Uncle Jacob’s Family 1870-1895

By the early 1880s, all but one of the children of my three-times great-grandparents Seligmann and Hincka (Alexander) Goldschmidt had left Germany and settled in the United States. The next series of posts will address how each of those children and their descendants continued to fare in the US, starting with my three-times great-uncle Jacob Goldsmith, Seligmann and Hincka’s oldest son and second oldest child. He was also the first to emigrate from Germany.

Jacob and Fannie had six children who lived to adulthood: Caroline, Emma, Hannah, Philip, Harry, and Huldah.

As noted in my earlier post, in 1870, Jacob and his wife Fannie were living in Philadelphia with five of their children, and Jacob was working as a merchant. On the census he claimed that he owned $8000 worth of real property and $2000 worth of personal property. Their oldest daughter Caroline was living in Dubuque, Iowa, with her husband Nathan Rice and their baby daughter Rena.

Jacob Goldsmith (Seligmann’s son) and family 1870 census
Year: 1870; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 12 District 34, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1396; Page: 114A; Family History Library Film: 552895

During the 1870s, Jacob continued to work as a clothing merchant with a store at 726 Market Street and a residence at 413 North 4th Street in Philadelphia.1 By 1880, however, the family had moved, and Jacob was working in a new business with his son Harry. According to the 1880 census, he was now a hardware merchant, and the family was living at 1328 Franklin Street.  Living with Jacob at that point in addition to his wife Fannie were three of their children, Hannah, Harry, and Hulda.

Jacob Goldsmith (uncle) and family 1880 census
Year: 1880; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1179; Page: 175C; Enumeration District: 396

By 1873 their oldest daughter Caroline had returned from Iowa to Philadelphia with her husband Nathan Rice and daughter Rena; Nathan is listed in the Philadelphia directory as a clothing merchant in 1873.  Their second child, Sidney, was born in Philadelphia on September 7, 1873.2

Title: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1873
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

On the 1880 census Caroline and Nathan were living with their three children: Rena (1869), Sidney (1873), and Jessica (1880). (The spacing of the children made me wonder whether there were other children who had not survived; however, on the 1900 census, Caroline reported that she had had three children, all three of whom were alive.)

Nathan and Caroline Rice 1880 Census
“United States Census, 1880,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9YB4-SNF?cc=1417683&wc=QZ27-VLY%3A1589394781%2C1589410714%2C1589401700%2C1589404671 : 24 December 2015), Pennsylvania > Philadelphia > Philadelphia > ED 393 > image 11 of 20; citing NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

Jacob and Fannie’s second child Emma was married by 1880 to Henry Meyerhoff, who was about ten years older than Emma and a German immigrant. In 1870 he’d been living in Hastings, Michigan, working as a saloon keeper3 but he is listed in the 1878 Philadelphia directory in the liquor business. On the 1880 census, he reported that he was a liquor dealer.

Henry and Emma (Goldsmith) Meyerhoff 1880 census
Year: 1880; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1173; Page: 332B; Enumeration District: 223

Jacob and Fannie’s third child and first son Philip married Nellie Buxbaum on September 28, 1881, in Philadelphia.  He was 25, Nellie was only eighteen.

Marriage record of Philip Goldsmith and Nelly Buxbaum
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

Nellie was the daughter of Joseph Buxbaum and Theresa Anathan, who were German immigrants; her father was working as a travel agent in 1880. I can’t imagine what that meant back then in the era before vacation traveling and airplane reservations, but perhaps it involved hotel and train planning.4

Philip and Nellie had three sons born in the 1880s: Sydney Byron (1882), Herbert Nathaniel (1883), and Joseph Jerome (1888). They were living in Bridgeton, New Jersey in the 1880s.5

Hulda, the youngest of Jacob and Fannie’s daughters and the youngest surviving child, married Chapman Raphael in 1881, according to the 1900 census.6 Chapman was a Philadelphia native born in about 1850, and in 1880 he was living with his widowed mother Clara and his two brothers; he was a dealer in men’s clothing:

Chapman Raphael 1880 census
Year: 1880; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1169; Page: 261D; Enumeration District: 092

Hulda and Chapman had three children in the 1880s: J. Herbert (1882), Arthur Seligman (1883), and Adelaide (1888). When I saw the name of their second child—Arthur Seligman Raphael, it stopped me in my tracks. My great-great-uncle from Santa Fe who became New Mexico’s governor in 1930 was named Arthur Seligman. But that Arthur was born in 1871 and was only twelve when Arthur Seligman Raphael was born. I assume this was just a coincidence. His middle name might have been Seligman for his great-grandfather, Seligmann Goldschmidt.

Thus, by 1882, all of Jacob and Fannie’s children were married with children, except Harry and Hannah. How were Jacob and his sons supporting themselves and their families during this period?

According to the Philadelphia directory for 1881, Jacob was in a business called J. Goldsmith, Ancker, & Co.  But by 1883, Jacob listed his business as J.Goldsmith and Son, and he and Harry were engaged in the fishing tackle and cutlery business, according to the 1883 directory. Jacob and Harry were in that business together for several years according to the directory listings.

Jacob and Harry Goldsmith 1883 Philadelphia directory
Title: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1883
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

But in 1888 the directory lists Jacob as a “manager” at 510 Market Street and his son Philip as being in the fishing tackle business at 510 Market Street, obviously working together.

Jacob and Philip Goldsmith 1888 Philadelphia directory
Title: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1888
Source Information
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

I am not sure what had happened to Harry by 1888.  There are three Harry Goldsmiths in that same 1888 Philadelphia directory—one in the cigar business, one in the clothing business, and one working as a boilermaker.

Three Harry Goldsmiths 1888 Philadelphia directory
Title: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1888
Source Information
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

The listings for Jacob and his son Philip are the same in 1889, but in the 1889 directory there is only one Harry, and he is in the cigar business. I don’t know, however, that that was Jacob’s son Harry.

Goldsmiths in 1889 Philadelphia directory
Title: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1889
Source Information
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995


If that was Jacob’s son, he found himself in some legal trouble later that year:

“Fraud Charged,” The Philadelphia Times, July 25, 1889, p. 1

Of course, I hope that this is not my cousin Harry Goldsmith, but I cannot be certain. It appears he was being charged with fraud. The article states the plaintiffs sued to recover $849.24 “on a promissory note given by Goldsmith for tobacco bought by him on the representation that he was making money and was about to increase the facilities of his factory.” Eleven years later a Harry Goldsmith, possibly the same one, declared bankruptcy. 7

In 1891, Jacob and Philip were still in the fishing tackle business, and there is no listing for a Harry Goldsmith at all in that year’s Philadelphia directory.

Title: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1891
Source Information
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

The 1890s were in some ways a challenging decade for the family of Jacob and Fannie Goldsmith. First, Emma Goldsmith’s husband Henry Meyerhoff died on September 18, 1891. He was only 49 years old. The cause of death was phthisis or what we call tuberculosis.

Death certificate of Henry Meyerhoff
“Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-6QZP-2W?cc=1320976&wc=9F5T-7MS%3A1073249701 : 16 May 2014), 004009736 > image 563 of 1753; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Emma’s sister Hannah Goldsmith married Isaac Levy in 1892. She was 38, and he was 51. According to the 1900 census, Isaac was born in Germany in April 1841 and had immigrated to the US in 1880.8 But I have no independent verification of those assertions, and because the name Isaac Levy is so common, I’ve been unable to find out much about Hannah’s husband. 9 Given their ages at the time of their marriage, it is not surprising that they did not have children.

Two years later, Emma remarried.  Her second husband was Abraham Cohlman.10 According to census records, Abraham was born in California sometime in 1869  making him eighteen years younger than Emma. The 1870 census lists him as a six month old baby living in San Francisco with his parents; his father was a junk dealer.  According to the 1880 census, Abraham was then eleven years old, living with his family in Philadelphia.  His father was the superintendent of a silver mine.11

Abraham Cohlman 1880 census
Year: 1880; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1173; Page: 332B; Enumeration District: 223

In the 1892 Philadelphia directory, Abraham was in the clothing business with his mother Bertha in a business called B. Cohlman & Son.12

Jacob and Fannie’s family’s experienced sadness again in 1895 when Jacob, my three-times great-uncle, died on August 11 of that year.  He was 72 years old and died from interstitial nephritis and pulmonary tuberculosis. He was buried at Mt. Sinai cemetery in Philadelphia, where so many of my other relatives were buried.

Jacob Goldsmith death certificate
“Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-64P9-RYW?cc=1320976&wc=9FRT-4WL%3A1073331001 : 16 May 2014), 004056305 > image 913 of 1767; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Unfortunately, that was not the end of the deaths the family suffered in the 1890s. A year later they lost two more members of the family in a terrible accident. More on that in my next post.





  1. See, e.g., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1872; Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  2. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Births, 1860-1906,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VB16-8W9 : 8 December 2014), Nathon H. Rice in entry for Rice, 07 Sep 1873; citing bk 1873 p 13, Department of Records; FHL microfilm 1,289,315. 
  3. Year: 1870; Census Place: Hastings, Barry, Michigan; Roll: M593_661; Page: 139A;Family History Library Film: 552160 
  4. Year: 1880; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1179;Page: 57B; Enumeration District: 386 
  5. New Jersey, Births and Christenings Index, 1660-1931 
  6. Year: 1900; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 32, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1473; Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 0808; FHL microfilm: 1241473 
  7. The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 12, 1900, p. 9 
  8. Year: 1900; Census Place: Circleville Ward 3, Pickaway, Ohio; Roll: 1313; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0102; FHL microfilm: 1241313; Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  9. In the 1890 Philadelphia directory, for example, there were five men named Isaac Levy. I have no idea which was Hannah’s husband. or if any of them were. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1890; Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  10. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Marriage Index, 1885–1951.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009. Philadelphia County Pennsylvania Clerk of the Orphans’ Court. 
  11. Some records give Abraham an earlier birth date, but they are further in time from his birth, so the 1870 and 1880 census records seem the most accurate.  See 1870 US census, Census Place: San Francisco Ward 9, San Francisco, California; Roll: M593_83; Page: 42B; Family History Library Film: 545582; Ancestry.com 
  12. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1892;  Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 

14 thoughts on “Uncle Jacob’s Family 1870-1895

  1. I don’t expect finding three Harry’s in the directories and trying to keep all the addresses straight made you jump for joy. You probably wish your relatives had given their children more exotic names – as we all do when running into multiple same names.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. In a very large family tree like yours it is not surprising to find at least one black sheep, Amy. Even if the one who defrauded his creditors is your cousin, I would not consider it a blemish in your amazing family history, Amy. Another great post, which your family, children and grandchildren can be very proud of!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Peter. Harry would not be the first of my relatives to have been involved in some kind of wrongdoing. It’s all part of life—and anyone doing family history research had better be willing to accept the bad with the good! Human beings have been flawed from the beginning of time and will undoubtedly continue to be so.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post with so much information. I was engulfed in the family story. Have you been able to find anything on the continuation of the fraud case and what happened? It said the case was continued to next Tuesday. I loved the spelling of cigar too – ‘segar’

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Sharon. No, so far I have not found any follow up to the fraud accusation. Unfortunately that seems to happen all too often—there’s one news story and then no follow up on many legal claims. It’s always possible the case settled or was dismissed, and I guess newspapers don’t find that very newsworthy.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A little random (well, when am I not?), but I just finished reading a book on life during the Victorian era–Life in Victorian Britain: A Social History of Queen Victoria’s Reign by Michael Paterson.

    The book talks about Thomas Cook (still a travel agency in the UK). The company’s namesake originally organized a trip to a temperance meeting for a group of his colleagues in the 1840s. It was such a success that he started his business, which was arranging trips around continental Europe by the mid-1850s.

    I imagine that much like in the UK, your family’s American travel agent was having to coordinate plans with multiple rail companies to create the smoothest possible journey.
    Additionally, if they were planned excursions with many attendees, he might have been able to obtain favorable rates for buying many tickets at a time, ultimately resulting in cheaper fares for his customers.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: To Tell the Truth: Will The Real Harry Goldsmith Please Stand Up | Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

  6. Pingback: The Goldsmith Sisters: A Post for Women’s History Month | Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.