JACOB ALBERT CHRISTIAN KAY was born August 10, 1879 in Balje, Germany, and died March 14, 1951 in Sunnyvale, Santa Clara County, California. He was the third son of Carl Frederich Koschnitzki and Anna Sophia Pluns to immigrate to the United States, June 6, 1895.

More about Jacob Albert Christian Kay:
Confirmation: May 22, 1894. Original document shows name to be Jacob Albert Christian Koschnitzki-confirmed in Balje, Germany.
Note: It was a German custom to have your son's first name to be of a Saint then be called by his second name by family and friends.
Naturalization: 1900, per 1920 Census
Name Changed: September 4, 1923 (Alameda County, California)
Citizenship: September 4, 1900 (Hudson County, New Jersey)

Currently, I show that Albert worked for the following person who wrote a letter a recommendation, transcribed as it was written:
Brooklyn June 30, 1897 This is to certify that Albert Koschnitzki has been in mein employ for the least 6 months. I recammand him as be anners true and good worker.
C. Meyerhoff
374 Lewis Avenue

Al, as he was more commonly known as, lived and was employed at Carl Luck Hardware and Tinware/Locksmith and Bell Hanger in Jersey City, New Jersey when he came to the United States. Al & Carl Luck remained close friends and corresponded over the years after Albert moved to California. The 1900 Census has him living in Jersey City, New Jersey with Carl Luck and Family. Albert was a locksmith and working for Carl Luck. His name is listed as: Christin Kichritiski, age 19.
1900 United States Federal Census
Name: Christin Kichritiski [Jacob Albert Christian Koschnitzki]
Home in 1900: Jersey City Ward 6, Hudson, New Jersey
Age: 19
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1881
Birthplace: Germany
Relationship to head-of-house: Servant
Race: White
Occupation: View Image
Immigration Year: 1895
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members: Name Age
Carl Luck 44
Hattie Luck 33
Matilda Luck 10
Eddie Luck 7
Christin Kichritiski 19
Albert moved from New Jersey to California when his father, mother and siblings came to the United States in 1901.

My father Roy Kay, told me that his father, Al, went back to Germany to get his parents. At this time I cannot find a ship's manefest of him traveling back with his parents. I have found a U.S. passport issue date of 6 Sep 1900, U.S. Citizen, and his name listed on a ship returning from Hamburg, Germany, November 29th, 1900. There is not a record of him traveling to Germany or a record showing him traveling back with his parents and younger siblings on April 29, 1901 (when they immigrated to US). Grandfather had originally immigrated to the U.S. when he was 16 years old, in 1895, per census records. Grandfather Albert received his citizenship in 1900. He also lived in New Jersey before settling in the San Francisco Bay Area, California.

The passport application: #32415-State of New Jersey, County of Hudson Passport Division Sep 6 1900 Dept. of State
I, Albert Koschnitzki, a naturalized & Loyal Citizen of the United States hereby apply to the Department of States at Washington, for a passport for myself. I solemnly swear, that I was born at Baljedorf, Rev. Hannover, Germany on or about the 11th day of August AD 1879. That I immigrated to the United States, sailing on Board of the S.S. Nomamcia (sp?), from Hamburg on or about the 6th day of June 1895 that I resided 5 years uninterruptedly in the United States from June 14th, 1895 to Septbr 4, 1900 at Jersey City, N.J. that I was naturalized as a Citizen of the United States before the Common _____ Court of Hudson county, at Jersey City on the fourth day of September 1900 as shown by the accompanying Certificate of naturalization that I am the Identical person described in said Certificate, that I am domiziled in the United States, that my permanent residence being at Jersey City, Hudson county State of New Jersey, where I follow the occupation of an Electrician, that I am about to go abroad temporarily and that I intend to return to the United States, with the purpose of residing and performing the dutites of Citizenship therein.

1900 PASSENGER LIST from Hamburg, Germany to New York.
Hamburger Passagierlisten, 1850-1934 Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934
about Alb. Koschwitzky
Name: Alb. Koschwitzky
Departure Date: 29 Nov 1900
Estimated birth year: abt 1879
Age Year: 21
Gender: männlich (Male)
Marital Status: ledig (Single)
Family: Household members
Residence: New Jersey
Ethnicity/Nationality: USA (American)
Occupation: Kaufmann

Ship Name: Deutschland
Shipping Line: Hamburg-Amerika Linie (Hamburg-Amerikanische
Ship Type: Dampfschiff
Emigration: Reise
Accommodation: Zweite Kajüte
Ship Flag: Deutschland (Germany)
Port of Departure: Hamburg
Port of Arrival: Southampton; Cherbourg; New York


CELIA VON ARX was born September 03, 1883 in San Francisco, San Francisco County, California to Joseph von Arx and Marie "Mary" Lang, and died May 22, 1942 in Oakland, Alameda County, California. Sisters Celia & Mary von Arx married the Koschnitzki brothers, Al & Jack respectively. They both were the daughters of Joseph von Arx and Mary Lang (Lange)


Albert married CELIA VON ARX on November 25, 1905 in St. Mathews Lutheran Church in San Francisco, California. Witnesses were Nellie von Arx and J. Koschnitzki. Albert was 26 years of age and Celia was 22 years of age.

Marriage Certificate issued by the church (transcribed as it was written):
This Certifies that Albert KOCHNITZKI of San Francisco, California and Celia VON ARX of San Francisco, Calif. were united in Marriage according to the Ordinance of GOD and the Laws of the State of California San Francisco on the 25th day of November in the year of Our Lord One Thousand Nine Hundred and five.
Witnesses: J. KOSCHNITZKI Nellie VON ARX
Rev. Herman Gehrcke Pastor of St. Mathews Lutheran Church

Shows marriage date November 25, 1905 but should be November 22, 1905.

Correction certificate and transcribed as it was written:
Recorded on December 7, 1905 and also stamped with "see error" (misspelling of last name on Certificate of Marriage, now showing correct spelling of Koschnitzki).
Residence was at 116 Valley Street, San Francisco which was the von Arx family home.
Age of Albert is 26 years and past and Celia showing 22 years and past. Shows marriage date November 22, 1905 on the main page, but on the backside, shows marriage date of Nov 25, 05.

There was a St. Mathew's Evangelical Lutheran Church in San Francisco from at least 1900 through to 1924. In 1905 it was located on the east side of 11th St., between Market and Mission. The Rev. Herman Gehreke was pastor and the services were in German. After the earthquake, it was located in 1909 at the corner of Dolores and Dorland. Then in 1910 it was located on 16th St. near Dolores.

Prior to the birth of their first son Albert, Jr., Al and Celia lived in Portland, Oregon. There is also a land patent recorded under Albert Koschnitzki, February 24, 1908 for a homestead in Washington for "one hundred thirty-eight and sixty-two-hundreths acres". Why they moved back to the San Francisco area is unknown at this time. Maybe with Celia being a "city" girl, the country life was too much of a hardship for her or she missed her family who lived in San Francisco.

Albert worked as a ship's carpenter and also had his own locksmith and general repair business in San Francisco and Oakland, California.

Al and Celia had two children:

Roy (L) and Al, Jr. (R) Circa 1918

I. ALBERT JACOB CHRISTIAN KAY, born on August 11, 1911 in San Francisco,San Francisco County, California and died December 12, 1972 in Los Altos, Santa Clara County, California.
Name Change: September 4, 1923 from Koschnitzki to Kay.
Al, Jr. met and married FRANKIE MADSEN BAIR. She was born February 10, 1916 in New Mexico and died November 27, 1973 in Los Altos, Santa Clara County, California.

Al and Frankie had two children:

OBITUARY: FORMER SUNNYVALE CITY AIDE SUCCUMBS Albert Jacob Kay, 61, co-owner of Kay Electric Co., and former electrical adviser to the City of Sunnyvale, died Tuesday in a Mountain View hospital of lung cancer. Kay, of 799 Blanchard Way (Los Altos), had operated Kay Electric Co., with his brother, Roy Kay of San Jose, since 1946. He was a volunteer consultant on city electrical questions for Sunnyvale. A native of San Francisco, Kay's early career included employment as an electrician with Ford Motor Co. in Richmond, Chevrolet Company, Oakland and Pacific Electric Co., in San Francisco-Oakland. During the depression years, Kay worked as an electrician aboard gold dredges in Nevada during mining operations. He was a member of the Electrical Code Commission of Santa Clara County and the Palo Alto Elks Club. Besides his brother, Kay leaves his wife, Frankie B.

More about Albert Jacob Christian Kay:
Namesake: Koschnitzki
Burial: Oak Hill Cemetery, San Jose, Santa Clara County, California
Cause of Death: Lung Cancer
Occupation: Electrical Contractor

II. ROY WILLIAM KAY was born April 28, 1917 at home, 6525 Dover Avenue, Berkeley (now Oakland), Alameda County, California and died April 1, 1998 in Chico, Butte County, California.

During the depression years Al Kay Sr. opened a key and repair shop at 2231 Hopkins Street Oakland, Calif. Hopkins was renamed to MacArthur Blvd. after Word War 2 (World War II).
The invoice is for that shop.
Celia Kay (mother to Al & Roy) would tend shop when Al Kay Sr. would go out on repair jobs. Roy would tend shop during vacation (school) and Saturday also. Some days there would be no income at all and other maybe would make one or two keys.
One time when I (Roy) was tending shop a worker for P.G.& E. had me duplicate a key and then said he would bring me the money (25¢) the next day. That has yet to come.

The large business card A.K. Expert Locksmithing and Repairing Co. was the shop that A. Kay Sr. (Koschnitzki) had in San Francisco. Do no(t) know the year. Must have been in the early 1900s (Koschnitzki name changed to Kay in 1924-cj).
Telephone Garfield 1489
Locksmithing and Repairing co.
Residence: 6525 Dover St., South Berkeley
Al. Koschnitzki
Al Kay Sr. learned the locksmith work in New Jersey when he worked for Carl Luck after arriving in the U.S. from Germany.

More About Celia von Arx: Cause of Death: Heart Failure-Myscarditis
Cremation: May 25, 1942, Sunset Crematory-Hull & Sons-Berkeley
Medical Information: She had myscarditis for 3 months prior to her death.

January 9, 1980 (typed by Roy Kay, son of Albert, Sr.)
Temporary log book for Kay's Locksmith Shop at 248 So. Murphy Avenue Sunnyvale California when Albert Kay Sr. had his locksmith and repair shop in the Kay Electric Company appliance store. Kay Electric company leased the building from Clarence Kay. Enclosed in the Log is a California Sales Tax quarterly report "final" filled out by Maxine Ramberg who was the bookkeeper for Kay Electric Company. The tax report would have been made after the death of Albert Kay Sr. in March 1951.

The 5'6" wood key was used by Albert Kay Sr. as his locksmith sign in Sunnyvale.

After his death the key was loaned to the Sunnyvale Chamber of Commerce for presenting to guests of the city. Al. Spiers was the business manager of the chamber. The key was stolen at a display and was later recovered by Roy Kay when he and Joanne Forsythe (future wife) were on a date and looking for Portola Park in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

It was about seven P.M. and stopped to ask directions on the Skyline Blvd. and the only place open was a bar. So they were having a beer and there nailed to the wall was the key. Said nothing to the bartender, the next day (Monday) went to the Chief of Police in Sunnyvale and told our story with Al. Spires.

The Chief sent a detective with Roy, Al Spires and photographs that Al had of the key and we went to the bar and the bartender gave it to us with no fuss.

The crack in the blade of the and the handle is due to a large nail being driven in it to hand (hang) it on the wall.

After Celia's death, Albert married Margaret Nelson, a neighbor lady on December 11, 1943. Albert and Margaret lived in the Rhoda home for awhile, but ended up selling it, and built a home on Sunnyvale Avenue in Sunnyvale, CA. Jack and Mary Kay built a house right next door. Albert Sr., died unexpectedly at the age of 71. He had been digging postholes at the new home the night before and was gone by 4:00 A.M. the next morning.

Source: In belongings of Albert Kay, Sr. DEATH TAKES SUNNYVALE MAN March 14, 1951--Albert Kay Sr., 71, died unexpectedly today at his home, 261 Sunnyvale Ave. He had lived here two years. Kay was a native of Germany and had made his home in California for 50 years. He was a member of Shipwright Union 1049 of San Francisco; Helvetia Society of San Francisco; and Lutheran Church. He leaves his widow, Margaret; two sons, Albert Kay Jr. of Los Altos and Roy Kay, owners of Kay Electric co. in Sunnyvale. He is also survived by a sister, Marie Johnson of Washington; three brothers, William, Henry and August Kay, of San Francisco; and four grandchildren. Funeral services will be Friday at 2 p.m. in Hays & Wyant Funeral Home, Sunnyvale. Cremation will be at Alta Mesa Memorial Park.