American Samoa, Passenger Lists and Travel Documents (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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American Samoa

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American Samoa, Passenger Lists and Travel Documents, 1918-1965
This article describes a collection of records at
American Samoa, United States
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Record Description
Record Type Passenger Lists and Travel Documents
Record Group RG 284: Records of the Government of American Samoa Record
Collection years 1918-1965
National Archives Identifier 1756081
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
National Archives and Records Administration

What is in This Collection?

This collection includes indexes and images of travel documents from American Samoa, covering the years 1918-1965. They were acquired from the San Francisco Federal Records Center in San Bruno, California.

American Samoa is an unincorporated territory of the United States located in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of Samoa, west of the Cook Islands, north of Tonga, and south of Tokelau. American Samoa is the southernmost territory of the U.S. and one of two U.S. territories south of the equator.

To Browse This Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for American Samoa, Immigration and Emigration, 1918-1965.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

Visas: documents proving legal permission given by the authority of a country for a person who is not a citizen of that country to enter and to remain there for a specified length of time.

Visas may include the following information:

  • Name of petitioner
  • Residence of petitioner
  • Date of birth
  • Month and year of visit
  • Intended length of stay in the country
  • Areas authorized to visit

Petitions for naturalization: formal applications submitted during the process of becoming a citizen of the country to which an individual has immigrated.

Petitions for naturalization may contain the following information:

  • Name of petitioner
  • Residence of petitioner
  • Date of birth
  • Month and year of immigration
  • Court where petition is filed

Passports: travel documents, usually issued by the government of a nation, that certify the identity and nationality of the holder for the purpose of international travel.

Passports may contain the following information:

  • Name of petitioner
  • Residence of petitioner
  • Date of birth
  • Nationality
  • Physical description of petitioner

Passenger Lists: documentation of ship passengers.

Passenger lists may contain the following information:

  • Name of petitioner
  • Residence of petitioner
  • Month and year of immigration
  • Name of ship
  • Date of departure and arrival
  • Ports of departure and arrival
  • Occupation
  • Names of family members
  • Purpose of travel

Other records my include:

Travel permits: documents allowing passengers to travel when they have not purchased a ticket in advance and the ticket office of the station they are traveling from is closed.

Affidavits: written, sworn statements of fact voluntarily made under an oath to a person authorized to do so by law.

Collection Content

The records will include passenger lists, passports, travel permits, letters of identity, affidavits of birth, visas and visa requests, and naturalization petitions from American Samoa.

Sample Images

How Do I Search This Collection?

Before searching the collection it is helpful to know the following:

  • The given and surname of your ancestor
  • When and where they wanted to travel
  • Their residence
  • Age
  • Other relatives by name who may be mentioned on their documents

Search the Index

Search by name by visiting the Collection Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes on the Collection Page with the information you have
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

View the Images

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page

  1. Select Document Type
  2. Select Year or Year Range to view the images

How Do I Analyze the Results?

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?

When you have located your ancestor’s passenger list or travel document, carefully evaluate each piece of information about them. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors.

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?

  • Use the birth date listed on the passenger list or travel document to find your ancestor in other records
  • Use the residence listed on the passenger list or travel document to identify other relatives
  • Search for others with the same surname on the passenger list to determine if other relatives traveled with them

I Can't Find the Person I'm Looking For, What Now?

  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct
  • Continue to search the index and records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives
  • Don’t overlook the possibility of finding ancestors who were visiting relatives, traveling for business, or traveling for pleasure

Research Helps

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in American Samoa.

Citing This Collection

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation
“American Samoa, Immigration and Emigration, 1918-1965.”Database with Images. FamilySearch. : 5 January 2018. Citing NARA NAID 1756081. National Archives and Records Administration, San Francisco.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

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