The earliest Handler whose name I know are brothers Aaron Handler and Tzvi Hersh (or Harry) Handler. After Aaron's first wife died (they had four children together), he married the daughter of his brother, whose name I believe is Rozalia (She also went by Rosie, Szali, and Sally - see Different Names-Same Person.) According to U.S. records that I have found, they lived in or near Ilok, in a part of eastern Europe that is currently in Croatia, but has previously been considered part of Hungary and Yugoslavia. It is believed that Aaron was a large landowning farmer.
Here is a website (Macrohistory: Worldhistory) with a changing map of Europe from WWI to 2000. I have taken screen shots and done my best to show where Ilok is situated: at the point of the arrow in each map.
|1914: Ilok was in Hungary|
|1919-1938: Ilok was in Yugoslavia|
|1956: Ilok was still in Yugoslavia|
|2000: Ilok is now in Croatia.|
Aaron and Szali had four children: Rose, Joseph, Sam, and Regina. Aaron died in 1895 or 1896, based on a family story: youngest daughter Regina remembered that her father died when she was about four years old.
I suppose you could consider the immigrant ancestor to be Rozalia Handler, though it looks like she was following three of her children. (Rose remained in Europe and is believed to have died in the Holocaust.) She arrived in New York City on May 25, 1911, on the Pannonia, with her daughter, Regina, and daughter-in-law, Lena (Hollander) Handler, and grandson, Arthur. See that passenger list here. She died in Cleveland, Ohio, on October 25, 1932, as Rosie Goodman, due to a second marriage to Samuel Goodman soon after she arrived. (See her death certificate here.)
Joseph Handler, born on August 24, 1884, in Ilok, married Lena Hollander on March 10, 1909, in Bonyhád, Tolna, Hungary. Their first child, Arthur, was born in Ilok.
Joseph immigrated to the U.S., following his brother Sam, arriving in New York City, on April 14, 1910. He even made it to his brother's home in Cleveland by the time the census taker came by on April 24, 1910. (See Joe Handler in the 1910 U.S. Census here.) He moved to Akron, where he lived for most of the rest of his life.
See Joseph's draft cards here, which both have August 24, 1884, as birth date, though the WWI card notes birth place as Hungary and WWII card notes birth place as "Jugoslavia."
His wife, Lena arrived in 1911, with son, Arthur. They went on to have five additional children, all born in Akron: Margaret, Belle, Alfred, Louis, and Harry.
Joseph became a naturalized citizen on June 22, 1920. His naturalization papers are a wealth of information.
Joseph died of a heart attack on December 2, 1947. It is said that he died of a broken heart after losing two of his sons in World War II. See WWII Brothers Die in Action for that story.
Generation 3: My father-in-law.
Generation 4: My husband.