04 June 2022

The Mystery of H.H.H. (Spoilers, research ahead)

 I have this one tagged for the name (very alliterative) and for possibly having a typo/contraction. Er, two typos? A typo and a creative spelling?:

Hedwig Hermoine [sic] Handshke [sic] 1889-1918

Let me tell you, just doing a simple search was useless, as two-thirds of her name appear in Harry Potter! Even trying to -"harry potter" from Google results did not help to completely eliminate fanfics, and Forest Hill doesn't list all their residents.

Once this post gets crawled, it'll be the only result for "hedwig hermoine handshke." I'm sure that will drive ever so much traffic here!

There are some few records for Handshke as a surname (as opposed to Handshake, which it resembles) -- and lo and behold, it looks like her name is spelled correctly!

Based on the birth year, it seems she was nicknamed(?) Hattie, but her mother is listed as "Hermoine" so... I mean, really, there can't be a another family out there with this set of names. Surely not!  (The 1930 census puts the name as Hermine or Hermene.)

Fortunately, my library offers HeritageQuest, so I was able to actually read the 1910 census record. Her family were German immigrants. Hattie and her sister worked as a "saleslady" in her father's bakery (educated guess -- he was the proprietor of a bakery, so...). 

They lived on Whitesboro St. in Utica Ward 9, Oneida, New York.


 I'm still stumped on finding an obituary, if she had one. That 1918 death date is tantalizing, of course -- she wasn't at all old and there was that little flu bug running around then... The 1920 census still has both her parents and sister living, however. (The father would die by the 1930 census, however and mother and remaining daughter had moved over to Yorkville. Both of them disappear from the 1940 census.)


Ah! I feel like I know so much and so little still.

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