Tuesday, April 22, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: John Popp (1886-1959)

My grandfather, Stephen Popp (Stefan Papp) was part of the tide of Austro-Hungarian immigrants that came to United States in the early 20th century. Like many others, he followed his family and neighbors. In addition to his siblings, three of his Popp cousins came to America from two small villages at the eastern edges of the Empire.

I grew up in Connecticut near the family of one of the cousins, John Popp. John died when I was a toddler, but I knew his widow and son's family. John had a certain stature in the family stories. He was dearly loved, a successful business man in Bridgeport, owned a car (this was a big deal), and was active in the immigrant church and cultural societies in the United States. He and his wife even hosted my aunt and uncle on their honeymoon in 1947, providing a sleeper sofa in the living room for the newlyweds. My aunt made it clear that they stayed a few days, then headed off to someplace more private for a traditional honeymoon. The notices that appeared in The Bridgeport Post following John's death don't mention the car or honeymoon hosting, but they more than illustrate his stature in the community.

EASTON, Sept. 14 -- Services will take place Thursday for John Popp, 72, of 10 Palmer place, former operator of a liquor store on Arctic street, Bridgeport, who died yesterday in his home.
The will be conducted at 8:30 a.m. in the Adzima funeral home, 591 Arctic stret [sic], Bridgeport, and at 9 o'clock in St. John the Baptist church, Mill Hill avenue. Burial will be in St. John's cemetery, Stratford. Panahedeon services will be conducted at the funeral home tonight, Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:30 o'clock.
Mr. Popp was past president of St. John the Baptist Carpatho Russian Greek Catholic church on Mill Hill avenue and supreme past president of the American Russian Sokols of the Greek Catholic Brotherhood, and a member of the Fathers' club, St. Basil's society and St. Nicholas' society.
A native of Czechoslovakia, Mr. Popp resided in Bridgeport many years before moving to Easton three years ago.
He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Elizabeth Wargo Popp; a son, George Popp, operator of the Appliance Center on Main street, four grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

EASTON, Sept. 18 -- Services for John Popp, 72, of 10 Palmer place, were conducted yesterday in St. John the Baptist Carpatho-Russian Greek Cathoic church, Mill Hill avenue, Bridgeport. Burial was in St. John's cemetery, Stratford.
His Grace, Archbishop Benjamin, of Pittsburgh, officiated.
Celebrant of the Mass was the Rt. Rev. Andrew Slepecky, administrator of St. Clair, Pa.; co-celebrants, the Very Revs. John Kivko and Joseph G. Simko.
The Very Rev. Hrista Vasilescu, the Rev. John Shunda, the Rev. Victor F. George, the Rev. Alexander Kovachi, and the Very Rev. Stephen Antonuk were seated in the Sanctuary.
Father Simko assisted by Fathers Slepecky and Kivko, read the committal services.
Delegations from St. Basil's society, A.R.S. 3; St. Nicholas' society, and the Fathers club attended.
Bearers, all church officers, were Michael Tarasovich, Michael Hritz, Michael Soltis, Jr., Richard Kopchyak, Peter Liscinsky and George Komtos. 
John was born on 22 Dec 1886 in Drahovo, Maramoros, Austria-Hungary to Ivan Papp and his wife, Ilka Papp. Today Drahovo is in Ukraine. He came to the United States in 1903 with his mother. His father was working in Johnstown, PA, and paid for their passage. He had two surviving siblings who remained in Europe, Anna Papp and Stefan Papp. John's parents ultimately returned to Drahovo. While I cannot document the relationship between John and my grandfather, their children believed them to be first cousins through John's mother. If so, then Ilka Papp was a sister of my great-grandfather, Ivan Papp, and a daughter of Stefan Papp and Anna Stajko.

Written for Amy Johnson Crow's blogger challenge 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.


"John Popp, 72, Dies; Ex-Head of Sokols," The Bridgeport Post, 14 Sep 1959, p. 34, col. 8; digital images, Ancestry.com (accessed 22 Apr 2014), Newspapers & Publications. Cit. Date: 22 Apr 2014.  

"Obituary John Popp," The Bridgeport Post, 17 Sep 1059, p. 2, col. 9; digital images, Ancestry.com (accessed 22 Apr 2014), Newspapers & Publications. Cit. Date: 22 Apr 2014.  

"Ellis Island Ship Manifests," online images, EllisIsland.org (www.ellisisland.org : accessed 22 Apr 2014), manifest, S.S. Finland, 6 Oct 1903, Ilka Papp and Ivan Papp, lines 7 & 8. Cit. Date: 22 Apr 2014.