Where Are Those Missing Manifests? Sarah Goldschmidt Mansbach and Family

By 1870 many members of the Goldschmidt clan had left Germany and settled in Pennsylvania.  My four-times great-uncle Simon Goldschmidt and all his children had emigrated starting in the 1840s and were, for the most part, living in western Pennsylvania by 1870. 1 During this same period six of the eight children of my three-times great-grandparents Seligmann and Hincka (Alexander) Goldschmidt had settled in Philadelphia: Jakob, Levi, my great-great-grandmother Eva, Abraham, Meyer, and Rosa. They were all living in Philadelphia by 1870. Of Seligmann’s family, only Sarah and Bette were still in Germany as of 1870.

Sarah would also eventually join the family in the US, but only after her children had emigrated. In the 1870s and 1880s, all but one of Sarah’s eight surviving children2 came to the United States, and eventually so did Sarah and her husband Abraham Mansbach II. This is their story.

Although I cannot find passenger manifests for all them, it appears that the first to arrive was Merla/Amalie Mansbach, who sailed to the US in 1872 with Henry Schoenthal and his new wife Helene Lilienfeld, as I discussed here.3

Henry Schoenthal and Helene Lilienfeld 1872 ship manifest lines 95 to 98 with Amalie Mansbach
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 Amelia, 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 1877.4


Amalie and Henry had relocated to Denver by December 17, 1879,5 when their first child, Joseph Henry Langer, was born. 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

I wondered what had drawn them to Denver. I couldn’t find any other Langers living there at that time, but I then discovered that Colorado had drawn other members of Amalie’s extended family, including her brother Berthold.

Berthold may have been the next child of Sarah and Abraham II to arrive from Germany; 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.

Title: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1877
Source Information
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

But by 1880, he also had relocated to Trinidad, Colorado, where he was living with his cousin Abraham Mansbach V,  the grandson of Marum Mansbach I. Abraham V was a merchant, and Bert was working as a clerk, presumably in his cousin’s store.

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

Abraham V had been living in Colorado for some time, as he was naturalized in Denver in 1873,7 so perhaps that was what had drawn his cousin Amalie and her husband Henry Langer to Denver by 1879.

But what had taken Abraham V to Trinidad, a town about 200 miles south of Denver? Looking at the population statistics for Trinidad, I noticed a huge population explosion between 1870, when there were 562 people residing there, and 1880, when there were 2,226.

According to the website Western Mining History:

Trinidad was incorporated in 1876 and became the supply and transportation center for the region’s coal mines. The coal from these mines was highly prized for its quality in creating coking fuels for Colorado’s smelters. As the mines and smelters of Colorado grew into a major industry, Trinidad prospered and became a wealthy commercial center full of stunning Victorian homes and buildings.

Trinidad, Colorado 1907
By Business_section_of_Trinidad,_Colorado.tif: Arthur Russell Allen derivative work: Ori.livneh (Business_section_of_Trinidad,_Colorado.tif) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Thus, Abraham Mansbach V and his cousin Berthold Mansbach must have chosen Trinidad as a place of great economic opportunity. As they say on that old commercial for Barney’s in New York City, all those people were going to need clothes.


UPDATE: Thanks to Sharon Haimovitz-Civitano of the Branches of our Haimowitz Family Tree and Branches on Civitano Tree blogs, I now have additional insights into why the Mansbachs ended up in Trinidad.  Those insights will be discussed in a later post, but in short, there were members of the extended Goldschmidt-Mansbach family living in Trinidad even before Berthold Mansbach and his cousin Abraham Mansbach V arrived.

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

Louis (Lassor) 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, he was living with my great-great-grandparents, Gerson Katzenstein and Eva Goldschmidt, who 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

This is the first veterinarian I’ve found in my family.  Formal education of veterinarians in the US was relatively new at that time as the first public veterinary school in the US wasn’t founded until 1879 in Iowa, and the University of Pennsylvania did not start its veterinary school until 1884. Louis may have arrived at just the right time.

I do not have ship manifests for three of the remaining children of Sarah Goldschmidt and Abraham Mansbach II, Hannah, Meyer, and Julius.  I have tried searching on Ancestry and FamilySearch; I tried using stevemorse.org and wild cards and various spellings and different date ranges. Nothing. For Julius, as discussed below, I even had a date of arrival and ship names from his later passport applications, but still—no manifest.  If anyone is willing to try with fresh eyes, I’d be very grateful. But for now I have to rely on other documents to estimate the dates of arrival for Hannah, Meyer, and Julius. Since none of these three appeared on the 1880 census, I am assuming they arrived sometime after the taking of that census in the spring of 1880.

For Hannah Mansbach, 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. 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

For Julius, as noted above, I found information about his arrival on his passport applications, of which there were three—in 1900, 1903, and 1908. All three provide the same date of arrival (June 12, 1881) and the same port of departure (Bremen), but all three have different names for the ship. The 1900 application says he sailed on the Elbe, the 1903 says the Weser, and the 1908 says the Werra.

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

Julius obviously remembered more or less when he arrived (or maybe departed from Germany), but not the name of his ship. Taking the usual rule that the record made closest in time to an event may be the most reliable, I focused on manifests for the Elbe.

I found a manifest for the Elbe arriving in New York on July 8, 1881, with a passenger named Julius “Halsbach” aged 26 (so ten years older than Julius would have been). That seemed the closest match, and I could not find anything close in date or name on the Weser or the Werra.

Julius Mansbach possible manifest
Year: 1881; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 439; Line: 1; List Number: 914
Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957

It thus seems reasonable to conclude that Hannah, Meyer, and Julius had all arrived by 1881. And so by 1881 all Sarah and Abraham’s eight living children except Kathinka had left Germany.

The following year on October 23, 1882, they were joined by their parents, my three-times great-aunt Sarah Goldschmidt and her husband Abraham Mansbach II, and their youngest daughter Kathinka. Also apparently sailing with them was a twelve year old girl named “Kath. Goldschmidt.” I have yet to identify who this was, but I assume she was the child of one of the Goldschmidt cousins still in Germany.

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


With that final arrival, all but one of the eight children and almost all the grandchildren of my three-times great-grandparents Seligmann Goldschmidt and Hincka Alexander were living the US. Only Bette Goldschmidt and her family were still in Germany.10 It must have been hard to leave Bette behind, but the choice to leave Germany was in the long run a fortunate one for the family of Seligmann and Hincka. And for all of us who are their descendants.

(A big thank you to Amberly Peterson Beck of The Genealogy Girl blog for her brilliant post, Tuesday’s Tip: Awesome & Easy Source Citations in WordPress, which explained how to create footnotes for source citations in an easy and quite useful way. This is my first post experimenting with this technique. Thank you, Amberly!)




  1. I will return to Simon’s family at a later time. For now I am focusing on my closest Goldschmidt relatives, the descendants of Seligmann and Hincka. 
  2. Two died in Germany, Jakob and Hedwig, as discussed in my earlier post
  3. There was also a second eighteen year old woman sailing with them with the same name—Amalie Mansbach. I believe the other Amalie was another relative of Abraham Mansbach II; she was the granddaughter of Marum Mansbach I and sister of Abraham Mansbach V. 
  4. 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 
  5. 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 
  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. Abraham Mansbach, Naturalization, National Archives at Denver; Broomfield, Colorado; Naturalization Records, Colorado, 1876-1990; ARC Title: Naturalization Cards, 1880 – 1906; NAI Number: 1307044; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787 – 2004 
  8. Hannah Mansbach 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. As Bette married her first cousin Jakob Goldschmidt (yes, another one), the son of her father’s brother Lehmann, I will return to her story when I discuss the Goldschmidt family members who stayed in Germany, including Lehmann and many of his descendants. 

23 thoughts on “Where Are Those Missing Manifests? Sarah Goldschmidt Mansbach and Family

  1. I was going to mention or ask about 18-year-old Amelia Mansbach being on the ship list twice but when I got to your footnotes (Amberly has great tips!) I saw that you had not overlooked it.
    I would love to be able to give you some tips on finding the passenger manifests but all of my American ancestors were in the county by the mid-1700s.
    Amy, I will be coming back to look at the comments just in case you get the help you need. Holding my thumbs (crossing my fingers) for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Cathy. I am just hoping someone with fresh eyes will find what I can’t find. Somehow those Mansbachs got to America on a ship—but maybe they used a different surname. Or the names were transcribed so strangely that I just can’t find them.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your post never cease to amaze me and this one didn’t let me down. Trinidad, CO is one of my favorite places which in many ways still feels the same as when the town was first established. The original brick roads are amazing. It has an interesting Jewish history with the oldest Synagogues in the West, Temple Aaron which is as gorgeous in person as in its pictures, I just read closed its doors in 2016. You’ll find mention of Abe Mansbach on the page below as well as a fabulous overview of the Jewish community in his time. I want to go back in time and live in Trinidad 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have a couple of German (Prussian) family groups and I’m in the same boat as you, which is no boat at all! One great-great-grandmother appears with her family in Chicago before she dies of TB 18 months after her death certificate says she arrived. How did she even get in to the country with TB?

    If it’s any consolation, my Scandinavians are worse. Moving-out parish records, but no passenger lists a lot of the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. another fantastic post! I love your variety of sources and the many interesting details 🙂 And how interestingthat so many members ofthe same family chose to emigrate – a fortuitous decision indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I am always moved by how brave these people were—leaving all they knew to go to a place they’d never seen where a language they didn’t know was spoken. And I am so grateful they were so courageous.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Well, many of them eventually returned east, and from my experience with other family lines I’ve been pleasantly surprised to see how often families visited and stayed in touch despite long distances. They even returned to Germany to visit relatives.


      • I like hearing that. While I can’t be 100% sure, I have a family that half immigrated to the west coast, half to the east coast. And from what I’ve been able to determine, they didn’t see each other more than maybe once during their 40-50 years in America.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Keeping It In The Family 1920-1930 | Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

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