Paul Councel’s name appeared in Doubt 12. He was selling an astrological map, and along with his name came his address. So it was possible to lock down who this guy was. Kind of. He had some astrological publications going back as early as 1930. He appeared in the 1940 census. He showed in in city directories. There’s a record of his death in 1956. And there was his birthdate and place—28 December 1884 in Danville, Virginia. Astrologers are diligent about leaving the details of their birth for later researchers.
So, where was he in the historical record before the mid-1930s? Virginia has good birth records, and there was nothing about his birth—or the birth of someone similarly named—in December 1884. Indeed, Councel is an exceedingly rare name when spelled that way. His mother’s maiden name was Betts, according to his death record, but there was no Betts-Councel marriage that I could find. Who was this guy?