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U.S. Department of State
Jerusalem, Jaffa, and Haifa Consular Post Records

Compiled by the Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington

· Introduction
· Database Fields
· Obtaining Records
· Additional Information
· Searching the Database

Introduction:

This database, with its more than 9,000 entries, was created from Record Group 84, Foreign Service Post Records of the U.S. Department of State for Consular Posts: Jerusalem (1857-1935), Jaffa (1867-1917), and Haifa (1872-1917).

The U.S. State Department's files from Foreign Service posts abroad are stored at the U.S. National Archives II, College Park, Maryland.

Few of the original records were indexed, and many were disposed of in 1950.  After a survey of these records by members of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington (JGSGW) in 1995, the volumes of records with the most significant genealogical material were indexed.  Only those names assumed to be Jewish were included in the index.

Records of genealogical value selected for indexing include: birth, marriage, death, probate and wills of American citizens; records of passports issued, visas (required as of 1917) and related matters of immigration and naturalization; registers of visitors, American citizens, and children born of American parents; property disposal and settlement of estates; and general correspondence and miscellaneous records concerning the protection of American citizens and their interests.

The methods by which the State Department filed these records varied over time.  Documents may have been filed in boxes or may have been bound in volumes.  The pages of some volumes are numbered, entries in others are in alphabetical or chronological order, or by numbers assigned to the document based on the subject matter (i.e., 811.11 Visas/immigration).  Therefore, the information given for retrieving a document varies.  Be sure to copy all of the information given in the database.

Database Fields:

The following is a description of fields in the Jerusalem, Jaffa, and Haifa database (RG 84).

  • Surname — Last name of individual whose name appears in the correspondence, document, list, etc.  When more than one name appears, all are listed separately. If the maiden name is given along with the married name, both will be listed in the database.
  • Given Name — First name(s) of the individual.
  • City/Country — This refers to a geographical location mentioned or listed in the correspondence or document.  This does not refer to the location of the consulate.  It may be the location of the person writing for information about a relative in a different location.  It may be the person's place of birth, marriage, or death.
  • Document Date — Date that appears on the document or correspondence.
  • Volume / Box Number — Records are stored in either bound volumes or archival boxes.  Each has been assigned a number by the National Archives.  The volume number appears on a large white card attached to each volume.
  • Document Number — Some documents were assigned numbers.
  • Page # — Some volumes contain pages that are numbered.
  • Notes — Additional information about the indexed item.
  • Register Details — Reference information needed to obtain the original documents.  The National Archives uses these to identify records.  Each reference should be proceeded by "RG 84 - MLR," meaning "Record Group 84, Master Location Register," followed by a UD number and the name of the consulate.

Obtaining Records:

Include in your mail, phone, or on-site request ALL of the following information for each entry:

  • RG 84.  All records in this database are from RG (Record Group) 84.
  • Master Location Register Entry Number (MLR UD #. . .) and Consulate location:
    • MLR UD #453 Jerusalem
    • MLR UD #448 Jaffa
    • MLR UD #408 Haifa
  • Volume or Box #, as indicated in database.
  • Page #, if indicated in database.
  • Date (may be date of document or date received by post).
  • Document #, if indicated in database.
  • Complete name of individual as it appears in the database.

On-site requests for accessing these records may be made at Archives II, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD.  Records are pulled five times each day, Monday through Friday, at 9:20 a.m., 10:20 a.m., 11:20 a.m., 1:20 p.m. and 3:20 p.m.  If research is to be conducted on Saturday or after the last retrieval time on a particular day, you must arrange in advance to have records available.  To confirm that your selected records were retrieved, call (301) 837-3510.

Pull slips may be obtained and submitted in the Civilian Records Branch, Room 2400, or the Textual Research Room, Room 2000.  An archivist must review the pull slip when you turn it in.  Records are pulled and held in the Textual Research Room within one hour of the scheduled pull time.

Textual Research Room hours:
- Monday & Wednesday:   8:45 a.m. - 5 p.m.
- Tuesday, Thursday, & Friday:   8:45 a.m. - 9 p.m.
- Saturday:   8:45 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.
- Sunday:   Closed

Self-service copies maybe made in the Textual Research Room upon approval by a staff member of the original material to be duplicated.  Loose papers are photocopied, $.25, and documents in bound volumes are scanned onto hard copy, $.50.  Debit cards may be purchased on site.

Phone Requests:  Requests for records may be phoned in before an on-site visit.  Call Civilian Records Branch, Archives II, (301) 837-3510, FAX: (301) 837-1752.  Records will be pulled and held in the Textual Research Room, Room 2000, for three days.

Mail or E-mail Requests:  Send requests for copies of records to:

State Department Consular Records
Civilian Records Branch
National Archives and Records Administration
8601 Adelphi Road
College Park, MD 20740-6001
You may also phone (301) 837-3510 to discuss your question or problem on weekdays, 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m., or e-mail inquire@arch2.nara.gov.

For copies requested by mail, loose papers will be photocopied, but documents from bound volumes will be put on microfilm only.  Minimum fee is $10 for the first 15 pages or less to be microfilmed.

Additional Information on U.S. State Department Records:

  • "Using U.S. Visa Records to Find Post-World War I Immigrants," by Laurence Michael Krupnak with Edward David Luft, in Avotaynu, Vol. 10, No. 2 (Summer 1994), page 35.
  • "JGSGW Indexes More State Department Records," by Roberta Solit, in Avotaynu, Vol. 10, No. 3 (Fall 1994), page 37.
  • "American Consulate, Jerusalem 1857-1924," by Mike Getz with Sallyann Sack, in Avotaynu, Vol. 10, No. 4 (Winter 1994), page 13.
  • "Lesser Known Resources at the U.S. National Archives," by Suzan Wynne, in Avotaynu, Vol. 4, No. 1 (Winter 1988), page 7.

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