The last blog recounted our research at the Edward C. Papenfuse Maryland State Archives in Annapolis, Maryland. It was there, in the microfilm records of the Baltimore County Court’s marriage licenses that we first encountered the name of the “Minister- Ansell,” who two days subsequent to the issue of the marriage license officiated at the wedding that the Golombek Ketubah documents.
We also pointed out that the July 14, 1845 license No. 273 was granted to Wolf Solden and Teressa Habal. This revealed the bride’s English name and clarified the groom’s last name to begin with the letter “S,” rather than a “G”
as initially interpreted on the Golombek Ketubah.
Another very important issue however is raised by these few entries. The spelling of the groom’s name Solden on the marriage license differs from the last name he personally inscribed on his own ketubah. The Golombek Ketubah records the spelling of the groom’s name as Soldin, spelled with the letter “i” rather than with the letter, “e.”
This is a graphic example of how an individual’s name could move from its original spelling in the person’s native language to a different anglicized spelling, and even to a complete name change. Because of these spelling and translation anomalies it is often difficult to ascertain whether or not a researcher is tracking the same individual in the historical records.
The marriage license entry for the name of the Minister,”Ansell,” opened an opportunity to explore and clarify the role, if any, that this individual played within the hierarchy of the historic Lloyd Street Synagogue.
The Madison Avenue Temple
Photo by D.R. Stiltz & Co. photographers.
Courtesy of the Ross J. Kelbaugh Collection.
In the November 1845 issue of the Occident, Leeser describes in great detail those dedicatory events under the title of “Consecration of a Synagogue at Baltimore.”
From this we learn that the marriage license Minister, Ansell,” functions as Baltimore Hebrew Congregation’s Hazon or Cantor. This is also confirmed on page 33 of Rabbi Guttmacher’s book, History of the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, where we also learn that Cantor Ansell first name began with the initial “A.”
I want to thank my colleague, Deb Weiner, JMM Research Historian and Family History Coordinator, for bringing the website for the Occident to my attention.