Joseph Geisler: Albert Noethlich is Likely Witness

Albert Noethlich of Franklin County Ohio

In the previous post, I asked the question is Adam really Albert on Joseph Geisler's naturalization documents?

Adam Notlick is what the name of the witness for Joseph Keizler (Joseph Geißler) appears to be, but in City Directories and the 1860 Census, the name Albert Noetlick can be readily found.

Albert Noethlick is a German immigrant, which means he could speak the language of my ancestor and would do well to be a witness on his behalf. I also noticed that Albert's father-in-law's name is Adam, so it's possible that if Albert doesn't have a second name (Albert Adam or Adam Albert) then perhaps the Adam of his father-in-law was inadvertently recorded.

Joseph Keizler naturalization October 1858 Franklin County Ohio
Naturalization registration with the Franklin County Superior Court
Autumn 1863 Term, date: October 11, 1858


Another possibility was that with Albert leaving Germany following the turbulent 1848 revolutions, it's entirely possible he was leery of giving all of his information to another government. However, this would have been the only time he did so, which makes this theory shaky.

But, given that Albert Noethlick was a grocer and a book dealer gives more plausibility to the association with Joseph.  As a merchant, Albert may have received Joseph's patronage as he spoken they spoke the same language. With the role of grocery, Albert may have served as a witness for other Germans immigrating to central Ohio. So, Albert may not have been a relative, but he would likely become very familiar with Germans who purchased items in his grocery store.

I wasn't sure which of these theories made the most sense, so I returned to the Google+ community to discuss the matter.

Rob Boudreau  once again joined the discussion:
"Chances are the choice of Albert for witness was simply because [Joseph] knew him. [Albert] was their local grocer and a businessman, plus he could speak their language. 
Joseph may have felt that being Albert was a local businessman, his being a witness would carry more weight. I see this often in Irish and other emigrant records I've researched. The witness may be from the same county or area, but most often was chosen because they were "from the old country" and already established, already known in the new community. 
As for the Adam vs. Albert, it could also have been that Albert, when asked his name, said something like "Mr. A. Noctlick" and the clerk assumed the "A" meant Adam. Or the clerk recognized him, but only knew him as the man who had the store with "A. Noctlick, Prop." on the sign and assumed it meant Adam. 
Much more likely though is both Adam [Kratz] and his son-in-law Albert [Noethlich] were witnesses. The document appears to be a register of court proceedings, and looks like the clerk was rushing to get it done. The handwriting is hurried. He may simply have confused the names in a rush to go home. I would put more weight on the probability of clerical error than Albert lying about his name. He was a local merchant, it just doesn't make sense for him to lie about it."
The question remains, is Albert Noethlich the same as the witness named Adam Nortlick on my ancestors' naturalization court proceedings?  My gut tells me that it is.

For now, I'm going to work this angle to see where it leads. If something doesn't sync, then I can come back and start again. However, the grocer/witness / clerical error angle makes the most logical and simple sense. Isn't that what we're always telling budding genealogist. The simplest answer is usually the better one?

Further research on Joseph Geißler:
Can You Help Find the David Kinnaird Diary?
Surname Saturday: Gesizler Family
Examining Naturalization Dockets

Naturalization Page Neighbors
Is Adam Really Albert on Naturalization?

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