Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sentimental Sunday: "Christmas Cousins" Update

A little over a year ago, I first posted this picture in my blog, minus the annotations with the names.  I called it the "Christmas Cousins" picture, because it was obviously taken at Christmas time, and because it's of a bunch of Pape first cousins - the seven children of John and Gertrude Kramer Pape, my great-grandparents, and the six children of John's brother Lorenz (or Laurenz) and his first wife Maria Henrietta Kamp Pape.

Pape cousins at Christmas, probably sometime between 1913 and 1917 inclusive.
Original photo courtesy Mary Kay Schmidt; initial annotations courtesy Lawrence Pape.
Recently, I was contacted by yet another relative who found my blog, Lawrence Pape.  He is the youngest son of Lorenz's son August Peter Pape (1893-1947) and his second wife, Frances A. Demuth (1902-1967).  He sent me the image with the annotations for August and Joseph (and Lee), reversing my (and another cousin's) earlier guess that had August and Joseph the other way around.

I decided to go ahead and add annotations with the names of the other cousins.  As I said earlier, my dad and I are absolutely positive about Clara, Paul, Rhea, and Lee.  Cousin Mary Kay and her mom are absolutely positive about Nellie and Maria.  Martha is the only girl left, so we are pretty sure that is her in front, but its underexposure makes it hard to be sure.  We were kind of guessing on the rest of the guys based on their relative ages, so it's really helpful to have Lawrence's positive identification of his father.

Lawrence also sent a family tree with some additional information.  I've been spending my free time the last few days updating my family tree, and doing a little more research, in order to create a descendants chart for Jacob Pape, my great-great-grandfather and our ancestor in common, so I can send it out to these various cousins for review, corrections, and input.  So far there are 426 people in the chart (which includes spouses of Jacob's direct descendants, but no stepchildren), and I know that's not everybody!  (I also know of at least two more additions coming in the next two months, grandchildren of two of my first cousins.)

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


  1. My guess is that this Christmas picture was taken in 1913 or 1914 at the John Pape family home at 1043 Sherman Avenue in Evanston, Illinois. John was the anchor for the family's ship and we all owe him a debt of gratitude for sponsoring and assisting his brothers and all the cousins when they came to the USA in 1913.

    My dad, August, must have been pretty close with John … family, church, and work related. They even have the same style/type tombstones. My mom, Frances, may have had something to do with that choice though.

    Frances did hospice nursing at the time John died and she probably was involved in his care. My dad was also terminally ill when John died. Frances cared for dad until he died, at home, two years after John. I still remember her telling me one day when I came home from school that dad “was gone”. Later, she explained to me how loss of income, hospital bills, funerals, multiple family tombstones and burials had affected her need to sell our family’s home in Wilmette IL, and how we needed to move on to master our new challenges. My mom and my older sisters were so brave and so full of service; but, that‘s a whole other story.

    When I reflect on these long-ago memories, I still get misty and the feeling of being alone returns … but the sight of the similar tombstones somehow evokes in me all the feelings of unity, purpose, compassion, service, and warmth that the John Pape family must have shared back then. -- Lawrence

    1. Lawrence, thank you so much for commenting! I saw in 1937 and 1939 city directories, that Frances operated "Frances' Day Nursery" in Wilmette. Would that be the hospice work you refer to?

      I am intrigued about your comment about your older sisters. I found a couple things about your sister Dolores - I'll post them in just a bit.

      And watch for the tombstones tomorrow.