Hi! Thanks for your recent post! I agree that there would be no reason for Marie (Zerhau) Thoendel to return to Bergstadt. This is very hard to figure out. My grandmother's notes state that her mother, Marie (Sitka/Sicka) came to the US before Joseph Nickmann, and that they were married in Chicago. So, she would have traveled under the name Marie Sitka, or something similar. I also have seen the Westphalia ship listing for Marie Styce. I am curious about this. My grandmother said that her mother came on the same ship with "Mrs. Thoendel." So, I am not sure to whom that is referring. According to census records, both Joseph and Marie Nickmann came to the US around 1891. Joseph was born in March 1867, and traveled to Switzerland at age 15, which would have been 1882. So, it doesn't make sense that he came to the US at that time. This is very puzzling.
I have found many more postcards from the various Thoendel family members, especially Erwin, to my grandmother.
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. Thanks! We will keep up the search!