Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Katherine "Katie" Dosenberg

Katherine "Katie" Alide Kunan (nee Dosenberg)
born:1887 Russia; died: Sept 1955 Boston, MA
Finding Katie:

In the early 20th century immigrant women virtually disappeared into the records upon marriage, i.e. changing their surname. No US birth record exists, and Naturalization petitions required the man's full name and his wife's first name only. Katie Dosenberg was like so many in her generation.

Aided by cousins I learned her married name was Kunan. Thanks to John Dosenberg's step-daughter (Mildred Brough,) her picture was recovered from an ancient pile of pictures relegated to the attic. Katherine "Katie" Alide Dosenberg married Andrew Kunan in 1907 in Fall River, MA (see the MA archives site). She is registered in the 1920 Census in Boston, MA with her two sons; Richard (b. 1908,) and Olgart (b. 1912.) She does not appear in the 1930's census and in the 1940 census she is living with her oldest son Richard. Her husband Andrew Kunan died at the age of 35 yrs in 1915 of complications from appendicitis. It is presumed her youngest son Olgart also died before 1930. Katie was alone at the age of 29.

She was listed in the Boston City phone directory for a number of years; 1915 (widowed,) 1916, 1920, 1934, 1940's, 1955, and 1956 living with her son Richard, a taxi driver. The two moved to Florida in 1955 where it appeared Katie died that same year. Richard died in 1967. He never married, Katie has no surviving heirs.

In an unexpected twist Katie's name was published in the 1956 Boston directory. To my great delight her death date was found there. 

Update: found the vital record in Boston

It sounds simple now put into a few paragraphs but this research took the course of several years. In part because the Boston city directories became available on Ancestry.com. Katie has been found!
Copyright  © Alice Kramer 2012