The Grandchildren of John and Jeanette Nusbaum: First Cousins, Four Times Removed

When I last wrote about the direct descendants of my three-times great-grandparents, John and Jeanette (Dreyfuss) Nusbaum, I left off saying that I would return to their surviving grandchildren in a later post.  Having already written about the children of their daughter Frances Nusbaum Seligman, Eva, James, and Arthur, there were four other grandchildren to discuss: the two children of Gustavus and Miriam Nusbaum Josephs, Florence and Jean, and the two children of Simon and Dora Rutledge Nusbaum, Nellie Rogers and John Bernard Nusbaum.  I was hoping that I’d be able to find answers to some remaining questions before posting, but I’ve run into a few tough ones.

Florence Joseph’s story is still incomplete as I hit a brick wall around 1925, but I will share what I do know.  Florence married Louis Siegel in 1903 when she was 23 years old.  Louis, the son of Abraham Siegel and Minnie Rosenthal, was born in Philadelphia on January 11, 1870, making him ten years older than Florence.  In 1910, Florence and Louis were living in New York City, and Louis was working as a traveling salesman, selling athletic goods.

Sometime thereafter, Louis must have become ill.  He died on September 30, 1915, at the State Hospital for the Insane in Norristown, Pennsylvania.  According to his death certificate, he had been ill for three years and had been hospitalized since November 19, 1913.  His cause of death was general paralysis of the insane or paresis.  He was only 43 years old.

Although I only have one document to support this, it appears that in 1913, Florence and Louis had had a child, a daughter Marion.  On the 1920 census, Florence Siegel was living with her father Gustavus Josephs and her brother Jean Josephs, both of whom were working at a mill as manufacturers, presumably of fabrics, as discussed in an earlier post.  Included in the household was a seven year old girl named Marion Siegel.  Although she is described as the daughter of the head of household, it seems apparent that Marion was Florence’s daughter, given her age and her surname.

Gustavus Josephs 1920 census

When her father Gustavus died in May 1924, Florence continued to live in the home at 2020 North Park Avenue; she is listed as a dressmaker in the 1925 Philadelphia directory residing at that address.  Unfortunately, that is the last document I have for Florence.  I cannot find a marriage record or a death record for her, nor can I find any definitive document for her daughter Marion.

There were two other Marion Siegels in the Philadelphia area, but after tracing them both, I had to accept that neither was the right Marion.  One, Marion Siegele, even had a mother named Florence, but that Florence was married to Harry Siegele and that Marion was born in 1918.  The second Marion Siegel seemed more likely, but I was able to find her parents and brother, and they were again not Florence and Louis Siegel.  Maybe my Marion died outside of Pennsylvania before 1930 (she would have been about 17 years old at the time of the census), maybe her mother remarried and Marion took the new husband’s surname.  But I have searched for every Florence and Marion living together as mother and daughter on the 1930 census, and I’ve come up empty.

In searching for Florence and Marion Siegel, however, I did find this obituary of Gustavus Josephs that reveals more about his military service in the Civil War as a musician:

Philadelphia Inquirer May 25, 1924 p. 18

Philadelphia Inquirer May 25, 1924 p. 18

Although I did hit some roadblocks researching Florence, I had better luck with her brother Jean.  Jean was much younger than his sister Florence.  He was born in 1893 and presumably named for his recently deceased grandfather, John Nusbaum.  In fact, Jean’s middle initial is N, perhaps for Nusbaum.  As noted above, Jean worked with his father Gustavus as a mill owner and listed himself as a self-employed manufacturer on his World War I draft registration in 1917.  He married Ruth Breidenbach on March 4, 1920.  Ruth was the daughter of Lazarus and Sophia Breidenback, and her father was an engraver in Philadelphia.  Ruth was born on March 11, 1900, in Pennsylvania.

By 1930, Ruth and Jean had two children, Janet and Jean, Jr.  Jean was still a manufacturer, and the census report for 1930 is more specific as to what he was manufacturing: draperies.  The family was living at 1531 Lindley Avenue in Philadelphia.  The following year Jean and Ruth had a third child, Jay.

In 1940, Jean and Ruth were still living at 1531 Lindley with their three children, and Jean’s occupation was recorded as general manager, textile manufacturer.  Less than a year later, on February 4, 1941, Jean Josephs died from an intestinal obstruction and peritonitis.  He was 47 years old, and his children were still living at home.  Jean’s widow Ruth was 40 years old

Ruth remarried in 1946.  Just six years later, Ruth was widowed once again when her second husband died from heart failure at age 47 on October 3, 1952.  By that time her children were grown.

As for the two children of Simon and Dora Nusbaum, Nellie Rogers Nusbaum was Dora’s daughter from her first marriage.  In about 1921, Nellie married Ellis B. Healy, who owned the Santa Fe Book and Stationery Company.  Nellie’s life was cut short on May 9, 1932, when she died giving birth to her daughter.

simon nusbaum daughter obit

The Santa Fe New Mexican, May 9, 1932

In 1940, Nellie’s widower Ellis and her young daughter were living in Santa Fe with a servant and a lodger.  Ellis listed his occupation as an office supply merchant.  By 1942, Ellis must have remarried as he is listed as “Healy EB (Mildred)” in the 1942 Santa Fe directory, indicating that he had a wife named Mildred.  He still owned the Santa Fe Book and Stationery Company.  He and Mildred were still listed together in 1960.

Although Nellie was not the biological child of Simon Nusbaum, and I do not know whether he ever adopted her legally as she was still listed as his stepdaughter on the 1920 census, she must have adopted his name since her name on her headstone is Nellie Nusbaum Healy.  She is buried at Fairview Cemetery in Santa Fe.

Simon and Dora’s other child, John Bernard Nusbaum, was only sixteen when his father died in 1921.   In 1930, he married Esther Maltby.  They settled in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where John was the vice-president of the Albuquerque Stationery Company.   John was listed as the manager of the stationery store in 1940 and continued to be associated with the company at least as late as 1954.  John and Esther had two daughters.  John died on July 25, 1976, in Albuquerque, but is buried at Fairview Cemetery in Santa Fe where both of his parents are buried.  His wife Esther died in 2002 and is buried there as well.  I have tried contacting some of their descendants, but have not had any responses.

So I am going to focus on finding a descendant of these four cousins of mine in order to fill in some of the gaps and tie up those loose ends.




6 thoughts on “The Grandchildren of John and Jeanette Nusbaum: First Cousins, Four Times Removed

  1. Isn’t it frustrating when you follow the leads of other people with the same name? It makes it so difficult. I had that for a long time with some of mine. What I have found in the earlier generations is that if they had the same name and were in the same area, sometimes they had an ancestor in common (thus names repeated–such as children being named after grandparents). That that is less likely when you have relatives who have been in this country for a long time.


    • Yes, I’ve had a number of those also, and it’s great when those identical names provide clues. But this time it just let me on a wild goose chase. Not as bad, however, as the time I had to figure out which of 13 Abraham Rosenzweigs was the right one!


  2. Pingback: Final Chapter: The Dreyfuss Family in America « Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

  3. Pingback: One New Database, A Whole Lot of Answers: The Social Security Applications and Claims Index « Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

  4. Hello. Today I found the baby book for Marion Siegel.
    Her parents are listed as Louis And Florence. Born May 18th 1912. Dr. Nash delivered. The book is so sweet and includes her first stroll out and has a clipping of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

    Liked by 1 person

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