This is a rare post involving my maternal side of the family.
When I started becoming really interested in genealogy, I made sure to heed the advice of going to talk the oldest relatives. One of those relatives was my Grandmother Westra. She was born Etta Berendine Pauw on 09 July 1902 in Octelbur (now called Riepe), Germany. Her parents were listed on her birth certificate as Ewold Pauw and Martha Reemt Jürgens.
Other than what is found on her birth certificate, most my information about her family comes from her directly and a German cousin. To say the least, it is incomplete at best. I was too green to realize that, while talking to the oldest relatives was better than nothing, I should have done a complete and formal interview, possibly video and/or audio taping her recollections.
From the conversation I had with Etta, I have the following named children of Ewold Pauw and Martha Reemt Jurgens:
- Etta Berendine (daughter), born 09 July 1902
- Tjard (son)
- Johann (son)
- Martha Ewoldine (daughter)
- Reemt (son)
- Alerich (son)
My grandmother, Etta, also said that there were triplet girls in the family but Etta was not one of the triplets. That would mean that, if Martha was one of the triplets, there are two other daughters not listed here.
Etta did make a trip back to Germany around 1964 to see her siblings. I have a photo of them together which, as part of a home study lesson with the National Genealogy Society, I sent to a cousin named Marion who helped me to identify them.
According to Marion’s identification, they are from left to right: Tjard Pauw, Johann Pauw, Martha called Dini Saathoff, Etta herself, Reemt and Alerich Pauw. She further states, “As I see the “carport” of my grandparents in the back, your grandmother visited her sister in Oldersum and all the family came together to enjoy these rare moments.”
I did not get any recollections from Etta regarding her parents, what they were like, where they were born, how was it to grow up with them, where they lived, how and when they died. So, until I’m ready to get serious about some overseas research, I’ll have to settle for their names.
 Germany, Office of the Registrar, Geburtzurkunde, birth certificate (1902), Etta Berendine Pauw. Issued in Reipe, Germany on 25 May 1967, parents are listed as Ewold Pauw and Martha Reemt Jürgens; Digital copy with Jodi Lynn Strait, Tucson, AZ.
 Marion Schoone, to Jodi Lynn Strait, letter, March 2011, naming Etta Pauw and her siblings in a photo.