Up until recently, I didn’t know much about my grand-aunt Minna Anna-Marie Sophie Boldt (1902-1993) and her husband Frederick d’Aperng (1880-1954). During the early 1950’s, my grandfather had a falling-out with his sister and had very little contact since then. I was told that Minna emigrated to Canada in the 1920’s, and that her husband Frederick was married before and had five children. And I knew that the two were buried in the Cataraqui Cemetery in Kingston:
A week ago, though, I came across an interesting fact. Prior to her marriage with Frederick, Minna Boldt was married in 1927, surprisingly in Amsterdam! The marriage lasted less than six years, though.
I posted this on the Dutch Genealogy group on Facebook. Some of the members of the group were very helpful, and some provided links to population registers showing where Minna lived in Amsterdam. One of these had another surprise:
In the middle of the back side of the card, look who’s name appears, twice: Frederick d’Aperng! Further research showed that Frederick resided in Amsterdam, at various addresses, between 1929 and 1938. And wherever he resided, it was either at the same address as Minna, or very close to her.
I then resumed my Ancestry membership to see what more I could find. So Frederick d’Aperng was born March 3, 1880, in the city of Thorn in the German Empire. (Thorn is now the city of Toruń in Poland.) He emigrated to Canada in 1902, and lived in a number of different places, such as Kingston, Montréal, Picton, and Odessa. With his first wife Frieda, he had a number of children born between 1912 and 1921: Erica, Adele, Eric, Frederick, and Hans. (Some of the children have interesting stories too, but I may save them for another time.)
From about 1920 to 1938, Frederick traveled frequently between Canada and Europe, because of his occupation as agent, merchant, or chemist, presumably engaging in import and export of pharmaceutical products. While he resided in Amsterdam, he also had a residence in Picton, Ontario. In 1940, his occupation was medical supply jobber in Montréal.
The big question is this: What was Frederick’s relationship with Minna during their time in Amsterdam? Clearly, the two knew each other. But although she was married, it’s not clear if Minna ever lived with her first husband.
One more thing about Minna. It turns out that she did emigrate to Canada in 1924. At the time, though, she didn’t stay long and by 1926 ended up in Amsterdam. In her entry to Canada, she claimed to be a nurse. I find that dubious, since in Amsterdam she worked as a boarding-house housekeeper.
In 1938, both Minna and Frederick left Amsterdam, separately, I assume to Canada, first Frederick in May and then Minna two months later. Frederick’s first wife Frieda died in 1939, and I assume Frederick and Minna married shortly afterwards.
There are still a lot of missing pieces to this puzzle, and many of them are probably lost forever now. But what is known so far offers up an intriguing story.