Where in New York is Harry Koppetsch?

Okay, I used a gameshow as an inspiration but at least I got your attention ;)

I have the following “mystery” or brick wall.

passenger list 1929

passenger list 1929

According to the passenger lists Harry Koppetsch was 7 years old when he arrived at New York City in April 1929 with his mother Else and his siblings Wilhelm (5 yrs old) and Eva (3 yrs old). Their father Paul already lived in New York. He arrived in the US in October 1928.

Harry was born in Koenigsberg, East Prussia and received his visa in Berlin before leaving the German Reich.

1930 census Koppetsch family

1930 census Koppetsch family

The 1930 census shows him living with his parents and his siblings at Stony Ave. in the Bronx.

The family name is given with “Kopeck”.

And on every other document I have on the family following the 1930 census he is vanished:

  • Paul’s Petition for Naturalization from February 1936 only mentions Wilhelm and Eva as children (incl. birthdates)
  • the family returned to Germany in November 1936. The passenger list only provides Information on Els(i)e, Paul, Wilhelm (William) and Eva
  • the 1940 census only shows Paul, William and Eva – Else being absent is another mystery I try to solve here

So, where is Harry? One family anecdote tells the story that he got killed by a drunk hit-and-run-driver in the Bronx in either 1934 or 1936 – which matches the period, but I just read this story once in an email I received from a distant cousin. And unfortunately, I’ve never heard from her again.

I definetly need help on this one. Where would I start to look for a possible death entry? Sorry for such a newbie question, but that would be the first death record I am looking for in the US ;)

I checked newspaper databases for anything on a car accident in that time, but no success.

Ideas anyone? Please? :)

11 thoughts on “Where in New York is Harry Koppetsch?

    • 10-12-2014 You’ve certainly done extensive research so far. I suggest that you post your query (in as abbreviated form as you can do, perhaps no longer than 2-3 paragraphs) on the website rootschat.com. I have recently discovered it and the queries posted there usually get a good response because the posters there seem to have access to great genealogical sources and a wide audience of interested persons from all over the US. I would almost be willing to bet anything that the variations in the spelling of the surname will be a factor here.

  1. What about newspaper obituaries?

    Especially obituaries from the other boroughs of New York?

    Is there a possibility that he may have returned to Europe with another relative in the meantime?

    Can u email that distant cousin back? I’m assuming you would have done that by now, if it were possible.

    Interesting . . . . Keep us posted on this.

    • I tried several times to get in contact with her, but no success. The email adress I had from her is not valid anymore.. unfortunately, that is not an option. :( But I will try to find newspaper obituaries from the other boroughs.

  2. Hi, not much help but: hearsay is almost always “true” so the accident is very likely. I would look for the inquest report in the newspaper, not the accident itself.

      • The legal investigation into an unusual death. It will probably appear on the same page and the same column of the newspaper, making it easier to find than a death, which could be mixed up with any news on any page. Interesting reading so the journalist was usually there.

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