My grandfather came over to the Usa about 1914, about 17 years of age, but he used the name Emil Otto Wesch. He changed it to Joseph Menden. His brothers were U Boat captains that came to America several times to ask him to return home. He told many family and friends that his true name was Hindenburg. Supposedly his mother was Hannah Louise Hindenburg, a sister of the President. I have not found her listed as such, while his father is said to be a cousin of Hindenburg twice removed. Below is a quote from my mother's notes: According to mom (Violet Ann Menden Burr, youngest dau. of Joseph Menden), Hannah Louise Von Hindenburg was impregnated by a cousin twice removed...the child, a boy, was rather wild and was sent to live with a male role model; Herbert Baron Von Hindenburg.
I would appreciate any assistance and would be glad to share many more interesting facets of his story. Thank you for any help or assistance. D. Koch
<< Supposedly his mother was Hannah Louise Hindenburg, a sister of the President. I have not found her listed as such. >>
this point seems to be the main fault in your grand father's story.
But one good point: Hindenburg mother's name was Louise
There are so many [unsourced] Hindenburg trees on the Internet, and unfortunately they quote each other as source !
One thing could be true:
President Hindenburg had several brothers and maybe 2 sisters.
the trees list 2 possible sisters and their first names are not as important as their birth dates:
Lina 1853–1927, said to have had a son of unknown father in 1890.
Ida, born 1851
IF Joseph was born in 1897, they would have been 44 & 46 respectively. Not impossible but very unlikely.
I suppose one of the trees on ancestry is yours ?
<< born about 1897 >>
born 26 Oct 1897 Kunran, Germany [Draft Registration Cards for Virginia & death certificate]
<< came over to the Usa about 1914, about 17 years of age >>
17 is rather young to travel alone.
Did he travel with someone ? did he lie about his age ? is 1914 accurate ? did he borrow an Emil Otto Wesch's papers ?
In that case: who was this Emil Otto Wesch ? he was most certainly a few years older than Joseph.
<< He changed it to Joseph Menden >>
to Joseph Vincent Menden
in the New York Passenger Arrival List, arrival 1900-1920, I cannot find ANY Emil or Otto [no last name] born 1883-1903 Germany .
the only Otto Wesch I found was too old [born abt 1863], arrival 7 Jan 1914
the earliest I found Joseph Menden is 11 Sep 1918, as being .... from Holland ?!!! did he always tell the truth ??
U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918
Joe Menden born 26 Oct 1897; Residence: Norfolk, VA
In 1930 Joseph Menden & family are in Norfolk, VA.
But, can you find him in the 1920 census ?
1918 & 1930, he is painter at the Navy Yard, so he SHOULD be in Norfolk in 1920
1920 Norfolk: search ANY male [no first/last name] born 1894 to 1900 in Germany , Hollande, France, Belgium = no match
I told you, I had only questions & thoughts