And then we go round in circles

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As I have mentioned I have been sending off for naturalization and death certificate papers. Yesterday the mailman delivered a response to one of those papers. The request was for Louis Siffrinn’s naturalization papers. At least my assumption is that his name was Louis. He would have been in the United States at some point about 1882 and naturalized, according to his son about 1884.


The family lived in Kane, Pennsylvania, which is in McKean County and I had asked at the courthouse when I was there over my vacation if there were naturalization papers there. They had told me no, but to check in Potter and Elk county for the records. The Kane area was closer to the county seats in those areas, they may have gone there. When I stopped at the historical society they strongly suggested it may be Elk County for physical reasons. It seems that in the late 1800’s there was a train that went from Kane to Ridgeway, where the Elk County seat is and it would have been easier to get to than to have traveled to Potter County.


I sent information off to the Elk County Prothonotary’s office requesting information on Louis and letting them know that I still wasn’t positive of the first name. I told them the papers should be for the years following 1882. The mail brought me back an answer, just not what I was expecting. The prothonotary had included a note telling me that they had searched multiple locations and the only Siffrinn they located was William, many years earlier than the 1882 date. They suggested I try McKean County.


It seems there was a William Siffrinn living in the area in 1847. His naturalization papers were far from the promised gold mine. It doesn’t mention more than the place of his birth, Prussia, and the fact that he had lived in the United States for more than 5 years and at least one of those years in Pennsylvania. It gave his age in 1847 as 40, but did not include his birth date, just the year of 1805, the ship he came over on. The year of his arrival was cut off on the copy, best guess is 1820 something.  The papers were filed September 8, 1845. He had a friend Herman Koch or Cook that stood up for him, validating his good character and length of stay.


I went back to ancestry to see if I could find any more information. A Siffrinn of 40+ years of age didn’t seem to exist in the 1850 Census in Pennsylvania at all. I did find a Herman Koch in that area who was about the same age as William.


My last chance is for Potter County for naturalization records. The NARA may hold information on Peter Louis Siffrinn, the son for World War I that may include parent’s names. I am beginning to think the naturalization year is a false one.




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