#52 ancestors 2015 – No.1 The Fresh Start

The 52 ancestors challenge which Amy Crow over at “No story too small” started last year keeps going in 2015.


The challenge is still to portrait 52 ancestors in 52 weeks. I shamefully admit that I didn’t keep up last year. But even if I didn’t write 52 posts for this challenge,it made me digging deeper in my research. And I found some fantastic facts.

This year the challenge is a bit different. Amy is also providing us with weekly themes. I love the idea since I hope it will keep me going,  helping me with finding my “ancestor of the week”.

The theme of the first week (Jan 1 – Jan 7): Fresh Start

I’ve blogged about my first ancestor of the week already last year, but when I read this week’s theme, hers was the first name coming to my mind. Not only because she started over (at least) twice in her life, but also because I started my research about her with the following note in my family tree: “according to Eva Koppetsch (Else’s daughter) she married a British army officer following the death of her husband Hans Matthis and moved to Liverpool”

That was it. That was all I had about my greataunt Eva Louise NICOLAUS.

Eva und Else Nicolaus

Eva und Else Nicolaus

One thing to clarify: Else was Eva’s sister.

And today? I know so much more about her. Thanks to this blog and a lot of help from genealogists worldwide.

While researching her sister I found Eva’s married last name and her location in Else’s obituary: PHILIPPS in Australia

I posted this very general information in various google+ communities for research in the UK and Australia. And bit by bit I could paint the following picture.

Eva was born on April 11, 1902 and married her second husband John Percival PHILIPPS on May 6, 1949 in Haverfordwest, Pembroke, Wales (he was the British Army Officer). Eva was working as a housekeeper on Milford Haven in Pembrokeshire, Wales. I already have it on my to-do-list to go there for a visit during my stay in London. Since her family lived in Königsberg, East Prussia, Germany during the time of her birth, I guess that she was born there, but I don’t have a valid source for that yet.

I don’t really know why she left Germany and moved to the UK. I couldn’t clarify yet, if her first husband Hans MATTHIS really died or if they got divorced. And when and where did she meet John Percival? Why did she go to Wales? No idea yet.

Eva left the UK with the direction of Australia on August 23, 1955 from London on board the GEORGIC. In the meantime she moved to Liverpool, she is stated as an office worker living in 55 Ampthill Road on the passenger lists which I found in the National Archive of the UK in Kew, UK. Since she left the UK by her own, I guess that John died between 1949 and 1955 and that she moved to Australia to live with her older sister Lilo Berger (married Lynch). Unfortunately, I had to take a picture of the screen at the National Archive since I forgot my USB stick to download the records. That’s why it is very blurry. Eva’s entry is the second last.


Eva arrived in Sydney on September 29, 1955.

Kerryn Taylor, a very helpful genealogist from Australia (find her blog here: Ancestorchaser) found her in two Electoral Roles:

  • 1958 – working as a typist, living in Curl Curl, New South Wales, Australia
  • 1963 – working as a typiste-clerk, living in Mascot, New South Wales, Australia

And she also found the information of her death entry. Eva died on January 19, 1977 in Castle Hill,  New South Wales, Australia.

And just yesterday, I received the following two obituaries from her.

obituary Sydney Morning Herald Jan 21, 1977 page 24






obituary 2 Sydney Morning Herald Jan 21, 1977 page 24






And that was the reason for taking Eva as my blog post for the “Fresh Start”.





4 thoughts on “#52 ancestors 2015 – No.1 The Fresh Start

  1. Pingback: 52 in 2015 Week 3 Silhouette – Say It With A Camera

  2. Pingback: #52ancestors 2015 No. 3 – which one of the tough women to choose? | Barbara Schmidt

  3. Pingback: 52 in 2015 Week 5 Song or Book – Say It With A Camera

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