Thursday, February 7, 2013

Cousin Edward Nappen of Atlantic City

If you've been following my posts about the Napadensky / Nappen family, you'll know that Edward Nappen was the son of Barnett and Hannah (Segal) Nappen. Hannah is sister to Rachel (Segal) Siegel, and to my husband's great-great-grandmother, Golda (Segal) Levitt. Therefore, Edward is first cousin to Rose (Levitt) Goldstein.

Edward Nappen married Anna Braudy in about 1922 and was living in Atlantic City by 1926, when their second son was born.

As I shared last week, in the 1940 U.S. Federal Census, his widowed mother, Anna (Hannah) was living with his family. Following is the rest of the census line for Edward.

Detail from 1940 U.S. Census for Edward Nappen in Atlantic City, New Jersey

His occupation is Magistrate, working for Atlantic County. He worked all 52 weeks of the prior year and made $8,000.

I find the Nappen family in city directories for Atlantic City from the 1920's to the 1950's. Following is from the 1956 Atlantic City Directory and all the Nappens listed are from the same family.

1956 Atlantic City, NJ directory from U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989

  • Bernard is Edward's second son. Joyce is his wife. It looks like he is a teacher and lives in Ventnor (indicated by the V after the address).
  • Edward (wife Anna) is listed as a clerk for the County Detective Bureau. Note that he still lives at 15 S. Florida Ave.
  • Enoch is his youngest son and was likely in college at this time.
  • Hannah (widow of Barnett) is still living with her son, daughter-in-law and grandson.
  • Mortimer, Edward's oldest son, is a detective for the City Police Department, and also lives in Ventnor.

Before the HBO TV series, was the book, Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City, by Nelson Johnson (Medford, NJ: Plexus Publishing, Inc. 2002). This is the story of Atlantic City from its earliest days as a beach village providing affordable vacations to those coming by train from Philadelphia, through the 20th century, detailing all the politics and corruption that has made Atlantic City the resort town that it is today. (We happen to own a copy of this book and have read it. If you're from the area, it is a must-read to learn about the island's history.)

Cousin Ed is mentioned on page 150, in reference to the shady aspect of identifying those vendors who were to be given licenses in order to sell ice cream:
"[Jimmy] Boyd recruited Ed Nappen because of his ties with the veterans groups. Nappen had been Fourth Ward Leader and local magistrate and was active among Atlantic City's veterans. Nappen chose people who could be trusted to play ball with the combine by kicking back a portion of their profits."

Browsing through issues of the Trenton Evening Times on GenealogyBank, Ed Nappen's name appears a few times in articles about his leadership in the Jewish War Veterans organization, as well as in articles about a 1951 hearing looking into Atlantic City crime.

Edward Nappen died at age 61 in July 1957. I haven't been able to find an obituary for him. As noted above, he was first cousin to my husband's grandmother; his children are second cousins to my husband's mother.


  1. Looks like you have found quite a lot of info. Interesting!


    1. Betty, yes I could probably find a lot more on this family, but there are only so many hours in a day and so many family branches to research ;-)

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. I am the great-grand daughter of Edward. His second son, Bernard, is my grandfather. Bernard’s first born is my mother, Ellen.

    1. Angela, your mother is my husband's third cousin! Thank you so much for commenting and feel free to email me at elizhandler -at- if you want to exchange family information.