Very Interesting Tomás!

Susan Vargas Murphy

Sent from my iPhone

> On Aug 10, 2017, at 8:32 AM, Tomas Leal <tomasl...@comcast.net> wrote:
> 
> Not all immigrants to the U.S. arrived with official passports. My 
> grandfather's oldest brother emigrated from Horta in 1885, but his passport 
> was issued later to verify his Portuguese citizenship and was signed for by 
> his younger brother, who remained in Flamengos the rest of his life. His 
> signature is on the back of the passport. I assume that after-the-fact 
> documents were not rare, as I cannot imagine any official issuing a passport 
> for someone who had already left the country. It's possible your ancestors 
> simply came over without papers.
> 
> Apparently, passports were not always required for entry to the U.S. For 
> example, https://familysearch.org/wiki/en/United_States_Passports shows 
> periods when passports were required, and it appears none were required 
> between 1862 and 1918. To my knowledge, my paternal grandfather from the 
> Azores is the only one of my four grandparents who had a passport; the other 
> three did not. 
> 
> My Azorean grandfather, who emigrated in 1907, did have a passport before his 
> departure. Because he was already 18, his passport states he was granted an 
> exemption from military service. He probably felt the need for a passport 
> stating his military exemption because he would have been forbidden by law 
> from leaving the country ahead of fulfilling his military obligation. My 
> other grandparents did not have the same issue. In those days, many young men 
> swam or rowed out to the ship rather than leave from the port, so they could 
> evade the authorities and emigrate without fulfilling military service, which 
> might have caused further hardship on the family--loss of labor on the farm, 
> loss of income, and so on. I don't know why or how my grandfather got this 
> exemption, though I assume some sort of "hardship" was claimed. His father 
> (my great-grandfather) had already died, leaving the farm to his widow (my 
> great-grandmother). Three of his brothers (including his oldest one) had 
> already emigrated and the oldest brother had already sent passage from Horta 
> to New York and New York to Oakland when my grandfather applied for his 
> passport. Thus, my grandfather was fully sponsored before he emigrated.
> 
> Tomás Leal
> 
> 
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