Saturday, March 9, 2013

Surname Saturday: PAPE Cousin Bait - Part 1

Martha Elisabeth Pape in 1912, at age 22
In early February 2013, I was contacted by a distant cousin, Lawrence Pape, who'd found me through this blog.  Lawrence sent a copy of a letter he'd received from my great aunt Martha Elisabeth Pape Bleidt (1890-1980), my paternal grandfather's older sister.  Let me tell you a little bit about Martha first.

Martha was born October 19, 1890, in Illinois, probably in Evanston, where she was baptized a week later at St. Nicholas Catholic Church.   She was the second child and second daughter of German immigrants John and Gertrude Kramer Pape.

Martha received her First Communion on May 29, 1904, at St. Nicholas, and was also married there, on May 11, 1921, to Charles Bleidt (1870-1959), a widower with one daughter.  Martha and Charles had one son and one daughter.

Martha was apparently a talented singer.  In the May 22, 1912, Lake Shore News, in "What People Are Doing in Evanston" (page 15, column 2) it says that for the eighth birthday of the Pentalpha Chapter, No. 53, O. F. S.*, "Miss Martha Pape opened the program with a number of vocal selections, rendered in a most pleasing and charming manner."

Martha was that family member that genealogists love, the one that kept the records and the photos and knew the stories.  So when Lawrence (whose father, August Peter Pape, died when Lawrence was only five) wrote her for information about the Pape family, here is what she had to say:


Based on other information in the letter, I have determined that Martha wrote this in 1969 (she refers to her husband Charles having died ten years earlier, and Charles died in 1959), or early 1970.  Martha's brother Paul Pape, my grandfather, was still alive when this letter was written, and he died in April 1970.

The "Grandfather Pape" she is referring to is Jacob Pape, my great-great-grandfather.

We do know a little about Joseph Pape now.  He was born April 10, 1859, in Boedefeld, Westphalia, Germany, the third son of Jacob Pape and his wife Elisabeth Gierse.   I have met one of his grandsons and four of his great-grandchildren.  How that came about will be explained in tomorrow's post.

This is just the first half of the first page of the letter.   I will share more pages on future Saturdays.

© Amanda Pape - 2013 - click here to e-mail me.

*O.F.S. is probably supposed to be O.E.S., Order of the Eastern Star

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