I hope you'll excuse my long-winded entry here today. Our Martin F. Keffer has been a hard man to find! I'm having great difficulty finding information concerning my mom-in-law's grandfather, Martin Frederick Keffer, who was born 1868, Pennsylvania, and died 8 Sep 1942, El Paso, Texas. We have absolutely no documents for Martin prior to 1908, but at some point, he left Pennsylvania to work for a mining company (French company) in the city of El Oro, located in Hildago, Mexico. His business associate was Matso DeFauhvet/Fauhvet, a Frenchman. Martin married Matso's daughter, Elena J. Fauhvet (or Elaine J. DeFauhvet, according to one of their daughters), and they had the following children, with the first six being born in Mexico:
Martin Keffer Jr. (Born: 1899)
Josephine Keffer (Born: 1901)
Elena/Helen Keffer (Born: 1908)
Annie Keffer (Born: 1912)
Charles Edward Keffer (Born: 1914)
Camille Keffer (Born: 1916)
***Immigrated back to USA from Mexico by way of Louisiana in 1916
Alice Keffer (Born: 1917)
Edward W. Keffer (Born: 1926)
My mother-in-law has the Hildago birth certificate of Elena/Helen Keffer, born 1908. In the translated version, it states that Elena was born to "Martin Keffer, native of the United States and resident [or neighbor] of Hildago, married, miner of thirty-nine years of age,...[here it describes the time that the child was born and that the child was born legitimate to the parents and then legitimate to the GRANDPARENTS, that the child was the] granddaughter in paternal degree of E. Keffer and Ana Keffer deceased."
My mother-in-law feels that Martin's father E. Keffer may actually have been an Edward Keffer, although this is just her hunch. If you look at Martin's children, his first son was named after himself (Martin Frederick), his second son was named Charles Edward (my mother-in-law's father), and Martin's third son was Edward W. I'll have to look to see what the W. stands for. Regardless, all three of Martin's sons lived relatively long lives, although I do not know what happened to Martin Jr. once he returned to the USA upon returning from Mexico in 1916. Both Charles Edward and Edward W. lived well into adulthood, so the repeated use of the name Edward does stand out.
Going back to Martin Frederick Keffer, the death date I have for him was taken from his El Paso tombstone. I know ancestry.com has his death as 1951, but that is incorrect. I think there may have been another Martin F. Keffer, as ancestry.com lists a Martin F., born 1869, PA, as having married a Lizzetta Fuelling, and having been the son of Jacob N Kiefer and Elizabeth Weling. This Martin F. died in 1951, and this Martin F. is not the same Martin Frederick that was my mother-in-law's grandfather. The two Martin F.'s have had their information mingled together, unfortunately.
Also, I have the following part of a letter written from Martin's daughter Elena/Helen Keffer Scott. It may throw some hints as to Martin's family connections, or it may just muddy it up a little bit more!
Elena/Helen wrote the following on July 24, 1983: "When I was a little girl, there was a gentleman that was driving thru to California, his car broke down, and he was here in El Paso for several days/...He was very wealthy, and went to see the manager of the Credit Bureau here in El Paso, to make some kind financial arrangements. In talking to Mr. Hodge, ---Mr. Hodge mentioned the fact that he had a very good friend by the name of Martin F. Keffer... and it was odd that this gentlemen's name was Keffer... He [the gentleman] came by to see mother, and told her to please get in touch with daddy, find out what we could about daddy's family, because he had an uncle by the name of Martin F. Keffer, which had disappeared years ago, and he would like to know if daddy was part of the family... This Gentleman lived in St. Louis, Missouri. On his way back from California, he did come by to see mother, but in the meantime Daddy had written mother, "he had no relatives" and did not want any." Did I mention muddied water?
Elena/Helen also thought at one time that her grandparents were Martin F. Keffer and Margaret Strang Keffer, but this contradicts the information from her birth certificate from Mexico. Elena/Helen was recalling the grandparents listed on her birth certificate, so I tend to think this may have been faulty memory. Apparently, however, talk of family was very 'hush-hush' for this group of Keffers, so I'm not leaving any stone unturned!
Sorry for the long-winded Keffer account, but Martin has been a very allusive fellow! Any help would be great!
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