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 WeddingA 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.