I first learned of Peter Raap through his father’s death notice in the Chicago Tribune:
March 29, 1946
RAAP - John Henry [Hank] Raap, suddenly, father of Peter H. and Vincent, brother of Robert R. and Ernest E.
When I obtained my grandfather’s genealogy notes, it also confirmed that John H. Raap Jr. did indeed have a son named Peter.I looked up Peter Raap in the Social Security Death Index and found a likely match.This Peter was born July 9, 1902, and died in June of 1973.I then looked him up in the Chicago Tribune and found him on the death notices page of June 10, 1973:
* Raap - Peter H. Raap, beloved husband of Blanche; dear father of John [Barbara] of Minneapolis, Minn., and Dolores [Eric] Jacobson of Augusta, Ga.; grandfather of Sheryl, Lauri, Eric, Elizabeth and Peter. Life member of Medinah Temple. ... Interment Elmwood. *
So, I went to Elmwood cemetery, and found his tombstone.His wife Blance (Forke) was buried with him, they next to her parents, although her stone did not list a date of death.I later also found in the SSDI that she was born April 11, 1904 and died December 17, 1993.I snuck a peek in the cemetery’s office records, which indicated that Peter may have died in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
I have since looked for Peter, and his brother Vincent via their father, in census records from 1910 and 1920 and have been unable to find anything there.John Raap Jr was still living with his mother, unmarried, in 1900.He had apparently gotten married and moved out in 1910 as I could not locate him anywhere in the Illinois census.By 1920, he was divorced and living with his mother again.I could only assume that his ex-wife now had the kids, but where did they live?
A few years ago, I was contacted by Steve Wilhelmi (http://www.wilhelmisweb.com/) who told me that we may have common relatives in John Henry Raap Jr. and his son Vincent Patrick Raap.I checked it out, and after considering it for a long time, I decided that his “Hank” Raap and mine were indeed the same person.He knew very little of Hank, or his ex-wife Veronica Creamer, and knew nothing of Peter’s existence, but he was the first source from whom I could get information about Vincent, his great-grandfather.As Vincent was born September 30, 1909, in Chicago, and died May 27, 1981 in Waukesha Wisconsin, some things were starting to click.
I have hypothesized that their mother, Veronica, must have moved to Wisconsin with the boys after the divorce.Perhaps she and John even lived in Wisconsin when they were married.Peter and Vincent may have spent time in both Illinois and Wisconsin as they lived their lives, having connections in both places.While Vincent apparently settled and stayed in Wisconsin ultimately, Peter seems to have had more roots in the Chicago area.His wife and their family are both buried in the suburbs of Chicago, so even if he did die in Green Bay, he was buried with them.
The real mystery as far as I’m concerned is, what happened with Peter’s family?There are a lot of Raap’s here in the Chicago area, and they’d love to know what happened to them.I do know, from the 1973 death notice of Peter, that there was a son John [Barbara] of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and daughter Dolores [Eric] Jacobson of Augusta, Georgia.I also know that Peter had five grandchildren at the time - Sheryl, Lauri, Eric, Elizabeth and Peter - though whether they are Raap’s or Jacobson’s are unknown.Where do his children and grandchildren live now, and are they still alive after 30 years?Did he have more grandchildren after 1973?What about his great-grandchildren?Great-great grandchildren?
Any help, clues, or information you can provide me with would be much appreciated.:)