Monday, February 6, 2023

A grey day at Kew

… and around the world

There are days when the morning news makes The Legal Genealogist smile.

And days when it makes us all gasp with pain.

Today is one of the latter.

Because the news today in our genealogical community is the passing over the weekend of Audrey Collins, genealogist extraordinaire at the National Archives of the United Kingdom.

Audrey Collins

The National Archives itself made the announcement on Facebook: “We are extremely sad to learn of the death of our longstanding family history expert Audrey Collins. She was a much-loved and respected colleague, as well as a prominent figure in the global genealogy community, which she dedicated much of her time and expertise to.”

And the tributes began to roll in. Here are just a few:

Chris Paton: One of life’s gems, originally from Glasgow, she was always so good natured and good-humoured. .. she was very much on the side of light in the family history world. She’ll be sorely missed. (And see Chris’ blog post at Scottis GENES.)
Jen Baldwin: Absolutely devastated to learn of this loss. She was one in a million.
Kim Harrison: I will miss her sass, giggles and knowledge. She was the best!
Dawne Slater: It’s difficult to imagine a world without Audrey Collins in it.
Massachusetts Genealogical Council: MGC is saddened by the passing of Kew (UK) archivist Audrey Collins. She shared her knowledge of English records at many conferences in the US. Plus she was a delightful person.
Helen Smith: Such sad news to hear that Audrey Collins has passed away. Such a wonderful friend to so many in the genealogical community. A wonderful person with a wicked sense of humour, bright personality and so much genealogical knowledge. Such a loss to her family and the genealogical community.
James Jeffrey: I am heartbroken. She was always radiant and positive. Quick to listen and very generous with her research guidance.
Lou Szucs: In honor of our sweet friend, I hope we will carry on with her best qualities- of which there were many. She was generous, loving, and her radiant smile will be among our fondest memories of her.
Jennifer de Fiebre: I will miss that twinkle in her eyes as she said something delightfully rude. Her infectious attitude will be dearly missed.
Schelly Talalay Dardashti: In shock. Audrey was an institution! I had known her for so many years. A wonderful individual who will be sincerely missed.
Pat Richley-Erickson (Dear Myrtle): God speed dear Audrey Collins. No more pain. Our loss is heaven’s gain. How wonderful to have been blessed with your wonderful friendship.
Cyndi Ingle (Cyndi’s List): I woke up to such sad news today. Our friend, Audrey Collins, passed away on Saturday. She worked for the National Archives in the UK. Her love of family history and her knowledge of the records at Kew was amazing. She had a beautifully quirky sense of style that included a lot of purple and some lovely monkey shoes that I always coveted. And she was a hoot and a half to hang out with. She will be sorely missed.
George G. Morgan (The Genealogy Guys): We are devastated to learn of the passing of our very dear friend, Audrey Collins over the weekend. (And see their blog post.)

Some of this blog’s readers knew Audrey far better than I did. Some readers may not have met her at all. But we are all enormously impoverished by her loss.

Not just the genealogy world but the larger world in its entirety is a little greyer place today without her bright smile.

RIP, dear friend.

May your memory forever be a blessing.


Cite/link to this post: Judy G. Russell, “A grey day at Kew,” The Legal Genealogist (https://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog : posted 6 Feb 2023).



* This article was originally published here

Colburn Hintze Maletta is a Phoenix Criminal Defense and Family Law Firm. Visit them at https://chmlaw.com

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Thursday, February 2, 2023

Say their names…

Fan and Ana and Mary and …

It’s Black History Month here in the United States, a time for all of us to benefit from learning more about the history, role and contributions of African Americans in this country.

A time when “The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society.”1

And a good time for those of us who, like The Legal Genealogist, have recorded enslavers in our family trees to contribute what we can to preserving the history of those our ancestors held enslaved.

1860 slave schedule

I continue to wish there was one central consolidated database to enter this sort of information, to ensure it would be retained through the years and decades and — yes — centuries to come. I keep hoping that either the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture or the new and soon-to-be-opened International African American Museum in South Carolina will step up and set this up.

In the meantime, we can contribute to the wide variety of projects that do collect such data — there’s a great list and many resources on the Reparative Genealogy page of the Reparations4Slavery website2 — and keep looking for and documenting the enslaved in our own family histories.

For me, today, it’s a time to say their names.

Fan. She was held enslaved by my third great grandfather William M. Robertson in Columbus, Lowndes County, Mississippi, in the 1830s. Her existence was documented in the deed books when William used her as security for a loan of $155.40 for his hat shop: “a certain negro woman by the name of Fan supposed to be about the age of thirty five years.”3

She was not the only person held enslaved by William. The 1830 census records one enslaved man aged 36-54.4 By 1840, he held 12 people enslaved: a boy under age 10, two males 10-23 and one 24-35, four girls under age 10, three females ages 10-23, and one 24-25.5 He was not recorded as an enslaver on the slave schedules thereafter, but his son was.

My second great grandfather Gustavus Boone Robertson was recorded as an enslaver on that 1850 slave schedule, in Winston County, Mississippi.6 He held two women — one age 30 and one age 50 — enslaved; thus far, no record of their identities can be found.

He was recorded again as an enslaver on the 1860 slave schedule, in Attala County, Mississippi. There, he was recorded as enslaving one woman aged 25 and one little girl, aged three7 — and that leads to the other two names that I know.

Ana and Mary. The family story is that the nanny of the Robertson children had chosen to go with the family when they left Mississippi just after the Civil War to settle in Texas. I have my doubts about the voluntariness of any such move, but it’s undeniable that — enumerated in 1870 next door to Gustavus and Isabella and their brood of children (10 by then living at home) — were two people who almost have to be those enslaved females of 1860.

Ana Robertson. Age 36. Black. Born in Mississippi. Mary Robertson. Age 13. Black. Born in Mississippi.8

It looks very much like these folks stayed in Lamar County after my Robertsons moved on to Delta County. There’s an Annie Robertson enumerated as the mother-in-law in the household of Nathan and Mary Shirrell in Lamar County in 1880. Annie, age 45, and Mary, age 23 — both born in Mississippi.9 I haven’t yet located the family after 1880.

Fan. Ana. Mary.

Here, in Black History Month, I say their names.


Cite/link to this post: Judy G. Russell, “Say their names…,” The Legal Genealogist (https://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog : posted 2 Feb 2023).

SOURCES

  1. Homepage, Black History Month (https://blackhistorymonth.gov/ : accessed 1 Feb 2023).
  2. Reparative Genealogy,” Reparations4Slavery.com (https://reparations4slavery.com/ : accessed 1 Feb 2023).
  3. Lowndes County, Mississippi, Deed Book 1:55, Deed of Trust, Robertson to Tucker; digital images, DGS film 008567186, image 37, FamilySearch.org (https://www.familysearch.org/ : accessed 1 Feb 2023).
  4. 1830 U.S. census, Lowndes County, Mississippi, p. 84 (stamped), William M. Robertson; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 Feb 2023); imaged from NARA microfilm M19, roll 71. Note that the Ancestry index entry recording an elderly enslaved woman is incorrect; the indexer appears to have misread a tally mark intended for another purpose.
  5. 1840 U.S. census, Winston County, Mississippi, p. 266 (stamped), person; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 Feb 2023); imaged from NARA microfilm M704, roll 219.
  6. 1850 U.S. census, Winston County, Mississippi, slave schedule, p. 59 (penned), “Gustavius Robinson”; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 Feb 2023); imaged from NARA microfilm M432, roll 390.
  7. 1860 U.S. census, Attala County, Mississippi, slave schedule, Township 14 Range 8, p. 26 (penned), Gustavus B. Robertson; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 Feb 2023); imaged from NARA microfilm M653, roll 595.
  8. 1870 U.S. census, Lamar County, Texas, population schedule, Beat 2, p. 253B (stamped), dwelling/family 308, Ana and Mary Robertson; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 Feb 2023); imaged from NARA microfilm M593, roll 1594. For the Gustavus Robertson household, see ibid., dwelling/family 307.
  9. 1880 U.S. census, Lamar County, Texas, population schedule, Paris, enumeration district (ED) 81, p. 213C (stamped), dwelling 166, family 202, person; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 Feb 2023); imaged from NARA microfilm T9, roll 1314.


* This article was originally published here

Colburn Hintze Maletta is a Phoenix Criminal Defense and Family Law Firm. Visit them at https://chmlaw.com

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Monday, January 30, 2023

Ancestry privacy update: no big deal

January 2023 update is routine

Yes, Ancestry has once again updated its privacy rules.

No, it’s nothing to be concerned about.

With that — except for the worrywarts out there — The Legal Genealogist could conclude this blog post.

Ancestry banner 2023

If you’re not a worrywart, the rest is TL;DR.

If you are, essentially all that’s changed in the January 2023 update to Ancestry’s privacy statement is (a) moving away from the word “share” in talking about what is and isn’t provided by consumers to the company and by the company to anybody else and using the more accurate word “disclose” instead; and (2) some required language under some of the newer state privacy statutes.

Not one word of the entire privacy statement — other than the date and summary at the top — changes before section 15. That change says that Ancestry has added its operations limited partnership to those entities legally considered data controllers (the entities legally responsible for determining what gets done with personal data) and wants us to use that name — Ancestry Operations L.P. — if we send them correspondence by mail. That’s only a technical change in the privacy statement; the statement of corporate structure has said that for months.1

Section 16 is where the bulk of the changes are. That’s where the “disclose,” not “share,” or “disclosing,” not “sharing,” changes pop up. So it talks about information and content we “disclose to” Ancestry, rather than “share with” Ancestry and what Ancestry “discloses” about us to third parties, rather than “shares.”2

Subsection 16.5 makes it clear now that “Under the laws in certain US jurisdictions, you have the right to opt out of our sharing of your Personal Information for online targeted advertising purposes.” It tells us that “To change your preferences around targeted advertising, please visit our Do Not Sell or Share my Personal Information/Opt Out of Targeted Advertising page or the “Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information” link in the footer of some of our sites.”3

And it notes that: “Some browsers or plug-ins use a Global Privacy Control (GPC), which you can learn more about at https://globalprivacycontrol.org. If our site detects a GPC signal from your device, we will interpret it as a request to opt out of selling or sharing your Personal Information and to opt out of targeted advertising. If you opt out of targeted advertising via the GPC or the opt-out preference on the Do Not Sell or Share my Personal Information/Opt Out of Targeted Advertising page, we may still deliver advertising to you that is not tailored based on your Personal Information.”4

Subsection 16.6 clarifies some details about how to exercise some rights, particularly the right to correct any data Ancestry holds about us.5

And subsection 16.7 notes that: “Certain state laws allow you to opt out of the “sale” of your information to third parties in exchange for valuable consideration. Ancestry does not sell your Personal Information, and has not sold it in the 12 months prior to the effective date of this US Statement.To opt out of targeted advertising, please see Section 16.5.”6

And that’s it.

Worrywarts, stop worrying.

Seriously, there’s nothing to see here, folks… Move right along…


Cite/link to this post: Judy G. Russell, “Ancestry privacy update: no big deal,” The Legal Genealogist (https://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog : posted 30 Jan 2023).

SOURCES

  1. §15, “Your Privacy,” effective 26 Jan 2023, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/ : accessed 30 Jan 2023). Compare the corporate structure page here; it’s said the same thing since at least last October, according to this screen capture.
  2. Ibid., §16.
  3. Ibid., §16.5.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Ibid., §16.6 — and no, it doesn’t apply to corrections in family trees. Wouldn’t that be nice…
  6. Ibid., §16.7.


* This article was originally published here

Colburn Hintze Maletta is a Phoenix Criminal Defense and Family Law Firm. Visit them at https://chmlaw.com

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Saturday, January 28, 2023

Between the lines

Elly, Paul, the censuses… and the divorce…

There is no question of the relationship of the couple on the 1930 census. On line 29, he is enumerated as head of the household, and on line 30, she’s enumerated as his wife, and the marital status for each of them is shown as M, for married.1

And there’s no question of the relationship of the couple on the 1940 census. On line 69, he’s enumerated as head of the household, and on line 70, she’s shown as his wife, and the marital status of each shown as M, for married.2

But between those lines… oh, between those lines… there’s a story to be told.

Elly divorce 1935

The focus of the story is Elly Emma Martha Maria (Geissler) Nasgowitz Froemke — and she has been driving The Legal Genealogist to distraction for some time.3

She was my paternal grandfather’s older sister, fifth child and fourth daughter of Hermann and Emma (Graumüller) Geissler. She was born in the village of Bad Köstritz — in what was then the principality of Reuß jüngerer Linie and is now the German State of Thüringen4 — on 31 December 1888 and baptized in the Lutheran church there on 24 January 1889.5

She was married in Germany, to Max Wilhelm Nasgowitz on 10 February 1920,6 but that didn’t last. Elly left Germany in late 1922, arriving at the Port of New York on the President Harding on 17 January 1923. She was bound for Chicago, where other family members had settled.7

Now… if I’d stopped with the census records, I’d have concluded that Elly met Paul Anton Froemke there in Chicago, married him, and they lived happily ever after. I mean, after all, I have them coming back into the United States together from Germany in September 1927, both of them listed at the same permanent Chicago address.8 Then they’re together on the 1930 census, the 1940 census, and even on the 1950 census — shown there on lines 3-4, Paul as head of household, Elly as his wife.9

By 1954, they’d moved to California, and they’re recorded one after the other on the voter rolls of Riverside County, both living at 549 Orange Avenue in Beaumont.10 Elly died there in Riverside in 1964,11 and Paul in 1969.12

And I can even throw in Elly’s naturalization records from 1939, where she identified Paul A. Froemke as her husband.13

So what’s the story between the lines here?

Elly married Paul in Chicago.

Twice.

Once, the Illinois marriage index says, on the 28th of June 1926.14

And again, the marriage record from Cook County Clerk says, on the fourth of May 1935.15

And in between?

Well, it sure didn’t match my theories.

First, I’d thought they’d married in Germany when they went there to visit her family in 1927, and remarried in Chicago because they couldn’t get the documentation to support her later naturalization.

Then, after an eagle-eyed reader spotted that index entry for the 1926 marriage, I thought maybe they’d remarried because — well — there is that minor matter of the first marriage in Germany to Max.

But then through the help of a genealogy colleague I was able to get the license application for the 1935 marriage, rather than just the license and return.

And it said both Paul and Elly had been divorced in Cook County, Illinois, in January 1935.16 Didn’t say from whom, but the fact that the date for both divorces was the same and the addresses they claimed to be living at when they applied for this license were different strongly suggested this was this couple getting divorced from each other.

That still left the question: why? A problem because of the Max marriage? Or something else?

The divorce case file came in yesterday, thanks to very quick work by a Chicago researcher.

And … sigh … it’s something else.

On the 23rd of October 1934, Elly went to court in Chicago and asked for a divorce from Paul. The grounds? Desertion: “Paul Anton Froemke, on the 25th day of January, A.D. 1932, wilfully and without any reasonable or just cause therefor, deserted and abandoned plaintiff, and wholly refused to live and cohabit with her as husband and wife.”17

She claimed she didn’t know where Paul was — his last known residence, she said, was back at his family home in Clinton, Oklahoma — so the court gave her leave to notify him of the action by publication and by mail.18

When Paul didn’t answer by the end of November, Elly’s lawyer asked for a default judgment. But to support the application, she had to submit a Certificate of Evidence — and that’s where the good stuff is. Both she and her sister, Hattie (Geissler) Knop, were examined by Elly’s lawyer. “I treated him very good,” she said. “He treated me very mean.” “She was very good to him,” Hattie said. How did he treat her? “Very cruel.”19

And so, on 8 January 1935, Judge Philip J. Finnegan entered the decree, divorcing Elly from Paul and allowing her to resume her maiden name of Elly Geissler.20

Now… think about this. All through late 1934 into early 1935, Elly has no idea where Paul is, and thinks he may be back in Oklahoma. He’s gone, he won’t support her, she wants out.

And not even four months later, Paul — living at 5534 South Ashland Avenue, Chicago — gets a license to marry Elly — living at 5238 South Ashland Avenue, Chicago.21

Plug those addresses into Google Maps. It says it’s 0.4 miles, and an eight-minute walk.

Wouldn’t you have wanted to be a fly on the wall for the conversations that occurred, somehow, in those 0.4 miles, between January and May?

Sigh…

So the mystery of Elly and how she managed to re-enter the United States under the name Froemke in 1927 when she married Paul in 1935 is solved.22

But oh man… would I ever like to know what happened in those first months of 1935.23

There’s such a story between these lines.


Cite/link to this post: Judy G. Russell, “Between the lines,” The Legal Genealogist (https://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog : posted 28 Jan 2023).

SOURCES

  1. 1930 U.S. census, Cook County, Illinois, population schedule, Chicago, enumeration district (ED) 16-583, p. 140 (stamped), dwelling 188, family 211, Paul and Elly Froemke; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 Jan 2023); imaged from NARA microfilm T626, roll 441.
  2. 1940 U.S. census, Cook County, Illinois, population schedule, Chicago , enumeration district (ED) 103-1194, sheet 7B, household 126, Paul and Elly Froemke; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 Jan 2023); imaged from NARA microfilm T627, roll 957.
  3. See Judy G. Russell, “The New Year’s Eve baby and the resolution,” The Legal Genealogist, posted 31 Dec 2022 (https://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog : accessed 28 Jan 2023). And see “The plot thickens…,” posted 21 Jan 2023.
  4. See generally Wikipedia (https://de.wikipedia.org), “Reuß jüngerer Linie,” rev. 15 Dec 2022
  5. Kirchenbuch Bad Köstritz, Taufregister Seite 57 Nr. 89 aus 1888 (Church book, Baptismal Register, Page 57, no. 89 of 1888); digital image of entry in the possession of JG Russell
  6. Marriage Certificate, Nr. 81 (1920), Max Wilhelm Nasgowitz and Elly Marie Geissler; Standesamt Gera, 4 January 1929 (photocopy provided by Stadtarchiv Gera).
  7. Manifest, S.S. President Harding, 17 January 1923, p. 131 (stamped), line 1, Elly Nasgowitz; “New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957,” digital images, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 Jan 2023); citing NARA microfilm publication T715, roll 3244.
  8. Manifest, S.S. George Washington, 9 September 1927, page 225 (stamped), line 9, Paul Froemke, and page 218 (stamped), line 7, Elly Froemke; digital images, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 31 Dec 2022); citing NARA microfilm publication T715, roll 4125. They’re on different pages because Paul was a U.S. citizen and Elly was not, not yet.
  9. 1950 U.S. census, Cook County, Illinois, population schedule, Chicago, enumeration district (ED) 103-1387, sheet 82, dwelling 4125, Paul and Elly “Froemk”; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 Jan 2023).
  10. California Great Register of Voters, Riverside County, 1954 Official Index, Beaumont Precinct 2, entries for Paul A. and Mrs. Elly Marie Froemke; digital images, “California, U.S., Voter Registrations, 1900-1968,” Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 23 Jan 2023).
  11. Riverside County, California, Death Certificate 3397, state file 03058, Elly Marie Froemke, 10 Dec 1964.
  12. Entry for Paul A Froemke, 19 Jan 1969, “California Death Index, 1940-1997,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 28 Jan 2023). Yeah. I know. I need to order his death certificate.
  13. U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, petition 187495, certificate 11 207667, Elly Martha Marie Froemke; digital images, “Illinois, U.S., Federal Naturalization Records, 1856-1991,” Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 Jan 2023).
  14. “Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871-1968,” entry for Paul A Froemke and Elly Geissler, 28 June 1926; database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 28 Jan 2023).
  15. Cook County, Ill., Marriage License and Return No. 1446337, Froemke-Geissler, 4 May 1935; digital image in the possession of JG Russell.
  16. Cook County, Ill., Marriage License Application No. 1446337, Froemke-Geissler, 4 May 1935; digital image in the possession of JG Russell.
  17. Complaint in Chancery, Froemke v. Froemke, Case No. 34C22464, Cook County, Illinois, Circuit Court, Chicago; digital image in the possession of JG Russell.
  18. See ibid., Certificate of Mailing Notice, 29 October 1934.
  19. Ibid., Certificate of Evidence, 6 December 1934.
  20. Ibid., Decree for Divorce, 8 Jan 1935.
  21. Cook County, Ill., Marriage License Application No. 1446337, Froemke-Geissler, 4 May 1935.
  22. Of course, there is still the minor matter of how the marriage to Max ended legally…
  23. Nope. Before you ask, there’s nobody alive today who would know. Elly and Paul had no children, all of their siblings and niblings long gone. Darn it.


* This article was originally published here

Colburn Hintze Maletta is a Phoenix Criminal Defense and Family Law Firm. Visit them at https://chmlaw.com

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Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Snippet: About those shares…

The language of the law. Part Latin, part Greek, part law French, even part Anglo-Saxon. And all confusing.

It’s winter camp for genealogists this week as the virtual Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy is underway.

Which means I’m up to my eyeballs in Powerpoints and Zoom sessions.

So… the first of 2023’s snippets…

2023 snippet no. 1

What in the world is a “moiety”?

We come across it as genealogists in land records, as when two brothers sold off a “two-thirds moiety” in 200 acres in North Carolina in 1848.1

And if we head off to the law dictionary, we find that a “moiety” in law generally refers to a one-half interest in real estate.2 An entirety in real estate, by contrast, means the whole parcel.3 But the term “moiety” is broader than just a half-interest. The definition of “moiety” notes by way of example that joint tenants — two or more persons who own land by a joint title4 — are “said to hold by moieties.” Used this way, the term refers to any set of roughly equal parts.

So a “two-thirds moiety” would represent two of three equal shares.

And no, that’s not the only term we might come across as genealogists that would mean roughly the same thing as moiety. In old records, a demidietas is a “half or moiety.”5 It’s sometimes spelled dimidietas.6 A half-endeal is a moiety.7

To own all rights to the entire 200 acres, the buyers would have had to separately acquire the remaining rights to the land from the owners of the third share — the children of a third brother, who had also inherited a one-third interest but had already died by the time the brothers were ready to sell.8

Sigh… woulda been nice if they’d just said “share,” wouldn’t it?

Darned deed-drafting lawyers…


Cite/link to this post: Judy G. Russell, “Snippet: About those shares…,” The Legal Genealogist (https://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog : posted 24 Jan 2023).

SOURCES

  1. Caldwell County, North Carolina, Deed Book 2: 147; microfilm C.017.40001; North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh.
  2. Henry Campbell Black, A Dictionary of Law (St. Paul, Minn. : West, 1891), 784, “moiety.”
  3. Ibid., 423, “entirety.”
  4. Ibid., 651, “joint tenants.”
  5. Ibid., 351, “demidietas.”
  6. Ibid., 368, “dimidietas.”
  7. Ibid., 559, “half-endeal.”
  8. Caldwell Co., N.C., Original Wills, folder John Baker, 1848; call no. C.R.017.801.2; N.C. State Archives.


* This article was originally published here

Colburn Hintze Maletta is a Phoenix Criminal Defense and Family Law Firm. Visit them at https://chmlaw.com

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Saturday, January 21, 2023

The plot thickens…

Elly and the husbands

Okay, The Legal Genealogist has had it with Elly.

Elly Emma Martha Maria Geissler Nasgowitz Froemke is going to drive me nuts.

Elly was one of the older sisters of my paternal grandfather. Fifth child and fourth daughter of Hermann and Emma (Graumüller) Geissler, she was born in the village of Bad Köstritz on 31 December 1888 and baptized in the Lutheran church there on 24 January 1889.1 That was in what was then the principality of Reuß jüngerer Linie and is now the German State of Thüringen.2

Birth record, check.

And Elly died in Riverside, California, on 10 December 1964.3

Death record, check.

It’s her marriages that are the problem.

Marriage #1 was to Max Wilhelm Nasgowitz in Gera, Thüringen, on 10 February 1920.4

And what I thought was marriage #2 was to Paul Froemke in Chicago on 4 May 1935.5

So that had me wondering how she could have entered the United States on a re-entry visa in 1927 under the name Elly Froemke.6 Some eight years before that marriage to Paul.

I did some ruminating about that back on New Year’s Eve — what would have been Elly’s 134th birthday — and theorized that Elly took Paul home to Germany in 1927 to meet the family and married him there, but didn’t have adequate documentation to prove the marriage in the United States, so they married again in Chicago to make sure all their record ducks were in a row.7

Well, that was my theory until an eagle-eyed reader spotted a record I had completely missed — an index entry on FamilySearch to another marriage — on 28 June 1926, in Cook County, Illinois. To … sigh … Paul Froemke.8

Okay, now wait just a darned minute. What’s she doing marrying Paul twice???

So… task #1. Get a copy of the actual record from that 1926 index entry. So I sent off for that from the Cook County clerk.

I mean, it could be that they just got a license then and didn’t actually marry. So my theory could still hold up.

Except for task #2. Getting a copy of the marriage license application for the 1935 marriage and not just the marriage license and return.

1935 license application

Guess what? On that license application, it says that Paul Froemke “being duly sworn deposes and says … he was married” but was now divorced. It even gives the date — 8 January 1935 — and the Court — the Circuit Court of Cook County. 9

And then it says that Elly Geisler “was married” but was now divorced. And it gives the date and place for her divorce: 8 January 1935 in the Circuit Court of Cook County.10

Exactly the same.

For both of them.

So you know what task #3 is, right?

Right.

Getting a copy of that divorce record.

Because I have a feeling it’s going to give me a whole ‘nother theory here…

Maybe that 1926 marriage wasn’t legal because maybe Elly had never bothered getting a divorce from Max.

Or maybe this goofy couple actually split up in January 1935 — they do list slightly different addresses in May — and discovered by then that they couldn’t live without each other and …

Or maybe…

In any case, for sure, the plot thickens…


Cite/link to this post: Judy G. Russell, “The plot thickens…,” The Legal Genealogist (https://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog : posted 21 Jan 2023).

SOURCES

  1. Kirchenbuch Bad Köstritz, Taufregister Seite 57 Nr. 89 aus 1888 (Church book, Baptismal Register, Page 57, no. 89 of 1888); digital image of entry in the possession of JG Russell.
  2. See generally Wikipedia (https://de.wikipedia.org), “Reuß jüngerer Linie,” rev. 15 Dec 2022.
  3. Riverside County, California, Death Certificate 3397, state file 03058, Elly Marie Froemke, 10 Dec 1964.
  4. Marriage Certificate, Nr. 81 (1920), Max Wilhelm Nasgowitz and Elly Marie Geissler; Standesamt Gera, 4 January 1929 (photocopy provided by Stadtarchiv Gera).
  5. Cook County, Ill., Marriage License and Return No. 1446337, Froemke-Geissler, 4 May 1935; digital image in the possession of JG Russell.
  6. Manifest, S.S. George Washington, 9 September 1927, 218 (stamped), line 7, Elly Froemke; digital images, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 31 Dec 2022); citing NARA microfilm publication T715, roll 4125.
  7. See Judy G. Russell, “The New Year’s Eve baby and the resolution,” The Legal Genealogist, posted 31 Dec 2022 (https://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog : accessed 20 Jan 2023).
  8. “Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871-1968,” entry for Paul A Froemke and Elly Geissler, 28 June 1926; database, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/1463145 : accessed 20 Jan 2023).
  9. Cook County, Ill., Marriage License Application No. 1446337, Froemke-Geissler, 4 May 1935; digital image in the possession of JG Russell.
  10. Ibid.


* This article was originally published here

Colburn Hintze Maletta is a Phoenix Criminal Defense and Family Law Firm. Visit them at https://chmlaw.com

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Thursday, January 19, 2023

GEDmatch sold again

GEDmatch changes hands again in Verogen sale

It isn’t mentioned on the website of GEDmatch, the third-party DNA tools site at the heart of much of the early privacy debate over law enforcement use of consumer DNA databases for criminal investigations.

And The Legal Genealogist sees no change in the site’s terms of service — those rules that set out not just what consumers can do on the site but what the site owners can do with consumer data.1

But — disclosed or not — GEDmatch has a new owner: QIAGEN, a company headquartered in The Netherlands that says it “serves more than 500,000 customers around the globe, all seeking answers from the building blocks of life – DNA, RNA and proteins.”2 It announced its acquisition of GEDmatch’s parent company, the forensic firm Verogen, last week.3

Verogen sale announcement

And, at the moment, nobody in the genetic genealogy community has a clue just what that acquisition means for GEDmatch, or what the new owner has in mind for this.

The GEDmatch story began years ago, when two genealogist-programmers teamed up to create a database where those who tested with different DNA companies could compare their results and find cousins to collaborate with and, with luck, solve genealogical mysteries. Its array of tools was terrific, and the ability to compare results across platforms made it extremely useful for researchers.4

And then the privacy issues began to swirl. First, the disclosure that GEDmatch was the website used by police in the Golden State killer case without its users’ knowledge.5 Then its disclosure that the site had disregarded its own terms of service in allowing police access to information.6 And its initial privacy opt-out that wasn’t anything approaching an informed consent system,7 And ultimately the sale of GEDmatch to the forensic company Verogen.8

Now Verogen itself has been acquired, putting GEDmatch into new ownership as well.

On one hand, this could be a good thing. As a Dutch company, QIAGEN may well be more sensitive to privacy issues than an American company would be: privacy laws throughout Europe are stronger than they are in the United States. Informed consent is at the very heart of the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and that regulation requires that people affirmatively opt in to the use of their data, rather than allowing data use unless people opt out.9

On the other hand, the acquisition removes the ultimate authority over GEDmatch one more step from its genealogy roots. And it’s hard to see any way that that’s going to be good for family researchers.

At the moment, it’s a waiting game: we need to see what — if anything — changes in the GEDmatch terms of service and/or its operational privacy.

Stay tuned…


Cite/link to this post: Judy G. Russell, “GEDmatch sold again,” The Legal Genealogist (https://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog : posted 19 Jan 2023).

SOURCES

  1. The terms are still dated 30 December 2021, and the text reads the same now as it did on that date. See “Terms of Service and Privacy Policy,” Effective Date: December 30, 2021, GEDmatch.com (https://www.gedmatch.com/ : accessed 19 Jan 2023).
  2. “About us,” QIAGEN.com (https://www.qiagen.com/ : accessed 15 Jan 2023).
  3. See “QIAGEN completes acquisition of Verogen, strengthening leadership in Human ID / Forensics with NGS technologies,” Press Release, QIAGEN.com (https://www.qiagen.com/ : accessed 19 Jan 2023).
  4. See generally Judy G. Russell, “Gedmatch: a DNA geek’s dream site,” The Legal Genealogist, posted 12 Aug 2012 (https://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog : accessed 19 Jan 2023).
  5. See ibid., “The bull in the DNA china shop,” The Legal Genealogist, posted 29 Apr 2018.
  6. See ibid., “Withdrawing a recommendation/,” The Legal Genealogist, posted 15 May 2019.
  7. See ibid., “The choice that really isn’t,” The Legal Genealogist, posted 22 May 2019.
  8. See ibid., “GEDmatch acquired by forensic firm,” The Legal Genealogist, posted 10 Dec 2019.
  9. See generally Article 6, Lawfulness of processing, GDPR.EU (https://gdpr.eu/ : accessed 19 Jan 2023).


* This article was originally published here

Colburn Hintze Maletta is a Phoenix Criminal Defense and Family Law Firm. Visit them at https://chmlaw.com

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