My 2019 General Election Ballot and Why

Here’s how I filled out my ballot and why:

Referendum 88

Back in 1998, Tim Eyman and Ward Connerly ran an initiative, I-200, that banned affirmative action programs. It passed at the ballot box. You may know Tim Eyman’s name as a purveyor of populist but awful initiatives. Ward Connerly did the same in California. So what happens when we ban affirmative action? We get a lot of white guys. The thing is, even when we think we’re judging people on their merits, we have so many conscious and unconscious biases that we still pick white guys. That will change eventually when we have a better cultural base, but it hasn’t happened yet. So we get higher percentages of white guys in whatever we do.

So last year, a group of citizens put together an initiative to the legislature, I-1000. It essentially would overturn I-200. The legislature, seeing the effects of I-200, chose to enact it into law rather than put it on the ballot. And then a bunch of people collected enough signatures to force it to the ballot anyway. Thus we have referendum 88.

An “Approved” vote means you want Washington to allow affirmative action to counter conscious and unconscious bias. That’s what I voted.

Initiative 976

This is another Tim Eyman measure that would cut car tabs. Car tabs are a relatively regressive way to tax. We really need an income tax. However, car tabs are what we got until we are wise enough to have an income tax. And it’s how we fund a lot of road maintenance and improvements in a lot of the state, and transit improvements in our bigger cities. Without car tab fees, that goes away. We’ll have more bridges collapsing because of deferred maintenance. We’ll pull Metro buses off the busiest routes and put those riders back in cars, making traffic worse. And frankly, we need to get the fuck out of our cars soon anyway. This climate change that we all think Trump is a fuckface for ignoring? That’s caused primarily by two things: coal fired power plants and petroleum powered transportation. Seattle has very little of the former. We need to be out of cars by 2050 at the very latest. Car tab fees work as a good disincentive to using cars on one end of the problem, and fund public transportation on the other.

So fuck chair-stealing, money-thieving Tim Eyman. Fuck him right in the ear.

I voted Hell No.

Advisory Votes

As these are all advisory, they don’t really matter. I voted Maintained on every damn one of them.

Senate Joint Resolution 8200

The state government has plans for “continuity of government” in the case of a foreign attack that happens within the state of Washington. If the Russians attack Olympia, it wouldn’t be very practical to pass a law that moves the state capitol to Spokane temporarily. So we have a law that allows the governor to move the capitol in that case. The list of things that the state constitution allows for suspending normal rules in the case of foreign attack are: the seat of government; membership and quorum of the Legislature, and passage of bills; vacancies in state and county offices; and state records.

SJR 8200 adds “catastrophic incident” to “foreign attack” as an additional situation where continuity of government can happen under emergency powers. Major tsunami. Airliner crashing into the capitol building. 7.4 earthquake and no Dwayne Johnson.

I voted Approved.

King County Proposition 1

I like Medic 1 ambulances.

I voted yes.

King County Director of Elections

Julie Wise is the current director of what should be a technical, appointed office rather than elected. We were dumb enough to make this elected a few years ago. Mark Greene is a perennial candidate and is a joke. He’s illustrated his campaign web site with anime-style drawings of young women.

I voted Julie Wise.

King County Countil District 2

Both Larry Gossett and Girmay Zahilay are great people. Larry Gossett was a founder of Seattle’ Black Panther Party in the 60s, but has been on the King County Council since being elected in 1993. He’s smart, pro-social justice, pro-green new deal, and a whole lot more. However, in the few appearances I’ve seen him at tis year, he has been rambly and unfocused. Girmay Zahilay is youngish, a son of Ethopian immigrants, and grew up in South Seattle public housing. He and Larry Gossett agree on a lot. However, Zahilay will probably prioritize income inequality and young people more than Larry Gossett will. He has the fire.

I voted Girmay Zahilay. But I really like Larry Gossett too.

Port of Seattle Commissioner No. 2

I don’t have strong feelings about either candidate, Sam Cho and Grant Degginger. Cho speaks about increasing minority opportunities and has an export business. Degginger is the former mayor of Bellevue and is backed by airlines and the Seattle Times. Most Port Commissioner races are dominated by bland statements about economic growth, improving the environment, and improving the traveling experience at Seatac Airport. However, Sam Cho says the Port of Seattle needs to be active in reducing homelessness because it is a huge landowner and controls the working conditions for a large number of people. That’s a bit different. Degginger may be fine, but having the backing of airlines, an industry that tries to find 100 little ways to extract profit from its customers, is not a huge plus in my view.

I voted Sam Cho.

Port of Seattle Commissioner No. 5

Fred Felleman is a former marine biologist. Since being elected, he’s pushed environmental changes at the Port, and is a supporter of workers. He sat next to me at a couple of meetings and we’ve briefly chatted. My impression from that is he is also a hell of a nice guy and thoughtful to boot. I haven’t even bothered to look of Garth Jacobson, his general election opponent.

I voted Fred Felleman.

Seattle City Council District 4

Shaun Scott is not the person who I voted for in the primary, but he is far and away better than Alex Pedersen, and he’s grown on me since the primary. Pedersen is a real estate banker and former legislative aide to a few politicians, most recently CM and temporary mayor Tim Burgess. Pedersen is running essentially because he hated Rob Johnson, the former District 4 CM. Pedersen had a “neighborhood blog” where he railed against Johnson on both his personal style and his political positions. I like Rob Johnson. So that’s strike 1 against Pedersen.

Pedersen opposes transit projects (both ST3 and Move Seattle). He opposes bike lanes. As noted above, we have to get out of our cars by 2050 at the latest. And lots of cities are showing that pedestrian, transit and bike infrastructure makes for vibrant cities. Have you been to Copenhagen or Amsterdam? Or Stockholm? Bikes and buses and trains everywhere. It’s safe to walk. Seattle is currently reversing a downward trend in serious pedestrian involved crashes, with more people seriously injured in the first half of 2019 than in all of 2018. And if I thought, well, it can’t work in the US, New York just turned 14th Street into a busway a month ago and the results have been amazing. Remaining streets aren’t more congested, and the buses that run along 14th actually move now. Scott supports this sort of thing. Pedersen opposes it. Instead Pedersen thinks we just need to slowly start using more electric cars. I’m not opposed to electric cars, but we’re going to need a whole lot more than that. Strike 2 against Pedersen.

The biggest issue in most of the council races in terms of vitriol and media coverage is housing and homelessness. The simple calculation is that we have more people who want to live and work in Seattle than we have homes. This demand drives up housing prices and causes people to look to the burbs. We don’t have a lot of undeveloped land where we can put detached homes. We need to put more homes on the same amount of land. That means more multi-family housing. It means infill housing, which is things like small apartments, duplexes, triplexes, rowhouses and townhouses. We currently ban that sort of housing from 66% of Seattle land. We’ve blocked housing so much that a lot of census tracts in Seattle have actually seen a decrease in population since the 70s. Aging parents, smaller families, and prices high enough that only the very rich can afford detached family homes have mean that we are losing people in a lot of Seattle. Our population is growing, but it’s being crammed into our urban villages. It makes the urban villages great places to live, but it’s not enough. Paris, a city not known for skyscrapers, fits several million people in a space the size of north Seattle. Infill development means we can become like Paris. Scott supports scrapping the infill development ban. Pedersen supports preserving aging detached single family homes for rich people. Scott also wants to see the city invest in a lot more public housing. Politically, I don’t think we’re at a place where that can be the primary housing policy solution, but I think we need to be pushing that a lot more than we have been. Strike 3 for Pedersen and a huge plus for Scott.

And the last policy consideration is revenue. If you remember, last year the city passed and then quickly repealed a head/payroll tax that would have pulled money from some of our largest businesses. Kshama Sawant characterized it as “Tax Amazon” which I think was a mistake since the people who want to punish Amazon are a distinct (though vocal) minority in Seattle. We need more revenue to pay for transit and housing. We need to make it as progressive as we can within the limitations the state puts on us. It’s going to mean something that impacts business and/or rich people. Amazon, Tim Burgess, and the Seattle Chamber of Commerce are investing heavily in Pedersen to keep that from happening. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in “independent expenditures”. It’s a smart move on their part but I want to see us expand helping the poor and not rich. Scott will take from the rich and give to the poor. Pedersen will take from the poor and give to the rich. Strike 4 against Pedersen.

And in terms of their personal ethics, I have to side strongly in favor of Shaun Scott. Exhibit 1 is that at a candidate forum last month he made a flippant comment about bus routes changing in 1998 because someone drove a bus off the Aurora Bridge. In reality, someone boarded the bus, shot the driver, and it went off the side of the bridge killing several people and injuring a lot of others. I’d just moved back to Seattle at the time and remember this incident as a sad and scary time for bus riders. So I wrote that on Twitter and tagged Shaun Scott. No outrage. Just a reminder that this was a murder. I saw someone else write similar without tagging him but with a lot of personal venom, and I wanted to give Scott an opening that wasn’t coming from a place of personal venom. Here’s how Scott responded: He apologized. In a heartfelt way. I wrote my tweet in the late evening. Scott didn’t just give a small apology and move on. He waited until the next day when more eyes were looking at it and posted then. He’s a decent person who listens to others. Additionally, as I’ve attended and given public comment at city council over the last year, Shaun Scott has been in the audience listening. He’s showed up to Fridays for Future events just to support the students demonstrating. He’s been tirelessly appearing at candidate events, even ones that don’t have many people (I chatted with him at a Welcoming Wallingford picnic where there might have been 25-30 attendees total) or where people are actively hostile to him (e.g., he appeared at a SPOG/Safe Seattle candidate event to say he thinks the current SPOG contract sucks on accountability, which it does). Alex Pederson doesn’t show up if the forum doesn’t seem conducive. He’s skipped transit oriented candidate events. He’s skipped housing related events. Hasn’t even had someone go in his place. When he canvasses a house, if the person says they are pro-transit, then he walks away telling them that he’s not the candidate for them. Pedersen isn’t an asshole, nor is he a Safe Seattle ship the homeless to an island where they can’t get off type, but he is relying on playing to his homeowner base and Chamber of Commerce funded mailers. Scott is doing this with much more grassroots interaction.

I voted Scott.

Seattle School District Position No. 1

I didn’t know enough to feel comfortable voting for either.

Seattle School District Position No. 3

My knowledge of the two candidates is primarily limited to seeing them at the 43rd Democrats endorsement meeting in June. The candidates only had a couple of minutes to pitch, but Muñiz had a focus on racial equity that impressed me.

I voted Muñiz.

Seattle School District Position No. 6

I didn’t know enough to feel comfortable voting for either.

Endorsing Melissa Hall for Seattle City Council

Testing… is this blog on? Oh yes!

There are a lot of candidates in the city council district 6 primary in August. Some are decent, one or two are awful, and one is outstanding. But she doesn’t get a lot of press, and I really want her to get more attention.

If you live in district 6, you should vote for and support Melissa Hall.

She is a pro-housing land use nerd. We need more housing in Seattle. We need more affordable housing, and she supports funding that. Melissa supported allowing ADUs (i.e., mother-in-law basement apartments) without rules like requiring your actual mother-in-law to live there. Seattle’s zoning currently prevents building new triplexes or townhomes on over 65% of Seattle land. This means new building tends to be either McMansions or largish apartments. Melissa supports allowing more “missing middle” housing in Seattle. Seattle has grown about 22% in the last decade but we haven’t added 22% more housing stock. Her resume includes time as a land use attorney for the State of Florida. She will know how to get the details right.

We need transportation infrastructure that is not car-centric, and we need it fast because we have about 2 decades before climate change is irreversible. 62% of Seattle’s carbon emissions come from transportation, and the total amount from transportation is increasing. Mayor Durkan has canceled and delayed a number of transit and bike-related improvements, and Melissa supports taking control, requiring transit and bicycle improvements without mayoral interference. She’s advocating using automated traffic enforcement fines on places like 3rd Avenue (which is a transit-only corridor) to pay for transit improvements.

One of the big reasons I support Melissa is her compassion. When she announced her candidacy, I asked her what changes she’d like to see in the city’s approach for people living on the streets. Obviously, we’d like to house everyone but even in the best case scenario that will take time. In the meantime, she told me:

“I want to be sure our policy doesn’t come from a place of dehumanization and it is made with people in this situation. I think that looks like more safe places to camp and park and getting rid of sweeps.”

Melissa understands that chasing unsheltered people from place to place with draconian sweeps is inhumane and won’t work.

Melissa moved to Seattle with her wife about four years ago because they viewed Seattle as a safer place for a couple like them to raise a family. She’s soft-spoken, so she’s not made for sound-bite, “if it bleeds it leads” local TV, but she’s amazingly smart, thoughtful, and listens to the people who aren’t heard.

Jens Christiansen’s Date of Death

Today I’ve been working on a collateral line, mostly trying to establish what happened to the father of an in-law, Emma Christiansen. In 1910, she appears in a family with Jens and Anna Christiansen as parents in Mason City, Iowa. But in 1920, her parents are Joseph and Anna Lytle. Anna remarried and was living with a second husband. Obviously, something happened to Jens between the 1910 and 1920 censuses.

Someone had helpfully uploaded to Ancestry an image of a page of inscriptions from a family Bible or similar. Here’s the inscription for Jens:

Inscription: Jens Marinus Christiansen Born 1873-1916
Jens Marinus Christiansen Born 1873-1916 (credit: Ancestry member odat12x12 )

Yet, I couldn’t find anything that corroborated that date. Looking on Find a Grave, there was a marker for a J.M. Christiansen in the Elmwood St. Joseph Cemetery in Mason City.

Grave marker with inscription: J. M. Christiansen June 16, 1873 July 4, 1914.
Marker for J. M. Christiansen (credit: GeneGraver on Find A Grave)

But I couldn’t find anything to corroborate that date either!

FamilySearch has an index record for a Jens Christiansan who died on 5 Jul 1915. Unfortunately, I can’t access the image from home and I don’t have the keys to sneak into a FamilySearch center (it’s Christmas Eve folks!), so I’ll have to look at that in a few days. However, I suspect that’s the correct date as I’ve found something to corroborate it.

On 6 Jul 1915, the Mason City Globe-Gazette published an obituary for a James M. Christiansen. Despite the misnaming, I know this is the correct person because later in the obituary the writer lists all his children, including Emma.

Newspaper clipping: Long Illness Comes To End. James M. Christianson Passes Away At Home At 322 North Jefferson After Long Suffering
Long Illness Comes To End. James M. Christianson Passes Away At Home At 322 North Jefferson After Long Suffering

Moral of the story, yet again: Do not take the first piece of evidence you find as proof, even if it seems solid as rock.

Identity of Mary Genevieve Parker

I’ve tried to determine the identity of the inaugural head of the independent Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mother General Mary Genevieve Parker, for several years. She appears in a photograph album assembled by my great grandparents on a trip they took to California from Wisconsin in the 1920s. Genevieve Parker’s death certificate listed her parents as James Parker and Ellen Nagel, my great grandmother’s uncle and aunt.

However, census records for James and Ellen Parker’s family from 1860 to 1880 do not list a Mary Genevieve Parker. The daughters in those censuses are Catherine, Mary, Ella, Frances and Theresa. Mary became Mrs. Thomas H. Lyons and died in 1915. Ella became Mrs. John H. Murphy and died in 1959. Theresa became Mrs. Frederick Donnelly and died in 1899. Frances became Mrs. Max von Beyer, but the last record I’d found for her until recently was in a Los Angeles city directory in 1909. It was possible she joined a convent and advanced rapidly. So while I suspected Mary Genevieve Parker was Catherine Parker, I couldn’t rule out Frances Parker.

However, two records recently came to light which helped me figure this out. One of them I’d had in my possession all along.

The first key was that FamilySearch recently added Los Angeles area death certificates to their “California, County Birth and Death Records” collection, and the index includes parents names. So a search for Ellen Nagel had Frances’ death certificate in the search results. She died in 1915 as Frances Parker Hilton, wife of Lewis Lorenzo Hilton. That allowed me to exclude her from consideration as Genevieve Parker, and also lead to me finding a whole host of other records about her: her 1900 US Census record (as Fannie Beyer), Max von Beyer’s death certificate from 1906, her marriage certificate to Lewis Lorenzo Hilton, and crucially her 1910 US census record.

The 1910 US census record was what put the final nail in the identity of Genevieve Parker as Catherine Parker. In 1910, Frances Beyer was enumerated as a teacher at a convent in San Luis Obispo. Several dozen names above hers as the head of the convent was listed Catherine Parker. I’ve had that record for years! assuming it was Genevieve Parker but without any evidence except a hunch. But somehow I’d never read down the complete list of names to see Frances Beyer near the bottom of the page. Her relationship to Genevieve Parker in that column? “Sister”.

1910 US Census page with Catherine Parker and Frances Beyer in San Luis Obispo, California
1910 US Census page with Catherine Parker and Frances Beyer

If only I’d read the entire page much earlier. In any case, it’s found now and I’ve identified all five daughters of James Parker and Ellen Nagle. Still left on my plate are what happened to 2 of the 4 sons and Ellen herself.

Seattle Police and ALPR

Last week I saw a post on Twitter from the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) announcing a series of meetings by SDOT, the Seattle Fire Department (SFD) and the Seattle Police Department (SPD) seeking public feedback on surveillance technologies already in use by the city agencies. In particular, they were to review the use of automatic license plate reader (ALPR) technology.

Interestingly, SPD did not promote these meetings on either their blog, SPD Blotter, or their Twitter feed. Also, all the meetings started right at 5 pm on weekdays. This is not the outreach of an agency that is really seeking public input. These are the actions of an agency that is going through the motions. The meeting I attended on 29 Oct 2018 had in attendance only three members of the public as well as a few other folks who perhaps were from the ACLU or other organizations. During the “small group discussion” only three of us participated.

The ALPR programs in use by SPD are PIPS (link) and Autovu (link). PIPS is used for automatic reading and storage of license plate data by the SPD Patrol division, as well as a few “boot vans” used by parking enforcement for “booting” vehicles that have 4 or more unpaid tickets. Autovu is used by their parking enforcement vehicles for “digital chalking”.

Briefly, PIPS cameras on patrol cars capture the license plate information, location, and time for as many cars as possible as the patrol cars drive around the city. A hot list is loaded into the system periodically, and if a license plate matches one on the hotlist, the officer is alerted and, after confirming with dispatch, may take action based on the match. All the data on licenses plates that have been read (the “read data”) are additionally “uploaded to a secure server” where trained officers may search for and retrieve data for up to 90 days after it has been captured. After 90 days, the data is to be deleted.

Autovu similarly records license plates, times, and locations. If, on a later drive by the same location, the vehicle is noted by the system to have exceeded the time limitations for parking, the parking enforcement officer is alerted and they may take action, such as ticketing the vehicle. The license plate data, other than what triggered a ticket, is discarded at the end of the day.

I had a number of concerns about the PIPS program, and after asking some questions at the meeting, they are intensified. I have submitted them to SPD for this review, but I wanted to write them out publicly as well. Some of my concerns about PIPS may also apply to Autovu, particularly those regarding the collection of the data, but because it does not retain read data I am less worried about that program. Keep in mind that while I am relatively savvy technically speaking, I am not a security professional nor have I studied ALPR systems in particular. That means that my worries may be somewhat uninformed. Nevertheless…


My first concern is that nowhere in the program description was there any description of their threat models. I asked SPD’s Director of Transparency and Privacy what threat modeling had been done with respect to the ALPR technology and programs, and she did not think any had been done. If an organization hasn’t modeled their threats, we have no idea if we’re protecting against the right things if we’re protecting anything at all. And given the tenor of the meeting, I suspect SPD isn’t protecting against anything at all. The department is focused about 99.8% on the benefits it gives them in chasing down crimes, particularly stolen cars.

Here’s where me not being a security professional is apparent. I do not know how to do any formal threat modeling. But I tried too look at various categories of possibly malevolent actors and review the program description for ways it might be misused. Some of these came from other people at the meeting.


SPD’s use of the system for its intended purposes

This is where the program is used by SPD for finding cars or investigating crimes but through bad policy the system infringes on the liberty of the people. In this category of concern, I asked the SPD representatives if the agency had used a racial equity toolkit (RET) to analyze the impact of the program on marginalized communities in Seattle. They had not yet. Looking at the process outlined in the description, most of the RET is completed after public feedback. Some of the first portions that they have indicated are affected are obviously wrong. For instance, to the question “Which of the following inclusion criteria apply to this technology?” they left unchecked the following:

  • The technology disparately impacts disadvantaged groups.
  • There is a high likelihood that personally identifiable information will be shared with non-City entities that will use the data for a purpose other than providing the City with a contractually agreed-upon service.
  • The technology raises reasonable concerns about impacts to civil liberty, freedom of speech or association, racial equity, or social justice.

To the first unchecked item, SPD simply doesn’t know because they haven’t studied the information. And they later state “An additional potential civil liberties concern is that the SPD would over-surveil vulnerable or historically targeted communities, deploying ALPR to diverse neighborhoods more often than to other areas of the City.”

Additionally, we give heightened protection to political speech. But deploying ALPR cars around protests, rallies, and other such “free speech activities” SPD has the possibility of criminal pretexts being used as fishing expeditions against opponents. SPD would have 90 days to fish through location data. These are just a couple of possibilities that I can think of off the top of my head. The technology obviously has reasonable concerns about impacts to freedom of speech.

Out of policy use by SPD officers

This is where SPD officers use the system for purposes outside what is allowed. Officers are required to undergo training and of course they are all sworn and background checked. The program administrator is supposed to approve all searches of stored read data, and the system automatically logs the officer, the terms searched for, the case number and the purpose for which the search is conducted. The SPD Inspector General (theoretically independent of SPD) can audit the system for misuse, as can the program administrator. When I asked SPD command staff how many instances of misuse of the system had been found during the 10 years the program has been in use, they answered “none to our knowledge”. It is unlikely in the extreme that not one officer has ever misused the system. Possibilities include officers tracking vehicles of girlfriends or rivals, locals that they want to keep tabs on, take bribes or favors to feed read hits to outside people, or simply get fed up with onerous requirements for logging and do things like re-use case numbers. An audit system that has uncovered no instances of misuse is either not recording the right information or is not being conducted thoroughly.

Out of policy use by other agencies

Agencies such as King County, the Washington State Patrol, the FBI or Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) do not have direct access to the system. However, they may submit requests for information to SPD which send them responsive data. Such requests and responses are memorialized, but it’s unclear how and whether that is part of the same audit trail. Additionally, SPD did not articulate how they vet such requests, particularly with respect to Seattle’s policy of non-cooperation on immigration enforcement. ICE may be making direct requests for ALPR read data with nominally within policy reasons (e.g., for customs investigations) that are really for deportation reasons. Or they may be routing such requests through other agencies. Or there may be no issue at all. We have no way of knowing. This concern was brought to my attention by another attendee at the meeting.

Misuse of the data by the public

According to SPD, ALPR read data is subject to public records requests. There is nothing to stop me from submitting a request every 90 days for a CD of all ALPR read data, circumventing any protection we have by SPD erasing the data they hold after 90 days. While there may be restrictions on the legal use of such data, once it leaves SPD hands, we’ve lost effective control of it.

Misuse of the data by the vendor

According to the staff present, no security review of the software has ever been performed to make sure the software does what it’s supposed to do by the vendor, Neology. The software is closed source as well. Are there backdoors for support? Are there security vulnerabilities that allow exfiltration of the data?

Misuse of the data by IT

The City of Seattle consolidated almost all IT within a central department. The technical staff are not sworn officers, though they are background checked. According to staff present, as well as some hints in the program description, ALPR read data is stored in a SQL system. Which suggests to me that the data is both unencrypted and can be reviewed outside of the audit system that is used by SPD personnel.


Most of my privacy concerns could be mitigated by a policy of discarding all read data when it does not match a hit list and/or much stronger audit processes. That would not eliminate all concerns however. Additionally, I have some other concerns that I am giving a lower priority and not including here because this is already long and some of them verge on movie-plot threat type of issues.

I hope SPD takes all of these concerns seriously.

Featured image “Street-level Surveillance” created by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and used under a Creative Commons Attribution license.

Ellen Neagle’s family

My third great uncle James B. Parker headed west to California from Wisconsin about 1860. I’ve tracked he and his wife in the census from San Joaquin Township near Sacramento in 1860, to San Buenaventura, Santa Barbara County in 1870, to Compton in 1880. James Parker died in 1895 in Lemon, near Los Angeles.

But at the time he died, his wife was named Harriet. His wife when he left Wisconsin was Ellen. So what happened to her? At this point, I don’t know.

In an effort to find out, today I researched her family. Often times, the obituaries for siblings will mention their family. Or a will will give the status of possible heirs. Or other researchers will have found information that I don’t have.

The Saint Patrick’s parish (Biddulph, Ontario) marriage record for Ellen Neagle gives her date of marriage to James Parker as 8 Jun 1857.

Portion of marriage register for James Parker and Ellen Neagle showing date of marriage as 8 Jun 1857
Saint Patrick’s Marriage register entry for Ellen Neagle

I found an 1851 Canada Census record that matched in nearby Usborne township, Huron County. There Ellen Neagle lived with her father John Neagle, and siblings James, Thomas, Catherine, Mary and John. From that, I was able to quickly find information to establish their marriages, entries in later Canadian censuses, and dates of death. My evidence would in no way be strong enough to satisfy the Genealogical Proof Standard, but I don’t need it to be. I just need clues from their obituaries, wills, other researchers, etc.

This is what I turned up:

Husband: First Names
John
Surname
Neagle
Born: abt 1798 Ireland
Married: unknown
Died: unknown
Wife: First Names
Catherine
Surname
Condon
Born: unknown
Died: unknown

Children:

Name Birth Death Spouse
James Nagle 8 Dec 1826
Ireland
25 Feb 1902
Perth, Ontario, Canada
Thomas Nagle 28 Mar 1828
Cork, Ireland
31 Jan 1905
Perth, Ontario, Canada
Catherine Nagle abt 1832
Ireland
2 Nov 1902
London, Middlesex, Ontario, Canada
Thomas Casey
Mary Nagle abt Sep 1834
Ireland
17 Nov 1918
London, Middlesex, Ontario, Canada
John Hagarty
Ellen Nagle abt 1836
Ireland
James Parker
John Nagle abt 1837
Ireland
12 Nov 1902
Perth, Ontario, Canada

Every single one of them died in Ontario, so I don’t have easy access to obituaries or wills. Additionally, every other public tree on Ancestry (as well as the ones I could find on the web) don’t include Ellen. No one else has a clue either.

The exercise isn’t worthless though. Perhaps someday I will have better access to Canadian records, or other families will post their information, or search for them and stumble cross this post. Over time, I get a fair number of people who contact me about what I post here. So hopefully that will continue with this, and I’ll get some clues as to what happened to Ellen.

The Sisters Solle

One of the things that I want to do with my family history research is tell the stories of my forgotten relatives. One such set of relatives are my first cousins twice removed: Clarabel, Marie, Catherine and Helen Solle.

The Solle sisters are the daughters of my second great uncle Frederick Henry Solle. Fred Solle was an oil and gasoline dealer in Springfield, Illinois and he died young. After his death, his wife Emma Neff Solle took her four daughters and moved to Los Angeles. Clarabel married Fred Adams, who died a few years after their nuptials and they never had children. Marie and Catherine never married and never had children, so far as my research has found. Helen married Floyd Chandler, had one child, and died shortly after that. They also had a brother who died in infancy before their father passed away. Seven people and only one descendant to remember them. For such families, I often wonder what happened to their personal effects, particularly their photos.

While researching this week, I came across photos of Catherine (a.k.a. Kay) and Helen from their time in a Los Angeles area women’s club, the Wilshire Juniors. They appeared four times in the Los Angeles Times in 1½ years. The final one appeared in November of 1937 and is the featured image at the top of this post.

Mrs. Maurice Miller, Miss Kay Solle, Mmes. Ralph Mather, Henry Graef, Clarence Hausser, Miss Helen Solle and Miss Dorothy Berry (in front)
Mrs. Maurice Miller, Miss Kay Solle, Mmes. Ralph Mather, Henry Graef, Clarence Hausser, Miss Helen Solle and Miss Dorothy Berry (in front), from the 28 Apr 1936 Los Angeles Times
Miss Helen Solle, Mrs. Ralph W. Mather, Miss Kay Solle, and Mrs. Henry A. Graef
Miss Helen Solle, Mrs. Ralph W. Mather, Miss Kay Solle, and Mrs. Henry A. Graef, from the 9 Jun 1936 Los Angeles Times
Mrs. Louis Miller, Misses Kay and Helen Solle
Mrs. Louis Miller, Misses Kay and Helen Solle, from the 26 Sep 1936 Los Angeles Times

Now I’ve gotten to tell a bit of the story of two relatives who didn’t have as much chance to pass on their stories as some.

Swedish billing screws up

This afternoon I got a call from Swedish hospital’s billing office saying that I hadn’t payed my bill for my CT scan in March. I am working from a coffee shop.

I couldn’t get First Tech CU’s bill pay system to show me my detailed bill payment history, but I could see that there was a payment to Swedish. He looked around and found that payment on another account, and said he would transfer it over to the correct one. The call ended.

Two minutes later, I figured out the trick to get the bill payment system to show detailed history. And I found the payment. It wasn’t the one he found that he said he was going to transfer.

So I called back and got someone else. Talked to some other lady, and told her what I’d found. Told her to stop the first guy from doing whatever it was he was doing to transfer the other payment. I don’t think that happened.

Then I told her I have my bill payer up, and read off the payment amount and address. She tells me it’s the wrong address (provider office instead of billing office). I am wondering how I screwed that up, but it’s possible I think. She’ll track it down, she says. Phone call ends.

I am home for the night, and pull up my scanned bills. Huh. I have the address correct. Now I’m concerned that they really don’t know what the fuck they are talking about, because they ought to know the correct address.

It’s 12:30 in the morning, and I can’t sleep because this fucking screwup is occupying my brain. This is our fucking health care system. It’s not just the insurance. It’s that whenever you do anything, there’s a minimum of three bills. Each of the doctor, the facility, and the electric company at a minimum. Probably a few others too. Each of them has a pretty good chance of screwing something up. This isn’t the first time.

I want a goddamn case manager to deal with all this shit. I want the medical industry to do something about it. I want the government to do something about it.
There’s no goddamn good reason for this to be so complicated.

Wikitree becomes evil / Chris Whitten is a liar

Several years ago I stopped using Geni.com because they decided to make previously private profiles public. I started using Wikitree instead because the founder, Chris Whitten, promised that Wikitree would not do this. He lied. Let me re-iterate. Chris Whitten is a liar. I wish I had saved screencaps where he told me Wikitree would not do the thing it has now done.

Wikitree decided to take private information and make it public.

I have profiles of people that I had set to private that were made not only public, but editable by anyone. Because Chris Whitten thinks he’s a better judge of what should be private about my family than I am.

While there’s nothing about people who died over 100 years ago that I am worried about, I no longer trust Chris Whitten. I would have no problem if he decided this is how privacy levels will work for all new profiles. But to retro-actively remove privacy protections for information tells me he’d be willing to do it again. What’s to say he won’t decide to make public information about living people? Or recently deceased? He’s shown that their privacy policy isn’t worth the electrons it was printed with.

Even worse, Wikitree will not let me delete the information they’ve let me keep private to this point. So I’m stuck with leaving that information with an untrustworthy shitheel.

So I repeat. Chris Whitten is a goddamn fucking liar. Wikitree has become evil.

Edited to add: Employee Eowyn Langholf is also a liar. In her response to my complaint with the Washington Attorney General she stated that: ” no private information has or will be made public “. Which is incorrect. The profile of my great grandfather Joseph Peter Weiss was made public.