Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Blog Action Day 2013 - October 16th

Blog Action Day is a "free annual event, that has run since 2007. Its aim is to unite the world’s bloggers by posting about the same issue, on the same day, in order to raise awareness and trigger a positive global discussion around an important issue that impacts us all, raises awareness or even funds for not-for-profits associated to the theme issue."
I participated in 2008 when the theme was poverty.
I participated in 2010 when the theme was water.
This year the theme will be Human Rights.

There are some obvious intersections of Human Rights with Genealogy/Family History research.
  • Do we have ancestors or kin whose human rights were violated?
  • Do we have ancestors or kin who violated the human rights of others?
  • Do we have ancestors or kin who fought for human rights, in the military or on political battlefields?
I know I will be writing a post for October 16th this year. If you are interested in participating, visit the Blog Action Day website for more information.

[Image: Eleanor Roosevelt and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Spanish text.]

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Don't Jump to Conclusions

I was looking at the marriage license application for some distant cousins, and it appeared that the uncle of the groom signed the document as the father of the bride. The document, as many marriage applications do, testified that the couple were not first cousins. The bride wasn't of legal age, which is why the father had to sign his permission.

No, I'm not going to post images, or name names. The marriage took place in 1938, and while the bride and groom are deceased, I'm sure there are living relatives.

I am positive it isn't a coincidence of names. The father/uncle's 1969 obituary clearly identifies the bride as his daughter, and the groom's mother as his sister.

However, there are two pieces of evidence that suggest the marriage was not as it seems.

1) The bride was born in 1920. She doesn't appear in the 1930 census with the father who signed her marriage license application in 1938.

2) Her tombstone follows the Jewish custom of including the father's Hebrew given name. And the inscribed given name doesn't match.

So my current hypothesis is that at some point between 1930 and 1938 she was adopted. So the marriage wasn't one of genetic first cousins. I'm unsure how the law at the time treated relationship through adoption.

Unfortunately, her death was too recent for her death certificate to be public, and I am not a close enough relative to request a copy. So the easiest way for me to confirm this would be to contact family members. While we live in the same area, this isn't a branch of the family that my family has maintained contact with over the years, and I have only learned about them through research. Even if I have found or do find close living relatives, delicate questions such as these aren't the ideal ice-breakers.