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Today’s Conference for a Cause

Today is the day The Legal Genealogist has been headed towards, roaming through Utah and Colorado this past week.

Today is the fifth annual Conference for a Cause of the Larimer County, Colorado, Genealogical Society.

It’s when the society takes everything it can beyond the costs of the conference itself and donates the profits to a specific genealogical purpose. As the society’s website says: “All profits from the conference are donated to non-profit projects to preserve, digitize, and making historical documents accessible for genealogical research.”1

So what I’m helping support today is something near and dear to my heart: the digitization of local records, particularly local newspapers, here in Loveland, Colorado.

Local newspapers in Colorado gave me the answer to one major genealogical puzzle of my own.

I knew my own parents had been married in Golden, Colorado. I had a copy of their marriage certificate and return, filed by the officiating minister.2 And I had pictures of their wedding.

But the record only said the marriage had taken place in Golden, I couldn’t for the life of me make out the name of the minister, both of my parents were long gone… and I had nobody in the family I could ask. The one cousin of my mother’s, Fred Gottlieb, who’d walked her down the aisle… well, let’s just say I didn’t get around to asking him in time.3

The solution: the local newspapers, of course.

When one of my brothers was married here in Colorado some years back, my older sister and I traipsed over to the library in Golden. A wonderful librarian sat us down at a microfilm reader and we carefully went through, day by day and page by page through weeks of issues of the local newspapers until we found it.

Miss Hazel Irene Cottrell of Golden, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Clay R. Cottrell of Midland, Tex., will be united in marriage to Mr. Hugo Herman Geissler of Chicago, at an informal wedding to be solemnized in the First Presbyterian church in Golden…

The Rev. Lance A. Mantle will perform the double ring ceremony in the presence of about a hundred guests. …4

Geissler wedding

The church, we discovered, was located at the time at the corner of 15th Street and Washington Avenue in Golden. As of 2010, the building — on the National Register of Historic Buildings — housed the Foothills Arts Center. The article confirmed that her cousin Fred would give her away but also told us that her sister, my aunt Carol, was maid of honor.

So much information that we couldn’t have known, tucked into that one little article in one local Colorado newspaper.

Today, it’s digitized. Part of a wonderful collection called the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection, a service of the Colorado State Library. Generations from now, the grandchildren, great grandchildren and even more distant descendants of this couple won’t have to hope they can find it at a local library, kept on microfilm that can’t be replaced.

That’s what this Conference for a Cause is going to do, for other local newspapers, for another Colorado community.

And I love being able to do my part for this very worthy cause.

Thanks, Larimer County Genealogical Society, for letting me be part of this.

Cite/link to this post: Judy G. Russell, “A worthy cause indeed,” The Legal Genealogist ( : posted 28 Sep 2019).


  1. See “2019 Conference for a Cause,” Larimer County Genealocial Society ( : accessed 28 Sep 2019).
  2. Jefferson County, Colorado, Marriage Book 5: 8, Geissler-Cottrell, 1948, marriage license no. B9527 and return; Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder, Golden.
  3. See generally Judy G. Russell, “Missing cousin Fred,” The Legal Genealogist, posted 18 May 2013 ( : accessed 28 Sep 2019).
  4. “Social Activities: Hazel Irene Cottrell to wed Hugo Geissler,” Colorado Transcript, 22 Jan 1948, p. 5, col. 3.
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