#52ancestors No. 11 I have news on Elsie!!

This is part eleven of Amy Crow’s challenge “52 Ancestors”. Take a look at “no story too small” to find all the great bloggers who are taking part!


You might remember my greataunt Else Nicolaus. If you would like to refresh your memory, just take a look here (or here where I introduce you to her husband Paul).

Every once in a while I turn back to her and her family because I am really fascinated by her story.

Here a short re-cap from my original blogpost about her:

  • born October 22, 1900 in Koenigsberg, East Prussia
  • married Paul Hugo Rudolf KOPPETSCH on December 12, 1920 in Koenigsberg, East Prussia
  • followed her husband to the United States on April 26, 1929 (with her three children)
  • found her in the 1930 census
  • declared her intention to become a US citizen in 1937
  • missing in the census of 1940

And I had this card:

Elsie Koppetsch Namensänderung

From some previous help I knew she moved to Paterson, NJ between 1937 and 1949 where she was found as Elsie M. Veaudry in the city directory. I actually have no idea, where this “M” is coming from.

And then I received here via the blog an email from a wonderful genealogist called Barbara Schenk asking if I could help her with a translation of a German record. Of course I could and she asked me if she could be of any help with any US related research.

So I referred her to the two blogs asking for any hint she could find.

She contacted the Paterson library for help and a few days ago I found the announced envelope in my mailbox.

The librarian sent her some obituaries and copies of the city directories.

Here is one example of the obituaries.

obituary Elsie Nicolaus

obituary Elsie Nicolaus

This is great! Now I don’t only know her exact death date, but I also know that she and George moved to Paterson already in 1946. And they had a son together: Robert.

And I always wondered if the namechange of her husband from last name Koppetsch to Kay also held true for the children. At least for William I know now it was true.

And I have a married last name for her daughter Eva (Booth).

And I also told you about Elsie’s sister Eva. And I have a married last name for her now and know that she moved to Australia.

The existence of another sister Lilo is news to me. And it puzzles me a bit since in her passenger list from 1929 a Lilo Berger is named as her closest relative: her mother. But as far as I know Lilo Berger was her stepmother following the divorce of her parents.

I have to dig deeper into this!

But I have to tell you that when I read the lines with the surviving sisters in Australia I found it so sad that her German family hadn’t been mentioned at all. I mean, she had a surviving brother and sister there, too. Half siblings but nevertheless siblings. Too sad that they never really had contact. Only when my grandfather and greataunt had been children.

And here an example of the city directory:

city directory 1962

city directory 1962

It is wonderful to be able to tie some loose ends… well, and get some new ones 😉

  • where is she for the 1940 census
  • when did she get divorced from Paul
  • when did she marry George
  • and when was their son Robert born

I have to thank Barbara Schenk for her tremendous help with this!


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4 thoughts on “#52ancestors No. 11 I have news on Elsie!!

  1. Pingback: Can’t believe I missed my blogiversary! | Barbara Schmidt

  2. Pingback: Mein Urgroßvater ein Humorist? Jetzt bin ich verwirrt! | Barbara Schmidt

  3. Pingback: My greatgrandfather a humorist? Well, now I am confused! | Barbara Schmidt

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