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The Geluardi Branch: This is what a New York City marriage certificate looked like in 1919

Geluardi, Carmelo and Cecilia Miceli, marriage certificate, 1919.

Geluardi, Carmelo and Cecilia Miceli, marriage certificate, 1919.

Source: New York, New York, marriage certificate, Office of the Registrar of the Borough of Manhattan, No. 32748 (13 December 1919), Carmelo Geluardi and Cecilia Miceli; City of New York, Department of Health.

Until recently, when you requested a copy of an old document you generally received a very plain photocopy.  This is beginning to change, and I love the warmth and immediacy of the digital scans we are starting to get these days.  Plus, if I had the discipline to clean up my messy cursive handwriting, I’d adopt this look instead.  If you ask me, handwriting was at its most beautiful from 1880-1930.

For a high-resolution image of this document, sent a note through comments, below. 

St. Clare, 1905, interior

St. Clare, 1905, interior

St. Clare, 1905, exterior

St. Clare, 1905, exterior

The Brodersen Branch: Michael Christensen Möller

Michael Christensen Möller, 1873 baptism.  If you would like a complete, high-resolution copy of this record, leave a comment below.

Recently located in Denmark: the baptism record for Michael Christensen Möller. In that place, in those days, there were no birth official birth records.

What does it tell us? He was born on 20 September, 1873 in the village of Erlev. His parents, laborer Mathias Peter Möller and Else Marie Andersen, brought him to Gammel Haderslev two weeks later to be baptized.  Else Marie was 22 when her son was born. The godparents were Theodor Johansen, Erik Skodt and Bodil Kiestine Horlyk, neighbors in the same parish.

Source: Gammel Haderslev, Haderslev, Denmark, 1861-1873: Births, Confirmations, Marriages, Deaths, page 373, Michael Christensen Möller.

For a complete, high-resolution copy of this record, leave a comment below.

Gammel Haderslev

The Schaub Branch: an early Weiennett marriage

One of the challenges of researching the Weiennetts is the fact that no one can agree on a spelling. Different languages, levels of education and degrees of attentiveness in listening all come into play.  County clerks change the spelling here, and members of the family make their own changes there.

Somehow, this old marriage record, from Michigan Territory in 1835, made it through. Pioneers Benedikt Weiennett of Leüterkofen, Switzerland and Marie Schneider of Bavaria are the great, great, great grandparents of my generation of Schaubs. Their marriage is recorded on the right hand page, third from the top.

Weiennett, Benedikt and Marie Schneider, county marriage record, Michigan Territory, 1835.

Weiennett, Benedikt and Marie Schneider, county marriage record, Michigan Territory, 1835.

The Schaub Branch: No. 3 Puts in His Appearance

Sandy Schaub James recently sent a wonderful artifact: the newspaper-style announcement of the birth of her uncle, my grandfather Robert Churchill Schaub, handwritten in 1904 by his father, Illinois newspaperman Howard Churchill Schaub.

In addition to the main event, the front page of the faux newspaper The Daily Sevenfortyeight reports on a Shocking Case of Child Abandonment, in which Schaub senior delivers his still-tiny older children, Fred and Georgia, by train to his sister-in-law in Peoria just hours after the arrival of the new baby, along with a number of other newsy items.  The tired father, apparently writing his limited circulation newspaper while clickety clacking back home that winter night, does not fail to show off a dry sense of humor very much like that of his grandson, my favorite uncle, the late Robert Churchill Schaub, Jr..

The little photo above shows the Schaub home at 748 W. North Street, Decatur, Illinois, after which The Daily Sevenfortyeight is named, as it appeared in 1904. Soon after this photo was taken the house was moved around the corner to Pine Street and a beautiful new home, designed by my great-grandmother, Pearl Winifred Weiennett Schaub, was built on the site.  How she found the time to design a house while watching over, by that time, five young children, will be a mystery to any parent.  The new house, where all the Schaub children were raised and where my mother later spent every Christmas Eve, still stands.

Sandy James is a first cousin of my mother, Lisette Schaub, and her brother, my Uncle Bob. I’m delighted that Sandy sent this handwritten page, along with a small collection of other documents–this is just the sort of thing I hoped for when starting this blog: that family members could share their treasures so all of us could learn our back stories. It’s so easy in this digital age. However, the digital age is yet imperfect:  the birth announcement is overly trimmed at the edges, just as it came to me, but with persistence the missing letters can be filled in. I don’t know why scanners cut off edges and add blank borders; they just do. As always, clicking on the images will bring up larger versions.

The birth announcement of RCS I, as written up by his father, HCS

The birth of RCS I, page 2

The Brodersen Branch: The 1906 Earthquake

Elsie Hammermann and her family were asleep in their beds when San Francisco’s 1906 earthquake destroyed their home and ultimately drove them from the city.  Elsie’s Aunt Christine, the sister of her father Heinrich, had been hospitalized for more than two years when the earthquake struck, and Elsie’s cousins and uncle had already been living with the Hammermanns for much of that time. Many years later their earthquake story was captured when one of those cousins, Matilda Murken, wrote a brief history of her life. Read more

The Schaub branch: Photos from the Jura Alps

This morning I received a lovely email from our Swiss cousin, Lisette Gobat Roquier.  She updated me on her family’s comings and goings in Moutier, where they still live, and attached the gorgeous little treasure below: a photo of Catherine Chodat Chodat, c. 1860. Lisette sent its companion, a c. 1880 portrait of Catherine’s husband Auguste several months ago.  These are the parents of Louis Auguste Chodat, the grandparents of Mina Chodat Denz and our great, great, great grandparents. Read more

The Brodersen Branch: Maria Petra Johannsen and Anna Maria Johannsen

Childbirth in the 19th century was a dangerous prospect under the best of circumstances, and more so when it took place on a remote and sparsely populated island set in the Atlantic. Read more


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