David Watt was planning a visit to England and Scotland in August of 1920 to visit relatives. He applied for a passport for this trip. I found his passport application at Ancestry.com in the database, "U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925. David's application was filled with information that genealogists love to find.
This form was filled out by David himself. He swears to the following information:
- Birth: 25 September 1858
- Birth Place: Methil, Scotland
- Father's Name: John Watt
- Father's Birth Place: Scotland
- David's Emigration Date: about 28 April 1879 from Glasgow
- Residence: Marquette, Michigan from 1882-1920
- Naturalization: Marquette County, Marquette, Michigan on 5 December 1886
- Occupation: Locomotive Engineer
- Signature: See Document
- Description of Applicant:
- Age: 61 years
- Stature: 5 feet, 7 1/2 inches, Eng.
- Forehead: high
- Eyes: blue
- Nose: straight
- Mouth: medium
- Chin: round
- Hair: brown, partly gray
- Complexion: fair
- Face: long
- Distinguishing marks: left ear partly gone
And the best part of the whole application: THE PICTURE!
I had known some of this information, but it is always nice to have a second source that confirms it. It amazed me how one document could provide such rich information and description of my great grandfather, David Watt.
Next steps for me was to 1) look for his naturalization papers-which I found at the Archives of Michigan and 2) look for David Watt on a passenger list-I found the passenger list for his return to the United States from this trip. I am still looking for the passenger list when he emigrated from Glasgow.
David arrived back in the United States on the 23 October 1920 having sailed from Southhampton, England to New York, New York aboard the Mauretania. Images of the Mauretania can be found here, at ancestry.com.
Who knew that a two page document would provide such rich genealogical information.