1 John Kamuchey & Erna Boldewahn at their wedding on March 8 1926. His Greek name is Ioannis Evangelos Kamoutsis (ΚΑΜΟΥΤΣΗΣ).
2 Text: "Erna Boldewahn, town of Vinland, became the bride of John Kamuchey of the town of Neenah. Rev. G.M. Weng performed the double ring service. The bride wore an attractive wedding gown of georgette crepe. trimmed with pearls. The Couple were attended by Mr. and Mrs. Fred Zimmerman, the latter being a sister of the bride. Mrs. Zimmerman wore a frock of pale blue Canton crepe trimmed with gold beads. A fine wedding supper was served at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Zimmerman, 213 Otter Street. Mr and Mrs. Kamuchey will reside in the town of Vinland . They plan to take a wedding trip later in the spring." Oshkosh Daily Northwestern › 13 March 1926. John Kamuchey worked on the family farm until 1929 - but because he was only being paid room and board, he returned to the railroad with his wife, Violet, Elaine and one younger sister. They lived in a boxcar and traveled along the rails doing repairs until they finally settled in Milwaukee, WI.
3 The Kamuchey family in the summer of 1936, along with the upstairs neighbor kids
4 John and Erna went on to have 9 children. This photo was taken in the late 1940s.
5 John Kamuchey and Erna Boldewahn at their son Peter Kamuchey's wedding (1960s)
6 Erna Boldewahn and John E Kamuchey at the airport in Milwaukee, WI in 1965. John and one of his daughters were about to fly back to Greece for the first time since he left in 1907. With him are his two sons Peter and Everett Kamuchey, along with Peter's wife and two of Everett's children.
7 John and Erna Kamuchey Gravestone at Evergreen Cemetary in Milwaukee WI
8 John Kamuchey spelled "Coumountzis" arrival to Ellis Island in 1907 from Plessa Greece. The family name has many spellings but the most common variation is Kamoutsis.
9 Page 1 John Coumountzis arrival to Ellis Island in 1907 from Plessa Greece. He is 18 years old. The circled name to the right is that of his father Evangelos. He cannot read or write English and is traveling to Cloquet, Minnesota.
10 Closeup of John Coumountzis arrival to Ellis Island in 1907 from Plessa Greece. See line 4.
11 Close-up of John Coumountzis arrival to Ellis Island in 1907 from Plessa Greece. The circled name is that of his father Evangelos
12 Page 2 of John Coumountzis arrival to Ellis Island in 1907 from Plessa Greece. The circled name in the middle is the the name of the person he was traveling to see: his cousin Gus Carnassios (Karnas?) who was living in Cloquet Minnesota and who he would be staying with. He paid for the passage himself and had $14. His height was 5 feet 5 inches, his complexion was red and his hair fair. They list his eyes as brown (they were in fact blue).
13 John Kamuchey's certificate of arrival in NY in 1907. He did not become a US citizen until 1943.
14 John worked for various railroads over the years as a section hand and later as section foreman. This may be his job application to the US Northern Pacific Railway in 1917. Note he is using an americanized version of his family name: "Kames". His job application states that he had been working for the Fargo & Dakota Division. To learn more about the Northern Pacific Railway go here. In later years he worked for the Chicago & North Western railroad. To learn more about the Chicago & North Western Railroad go here. He lists his date of birth as September 26,1888. On his immigration paperwork, he gave his birthdate as Oct 26, 1888. He lists his parents as "Vagel and Violeta Kames" (Evangelos and Violeta Kames.) His height is 5 feet 7 inches, he weighs 175 pounds. His hair is dark and hie eyes are blue.
15 In October, 10 months after being hired by the US Northern Pacific Railroad, he was laid off due to downsizing. His job performance was described as "Fair track man. Poor control of men." Many Greek immigrants were railroad laborers employed by the Great Northern and Northern Pacific Railroad Companies to work as construction and maintenance workers.
16 In this railroad employment card from the 1930s, he is working for the Chcago Northwestern Railroad. Note that he also uses the name "John E. Kames". His mother's middle name "Patricia" is likley a mistranslation - her father's name was Peter or "Panagiotis"
17 More railroad employment dates from Chicago Northwestern. The show employment from 1926-1935. The name Kames is used here and he has two birthdates listed: "11-26-1889" and "10-26-1890"
18 On the back of the card, they would often list the reasons for leaving employment. Here, John Kamuchey quit twice - once in 1929 and once in 1930
19 This photo is part of a series of photos of railroad workers. The back of the series is addressed to "John A. Kames c/o Depot, Cloquet Minnesota." Kames was one variation of the Kamoutsis name, however the middle initial may indicate this belonged to a different John Kames (possibly with middle name "Andreas"). The photo series is dated Feb 22, 1920.
20 Unidentified man part of the John A Kames photo series. There were two John Kames working on the railroad: "John A." and "John V." or sometimes "John E." They were most likely cousins. The John 'Andreas' Camoutsis was born on Oct 10, 1894 and emigrated from the nearby town Vralia to the US in 1913. His brother Athanase Andreas Kamoutzis came to the US in 1910 and brother George Andreas Camutsis arrived in 1909. The Andreas Kamoutsis family from Vralia may have been cousins to John Everett Kamuchey.
21 Here is the April 1910 US Census report showing a Peter, John, Athan. and George "Kamuchas" living in Virgina, Minnesota and working on the railroad. They were listed as having entered the US between 1906 and 1910 and are boarders. Whether the John and Peter are the sons of "Evangelos Kamoutsis" from Plessa or the sons of "Andreas Kamoutsis" from Vralia is unclear; however John Andreas Kamoutsis did not enter the US until 1913, three years after the US census.
22 Close-up of the names of the Kamuchas men working in Virginia, Minnesota in April 1910. George and Athan are most likely part of the "Andreas Kamoutsis" from Vralia.
23 A different page from the 1910 Census lists a John and Peter Kames as living in South Dakota, Custer County in May 1910. Both are boarders working for the railroad. Their ages and dates of arrival to the US are close to those for John and Peter Everett Kamoutsis from Plessa. Railroad workers did not always have fixed addresses and would travel by rail from state to state to work where needed. The Kamuchey brothers may have been counted twice in the 1910 US census.
24 Cropped version of the South Dakota 1910 Census: Peter and John Kames.
25 By the 1920 Census John Kamuchey is a single boarder at 267 North Concord Street, St Paul, Minnesota. He gives two last names: Kamuchey and Kames and is working as a foreman for the railroad. He lists his emigration year as 1906.
26 John Kamuchey became a US citizen in 1943
27 Announcement in the Milwaukee newspaper listing the names of new citizens
28 The article arranged names by nationaity, even while the judge urdged everyone to "forget national prejudices". John Kamuchey is in the bottom row.
29 Erna, John and Violet Kamuchey in Vinland, WI around 1926. John married Erna Boldewahn in the spring of 1926.
30 John and Violet Kamuchey in Vinland, WI in the 1920s. Violet was the first born of John and Erna
31 Violet Kamuchey 1926
32 Violet Kamuchey in Vinland, WI. Erna's father (Wilhelm Boldewahn) owned a farm there until the late 1920s when he and his wife Ernestine moved back to Oshkosh, WI. John and Erna lived in the area until they moved to Milwaukee in the 1930s.
33 This Chicago Northwestern Employment card shows John E Kamuchey (or "Kames" working for the railroad from 1926-1932. Note he gives a different birth year.
34 The back of the Chicago Northwestern Employment card shows that he worked steadily until 1926 and then did not work for them for 4 years until 1930. In 1926 he married Erna Boldewahn and worked on her father's farm. The farm was sold in 1930 and he returned to work for the railroad with his wife and children living in a boxcar for a period of time.
35 From Marie Kamuchey Smith's collection. Men from Plessa: Andreas Kallimanis, John Kamuchey, Nick Karnas, Tom Theoharis. This was taken in Milwaukee, WI in the 1930s or 1940s.
36 3121 Oakland Ave, Milwaukee WI - home of John and Erna Kamuchey. This is second of the many homes and apartments they rented in Milwaukee and is the address listed on the 1940 US Census. Before that they lived at *49 East Juneau (Source: 1930 US Census), *1361 South 24th Street (Source: 1931 Milwaukee Phone Book), *1024 East Pearson (Source: 1932 Milwaukee Phone Book), *1609 East Webster Place (Source: 1933 Milwaukee Phone Book), *1765 North Astor (Source: 1933 Milwaukee Phone Book), *1433 South 6th Street (Source: 1935 Milwaukee Phone Book).
In 1936 they moved to 3121 Oakland Ave.
37 The Kamuchey family lived at 49 East Juneau Road according to the 1930 Census. Their rent was around $25/month.
38 The Kamuchey family in Milwaukee in the summer of 1936 with 2 upstairs neighbor children in the middle. Violet, the oldest, is to the far right.
39 1714 East Park Place, Milwaukee WI - home of John and Erna Kamuchey. Erna was able to buy the home in August 1940 after the settlement of her father's William Boldewahn's estate.
40 1714 East Park Place, Milwaukee WI - in 2009
41 Violet Kamuchey graduation picture. Violet was the oldest child and was born in 1926
42 Violet Kamuchey
43 Violet Kamuchey's wedding in Milwaukee, WI. She married Howard Pearse
44 Violet Pearse nee Kamuchey (1926-2011)
45 Elaine Kamuchey (left) and Violet (right) and an unnamed woman in Vinland, WI, William Boldewahn's farm 1929
46 Elaine Kamuchey's graduation picture. Elaine would have 4 children - two daughters and two sons. (1927-1999)
47 Elaine Kamuchey 12 years old.
48 Elaine Kamuchey 12 years old.
49 Everett John Kamuchey, one of John and Erna's three sons. He would marry and go on to have 7 children. (1932-2004)
50 Peter Kamuchey, their second son. He is standing next to his mother Erna.
51 Everett J and Peter J Kamuchey ca. 1939. Everett is 7 and Peter 3 years old.
52 Peter Kamuchey's high school graduation picture
53 Peter J Kamuchey served as a marine.
54 Peter J Kamuchey.
55 Peter Kamuchey in his later years. Date: 2004. Location: California. He and his wife would have 3 sons.
56 Peter Kamuchey's gravestone (1936-2015)
57 Peter and Everett Kamuchey 1995
58 Marie Kamuchey Smith (1933-2015)
59 In 1964, Marie earned her Bachelor of Science at Gallaudet University in Washington DC. She would later teach at the California School for the Deaf in Fremont, California.
60 Marie competed in the Deaf Olympics in Milan, Italy. The Milwaukee Sentinel - March 13, 1961
61 The Milwaukee Sentinel - March 13, 1961 - second half
62 The Milwaukee Sentinel - August 1961. Marie won a medal for her freestyle swiiming and also competed in the backstroke.
63 After she retired from teaching, Marie did extensive volunteer work including working with Deaf Hope in Oakland, CA to help end domestic violence in the deaf community. She and her husband also traveled widely. In 1984 they visited Plessa, Greece and were able to caputure video footage of their grand-parents graves along with footage of some of their surviving aunts and uncles. She and her husband have two children - a son and a daughter. Photo: 1980s.