Monday, April 07, 2008

My FOIA Request Update

A few weeks ago, I used the State Department's online "FOIA Request Generator" to request the passport files of my grandmother, Jessie Beatrice Bowie (1909-1973). I received an email acknowledgment fairly promptly. Last week, I got the first actual response. Reasonably enough, the Government wants me to show that she either is dead or authorizes me to see her file. It's not quite as simple as sending them her death certificate, however. She was married three times and the name under which she applied for a passport was the name she used during her second marriage, Jessie M. Givan. When she died, she was known as Jessie Tidwell. So in addition to proof of death of Jessie Tidwell, I will send her SS-5 (Application for Social Secuiryt account number) which lists her as both Jessie Beatrice Bowie and Jessie Bowie Manson; an extract from the 1940 marriage records of Aransas County, Texas, which shows "Mrs. Jessie Manson" marrying one Exa Givan; and a page from the California State marriage Index for 1964 indicating that Jessie M. Givan married George Tidwell. That should do it, don't you think?

1 comment:

Janice said...

Your problems receiving the passport demonstrates one more reason why some women just keep their maiden name regardless of who they marry.

If a woman has been married more than once, it is as difficult to obtain a driver's license in some states.