My Parents Immigrated to the US in the Early 1920’s

My name is Pauline. I have a middle name I never liked but I was named after my mother, actually her name was Doris, but somehow it got shortened to Dora when they put it on my birth certificate, Zeltner, I’ve never been married. I was born just across the county line. We were right on the line of Hancock County and Wood County, and yes, Ohio.

Hoitville was the nearest little town. It is scarcely noticeable now but it had some grocery stores, a couple, and they showed a movie every Saturday night or Friday night, I forget which, when I was a little kid, and we would go, all the people would go, you know? Outdoors! (Laughs)

My father came from Southern Germany, close to Italy, after the First World War, and my mother came – after the First World War – from Northern Germany, which is very flat.

My father’s name was Gotthilf Gottlieb, helper of God, lover of God. My mother’s name was Doris Anderson, and she said she had no middle name.

They came to the US in ’22 and ’23. I forget which one came first. They met over here.

My mother went to an uncle in New York State when she first came to live with them while she became a citizen but she didn’t get her papers until after the Second World War.

Anyway, then from New York State she went to Fort Wayne to another uncle and lived there for a while.

Then she came back to Ohio. She answered an ad in the newspaper. A gentleman, I believe in Wood County, advertised for a housekeeper.

She answered that ad and came for just two weeks and she didn’t like it and she went back to Fort Wayne, but in the meantime that was where my father was. He had come and stayed with that uncle. It was his uncle. They met and my father then went to Fort Wayne and courted her. That’s how they met.

My Dad was a farmer. My parents are both gone, but he was a farmer. In Europe he came from an area of vineyards and he knew all about the wine making and taking care of grapes and so forth, but here he turned to farming. He grew wheat, corn, and oats, later on soy beans became popular.

Comments and Responses

Silke Köster   Jul 18, 2008 (3:10 pm)
Hello Pauline,

it´s nice to read this story...

Today me and my mother were looking for some old Picture-Books.

We found some old Pictures, and one some of these, we found the faces of your parents.

Your mother was the sister of my mothers grandmother (Anna Hannekum (born as Koch))...I know it sounds a little bit crazy, but so it is.

This was the cause, I searched for your mothers name in the Internet.

We life in Groß Lessen...tist is a little village between Hannover and Bremen, Germany.

It would be great if you might contact us.

You can wright me when ever you want.An we would be happy, to meet eachother by eMail.

If there are any question, pleas ask us...

My Email is

With best regards,

Silke & Marlies Köster