Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Christina Hentschel Hübsch, from Prussia to America (52 Ancestors #11)

This is another article for the series in which I'm participating, "52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks", a challenge by Amy Johnson Crow on No Story Too Small.

Great-great grandmother Christina Hentschel Hübsch is another mystery woman in my family tree.  Cousin L and I have focused our search for her burial location for years.  But there’s more we don’t know.  Here’s a snapshot of Christina:

Christina Hentschel was born in Schlesien*, Prussia on 13 Nov 1843 according to her death certificate.  She married John Ernest Hübsch about 1861 in Prussia.  Their children were William C. (my great-grandfather), Caroline E., Charles, Herman A., John E. and Henry.

Christina and John emigrated to America in the early 1870s which I wrote about in the 52 Ancestors story about John Ernest Hübsch.

1910 Los Angeles, California City Directory
Source: Ancestry.com
After John’s death in 1909, Christina lived at 1343 E 48th Place, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California.  Those wonderful city directories are a font of information.  Additional clues emerged in the 1910 edition shown here (click images to enlarge).  The Aha! finding was her middle initial which may lend credence to the emigration record where I think she was identified as "Caroline".  Other information in the directory helped to support what I already knew - that she was the widow of Ernest -- and that she lived in an (h) house that was owned, and her son Herman was a renter employed as a laborer.

Google map location of the neighborhood in 2014 
Google street view of 1343 E 48th Place in 2014
Los Angeles, California
A couple years later she moved across town to a house at 4433 E 1st.  Note the spelling of the surname and that Charles, a teamster, owned the house.  I don't know if Charles F and Charles H are related to my family.  Christina was also listed as the widow of Ernst.  It's curious that the surname and first name of her late husband have a distinctive German slant making me wonder who provided the information for the directory.  I wasn't too surprised to find that this address is now located at a freeway underpass.

1913 Los Angeles City Directory
Source: Ancestry.com

Google map showing address in 2014
Google map 2014, street view, 4433 E 1st, Los Angeles, California

The remaining information I have about Christina came from her obituary and death certificate:
  • Moved to Arlington Heights [Chicago], Cook, Illinois to live with her brother William Henschel
  • Resided in Illinois for nine years
  • Lived in an Arlington Heights Old People’s Home for 15 months prior to death
  • Died on 21 Jan 1916
  • Buried in Arlington Heights, Cook, Illinois on 24 Jan 1916
If you did the math like me, you found that the timelines in the death certificate, obituary and city directories don't match.  That would be too easy!

I wasn't able to locate the Old People’s Home when I searched a couple years ago.  Nor have I found Christina’s burial location.  Cousin L learned about some historic burials near a runway at Chicago O’Hare Airport that were slated to be relocated.  We tried to find out if she was there but never received responses to our inquiries.

Might be time to revisit these brickwalls, eh?.

*Silesia, Polish Śląsk, Czech Slezsko, German Schlesien, historical region that is now in southwestern Poland. Silesia was originally a Polish province that became a possession of the Bohemian crown in 1335, passed with that crown to the Austrian Habsburgs in 1526, was taken by Prussia in 1742, and was returned to Poland in 1945. Silesia consists largely of the basin of the upper and middle Oder River, which flows from southeast to northwest. From Encyclopedia Britannica

Surname Hentschel from 1885 marriage record of daughter Caroline Ernestine Heubsch
California residences from Los Angeles City Directories on Ancestry.com
Place of birth from obituary
Date of Birth, death and Illinois residence from death certificate

Note:  the use of surname spellings in this article is based on the earliest records I have and is intended cousin-catcher.

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