical description. If the passport belongs to a woman it will probably contain information about any underage children which will help you in your genealogical research.