Casefile Clues

16 February 2013

Brother-in-Law?

Newspapers offer all sorts of clues in the "gossip" columns. This one from 1909 in Quincy, Illinois, indicates that Fokke Goldenstein was "called to Gothenburg, Neb., last Monday by the death of his brother-in-law."

Of course, the name of the brother-in-law is not mentioned, but locals probably knew to whom the newspaper was referring. There's never any need to state the obvious after all. The brother-in-law could have referred to the husband of one of Goldenstein's sisters, a brother of his wife, or the husband of one of his wife's sisters. Based upon what I know about the family, I suspect that the brother-in-law is connected to Fokke's wife.

But it is always possible that the "brother-in-law" reference has the relationship incorrect and that it's not a brother-in-law at all. Goldenstein is known to have had cousins in the Gothenburg area, but no siblings or spouses of siblings. His wife had sisters who settled in the area as well.

A look at a perpetual calendar will indicate what day "last Monday" is. That's not necessarily the day the relative died, but it should be reasonably close.

This clipping was located on the website of the Quincy, Illinois library. The "printable version" of the images are nice to use as they automatically include the name of the paper and date, making saving the images even easier.

I just need to determine who actually died in 1909 near Gothenburg. The details that are not stated are always the interesting ones.