Saturday, February 17, 2007

She Left No Rabbi Unturned

From the Appleton (Wisc.) Post Crescent of June 27, 1931:

Washington—(AP)—Exhuming the body of an eighteenth century rabbi in a cemetery in Czechoslovakia will be the next step in the ancestor hunt in which Viola Root Cameron, international genealogist, is almost continually engaged.

Mrs. Cameron, blonde, small, quiet-mannered, hopes to find with the body a parchment which will supply some missing branches on the family tree of a wealthy New York client. She will go to Europe this summer personally to oversee the exhumation.

Such parchments, she says, were buried with the rabbis in the eighteenth century. The one she seeks was written between 1750 and 1800. If procured it will open a whole new field in tracing ancestry, she believes.

Jason Presley what point does grave-robbing become archeology? Or is it only grave-robbing if you don't have the cemetery's permission?


Setting aside the ethical issues, I wonder if there were any legal obstacles to doing this sort of thing back in 1931. I'm guessing that it would be much harder to pull off nowadays.

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