Growing in America: The Family of Sarah Goldschmidt Mansbach

As seen in my last post, as of 1882 Sarah Goldschmidt and her husband Abraham Mansbach had immigrated to the United States, as had all but one of their eight surviving children. Three of those seven children had arrived before 1880 and are enumerated on the 1880 census. Amalie and her husband Henry Langer and their two sons were living in Denver, Colorado, where Henry was furrier. Louis was a veterinarian, living with my great-great-grandparents Gerson and Eva (Goldschmidt) Katzenstein in Philadelphia. Berthold was in Trinidad, Colorado, living with and working with his cousin, Abraham Mansbach, in his dry goods business. The rest of the family—Sarah, Abraham, Hannah, Meyer, Kathinka, and Julius—arrived between 1880 and 1882.

The years between 1882 and 1900 were eventful years for Sarah and Abraham and their family—many happy events as well as some sad ones. First, on February 10, 1888, Berthold Mansbach married Rosa Schloss in Philadelphia. Rosa was born in Philadelphia in August 1868, the daughter of Aaron Schloss and Caroline Stein, who were German immigrants. Rosa’s mother Caroline died when Rosa was just nine years old. Her father Aaron was in the jewelry business.1

Berthold Mansbach and Rosa Schloss marriage record, Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records; Reel: 792
Organization Name: Congregation Rodeph Shalom
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1669-2013

Berthold and Rosa’s first child Corinne was born on February 1, 1889, in Trinidad, Colorado.2 Here is a delightful photograph of Corinne with her grandmother Sarah Goldschmidt Mansbach:

Sarah Goldschmidt Mansbach and her granddaughter Corinne Mansbach, c. 1892. Courtesy of the Mansbach family

And here are two photographs taken in Trinidad, Colorado of Corinne as a little girl with her uncle Julius Mansbach:

Julius Mansbach and his niece Corinne Mansbach, c. 1892. Courtesy of Art Mansbach

Julius Mansbach and niece Corinne Mansbach, c. 1892. Courtesy of Art Mansbach

Berthold’s younger sister Hannah was also married in 1888. She married Gerson Dannenberg in Philadelphia.3 Gerson was born in Adelebsen, Germany on July 22, 1862, and had immigrated to the US in 1881. He was the son of Simon Dannenberg and Henrietta Brandes and was a merchant by occupation.4 Hannah and Gerson’s first child, Reta, was born on September 11, 1889.5

Sadly, Abraham Mansbach died not long after the births of these two new grandchildren. He died on October 5, 1889, at the age of 80. (The death certificate has his age as 81 years, nine months, but that is not consistent with other records; I am not sure which is correct.) The cause of death was a lung hemorrhage.

“Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6P3D-C4N?cc=1320976&wc=9FT9-JWL%3A1073324801 : 16 May 2014), 004010398 > image 335 of 1093; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

The next two grandchildren born were presumably named for Abraham.  Arthur Mansbach Dannenberg, son of Hannah Mansbach and Gerson Dannenberg, was born in Philadelphia on January 7, 1891.6  Berthold and Rosa’s second child was also named in memory of Abraham; Alvin Abraham Mansbach was born in Trinidad, Colorado, on December 26, 1894.7

Unfortunately, the family had suffered another loss before the birth of Alvin. On February 3, 1893, Kat(h)inka Mansbach, Sarah and Abraham’s youngest daughter and second youngest child, died from consumption, or tuberculosis, in Trinidad, Colorado. She was only 30 years old. (The death certificate says 27, but that is not consistent with her birth record from Maden.) Her body was transported back to Philadelphia for burial, accompanied by her brother, Louis Mansbach.

Kathinka Mansbach death certificate, “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6353-MYS?cc=1320976&wc=9FR2-929%3A1073252901 : 16 May 2014), 004009761 > image 1367 of 1803; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Katinka’s sister Hannah honored her sister’s memory by naming her third child Katinka Mansbach Dannenberg, born on June 21, 1894, in Philadelphia.8

Louis Mansbach married Cora Eslinger on June 20, 1895 in Philadelphia.9 Cora was born on November 13, 1866 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; her parents were Jacob Eslinger and Rebecca Stein. Cora had experienced many losses by the time she married Louis. Her father had died when she was a very young child—in 1868. A brother William died in 1871 at age four from typhoid fever, her mother died in 1885, and an older brother Solomon died in 1889 at age 26 from heart failure.  Cora had only one member of her immediate family left when she married Louis Mansbach—her older sister Esther.10

Louis and Cora had one child, a daughter, Rebecca, presumably named for Cora’s mother; records conflict as to her date of birth, one is as early as November 1896, another suggests October 28, 1897.11 Since the November 1896 date came from the 1900 census and the other from far later source, it would seem November 1896 may be more reliable. I could not locate a birth record in the Philadelphia birth index.

Meyer Mansbach married Ida Jaffa on January 21, 1896, in Trinidad, Colorado. Ida was born in Trinidad on January 28, 1875, the daughter of Samuel Jaffa and Amelia Sommer. Her parents were both German immigrants, and her father was an important merchant in Trinidad.12

Meyer Mansbach Ida Jaffa mariage record, Ancestry.com. Colorado, County Marriage Records and State Index, 1862-2006. Original data: Marriage Records. Colorado Marriages. State Archives, Denver, Colorado.

In an earlier post about the Mansbach family, I discussed how Trinidad had experienced huge economic growth in the 1870s, making it an attractive place for merchants to settle to take advantage of the population explosion. Sharon Haimovitz-Civitano of the Branches of our Haimowitz Family Tree and Branches on Civitano Tree blogs alerted me to a page on the website of the Jewish Museum of the American West that describes the Jewish history of Trinidad, Colorado. According to that website, Ida Jaffa’s uncles and father were among the earliest Jews in Trinidad, arriving in the 1870s.  Sam Jaffa, Ida’s father, was the first president of the local B’nai Brith and the first chair of Trinidad Town Council, formed in 1876. The synagogue, Congregation Aaron, was founded in 1883 and named for the Jaffa brothers’ father Aaron.

Meyer and Ida’s first child, Arthur Jaffa Mansbach, was born in Trinidad on November 21, 189613 He also was presumably named for his grandfather Abraham Mansbach.

The only surviving child of Sarah and Abraham who did not marry before 1900 was Julius Mansbach, their youngest child. In 1892 he was in the dry goods business with his brothers Berthold and Meyer in Trinidad, Colorado:

Title: Trinidad, Colorado, City Directory, 1892
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

Art Mansbach, Julius’s grandson, generously shared this photograph of Julius and his brothers Bert and Meyer in their Trinidad store:

Bert, Meyer, and Julius Mansbach in the Trinidad store. Courtesy of Art Mansbach

Here Julius is depicted with his two Langer nephews, Joseph and Lester, in Denver.  From the ages of the boys, I would estimate that this was taken in about 1888-1889.

Julius Mansbach with Lester Langer and Joseph Langer. Courtesy of Art Mansbach

By 1897, Julius must have moved to Philadelphia as he was listed in the 1897 Philadelphia directory as a salesman, living at the same address as his brother Louis, the veterinarian, 915 North 16th Street.14 In 1900, he was still living with Louis, Cora, their daughter Rebecca, and his mother Sarah in Philadelphia. Julius was working as a milliner and Louis as a veterinarian.

Louis Mansbach and family 1900 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 16, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 1; Enumeration District: 0313; FHL microfilm: 1241459
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

Hannah and her husband Gerson Dannenberg and their three children were also living in Philadelphia in 1900, and Gerson was in the towel supply business. They were just a mile away from Louis and his household.15

In 1900 Amelia (as she is listed here and known as thereafter) and Henry Langer were still living in Denver with their children and with Amelia’s nephew, William Bensew, son of her sister Breine and brother-in-law Jakob Bensew. Henry was still a furrier, and their older son Joseph (20) was a cigar salesman as was his cousin William (28). Amelia and Henry’s younger son Lester (16) was still in school.16

Henry Langer family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Denver, Arapahoe, Colorado; Page: 2; Enumeration District: 0031; FHL microfilm: 1240117
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

Berthold Mansbach was living with his wife Rosa and children in Trinidad in 1900, where he continued to be a merchant.  His younger brother Meyer was living right nearby (they are enumerated on the same page of the 1900 census report) with his wife Ida, their son Arthur and Ida’s parents and siblings. He also was a merchant.17

Thus, three of the Mansbach children were living in Philadelphia and three were living in Colorado in 1900. Together, Sarah Goldschmidt Mansbach had nine American-born grandchildren living in the United States in 1900.

What would the first decade of the 20th century bring to Sarah’s family?

 

 


  1. Bert Mansbach family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Trinidad, Las Animas, Colorado; Page: 14; Enumeration District: 0064; FHL microfilm: 1240126.
    Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census. Caroline Schloss death, Ancestry.com. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Death Certificates Index, 1803-1915. “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803–1915. Schloss family, 1870 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 20 District 66, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1407; Page: 432A; Family History Library Film: 552906.
    Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census 
  2. Corinne Mansbach Kahn death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 057151-059700.  Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966 
  3. Ancestry.com. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Marriage Index, 1885-1951. Original data: “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Marriage Index, 1885–1951.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009. Philadelphia County Pennsylvania Clerk of the Orphans’ Court. “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia marriage license index, 1885-1951.” Clerk of the Orphans’ Court, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Marriage License Number: 20344. 
  4. Gerson Dannenberg death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 020901-023300. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966. Passport application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 81; Volume #: Roll 0081 – Certificates: 1621-2520, 02 Apr 1909-15 Apr 1909. Volume: Roll 0081 – Certificates: 1621-2520, 02 Apr 1909-15 Apr 1909. Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 
  5. Reta Dannenberg Alkus death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 076201-078900. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966. 
  6. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, SSN: 179363551. 
  7. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, SSN: 179363551. 
  8.  Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, SSN: 199369215. 
  9.  Ancestry.com. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Marriage Index, 1885-1951. Original data: “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Marriage Index, 1885–1951.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009. Philadelphia County Pennsylvania Clerk of the Orphans’ Court. “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia marriage license index, 1885-1951.” Clerk of the Orphans’ Court, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 
  10. Cora Eslinger Mansbach death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 078391-082250. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966. Translation of Jacob Eslinger’s gravestone. William Eslinger death certificate, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JD1V-VY4 : 8 March 2018), William Eslinger, 16 Jan 1871; citing , Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; FHL microfilm 2,020,733. Rebecca Eslinger death record, Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records; Reel: 792. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1669-2013 Solomon Eslinger death record, Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records; Reel: 792. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1669-2013 
  11. Louis Mansbach and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 16, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 1; Enumeration District: 0313; FHL microfilm: 1241459. Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census. Rebecca Esslinger Rattin death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 040001-043000. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966 
  12. Sam Jaffa and family, 1880 US census, Census Place: Trinidad, Las Animas, Colorado; Roll: 92; Page: 66A; Enumeration District: 066. Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census. Sam Jaffa and Amelia Sommer marriage record, Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records; Reel: 792. Organization Name: Congregation Rodeph Shalom. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1669-2013. 
  13. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, SSN: 560148581. 
  14.  Title: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1897, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  15. Gerson Dannenberg and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 20, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 9; Enumeration District: 0425; FHL microfilm: 1241462. Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  16. The Bensew/Bensev family will be discussed in subsequent posts in greater detail. 
  17. Berthold Mansbach and family, Meyer Mansbach and family, Census Place: Trinidad, Las Animas, Colorado; Page: 13; Enumeration District: 0064; FHL microfilm: 1240126. Enumeration District: 0064; Description: Trinidad City, Precincts 12, 28 and 32 and 35, Trinidad Ward 1, Ward 2, Ward 5. Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 

(Re)introducing Sarah Goldschmidt Mansbach and Her Family

Sarah Goldschmidt Mansbach, c. 1899
Courtesy of Art Mansbach

I have already told in two earlier posts the beginning of the story of Sarah Goldschmidt, my three-times great aunt and oldest child of my three-times great-grandparents Seligmann Goldschmidt and Hincka Alexander, but that was almost nine months ago. I had moved away from Sarah to tell the story of her younger siblings who had immigrated to the US thirty or so years before Sarah arrived. Now it is once again Sarah’s turn. But first a brief refresher on those earlier posts. Some of this material is covered in more depth in those earlier posts, and some is newly updated.

Sarah Goldschmidt was born December 1, 1818, in Oberlistingen; she married Abraham Mansbach on October 31, 1843.

Marriage record of Sarah (Sarchen) Goldschmidt and Abraham Mansbach
Trauregister der Juden von Gudensberg 1825-1900 (HHStAW Abt. 365 Nr. 386)AutorHessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, Wiesbaden, p. 14

Sarah Goldschmidt and Abraham Mansbach had ten children: Breine (1844), Hewa “Hedwig (1846), Leiser “Louis” (1849), Jacob (1851), Merla “Amalie/Amelia” (1853), Berthold (1856), Hannah (1858), Meyer (1860), Kathinka (1862), and Julius (1865).1

Jacob, the fourth child, born on June 23, 1851, died on September 13, 1853. He was just two years old.

Jacob Mansbach death record
HHStAW Fonds 365 No 387, p. 47

Hedwig was born on November 20, 1846. On February 16, 1875, she married David Rothschild of Zierenberg, Germany. Sadly, Hedwig died nine months to the day later on November 16, 1875.

Hedwig/Hewa Mansbach birth record HHStAW Fonds 365 No 384, p.43

Death record for Hedwig Mansbach Rothschild
Description: Geburten, Heiraten Tote 1874-1875
Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Lutheran Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1730-1875

All but one of Sarah and Abraham’s eight other children emigrated to the United States.  The one who remained in Germany was their oldest child, Breine. She was born on September 27, 1844, and she married Jacob Bensew on February 3, 1870; Jacob was born on January 15, 1840, in Malsfeld, Germany, the son of Heinemann Bensew and Roschen Goldberg.

Breine Mansbach birth record
HHStAW Fonds 365 No 384, p. 39

marriage record for Breine Mansbach and Jacob Bensew
HHStAW Fonds 365 No 386, p. 35

Breine and Jacob had eight children—six sons and two daughters: Roschen (1870), William (1872), Lester (1873), Julius (1875), Siegmund (1877), Heinemann (1879), Max (1882), and Frieda (1886). Siegmund died in 1882 when he was five, but the six of the other seven Bensew children would eventually immigrate to the United States. Breine and Jacob stayed behind, however, and lived the rest of their lives in Germany, as did their daughter Roschen. Breine died in Melsungen, Germany, on May 31, 1922, and her husband Jacob in Kassel, Germany, on April 25, 1925. More on the Bensew family in posts to come. 2

Death record for Breine Mansbach Bensew
Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 920; Laufende Nummer: 4684

This post will now focus on the seven children of Sarah Goldschmidt and Abraham Mansbach who immigrated to the US: Louis, Amalia/Amelia, Berthold, Hannah, Meyer, Kathinka, and Julius.

Thanks to my cousin Art Mansbach, I have some photographs of Sarah and Abraham and their family.  Here is one of Sarah and Abraham and their youngest child, Julius in about 1870:

Abraham Mansbach, Julius Mansbach, and Sarah Goldschmidt Mansbach c. 1870
Courtesy of the Mansbach family

The photograph below is of Sarah with her two youngest sons, Julius and Meyer, taken in about 1874, when Meyer would have been fourteen and Julius nine:

Julius Mansbach, Sarah Goldschmidt Mansbach, and Meyer Mansbach c. 1874
Courtesy of the Mansbach family

It was about this time that Abraham and Sarah’s older children began immigrating to the US. Although I was unable to find passenger manifests for all the Mansbach children, the earliest one I could find was for Merla/Amalie/Amelia. She was born December 10, 1853, in Maden, Germany. She (as Amalie) sailed to the US in 1872 with my great-great-uncle Henry Schoenthal and his new wife Helene Lilienfeld, as I discussed here.

Birth record of Merla Mansbach, Archives for the State of Hessen, Jewish records, HHStAW Fonds 365 No 384, p. 55

Henry Schoenthal and Helene Lilienfeld 1872 ship manifest lines 95 to 98
Year: 1872; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 359; Line: 1; List Number: 484

I have no record of Amalie from the time of her arrival until the 1880 census, but I assume she must have been living in Pennsylvania, probably in Philadelphia, because according to the 1900 census, in 1879, she married Henry Langer. Henry was 22 years older than Amalie, born in 1831 in Austria; he had immigrated to the US in 1856, and in the 1870s he was living in Philadelphia, working as a furrier, according to the Philadelphia directory for 1870 and a newspaper listing in 1877.3

Amalie and Henry relocated to Denver by December 17, 1879, when their first child, Joseph Henry Langer, was born.4 According to the 1880 census, Henry continued to work as a furrier in Denver:

H and A Langer and son 1880 census
Year: 1880; Census Place: Denver, Arapahoe, Colorado; Roll: 88; Page: 116C; Enumeration District: 005

Amalie and Henry’s second child, Lester Sylvester Langer was born in Colorado on January 1, 1884.5

Berthold may have been the next child of Sarah and Abraham to arrive from Germany; he was born on February 23, 1856. Although I cannot find a passenger manifest for him, the 1920 census reports that he immigrated to the US in 1874.6 In 1877, he is listed in the Philadelphia directory working as a clerk.7 But by 1880, he  had relocated to Trinidad, Colorado, where he was living with his cousin, who was also named Abraham Mansbach and was the grandson of Marum Mansbach. Abraham  was a merchant, and Bert was working as a clerk, presumably in his cousin’s store.

Birth record of Berthold Mansbach, Archives for the State of Hessen, Jewish records, HHStAW Fonds 365 No 384, p. 59

Bert Mansbach 1880 census
Year: 1880; Census Place: Trinidad, Las Animas, Colorado; Roll: 92; Page: 65D; Enumeration District: 066

But not all the Mansbach siblings chose to settle out west. Sarah and Abraham Mansbach’s oldest son Leiser/Louis Mansbach, who was born on March 10, 1849, came to the US on December 16, 1876:

Birth record of Louis “Leser” Mansbach, Archives for the State of Hessen, Jewish records, HHStAW Fonds 365 No 384, p. 47

(The long note to the left of the birth record is extremely difficult to read, even by those used to reading German script, but thanks to the efforts of Cathy Meder-Dempsey and a man from the German Genealogy Transcriptions group on Facebook, I now believe that it merely says that the date of birth was provided by the synagogue.)

Louis (Lasser) Mansbach ship manifest
Year: 1876; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 406; Line: 1; List Number: 1160
Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957

In 1880, Louis was living with my great-great-grandparents, Gerson Katzenstein and Eva Goldschmidt; Eva was his aunt, his mother Sarah’s sister. My great-grandmother Hilda, who was then sixteen, was also living at home and thus must have known her first cousin Louis quite well. Louis was 31 years old and was a veterinary surgeon.

Louis Mansbach in the household of Gerson Katzenstein 1880 census
Year: 1880; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1173; Page: 274B; Enumeration District: 219

For Hannah Mansbach, I was unable to locate a birth record, but other records establish that she was born on February 6, 1858. I also have no ship manifest, and census records indicate three different years of arrival: 1880 on the 1900 census, 1881 on the 1920 and 1930 census records, and 1885 on the 1910 census. Usually I’d assume the one closest in time, the 1900 census, would be the most reliable, but at best I can say she arrived sometime between 1880 and 1885.  Since the rest of the family had arrived by 1882, I think 1880-1881 is more likely.8

Census records also conflict regarding the arrival date for Meyer Mansbach. He was born on June 21, 1860. The 1900 census reports that he arrived in 1879, but the 1910 and 1930 census records both report 1882 as his date of arrival.9

Birth record of Meyer Mansbach, Archives for the State of Hessen, Jewish records, HHStAW Fonds 365 No 384, p. 65

For Julius, who was born on November 7, 1865, I found information about his arrival on his passport applications, of which there were three—in 1900, 1903, and 1908. Although all three provide the same date of arrival (June 12, 1881) and the same port of departure (Bremen), they each have a different name for the ship.10 Julius would have been not yet sixteen when he immigrated, perhaps explaining why he didn’t remember the name of the ship. This photograph of Julius at age 13 may capture how young he was only three years later when he left home by himself:

Julius Mansbach, Age 13, c. 1878
Courtesy of Art Mansbach

It thus seems reasonable to conclude that Hannah, Meyer, and Julius had all arrived by 1881-1882.

On October 23, 1882, they were joined by their parents, my three-times great-aunt Sarah Goldschmidt and her husband Abraham Mansbach, and their youngest sister Kathinka.

Abraham Mansbach II and family on passenger manifest
Year: 1882; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 459; Line: 1; List Number: 1509

Given that all four sons are adults in this photograph, I believe it was taken shortly after Sarah and Abraham had immigrated to the United States:

Abraham Mansbach and his four sons
Courtesy of Art Mansbach

The next post will pick up with the Mansbach siblings and their parents between 1882 and 1900.

 


  1. Sources for births to be provided as I write about each child. 
  2. Sources for the children’s births will be provided when I write about each child in later posts. 
  3. Henry Langer on the 1900 US Census; Year: 1900; Census Place: Denver, Arapahoe, Colorado; Roll: 117; Page: 2;Enumeration District: 0031; FHL microfilm: 1240117′; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1870,
    Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  4. Joseph Langer, Passport Application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; NARA Series: Passport Applications, January 2, 1906 – March 31, 1925; Roll #: 933; Volume #: Roll 0933 – Certificates: 122000-122249, 27 Sep 1919-28 Sep 1919 
  5. Lester Langer, World War I draft registration, Registration State: Colorado; Registration County: Denver; Roll: 1561841; Draft Board: 5. Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 
  6. Berthold Mansbach, 1920 US Census, Year: 1920; Census Place: Albuquerque Ward 3, Bernalillo, New Mexico; Roll: T625_1074; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 18 
  7. Title: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1877. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  8. Hannah Mansbach death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 071201-073500,Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966, Certificate Number 72276. Hannah Mansbach Dannenberg on the 1900-1930 US Census records: Year: 1900; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 20, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1463; Page: 9; Enumeration District: 0425;FHL microfilm: 1241462; Year: 1910; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 29, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1399; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0692; FHL microfilm: 1375412; Year: 1920; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 29, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1633; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 969; Year: 1930; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 2125; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 0778; FHL microfilm: 2341859 
  9. Meyer Mansbach on 1900-1930 US Census records: Year: 1900; Census Place: Trinidad, Las Animas, Colorado; Roll: 126; Page: 13B; Enumeration District: 0064; FHL microfilm: 1240126; Year: 1910; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 29, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1399; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0692; FHL microfilm: 1375412; Year: 1930; Census Place: Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California; Roll: 136; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0108; FHL microfilm: 2339871 
  10. Julius Mansbach 1900 passport application
    National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; NARA Series: Passport Applications, 1795-1905; Roll #: 550; Volume #: Roll 550 – 07 May 1900-11 May 1900. Julius Mansbach 1903 passport application
    National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; NARA Series: Emergency Passport Applications (Issued Abroad), 1877-1907; Roll #: 41; Volume #: Volume 075: Germany. Julius Mansbach 1908 passport application
    National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; NARA Series: Passport Applications, January 2, 1906 – March 31, 1925; Roll #: 74; Volume #: Roll 0074 – Certificates: 64339-65243, 20 Nov 1908-15 Dec 1908. 

Rosa Goldschmidt and Her Family: The Final Chapter

This is the final post about the family of my three-times great-aunt Rosa Goldschmidt and her husband Bernhard Metz.  In 1900, Rosa and Bernhard and three of their four surviving children were all living together in New York; Bernhard was still in the import-export business, and his sons Edwin and Joseph were merchants. Their daughter Hattie was working as a saleswoman, and her husband George Gattel was a commissioner. Rosa and Bernhard had already lost three of their children: Siegfried had died in 1880, Emily in 1885, and Bertha in 1892;  also, their oldest son Paul had abandoned the family and disappeared in 1900.

Bernhard Metz family 1900 US census, Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York; Page: 19; Enumeration District: 0661; FHL microfilm: 1241110
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

Rosa, Bernhard, Hattie and her husband George, Edwin, and Joseph were all still living together in 1905. Edwin was a “nit goods salesman;” Joseph was a dry goods clerk, George Gattel was some kind of salesman, and Bernhard was a commercial merchant. There were also two boarders and two servants living in the household at 209 East 61st Street.

Bernhard Metz family 1905 NYS census, New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1905; Election District: A.D. 24 E.D. 16; City: Manhattan; County: New York; Page: 48. Ancestry.com. New York, State Census, 1905

Things changed between 1905 and 1910. We saw that Edwin, who had married Gertrude Becker in 1903, was living in Chicago in 1910. The youngest sibling, Joseph George Metz, also married during those years. He married Florence W. Wolf on December 31, 1905.

New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2497-DHX : 10 February 2018), Joseph Metz and Florence Wolf, 31 Dec 1905; citing Marriage, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York City Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,558,583.

Florence was the daughter of Louis Wolf and Rebecca Stiefel, and she was born on September 20, 1884, in Fort Wayne, Indiana.1 Florence was living in New York City in 1900 with her parents and siblings; her father was a manufacturer.2 Florence and Joseph had their first child, Robert, on August 19, 1907, in New York.3

In 1910, Joseph Metz was enumerated as the head of household at 149 West 135th Street; in addition to his wife Florence and their son Robert (2), his parents Rosa and Bernhard were living there as well as two servants. Joseph was a ladies’ underwear manufacturer, and his father Bernhard was working as an insurance agent.

Joseph Metz and family 1910 US census, Census Place: Manhattan Ward 12, New York, New York; Roll: T624_1027; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 0710; FHL microfilm: 1375040
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

Not too far away at 607 West 136th Street, Joseph’s sister Hattie was living with her husband George Gattel; George was now a silk merchant. Living with them was Hattie’s niece, the daughter of her deceased sister Bertha, eighteen-year-old Bertha Katzenstein. As you may recall, Rosa and Bernhard’s daughter Bertha Metz died shortly after the birth of her daughter Bertha from puerperal fever. I don’t know whether the child was named Bertha before her mother died or afterwards in her memory.

Hattie Metz Gattel and family 1910 US census, Census Place: Manhattan Ward 12, New York, New York; Roll: T624_1027; Page: 16A; Enumeration District: 0709; FHL microfilm: 1375040
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

Bertha Katzenstein’s father Adolf had remarried in 1895, three years after the death of his first wife Bertha Metz. His second wife, Lisbeth Schierstad, was a German immigrant like Adolf.4 I could not locate Adolf, Lisbeth or Bertha (the daughter) on the 1900 US census. Since Adolf was in the import-export business and traveled many times to Europe, I suppose that he and Lisbeth and Bertha might have been abroad when the 1900 census was taken. But Adolf and Lisbeth are listed on the 1905 New York State census, and Bertha was not with them at that time,5 nor was she with her grandparents or aunt or uncles. She would have been only thirteen at the time. Was she in boarding school? Still abroad? I don’t know. At any rate, in 1910, Bertha was back in New York City, living with her aunt Hattie.

Thus, in 1910, Rosa and Bernhard had only two of their seven children still living nearby: Hattie and Joseph. Paul had disappeared, Edwin was in Chicago, and Siegfried, Emily, and Bertha had passed away. They had five grandchildren: Bertha’s daughter Bertha Katzenstein, Edwin’s son Walter, Joseph’s son Robert, and the two sons of Paul Metz, Elwood and George.

On May 16, 1911, my three-times great-aunt Rosa Goldschmidt Metz passed away at age 73 from colon and liver cancer as well as kidney disease.

New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2WMM-ZTL : 20 March 2015), Rosa Metz, 16 May 1911; citing Death, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives

When I first opened this death certificate, I panicked. It showed Rosa’s parents as Jacob Goldsmith and Gretchen Stern, not Seligmann Goldschmidt and Hincka Alexander. Had I been researching the wrong Rosa Goldschmidt? But then I noticed her very specific age—73 years, 6 months, 19 days. Using a web date calculator, I determined that since she died on May 16, 1911, that meant she was born on October 27, 1837. Bingo! That is EXACTLY the date for Rosa’s birth on the Oberlistingen birth register, showing her parents as Seligmann and Hincka. Phew! But where in the world did the family come up with the names Jacob Goldsmith and Gertrude Stern?? I don’t know.

Two years after Rosa’s death her son Joseph named his second child for her; Rosalind Metz was born on May 21, 1913, in New York City.6

The following year Bernhard Metz died on August 10, 1914, in New York; he was 81.7

Meanwhile, Bertha Katzenstein was married on February 9, 1913, in Harburg, Germany, to Hermann Nathan. It was this fact that also led me to think that she had been living abroad for some part of her childhood. She was only twenty when she married, and six years later they were divorced on July 3, 1919, in Hannover, Germany. (Thank you to Matthias Steinke of the German Genealogy group for translating this document for me.)

Unfortunately that is the last document or record I have for Bertha Katzenstein. I don’t know whether she returned to the US, but if she did, I can’t find her in the US nor can I find her in Germany—not as Bertha Nathan or Bertha Katzenstein. If she remarried, I have no record of it and thus do not know her married name.

Ancestry.com. Hamburg, Germany, Marriages, 1874-1920.
Original data: Best. 332-5 Standesämter, Personenstandsregister, Sterberegister, 1876-1950, Staatsarchiv Hamburg, Hamburg, Deutschland. Certificate Number: 62
Reference Number: 332-5_11409

In 1920, Hattie and George Gattel were still living in New York City, and George was still selling silk. Ten years later they were still living in New York, and George was no longer working.8 Hattie died on December 11, 1930, at the age of 66;9 George died less than a year later on September 24, 1931.10  He was seventy. Having lost both of their children as babies, they have no direct descendants.

Joseph Getz, the remaining and youngest sibling, must have hit some hard times after 1910. In 1915, he and his wife Florence were living with Florence’s mother and brother Milton at 243 West 99th Street, and Joseph had no occupation listed on the 1915 New York State census.11 Their two young children, Robert, who would have been eight, and Rosalind, who was two, were not listed with them nor can I find them elsewhere on the New York State census. Could they have been omitted by mistake? Or were they living some place outside of New York, perhaps with a different relative?

I don’t know, but in 1920 Robert and Rosalind were again living with their parents in New York City; Joseph was now a commercial traveler. Florence’s mother Rebecca Wolf was also living with them.12 In 1925 they were all still living together, and Joseph was now an insurance broker.13 Five years later the 1930 US census shows them all living at the same place, Joseph still working as an insurance broker.

Joseph Metz and family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York; Page: 17B; Enumeration District: 0465; FHL microfilm: 2341292
Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census

Joseph and Florence’s two children married in the 1930s.  Robert married Anna Steinhardt on June 29, 1934, and Rosalind married John L. Swartz on June 2, 1935.

Certificate Number: 17141, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Extracted Marriage Index, 1866-1937.  Historical Newspapers, Birth, Marriage, & Death Announcements, 1851-2003, Ancestry.com

Certificate Number: 11535, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Extracted Marriage Index, 1866-1937. Historical Newspapers, Birth, Marriage, & Death Announcements, 1851-2003, Ancestry.com

Sadly, the decade ended with Joseph’s death on March 4, 1939. He was sixty years old.14 His wife Florence outlived him by more than 25 years, dying at 85 in  September 1965.15 They were survived by their children and grandchildren.

With that, I come to the conclusion of the story of Rosa Goldschmidt, her husband Bernhard Metz, and their seven children. It was quite a wild ride at times. Rosa’s children faced many challenges and provided me with many research challenges. She was the youngest child of my three-times great-grandparents Seligmann Goldschmidt and Hincka Alexander. She was the second to last of their children to come to the US.

Her oldest sister and Seligmann and Hincka’s oldest child, Sarah, was the very last of the Goldschmidt siblings to come to the US. Her story comes next.

 

 


  1.  Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, SSN: 058221651 
  2. Louis Wolf and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York; Page: 6; Enumeration District: 0832; FHL microfilm: 1241118. Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  3. Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Extracted Birth Index, 1878-1909. Certificate Number: 3926. 
  4.  Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Extracted Marriage Index, 1866-1937, Certificate Number: 13289. Lisbeth Schierstad Katzenstein passport application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 1744; Volume #: Roll 1744 – Certificates: 85500-85875, 23 Sep 1921-24 Sep 1921. Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 
  5. Adolf Katzenstein, 1905 NYS census, New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1905; Election District: A.D. 31 E.D. 14; City: Manhattan; County: New York; Page: 42. Ancestry.com. New York, State Census, 1905 
  6.  Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Birth Index, 1910-1965, Certificate Number 27?? (not legible on index) 
  7.  Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Extracted Death Index, 1862-1948 , Certificate Number: 23969. 
  8. Hattie and George Gattel, 1920 US census, Census Place: Manhattan Assembly District 7, New York, New York; Roll: T625_1197; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 555.
    Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census. 1930 US census, Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 0385; FHL microfilm: 2341288. Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  9. Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Extracted Death Index, 1862-1948, Certificate Number: 28089 
  10. Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Extracted Death Index, 1862-1948, Certificate Number 22939 
  11.  New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1915; Election District: 16; Assembly District: 17; City: New York; County: New York; Page: 01. Ancestry.com. New York, State Census, 1915 
  12. Joseph Metz and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Manhattan Assembly District 23, New York, New York; Roll: T625_1226; Page: 18B; Enumeration District: 1489. Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  13. Joseph Metz and family, 1925 NYS census, New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1925; Election District: 34; Assembly District: 09; City: New York; County: New York; Page: 10. Ancestry.com. New York, State Census, 1925 
  14. Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Extracted Death Index, 1862-1948, Certificate Number 5487. 
  15. New York Times, September 13, 1965, p. 35. 

The Search for Edwin Metz

As of 1900, my 3x-great-aunt Rosa Goldschmidt and her husband Bernhard Metz had four children still living: Hattie, Paul, Edwin, and Joseph. I’ve discussed Paul Metz, aka Joseph Raymond, aka George Raymond’s disappearance in 1900. This post will discuss his younger brother Edwin, who was also proved to be elusive.

Searching for Edwin Metz was not nearly the wild ride I experienced in searching for his brother Paul, but it sure had its challenges. As of 1900, he was still living with his parents Rosa and Bernhard in New York City, working as a merchant.1 In the 1905 New York State census the household included Bernhard and Rosa, Hattie and her husband George Gattel, Edwin, and Joseph. This enumerator had the worst handwriting! Can you decipher what Edwin was doing? It sure had me confused, but as you will see, I eventually figured it out. Answer to follow.

Bernhard Metz family 1905 NYS census, New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1905; Election District: A.D. 24 E.D. 16; City: Manhattan; County: New York; Page: 48
Ancestry.com. New York, State Census, 1905

The next record I had for Edwin Metz was the 1910 census, or at least I thought this was Edwin. He is listed with a wife Gertrude and four-year-old son Walter, living in Chicago and working as a salesman—of what, once I again I could not tell:

Edwin Metz and family 1910 US census, Census Place: Chicago Ward 6, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T624_246; Page: 11B; Enumeration District: 0369; FHL microfilm: 1374259
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

I thought this was probably the right Edwin Metz since the age (35) and birth place (New York) and birth places of the parents (both Germany) were right, but I wasn’t sure. What made verification difficult was that I could not find one other record for Edwin Metz. He was not on any later census record, and I could not find a marriage record or a death record or even a newspaper article about him.

I focused my search then on Gertrude and Walter, which was also difficult because I did not know Gertrude’s birth name or anything else about her, except what that 1910 census revealed: that she was then 33, born in Indiana in about 1877 to parents who were both born in Germany. And I knew that Walter was born in New York in about 1906. Not much to go on, but enough to get a start.

First, I found a marriage record dated May 20, 1918, for a Gertrude B. Metz and an Isaac Lederer in the Cook County, Illinois Marriage Index on Ancestry.2 I then was able to find Isaac and Gertrude on the 1920 census with Isaac’s son Joseph and his stepson Walter R. Metz, now 13, living in Chicago. I was quite certain this was the same Gertrude and same Walter who had been living with Edwin Metz in 1910 because the names, ages, and birth places lined up. But where was Edwin? Had he died? Or had Gertrude divorced him? And was he even my Edwin anyway?

Isaac Lederer and family 1920 US census, Census Place: Chicago Ward 3, Cook (Chicago), Illinois; Roll: T625_313; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 164
Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census

Then I found entries on the 1915 South Dakota census for Gertrude Metz and Walter Metz. South Dakota? That surprised me. But they lined up with the Gertrude and Walter I’d found on the 1910 and 1920 US census records: Gertrude was 38, born in 1877, in Indiana, and her parents were born in Germany. Walter was nine, born in 1906, in New York, to a father born in New York and a mother born in Indiana. And most importantly, Gertrude listed her marital status as widowed.

Gertrude Metz, South Dakota State Census, 1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MMHN-CGX : 5 August 2017), Gertrude B Metz; citing State Historical Society, Pierre; FHL microfilm 2,283,681.

Walter Metz, South Dakota State Census, 1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MMHN-CPH : 5 August 2017), Walter R Metz; citing State Historical Society, Pierre; FHL microfilm 2,283,681.

Had Edwin died, or was Gertrude doing what many divorced women did in those days, hiding her status as a divorced woman? And why were they in South Dakota? The town where they were living, Mitchell, was a town with a population in 1910 of about 6500 people, located well over 600 miles from Chicago, where Edwin, Gertrude, and Walter had been living in 1910. How had Gertrude and Walter ended up in Mitchell?

My hunch was that Gertrude had family in South Dakota, so I searched for a Gertrude born in Indiana in about 1877 who was living in South Dakota, and I found Gertrude Kleist on the 1900 census, living in Mitchell, South Dakota, with her parents Emil and Mina, both born in Germany. Her father was a peddler, and Gertrude was a music teacher.

Gertrude Kleist and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Mitchell, Davison, South Dakota; Page: 20; Enumeration District: 0112; FHL microfilm: 1241548
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

But that got me no closer to finding Edwin Metz. I went back to my newspaper searching. In my earlier search for Edwin, I’d had to limit my searches to New York and Chicago because the name was so common that I was overwhelmed with thousands of results. This time I decided to search for Edwin Metz in South Dakota, figuring that it was a crazy long shot.

But it wasn’t.  I found this from the July 10, 1913 edition of the Mitchell (South Dakota) Capital (p. 7):

From this legal notice I knew that Edwin Metz had died sometime before July 1913, and Gertrude was a widow with a seven-year-old little boy. I then found “Edward” Metz on the South Dakota death index; he had died on June 12, 1913, in Davison County, South Dakota.3 It seemed likely that the Gertrude Kleist I’d found on the 1900 census living in Mitchell, South Dakota, was the same woman as Gertrude Metz.

But how had a woman from Mitchell, South Dakota, met and married a man from New York City? Well, knowing now that Gertrude was from Mitchell, I searched for Metz in the Mitchell Capital newspaper on genealogybank.com and found this treasure published on October 9, 1903 (p. 6):

At first I was confused that Gertrude’s name was Becker, not Kleist as I had thought. I was surprised that there could be two Gertrudes in Mitchell, South Dakota, both born around the same time and both in Indiana, with parents born in Germany.

And then I found Gertrude Becker and her family enumerated on the 1900 census; this is clearly the same family as the “Kleist” family in the page depicted above—Emil and Mina, both born in Germany, with daughters Gertrude and Margery and a son Delvin born in Indiana. The Becker and the Kleist entries are nearly identical, except Gertrude has no occupation listed and Emil has moved from being a “peddler” to being a “clothing dealer.”  Once I searched for earlier and later records for the Becker family, it was clear that their name was not Kleist, or hadn’t been for a long time.

Somehow they were counted twice on the 1900 census, once as Becker and once as Kleist. The Becker enumeration was on June 4, the Kleist on June 11, and one was in District 112, the other in District 113. I suppose it is possible the family moved between June 4 and June 11, but it seems unlikely they’d changed their surname from Becker to Kleist.

Gertrude Becker and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Mitchell, Davison, South Dakota; Page: 6; Enumeration District: 0113; FHL microfilm: 1241548 Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

Without transcribing the entire wedding article, I can point out several revealing portions. First, Edwin Metz was from New York City and was working for “the firm of S. Ascher & Co., importers of fancy knit goods.” Looking back now at the 1905 New York State census when my Edwin was living with his parents, I think the enumerator wrote “nit goods salesman” as Edwin’s occupation. Bad handwriting AND bad spelling. And now reading the 1910 US census for Edwin, I can see that it clearly says “knit goods.” (Amazing what context does to help decipher bad handwriting.) So I am persuaded that the Edwin Metz who married Gertrude from South Dakota was in fact my cousin Edwin.

I also learned that Edwin had “made a very favorable impression” on the people of Mitchell and that he was a “pleasant and affable gentleman and full worthy of the charming bride he takes away from us.”

Gertrude was described in particularly glowing terms:

Coming here as a little maiden the bride has grown to womanhood in this city and has always been prominent in musical and social circles. She is possessed with a beautiful soprano voice of high cultivation and times without number has her music brought pleasure to hundreds of hearers. Always generous with her musical ability she has responded many times to assist in musical entertainments that have been enhanced by her presence. She has been a great favorite socially and was the life of any party of which she formed a number. Her going away will be much regretted by her hundreds of friends and a void will be created that will be hard to fill.

But if Edwin and Gertrude were married in October, 1903, why wasn’t she living with him on the 1905 census in New York? The New York census does not record marital status, so I don’t know. Perhaps she had just been left off by mistake? Edwin and Gertrude’s son Walter was born on February 28, 1906, so certainly in 1905 they had to have been living together for some time.

I also was surprised to see that a rabbi performed the ceremony; he came from the “Jewish church” in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, which is over seventy miles east of Mitchell; back then, that must have been a long journey. It also saddened me that none of Edwin’s family attended the wedding. I’d like to think it wasn’t that they didn’t approve or that Edwin was estranged from his family, but just that the time and cost of traveling from New York to South Dakota kept them from attending.

The wedding article was also very informative about the details of the wedding, including the lavish and extensive menu, the clothing, and the names of the twenty guests. The article also hinted that Gertrude may have already been living in New York, as “A portion of the presents were sent here and a large number were sent to her New York residence.” Perhaps that refers to her future residence, but I like to imagine that Gertrude had come to New York City to pursue her musical career, as the article describes her considerable talent. That would also explain how Edwin and Gertrude met, although it is also possible that Emil Becker, the clothing dealer, met Edwin, the knit clothing salesman, and introduced him to his daughter.

That left me with a few remaining questions: why was Edwin in South Dakota in 1913 when he died? Was it a visit, or were they living in Mitchell at that point? Edwin was only 38 when he died—what caused his death? And where is he buried?

And then, as I was first writing that very paragraph, I went back to genealogybank.com one more time and searched for Edwin Metz between June 1, 1913, and July 31, 1913, and found an obituary for Edwin—why hadn’t it shown up before? I don’t know. But here it is:

“Edwin Metz Passes Away,” The Mitchell Capital, June 19, 1913, p. 7

This doesn’t tell me everything, but it does tell me that Edwin had suffered from “nervous trouble” since early 1912, and it suggests that he and Gertrude had moved to Mitchell for family support.  Edwin died in the home of his in-laws, and his brother-in-law accompanied his body back to New York for burial. Gertrude was herself too ill to go.

Of course, every answer leads to more questions.  What kind of “nervous trouble”? Why was he being buried in New York and not in South Dakota or Chicago, the two places he and Gertrude had lived together?

As for Gertrude and Walter, as noted above, Gertrude remarried five years after Edwin’s death and relocated back to Chicago with her second husband, Isaac S. Lederer. Isaac was also widowed and, like Gertrude, had a young son. In 1920,4 they were all still living together in Chicago, as they were in 1930 as well.5 By then, Walter was working in the retail dry goods business, his stepbrother Joseph was a broker, and Isaac was retired. Isaac died the following year at the age of 61. He was buried with his first wife Carrie in Chicago.6

Walter Metz married Marjorie Isaacs in 1933:

1933, Chicago Daily Tribune (1872-1963), Ancestry.com. Historical Newspapers, Birth, Marriage, & Death Announcements, 1851-2003

And in 1940 they were living in Chicago with their son. Walter owned a retail lighting fixtures store.7 Meanwhile, his mother Gertrude was also still living in Chicago in 1940; she was 63 and had been widowed twice.8

Sadly, my cousin Walter Metz inherited some of the bad luck of the Goldsmith family and died at a young age like his father Edwin. He was only 57 when he suffered a heart attack on March 1, 1963, while on a cruise in the Caribbean with his wife Marjorie.9 He was survived by his wife, son, and his mother Gertrude Becker Metz Lederer, who was about 87 at the time. Despite searching every way I can imagine, I have found no clue as to when Gertrude died, though I would assume it was within ten years after her son Walter’s death.  Was she buried with her first husband, just as her second husband Isaac was buried with his first wife? I do not know. I cannot find her. I have contacted the cemetery where Edwin is buried to see if she is buried there and am awaiting an answer.

UPDATE: I just heard from the cemetery; Gertrude Metz Lederer is not buried with Edwin at Beth El Cemetery in New York.

 

 

 

 

 


  1. Bernhard Metz and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York; Page: 19; Enumeration District: 0661; FHL microfilm: 1241110.Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  2. Ancestry.com. Cook County, Illinois Marriage Indexes, 1912-1942. 
  3.  Ancestry.com. South Dakota, Death Index, 1879-1955. Certificate Number: 34853
    Page Number: 503.
     
  4. See image above. 
  5. Isaac Lederer and family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Chicago, Cook, Illinois; Page: 17A; Enumeration District: 0210; FHL microfilm: 2340158. Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  6.  https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/131191424 
  7. Walter Metz and family, 1940 US census, Census Place: Chicago, Cook, Illinois; Roll: m-t0627-00928; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 103-245. Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  8. Gertrude Metz, 1940 US census, Census Place: Chicago, Cook, Illinois; Roll: m-t0627-00929; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 103-283. Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  9. “Walter R. Metz,” Chicago Tribune, March 3, 1963, p. 36. 

The Paul Metz Story: The Brick Wall Tumbles Down

Finally, the brick wall hiding Paul Metz came (mostly) down.

One of the newspaper articles about the disappearance of George B. Metz in 1923 had revealed an important bit of information about the mysterious disappearance of George’s father, Paul Metz, 23 years before. According to statements made by the family quoted in that article, Paul (referred to as Joseph Metz in the news story) had disappeared with his son Elwood around the time that George Metz was born in 1900. According to that same article, no one in the family had heard from either of them since.1

I decided to focus my next search on Elwood. The first name is unusual enough that I thought I had a better chance of finding him than his father Paul Metz/Joseph Raymond. But I also worried that Paul might have changed Elwood’s name to avoid being found.

Fortunately, Paul Metz was not that devious. After much searching, I found an obituary for an Elwood Raymond who died at age 82 on June 26, 1980, in Florida.2 Why did I think this might be the right person? Well, not only did the age match up (my Elwood was born in 1898), this Elwood had come to Florida 65 years earlier from his “native New York City,” meaning he was born in New York, just as my Elwood had been. And Paul Metz had once used the alias Joseph Raymond.

That led me to search for more information about Elwood Raymond in Florida. What I learned was that by 1916, Elwood had attained a degree of fame in Florida—he was reputedly the roller skating champion of the South, according to this article from the Orlando Sentinel of October 20, 1916 (p. 6):

Conrad located this photograph of Elwood as a skater:

Elwood Raymond

Elwood also served as a sergeant in the US Army in World War I and was seriously injured in June, 1918, at the Battle of Chateau Thievry in France, as reported in this article about his bravery and his injury; the article also revealed that Elwood Raymond had a father still living in Ocala, Florida.:

The Ocala Evening Star, 15 Oct 1918, Tue, Page 4

And this article revealed the name of that father:

The Ocala Evening Star, 04 Sep 1919, Thu, Page 3

George Raymond! So Paul Metz had gone from Joseph Raymond to George Raymond! Did he select the name George in some way to connect to the son he had abandoned as an infant, Conrad’s father George? Was it just coincidence that the man who next partnered with Gertrude was also named George—George W. Keller? It all seemed just a bit strange.

On September 1, 1919, the Ocala Evening Star reported that Elwood Raymond was returning home and intending to stay in Ocala:

The Ocala Evening Star, 01 Sep 1919, Mon, Page 3

In 1920, Elwood was lodging with two other men in Ocala, working as a skater at the fire station. I am not sure what that means, but the other two men were also working at the fire station, one as an electrician and one as a laborer.

Elwood Raymond’s occupation (in yellow) on the 1920 US census, Census Place: Ocala Ward 2, Marion, Florida; Roll: T625_226; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 116
Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census

On April 20, 1921, the Ocala Evening Star published this little news item (p.4):

The Ocala Evening Star, 20 Apr 1921, Wed, Page 4

So Elwood was now the chief of the fire department (not just a skater!). And his father George Raymond was staying with him in Ocala and making it his headquarters while traveling—for work? What kind of work?

On January 26, 1922, the Ocala paper reported on Elwood Raymond’s marriage to Ethelyn Adams:

The Ocala Evening Star, 26 Jan 1922, Thu, Page 1

Ethelyn was the daughter of George and Rosa Adam; she was born on January 27, 1904, in Oklahoma, and was living with her parents in Alma, Kansas, in 1910 where her father was a farmer; in 1920, they were living in Kansas City, Missouri, and her father was retired.  According to the wedding announcement, they had moved to Ocala during 1921, having previously lived in Orlando, Florida.3

The wedding announcement is also interesting in that it describes Elwood as “the only son of Mr. George Raymond.” It would thus appear that at least as of 1922, Elwood was unaware of his brother George B. Metz.

There were a number of other articles in the Ocala newspaper about Elwood in his role as fire chief, and then on March 8, 1922 the Ocala Evening Star reported that Elwood had resigned as chief of the fire department. 4 And this news item revealed why—Elwood and Ethelyn were moving to Orlando:

The Ocala Evening Star, 27 Apr 1922, Thu, Page 4

On September 4, 1922, the Ocala Evening Star reported that Ethelyn and Elwood had a new baby, a son.5 Two years later they had a daughter.

In 1930 Elwood, Ethelyn, and their two children were living in Oneco, Florida, where Elwood was employed as a letter carrier for the US Post Office.  Ethelyn’s mother Rosa was also living with them and operating a fruit farm.

Elwood Raymond, 1930 US census, Census Place: Oneco, Manatee, Florida; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 0031; FHL microfilm: 2340059
Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census

Where was Elwood’s father “George Raymond” in the 1920s? Or for that matter any time between 1900 and 1930? In 1905 he was in Augusta, Georgia:

Augusta (Georgia) Chronicle of December 12, 1905 (p. 10)

So in 1905 George was still a piano tuner and possibly still conning—a graduate of a Boston conservatory? Eight years with Steinway & Sons in New York? I’ve seen no evidence of that, but I suppose it is possible. It looks like George and Elwood had been heading south and eventually ended up in Florida.

Conrad found this 1916 article, which also seems of doubtful truth:

“Skater Inherits Big Fortune; Show is Off,” The Tampa Tribune (Tampa, Florida) · 27 Jan 1916, Thu · Page 13

Who is this “uncle” who left George Raymond (or is it Elwood Raymond) a fortune? None of George’s known uncles or Elwood’s known uncles died in 1915; Bernhard Metz died in 1914, however. Was Paul/George somehow trying to claim a share of the estate? Or was this just an excuse to get out of the Clearwater performance?

And this advertisement reveals that George was still tuning pianos in 1920 in Florida:

The Ocala Evening Star (Ocala, Florida) · 10 Mar 1920, Wed · Page 1

Aside from the mentions in the news clippings above, I have no other information about Paul Metz/George Raymond’s whereabouts, his job, his life. He was living in Georgia in 1905 and in Florida at least from 1915 until 1922, given the newspaper articles. But before or after? I don’t know. I found no other trace of him as Paul Metz or Joseph Raymond or George Raymond. If he used another name, I have no idea what that might have been. And I have no idea why he had kidnapped his son Elwood and abandoned his wife and newborn son George in 1900.

But what I did find was this obituary dated June 26, 1934:

 

The Tampa Tribune, 27 Jun 1934, Wed, Page 2

The obituary states that George Raymond had been living in Manatee County, Florida, for six years, and had previously been in Philadelphia. My guess is that the reporter confused the birth place with his prior residence. I found no evidence that Paul/George had returned to Philadelphia in the 1920s.

More importantly, the obituary reveals that by the time Paul Metz/George Raymond died in 1934, he had either revealed to Elwood that he had another son, or Elwood had discovered it on his own. Interestingly, the obituary refers to this son as “George Raymond,” as if he were his father’s namesake. And as if they had an actual relationship.

When I shared all this with Conrad, he revealed to me for the first time that Elwood had contacted George B. Metz sometime after 1934. We don’t know how Elwood learned about his brother George—did his father have a deathbed confession? How did Elwood even find him if he thought his brother’s name was George Raymond? Neither Conrad nor I know the answers, but Conrad shared this photograph of Elwood Raymond and George Metz together, showing that after their father died, the two brothers who had been separated since George Metz’s birth in 1900 had eventually gotten together many years later:

Elwood Raymond and George Metz

Conrad also learned from a cousin that Paul Metz/George Raymond died in the state hospital in Chattahoochee, Florida, in Gadsden County; this is consistent with the listing in the Florida Death Index. The cousin also told him that George Raymond (Paul Metz) had been in the state hospital for several years for psychiatric treatment and for drug and alcohol abuse. That seems credible, given Paul’s earlier history as an opium user and his long history of lying and stealing.

Thus, together Conrad and I had pieced together the long and twisting path of his grandfather’s life, the man who was born Paul Metz and died as George Raymond. There are still gaps in the story, but at least we know the beginning, a bigger part of the middle, and the end. It was one wild roller coaster ride, and I never could have done it without Conrad’s collaboration.

 

 

 

 


  1. “Metz in California, Denver Police Think,” The New York Times, September 14, 1923, p. 22. 
  2. Tampa Bay Times, 28 Jun 1980, Sat, Main Edition, Page 29. 
  3.  Ancestry.com. North Carolina, Death Indexes, 1908-2004. George Adam and family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Alma, Wabaunsee, Kansas; Roll: T624_459; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 0132; FHL microfilm: 1374472. Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census. George Adam and family 1920 US census, Census Place: Kansas City Ward 16, Jackson, Missouri; Roll: T625_928; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 264. Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census. 
  4.  The Ocala Evening Star, 08 Mar 1922, Wed, Page 1. 
  5. The Ocala Evening Star, 04 Sep 1922, Mon, Page 4. 

The Paul Metz Mystery, Part III: George Metz Disappears

In my last post, I described how with my cousin Conrad’s help I had been able to track down Gertrude Cone Metz/Raymond Blumann/Smith Keller up to 1920 when she had been married to or at least living with George W. Keller as well as her son George Metz (named as George Elwood Keller on the 1920 census) and their daughter “Florence,” who Conrad and I decided was actually Ida Jane Keller, the daughter  of Gertrude and George W. Keller born in 1905.

I also noted that by 1925 it appeared that Gertrude and her third “husband” George W. Keller were separated as George W. was living with his parents and with his daughter Ida, who had married Eugene Merker in 1921 but from whom she must have been separated by 1925. Ida and Eugene’s daughter was also living with the Kellers in 1925.

But where were Gertrude and her son George Metz in the 1920s? Conrad found a series of newspaper articles revealing that his father George B. Metz had disappeared for some time in September 1923. The story ran in multiple newspapers throughout the United States as police all over the country were searching for the missing “G.B. Metz.” 1 The New York Times began its coverage on its front page on September 13, 1923, describing how George B. Metz had been hired by H. A. Ross of the Pittsburgh Lamp, Brass and Glass Company two weeks earlier to be their Colorado representative. Ross had received that day a letter from Metz mailed from Denver in which he acknowledged receipt of an expense check, but Ross had also been notified by the Denver police that same morning that Metz had disappeared.2

New York Times, September 13, 1923, p. 1

This same article also reported comments made by Russell B. Cressman, a friend and former co-worker of George Metz at the Gleason-Tiebout Company in New York, manufacturers of electrical appliances, where Metz had worked for seven years, or since about 1916. Cressman described Metz as having “an equable, quiet disposition and was very well liked by his business associates.” According to Cressman, Metz was a bachelor and lived with his mother, Mrs. G.A. Kellar [sic] at 2020 Honeywell Avenue in the Bronx, the same place that Gertrude and her son George and daughter “Florence” had been living with George W. Keller on the 1920 census. Cressman could not provide an explanation for Metz’s disappearance nor could his mother, when asked. According to the article, George’s mother had left for Denver when she heard of his disappearance.3

The paper also reported that George had a girlfriend in New York named Margaret A. Wiquest and that another friend, Eugene O’Donnell, estimated that George had a fortune worth about $50,000-$60,000 as well as a $75,000 life insurance policy.4

According to this and several other articles, the maid found a note in George’s hotel room in Denver, where he had been staying for two weeks. According to the Ogden (Utah) Standard Examiner of September 12, 1923 (p. 2) and many other newspapers, that note read as follows:

I am going on a dangerous mission tonight. If anything should happen that I do not return please forward the personal papers you will find in the small drawer to R.B. Cressman, 200 Fifth Avenue, New York City.

(Signed) G. B. Metz

Personal effects to Mrs. G.A. Keller, 2020 Honeywell avenue, New York City. Catalogue to Pittsburg Lamp, Brass and Glass company. Car to Saunders. [The car was a rental car.]

Detectives then proceeded to examine a will that George Metz had prepared on September 4, 1923, obviously either right before or right after departing New York for Denver. According to another New York Times article dated September 13, 1923,5 the will named Russell B. Cressman as the administrator and left one-third of the estate to Margaret A. Wiquest, his “dearest pal and sweetheart,” unless she was married at the time of George’s death; in that case she was to receive only $500. All of George’s personal belongings were bequeathed to his uncle Frank E. Cone, his jewelry was left to his “stepfather G.W. Kellar,” $1000 was left to his sister, Ida J. Merker, and another $1000 to a trust fund for the education of Ida’s daughter.

The police had two possible theories for George’s disappearance—foul play or suicide. By the next day the New York Times was reporting that the Denver police had developed a third theory—that George was suffering from a temporary mental illness. The Denver police also found a clue that George was on his way to Los Angeles.6

“Metz in California, Denver Police Think,” New York Times, September 14, 1923, p. 22.

The article is most interesting for what it reports “that bears out the theory of mental aberration.”7

One clue was a letter which Metz wrote to his mother in which he said: “I am losing my mind. Have faith in me.”

The police also learned, they said, that Metz’s father, Joseph Metz, disappeared in a similar fashion nearly 25 years ago, just before the son was born, and took his elder son Elwood with him. Nothing ever was heard of them, the police say.[^8]

That was a confirmation of much of what I had suspected: Paul Metz/Joseph Raymond (called Joseph Metz here) was the father of George Metz, and he had disappeared shortly before George was born, taking Elwood with him.

The newspaper also noted that Ida Keller Merker had confirmed these facts, although her report muddies the waters a bit:8

Mrs. Merker confirmed the statement that their father, Joseph Metz, had disappeared with an elder son, Elwood, twenty-five years ago. This had been while the family was living somewhere on the Boston Road in the Bronx, and the pair had never been heard from.

Of course, this can’t be completely right; Paul/Joseph Metz was not Ida’s father. Ida J. Keller was born five years after her half-brother George, and Paul/Joseph Metz could not have been her father if he disappeared five years before she was born. And on the 1900 census, Gertrude was living with Elwood not on Boston Road in the Bronx, but in Ho-ho-kus, New Jersey, and Paul was not in the household. But the important point from my perspective is that this confirmed that Paul Metz had disappeared and taken his son Elwood with him in 1900.

According to the article, George’s girlfriend Margaret A. Wiquest was “taken by surprise at the report of Metz’s mental condition. In their one-year acquaintance, she said, Metz had never shown sign of aberration. He had always been of a cheerful disposition and his last letters had all been in a cheerful key, she added.”9

Fortunately, this story has a happy ending. George was found a month later in Los Angeles, suffering from memory loss:

“Missing Pittsburgh Salesman Is Found,” New Castle (Pennsylvania) Herald, 12 Oct 1923, Fri, Page 20.

George apparently returned to New York, but perhaps not to Margaret A. Wiquest. On September 11, 1925, George Metz married Eunice Marian Brown in the Bronx.10 Conrad generously shared these stunning photographs of his parents:

Eunice Marian Brown Metz. Courtesy of Conrad Metz

George B. Metz, courtesy of Conrad Metz

In 1928, they were living in my old hometown, White Plains, New York, where George was working as a “brkman,” or a brakeman.11 According to Conrad, his maternal grandfather, John Brown, was a conductor on the Putnam Division of the New York Central Railroad and helped his son-in-law George get a job with the railroad when George had had difficulty obtaining employment after his disappearance in 1923.  Being a brakeman was a dangerous job, as described on this website:

To apply the brakes, the brakeman would turn a large brake control wheel located atop each freight car of the train. Every brakeman carried a thick brake “club” to help give them leverage in turning the wheel. This meant that they would have to run along the top of the railway cars and leap from one to another in order to apply or release the brakes on each car. Generally, the rear brakeman, or flagman as he was also known, would advance from the end of the train whilst the head brakeman or the conductor would advance from the engine to apply the brakes on each car, one by one. On a moving train, especially in bad weather, the application of brakes was a risky proposition, at best. Worse still, a stuck brake wheel might suddenly free up and throw the brakeman off balance. All too often this would result in the brakeman falling between the cars to his death. Riding in the open, frequently exposed to the bitter cold of winter, the brakeman’s job was fraught with danger.

Conrad told me that his father George himself suffered a broken leg on the job.

In 1930 George, Marian and their son Richard were living in Westwood, New Jersey, and George was once again in the electrical products business, now as a sales manager for the an electrical company. Conrad was born a couple of years later.

George Metz and family 1930 US census, Census Place: Westwood, Bergen, New Jersey; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 0251; FHL microfilm: 2341052
Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census

But what about Paul Metz and Elwood Metz? Where had they gone? Who were they now? And would they ever reappear? More on that in my next post, the final chapter in the story of Paul Metz and his sons.

 

 

 


  1. E.g., “Note Left by Missing Man,” The Ogden (Utah) Standard-Examiner, 12 Sep 1923, Wed, Page 2; “Goes on ‘Danger Mission’ And Has Not Come Back,” The (Wilmington, Delaware) Morning News, 13 Sep 1923, Thu, Page 1; “Missing Pittsburgh Salesman Is Found,” New Castle (Pennsylvania) Herald, 12 Oct 1923, Fri, Page 20. 
  2. The New York Times, September 13, 1923, p. 1. 
  3. Ibid. 
  4. Ibid. 
  5. “Missing Man Left Will, Fearing Death,” The New York Times, September 13, p.1. 
  6. “Metz in California, Denver Police Think,” The New York Times, September 14, 1923, p. 22. 
  7. Ibid. 
  8. Ibid. 
  9. Ibid. 
  10. The New York City (Bronx) Marriage Index, Certificate Number 5272 (could be 5273), found at https://archive.org/details/NYC_Marriage_Index_Bronx_1925 
  11. White Plains city directory, 1928, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 

The Paul Metz Mystery, Part II

As seen in my last post, my cousin Conrad and I came to the conclusion that his grandfather, Paul Metz, had used a false name (Joseph Raymond) on his marriage certificate when he married Gertrude Cone and thus that Paul Metz was in fact the first husband of Gertrude Amelia Cone and the father of their two sons, Elwood, born February 19, 1898, and George, born July 6, 1900.

But Paul Metz/Joseph Raymond was not on the 1900 census with Gertrude and Elwood (George was born after the census enumeration). Where was he? I thought that if we searched for information about Gertrude, Elwood, and George, we might find the answer to what happened to Paul.

According to Conrad, Gertrude next appeared on the 1905 New York State census; she was living in Mount Vernon, New York, with a man named George W. Keller, who was 26. Gertrude is listed as his mother, but she was only 25, so that cannot be right. Apparently that enumerator listed all the wives as “mothers” on that particular census report. There were two children living with them: a son named George, who was five, and a daughter named Ida J., who was two months old.

Gertrude Keller and family 1905 NYS census, New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1905; Election District: E.D. 01; City: Mount Vernon Ward 04; County: Westchester. Ancestry.com. New York, State Census, 1905

At first I wasn’t sure why Conrad thought this was his grandmother Gertrude. The New York State census does not identify the state where the individuals were born or much else about them, so I was uncertain. But Conrad knew that his grandmother had at one time been married to George Washington Keller; in fact, he knew of her only with the surname Keller. And he knew he had an “aunt” named Ida Jane. So this had to be Gertrude and her son George (Metz) and daughter Ida on the 1905 NYS census living with George W. Keller.

But neither Conrad nor I could locate a marriage record for Gertrude and George W. Keller. Nor could we find a birth record for Ida. Was she in fact the daughter of George Keller and Gertrude Cone? Could Paul Metz have been her father? Well, I found Ida on the 1910 census living with her grandparents—George Keller and Ida Keller, who were George W. Keller’s parents.1  From that I concluded that Ida was in fact the daughter of George W. Keller. But why was she living with her grandparents? Where was her father George? And where was her mother Gertrude?

Ida Keller, 1910 US census, Census Place: Bronx Assembly District 34, New York, New York; Roll: T624_1002; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 1583; FHL microfilm: 1375015
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

Well, on January 26, 1910, Gertrude had obtained a license to marry another man, William Blumann.2 But on the 1910 census, she was living with a man named William T. Smith. He was a “railroad man.” Living with them was George B. Metz, Paul Metz’s son. The census record reported that it was a second marriage for both William and Gertrude and that Gertrude had three living children, though only George was living with her. It also reported that Gertrude and William Smith had been married for less than a year.

William Smith and family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Manhattan Ward 12, New York, New York; Roll: T624_1014; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 0311; FHL microfilm: 1375027
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

Was William Smith the same person as William Blumann? Was William Blumann/William T. Smith another alias for Paul Metz? And what had happened to George W. Keller? To answer the first question first, there is this horrifying news article that reveals that in fact William Blumann was the same person as William T. Smith:

“Mother Saved by Son, Madman Ends Own Life,” Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania Evening-News, January 20, 1914, p. 2.

So George Metz, just thirteen years old, had saved his mother Gertrude’s life.  This poor young man had witnessed the attempted murder of his mother and the suicide of his stepfather. And also it appears he had been abandoned by his own father, Paul Metz, and another stepfather as well, George W. Keller. He also had lost two siblings somewhere along the way—Elwood and Ida. In thirteen years he had suffered more trauma and loss than most of us experience in a lifetime.

Meanwhile, in 1909 George’s stepfather George W. Keller had married Laurie Ellis Fredette,3 and in 1910 they were living in Mount Vernon, the same town where George W. Keller had previously lived with Gertrude, George Metz, and Ida.4 But Laurie Fredette died on January 27, 1918, in the Bronx,5 leaving George W. Keller a widower. And thus both George W. Keller and Gertrude Cone Raymond/Metz Blumann/Smith were widowed and unmarried as of January 27, 1918.

In 1920 George W. Keller and Gertrude were living together again, listed this time as husband and wife on the census, although we’ve yet to find a marriage record for George W. Keller and Gertrude. They were living at 2020 Honeywell Avenue in the Bronx. George was working for the railroad just as William Blumann Smith had been.

George W Keller and household, 1920 US census, Census Place: Bronx Assembly District 7, Bronx, New York; Roll: T625_1140; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 373
Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census

Living with George and Gertrude as their son was “George Elwood Keller,” a nineteen-year-old born in New Jersey who was working in a glass factory. The census record states that both his parents were born in New York.So who was this? Was it Elwood “Raymond,” who would have been 22 in 1920, or was it George Metz, who would have been turning 20 in 1920? Only George was born in New Jersey, and his father—Paul Metz—was born in Pennsylvania, not New York. Conrad and I concluded that this had to be George, not Elwood—in large part because Conrad knew that his father had been living with Gertrude at that time whereas Elwood’s whereabouts during that time were unknown.

Why then would this young man have been listed as George Elwood? It looks like the census enumerator first wrote Elwood and then squeezed in George. Strange… Perhaps Gertrude had her two sons confused.

Even more confusing to me was the fact that this same census record also listed a daughter in the household named Florence, fourteen years old, also born in New Jersey with parents both born in New York. Who in the world was Florence?? Ida Jane Keller would have been fourteen, going on fifteen in 1920. But she was born in New York. Since neither Conrad nor I could find any child of George and/or Gertrude who was named Florence or born in New Jersey in 1905-1906 nor could we find any later record for a Florence Keller of that age who fit, we concluded that “Florence” was really Ida. But why would she be listed as Florence, not Ida? Those names aren’t even close.

You can imagine that by now I was ready to throw a brick at the computer. My head was spinning, and I was drawing more timelines and charts than I’d ever had to before. And things did not get much clearer as I moved forward in time.

In 1921 Ida J. Keller married Eugene Merker in the Bronx.6 But that marriage did not last long because by 1925 Ida was apparently separated from Eugene Merker and living at 1976 Honeywell Avenue in the Bronx with her grandparents George and Ida Keller, her father George W. Keller, and her daughter from her marriage to Eugene; they were living down the block from where Gertrude and George had been living with her son George Metz and their daughter Ida in 1920. Ida was eventually divorced from Eugene in 1930.7 It also appears that by 1925 her father George W. Keller was no longer living with Gertrude. I could not find him on the 1930 census, but I did find that he died in 1936.8

Keller family, 1920 US census, New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1925; Election District: 21; Assembly District: 07; City: New York; County: Bronx; Page: 12. Ancestry.com. New York, State Census, 1925

So I had gotten this far, but I still had no answers for the whereabouts of Paul Metz/Joseph Raymond or Elwood Metz/Raymond. Neither Gertrude nor William Blumann Smith nor George W. Keller nor Ida Jane were related to me in anyway except through a chain of marriages. I had researched them and gone in all those circles to try and find Paul Metz and Elwood to no avail.

And then things got stranger. And finally, the brick wall started to fall.

 


  1. Ancestry.com. New York, County Marriage Records, 1847-1849, 1907-1936. Film Number: 001031478. 
  2.  New York City Municipal Archives; New York, New York; Volume Number: 1. Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Marriage License Indexes, 1907-1995. License Number: 2449. 
  3. Ancestry.com. New York, County Marriage Records, 1847-1849, 1907-1936. Film Number: 001031478. 
  4. George W. Keller household, 1910 US census, Census Place: MT Vernon Ward 2, Westchester, New York; Roll: T624_1089; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 0062; FHL microfilm: 1375102. Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census. 
  5.  Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Extracted Death Index, 1862-1948, Certificate Number: 766. 
  6.  New York City Municipal Archives; New York, New York. Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Marriage License Indexes, 1907-1995. License Number: 5510. 
  7. Ancestry.com. Bronx County, New York, Divorce and Civil Case Records, 1914-1995. Volume Number: 2, Page Number: 485, File Number: 1969 
  8. Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Extracted Death Index, 1862-1948. Certificate Number: 1374. 

The Mystery of Paul Metz, Part I

I cannot tell the story of Paul Metz without some introduction of my third cousin, once removed, Conrad Metz, Paul’s grandson. Without Conrad’s help, this story would never have come to light. We collaborated on the research, shared our thoughts about what we found, and ultimately reached the same conclusion about his elusive grandfather.

The story began on June 14, 2018, when I received a message on Ancestry from Conrad, asking me to share my tree because he’d been told I might be a cousin and that I had his grandfather Paul Metz on my Ancestry tree. He said he’d been searching for information about Paul Metz for many years, but all he had was the name on his father’s birth certificate.  I responded that I was delighted to hear from him and more than happy to share my tree and to work with him on searching for more information about his grandfather.

The last official record I had for Paul Metz before Conrad contacted me was the 1880 census when Paul was a teenager living with his parents Rosa and Bernhard in Philadelphia.1 As noted in my last post, Paul was not living with his parents and siblings on the 1900 census. Conrad knew that his grandmother’s name was Gertrude Amelia Cone, but we could not find a marriage record for Gertrude Cone and Paul Metz.

But Conrad had a marriage record for his grandmother Gertrude and a man named Joseph C. Raymond. According to their New Jersey marriage record, they had married on December 10, 1895, in Ramsey, New Jersey.  That record said that Joseph was the son of Albert F. Raymond, born in Michigan, and Rose Weldon, born in England, and that Joseph was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was 28 years old, giving him a birth date of 1867.  Gertrude was only seventeen, born in Brooklyn to Edward Cone, born in Maryland, and Jennie Pool, born in Schraalenberg, New Jersey, and Gertrude was then residing in Ramsey, New Jersey, where the wedding took place.

We could not find any records for Joseph Raymond’s parents, Albert Raymond and Rose Weldon. The only other record naming Joseph Raymond that we could find was the birth record for an unnamed son of Joseph Charles Raymond and Gertrude Amelia Cone born on February 19, 1898. According to this record, both Joseph and Gertrude were born in New Jersey, contrary to their marriage record.  Joseph was 29 so born in 1867; Gertrude was 18 so born in 1880, not 1878 as the marriage record suggested.

New York, New York City Births, 1846-1909,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2WWM-5R9 : 11 February 2018), Gertrude Amelia Cone in entry for Raymond, 19 Feb 1898; citing Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, reference cn 7239 New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,953,125.

On the 1900 census we found a Gertrude Metz living in Ho-ho-kus, New Jersey with a two-year-old son named “Ellwood,” born in February 1898. That Gertrude was born in 1879 in New York whereas the Gertrude on the marriage and birth records was born in New York (or New Jersey) in 1878 (or 1880). That Gertrude’s father was born in Maryland and mother in Schraalenberg, New Jersey, whereas the Gertrude on the 1900 census had a father born in Virginia and a mother born in New Jersey.  Certainly a close but not an exact match. But there was enough—the name, the age and birth place, the son’s birth date—to make Conrad and I believe it possible that this was his grandmother Gertrude and that the child was the baby born to Gertrude Cone and Joseph Charles Raymond on February 19, 1898.

Gertrude Metz 1900 census, Census Place: Hohokus, Bergen, New Jersey; Page: 6; Enumeration District: 0022; FHL microfilm: 1240955
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

But why was she using the surname Metz? The census report listed Gertrude as married, but there was no husband living with her, and we could not find Joseph Raymond  anywhere on the 1900 census. Had she married Paul Metz after Joseph Raymond and given Joseph Raymond’s son the surname of her second husband? If so, where was Paul Metz? We couldn’t find him anywhere on the 1900 census either.  We were confused.

So I did what I always do when I hit a dead end on official records; I searched the newspaper databases. And I found some stories that were disturbing: Paul Metz had been arrested and convicted in New Jersey in the fall of 1898 for theft; in fact, he had committed multiple thefts.

First, I found this article from the September 29, 1998, the Bridgewater (NJ) Courier-News, which reported that Paul Metz had been arrested for the theft of several articles from the home of William Stansbery after Metz had obtained entrance to the home by saying he was there to tune the piano.

“Alleged Piano Tuner Arrested,” (Bridgewater, NJ) Courier-News, September 29, 1898, p. 8

The following day, the same paper reported in more detail how the police had identified Metz as the thief and how they had captured him. The part of the article I found most interesting was this description of Metz: “a perfect gentleman in his manners and a smooth talker.” Also, this article revealed that Metz may have earlier that month used the same “piano tuner” con to steal a silver sugar sifter from a Mrs. Pendleton N. Rogers of Bridgewater.

“Piano Tuner Arrested for Sneak Thieving,” (Bridgewater, NJ) Courier News, September 30, 1898, p. 1

Then on October 4, 1898, the Bridgewater newspaper reported more alleged misconduct by Paul Metz.  According to the Plainfield Bicycle Company in Plainfield, New Jersey, Metz had rented a bicycle from them for one day, but had not returned the bike for six weeks. When they sought action against him, he sent the bicycle back by express delivery. The bike company claimed that they had to pay for the delivery charges as well as repairs on the bike, which came back damaged.

“Metz Was A Wheelman,” (Bridgeton, NJ) Courier News, October 4, 1898, p. 5

The paper also reported that day and the following day that Paul Metz’s wife had come to New Jersey with her baby in her arms to plead with William Stansbery not to press charges against her husband. But the case was already before the grand jury by that time, so it was too late, and Paul was convicted.2

“Mrs. Metz’ Plea for Her Husband,” (Bridgewater, NJ) Courier News, October 4, 1898, p. 5

Yet Paul Metz managed to escape with only a short sentence of six months after his trial. The Courier-News reported on November 4, 1898, that the reason for the light sentence was that Metz had “turned evidence against Wilson and other prisoners in their recent attempt to escape from jail.”

“Metz Gets An Easy Sentence,” (Bridgewater, NJ) Courier-News, November 2, 1898, p. 1

You might ask how I could be sure that this was the same Paul Metz, son of Rosa and Bernhard Metz. In this clipping from the Philadelphia Inquirer, it states that he gave his address as 209 East 61st Street in New York City, which, as I mentioned in my last post, is where Rosa and Bernhard and their three other children were living in 1900.3

Philadelphia Inquirer, September 30, 1898, p.6

Then I found another article, this time from the Port Chester (New York) Journal of September 1, 1898:

As described in this article, a man named Paul Metz was accused of stealing a woman’s purse after gaining entry to her home by claiming to be a piano tuner. This article is rather lengthy, so I will transcribe some of it and summarize the rest:

On Monday, a fellow called at the residence of Mrs. Henry Bailey…for the ostensible purpose of making inquiry for someone. Miss Daisy, daughter of Mrs. Bailey, who had just came [sic] in from the street had laid [sic] her pocket book on a chair. When the fellow walked in the house, the young lady asked him what he wanted. He said he was a piano tunder and was looking for a Mrs. Wilson. …When the fellow was told that no such person lived there he started to walk out. Of course, not suspecting that the fellow was a thief he was not watched. Mrs. Bailey…noticed that as he passed out of the door he picked up the pocket book and thrust it in his pocket.

[Then the article describes how the Deputy Sheriff located the man who had taken the pocket book from Mrs. Bailey’s house, but Mrs. Bailey did not want to press charges.]

The fellow when searched did not have the pocket book nor a cent in money, although it is positive that he stole both in the Bailey house….He carried a satchel, which on opening was found to contain a lot of miscellaneous things, among them a formidable dirk knife…. There were also six bottles of opium and a syringe used for injecting the drug.  From all indications the fellow seemed to be an opium fiend of the first water. ….[Could this have been “of the first order,” not “water”?]

It is known that the fellow has been around town for some days begging for money where he could not work in his piano tuning racket. ….The fellow told such contrary stories, that it is hard to trace him up closely. ….When he was arrested, the fellow who gave his name as Paul Metz said that he lived in New York City and was going there that day…. In his satchel were found a number of checks drawn to the order of bearer, on a Jersey bank, and the fellow later admitted having made out the checks on fictitious persons. …..

Ascertaining the man’s address in New York City, Deputy Sheriff Fitz Roy was sent in search of his pedigree. He found the father of the fellow who said that his son had been a general bad one of years, but within a few years he had married and had seemed to be leading a better life. The fellow’s wife and child arrived here on Tuesday morning, and was in Court when the case was called by the Prosecuting Attorney Walsh before Judge Burns….The case was, therefore, adjourned until this morning, when an effort will be made to hold the man. The belief is general that he must have had the money and managed to hide or throw it away to exculpate himself.

I found no follow-up to this story; Mrs. Bailey had been reluctant to get involved, and there was no money or pocket book found on Paul, so perhaps the matter was dropped. But obviously Paul did not learn his lesson and then committed the same type of fraud in Bridgewater, New Jersey, a few weeks later, as described in the articles above. And it appeared that he was not only a con man and a thief, but also a drug addict.

I was a bit reluctant to share these news clippings with Conrad for fear of upsetting him. But I knew he wanted to have some answers to what had happened to his grandfather, and so I did. Conrad was not the least bit upset, but, as I had hoped, was just glad to have some answers after all his years of searching.

We both reached the same conclusion: Paul Metz had married Gertrude Cone under the assumed name of Joseph Charles Raymond. The biggest clues were right on the marriage record of Joseph Raymond and Gertrude Cone.  “Joseph Raymond” had listed his occupation on the marriage license as a piano tuner, the same occupation that Paul Metz used to con his way into homes where he stole jewelry and other valuables. He had given his address as 209 East 16th Street, a reversal of the numerals of the street in his actual address, 209 East 61st Street. This had to be Paul Metz using a false identity:

In addition, there were no records for a Joseph Charles Raymond born in Philadelphia in about 1867 (the same place and time period when Paul Metz was born) nor for the parents he listed on the marriage certificate. The final clue was that the news stories made it obvious that Paul Metz was a con man—a charming but dishonest con man.

But why had he used an assumed name to marry Gertrude? You would think he would have used an assumed name when he was arrested, not when he married, but perhaps even then he was a man in some kind of trouble and was hiding his true identity.  Did Gertrude know this wasn’t his real name, or was she duped also? Obviously by 1898 she must have known his name was Metz since he was arrested under that name, and by 1900 she was using that surname both for herself and her son Elwood, as seen on the 1900 census.

Assuming that Paul Metz served his full six month sentence, he would have been released from prison in about May 1899. He must have then returned for at least some time to Gertrude because on July 6, 1900, Gertrude gave birth to Conrad’s father George Burt Metz, and Paul Metz was named as his father on the birth certificate with his occupation as piano tuner.

The certificate also stated that this was the second child born of this marriage. That meant that Elwood “Raymond,” the child born to “Joseph Raymond” and Gertrude Cone on February 19, 1898, and who was living with Gertrude on the 1900 census, was likely also the child of Paul Metz and thus George Metz’s full brother and Conrad’s uncle.

But where was Paul when Gertrude gave birth to this second son, George? And why isn’t he listed with Gertrude and Elwood on the 1900 census? More on that in my next post.


  1. Metz family, 1880 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1186; Page: 290C; Enumeration District: 589. Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census 
  2. “Metz Must Abide The Law’s Decree,” (Bridgewater, NJ) Courier News, October 5, 1898, p. 1. 
  3. Bernhard Metz family 1900 US census, Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York; Page: 19; Enumeration District: 0661; FHL microfilm: 1241110. Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census. 

Rosa Goldschmidt and Bernhard Metz: Two Immigrants Who Found Success and Heartbreak in America

As of September 1853, all four of the sons of Seligmann Goldschmidt and Hincka Alexander, my 3x-great-grandparents, had immigrated to Philadelphia: Jacob, Abraham, Meyer, and Levi. Seligmann and Hincka still had their four daughters in Germany, however: Sarah, Eva, Bette, and Rosa.

Three of those daughters eventually followed their brothers to Philadelphia. First, my great-great-grandmother Eva Goldschmidt Katzenstein immigrated with her husband Gerson and their three oldest children in 1856, as I wrote about here and in several other posts. Then in 1860, Seligmann and Hincka’s youngest child Rosa followed her older siblings to Philadelphia. Sarah, the oldest sibling, would be the last to arrive, coming with her husband in 1882, years after some of her children had already immigrated, as discussed previously. Of the eight siblings, only Bette never left Germany.

The next set of posts will focus on Rosa Goldschmidt and her family. If the stories about her brother Levi and his descendants were overwhelmingly sad, the search for the stories of Rosa’s family was one of the most baffling, surprising, and challenging I’ve encountered since I first started searching for my family history. Stay tuned for some  surprising research successes and discoveries. But first some background on Rosa and her early years in the US, where she experienced both great happiness and terrible sadness.

Rosa Goldschmidt was born on October 27, 1837, in Oberlistingen, Germany.

Roschen Goldschmidt birth record, Geburtsregister der Juden von Oberlistingen (Breuna) 1826-1852 (HHStAW Abt. 365 Nr. 668)AutorHessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, Wiesbaden

She left Germany when she was 22 and arrived in New York City on July 9, 1860.

Roschen Goldschmidt passenger manifest, Year: 1860; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 202; Line: 14; List Number: 597
Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957

I assume she must have settled in Philadelphia where all her older siblings were living and where, on January 20, 1864, she married Bernhardt Metz.1 Bernhardt (later Bernhard) was born in Prussia in 1832 and had immigrated in the mid-1850s. He was in the “cloak and mantilla” business in 1862, according to the Philadelphia directory.2

Rosa and Bernhard’s first child, a daughter named Hattie, was born on November 23, 1864.3 A second child, a son named Paul, was born on November 1, 1866.4 Then came another daughter, Emily, born on February 9, 1868.5 A fourth child was born on October 17, 1869, a daughter named Bertha.6 On the 1870 census, they were all living together in Philadelphia. Bernhard was a cloak manufacturer, and he had $10,000 worth of real property and $2000 of personal property. There were two servants living with them also. Like Rosa’s brothers, Bernhard was doing well as a new immigrant in America.

Bernhard Metz family, 1870 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 20 District 66, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1407; Page: 438B; Family History Library Film: 552906. Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census.

Rosa and Bernhard had three more sons in the 1870s: Siegfried, born in about 1872 in Pennsylvania,7 Edwin Joseph, born on December 16, 1874, in New York City,8 and Joseph George Metz, born on September 14, 1878, in Philadelphia.9 Thus, it appears that at least for some part of the 1870s, Rosa and Bernhard and their children were living in New York, but then returned to Philadelphia by 1878 where their youngest child was born.

That is also consistent with what I found in the Philadelphia directories. Bernhard had been in business with his brother Joseph since at least the 1860s, and it appears from various directory listings that they must have had business in New York City because in the 1872 Philadelphia directory, Bernhard is listed as residing in New York. However, in 1878 he is listed with a Philadelphia residence.10

But their good fortune changed in 1880. On the 1880 census, Bernhard and Rosa and six of their seven children were listed as living in Philadelphia where Bernhard was working as a merchant.11 Sadly, their son Siegfried had died of cholera morbus (or what we would call gastroenteritis today) on May 19, 1880, in Philadelphia; he was only eight years old.12

Soon thereafter they must have moved back to New York City because Bernhard is listed in several New York City directories in the 1880s and 1890s.13

And the family suffered another tragic loss after moving to New York. On April 3, 1885, Rosa and Bernhard’s seventeen-year-old daughter Emily died from pneumonia [?] in New York City.  The death certificate states that she had lived in New York City for three years at the time of her death, meaning the family had moved to New York in 1882. Emily died in the family residence at 427 East 57th Street. I can’t imagine how losing the second of their seven children affected the family.

New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2WJG-J4D : 10 February 2018), Emilie Metz, 03 Apr 1885; citing Death, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,373,964.

Sadly, those were not the only losses the family suffered in the next decade or so.

On October 20, 1887, the oldest daughter Hattie married George Gattel,14 who was born in Berlin, Germany, on June 4, 1861, the son of Moritz Gattel and Ernestine Metzenberg.15 George had immigrated in 1882, and on both his naturalization index card in 1887 and his passport application in 1888, he listed his occupation as salesman.16

Roll Description: G-325; G-400, Ancestry.com. U.S. Naturalization Record Indexes, 1791-1992 (Indexed in World Archives Project)

Hattie and George had an unnamed son born on October 10, 1890;17 I have no further record of that baby, so I assume he may have died. Then Hattie and George had a second child, a daughter Emily born in August 1892,18 obviously named for Hattie’s sister Emily who had died seven years before. In a cruel twist of fate, baby Emily Gattel died less than seven months later on March 25, 1893. Like her namesake, she died from pneumonia. Hattie and her husband George Gattel did not have any more children after the death of their daughter Emily in 1893.

New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2WVQ-KFH : 10 February 2018), Emily Gattel, 25 Mar 1893; citing Death, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,412,519.

The losses did not end there. Rosa and Bernhard’s youngest daughter Bertha married Adolf Katzenstein on July 1, 1891, in New York City.19 Adolf was, like George Gattel, a German immigrant; he was born in Einbeck, Germany, on May 5, 1860, according to his passport applications. Those same documents state that he immigrated in April, 1882. Several passport applications report that he was in the import business.20

Bertha and Adolf had a daughter born on April 23, 1892, in New York City. Tragically, Bertha herself died less than two weeks later on May 4, 1892, from puerperal fever, a fever caused by a uterine infection following childbirth.  Bertha and Adolf’s daughter, also named Bertha, was yet another child destined to grow up without her mother.

Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Extracted Death Index, 1862-1948 [

Thus, by 1900, Rosa and Bernhard had lost one of their four sons, Siegfried, two of their three daughters, Emily and Bertha, and two grandchildren, Hattie’s two babies. They were living at 209 East 61st in New York City with and their two youngest sons, Edwin and Joseph George (here listed as George J.), and with their remaining daughter Hattie and her husband George Gattel. Bernhard was still in the import-export business, and Edwin and Joseph George were merchants. Hattie was working as a saleswoman, and her husband George was a commissioner (of what, I do not know). So three of the four surviving adult Metz siblings were living with their parents in 1900.

Bernhard Metz family 1900 US census, Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York; Page: 19; Enumeration District: 0661; FHL microfilm: 1241110
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

But where was Paul Metz, the oldest son of Rosa and Bernhard, in 1900?

That proved to be quite the mystery.


Wishing all my friends and family who observe Yom Kippur an easy and meaningful fast!

 

 


  1. Pennsylvania Marriages, 1709-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V26Y-SX9 : 6 December 2014), Bernhard Metz and Rosa Goldsmith, 20 Jan 1864; citing Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; FHL microfilm 1,765,018. 
  2. Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Extracted Death Index, 1862-1948, Certificate Number 23969. Bernhard Metz and family, 1870 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 20 District 66, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1407; Page: 438B; Family History Library Film: 552906. Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census. 1862 Philadelphia directory, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995. 
  3. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Births, 1860-1906,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VBYP-P32 : 10 March 2018), Metz, 23 Nov 1864; citing bk 1864 p 329, Department of Records; FHL microfilm 1,289,309. 
  4. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Births, 1860-1906,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VBY8-TXS : 10 March 2018), Metz, 01 Nov 1866; citing bk 1866 p 320, Department of Records; FHL microfilm 1,289,310. 
  5. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Births, 1860-1906,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VBY8-ZHF : 10 March 2018), Metz, 09 Feb 1868; citing bk 1868 p 20, Department of Records; FHL microfilm 1,289,311. 
  6. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Births, 1860-1906,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VB13-98Y : 10 March 2018), Metz, 17 Oct 1869; citing bk 1869 p 253, Department of Records; FHL microfilm 1,289,313. The Philadelphia birth index shows an October birthdate, but the 1900 census indicates she was born in December, 1869. I assume the birth index is more reliable. 
  7. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Non-Population Census Schedules for Pennsylvania, 1850-1880: Mortality; Archive Collection: M1838; Archive Roll Number: 11; Census Year: 1880; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 465. Ancestry.com. U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules, 1850-1885. 
  8. New York, New York City Births, 1846-1909,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:27B5-NVH : 11 February 2018), Edwin Jos. Metz, 16 Dec 1874; citing Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, reference cn 149827 New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,322,085. 
  9. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Births, 1860-1906,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VBBV-FMH : 9 March 2018), U Metz, 14 Sep 1878; citing p 62, Department of Records; FHL microfilm 1,289,319. 
  10. Philadelphia city directories, 1862-1878, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995. 
  11. Bernhard Metz and family, 1880 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1186;Page: 290C; Enumeration District: 589. Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census 
  12. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-623Q-33?cc=1320976&wc=9FR7-82S%3A1073111102 : 16 May 2014), 004008623 > image 181 of 488; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. 
  13. New York City directories, 1880, 1884, 1886, 1889, 1894, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995. 
  14.  New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2434-KSD : 10 February 2018), George Gattel and Hattie Metz, 20 Oct 1887; citing Marriage, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York City Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,571,009. 
  15. Ancestry.com. Prussian Provinces, Selected Lutheran Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1661-1944. New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:24H4-BHF : 10 February 2018), George Gattel and Hattie Metz, 20 Oct 1887; citing Marriage, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York City Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,671,683. 
  16. George Gattel, ship manifest, Staatsarchiv Hamburg; Hamburg, Deutschland; Hamburger Passagierlisten; Microfilm No.: K_1727, Staatsarchiv Hamburg. Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934. George Gattel, 1888 passport application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 315; Volume #: Roll 315 – 01 Oct 1888-31 Oct 1888. Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 
  17. New York, New York City Births, 1846-1909,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2WMB-7ZW : 11 February 2018), Gattel, 10 Oct 1890; citing Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, reference cn 31192 New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,322,236. 
  18.  New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2WVQ-KFH : 10 February 2018), Emily Gattel, 25 Mar 1893; citing Death, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,412,519. 
  19.  New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:24H2-13L : 10 February 2018), Adolf Katzenstein and Bertha Metz, 01 Jul 1891; citing Marriage, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York City Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,452,194. 
  20. E.g, 1892 passport application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 397; Volume #: Roll 397 – 01 Jul 1892-13 Jul 1892. 1896 passport application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 459; Volume #: Roll 459 – 01 Feb 1896-29 Feb 1896.  Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 

The Final Chapter on Levi Goldsmith and His Family

When Sylvester Goldsmith, the youngest child of Levi and Henrietta Goldsmith, died at age 44 in 1914, he left behind his wife Ida and five young children: Louis (16), Harold (13), Blanchard (11), Estelle (8), and Sarah Frances (2). We saw that Ida stayed in Dubois, Pennsylvania, with Louis, Estelle, and Sarah Frances, but that Harold and Blanchard were sent to Dayton, Ohio, for some time after their father’s death. By 1930, Louis had married Helen Heckman and was working on the railroad in Dubois. Estelle and Sarah Frances were still living with their mother in Dubois, and Estelle was working as a stenographer. Harold was married and still living in Dayton, working as a polisher according to the 1933 Dayton directory, and Blanchard was working as a plasterer and living in Atlantic City.

Louis and his wife Helen were living in Dubois for much of the 1930s, but by 1940 they had moved to Little Valley, New York, where Louis was a clerk for the B&O Railroad. As of 1940, they did not have any children.

Louis Goldsmith, 1940 US census, Census Place: Little Valley, Cattaraugus, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02505; Page: 12B; Enumeration District: 5-31
Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census

Harold and his wife Martha and their child were still living in Dayton in 1940, where Harold was working as a polisher for an electric motor company.1 They were still living in Dayton as late as 1944, but by 1946 they had relocated to Dubois, where Harold’s mother Ida was still living. Perhaps Harold moved back to help care for his mother after Louis moved to New York State. In 1948, he was working for the Vulcan Soot Blower Corporation, and in 1955 he was working as a janitor at the Dubois Deposit Bank at that time.2

By 1940 Blanchard Goldsmith had married a woman named Eleanor, and they were living in Atlantic City where Blanchard was working as a bartender. But I had a hard time finding a marriage record or birth name for Eleanor. There was also a family of three living with them as boarders and a niece, fifteen-year-old Evelyn Carson. The niece’s name was the one clue I had to learn more about Eleanor.

Blanchard Goldsmith, 1940 US Census, Census Place: Atlantic City, Atlantic, New Jersey; Roll: m-t0627-02300; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 1-26
Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census

It took some digging, but I found an Evelyn Carson of the same age and birth state on a Border Crossing document traveling with two siblings, Emily and William Carson, with a father W. Carson living in Toronto.

Library and Archives Canada; 1908-1935 Border Entries; Roll: T-15368
Ancestry.com. Border Crossings: From U.S. to Canada, 1908-1935

That led me to search for Emily, William, and Evelyn Carson, and I found the two sisters living with a grandmother named Elizabeth Rourke in Philadelphia in 1940 (Evelyn seemed to be listed twice on the 1940 census).3 Searching backwards, I found that Elizabeth Rourke, born O’Neill, had married Michael Rourke, and they had several children, including an Eleanor and a Gertrude. Gertrude had married a William Carson.4 Putting it all together, I concluded that the Eleanor who married Blanchard Goldsmith must have been Eleanor Rourke, daughter of Elizabeth O’Neill and Michael Rourke. That was quite a long loop just to find a birth name for Blanchard’s first wife—especially since the marriage did not last very long.

In 1950, Blanchard was listed as a bartender in the Atlantic City directory with a different wife named Patricia.5 It also took some digging to find more about Patricia.  She was born Patricia Barry, daughter of Joseph Barry, a sheet metal contractor, and Irene Field. She was born on December 29, 1916, in Atlantic City. She had been previously married to John L. Roth, with whom she’d had one child.6 She and Blanchard would then have two children of their own.

As for Sylvester’s two surviving daughters, Estelle remained in Dubois and by 1936 was married to Harry Lindahl, a moulder for the Dubois Iron Works company, according to the Dubois directory for that year. In 1940 they were living in Dubois with their child, and Harry was still working at the foundry.7

Sarah Frances, now using Frances, also remained in Dubois, where she married her sister Estelle’s brother-in-law, John Lindahl. John and his brother Harry were the sons of Charlie Lindahl, a Swedish immigrant, and Nettie Dinger, a Pennsylvania native.8 In 1940 John was working in a print shop, Frances was working as a stenographer in a wholesale tire store, and they had one child.  Frances’ mother Ida Simms Goldsmith was also living with them.

John Lindahl and family, 1940 US census, Census Place: Dubois, Clearfield, Pennsylvania; Roll: m-t0627-03470; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 17-43
Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census

Ida died on December 24, 1960, in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, at the age of 86.9 And unlike her husband and so many of his siblings and nieces and nephews as well as their first child Helen, her other children all lived long lives. Louis died on December 5, 1987, at the age of 89.10 Estelle died in April 1990; she was 84. 11 Harold died on May 28, 1994, at age 93.12 Blanchard was 91 when he died December 4, 1994, six months after his brother Harold.13 And Frances, the youngest child of Sylvester Goldsmith, who was the youngest child of Levi Goldsmith, died on September 28, 2000, when she was 88.14

Thus, unlike so many of their extended family members, the five children of Sylvester Goldsmith and Ida Simms who lived to adulthood all made it past 80, and two of them made it into their 90s. They must have gotten their longevity from their mother’s DNA, not that of their father or grandfather.

Thus, I come to the end of the saga of my three-times great-uncle Levi Goldsmith and his family, one of the saddest chapters I’ve researched in a while. There were so many premature deaths that at times it seemed almost unbelievable. Why did Levi draw the short straw when his brothers Jacob, Abraham, and Meyer all seemed to find much good fortune (although each also had a fair amount of heartbreak)? I don’t know. It just shows that heartbreaking stories are not fairly distributed evenly among family members.  Some people just suffer more than their fair share.

 

 


  1. Harold Goldsmith, 1940 US census, Census Place: Dayton, Montgomery, Ohio; Roll: m-t0627-03253; Page: 17B; Enumeration District: 94-85. Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  2. Dayton, Ohio, city directory, 1944, Dubois, Pennsylvania, city directory, 1946, 1948, 1955, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995. 
  3. Evelyn Carson with Elizabeth Rourke, 1940 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: m-t0627-03736; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 51-1599. Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  4. Michael Rourke and family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 26, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1400; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 0578; FHL microfilm: 1375413. Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census. William and Gertrude Carson, 1920 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 48, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1648; Page: 11B; Enumeration District: 1814. Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  5. Atlantic City city directory, 1950, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995. 
  6. Patricia Roth, 1940 US census, Year: 1940; Census Place: Atlantic City, Atlantic, New Jersey; Roll: m-t0627-02300;Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 1-19. Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  7. Harry Lindahl and family, 1940 US census, Census Place: Sandy, Clearfield, Pennsylvania; Roll: m-t0627-03471; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 17-81. Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  8. Charles Lindahl and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Sandy, Clearfield, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1553; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 106. Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  9.  Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 114001-116700. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966. Certificate Number: 114311-60 
  10. Ancestry.com. U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010 
  11. Number: 170-26-3884; Issue State: Pennsylvania; Issue Date: Before 1951. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014  
  12.  Number: 288-07-3757; Issue State: Ohio; Issue Date: Before 1951. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014  
  13. Ancestry.com. Florida Death Index, 1877-1998 
  14. Number: 200-05-3391; Issue State: Pennsylvania; Issue Date: Before 1951. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014