07 February 2013

What Does It Mean That He Voted?

In July of 1888, Focke Goldenstein made his final affidavit in order to complete his homestead claim in Dawson County, Nebraska.

One of the questions he was asked was about whether he had voted in the last election and where he had voted.

Goldenstein indicated that he had voted in the precinct in which his land was located and that he voted last fall.

The homestead papers indicate elsewhere when Goldenstein began living on the property. This question also told me that he was a citizen in the fall of 1887, when he voted. If I had not known he was a citizen, this would have been a clue. As readers may know, only citizens could complete the homestead process, so Focke already had documentation about his citizenship in his application file. However, that still doesn't detract from the necessity of analyzing every statement for "hidden" clues that are underlying the actual statement.

Goldenstein's claim is digitized in The Nebraska Homestead Records on Fold3.com