Monday, February 22, 2021

Amanuensis Monday - Affidavit of a Nickname - Belle Sissie Newmark

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.

Today I share an Affidavit my paternal grandmother signed in front of a notary to prove that her nickname, that everyone knew her by, belonged to her. And that the name that appeared on all government documents was hers too. I am not sure what prompted the affidavit - what agency, business, person first questioned her identity. I also do not know how often she had to present the affidavit.


I, Sissie Newmark, being duly sworn on her oath says that she was born in St. Louis, Missouri on August 14, 1914, and that she was given the name of "Belle" by her parents Herman and Anna Feinstein. They registered her birth under the name "Belle" and she attended school in Clayton, Missouri under the name of "Belle."

Affiant further states that she was known by all of her class mates, friends and family members as "Sissie" and has continued to this date to use the name "Sissie". Belle and Sissie Newmark are one and the same person.



Subscribed and sworn to before me this __ day of October 1986.


Notary Public

My commission expires: 


1) This unsigned copy was saved by my paternal grandfather in his archive folders. I am sure my grandmother retained the signed copy

2) Letters indicate she spelled her nickname Sissy early on, but at some point changed the spelling. Many friends abbreviated the nickname to Sis, which of course is the etymology of the name her older brother gave to her. Her younger brother ended up with the nickname "Babe."

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