Monday, September 12, 2016

Research Hints from Sophia Meinzen Kropp's Obituary

My first acquaintance with Sophia (Meinzen) Kropp was in her obituary of Thursday, September 9, 1920, in the Steubenville Herald, which stated that her brother was Henry Meinzen (who is also my great-grandfather).

In addition to her death date (September 6, 1920), Sophia's obituary offered the following clues for further research.
  • born in 1842 (celebrated her 78th birthday on Saturday, September 4)
  • born in Germany
  • married Carl Kropp in 1861 in Germany
  • immigrated in 1887
  • settled in Steubenville/Jefferson County upon arrival
  • Carl Kropp died ~1905 (passed away about 15 years ago)
  • member of Zion Lutheran Church
  • survived by two daughters and son:  Mrs. John Spahn, Mrs. Minnie Schuette, and William Kropp, all of Steubenville

It is unfortunate that Sophia and Carl arrived in the U.S. in 1887 instead of seven or eight years earlier, when they could have been included in the 1880 census.  As it is, the first census in which they appear is the 1900, living with their daughter, Sophia, and her husband John Spahn.  I've been able to discover more about four of Sophia's children and her husband using FamilySearch's collection of Ohio sources, which I'll post over the next days and weeks.

My hope in searching for Sophia is that she will lead me to hers and my great-grandfather Henry Meinzen's parents and siblings in Germany (assuming that she and Henry really are siblings).


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  1. Good luck searching for Sophia! I have had to do something similar for my Jewish lines since I know so little. Best of luck and I look forward to reading.

    1. Thank you, Jen. I will send off a letter tomorrow and then hope!


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