The U.S. Passport Application for Margaret Coyle Gibson

Yesterday, Chris Dunham of The Genealogue wrote:

As promised, has released a database of U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925.

Well, this is one database I’ve been waiting for.

Back in June 2006, I posted an article on The Lost Family of Clark Gibson and followed it up in January 2007 with The Descendants of John Gibson and The Birth of Anna May Gibson.

To briefly recap, my father’s sister Sophie married Clark Gibson. Clark had been previously married to Margaret Coyle and the couple had three children: Anna May, Angela, and Kathleen. Sometime before 1920, Margaret returned to her native Ireland with the three children, never to return to the United States. I didn’t know exactly when Margaret left the United States, why she left, or why she failed to return.

Margaret’s U.S. Passport Application provides the answers to two of those questions.

The US Passport Application of Margaret Gibson - Front

U.S. Passport Application of Margaret Gibson – Front

The US Passport Application of Margaret Gibson - Back

U.S. Passport Application of Margaret Gibson – Back

SOURCE: U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925, Application 135700, Margaret Gibson; digital image, ( : accessed 20 November 2007); citing National Archives microfilm publication M1490, roll 973.

Click on the link for a PDF copy of the U.S. Passport Application of Margaret Gibson. The application states the following:

  • Margaret Gibson applied for a U.S. Passport on 29 Oct 1919 in Suffolk Co., Massachusetts
  • Margaret stated that she would be accompanied by her 3 minor children Anna M Gibson born 04 Sep 1916, Angela Gibson born 04 Nov 1917, and Kathleen Gibson born 06 Apr 1919
  • She was born 18 Sep 1891 in Tully, Ireland
  • She was married to Clark Gibson who was born and currently residing in Fairfield, Vermont and he resided in the United States, uninterruptedly for 25 years from 1894 to 1919 at Fairfield, Vermont
  • Margaret resided in Ireland from 1891 to 1912 and was now domiciled at Fairfield, Vermont where she was a farmer’s wife
  • She planned to visit Ireland to see her mother and return to the United States within 2 years
  • She planned to depart the United States from the port of Boston on 01 Nov 1919
  • Margaret was 28 years old, 5 feet 6 inches tall, medium forehead, blue eyes, straight nose, small mouth, pointed chin, dark brown hair, fair complexion, oval face, and no distinguishing marks noted

Much of the rest of the record is obscured by a notarized statement that Clark Gibson was born 20 Jun 1894 in Fairfield, Vermont, USA and had paid his taxes in that town up to date.

A photo of Margaret and her three children is attached to the passport application, although it is partially covered by the attestation that obscures most of the reverse of the document. Fortunately, I have a digital image of the same photograph with Margaret’s signature.

Passport Photo of Margaret Coyle Gibson and Her Children

Passport Photo of Margaret Gibson and Her Three Children

SOURCE: Passport Photo of Margaret Gibson and Her Three Children. Photographed by unknown photographer in 1919.

This application answers two of my questions and more. Margaret left the United States on 01 Nov 1919 to visit her mother. She intended to return within 2 years, but did not.

The application also provided information I did not previous have, including Margaret’s date and place of birth and the dates of birth of her two youngest daughters. It also confirms Clark’s date and place of birth, useful because I have not found Clark’s birth record.

One question still remains. Why didn’t Margaret return to the United States?

Copyright © 2007 by Stephen J. Danko

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