Monday, October 16, 2023

Finding a Final Resting Place


While I've finally discovered that Aunt Rose died toward the end of 1937, that certainly doesn't mean that is the end of her story—not, at least, for family history research purposes. There are far too many gaps left in her story. Among them is that tiny detail of finding her final resting place.

There is nothing I've found online that confirms where that resting place might have been. Now that I've finally located the date of her death—not to mention, that key detail of what surname her burial records might have listed—I can begin that next research process.

Not finding any obituary for Aunt Rose, though she was survived not only by her third husband, Julius Hassinger, but by her younger brother, I had some searching still to do. While a copy of a New York State death index revealed the date of her death, I'm curious to see what was recorded for the names of Rose's parents—not to mention, discovering who the reporting party might have been. I doubt her third husband, to whom she was married for only three years, would have been able to correctly answer such questions—though her brother, my secretive paternal grandfather, might have been, if he'd be willing to break silence on his origins just this once.

Discovering what was surely the mangled married name of Rose's mother led me to one cemetery where Rose might have been buried, if she didn't have plans to be buried with Julius Hassinger, her current husband. That cemetery was the beautiful and historic Woodlawn Cemetery located in the northern portion of the Bronx, part of New York City. That was the cemetery, according to death records, where Rose laid her mother to rest after Anna's tragic demise in 1921, although searches through Find a Grave with several spelling variations yielded no results from the memorials posted there.

The Find a Grave memorials do include an entry—however, without any headstone photograph—for Rose's second husband, George Kober, and note an inscription stating "Husband of Rose." I can click a handy button at Find a Grave and request that a photo be taken, but I will first need to provide a burial location before sending that request. Since the only map of the cemetery I can find online dates back to 1912, that hardly helps. I will need to call the cemetery on a nice, quiet day midweek, when the office isn't quite so busy.

Still, though I can't find any mention of Rose herself in the Woodlawn entries at Find a Grave, I did notice that George's father, the senior George W. Kober, was also buried at Woodlawn. I'm hoping this detail indicates a family burial plot, in which case, I will ask for the names of everyone buried at that location, including Rose's mother Anna. Who knows what additional ways Anna's Polish surname might have been mangled in American records.

Finding this final resting place for both Rose and her mother Anna will help me gather those last few details I've been lacking. Perhaps that will provide a key to open the door for future searches. After all, this may be the last stop in the story of the end of their lives, but in genealogy, we are always working backwards in time. The answers from the end of the story may well be the information I need to unlock doors on the details of their life prior to their arrival in New York City.

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