Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Found my Voice Again


I can finally talk again! It took lots of googling for answers, reviewing and testing information—which in this case hadn't seemed to work—but now it appears I can finally talk back to everyone again in comments you've left on A Family Tapestry. Seems it was a function of some default settings on Safari, the browser I've been using since switching from my old clunker PC to a new Apple laptop. While my first—and second, and third—foray into problem solving didn't seem to do the trick, that option to try, try again worked in my favor, and by last night, I was able to pipe up and leave a reply to the comment by "kdduncan."

What Kathy had suggested was to go to to look up the marriage record for my Aunt Rose and her third husband, Julius Hassinger. I did just that, and quickly located an entry for the 1933 New York City marriage.

The record provided, however, was only a transcription, not a digitized copy of the actual document. Still, as Kathy had mentioned, it divulged information on the parents of the couple.

Well, let me amend that: Julius Hassinger's father and mother were explicitly named. From that transcription—assuming it was correctly copied—we can now say that Julius' father was named John, and his mother was identified as Agathe Geisen.

For Rose, however, reading an entry for her father which included only a first name did not follow a pattern as helpful as that for her husband-to-be. The bride's name was listed as Rose Kober, a name which we already have learned was her married name from her by-then-deceased second husband, George W. Kober. Having her father identified only by his given name told us very little, as we simply can't assume the missing surname was Kober; to eliminate that possibility, though, would have required us to trace Rose's history back past the first two marriages. In other words, the blank for the bride's father's surname leaves us in the same position in which we had started: with no usable information at all.

On the other hand, the name provided for the bride's mother did help somewhat. According to the transcription, Rose's mother was named Anna Segar. That entry at least resonates with one I had found on the death certificate for my own paternal grandfather, Rose's brother. On that record, which I had sent away for years ago, his mother's name had been listed as Anna Zegar—close enough to have been, perhaps, a matter of writing down, slightly incorrectly, what had been heard.

But reading "Julius" for the bride's father's name on the transcription of a document detailing her marriage to a man also going by the same name? There is room for doubt here, in my opinion.

Still, the suggestion was well taken, and one good turn—around a records resource, that is—deserves another. So I looked up Rose's previous marriage to George Kober to see what the reported parents' names might have been. There was no surprise regarding George's parents. He was a junior, and sure enough, the transcription for his 1915 marriage to Aunt Rose indicated his father's name was also George, although his mother Pauline's maiden name was mangled as "Heutton" (it was Hutton). But the main point of this search showed a confirming detail: again, Rose's father's first name was given as Julius.

Once again, no surname was given for Rose's father, the presumption being that her own surname must have been her maiden name. This, of course, was incorrect, for her marriage to George Kober listed her under her first married name, Miller. Looking for Rose's connection to a father named Julius Miller would have produced as many helpful leads as our previous assumption of a surname of Kober for Julius in the Hassinger marriage license. Yet looking for a record of Rose's first marriage would have produced quite a challenge, seeking an unnamed Miller coupled with a bride of unknown surname.

There is, of course, another approach to untangling this research dilemma. Now that I've discovered Rose's date of death in New York, I can try to obtain a copy of her own death certificate, which should also contain the names of her parents. That would be a prudent step in a sound research plan, but in the case of researching New York ancestors, it is a plan which brings up some roadblocks of its own.

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