Thursday, May 7, 2015

Entering a New Stage of Invisibility

Having found “Aunt Rose,” my paternal grandfather’s supposed sister, has not turned out to be the golden key to unlock the door barring me from my family’s secret heritage. While I’m grateful to have found out about Rose, hers has been a life leading me through research twists and turns.

I still don’t know for sure what her maiden name was. If the only Anna dying in Queens, New York, on the day when Rose’s mother died turns out to be one and the same with the Anna Kusharvska in the city’s death index, it still doesn’t help me. Would that make her daughter Rose Kusharvska as well? Or was that a later married name for the Anna Kraus listed in Rose Kober’s household?

And what of the surname Miller? After all, I found Rose living with her mother in Brooklyn in the 1915 New York State census, under the name Miller. Was that a previous married name for Rose? Or her maiden name, courtesy of a previous marriage for her mother?

When my own aunt had shared her recollections of Aunt Rose in a late-life interview with my brother, she had mentioned that Rose had been married more than once. The difficulty was that my aunt couldn’t remember any name other than Kober.

My problem is that, last time I looked, I couldn’t locate Rose at any point after the 1930 census. No death record. No cemetery record. Where did she disappear to?

I mentioned, the other day, that I’ve been re-assessing my previous lack of research progress on this paternal line of mine. This time, I’ve been pursuing what I can find on the family through newspaper archives—especially since there are so many more digitized records available now than the last time I tried.

As it turns out, my hunch that Rose might have been married more than twice may hold true, for nearly two years after her husband, George W. Kober, passed away, it appears that Rose was ready to say “I do” once again.

My first clue was found in The Leader-Observer of Thursday, December 14, 1933, which observed in its “Fall Brides” section on page nine:
Mrs. Rose Kober of 8929 96th street, and Julius Hesinger of Garden City, were married last Saturday. Mrs. M. Kohlsdorf and Charles Peters of Woodhaven were the attendants. Mr. and Mrs. Charles Peters of 8927 96th street entertained the bridal party at a wedding supper.

Though brief—and possibly speaking of someone else by the same name—the entry served its purpose. It alerted me to the possibility of another marriage.

Further confirmation followed with the discovery of a longer article—this one, though riddled with the customary editorial errors, provided enough detail to clinch it. This was surely our Rose.

From the Long Island Daily Press, Wednesday, December 13, 1933, in “The Press Society Page” on page six:
Vacation Romance Leads to Wedding

            A vacation romance culminated in the marriage Saturday of Mrs. Rose Kober, 89-29 96th street, Woodhaven, and Julius Hassinger, 141 Whitehall boulevard, Garden City. Mrs. Hassinger, a widow, 58, met her present husband last summer while on a vacation visiting friends in Garden City. This is Mr. Hassinger’s first marriage.
            Mrs. Hassinger married 17 years ago and her husband died in 1930. Mr. Hassinger is with the post office in Garden City.
            Mrs. Hassinger wore a dress of black velvet with matching accessories and a corsage of gardenias at the wedding which was held in Long Island City. Witnesses were Mrs. Emily Kollshdorf and Charles Peters. A reception followed at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Peters of 89-27 96th street, Woodhaven.

While life had decidedly taken a sweeter turn for Rose, it made research more of a puzzle for me. Depending on which newspaper’s report I followed, searches now needed to be made for either Rose Hesinger or Rose Hassinger.

That, however, didn’t make much of a difference, for—after locating her entry in the marriage index—I couldn’t find Rose under either name. Not in the 1940 census. Not in any death records or cemetery records. Just like the proverbial invisible woman of the Gilded Age, Rose, in her happily-ever-after-ness, had once again joined the ranks of the invisible.


  1. Curses! So who is Emily Kollshdorf / Kohlsdorf? Another K name. Maybe her social world included a "Rose by any other name" (sorry -- couldn't resist).

    1. I can't say that I blame you, Wendy. That was perfect timing!

  2. The 1930 Census says she immigrated in 1897. Has that revealed any leads for you?

    1. You are thinking on the right track, Patrick. However, I haven't been able to make that date--nor any of the other ones that have been offered for census records--work for this case. I've cross checked it with Ancestry's files on immigration papers as well as the Castle Gardens records with no decent leads to this point. Frustrating. But I'll keep looking, Patrick. You never know when those digitized documents that keep getting added to collections will turn up with one of my relatives!

  3. While I don't know the relationship: shows Emilie and Max Kohlsdorf ..

    This must be so frustrating for you. :(

    1. Well, I'm certainly jealous after seeing those thorough records, Iggy! I keep wishing that would happen for my mysterious relatives!

      At least that confirms which of the two newspaper reports contained the right spelling for Rose's matron of honor: Emilie Fink Kohlsdorf. Thanks for spotting that, Iggy!

  4. Hi Jacqui, found Julius Hassinger in Nassau County in the 1940 census, working for the Post Office, 57 years old and married to Helen N, age 39. Looks like the same Julius in 1930 census, 47 years old, single, boarder, employed as a clerk and the head of household works for the Post Office. Could Rose have died between 1933 and 1940?

    1. That's part of the frustration, Kat. While the Julius in the 1930 census seems to be Rose's future husband--single, living in approximately the right place, and working for the Post Office--it certainly doesn't match the 1940 census. Unless, as you mentioned, Rose died and the almost-confirmed-bachelor Julius suddenly decided he liked married life so much that he rushed out and got married again, right away.

      To compound the difficulties, there was another Hassinger couple by the name of Julius and Rose--but those two didn't match up with the other facts I know about our Rose. You'd think with names like Julius and Rose, there wouldn't be any duplications, even in a city the size of New York. But it is possible.

      At any rate, I still can't find any records of Rose dying before 1940--neither under the name Hassinger or Hesinger. This one will take a lot more searching before we figure it out...

  5. yeah Kat! That was my thought find Julius:)

    1. I was overjoyed when I first found the article on the wedding because I thought, "Julius Hassinger? With a name like that, how many of those would be hanging around NYC?" Apparently, though, it will take a lot more work before I actually find the right Julius Hassinger.


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