31 March 2006

Update on HB 1357

Today (Friday , 31 March 2006) the Colorado Senate passed HB 1357 after adding two amendments. The first amendment (L.003) opens marriage applications after 50 years. This was a compromise which we proposed at the committee meeting last week. The second amendment (L.004), which was proposed by Private Investigators, could also benefit genealogists. The amendment allows anyone to apply to the district court, which may at its discretion and with good cause order that the marriage application be inspected. In effect, this provision affects those records less than 50 years from the date of the marriage application.

The amended bill still needs to pass the House and then it will go to the Governor for his signature.

This is a success compared to what the public would have had as the bill was originally proposed – no access at all. Our success was a direct result of the letters and calls from the Colorado genealogical community to their Senators.

Without amendment L.003, all Colorado marriage applications would be closed forever. With the amendment, marriage applications before 1956 are open records.

You can follow the progress of HB 1357 at Colorado General Assembly.

24 March 2006

HB 1357 will close marriage applications in Colorado

On Wednesday, 22 March 2006, the Colorado Senate Judiciary Committee passed HB 1357 and sent it to the Senate for vote. This bill will close access to the marriage applications in Colorado. We do not know when the HB 1357 will come up for a vote but think that it may happen very soon.

The Colorado genealogical community needs to act NOW! I encourage everyone to take the following steps:

1. Call your senator and ask that he or she vote NO on HB 1357 (contact information provided below).
2. Write your senator and ask he or she to vote NO on HB 1357 (email preferred but postal okay).
3. Call Senator Jim Isgar, HB 1357 sponsor, at (303) 866-4884.
4. Write Senator Jim Isgar at isgarsenate@frontier.net.

Inform all Coloradans about HB 1357 and encourage them to help in defeating this bill by contacting their senator. We will all be affected by this bill.

As you know, the information of genealogical value contained on the marriage application and not included on the marriage license is: names of parents for bride and groom, date of birth, marital status, last name if different at birth. If marriage applications are closed, we will loose access to this vital genealogical information.

Using your own words, ask your senator to vote “NO” on HB 1357 and include the following points:
-your name, address, and your district number to identify you as their constituent
-express your concern regarding HB 1357
-recognize that HB 1357 seeks to limit access to marriage applications in order to protect citizens from identity theft
-as genealogists, we are concerned that this bill would limit access to family history information for genealogical purposes
-support legislation that would keep records open

—————beginning of example—————————————————————

Dear Senator [insert name],
I am a concerned citizen residing in the [insert #] district. This letter requests that you vote “NO” on HB 1357 which would close marriage applications in Colorado. While I commend the efforts of our elected officials in their efforts to prevent identity theft, restricting access to these records is not the solution.

HB 1357 would have a negative impact on records access in our state. This bill would prevent all genealogists access to the records that are vitally important to tracing our family history.

I request that you vote “NO” on HB 1357.

Respectfully,

[name]
[address]
[email]

———-end of example————————————————————————–

Contact Information:

To find the name and contact information of your senator, go to the Colorado General Assembly web site and click “Senators”

Send postal mail to [Senators name], 200 E. Colfax, Denver, CO 80203

Contact information for the sponsor, Senator Jim Isgar: (303) 866-4884, 200 E. Colfax, Denver, CO 80203, isgarsenate@frontier.net

Below is additional information with the text and summary of the bill.

Text of the bill:
SECTION 24-72-204 (3) (a), Colorado Revised Statutes, is amended BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SUBPARAGRAPH to read:
24-72-204. Allowance or denial of inspection – grounds – procedure – appeal. (3) (a) The custodian shall deny the right of inspection of the following records, unless otherwise provided by law; except that any of the following records, other than letters of reference concerning employment, licensing, or issuance of permits, shall be available to the person in interest under this subsection (3):
(XIX) Applications for a marriage license submitted pursuant to section 14-2-106, C.R.S. A person in interest under this subparagraph (XIX) includes an immediate family member of either party to the marriage application. As used in this subparagraph (XIX), “immediate family member” means a person who is related by blood, marriage, or adoption. Nothing in this subparagraph (XIX) shall be construed to prohibit the inspection of marriage licenses or marriage certificates or to otherwise change the status of those licenses or certificates as public records.
SECTION Safety clause. The general assembly hereby finds, determines, and declares that this act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety.

Summary of bill:
Prohibits a custodian of records from allowing a person, other than the person in interest or an immediate family member of the person in interest, to inspect the application for a marriage license of any person.

20 March 2006

Old Colorado newspapers in Ayer’s directories

Recently the Library of Congress made available digital copies of newspaper directories published by George P. Rowell & Co., and N. W. Ayer and Sons.

In the 1869 directory, Colorado is shown to have eleven newspapers, with the Rocky Mountain Herald claiming the largest circulation – 5,000 weekly. The Rocky Mountain News claimed 500 daily and 1,500 weekly subscribers. By 1881 there were over a hundred newspapers; in the early 1900s there were over 400. Then in 1916 the number started going down.

The directories give different information for different years. There is often a summary for the each state; for instance, the 1888 directory gives the number of Democrat, Republican, Greenback, and Prohibitionist voters, as well as a description of the population, geography, manufacturing and agricultural products (p. 605). Each county also has a brief description, as well as each newspaper. That year the Pioneer Press was listed as being published in Akron, Washington County, beginning in 1886. It was 24 by 35 inches, and four pages long. It was edited by D. W. Irwin, and a subscription cost $2.00 (p. 45).

The following table shows the directories available, and provides a link to the first page of Colorado’s listing for each year:

Year/Publisher City listing County listing # Newspapers
1869 (Rowell) p. 116   11
1872 (Rowell) p. 189   19
1874 (Rowell) p. 211   44
1875 (Rowell) p. 230   42
1877 (Rowell) p. 27   44
1880 (Ayer) p. 242 p. 394 81
1881 (Ayer) p. 273 p. 536 106
1882 (Ayer) p. 279 p. 556 128
1883 (Ayer) p. 295 p. 579 148
1884 (Ayer) p. 310 p. 637 (missing) 151
1885 (Ayer) p. 321 p. 652 146
1886 (Ayer) p. 335 p. 674 162
1888 (Ayer) p. 45 p. 605 236
1889 (Ayer) (not yet posted)    
1890 (Ayer) p. 66 (missing) p. 845 281
1893-1894 (Ayer) p. 64 p. 911 312
1897 (Ayer) p. ___ (missing) p. 957 ___
1898 (Ayer) p. 69 p. 963 314
1900 (Ayer) p. 73 p. 999 336
1901 (Ayer) p. 75 p. 1017 349
1902 (Ayer) p. 75 p. 1029 358
1903 (Ayer) p. 77 p. 1041 367
1904 (Ayer) p. 76 p. 1039 379
1905 (Ayer) p. 77   372
1906 (Ayer) p. 82   360
1907 (Ayer) p. 81   363
1908 (Ayer) p. 80   364
1909 (Ayer) p. 82   377
1910 (Ayer) p. 84   402
1911 (Ayer) p. 99   411
1912 (Ayer) (not yet posted)    
1913 (Ayer) p. 94   417
1916 (Ayer) p. 100   398
1919 (Ayer) p. 109   383

10 March 2006

Coloradoan Dennis Weaver dies

Actor Dennis Weaver recently died at his home in Ridgway, Ouray County, Colorado (24 February 2006).

According to Weaver’s filmography and biography pages at the Internet Movie Database, he was born 4 June 1924 in Joplin, Missouri.[1] He appeared in the 1930 census as 5-year old “Billy” Weaver (indexed as “Weaner” by Ancestry.com), living with his parents Walter and Lenna Weaver, and two siblings.[2] His first film was “Horizons West” in 1952; one of his best-known roles was Chester on “Gunsmoke” from 1955 to 1964.[1] He moved to Colorado in 1989.[3] The Ouray County Clerk and Recorder’s database shows several deeds where he still used the name “Billy” (example).


[1] Dennis Weaver (I) filmography page and biography page, Internet Movie Database, <www.imdb.com/name/nm0915840/>, and <www.imdb.com/name/nm0915840/bio>.
[2] 1900 U.S. census, Jasper County, Missouri, Joplin precinct, E.D. 49-5, sheet 11B (71 back), dwelling 271, family 288 (Walter L. Weaver); National Archives microfilm T626, roll 1205.
[3] Dennis Weaver Website, Internet <www.dennisweaver.com>.
[4] Internet <ouraycountyco.gov/recording/oncoreweb/>. Currently the database only indexes documents dated 1995 and later.

9 March 2006

Pueblo County land records published

Arphax Publishing recently released Family Maps of Pueblo County, Colorado. This publication is one in a series of books by Gregory Boyd that uses “first owner” land records (patents) and maps them county by county.

The book has 548 pages and 72 land patent maps, one for each of the congressional townships. Each township map has the name of each patentee and the year the patent was issued. Mr. Boyd obtained the information for the maps from the BLM database indexes.

The book can be purchased through the Arphax website. There is a surname index for the book on the website that can be checked before purchasing.

Another Colorado county published as part of this series was Family Maps of Crowley County, Colorado.