A Maplewood History Mystery Solved

If you’ve been following this story, you’ll know that genealogical researcher, Pat Baker, while investigating the history of her husband’s maternal grandfather, William Koester, uncovered some interesting details. She found information confirming that he was a carpenter as was our William Koester.  She found information that he lived in Maplewood and had a daughter named Florence.  Ditto for our William Koester as well. Even a comparison of a middle-aged, mustachioed photo of Koester in her collection bore a strong resemblance to one in ours. Had to be her man, right?

But wait… her research put Koester at two different addresses at about the same time: 7395 Flora and 3617 Oxford. And furthermore he had a different wife at each address. His married partner on Flora was Sophie Zinn and on Oxford, Hulda Scheinert. Of course daughter Florence lived at both addresses but her sibling on Flora was Clarence and on Oxford, Alma.

In light of the information contained in that last paragraph, Pat and I will have to file this one under Amazing Coincidences of a Genealogical Nature. It boggles the mind when you think about it. They must have known each other. The Flora Koester was a councilman. The Oxford Koester was most likely in his ward.  When did they meet? Who named their daughter Florence first? Did the other one know about it when he named his daughter, Florence? And what about those mustaches?

Most mysterious of all is their uncanny resemblance to each other. Pat hasn’t uncovered a family connection yet though one must exist given that they had the same last name. For my part I’m just a bit disappointed that we never had our own Maplewood polygamy sect but the story definitely qualifies as MAPLEWEIRD!

Well I don't know.  the two Koesters don't look so much alike in these photos.

Well I don’t know. the two Koesters don’t look so much alike in these photos.

The Flora Koester's Find A Grave page.

The Flora Koester’s Find A Grave page.  His children apparently never married and are buried in the family plot next to the parents.

The Oxford Koesters final resting place is at the Valhalla Crematory.

The Oxford Koesters final resting place is at the Valhalla Crematory.

Take a final look at the Koester doppelgangers.  we've all been told we have one but imagine you were one of these guys.  Not only does your doppelganger live in the same town and have a daughter the same name as your daughter, he also has the exact same name as yours. If one or the other was feeling their identity was a little encroached upon and then the other guy shows up with your mustache too!  It would be enough to make a guy want to put wings on his roof.

Take a final look at the Koester doppelgangers. We’ve all been told we have one but imagine you were one of these guys. Not only does your doppelganger live in the same town and have a daughter the same name as your daughter, he also has the exact same name as yours. You might be feeling your identity was a little encroached upon and then the other guy shows up with your mustache too! It would be enough to make a guy want to put wings on his roof.

A roof detail of the Flora Koester's home.  Much thanks to pat Baker for all the information and photos of the Oxford Koester, his home and family.

A roof detail of the Flora Koester’s home. Much thanks to Pat Baker for all the information and photos of the Oxford Koester, his home and family.

 

 

 

 

5 thoughts on “A Maplewood History Mystery Solved

  1. Thanks for this Doug and Pat. William is my great great great grandfather’s nephew. The Koesters came from Carnitz on the island of Rugen on the Baltic coast of Germany in 1856 and settled in Oxford County, Ontario. The curious thing is that in 1881 the family split up. Brother Carl and sister Etta and their families moved west to Manitoba while William and his parents (Theodore and Catherine) and sisters moved south to Alabama. There was one more brother who I have not yet found. Cheers, James Koester

  2. Thanks for taking an interest in our William Koester, Doug! It was fun exploring this with you. Totally enjoyable reading, too (even though I knew the outcome ahead of time)! Just loved your wind-up paragraph. 🙂

  3. In my German lines of ancestry, I’ve seen the same names used over and over again for many generations so if they are even distantly related they could have been carrying the same names down their lines in the family. Cousins, second cousins, and third cousins may all carry the same name. Then there are those mysterious individuals with whom I can’t find a connection and they share the same name, too.