Marriage & Naturalization Records

Marriage Records

Saturday, I headed to St. Paul for some research; first to MNGS (it was Irish Day, where they have people on staff to help with Irish research), and then to MNHS.  At MNGS, my goal was to find the church records for Anthony & Bridget’s marriage on 12 Sep 1860.  These church records are housed by the chancery of the Archdiocese of St. Paul, but they have provided MNGS with some of them. The woman helping me says that the Archdiocese has recently put some sort of freeze on all of these records – meaning you cannot order them, or request them? I haven’t really been able to confirm this, but I am happy to report that they had what I was looking for.

The neat thing, is that this record is in Latin! FamilySearch has a handy Latin Genealogy word list that helped me translate a few of the words. Here’s what I could transcribe:

Antonius Maguire
Brigitta Caverty

A.D. 1860 [??] September 13 [??]  [??]  proclamation juncti in matrimonium Antonius Maguire [??] Birgitta Caverty. Testes Edwardus Essing [??] Kenna.

And then a few of the translations:

Juncti in Matromonium = joined  in marriage
testes = witnesses

I’m happy that I found this, but I wish it would have given me more information, and less confusion.  The confusion is regarding the marriage date.  The other marriage record that I have – the state record – says that they were married on 12 Sep 1860, but it was signed on 13 Sep 1860.  This new record says they were married on 13 Sep 1860, I think?

After a few paper jams while trying to print this record on an old microfiche reader/printer, they moved me over to a newer, fancier, digital-er microfiche reader/printer.  I didn’t even have to print it if I didn’t want to, because it scanned the images and made them digital. In all of my genealogy research, all of the microfiche machines I had used were totally old school and crappy. I think they didn’t put me on the new machine in the first place because they didn’t really know how to use it – I had to kind of figure it out on my own.  Helper woman told me that they used to sell flash drives for people to save their images, but they didn’t have them any anymore, and weren’t getting more.  Their computers let me access Google, so I thought I’d just scan and upload them to my drive – so convenient!  I didn’t have to print the marriage record, but I did anyway, to have for reference while I was there researching. Good thing I did, too; when I got home and downloaded all of my scanned images (.tif files), none of them would open.  GD. I had grabbed a few other records while I was there, but didn’t print them.  So I’ll have to remember to scan them again when I’m there next (and check them!)

Land Records

It seems that every time (lately) that I take a day to do research, I end up picking up a new hint or tip for something to try next.  That happened this time, too.  The woman helping me told me that if Anthony homesteaded, I could contact the Bureau of Land Management, and ask them to send me anything they might have on him.  Back in the day, when a person was homesteading, the government would “check up” on the person and their land, make an assessment of their property, and record the progress they were making on the land.  Adding to my to do list!

Naturalization Records

Next, I headed over to MNHS to try again at finding the rest of Anthony’s naturalization records.  I asked a nice volunteer about the record that I already had, and he confirmed that it was what I suspected – Anthony’s Declaration of Intent. I still had to find his “Final Papers”, the thing that would confirm whether or not he actually did become naturalized. And since you had to be naturalized to own land, and Anthony owned land, I was pretty sure that these records should exist.  It took a bit of effort, but we finally found it! On SAM 56-I Roll 1, McLeod County. District Court. Naturalization Records Index., I found Anthony, and by chance, two of my other ancestors (my Danish 2nd Great Grandfather Jacob Mathiasen, and my Polish 2nd Great Grandfather Lawrence Mochinske). The index gave me this, for Anthony:

Next I had to figure out which roll had “Vol. A-1. P.2” so I could find the actual record. Volunteer man helped me determine (from this list) that I would find it on SAM 56, Roll 3. And he was right.  The top portion of the image below reads,

State of Minnesota
September 15, 1868

Dist. Court 4th Judicial Dist.  McLeod County

September 1868

The following persons came into open court and produced the proof required by statutes and were admitted to [free?] citizenship.

Once again, I was kind of hoping for more information, but this is still cool. And the story is coming together! He came to the US in 1857. By law he had to live in the US for 5 years before he could apply for citizenship.  Shortly after his 5 years are up, he starts the process on 06 Mar 1863 and signs (marks with an ‘x’) his Declaration of Intent, renouncing his allegiance to the Queen of Great Britain & Ireland. Another 5 years have to go by before he can get his Final Papers and become a citizen, which he did on 15 Sep 1868.

I ran out of time, and wasn’t able to get the final papers for my Dane & Pole — next time.  (And now I know how to do it!)


I stopped by the MNHS gift shop on my way out, and I purchased a couple of really neat, small maps of old Minnesota – one from 1855, before we were a state, and one from 1860, shortly after we became a state. They are very cool, but now I don’t know what I’m going to do with them.  Maybe I’ll be able to use them in my research?

I’m also wondering if I should become a member of the history center. Every time I spend money there (copies, food, …maps, etc.), they ask me if I’m a member, and I say “no”, and I don’t get the member discount. I certainly go there often enough, and I give them money almost every time — maybe I should become a member?  I think I would feel good about helping them keep doing what they’re doing. I also wonder about volunteering at the library.  The thought is kind of appealing, and I’m sure I would learn a lot more about what they offer if I were to volunteer there. I always appreciate the volunteers that take the time to help me, like this weekend, especially when they’re busy running around helping other people as well. I don’t know that I have the time now, but I think that’s something I’d like to do, someday.

What’s next?

  1. Contact Bureau of Land Management
  2. Find church marriage record for Anthony’s second marriage to Mary O’Meara

Family History Fair

Saturday morning, Kate and I went to a Family History Fair at the Hennepin County library downtown. For a free event, I think it was pretty awesome.  One of my coworkers has said that he likes to attend web-dev conferences so he can hear about/observe the latest tools and resources that others are using.  I found this conference pretty helpful for the exact same reason. Not only did we get to listen to professionals speak about mostly interesting topics, but we were tipped off to other genealogy websites that they use often in their research.

We stopped by the booth to talk to the volunteers there. They were able to give Kate some good info, but the moment I uttered the word “Irish” when asked about my research, they pretty much just laughed and said “good luck”.  And, “hopefully his mother’s name wasn’t Mary”.  “It was”, I sadly replied. They did have me talk to their one person with some knowledge in Irish research.  Apparently there is a new database on that is not yet public – it’s in some sort of beta stage – that could be very valuable for Irish researchers.  I’m not sure what it’s called, or even what it was exactly, but it was almost like a “family search” (ha) for very old Irish families; each result contained a person and their parents, but it wasn’t just a collection of personal family trees like you’d find on some search sites.  None of the first few results were obviously my Anthony, and there were a lot of records that I’d like to sift through someday when they’re made available.

The other tip the people gave us was that their website contains tons and tons of images that aren’t indexed.  But you can browse them! I think that I had only really used their search before, and didn’t realize I could browse images that weren’t indexed.  I’ve done this on Ancestry, when I know that my people should be in a census for a given year and place, but they didn’t show up in the indexed search results.  I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me to use this way as well. After browsing for a while this weekend, I discovered that all of those birth records that I found while spending time at the courthouse in Sibley county are available in their browsable images!  These are the ones that I spent time transcribing while I was there, because they wouldn’t let me copy them.  So, hooray for that.

One of speakers I saw turned on a light bulb for me.  She made me realize that I might not have Anthony’s complete Naturalization records. I think I only have Anthony’s Declaration of Intent (which pretty much gives you nothing, except that the person has denounced the  king/president/leader/whatever of their homeland).  I might be able to find Anthony’s Final Papers, which could possibly tell me more? When I was searching for these papers long, long ago at MNHS, I don’t remember the circumstances, or results (other than the Declaration of Intent).  Maybe I did look for his final papers, and couldn’t find them? I guess that’s why I now have this blog, so I can remember what I did and when!

In between two of the sessions, I spoke to Ann from IGS about my Anthony mystery.  She agreed that I have quite a challenge.  But she said that I should check the Catholic church records in St. Paul for Anthony’s marriage record to Bridget, as I only have the state/county record.  She also said that engagements were typically 6 months, and the bride (or groom? I can’t remember) had to live in St. Paul for that time if they were getting married in St. Paul.  If that’s true, and they were married on 12 Sept 1860, and the 1860 census was taken in April of that year, shouldn’t I be able to find one of them in the 1860 census?  Why can’t I?

So tonight I’ve started reanalyzing the state/county marriage record I have for Anthony & Bridget in Saint Paul.  It is signed by the Catholic priest that wed them, and lists two witnesses.  (Wondering why I hadn’t dug into this before?).  The priest’s name listed is L. Caillet.  A little bit of Googling, and I found that his full name was Louis Eugene Caillet.  He was born in France, and recruited to come to America to serve the Diocese of Saint Paul.  The book, Some letters of Monsignor Louis E. Caillet and August N. Chemidlin, 1868-1899 , says that on August 21, 1857, he became an ordained priest assigned to the Cathedral of St. Paul after the death of Bishop Cretin (first Roman Catholic Bishop of Saint Paul).

I’m not Catholic, and call me ignorant, but I didn’t know what the difference between a Bishop and a Priest was.  Wikipedia to the rescue?  Catholic Church hierarchy.

So, I know that this is the priest that married them, but now I want to find out where they got married. I’ll need to know this so that I can find the church records. You know that big beautiful Cathedral in Saint Paul?  It didn’t exist at the time of Anthony & Bridget’s marriage.  But they have a nice little history page on their website that tells me this:

This, the fourth Cathedral of Saint Paul, was the dream of Archbishop John Ireland, who secured the site in 1904. The Archdiocese was growing and Ireland saw the need for a “great Cathedral” to replace the third Cathedral, which was 46 years old at the time and too small for the growing congregation.

I think that this “third cathedral”, built in 1858, might be where they were married.  More Googling, and I found that the third cathedral has since been demolished to make room for the Hamm Building. Shucks!  But I did find a tiny picture of it on the current cathedral’s website:

Third Cathedral of Saint Paul, Minnesota
Third Cathedral of Saint Paul, Minnesota

I am also now wondering about a “second cathedral” and “first cathedral”.  It appears that these existed, too.  But when? (TODO)

Now, if this is where they got married, where do I find the church records? It looks like they might have them at MNGS. So my plan: next Saturday is Irish Day at the MNGS, and I think I will try going to that again. In addition to the church records (which might tell me Bridget’s parent’s names, and maybe Anthony’s mother’s maiden name), if I can talk to the same woman I talked to briefly on Saturday, she might be able to give me more advice on where to go or what to do next.

Oh, another TODO: dig into the witnesses that were listed on their marriage record: Edward Essing and Mrs. Kenna.

A lesson in Palaeography that I learned this weekend at the Family History Fair: in old writings such as this, when there were double s’s in a word or name, the first ‘s’ would look like an ‘f’, just like you see above in Edward Essing’s name!  Weird, eh?  Had I not gone to this fair, I might instead be wasting my time searching for “Edward Efsing”…

More after Saturday…