Examining Naturalization Dockets for Joseph Geissler

As discussed in Joseph Geissler: An American Father, Joseph was born in Baden and immigrated to Franklin County, Ohio prior to 1858. He received a naturalization certificate which was passed down through the family and is currently in my distant cousin’s possession. Had he not had the original certificate hanging on the family wall in his home, I would not have considered that the last name Keizler as a variation for Geißler.

Incidentally, this record leads me to the discovery of Joseph signing the 1863 Civil War Draft record in Prairie Township, Franklin County, Ohio, in June 1863, a month prior to his death.

My previous post briefly mentioned when Joseph became a naturalized citizen and how that fits into his life story. This post will examine the naturalization process in more detail.

The Order Book for the Autumn Term of 1858, lists men completing their naturalization process on October 11, 1858. The list misspells Joseph’s name the same way on the certificate in the family record collection.

Naturalization registration with the Franklin County Superior Court
Autumn 1863 Term, date: October 11, 1858.  (1 of 2 pages)

Joseph Keizler appears as the second name of the above record and supports his national origin as Baden. His witness’s name looks like Adam Nortlick or Novttichi.

As I review the two-page document regarding naturalization, the Genealogy Tip of the Day for 4 April 2013 is “Who Else Did That Day?” rings in my head. Who else was naturalized from Baden the same days as Joseph?

The name right after Joseph’s was Ferdinand Reichardt and his witness is Jacob Fearbach. Given their names are so close on the document, would that be a clue that plays out in real life?

John Schlegel is another person from Baden on this first page. His witness is Peter Bauer. Could he be another relative or someone from Joseph’s social circle?

2nd Naturalization registration Franklin County Ohio 1863
Naturalization registration with the Franklin County Superior Court
Autumn 1863 Term, date: October 11, 1858.  (2 of 2 pages)

On the next page, six more men from Baden are listed as taking their oath of allegiance and becoming naturalized citizens. I am having trouble reading the handwriting, but these are my best guesses at what I read. (Please click on the image to enlarge it and let me know if you can read the names better).

  • John Hoffman, witness – Herny Schreines (sp?)
  • John Werner, witness- Thos O’Harra
  • George Hiddebrand (sp?) – witness John Schultz
  • Gabe Fran (sp?) – wintess John Fearbach
  • Jacob Farbach, witness Jacob Haning
  • Anthony Hellendan, witness – Nicholas Sisel (sp?)

The Fearbach/Farbach name appears twice as a witness and once as a naturalization recipient. It is believed that the witness and the person seeking naturalization are not the same people, despite having the same name, as a witness was supposed to be a citizen of the country to act in this fashion. This name isn’t directly connected to Joseph Keizler, but perhaps there is a connection.

Looks like I’m headed back to the 1860 Census document to see if I could find any information about these immigrants and their witnesses. It’ll be difficult because I only know their name and place of origin. I know they appeared in the Franklin County court in 1858, but this doesn’t mean they’ll appear in the same county in the 1860 census two years later. Does anyone have any best practices for attempting to search names from this type of document?

Additionally, I need to attempt to find the Declarations of Intention which would precede the Naturalization granting on 11 October 1858. I have found a few such documents for other immigrant relatives but not for Joseph.

The next post will attempt to seek out the names of the individuals listed on this document from Baden. Stay tuned.

Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee is passionate about capturing and preserving family stories so no one alive today has to be researched, or forgotten, tomorrow. She has authored 6 how-to books, a memoir, two published family history biographies, and over 60 family scrapbooks. She's an enthusiastic speaker who energizes, encourages, and educates at the same time.

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