Elma Maria “Chibie” Oliete Heinemann

Death Aug 1963 (aged 75)
Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA
Burial Unknown
Memorial ID 156563649 · View Source
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A figure of romantic mystery to her own children and grandchildren, Elma (also given as Alma in some records) was rumored to have been the illegitimate child of Spanish royalty and a servant girl. But records, at least on their surface, indicate she was born Ofelia Oliete, daughter of Spaniard Jose Agustin Oliete and Cuban Maria P. Baez. She appears to be the youngest of seventeen children born mostly or all in Cuba, with 9 alive as of the 1900 census, and these eight known by name: Jose A., born in 1863; Claudine c1865; Asuncion ("Suncia," "Susy," c1871; Lauriana c1875; Consuela c1878; Auyrero/Amparo c1880; Alfredo c1883; and Ofelia (suspected to be Elma Maria) in 1888.

In 1880, the oldest-known child of the family, Jose/Joseph A. Oliete, emigrated from Cuba to New York City at the age of 16 and worked there as a tailor. He became an American citizen and changed his name to Joseph Ollright (Find A Grave # 114729550), married French-born Aimee Russelet, and had three children.

In 1892, much or all of the rest of the Oliete family was living in Spain -- possibly the patriarch died either there or even earlier in Cuba -- and mother Maria and the seven other known children sailed for Cuba, and then to New York, arriving on the Alfred Dumois on April 20th.

On July 14, 1894, Asuncion/Suncia married Ramon Del Rio in Manhattan. As of the 1900 census, Maria and her youngest child, Ofelia/Elma, were living with the Del Rios, and both were enumerated with the Ollright name, although Elma sometimes also used Del Rio.

On November 20, 1898, Auyrero/Amparo married Antonio Fernandez in Manhattan. Yet unknown is how that marriage came to an end, but a second, brief marriage to Morris Basey, took place in Ohio in 1915, ending in divorce by 1920.

On July 15, 1907, Elma married Frederick A. Heinemann in New York City. First child Frederick, Jr. ("Dutch") was born while still living there, and shortly after, the Heinemanns relocated to the Philadelphia area, where Andrea and Peter were born, though Elma and children would eventually return to New York.

Whatever the full truth of her life story, Elma made a tremendous impression on those who knew her. According to her granddaughter, singer-composer Carly Simon, "Chibie" was, "brainy, brilliant, and an utter original."

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  • Created by: Sharry Blazier
  • Added: 31 Dec 2015
  • Find A Grave Memorial 156563649
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Elma Maria “Chibie” Oliete Heinemann (3 Jun 1888–Aug 1963), Find A Grave Memorial no. 156563649, ; Maintained by Sharry Blazier (contributor 46831048) Unknown.