This is an extraction from my grandfathers memoirs - we as a family have no connection with our American family. Maybe this will help change that. Mark Simkins
AMERICAN BEGINNINGS 1880-1887
According to my Birth Certificate I was born on September 1st, 1880 in Staten Island, State of New Jersey, United States of America.My Father’s name is given as JOHN FINK (spelt without the C) and my Mother’s as JACOBINA FINK, born PAPE.Their country of birth is given as Germany.It also states that I was the only living child on that date, and gives their ages as 31 and 29 respectively.I was named as ARTHUR JACOB.This was all the information given on that certificate, which is signed by one J J van Reselaar, Registrar.There is no indication of my Father’s business or profession.
I have vague memories of my early childhood and it is difficult to decide which are actual memories and which are statements made in later days by relatives. I can remember that we lived in New York somewhere near Central Park and at one time our address was 369, 106th Street, 6th Avenue.I can also remember that I had various Uncles, Aunts and Cousins living in America.These memories are after the birth of my sister MAMIE (MARIE ANNA FRIDERIKA) who was born in 1882 and, of course, during the ages of 3 to 7. I was never told much about my Father; evidently he was not at all popular with my Mother’s family, and beyond knowing that his home town was Mannheim and his parents, farmers, little remains in my memory beyond the fact that we visited his birthplace when I could barely walk, and have been told that I causedconsternation by being found chasing a huge flock of geese with a stick!As a rule these geese chased all-comers. My Mother was the youngest of the six daughters of ARTHUR PAPE (pronounced Parpey) and his wife, ANNA RACHEL, born LUBITSCH.My Grandfather’s Father had been a French soldier from Alsace and had fought in the Napoleonic Wars, but Grandfather had fought with the Germans in the War of 1870 against France. Grandmother, who after the fashion of the day, was “MUDDIE” to all her children, was born in Lubeck, a town in Schleswic-Holstein, then belonging to Denmark.Muddie always claimed she was a Dane and hadlittle time for Germans. My Mother’s name was JACOBINA, hence my middle name of Jacob.Her sisters were Caroline, the eldest, who had married Theodore Bothman of Cuxhaven in North Germany; Johanna, a spinster, who had taken up a scholastic career in England;Marie, married to a Jeweller named Terstegen, living in Passadena, California; Sophie, married to a Grocer, Brasch, living in New York; and Anna, married to a Butcher named Schnebbe, also living in New York.In addition, an adopted son named Amandus, had also emigrated to America from Germany.We had cousins in Germany and America.There was a Bothman girl, Emma, and several male and female Brasch and Schnebbe cousins.