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Friday, October 16, 2009

Finding a Marriage Record in Passport Applicatons

Bon's Question:
I am trying to trace a marriage certificate for
Eugene Joseph McHugh Born New York 24th May 1899 Died 1970 Bar harbor New York .

Spouse Ivy Myrtle Biffin Born May1902 Southampton England Died 1977 Massapeque park New York.

One Daughter Maguerite Harriet McHugh Born 1922 Southampton England.

I have the passenger list for the liner SS Saxonia arriving in Ellis Island in Oct 1922 her and her baby daughter sailed to America on. It was in her married name of McHugh also her Passport No:124056.

I have use Mormon web site An American site called Public Record, Find my past . I have drawn a blank on them all.

Was a Marriage certificate needed to apply for a passport in those day or would she have just changed her name to Mchugh?

Hello Bon, A good place to look for marriages that took place in England is Free BMD. If you find the marriage you seek in their online index, you can then order the marriage certificate from GRO (General Register Office for England and Wales). See Ordering English Certificates of Birth, Marriage or Death online on OliveTreeGenealogy Blog for help with the ordering process

In your case however you may want to look for Ivy's passport application. You might be surprised at the amount of detail found in passport applications. There are many online for free and also on pay sites. has Passportsicon, as does

Being curious I had a peek and found Ivy's passport application online on
. In it she provides her exact date and place of marriage, and we learn that what you thought was her arrival in America in October 1922 was in fact her return from a trip to England to visit her mother in March 1922. She had been living in New York since 1920! Her passport also provides her exact date of arrival (her original immigration, not her return from trips back to England) and the name of the ship she sailed on.

Once you have consulted the passport application for that ship name and date you can check for Ivy's immigration voyage. You might also want to obtain the ships passenger list for Ivy's outbound voyage from New York to England in 1922. Ships passenger lists are found on

Back to her marriage - armed with the date and location of her marriage you will be able to send for her marriage certificate if you want it.

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