The Internal Passport Project aims is to database key information from what we estimate are over 150,000 (Jewish) Internal Passports issued by the government of independent Lithuania between 1919 and 1940. The records are organized differently in different geographies and LitvakSIG has broken the project out as a Special Project for management and fundraising.
During the period 1919-1940 when Lithuania was an independent country, every Lithuanian citizen age 17 or older was required to have an internal passport or they could be sent back to the USSR/Russia. These internal passports were not issued for the purpose of traveling; rather they served as personal identification documents that entitled the bearer to Lithuanian citizenship.
Thus, in the beginning of the 1920s, all the adult citizens, regardless of age, had to obtain internal passports. To do so, they had to prove their right to Lithuanian citizenship by producing evidence that they were residents of the territory of Lithuania before World War I.
Later, internal passports were issued to young people coming of age; women, when they changed their surnames after marriage; when old passports were lost, etc.
The Internal Passport itself consisted of four pages with the basic information; name, surname, date of birth, place of birth, address, nationality, religion, occupation, some special traits (if the person had any), family status, inscription about children, the passport numbers, issue date, photo, the registration stamp about where they lived, and some other short notes.
Many of the Internal Passport files contain photographs as well as additional records — applications, affidavits, copies of birth and marriage certificates, etc. Sometimes, when vital records were missing, extracts from revision and family lists were produced to prove one's identity and right to Lithuanian citizenship. Even extracts from otherwise currently missing 1858 revision lists have been found in some files.
This project to database information from these internal passport files is very extensive and of great importance due to the wealth of data included. These are some of the few records that have women’s maiden names, specific places of birth, and other familial relationships indicated.
We hope you will Contribute to the Internal Passports Project.
To contribute, please follow the instructions below because the process varies depending on which district your shtetls is in. To determine the district your shtetl is in, please see the Shtetl Database section of our website.
For shtetls in any district except the Siauliai, Telsiai, and Ukmerge Districts, the minimum contribution per shtetl to receive data is $100. Simply go to the Contributions Page of this website and indicate you are interested in Internal Passports and the name of your shtetls(s).
For shtetls in the Siauliai, Telsiai,and Ukmerge Districts, you simply join the Siauliai District Research Group, the Telsiai District Research Group, or the Ukmerge District Research Group to gain access to this data.
Thank you for your support. Should you have any questions, please direct them as follows:
|Internal Passports, All districts except Siauliai, Telsiai or Ukmerge districts.
||$100 US per shtetl
|Internal Passports, Siauliai District
This project is being done under the aegis of the Siauliai District Research Group.
||No separate contribution required. Members of Siauliai District Research Group will be given data.
|InternalPassports, Telsiai District.
This project is being done under the aegis of the Telsiai District Research Group.
||No separate contribution required. Members of Telsiai District Research Group will be given data.
|Internal Passports, Ukmerge District This project is being done under the aegis of the Ukmerge District Research Group
||No separate contribution required. Members of Ukmerge District Research Group will be given data.
Return to the LitvakSIG Special Projects Page of this website. Or return to an overview of all LitvakSIG Projects.