Monday, August 15, 2011

Amanuensis Monday: Declaration of Intent for Charles Cohen - 1910

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

I continue my project to transcribe family letters, journals, newspaper articles, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts. Not only do the documents contain genealogical information, the words breathe life into kin - some I never met - others I see a time in their life before I knew them.

I began this project back in February of 2009, and since then, many others have joined in on the meme.  Why do we transcribe?  I provide my three reasons in the linked post.  You may find others.  If you participate, feel free to leave a link to your post in the comments.


This week, I look at the Declaration of Intent for Charles Cohen (1884-1965).  He married Bella Newmark, who was the sister of my great grandfather, Barney.

Department of Commerce and Labor
(Invalid for all purposes seven years after the date hereof)

United States of America
Eastern District of Missouri
In the District Court
of the United States for the Eastern Division Eastern Judicial District of Missouri

I, Charles Cohen, aged 26 years, occupation tailor, do declare on oath that my personal description is: Color white, complexion dark, height 5 feet 5 inches, weight 130 pounds, color of hair brown, color of eyes gray other visible distinctive marks none; I was born in Sukolof, Russia, on the 15th day of August, anno Domini 1884; I now reside at 1635 Wash St. St. Louis, Mo. I emigrated to the United States of America from Liverpool, England on the vessel Seawick; my last foreign residence was London, England. It is my bona fide intention to renounce forever all allegiance to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, and particularly to Nicholas II Emperor of all the Russias, of which I am now a subject; I arrived at the port of New York, in the State of New York on or about the 15th day of December, anno Domini 1904; I am not an anarchist; I am not a polygamist nor a believer in the practice of polygamy; and it is my intention in good faith to become a citizen of the United States of America and to permanently reside therein: SO HELP ME GOD.

Signature (Charles Cohen)

Subscribed and sworn to before me on this 13th day of October, anno Domini, 1910.

Clerk of the said Court.


1) Charles arrived in the United States in 1904, and his wife-to-be Bella arrived in March of 1909.  They were married less than a year later in January of 1910.  As I've written before, I suspect they may have known each other in London prior to Charles' departure.

2) I am unaware of a vessel named Seawick.  He may have made the crossing on the Sedgwick.

3) My great grandfather Barney Newmark filed his Declaration of Intent on October 4, 1910.  Charles and my 2nd Great Grandfather, Samuel Newmark, filed theirs on October 13, 1910.  I'm unsure if there is a connection.  Barney and Samuel arrived in the US in October of 1908, but there was no requirement to wait two years.

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