Signatures, that is

They are, for The Legal Genealogist, the very best signs of the times.

Signs, as in signatures.

Among the very few that exist for two people very important to me and all my living family and yet unknown to any of us.

In fact, only one of my siblings was ever even in the company of either of them and even then only as an infant.

They are my grandparents, my father’s German-born parents, Hugo Ernst Geissler and Marie Margarethe (Nuckel) Geissler, both of whom died when my oldest brother was less than a year old and the rest of us weren’t even gleams in anyone’s eye.1

I have their signatures on their marriage record in the Office of the Standesamt (Civil Registrar) of Bremen, Germany, where they were married on Valentine’s Day 1918.2

Geissler marriage

Oh, and the witnesses? That’s my great grandfather Hermann Geissler signing third and my grandfather’s sister, Elly, signing last.

I have their signatures on their individual declarations of intention to become citizens.3

Hugo declaration
Marie declaration

And — signed on the 27th of May 1930 — on their petitions for citizenship.4

Hugo petition
Marie petition

At the same time, each of them signed an index card with the basics of their citizenship data.5

Hugo index card
Marie index card

That’s it. No letters, no family papers, nothing else that we’re aware of with their signatures.

It isn’t much.

But as signs of the times go, it’s everything to us.


Cite/link to this post: Judy G. Russell, “Signs of the times,” The Legal Genealogist (https://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog : posted 27 Apr 2019).

SOURCES

  1. For Hugo Ernst, see Illinois Department of Public Health, death certificate no. 1145, Hugo Geissler, 13 Jan 1945; Division of Vital Statistics, Springfield. For Marie, see Illinois Department of Public Health, death certificate no. 12011, Marie Geissler, 12 Jan 1947; Division of Vital Statistics, Springfield.
  2. Bescheinigung der Eheschließung (Certificate of Marriage), nr. 135 (1918), Geißler-Nuckel, Standesamt (Registry Office), Bremen.
  3. For Hugo, see Superior Court of Cook County, Illinois, Declaration of Intention No. 191553, Hugo Geissler, 3 April 1927; annexed to Petition for Citizenship No. 86797; United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois; Record Group 21, Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; National Archives, Chicago. For Marie, see Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, Declaration of Intention No. 179553, Marie Geissler, 14 Jan 1927; annexed to Petition for Citizenship No. 86796; United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois; Record Group 21, Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; National Archives, Chicago.
  4. See ibid., Petition for Citizenship, for each.
  5. Entries for Hugo Geissler and Marie Geissler; digital images, “Illinois, Northern District (Eastern Division), Naturalization Index, 1926-1979,” FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 27 Apr 2019).
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