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According to the NARA, approximately 95 percent of mid-19th century passport applicants were men. Many women also traveled overseas, however, but often there is no trace of their passports. Why?
Until the latter part of the nineteenth century, if a male passport applicant was going to be accompanied by a woman - be it his wife, child, servant, sister, mother, or any female under his "protection", the names, ages, and relationship of the females to the male applicant were stated on HIS passport application. One passport was then issued to cover the entire group.