Monday, June 28, 2010

Amanuensis Monday: WWI Veteran Wants New Name

(Amanuensis Monday is a popular meme meant to help get you transcribing family memorabilia for future generations.  It originates over at the great TransylvanianDutch blog.)

I've recently been writing a bit on the von Schmidts, starting with my find of George Washington von Schmidt's period under the care of the Boys and Girls Aid Society as a half-orphan (his mother had died, his father was in an asylum). 

I had read that George died in 1918 but I recently found an article which throws that into question:

From the Oakland Tribune, 18 March 1924

"World War Veteran Wants New Name

George Washington von Schmidt, who says he was born in Fresno July 10, 1896 and served with the United States Marines during the World War, receiving an honorable discharge September 30, 1921, has petitioned the superior court to change his name to George Washburn Smith.  He says he was married under this assumed name on February 24, 1922."

A quick search of the CA Death Index, 1940-1997 revealed that George did indeed change his name to George Washburn Smith.  He died in Santa Cruz on 20 Nov 1980.

I wanted to know what happened to George's brother and father, who were both committed (see the previous articles on the von Schmidts).  I believe they both spent the rest of their lives in an asylum, Alfred Sr., in the Mendocino State Hospital in Talmadge (near Ukiah) and Alfred Jr. at the Sonoma State Home in Glen Ellen.  Alfred Jr. died 25 June 1943, I don't know when his father died (it was between 1930 and 1940).

1 comment:

  1. Alfred died on 6/25/1936 in Ukiah. You can probably get a copy of the death certificate from the county.

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