Sunday, July 13, 2014

#52Ancestors (28) Wilhelmina Kopkau Dork

I previously introduced the KOPKAU family, who were one of several West Prussian families to settle in Michigan. Friedrich KOPKAU and Wilhelmina STACHEL had nine known children. Their third child and first daughter was Wilhelmina, born 5 February 1871 in Peterkau, Kreis Rosenberg, West Prussia.

The KOPKAU's came to Michigan in 1873, so Wilhelmina probably had no memories of her life in Eastern Europe. They settled in Emmet County in northern lower Michigan surrounded by forests and the beaches of Lake Michigan. Her uncle, aunt, and cousins also lived in the same area, until Wilhelmina's family moved south to Lansing, sometime before 1900.

Minnie, circa 1890

Wilhelmina, known as Minnie, married Otto Carl DORK on 18 May 1893 in Lansing. Otto was born in Charlottenwerder, just a few miles away from Peterkau.


Minnie and Otto had five children:
  1. Carl Frederick (1893-1952)
  2. Louise Wilhelmina (1895-1973) my great-grandmother
  3. Eva Caroline (1897-1950)
  4. Ferdinand Otto (1900-1964)
  5. Edward Rudolf (1905-1965)
Minnie died 3 June 1915 in Lansing, just one year after her own mother. Minnie was only 44 years old. Otto never remarried, and used the help of the many interconnected family and neighbors in their Lansing neighborhood to help raise the children.


© 2014 Sally Knudsen


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