Dear Myrtle (http://blog.dearmyrtle.com/2014/04/the-ragu-challenge-3-2-1-cite.html) issued a challenge designed to encourage genealogists to realize that "we are bigger than our genealogy programs." Instead of habitually plugging data into our programs, the challenge encourages us to use put the concepts we've been learning in Mastering Genealogical Proofs into practice. She calls it the Ragu Challenge: 3-2-1 Cite. Use 3 documents, write 2 paragraphs (at minimum), and tell about 1 event, citing our sources. Ragu because "it's in there." What follows is my attempt at this challenge.
I never met my grandfather, who died when my father was a child. Family lore says he was an orphan born in Brooklyn who lied about his age to join the Navy, and had an older sister, Helen Carman, who lived in California, now deceased. My research challenges some of those assumptions, but supports the basic facts and answers the research question, When and where was the birth of Albert H. Pastoor, who was living in Peekskill, New York, in 1940? Who were his parents?
Although more documents and paragraphs will be required to fully answer my research question, to meet this challenge, I've decided to use the following three documents:
1. The U.S. Navy personnel records for Albert Herman Pastoor;
Compiled service record, Albert H. Pastoor personnel file, service no. 1521327, (discharged 1921); Official Military Personnel Files, World War I; Enlisted Personnel, 1885 - 1951, United States Navy; National Personnel Records Center, St. Louis; photocopies supplied by Center without citation. Above photo, from the service record, is the affidavit of Mrs. Helen Pastoor Carman, sister to Albert Herman Pastoor.
2. The marriage certificate of Albert Pastoor and Margaret Westerman;
New York Borough of Brooklyn, New York City Department of Health, marriage certificate 15863 (1920), Pastoor-Westerman; Municipal Archives, New York City.
3. The birth certificate of Andrew Pastor;
Borough of Brooklyn, New York, birth certificate no. 1312 (1898), Andrew Pastor [Albert Pastoor]; Municipal Archives, New York City.
All three documents are original records. The Navy personnel records contain Albert's original enlistment papers of 7 Jun 1915. His sister, Mrs. Helen Pastoor Carman, signed an affadavit stating she was his sister and guardian and that Albert H. Pastoor was born 30 Jan 1898 in Brooklyn, New York. Elsewhere in the document, the names of his parents were listed as unknown. Although the information here is primary, meaning it is eyewitness information, I use it guardedly; Helen was older and likely present at her brother's birth, but she would have been very young and her information would therefore be questionable. However, the fact that it is a notarized affidavit, sworn to before the United States Navy officer performing the oath, gives it a bit more weight. This document provides direct evidence of the birth of Albert Pastoor.
The second document, the marriage license and certificate, is dated 17 Nov 1920. Albert H. Pastoor and Margaret Westerman were married in Borough Hall in Brooklyn by the deputy city clerk. Although the clerk officiated the ceremony, Albert is likely the informant, making the marriage information primary; but his birth information is secondary since he couldn't have been an eyewitness at his own birth. However, the information agrees with that on the Navy records. This document also names his parents as Albert [the surname Pastoor is implied] and Anna Kolb. His sister, Mrs. Helen Carman, is a witness to the marriage. This document provides direct evidence of the birth of Albert Pastoor.
The third document, the birth record, at first glance appears to be unrelated because of the different given name of Andrew instead of Albert. However, Andrew "Pastor" is the third child born to Anna Kolb on 30 Jan 1898 in Brooklyn, NY. Albert "Pastor" is named as the father. The date and location of birth, as well as the names and ages of the parents agrees with that given on the marriage license. The physician who attended the birth signed the certificate as the informant, presumably with information given to him by the mother and/or the father, making it eyewitness information or primary information about the birth.
There is an obvious conflict with the given name of this child. Further research (beyond the scope of this challenge) has revealed that the parents, Albert "Passtoor" and Anna Kolb, had a daughter who was born and died in childhood. She was born before Helen, which is in agreement for Albert (aka Andrew) as the third child named on the birth certificate. The 1900 census information (see below) for the Albert Pastor household, living at the same address as that of the 1898 birth record, is also in agreement concerning the name and date of birth of Albert (son), the names of his parents, and the number of childen born to the mother. No other candidate for Andrew Pastor has been found. This birth record provides direct evidence of the birth of Albert Pastoor, aka Andrew Pastor. (The conflict in the 1900 census of the given name for Helen as Engalena has been resolved and is for another challenge.)
All documents are in agreement with the birth date and location of Albert Pastoor. Although his enlistment papers state that the parents are unknown, the other two documents naming the parents are in agreement. It may be that in the enlistment papers, Albert and Helen omitted the names of their parents for personal reasons. Reseach has revealed that their mother had died six months before Albert joined the Navy, and their father had died four years earlier in an institution, under what would be considered shameful circumstances at the time. They likely did not want to reveal such personal information so soon. Since they obviously knew the names of their parents (as shown on the 1920 marriage certificate), it calls into question the reliability of the Navy affadavit despite the agreement of its information.
The conflict regarding Albert's given name is more of a mystery. It is possible that the name was recorded incorrectly on the birth record because of a misunderstanding (German was their native language) or it is just as likely that they decided to call him after his father and neglected to change the name on the birth record. I think the fact that my grandfather used the same given name as the father named on the birth record and marriage record lends credibility to the idea that he was named after his father.