|poster credit to footnoteMaven|
Back on Valentine’s Day, I did a post on a photograph of my paternal great-great-grandparents, Jacob and Elizabeth Gierse Pape. This photo was one of many old photos from my Pape family provided to me by my newly-discovered second cousin Bill. He notes that on the back of the photo, it says “From Emma Pape Childs.”
Off and on for the last nine months, I’ve been trying to figure out how Emma Pape Childs is related to me. Although she’s not one of my ancestors, currently she is my most frustrating brick wall. I thought I would write about her just to consolidate all of the information I’ve found. I've checked some more obvious places, and I'd welcome suggestions on where else to look.
Here is what I've been able to find out about Emma Pape Childs:
1) A Cook County, Illinois, marriage certificate shows Emma Genevieve Pape, age 26 and born in Evanston, Cook County, Illinois, married August S. Childs, age 28 and born in Green Springs, Seneca County, Ohio, on 22 February 1911 at St. Nicholas Church, 806 Ridge Ave., Evanston, Illinois. My grandfather Paul Pape and five of his six siblings were baptized at this church (between 1889 and 1900), so that is a good indicator that we are somehow connected.
2) A Cook County, Illinois, birth register shows James Wilson Childs born to August and Emma Childs on 18 November 1911.
3) Cook County, Illinois, birth certificates show Katherine Elizabeth Childs born 19 November 1913 on Vernon Avenue in Glencoe (August was age 30 and Emma was age 27); Mary Jane Childs born 10 February 1919 at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston (August was 30 and Emma 34? - I think that's backwards), and John Pape Childs born 16 October 1922 at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston (August was 40 and Emma 38). For the latter two children, they lived at 503 or 507 Oakdale Avenue in Glencoe/Chicago, and August was a painter. Mary Jane's birth certificate shows she was the fourth child born but only three were living; and John's says he is the fifth child born with only four living. This told me there was another child born between Katherine (listed as the second child born with two living) and Mary Jane, and either that child, Katherine, or James had died.
4) A Cook County, Illinois, death certificate shows Gertrude Emily Childs was born and died 15 October 1917 in Glencoe of "failure of respiratory center." She is buried in Sacred Heart Cemetery in Northbrook, Cook County, Illinois (where I know James W. Childs, Katherine/Catherine E. Childs Anderson, and Mary Jane Childs Domscheit are also buried via FindAGrave.com).
5) Per his World War II 1942 draft registration card, August's middle name is Solomon and his date of birth is 29 April 1882. He was living at 503 Oakdale Avenue in Glencoe at the time. His son James is shown as the person who "will always know your address," so I have to wonder if Emma had passed away by that time. The World War I draft registration card (from 12 September 1918) verifies his middle name and date of birth, and the contact is listed as Emma G. Childs, wife, address 507 Oakdale Avenue in Glencoe.
6) August, Emma and family appear on the 1920 and 1930 censuses at 507 Oakdale in Glencoe, New Trier Township, Cook County, Illinois. The 1930 census shows another daughter, Isabel M., born about 1926 (the Cook County birth certificates in FamilySearch.org only go through 1922). Both of these censuses show Emma as born in Illinois of German parents.
I think it is interesting that two of Emma and August's children were named John Pape and Gertrude - my great-grandparents' names.
My posting of Jacob and Elizabeth Gierse Pape’s photo prompted a response from a woman who is a granddaughter of Mary Jane Childs Domscheit, and thus Emma Genevieve Pape Childs is her great-grandmother. She told me Emma’s mother was named Katherine. I wondered if she meant Catherine/Katherine “Kate” R. Hoffman Pape, the second wife of Anton Pape. Anton was my great-grandfather John Pape's brother; both were sons to Jacob and Elizabeth Gierse Pape. I don't think it is likely that Emma is their daughter, though, as Cook County marriage records show that Anton and Katherine married on May 8, 1888, and it looks like Emma was born somewhere between 1883 and 1886 (based on censuses, birth records for her children, and her marriage record).
However, I am wondering if Emma could be the daughter of Anton and his first wife, Regina Allers, and if Katherine Hoffman Pape is the stepmother who actually raised Emma. I believe I have found a record for the death of Regina, on the Illinois Statewide Death Index, Pre – 1916. Regina died March 15, 1887, in Cook County, at age 25, meaning she was born around 1862, which is about right (based on the April 1883 Baltimore passenger list, and her marriage certificate with Anton Pape). Since Regina died when Emma was age one to four years old (approximately), I think Katherine/Catherine raised her and that is why Emma referred to her as mother.
Katherine Hoffman was born in Wisconsin around 1859-1861. This would not fit with the 1920 and 1930 censuses, which say Emma’s parents were born in Germany. However, there are some interesting connections with Emma (and other Papes) and Hoffmans in other census records.
I found an Emma Pape, born in May 1885 in Illinois of German parents, living in Wisconsin in 1900 - "at school" and boarding along with a Minnie Hoffman. Later, in 1910, I found another Emma Pape of the right age working as a servant in a home in Evanston, Illinois, along with an Alea Hoffman. Yet another connection of Hoffmans and Papes is that a Jacob Hoffman was the sponsor for my grandfather Paul Pape at his baptism in July 1896. There's a family named Heffman/Hoffman on the 1870 census in Wisconsin with daughters named Catherine, Mena/Mina (Minnie?), and Lecilea/Cecilia (could this be Alea?), who are the right ages.
I do think that if Katherine/Catherine had been Emma's natural mother, Emma probably would have been living with her in 1900. Anton and Regina’s son Hugo Aloysius Pape (born in November 1879 in Germany) WAS living with Katherine in Evanston, Illinois, in 1900; listed as stepson, and she as a widow (Anton died around 1893). But Hugo was 20 and may have been helping to support his stepmother.
There is definitely a connection between Emma and Katherine/Catherine Hoffman Pape. The latter is buried in the same cemetery (Sacred Heart in Northbrook, Illinois) as four of Emma's children, in the same plot (2-6), per FindAGrave, as at least three of them.
As of now, I can't find any definitive information on Emma Genevieve Pape Childs prior to 1911 or after 1930, nor on her husband August Solomon Childs after 1942. I'm making the assumption here that Anton Pape is Emma's father, and that is how we are related (first cousin twice removed). I’m hoping to hear back from Emma’s granddaughter and from a relative of Hugo’s wife (who found me on Ancestry.com), and perhaps that will give me more clues.
© Amanda Pape - 2010