Postcards from Germany (part 2) The Kern family

In continuation from my original post here , I’ve transcribed more of Great Great Grandmom’s postcards from Germany.

I’ll be grouping all cards by family name to make for easier following.  This post will contain all cards from Peter Kern, Gerhard Kern, and Finchen. (Finchen is the German diminutive of Josefine. This name is rarely used as an official German given name, which probably means that Finchen’s real name is not Finchen). Per these cards, I’ve discovered that Peter is either GG Grandmom’s Brother, or Finchen is her sister. Finchen is referred to as a sister in the first card, but all of the correspondences come from Peter, not Finchen, at-least so it seems since Peter’s name is always listed first at the bottom of the card. I’m pretty sure that Gerhard is their son, as he is listed in German address books as living with Peter Kern in 1920 in Essen, Germany at Peter’s address on these cards. They were both listed as being “Locksmiths”.

You’ll notice that GG Grandmom Braun (Maas) is also referred to by her German relatives as Saetken. I’m not sure if Saetken is her given name, or a name like Finchen, where she was called that name when she lived in Germany long ago, and now goes by the name of Elizabeth (Lizzi for short in America).  Also Super confusing – Both Blanche Townsend, and Elizabeth Braun (Maas) go by the name Lizzi. So try not to get confused!!

The transcriptions aren’t 100% exact but I tried to keep it as close as possible. The problem is that some German words do not have an English equivalent, as The German language tends to use one word for a sentence or a phrase. For instance: the German word Fernweh means “distance pain”. And Verschlimmbessern means “To make something worse by trying to improve it.”  The German language is made of MANY words like these, which makes translating a little harder. Plus when 2 words are combined the wrong way it can totally change the meaning of a sentence. I applaud anyone who has learned the German language, as it’s quite difficult to nail down!

Postcards from Peter Kern

Postcard 1 (Written to My GG Grandmom Braun (Maas)


Rodenkirchen, Germany  August 25, 1913

Dear Lizzi,
We are here on the beach and send Friends the heartiest greetings.
Greetings – Peter and Finchen your sister 
(written on side) Hello to all. 

Postcard 2 (Written to Great Aunt Blanche)


Dear Lizzi!
Thank you for the beautiful card. 
I’m sending you from here warmest greetings from 
Uncle Peter and Finchen 

Essen West. December 21, 1913 
We are all healthy 

Postcard 3 (Written to GG Grandmom)


Dortmund, Germany  December 23, 1913

Dear Saettken.
Best greetings from here Sent from Peter, Fina and Gerhard. We hope you are still quite healthy, we wish you with all our heart. With us everything is as it always was. We are all healthy. Please greet all friends of us.

Right: Prosit New Year

Left: letter will follow

With pencil: I wrote Lizzi also a post card to New York.

Postcard 4 (Written to GG Grandmom)


Greetings from here.

Postcard 5 (Written to G Aunt Blanche)


Essen, Germany  November 8, 1913

Dear Lizzi,

We received your card and we were very happy about it. We are still doing quite well, which we hope of you too. Greeting to all of our relatives. To seeing you again soon!
Uncle Peter, aunt Fine and Gerhard.

Next time I’ll write more. 

written on side of card: A greeting to Mama Saetken.

Postcard 6 (Written to both GG Grandmom and Great Aunt Blanche while they were in Germany visiting and staying at Peter’s House)


Wiesbaden, Germany July 3, 1913

Mis. Setken Braun

and Lizzi Townsend
Essen West
Margarethen Strasse 30
My dears,
I must extend my spa stay for 8 more days. Greetings from Peter
Bottom: Greetings from Finchen and Gerhard

Obit for Peter Kern. Saved in my GG Grandmom’s files. 

2018-03-08 18-41-29
The funeral for the late Mr Peter Kern is on Thursday, 1 July 1926,  one half past 3. Funeral service will be held quarter of an hour before


Of the few photos that I have of GG Grandmom’s German relatives, Here are 2 that I’m hopeful that Peter Kern and Finchen are in.  The one directly below, only has one man in it, and that man is obviously a relative to GG Grandmom. I just wish I knew who it was!

peter kern 2
GG Grandmom Braun (Maas)’s family. GG Grandmom Mass is on the far right. 
Peter Kern.jpg
German relative of GG Grandmom Braun (Maas). 

I’m still doing my research on the photo above. He’s obviously wearing German attire, but I have yet to determine who this is in relation to Great Great Grandmom, and what time period this photo was taken in.

I will continue my research on the Kern family and will update this page with any new information I find. 🙂

Thanks for reading!!!


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