Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Case Studies - GPS Study Group Chapter 4


Genealogical Proof Standard Study Group

Homework
Chapter Four – Case Studies
Anna Matthews

Reference:
Christine Rose, Genealogical Proof Standard: Building a Solid Case, 4th Edition Revised. San Jose, California: CR Publications, 2014.

Carl Johan Anderson ca. 1888
In chapter four of Christine Rose's book she presents case studies. Panelists in DearMYRTLE's study group were asked to present last week's homework again this week but in the following format:

I    Research question
II   What do we know?
III  What documents are found?
IV  Analysis, Correlation, Resolving Conflicting Information
V   Conclusion, End-notes or Footnotes (Citations)

Since I am not a panelist in this study group, my post will be just a bit different. I will stick to just one of the questions from last week - When did Carl Johan Anderson immigrate to the United States? - and I will present all of my current evidence - not just the census records that I examined last week.

I. When did Carl Johan Anderson immigrate to the United States?

II. I have evidence of his departure and arrival dates from various sources.

III. A) The translation and transcription of a letter written by Carl in 1941.
      B) An audio taped interview of Carl conducted in 1955.
      C) Swedish Lutheran church record; image of moving-out list.
      D) Two passenger lists from his journey from Sweden to England and England to the U.S.
      E) Census records from 1900, 1910, 1920 and 1930.


A) On January 23, 1941, Carl wrote a letter [1] about his early life that was "only to be opened after his death." This letter was translated from Swedish and transcribed in English by his son, Elmer Carl Ragnar. In the letter he gives the date of his departure from Sweden as March 25, 1888 and says that he arrived in New York on April 8, 1888.



B) Carl was interviewed on tape [2] by his son, Axel Heinrich Wilhem, on October 12, 1955 at the age of 89. In this interview he states that he traveled by boat to Hull, England and by train to Liverpool where he boarded a ship of the Inman line called City of Chester. When asked by Axel when he arrived in New York, he states that it was April 7, 1888.

C) A well-meaning member of a FB genealogy group voluntarily shared an image of a household book from 1888 in Sweden showing that a Karl Johan Anderson moved to America. I don't know the source of the image and haven't yet found it on my own, so I won't share it here.

D) A passenger list [3] found on Ancestry has the following information:

The passenger ship Romeo left Goteborg, Sweden for Hull, England on March 23, 1888.


Another passenger list [4] found on Ancestry shows a manifest of the SS City of Chester which arrived at the Port of New York on April 7, 1888 from Liverpool. On the manifest is a passenger with the following information:



E) This table contains a summary of the relevant information found in four censuses [5, 6, 7, 8].



IV   In analyzing the evidence, I first apply the genealogical proof standard.

1. Has reasonably exhaustive research been completed? Well, no, actually. Since the person who was the informant on the census records indicated in all four years above that Carl was naturalized, we need to look for his naturalization records to see of they contain an immigration date. I did find a Charles Anderson (see 1900 census above) who applied for citizenship in this area in 1892 at the age of 25, which is somewhat consistent with my ancestor. The information was only an index, more research is needed.

2. My source citations are incomplete until I find the household record referenced above for myself - see below for the remainder which I'll be completing throughout the day today.

3. Tests - analysis and correlation:

A) This letter [1] which was translated and transcribed from the original is a derivative record containing primary information and direct evidence. The original was created 43 years after the event to record information about Carl's life to his descendants. The record was created by Carl's son from a record created by Carl himself.

B) This recording [2] is a 2nd generation copy of the original but I believe that it can be considered an original source; there is no evidence to suggest that the recording was altered in any way other than format. The information is primary and the evidence is direct. The original was created 67 years after the event and the informant was 89-years-old. Although Carl was 89 and there is some slight indication of confusion on Carl's part when answering a few of his son's questions, he gives an emphatic answer to the question of his immigration date. It seems clear to me that this is an important date for Carl that has remained ingrained in his memory for 67 years. The record was created by Carl and his son in order to record information about Carl's life for future generations.

C) This is a derivative record because the image did not display the entire page and I do not have the source information - more research is needed. The source is primary and the evidence is direct. The record was created on March 11, 1888 to note that a member of the parish was leaving and was an indication that Carl was given a certificate to give to the minister of his new parish.

D) The passenger list for the Romeo [3] is original, contains primary information and indirect evidence.The record does not provide direct evidence of Carl's arrival in the United States, only of a passage from Sweden to England. It provides direct evidence of his travels, but not of the question we are asking.  This record was created to record the names of the passengers aboard this ship on this date, where they were from, where they were going. The data was supplied by Carl.

The passenger list for the S.S. City of Chester [4] is also original, provides primary information and direct evidence, it states the arrival date of this ship at the Port of New York. This record was created to record the names of passengers arriving at the Port of New York and immigrating to the United States. The data was supplied by Carl.

E) These census records [5, 6, 7, 8] are original but the information is indeterminable because we do not know the informant. The evidence they provide is direct. The record was created to capture information about United States citizens and residents. We do not know who supplied the data for any of these records.

4. As I wrote last week, the conflicting information about Carl's immigration date is contained mainly in the census records. These records are the weakest of the documentation that I have for this question because we do not know who the informant is for any of them but we do know that mistakes were common in census records for a myriad of reasons. I believe that the conflicting years of immigration for Carl in the 1910 and 1920 census can be attributed to error or to the possibility that the information was supplied by someone other than Carl, perhaps one of his children, a relative or even a boarder.

The letter written by Carl in 1941 states that he arrived in the United States on April 8, 1888 but his taped interview and the immigration record state that it was the 7th. The date in the letter could be attributed to a typo on the part of Carl's son who translated and transcribed his original letter or Elmer could have had trouble with his father's handwriting or Carl could have made a mistake when he wrote the letter; without the original it is difficult to make an educated guess.

V) The last point of the Genealogical Proof Standard is a soundly reasoned, coherently written conclusion. Since that is the focus of Chapter five, I will make that my next post in this "series". Suffice it to say, I do feel that we have enough evidence now to say exactly when Carl immigrated to the United States; April 7, 1888.


_________________________________________________________________________________

[1] Carl Johan Anderson, Manchester, Connecticut, to his descendants, letter, 23 January 1941, relating details of his early life; Personal Correspondence, Anderson, Carl J.; Anderson family, Matthews Research Files; privately held by Anna C. Matthews [ADDRESS FOR PERSONAL USE] Rockville Centre, New York.

[2] Carl Johan Anderson, (Healthland, 305 Walpole Street, Norwood, Massachusetts) interview by Axel Heinrich Wilhelm Anderson, 12 October 1955; copy of audio file held privately by Anna C. Matthews [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE] Rockville Centre, New York.

[3] "Gothenburg, Sweden, Passenger Lists, 1869-1951," digital image, Ancestry.com (http://ancestry.com : accessed 24 January 2017), image 44 of 58, line 4685, Carl J. Anderson entry; ship Romeo out of Gothenburg, Sweden, departed 23 March 1888 for Hull, England.

[4] "New York Passenger Lists 1820-1957," digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 24 January 2017), Date > 1888 > April > 07 > City of Chester, Line 150, Carl J. Anderson entry; citing National Archives Microfilm Publication M237

[5] 1900 US Census, Manchester, Hartford County, Connecticut; population schedule p. 22B, dwelling 383/family 433, Chas Anderson, Alfina Anderson; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 15 Jan 2017); citing National Archive microfilm publication T623,18, roll 138; imaged from FHL microfilm 1,240.138.

[6] 1910 US Census, Manchester, Hartford County, Connecticut; population schedule p. 14B, dwelling 272/family 294, Carl J Anderson, Alfina Anderson; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 15 Jan 2017); citing National Archive microfilm publication T624, roll T624_131; imaged from FHL microfilm 1,374,144.

[7] 1920 US Census, Manchester, Hartford County, Connecticut; population schedule p. 4B, dwelling 65/family 96, Carl Anderson, Matilda Anderson; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 15 Jan 2017); citing National Archive microfilm publication T623, roll 625_181.

[8] 1930 US Census, Manchester, Hartford County, Connecticut; population schedule p. 17A, dwelling 244/family 358, Carl J. Anderson, Matilda A. Anderson; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 15 Jan 2017); citing National Archive microfilm publication T626, roll 267; imaged from FHL microfilm 2,340,002.


4 comments:

  1. I appreciate following along as you lay out your proof and reasoning! Thank you for this detailed post and evidence and analysis.

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    1. Thank you, Marian. I had been keeping all of my analysis in my head until this study group, it has been fun to participate.

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  2. I enjoyed seeing your evidence and your thought process as you work towards a conclusion. You've done a great job! I hope you are able to find the naturalization papers. I have found a few for my ancestors, but sadly they haven't been very helpful. I think it mainly depends on "when" they naturalized.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Dana. I hope I can find the papers, even if it is just to tie it all up.

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