To add to the bafflement here, I recall my grandfather's date of birth was possibly Oct 3, also. The year was 1878, however. He was born likely in Nicollet County Minnesota, although his obit refers to the place as having been in a town a short distance away in Blue Earth County. It appears that my great grandparents moved shortly after his birth to the other town.
Gregory, until now I could claim all but one Harry Heidel I have found had a connection to Blue Earth County Minnesota. You haven’t told us enough to suggest any such nonsensical connection with respect to your Harry, but don’t hesitate to tell us all that you know. Writing it down helps to sort out the facts. I will have to say now that there were at least two other Harry Heidels. And as Monika suggested, where there was one Harry, several others may likely be found. So my Ripley’s “Believe It or Not” factoid may now have been blown out of the water. I was feeling this was my chance, finally, for fame and fortune!
For starters my question would be what is the source of your information for Harry being an orphan? Perhaps the next question would be, at what age was he when his parents died? A year of birth of 1887 may be good, but it may not be so good. The first US Census for him would have been 1890, would Harry’s parents still have been living at that time and where? However, portions of that Census were burned in a fire and apparently other portions later destroyed as result of bureaucratic incompetence. So the first census record for your Harry may not be found until 1900. Do you know where he lived in 1900?
I assume you know the place of your Harry’s death and from this location an obituary possibly can be obtained. This may also provide very useful information.
Since I have not had the need to research my Heidels in Pennsylvania, I am not aware of the particulars for that state. However, given its long time German immigrant population likely, there could be a German genealogical group that would be found to offer some suggestions. Harry’s record of birth is what you really should be seeking, as it will most likely identify both parents and certainly the place. Public records may identify the possibility of siblings, as well. With an adoption, I assume, there may even be other records available. A possible good place to start is at the PAGenWeb site (http://www.pa-roots.com/~pagenweb/ ).
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