Along with all of the Vaudeville postcards I inherited from my Grandmom, there were also postcards from My Great Great Grandmom’s family in Germany. I didn’t know much about my Great Great Grandmom’s family, other than stories I was told when I was a kid.
My Grandmom Waldt (Braun) would often talk about her Grandmom Elizabeth Braun (Maas), Grandpop Christian Braun, and her aunts and uncles. She’d tell me about my Great Great Grandmom and her family, and how my Great Great Grandmom was from Germany. From what I recall, she said that my Great Great Grandmom’s parents were from the Mauser family. (The famous German Mauser rifle family). Somewhere along the line she was disinherited from the Mauser family’s money because of an unapproved marriage. (Which may explain why she has a different last name) It wasn’t until My GG Grandmom visited Germany with her daughter Blanche, when she was very young, that they were re-united. Great Aunt Blanche helped them do this. I’ve been doing much research into that family line for the past year, and although I have not yet been able to prove that she was from the Mauser Line, I did learn a lot more about her family then I ever though I would.
The postcards from Her family though were all written in German. Throughout the years, my grandmom Walt and my dad tried to have these postcards translated, but no one could do it. We were always told that the cards must be a different language or a strange German dialect. This past year, through research, I found out that the cards were German, but they were written in “Old German Script”, so it was hard to decipher by someone who spoke New German. I then searched around online, and found a nice lady in Germany who could read Old German Script. But she could not speak English (and I only could read a little German)! So the both of us used Google Translate to communicate with each-other. She transcribed the cards for me into New German and I then transcribed them from new German into English. Whew! I FINALLY was able to read these cards!
After the cards were translated, I discovered that GG grandmom Maas was related to the following people: a brother or uncle named Peter Kern (lived in Essen, Germany), A brother (or sister) Christian Eisenmenger, and his/her children Maria, Otto and Franz Eisenmenger (lived in Essen). A relative named Robert and Anna Weiss (from Meiderich, Germany, Robert possibly being her brother), a sister named Auguste Radembacher, her husband Johann and their daughter named Auguste Radembacher (lived in Essen). I was able to clearly identify a man who was named on a lot of the cards, Ewald Maas. He turned out to be my GG Grandmom’s little brother. I found through immigration records that my GG Grandmom and Great Aunt Blanche visited Germany in 1879 and brought Ewald back with them to the states. Ewald later served in the US army and fought in the Spanish American War and married a Mary from New Jersey. Upon my research on him I found this interesting article listed in the Philadelphia Inquirer in April 18, 1918
When WW1 began, he was already retired from the Army, but never never registered as a German immigrant when he was suppose to because he was a U.S veteran. I knew this was the same Ewald from my records because the home listed in this article is his home address listed in his nationalization records, which my Great Uncle was a witness for.
Back to all of those German postcards….Below is one of many cards that were transcribed by my nice German friend. You’ll notice that the older woman on the far left is also in the photo above. From what I was able to find out from her postcard, she is my GG Grandmom’s niece, Elizabeth.
Translation from postcard above from a niece to GG Grandmom Maas:
Duisburg, the 12.12.1913
Dear Aunt Saetken!!!
I love your card. I am very pleased that you are still quite healthy. Everything here is still just as always. The photography of Lizzi (Lizzi was Aunt Blanche’s nick name) has not arrived yet.
We cordially wish you all a right- froeh christmas. We hope to see you soon again.
When you read this card, think that you are with us.
Many greetings from your parents and siblings but especially from your niece Elisabeth
This was the card that made me realize that GG Grandmom Mass’ parents were still alive in 1913! But to this day, I still have not been able to find her parents or any of these people other than Ewald on ancestry.com or other similar sites. I only have these cards as proof. I’m sure that time will lead me to them, but my one hope is that someone will find themselves on this site, and recognize these faces and names from my distant family in Germany.
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