Thursday, December 31, 2015

Treasure Chest Thursday: Narrative of Emma M. Petit (conclusion)

As promised in last week's Treasure Chest Thursday, this week's item from the genealogy "treasure chest" I was given is the remaining four pages of the document titled "In Lorraine, Germany - Narrative of Emma M. Petit, nee Schafer."  Above is the back of the fourth sheet, which simply stops midsentence.  I again have not transcribed Emma's struck-out writing.

-- >< -- >< -- >< -- >< --

3 /

Emile Petit is a drinking man and gambler when he possesses the means to satisfy these two inclinations, thus the money received and the bakery only lasted a very few years.  With the remaining few hundred dollars we returned to America, in fact to California were [sic], to start, we had a pretty hard time of it, but little by little I took matters in my own hands and we worked ourselves on our feet again.  We did fairly well for a time but Petit could not stand prosperity and he fell back to his former vices, drinking and gambling.  I had to do something to save the situation, for I had three young children, so I asked for and was given a divorce, Petit not entering any defense, not even presenting himself in Court.  This happened in 1917 [actually 1907].

During all this time I never knew what happened in my former home or what was going on in my mothers family –  I was indirectly informed that mother divorced her husband Louis Curdt –  I made several flying calls to her home while in California, after her divorce while she was living with her only unmarried daughter Alvina.  I even sent my oldest daughter to her for a while.  This daughter is now the wife of William H. Schulte, a farmer of Maryland Heights, in this County –

Everything done by mother and her Curdt children, was done in the dark, in hiding; in fact none of their doings leaked outside their own intimate Curdt family circle.

I heard indirectly that mother sold some small lots of my father's estate, but, as I was under the firm impression that one half of the property belonged to mother in full property and the other have for her use during her lifetime, I did not bother about the matter, as, in my mind, she had a perfect right to dispose of her share of the property.  I never consulted a lawyer in the matter, having always had an unshaken confidence in my mother.  I never remained long enough in Missouri to get acquainted and through acquaintance receive advice, even suggestions.

In 1908 I went to Florida and became married again, and in 1909, with my husband, went to Europe and from there to North Africa, Algiers, where my husband was appointed U.S. Vice Consul.  I came back from Algiers in 1917, and came to live in Missouri, to await the end of the war.  My husband left Algeria in 1918, to enter the armed service against Germany; left the service (Marine Corps) in 1919 and came to join me in Missouri.

In April 1919 my mother lost her life, being burned fatally, her clothes catching fire from an open oven outside her home, and no one present.  She died in a few hours, without being able to give any kind of information.  That very day I expected my mother at my house and we were going to speak over succession matters.  Is it not strange that just on the day we were to have met, such an awful accident should occur?  I was at her bedside when she died, inconsolate, almost heartbroken –

4 /

I loved my mother and never doubted her.  I had even Confidence in my half sisters and brother, for I never knew anything of their diabolical proceedings.  Meanwhile my husband received some convincing proofs that I had been robbed in a shameful manner, but would not do anything until after the family meeting which had necessarily to take place within a month, but during this month my husband found out most of the transactions of the well organized conspiration –  He found out that all the property in hands of Schaefer & his wife Louisa Curdt, Fred. Shulte and his wife Alvina Curdt, and August Curdt and his wife, for which I understood they paid a yearly rental, was actually sold to them, although they never paid the price mentioned in the deeds, but instead paid so much per acre per year –

We found out that in 1906, the three Curdt's with the consent of the mother, obtained by fraudulent means, under influence and nefaste (?) moral pressure, divided among themselves all the property left from the John Schafer's Estate, amounting to about one half of the estate.

This was a hard blow to us, as we lost a great deal during the war, on account of the war, and were really in need, living for the present on my husband's retired pay, almost not sufficient to live on, and nothing else in view –

It took my husband a good while to get all the information in the case and quite an amount of money for which we would have had many other uses.

In common with my husband we decided to study the matter for a month or even two, and we took legal advice.  We then considered all the evidence for and against, we foresaw a great deal of expenses and — we were without cash on hand or means to get it.  So we concluded that, should the Curdts

-- >< -- >< -- >< -- >< --

And that's where the narrative ends, as can be seen in the image at the top.  There's nothing else in what I was given that seems to pick up the story from where this leaves off.

Between this narrative and the typed one, we have a good overview of Emma's life until about 1919–1920, shortly after her mother died.  It's clear in this section that Emma now knows she was swindled out of her inheritance by her mother, stepfather, and half-siblings.  Unfortunately, it appears that she was unable to do anything about the situation, as she and her second husband had no money to pursue a civil case.  Emma also raises the question, albeit subtly, that her mother might have been murdered, or at least that her death might not have been entirely accidental.

After having typed this, I'm leaning slightly more toward Emma being the person who typed the first narrative.  I noticed that "were" was used instead of "where" in both.  I realize it isn't definitive, but it stood out to me.

The word "nefaste" is not one with which I am familiar.  Emma writes clearly, and I'm sure that's the spelling.  I searched for it online and found it is a French word that means "harmful."  I don't know if I have the right word or not.

Emma wrote that her oldest daughter was married to William H. Schulte and living in Maryland Heights, of "this County."  That would be St. Louis County, where the Curdts also lived.

I realized there were some common surnames in the two halves of Emma's family.  Her maiden name was Schafer, and one of the Curdt daughters married a Schaefer, a spelling used for Emma in the typed narrative.  Emma's daughter married a Schulte, and Alvina Curdt, the other half-sister, married a Shulte.  This might have been an insular community which had a lot of intermarraige between families.

Even with just these two documents, I'm beginning to understand why the woman who originally had these materials found the story interesting enough to try to learn more about it.  I'm looking forward to seeing what the other documents tell us!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Top 10 Posts of 2015

Yes, it's that time of the year when everyone looks back, and I'm doing my retrospective look at the past year's posts to see what people found the most interesting and comment-worthy.  Unlike last year, when the posts ranged over a few topics, this year it's much more clear-cut.  Of my top ten most-viewed posts, two were about online newspapers and eight were reviews of Who Do You Think You Are?  Even the next two in popularity, which were very close behind and tied for the same number of views, were newspapers and WDYTYA.  That almost sounds like a mandate!  So, counting down from #12 to the top, we have:

11.  Who Do You Think You Are? - J. K. Rowling

11.  Big Trouble with Newspaper Digitization (which was second for the number of shares)

10.  Who Do You Think You Are? - America Ferrera

9.  Who Do You Think You Are? - Tony Goldwyn

8.  Who Do You Think You Are? - Sean Hayes

7.  Who Do You Think You Are? - Ginnifer Goodwin

6.  Who Do You Think You Are? - Bill Paxton

5.  Who Do You Think You Are? - Julie Chen

4.  New links added to the Wikipedia newspaper archives page

3.  Who Do You Think You Are? - Josh Groban

1.  Who Do You Think You Are? - Angie Harmon

1.  New links added to the Wikipedia newspaper archives page

You'll note that two posts tied for #1 also.  They had the same number of views, but newspapers came out on top because of more shares.

Two seasons of Who Do You Think You Are? aired during 2015:  TLC's season 3 had eight episodes and season 4 had five, for a total of thirteen, nine of which made it into my Top 12.  I was surprised Angie Harmon was the most popular episode for views.  I have no idea whether that was occasioned by interest in the woman or the episode itself.

I mentioned above that "Big Trouble with Newspaper Digitization" came in second for shares.  It turns out the top position in that also had two posts tied:  "Slaves Listed in 1839 Virginia Will", and "Wedding Wednesday", which was about my parents' 1961 wedding.

None of the most-viewed posts was in the list of most-commented on, where this time I had a three-way tie:  my 4th blogiversary, my impressions of the joint FGS/RootsTech conference, and the lovely compliment I received from a family member of one of the WDYTYA celebrities.

I also checked posts from earlier years for most shared and most viewed overall.  The 2014 post about Dick Eastman not posting a comment of mine that he apparently didn't like is still tops in the number of shares.  But whereas last year Lionel Ritchie's appearance on Who Do You Think You Are? was the most viewed, the new leader, now almost 30% higher than Ritchie, is my post about gaining citizenship through descent.  That post also by far has more comments than any other during the past five years.  I think that's what's called a "perennial."

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Giving Spirit of the Season: Irish Immigrants, Apollo Missions, Shakespeare's Lifetime, and More

As we are nearing the end of the year and the "season of giving", I thought it would be a good time to post information about several projects that are looking for volunteers with time or information.  Not all of them are directly related to genealogy, but I figure that anything involving people could have information about someone's family member.

Harbor of Hope, a project I have written about before, is a documentary based on archival film footage of Holocaust survivors arriving in Malmö, Sweden, primarily on April 28, 1945.  In the ongoing search for information from and about survivors who arrived in Malmö in Spring 1945, lists of passengers arriving on April 28 have been published on the documentary's Web site.

-- >< -- >< -- >< -- >< --

Martin Sugarman, the archivist of the Jewish Military Museum in the United Kingdom (founded and launched by the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women), is researching Israeli, UK, and Commonwealth Jews who served in the Merchant Navy (not the Royal Navy) in World War II.  If you have any photographs or any stories about the experiences of such men or know families who do, Martin will be honored to receive them by e-mail.  His address is

-- >< -- >< -- >< -- >< --

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has launched a project called "History Unfolded:  U.S. Newspapers and the Holocaust."  Volunteers around the country are being sought to research how their hometown newspapers reported on Holocaust-related events during the 1930's and 1940's.  Data about relevant articles will be submitted online to a centralized database, which will permit analysis of trends in U.S. news reporting during the Holocaust.  The project has begun with ten events, and more events will be added during 2016.

-- >< -- >< -- >< -- >< --

The Emigrant Savings Bank was founded in 1850 by the Irish Emigrant Society in New York City to help Irish immigrants trying to establish themselves in their new country.  In a project called Emigrant City, the New York Public Library has digitized mortgage and bond records which were previously available only on microfilm and is now looking for volunteers to help transcribe the information on these records in order to create a searchable online database.

-- >< -- >< -- >< -- >< --

The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia, which a year and a half ago put out a call for authors for a series of articles, has reached a milestone of 250 published topics and is now looking for authors for its new expansion.  The scope of the project includes the city of Philadelphia and the surrounding region of southeastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and northern Delaware.

As before, prospective authors must have expertise in their chosen subjects, as demonstrated by previous publicitions and/or advanced training in historical research.  Authors can choose to volunteer or receive modest stipends.  All submissions will be peer-reviewed.  The list of topics is available as a link from the new call for authors.

-- >< -- >< -- >< -- >< --

If you had any whaling men in your family, this should be of interest.  The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is leading a project called Old Weather:  Whaling, where you read through whaling ship logs to look for information about weather and climate.  (And of course you'll also be able to read names as you go along.)  The ship logs available, 300 so far, have been digitized and transcribed by the New Bedford Whaling Museum.  The Guardian has an informative article about the project.

-- >< -- >< -- >< -- >< --

Shakespeare's World is a collaboration between the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. (home of the world's largest collection of materials relating to William Shakespeare and his works), at Oxford University, and the Oxford English Dictionary (OED).  Their mission is to transcribe manuscripts created by Shakespeare’s contemporaries in the 16th and 17th centuries to learn more about that period in history.  The first phase includes letters and recipe books; documents later will encompass family papers, legal and literary documents, and more.  "New" words that are documented may be included in updates to the OED.  The instructions on how to contribute emphasize that you can work at your pace and that all contributions are welcome.

-- >< -- >< -- >< -- >< --

The U.S. National Air and Space Museum, part of the Smithsonian Institution, has recently publicized two crowdsourcing projects.  One is to transcribe Apollo spacecraft stowage lists in order to create a searchable database.  Not only will this information be interesting to the public, it will help in efforts to authenticate whether artifacts truly were associated with the space program.

And along with space artifacts, the Smithsonian wants to crowdsource some rock and rollSmithsonian Books and Smithsonian Media launched Smithsonian Rock & Roll on December 1. They are asking the public to look through their "attics, basements, boxes, drawers, digital cameras, photo albums, cell phones, cloud, photo-upload sites, and computer hard drives for pictures that show the greatest moments in the history of rock ’n’ roll."

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: What did Genea-Santa Bring You?

This week for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun, Randy Seaver followed up on his post from December 12, when he asked people to write letters to Genea-Santa.

1) What gift that you received for Christmas is your favorite for genealogy purposes? Book, magazine, hardware, software, Web site subscription, research time, DNA test — what was it, and how will it affect your genealogy research?

2) Tell us about it in a blog post on your own blog, in a comment to this blog post, or in a comment on Facebook or Google+ in response to this post.

Come on, spill!  And it's OK to respond to this in the days after Saturday, too!

I haven't actually received any wrapped gifts this year, for Christmas or Chanukah, but I look at time spent with family as a very precious gift.  So far my favorite gift has been spending Christmas Eve with my grandchildren, which I wrote about on Christmas Day.  Coming in as a close second, however, was my face-to-face visit today with cousins with whom I have been communicating only by e-mail up 'til now.  I had a lovely visit, and they asked how they can help me with the family research, which doesn't happen very often!  (That's their new puppy Daisy in the photo with us.)

Now, when the cousin from another branch of the family tells me his Y-DNA test results have come in, that'll be a huge present, but it won't be for several weeks.  Hmm, maybe in time for my birthday!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Eve 2015

I think I have decided that spending Christmas Eve with my grandchildren is one of the best things I can ever do with my time.  These are some of the highlights.

The "sticking out tongue" contest

Everyone keeps an eye on the baby going into her playpen.

No, I don't want my picture taken right now!

Group photo with Dad, fighting for camera time

lots of love for baby sister

The first presents opened were new pajamas for Christmas!

The present bonanza in full swing

A cool wooden car from Cuba!

Matching dolls from Cuba

A four-generation photo that will stay in the family

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Treasure Chest Thursday: Narrative of Emma M. Petit

Last week I started working on the "treasure chest" that another genealogist gifted to me, beginning with Emma M. Schafer, the person who seemed to be the focus of the story.  The first document chronologically in the story related the early years of her life, up to her marriage at the age of 16 and departure to Europe with her husband soon after.

The second document is titled "In Lorraine, Germany - Narrative of Emma M. Petit, nee Schafer."  It consists of four sheets of bond paper with no apparent watermark, with handwriting on both sides of each sheet.  Judging by the point of view of the narrative, it seems to be written by Emma herself.  As the letter is so long, this week I will post my transcription of the first four pages and finish with the final four pages next week.  My transcription follows (for ease in reading, I have chosen not to transcribe the text that Emma struck out):

-- >< -- >< -- >< -- >< --

In Lorraine, Germany -
Narrative of Emma M. Petit, nee Schafer

On the 23rd of December we reached the little village of Genestroff, near Dieuze, Lorraine, a french speaking country although part of Germany since 1870 —  We were received, more or less enthusiastically, by the parents and two sisters of my husband, belonging to the middle peasant class, small real estate owners of the country —  They only understand french and a french dialect spoken in that part of Lorraine.  I could not speak with them otherwise than by signs, and they could not understand me = my husband had to translate everything.  But he himself did not know much of the English language and we had to get along as well as we could with the little German I acquired at home, which language my husband learned a little while in the german army in 1880 and 1881 —

We did for the best we could awaiting the help promised by mother; my husband worked as a baker's assistant and I helped around the little farm —

But the promised help never materialized and in 1885 it was necessary for me to do something as I was threatened by the parents of my husband to be sent away if I could not procure the means to establish a bakery in Dieuze, the nearby town, as my husband told them we would do –

Under the pression of interested advice I consented, in June 1885 to give my husband Emile Petit a "General Power-of-Attorney" to go to Missouri, armed with this Power-of-Attorney, and request my mother to give me some money to be able to settle down in business, and in case my mother should not be willing to keep her promise to help us, to try to borrow some money on whatever will be coming to me in the future, or even sell part of my father's estate –  We were under the impression that one half of my father's estate was due me at the death of my mother, this belief was stuffed into my head by my mother and interested members of her family –  As never a settlement of my father's estate was made to me neither on the marriage of my mother with Louis Curdt, nor at the time of my marriage to Emile Petit, as should have been done according to the "Revised Statutes of the State of Missouri" — until the death of my mother I remained under these impressions and never knew that the whole of my fathers estate belonged to me.

Thus on the 10th of June 1885 I gave my husband above mentioned "Power-of-Attorney", and he left for Missouri.

What happened in Missouri while my husband was there is a dark chapter, for myself as well as for Emile Petit, my former husband –

Petit reached Missouri O.K., saw my mother who put him off for a few days, during which days Petit came in the hands of some friends of Louis Curdt and his wife Elizabeth Curdt.  These friends formed an iron wall around Petit who trusted them in everything they proposed or said.  They advanced him


money for his daily expenses and kept him going, drinking and having a good time.  He never consulted a lawyer and allowed himself to be taken about like an automaton.

While this was going on I received from an agent of my mother, a prepared act for my signature before a public officer and a letter from my mother –  This document was written in English and there was not a single person in the Country of Dieuze, Lorraine, who could translate or explain it.  I, without instruction, having hardly ever been to school, did not understand anything of it, but for me my mother was a holy body, who surely would not and could not rob me.  In her letter she told me to sign this document in presence of witnesses and I signed it, because she told me in her letter that she could not give me any money except if I sign this document, and I signed it, and I remained under the impression that the document was some kind of acknowledgment of having received or our going to receive a certain amount of money, to help me out in Lorraine, money which would later be deducted from whatever should be coming to me – and I signed and returned the document to the address indicated, and wrote a few words to mother –

The document reached its destination all right and Emile Petit was given 3000 dollars and sent back to Lorraine –

Emile Petit, in a sworn statement, says that Emma's mother sent for him from France, but did not give him any information or instruction about any property –  He says also that the property was not sold.  He says textually, under oath and before witness David J. Kelly, a Notary Public, I believe, viz =

     " I did not sell anything, did not know Louis Curdt
     " to speak to, did not have any dealings with him,
     " that he threatened to kill me for my marriage
     " to Emma Schafer.  When I married Emma
     " Schafer Louis Courdt [sic] was in jail at the time.
     " Mrs. Curdt sent for me to get the money because
     " Emma Schaefer [sic] was afraid of being killed
     " by Louis Curdt.
          " Pete Bruno is the only one I know that could
     " testify this in the matter and probably can
     " give information, he resides at 1515, Villa
     " Ave., Wellston, Mo. # – – – – – – – – – – "

As far as I am concerned I never knew what actually happened in Missouri, between Emile Petit and my mother –  Petit came back with part of the money he received, telling me that was what my mother gave him to help us out and soon after bought a backery [sic] in Dieuze, Lorraine, a small town of about 5000 french speaking population in Lorraine.

-- >< -- >< -- >< -- >< --

What an interesting situation:  Emma was married off to a man who spoke almost no English; she spoke no French and only a little German.  Obviously, the two of them being able to communicate was not high on her mother's list of priorities.  Emma points out more than once that she was not well educated, which was commented on in the typed history of her early life.  And she mentions the "Revised Statutes of the State of Missouri", which was quoted in the typed narrative.  I'm starting to wonder if perhaps Emma was the person who typed that.  This narrative is not dated, but Emma seems to have acquired some education since the events she writes about, as her writing for the most part has reasonable grammar and good spelling (relative to the time).

Whereas in the typed history we don't know who the writer was, in this narrative we are starting to hear from Emma herself about how her mother apparently swindled her out of the inheritance due to her from her father.  She isn't saying it directly, but she does seem to be dancing around the edges.

I kind of feel sorry for Emile Petit so far.  He seems to be a pawn on both sides, being told what to do and where to go.  His parents come off as a little harsh — threatening to send Emma away because she isn't coming up with money to open a bakery?  Maybe the only reason they thought the marriage was acceptable was because Emma was supposed to come with a dowry.

I had a little trouble finding Genestroff.  In French (or should I write "french", as Emma does?) it's Guénestroff and has been subsumed, with the community of Kerprich-lès-Dieuze, into Val-de-Bride (sorry for the French, but the English-language Wikipedia entry has practically no information), in the Moselle department of LorraineDieuze, the other town that Emma mentions, also has a seriously deficient entry in the English-language Wikipedia.  According to Google Maps, Val-de-Bride and Dieuze are less than 2 miles apart.

When I read Emma's comment that Lorraine was a French-speaking country but part of Germany since 1870, it reminded me of the J. K. Rowling episode of Who Do You Think You Are?, where Rowling learned that her Alsatian ancestor had become German after Germany took control of Alsace-Lorraine (Elsass-Lothringen, in German) in 1870, after the Franco-Prussian War.  Emile Petit's family was obviously caught in that also, but unlike Rowling's Schuch family, with a name like Petit, they appear to have had a French rather than German background.

Next week, the rest of Emma's narrative!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

What Was the Rest of the Story?

I've written previously about doing heir research, one aspect of forensic genealogy.  I track down the family connections, find contact information for heirs, and pass on everything to my client.  I rarely find out what happens after that (though once I had an adventure and went in person to talk to a potential heir).

Sometimes, however, I find stuff that makes me wonder just what happened in the family.  One case I recently worked on left me with lots of questions afterward — not about who the heirs were, but why they ended up being the heirs.

As usual, I was given some bare-bones information about a man — we'll call him "Joe" — and was asked to track him forward in time.  I needed to find what happened to him, his wife, and the child in the household in the 1930 census, and also to check on the wife and child in the 1940 census (who were not the same as those in 1930).

Most of the time, given this set-up, the heir turns out to be the child, or perhaps that person's children if the person has already passed away.  Sometimes it's the spouse, if the people in question were of an appropriate age to have survived until the present day.

I learned that Joe was one of eight children.  He himself was married three times.  He and his first wife had a son.  His second wife, the one in 1940, had a son from a previous relationship.  Joe had another stepson later, though I was unable to determine who that man's mother was.

When Joe wrote his will, his seven siblings were still alive, as was his biological son.  So who were his heirs?  His three sisters, but none of his brothers, and no one else.  He mentioned a stepson (the one whose mother I was unable to identify) in the will but said that he had already been provided for.  And he specifically stated that he had no issue.

So here's the first time my curiosity was piqued.  Why leave bequests to the sisters but none of the brothers?  Did he not get along with his brothers?  Were they all so well off that he decided they didn't need anything from him?  And what about his son?  I found the birth record; there's nothing on it to indicate any question of paternity.  Did Joe learn something about his son that made him question whether he was really the father?  Maybe that's why he and wife #1 divorced?  Or maybe he just had a totally broken relationship with his son after the divorce?

After finding this will, I then had to research the families of the three sisters to determine their heirs, as all three also had passed away.  Only one of the sisters — let's call her "Jane" — had a will.  She left everything to her son and stated that she had "no other child living."  In researching her part of the family, I found that the son was from her first marriage.  Her first husband died young, and she remarried.  She had a daughter — "Joan" — from her second marriage.  Joan married and had a daughter.  Sadly, Joan committed suicide.  But her daughter is still alive and has a child of her own.

Then my curiosity kicked in again.  While Joan's death explains the phrase "no other child living", I wonder why Jane left nothing to her granddaughter.  Did Jane blame her granddaughter's father in some way for Joan's death?  Was she so distraught over her daughter's death that she couldn't bear to have a relationship with her granddaughter?

Some interesting family dynamics seem to be going on here, but ones I'm unlikely to learn about.  I'm just left wondering, what was the rest of the story?

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Treasure Chest Thursday: The History of Emma M. Schafer

I finally was able to make some time to start plowing through the documents I received when another Bay Area genealogist gave (read:  foisted off on) me a collection of materials (my "treasure chest") she had decided she was never going to be able to focus on.  The collection, which had been donated to a local genealogical society, apparently was begun by a woman who thought that someone had been murdered for an inheritance, way back in 1919.  There's no information on how she fell into the story to begin with, but she had done some research of her own to add to the original documents that were there.

The first thing I did was sort out all the documents to see who I'm dealing with.  As I mentioned previously, it's apparent that these items have changed hands a few times.  While I have made a note of how everything was grouped when I received it, there didn't seem to be much logic to it, and obviously related items were often nowhere near each other.  I therefore created my own groupings based on the individuals involved.  I've decided to work on one person at a time and go through the documents for each person in chronological order.  I figure by the time I work my way through the entire package, we might have an idea of what actually happened!

I'm starting with Emma Schafer, as everything seems to revolve around her.  The first document describes the beginning of her life.  Unfortunately, the first page does not appear to be in evidence, but pages 2 and 3 have survived.  The document is typed and the paper is at least somewhat aged, though I can't tell how old it is.  The paper is some type of bond with no watermark.  It was typed in triplicate, with the second and third copies being accomplished with carbon paper (does anyone besides me remember typing with that?).  There is no indication of who typed it or when.  My transcription follows:

-- >< -- >< -- >< -- >< --


She was hardly ever sent to school but kept at home were [sic] she had to work all day long.  The poor, unlucky child became a little slave on her own property, a little unhappy drudge in the household.  She received neither education nor instruction, went around in dirty rags and later, when other children were born to her mother, she had to take care of them instead of going to school.  Three children were born to Curdt and his wife from the time of their marriage and 1883.

When little Emma Schafer arrived at between thirteen and fourteen years of age, LOUIS CURDT began to assault her whenever he could find her alone in the house, the outbuildings or in the fields, and went farther and farther, even to abuse and rape, using his superior strenght [sic] and his brutally satyric instincts.  The child complained to her mother who would then take her to a friend's house, a Mrs. Kraemer, and leave her there for a while, but needing her to take care of the children, and believing in the protestations of her husband that hereafter he would behave, she would take her home again, not because of her love for her but to use her as a drudge, a servant.  Thus Emma SCHAFER remained ignorant and uncultivated in the extreme.

It is during these times that Elizabeth Curdt, ably assisted by her husband, impressed upon the mind of little Emma, that one half of the property belonged to her,- the mother -, and that she has the use of the other half during her natural life.  In this manner Emma was informed that she could not get anything of her father's estate until after the death of her mother.

From this time on, there existed a Conspiracy to defraud and despoil EMMA M. SCHAFER of her property.

1883, OCTOBER 31st to NOVEMBER 1st, 1883

During the night of October 31st and November 1st, 1883, LOUIS CURDT entered the bed-room of Emma Schafer and compelled her, by threats and physical and brutish force, to submit to his filthy contact.  Emma called for help and her mother then called in a neighbor, a Mr. Becker, still living in Overland, Mo., who took EMMA to his house.  The following morning he took her to Clayton to have a complaint entered against Curdt, who was arrested the same day and later released under bonds.  From that time on until her marriage, which took place on the tenth day of November, that is only a few days after these happenings, Emma Schafer lived with the Kraemers, near Clayton.

Immediately after the arrest of CURDT, his friends, especially a saloon-keeper of Clayton, FORTIN, and others, tried to find the means to get EMMA out of the way, out of reach of the Court as a witness for the prosecution.  They were lucky enough to meet a young alien, from Lorraine, then Germany, who consented to marry the young girl and to take her out of the country, to Lorraine, in Europe, out of reach of the Court.  ELIZABETH CURDT paid all expenses and promised to help them to start a bakery business in Lorraine.  Thus Elizabeth Curdt disclosed her partnership in the CONSPIRACY, and stuck to her criminal husband against her first child.


NOVEMBER TENTH, 1883, Marriage of EMMA M. SCHAFER and EMILE PETIT, of Lorraine, Europe, were made man and wife in the presence of witnesses and the mother of the bride, who had to be present on account of the age of the bride, SIXTEEN YEARS & ELEVEN MONTHS.  The ceremony was performed by Judge Jeremiah RYAN, Justice of the Peace at CLAYTON, Mo..

During all these proceedings EMMA SCHAFER acted as an automaton, having nothing to say and nothing to do but obey her mother's wishes.  For years she was trained to obey and never to complain.  She was led before the Justice of the Peace as an inoffensive victiim would be led to the butcher-shop.

A few days later EMMA SCHAFER, now Mrs. PETIT, and her young husband were bundled up and sent to Europe, at Mrs. Elizabeth CURDT's expense, and this fine fellow Curdt was saved and the Penitentiary cheated out of a boarder and human justice baffled.



READ CAREFULLY " CHAPTER 34, Section 3529, (Final Settlement),
Revised Statutes of the States of Missouri:-

)     Guardians and Curators shall make final settlement of their Guardian-
( ship or curatorship upon cessation of their authority, whether by......
( ........................................... or the marriage of female Wards; and for the
( purpose of such settlement, such Guardian or Curator shall make a just
( and true exhibit of the account between himself and his ward, and file
( the same in the Court having juristiction thereof, and cause a copy of
( such exhibit, together with a written notice stating the day on which
( and the Court in which he will make such a settlement, to be delivered to
( his ward, or in case of the MARRIAGE OF A FEMALE WARD, to the ward
( and her husband,.........................................................................................

N. B. Nothing has been done concerning the obligations above mentioned.  There has been no settlement whatsoever from Guardian or Curator.


-- >< -- >< -- >< -- >< --

Well!  How's that for an introduction to the situation?  Because I have glanced through the other documents, I can hypothesize that the missing page 1 might discuss Emma's parents' marriage, her birth, the death of her father, the disposition of her father's property, and her mother's subsequent second marriage to Louis Curdt.  Considering the final paragraph about guardians and curators, there might also have been mention of a guardianship.  From where we come in, however, it's a rather lurid tale.

No documents pertaining to the court complaint were in the collection I was given, but theoretically it would be possible to obtain copies of them from St. Louis County (the location of Clayton) or possibly the Missouri State Archives—unless, of course, the CONSPIRACY mentioned above took the time to destroy all paperwork associated with the case so as to cleanse the reputation of Louis Curdt.  I suppose that even if they had done that, court dockets should still show the complaint having been recorded.  A situation such as this probably was in the newspaper, also.  And there are several other individuals mentioned who could be researched to verify their existence in the area at the time.  So even though the story seems as though it could be overly dramatized, it can probably be checked for accuracy against documentation from the period.

They say the first step is the hardest.  More documents to come!

Monday, December 14, 2015

I Started Learning to Read Hebrew!

I've been wanting to learn to read Hebrew for many years.  As a Jewish researcher, I've always known it would be a useful skill.  In addition, as an officer of a Jewish genealogical society, though it isn't a requirement, I thought I really should know something about the language.

So I've had it on my (very long) list of things to do for several years, but there were always reasons I didn't manage to do it (like money, time, and all those other things that get in the way of getting things done).  But then I read about a free (!) five-week class at Congregation Beth Israel–Judea in San Francisco.  And I figured out that I could take BART to the synagogue and didn't have to drive (because I hate driving in San Francisco).  It was perfect!

The Hebrew Reading Crash Course (yes, that's really what it's called; look at my little diploma up there) was a lot of fun.  It teaches one letter at a time and has you practice syllables, then starts putting the syllables together into words.  The next thing you know you're actually reading Hebrew.  I even recognized some of the very few Hebrew words I know (such as the prayer over wine!).

The instructor (the Rebbetzin of the synagogue) warned us that Hebrew as taught in the course is very formal and somewhat archaic, and also that the extremely helpful vowels which are used throughout are not usually found in everyday Hebrew writing.  But I figure I'm off to a great start.

The class is offered through the National Jewish Outreach Program, which also has a Hebrew Reading Crash Course II.  Everyone in the class told the Rebbetzin that we'd love to take the second course.  And there's even a Hebrew Writing Crash Course!

Of course, everything in the textbook is printed Hebrew.  At some point I know I'll have to learn to read handwriting, and eventually I hope to learn to read Yiddish also (which uses the same alphabet but is definitely not the same language, the same way that English and French use the same alphabet).  One step at a time . . . .

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Your Dear Genea-Santa Letter

It's been a long, long time since I wrote a letter to Santa Claus, but I can get into the spirit of things with Randy Seaver tonight for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun:

1) Write your Genea-Santa letter. Have you been a good genealogy girl or boy? What genealogy-oriented items are on your Christmas wish list? They could be family history items, technology items, or things that you want to pursue in your ancestral quest.

2) Tell us about them in your own blog post, in a comment on this post, or in a Facebook Status or Google Stream post.

Here are my wishes:

Dear Genea-Santa,

I think I've been a pretty good genealogy girl this year.  I've done lots of volunteer work for several genealogy organizations, serving on boards and editing four different publications.  I've managed to keep up with my blog, posting between two and three times a week.  I've paid attention to my education, attending two conferences, four all-day seminars, and about 50 Webinars, and I spoke to several societies myself.  I even managed to do some research on my own family and have added quite a bit of information to my database.  I have genealogy on the brain day and night.

This year's gifts were welcome:  I was able to organize a small reunion of Sellers family members to celebrate two milestone birthdays.  I traveled to Cuba looking for information on my cousins who used to live there, and I've found and made contact with several cousins on both sides of my family.

I do have some wishes for next year, though.  These are things I would love to see in genealogy (and yes, I'm dreaming big):

•  I want to help my 90-year-old aunt find and make contact with Raymond Lawrence Sellers, the son she gave up for adoption 70 years ago.  We've already made progress:  The state of New Jersey found an index card confirming the adoption.  My aunt has signed and mailed in the paperwork that authorizes contact if the boy who was born Raymond Lawrence Sellers on September 23, 1945 should contact the New Jersey State Adoption Registry.  She's also doing a DNA test so we'll have another avenue to search.  It would mean so much to her if she could talk to him, so I'm really hoping for this one.  It's the most important item on my list.

• I hope we are able to resolve the question of just who the father of my paternal grandfather was, and whether he was also the father of my grandfather's siblings.  I've grown up my entire life as a Sellers, so it's been a bit of a surprise to discover that might not be my bloodline after all.  But I'm keeping an open mind and am waiting to see what evidence I can find either way.  One of those new cousins I contacted agreed to do a Y-DNA test, so the first step will be to see if it matches my father's.  Considering the latest family rumors I've been told, I might need to do a little bit more testing even after that, but it's a start!

• My brother and I decided we'd test the waters for Ukrainian research on our Gorodetsky line.  It would be really nice if the researcher there could find lots of great records for our family (and if somewhere in those records there were confirmation that the Kardishes really are cousins, that would be icing on the cake).

• A discovery of heretofore unknown surviving Jewish records from the former Grodno gubernia would be fantastic.  If some of my relatives were mentioned in them, so much the better.

• Moving out of the personal realm, I'd love it if optical character recognition (OCR) scanning of old newspapers could somehow become more accurate and reliable.  Maybe someone will come up with a way for computers to assess poor-quality spots on newspaper pages (torn, ink blobs, type dropped out) and try logical infilling, rather than merely scanning them as is and having something that looks like a bunch of control characters come out as the search text.

• I hope the fact that has announced it will be dropping Family Tree Maker will help people figure out that they shouldn't be relying on Ancestry (or any other online site) to store and manage their family trees, but that they should have them resident on their personal computers, where they can control all the information.  I certainly won't trust a huge corporation run by faceless investors with all my family information.

• And I'm with Randy in wishing that will give subscribers access to the raw DNA data and permit chromosome browsing, rather than relying on the twitching, spastic leaves to do everyone's research for them.  (I've given up on Ancestry correcting its indexing mistakes; I figured it was a huge victory when it finally conceded it would at least post the "alternative readings" that people submitted.)

I hope I don't sound too greedy, Genea-Santa.   A lot of my wishes are good for other people also.  I don't usually have cookies in the house, but I can promise you some fresh fruit and dark chocolate.  And if you would like some wine or brandy instead of a glass of milk, we can probably arrange for that too.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

Own a Piece of History

A common dream among genealogists is to have photographs of ancestors and other relatives.  I recently found two vendors on eBay selling photos that previously belonged to newspapers, wire services, and photography agencies.  While most of the photos are of celebrities, athletes, politicians, royalty, and other well known individuals, several are of more "everyday" people.  Maybe one of your relatives can be found there?

One of the sellers is Historic Images.  He scans historic photos for newspapers and then is permitted to sell the originals.  The images he posts are clean and clear; he adds watermarks to make downloading them less attractive.  Most of the photos he sells have typed descriptions on the backs.  He gives a lot of information about the photo but doesn't always list all the names that show up in the descriptions.  He also has an eBay store with Buy It Now items (photos that did not sell in auctions) and a regular sales site online.

I started watching his auctions regularly after a photo with my aunt's uncle showed up.  I search every so often for the name McStroul, as it is unique to that family and if I get a hit I know it's them.  I was able to buy this one for the family (Fred McStroul is in the front row, far right):

Some recent examples of ordinary people that caught my eye:

1931:  French war orphan Pierre C. Waters and his grandmother
Pierre's father was killed in "the war" (presumably World War I).  Apparently his mother and stepfather, Magnon, had also died.  His grandmother, Mrs. Elizabeth Waters, traveled to France and legally adopted him, then brought him to New York.

1933:  Coran Capshaw, clerk of the vestry of the Church of St. Mark's-in-the-Bouwerie
Capshaw didn't like the then-rector of the church and was photographed in conjunction with an election by parishioners of a new vestry.

1946:  Tess Klein complains about elevator operators' strike
Tess, of The Bronx, was working at 10 East 40th Street (Manhattan, I believe) and had to walk up eleven flights of stairs before posing for her photo.

1946:  George Kriloff, a conductor with the Pennsylvania Railroad and a second photo
Kriloff was not working due to a nationwide railway strike.  He was 29 years old and lived at 1216 26th Avenue, Astoria, New York.

Not everyone is named in the photo descriptions, though.

1965:  Policeman at World's Fair guards Indonesian entrance
Indonesia decided it would not participate in the 1965 season, so its people were barred from entering the Indonesian pavilion.  The policeman was not named, but it's a clear photo of him.

A sampling of the more famous individuals whose photos are currently listed are musician Benny Goodman; New York Mets pitcher Jerry Koosman and manager Casey Stengel; New York mayor William O'Dwyer; Canadian hockey player Walter "Babe" Pratt; Marion Roberts, Legs Diamond's girlfriend; and American Communist Jacob Stachel (whose name does not appear in the item description).

The other person selling the same types of photos has the username NordicPix.  The standard paragraph he puts on every listing includes, "International Magazine Services photo archive. IMS was a editorial press photo archive in Scandinavia founded in 1948 but evolved from older archives that have images in the collection also. The archive is in great condition and been in storage for a long time and the images in the collection are now being sold off one by one. The images in this archive where distributed in only 10-15 copies around the world at the time and many copies have been lost or damaged during time, each copy from the collection is therefore very rare and unique."

This seller has a similar mix of photos, but from what I've seen, the majority of the photos do not have much, if any, description on the back.  Sometimes the seller adds a paragraph of historical information about the subject of the photo if it's a famous person, particularly if the photo itself doesn't have much info on it.  The names of ordinary people usually don't appear on the photos at all.  The locations also are often not identified.

Here are some of the everyday people whose photos are currently available:

1940's:  10-year-old Boris, a Soviet child who had already earned a medal as a messenger with the Red Army

1971:  Emmanuel Vitria, French heart patient

undated:  dentist Vladimir Komarov

undated:  a mother (maybe Thost?) reading to her children

undated:  a man using a microscope outdoors in the snow

Some of the famous people featured in NordicPix's photos are French general and politician Charles de Gaulle; Brazilian soccer player Jose Germao; and South Vietnamese Chief of National Police Nguyễn Ngọc Loan.

Both sellers make it clear that all they are selling is the physical photographs.  No copyright is transferred by the sale.  A few of the photos available predate 1923 and are therefore in the public domain.  Many of the photos fall into the 1923–1963 period when copyrights had to be renewed to remain active, and odds are that most of these photos probably are no longer copyrighted, but that's up to you to determine.

Due to the fact that neither of these sellers has complete identifying information for all of the photos in their descriptions, to really get an idea of what they have, you have to browse their listings on a regular basis.  I have found some interesting photos that way that never would have come up on a search.  It's also interesting to see the photos of famous people.  I bought a photograph of baseball player Hank Aaron for my brother, because Aaron was his favorite player.  I also found a photo of Ellis Island from right before it was closed, which I bought for myself.

I have no financial interest in either Historic Images or NordicPix, and neither seller in any way contributed to this article.  I'm just a geeky genealogist who likes photographs and wanted to let others know about these interesting resources.  I hope you find a great photo of a family member!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Your Best Visit With Relatives

Oh, this brings up great memories!  This week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun asks you to write about your best visit with relatives:

1)  Have you visited with friends or relatives to find out more about your ancestors (parents, grandparents, etc.)?  If so, what was your "best" visit with friends or relatives who provided information, stories, or photographs of your ancestors?

2)  Tell us in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or in a Facebook or Google+ comment.

So, several years ago, in 2002 to be exact, I decided I should visit a lot of the relatives in the New York City area with whom I had been communicating about family history.  I had never met any of them in person, and some were getting up in years (remember, talk to your oldest relatives first!).  I planned a trip out east and coordinated with many of my cousins to meet them.

I stayed at my sister's house in New Jersey (I think it was in Titusville; I'm sure she'll let me know if I'm wrong) and borrowed her car to drive around.  In five days (came in on Saturday, left on Thursday) I put on 700 miles going back and forth from the house.  I drove in all five boroughs of New York City (even Manhattan!) and in the two eastern counties on Long Island (and discovered to my horror that New York City had $7 and $8 bridge tolls).  To meet the one cousin who actually lived in Manhattan, I took the subway.  In all, I met 25 cousins and visited four cemeteries.  I took dozens of photographs (none of them digital, and I can't figure out where I've stored them, unfortunately) and learned tons of new information about my family.

While I was in New Jersey, I took the time to visit Brotherhood Cemetery, in which my great-grandfather is buried.  My great-aunt had asked me to find out if he had a tombstone.  I ended up visiting the cemetery three times before I finally found the tombstone (a story of its own).

In addition to that, I also drove around in the Mt. Holly area to find the house my paternal grandmother was born in.  My father had visited the house a few years previous to that but for some reason hadn't bothered to take a photograph, even though it had a placard giving the date when the family first had a deed for the property (it's apparently still in the family).  So I took a photo and shared that with everyone.

One of my most enduring memories of the trip is when I visited Mt. Zion Cemetery in Maspeth, Queens.  Mt. Zion is an old cemetery, and the tombstones are crowded tightly together.  It's in a hilly area, so you see waves of tombstones, like they're marching down toward you.  Behind the cemetery is some sort of industrial area, and the sky was belching black smoke the entire time I was there.  It's by far the creepiest cemetery I've ever visited, and that was during the day.

Something I regret about the trip is that I missed meeting my great-great-aunt — my great-grandfather's sister — by one year.  She passed away in 2001, the year before I was able to get out there.  At least I was able to speak with her on the phone twice before she died, but I wish I had actually met her.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Interesting 1917 Adoption Story in Newspaper

I kind of have adoption on the brain at the moment, because I'm still working to help my aunt try to find the son she gave up for adoption 70 years ago.  (Progress has been made!  Cumberland County has said that there is a record!)  So this story about a woman who seems to have adopted a baby boy in 1917 caught my eye when I was reading this newspaper for another article.  I wonder if this child's adoption file is traceable based on the small amount of information in the article.  I wonder if the boy was ever told this story.

I also found it surprising that someone would call the police department to inquire about where to get a baby.  I somehow don't think that was the standard procedure for adoption, even in 1917.

-- >< -- >< -- >< -- >< --

Atlanta Constitution, March 22, 1917, page 13

Recalls Promise and Now Baby Boy Has a Fine Home

When Woman Brings Homeless Child to Police Station Secretary Morris Remembers Telephone Request of Months Ago.

If it had not been for the fact that William T. Morris, secretary to the chief of police, made a rash promise some four months ago, and for the further fact that a good-hearted woman of Atlanta is anxious for a baby in her home, one 18-month-old boy would still be homeless.

At the time above mentioned, the telephone on Morris’ desk rang.

“Hello,” he answered.  “Chief’s office; secretary talking; something I can do for you?”

The voice was a timid feminine one.

“Yes,” it said.  “I want to know if you can tell me where I can get a baby?”

Morris took the lady’s telephone number and promised to help her if he could.

Wednesday afternoon a woman carrying a pretty child of 18 months came to the station.  She told the chief that the child had been left with her by its mother and that she was to receive $5 per week for caring for it, but that the mother had left the city, also leaving about five weeks’ wages due.

“I can’t afford to care for the boy,” she cried.  “But he’s such a fine little fellow that I hate to give him up.  If only I could get some good home for him—”

She was telling her story to other officials, but Morris had heard enough to recall the telephone conversation with a certain pretty little woman of Atlanta.

He fumbled in his desk through many memoranda and finally dug up a telephone number.

“Is this Mrs. ——?” he asked.

“Yes,” came the answer.

“Have you found that baby yet?”

“No, I haven’t; but I’m still looking.”

“Well,” said Morris, clearing his throat in his most impressive manner, “if you want a boy, now is your chance.”  Then directions were given and the lady in question called at the place where the baby is now staying Wednesday afternoon, and then she decided that Thursday she would take what steps were necessary to legally adopt it.

Her name?

She requested that it be withheld until the papers were properly executed.

“You see,” she said, “I want the child; but I’m afraid that if anything is published now some one else will get him.”

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Thanksgiving Memories

I suppose it shouldn't be much of a surprise that this week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun is about Thanksgiving, as it was only two days ago.  Randy Seaver is usually very topical:

1) We just celebrated Thanksgiving in the USA, and many of us have celebrated it every year for decades.  For this SNGF, please share a favorite Thanksgiving memory; it can be sentimental, humorous, reflective, etc.

2)  Share your Thanksgiving memory with us in your own blog post, in a comment on this blog post, or on Facebook or Google+.

I don't remember any specific Thanksgiving from when I was growing up.  I do recall that when my family still lived in Southern California, my mother's "sister" (my mother didn't have a sister of her own, so her close friend filled that role) usually came over for Thanksgiving.  Sam liked ham (not green ham, though!), so along with the turkey, we always had ham.  (And Sam usually celebrated Christmas with us, so we had turkey and ham then also.)  My mother was not the greatest of cooks and not particularly adventurous at that time, so the accompaniments were the traditional green bean casserole, yams with marshmallows, mashed potatoes, and canned cranberry sauce.

My favorite parts of the turkey are the neck and the tuchus, or pope's nose.  If my grandmother was celebrating with us, she got the neck and the tuchus.  So I was always torn between happy to have her with us but not getting the parts I wanted.  Now that she's passed, I think about her when I do have the neck.

I hated the yams.  They were mushy, and they tasted nasty, and I didn't even like the marshmallows.  One year my mother conned me into eating some by telling me they were "candy."  When I had a bite, I realized I'd been tricked and yelled at her, "They're yams!"  She smiled and said, "Yup, candied yams!"  Talk about ruining your faith in your parents!

The first big holiday meal I cooked in the house I'm living in now was for Thanksgiving in 1993.  My housemate and his mother (who was living in the house with us at that time) were there.  My aunt and uncle drove in from the San Joaquin Valley, and my friend Joe came.

My most important Thanksgiving was in 1994.  My mother was terminally ill with cancer, so all three of us children went to Florida to be together with her before she died.  Not the happiest of holidays under the circumstances, but it was good to know we were able to see her.

This year a friend invited me over for Thanksgiving dinner.  It was a small gathering, only six of us, but the food was delicious, and we had plenty of wine to go with it.  I educated my friend's "lady friend" about the joys of watching "football tushies" on TV, and we closed the day with a rousing game of Cards against Humanity.  That's a lot to be thankful for.  What more could anyone want?

Monday, November 23, 2015

The 1838 Census of Indian Key, Florida

You can find the most interesting things online these days.  Buried in The Senate of the United States, Third Session of the Twenty-fifth Congress, Begun and Held at the City of Washington, December 3, 1838, and in the Sixty-third Year of the Independence of the United States, Volume II, Containing Documents from No. 18 to No. 146 (printed by Blair and Rives, Washington: 1839), is the petition of Thomas Jefferson Smith to have Indian Key, Florida (when Florida was still but a territory) become an official port of entry for the United States (Volume 2, number 71, page 1).  Among the various claims and pieces of information Mr. Smith put forth to support his desire to have Indian Key made an official port of entry is a census of the island as of March 1838 (page 12).  And in that census, along with 98 white inhabitants, were enumerated 29 slaves and 14 free colored persons.

Slaves on Indian Key (in the order presented in the book)
Benjamin Housman
Bazal Housman
James Housman
Billy Housman
Lydia Housman
Dolly Housman
Chenia Housman
Rebecah Housman
Mary Housman
Quashia Housman
David Housman
Paul Fuiler
Peggy Cold
Lucy English
Chasy English
Isaac Spencer
Sophia Spencer
Binah English
Mary English
Ellen English
Alexander English
Betsey Smith
William Howe
March Howe
Samuel Howe
David Howe
Jenny Howe
Hannay Howe
Wm. Henry Howe

All the enumerated slaves save one carry last names that match white inhabitants of the island.  The name of Paul Fuiler, the one slave who does not, is similar to that of George Fowler.  Perhaps the name as published was in error, or perhaps Paul had his own name and was permitted to use it?

I am happy to recover these names and add them to the Slave Name Roll Project.  I hope that sharing these names and making them easier to find will help someone find an ancestor.

In addition to the census, the petition included a list of the landowners of Indian Key.  That list can be found on page 11, right before the census.

Many thanks to Linda Jack for telling me about this census.