Levi Goldsmith’s Remaining Family 1910-1918

The family of Levi and Henrietta Goldsmith had suffered a heartbreaking number of deaths between 1886 and 1907: Levi and Henrietta themselves, three of their children, all of whom died before their fiftieth birthdays (Felix, Estella, and Isadore), and a staggering number of the grandchildren: Eva’s first two sons, Estella’s sons Stanley and Leonard, three of Blanche’s children (Ethel, Leah, and Levis), and Sylvester’s daughter Henrietta. Most of those children died as babies or as children under five, and the oldest was thirteen when he died. How did the family cope in the next decade?

Well, they pushed ahead. Estella’s oldest son Jerome married in 1909.1 His wife, Carrie Kohn, was born Claudia Kohn to Arnold and Leah Kohn on June 15, 1884.2 Her father, a German immigrant, was a clothing merchant.3 In 1910, Jerome and Carrie were living in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, with Jerome’s father Solomon and brother Herbert. Jerome, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, was a lawyer, his father was retired, and Herbert, who was only sixteen, was not employed. There was also a servant in the home. Jerome and Carrie would have one child, a daughter they named Estelle for Jerome’s mother; she was born on June 19, 1913.4

Jerome Rothschild and family 1910 census, Census Place: Jenkintown Boro Ward 1, Montgomery, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1377; Page: 25B; Enumeration District: 0084; FHL microfilm: 1375390
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

Eva Goldsmith Anathan, now truly a widow, was living in Philadelphia in 1910 with her two daughters, Helen (30) and Bessie (27), as well as three boarders and a servant. One of those boarders was Harry Napoleon Goldsmith, about whom I wrote in detail here. Helen was working as a probation officer in juvenile court, and Bessie was a public school teacher.

Eva Goldsmith Anathan 1910 US census
Year: 1910; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 32, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1403; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0759; FHL microfilm: 1375416
Description
Enumeration District: 0759
Source Information
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

In 1912, Bessie Anathan married Sim J. Simon,5 who was born in Grunstadt, Germany, on August 12, 1877, to Jean Simon and Fannie Brunhild.6 When he later registered for the World War I draft, Sim’s occupation was listed as a salesman for the Brunhild-Simon Company; from newspaper ads, I learned that the company was a wholesale liquor distributor.7 Bessie and Sim would have three children, John, born January 18, 19138, Robert, born June 16, 19159, and a daughter Evelyn born May 13, 1922.10

In 1910 George Goldsmith was a lodger in the household of another family in Philadelphia and still working as a druggist. The following year George married Leah Abeles; he was fifty years old, and she was 49.11 Leah was the daughter of Seligman Abeles and Fanny Kohn, both of whom were born in Bohemia (today’s Czech Republic); 12 her father was in the millinery business. In 1910 she’d been living with her brother Simon, who was also a milliner. Leah had not been employed. Leah was a neighbor of George’s sister Blanche, and perhaps that was how they met.

Leah Abeles and Blanche Goldsmith Greenbaum on the 1910 US census,
Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 32, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1403; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 0751; FHL microfilm: 1375416
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

Bertha Umstadter Goldsmith, Felix Goldsmith’s widow, was living in Norfolk, Virginia, with their four children in 1910. She was “living on income,” and her oldest daughter Fanny (21) was a school teacher. The other three children, Lee (17), Hortense (12), and Minna (10) were in school. A cousin and a servant were also living with them.

Bertha Goldsmith and family 1910 US census, Census Place: Norfolk Ward 6, Norfolk (Independent City), Virginia; Roll: T624_1638; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0055; FHL microfilm: 1375651
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

Harry and Helen (Goldsmith) Loeb had moved from Dubois, Pennsylvania, to Philadelphia by 1910, and Harry was now working as a brewer. Their three children, Armand (16), Henriete (14), and Leonard (9) were all in school, and there were two servants in the household as well.

Harry Loeb and family 1910 census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 32, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1403; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 0751; FHL microfilm: 1375416
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

Blanche (Goldsmith) and Max Greenbaum were living in Philadelphia in 1910 with their one surviving child, Helen, who was three, and two servants. Max continued to practice dentistry. (See image above.)

Finally, Sylvester Goldsmith and his family were living in Dubois, Pennsylvania, where Sylvester was in the clothing business. In 1910, they had four children still living, Louis (11), Harold (9), Blanchard (6), and Estelle (4).  For some reason, the census, however, lists Henrietta, who had died in 1903, in the line that should have been for Louis.

Sylvester Goldsmith and family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Du Bois Ward 1, Clearfield, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1331; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 0074; FHL microfilm: 1375344
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

Sylvester and Ida would have one more child, a daughter named Sarah at birth, but later called Frances, born on May 4, 1912, in Dubois.13 But Sylvester would not live to see her third birthday; he would not live to see any of his children reach adulthood.  He died from angina pectoris on October 8, 1914, in Dubois. He was only 44 years old; like his siblings Estella, Felix, and Isadore, he did not make it to his fiftieth birthday.

Sylvester Goldsmith death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 094081-097370
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966

The Dubois Daily Express ran this obituary on October 9, 1914:

Sudden Death of Well Known Citizen of DuBois

Sylvester Goldsmith, a well known business man of this place, died quite suddenly last evening at his home on Park avenue of neuralgia of the heart. He had been ailing for several days, but had been up and around the house. On Tuesday he was down town attending to business and last evening he was on his front porch when the band passed out Brady street on the way to the tabernacle. A little later he entered the house and at 8:45 o’clock suddenly expired while sitting on a rocking chair.

The deceased was born in Philadelphia and had he lived until November 4th next, he would have been 45 years of age. He was the son of Levi and Henrietta Goldsmith, both now deceased. For many years he was in business in Indianapolis, Ind., but thirteen years ago he came to DuBois and has resided here ever since. He was at one time engaged in the clothing business with Warren Baxter, near the B., R. & P. station.

Later he was associated with the Meads in the pool room business and about two years ago he engaged in business for himself, opening a pool room, opposite the Martin Brothers store on North Brady street.

Socially Mr. Goldsmith was a member of the Knights of Pythias and the Loyal Order of the Moose. He leaves to survive him his wife, whose maiden name was Miss Ida Simms, and who was from Lima, Ohio, and five children as follows: Louis, Harold, Blanchard, Estelle and Francis. He also leaves three sisters and one brother, namely, Mrs. Harry Loeb, Mrs. D.[sic] Greenbaum, Mrs. Athens [sic] and George Goldsmith, all of Philadelphia.

Yet another set of young children in the Goldsmith family was left without a parent. There were only four of the nine children of Levi and Henrietta Goldsmith left in 1915: Eva, George, Helen, and Blanche.

Four of the remaining grandchildren were men of draft age when the US entered World War I in 1917. Estella’s son Herbert Rothschild served in the US Navy in France from July 5, 1918 until November 11, 1918.14

Felix’s son Lee Goldsmith registered for the draft and stated that he had served for two years as a private in the medical service in Virginia; at the time of his registration, he was employed as the secretary of the Norfolk, Virginia Ports Cotton Exchange (at least that’s what I think it says). I could not find any record for service during World War I itself.

When Helen Goldsmith Loeb’s son Armand registered for the draft, he was working for his father Harry as a salesman. He also served during the war, though not overseas. He served from May 1918 until December 1918. 15

Sylvester Goldsmith had three sons, but only Louis was of draft age during World War I. He served in the medical detachment of the 111th Infantry of the US Army from August 1917 until May 1919; he served in France in that capacity for some of that time.16

Miraculously, given the family’s bad luck, no one was killed while serving in World War I.  In fact, the family suffered no more deaths after Sylvester’s death in 1914 until after 1920. Thus, the years between 1908 and 1920 proved to be better years for the extended family of Levi and Henrietta Goldsmith. Although the family lost Sylvester, the youngest child of Levi and Henrietta, he was the only sibling to die during that time, and no more young children died in those years. In fact, three children were born and three family members were married during those years. So overall these were relatively good years for the family.

What would the Roaring Twenties bring?


  1. Ancestry.com. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Marriage Index, 1885-1951. “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. 
  2.  Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Births, 1860-1906,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VB1J-LDQ : 9 March 2018), Claudia Kohn, 15 Jun 1884; citing p 220, Department of Records; FHL microfilm 1,289,323. 
  3. Arnold Kohn and family, 1880 US Census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1179;Page: 171C; Enumeration District: 396. Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census. 
  4. Year: 1929; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 4596; Line: 9; Page Number: 36. Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 
  5.  Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Marriage Indexes, 1885-1951,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JJ8C-RY8 : 3 November 2017), Simon and Bessie G Anathan, 1912; citing license number 275511, Clerk of the Orphan’s Court. City Hall. 
  6. Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 010501-013500. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966. National Archives; Washington, D.C.; Record Group Title: M1522. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Federal Naturalization Records, 1795-1931. 
  7.  Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Philadelphia; Roll: 1907753; Draft Board: 29. Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005. Original data: United States, Selective Service System. World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. M1509, 4,582 rolls. Imaged from Family History Library microfilm. 
  8.  Number: 058-30-7449; Issue State: New York; Issue Date: 1953-1955. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014. Original data: Social Security Administration. Social Security Death Index, Master File. Social Security Administration. 
  9.  Ancestry.com. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Immigration Cards, 1900-1965 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016. Original data: “Rio de Janeiro Brazil, Immigration Cards, 1900-1965”. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2013. 
  10.  Year: 1927; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 4119; Line: 5; Page Number: 205. Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957. 
  11.  Ancestry.com. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Marriage Index, 1885-1951 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. 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. 
  12. Seligman Abeles and family, 1870 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 6 District 17, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1391; Page: 149B; Family History Library Film: 552890. Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census. 
  13.  Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007. Original data: Social Security Applications and Claims, 1936-2007. 
  14.  Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, WWI Veterans Service and Compensation Files, 1917-1919, 1934-1948. Original data: World War I Veterans Service and Compensation File, 1934–1948. RG 19, Series 19.91. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg Pennsylvania. 
  15.  Box Title: Litweiler – Loebelenz (258), Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, WWI Veterans Service and Compensation Files, 1917-1919, 1934-1948 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015. Original data: World War I Veterans Service and Compensation File, 1934–1948. RG 19, Series 19.91. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg Pennsylvania. 
  16.  Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, WWI Veterans Service and Compensation Files, 1917-1919, 1934-1948. Original data: World War I Veterans Service and Compensation File, 1934–1948. RG 19, Series 19.91. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg Pennsylvania. 

18 thoughts on “Levi Goldsmith’s Remaining Family 1910-1918

  1. My Siser-In-Law’s family has a heart defect that shows up in middle adulthood and tends to cut short life. After the first sibling had a very early heart attack they all were tested and all have the defect….. and now all are under doctor care. Their mom died of heart attack one morning 15 years earlier … can’t help but wonder if she had the same problem???

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am sure there were some genetic issues, but many of these deaths were caused by illnesses that seem unrelated to each other. Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Like

  2. Always a little surprised to read about ‘servants’ in so many households during this time period. Not sure why though. Thankfully 1908 – 1920 were relatively calm and wonderful years for them. Much deserved for sure.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think having a servant was not a sign of wealth, just being middle class, since so many people had them. Maybe the servants were more boarders who worked for the rent instead of paying it?

      Liked by 2 people

      • Maybe in some cases you might be right, boarders who worked for their rent. It certainly would benefit people all around if that were the case. I agree it was not always a sign of wealth. Middle class then probably meant being very very comfortable.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Not many people have live-in help today unless they are wealthy. I think back then it was a form of cheap labor that was more affordable (and also probably unfair!).

        Liked by 1 person

  3. So many tragic deaths within the same family! The causes of death were given medical terms, which are mostly unknown to me or are perhaps no longer used. I wonder if in some cases there would be another diagnosis of the various illnesses in our era of modern medicine.
    Amy, I hope that the roaring 20’s will bring some joyful events to the Goldsmith family. Best wishes! Peter

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do think that there were more “umbrella” terms used back then to cover what today might be labeled more specifically. So many people died from either heart disease or kidney disease back then. But maybe those were secondary to other problems medicine had not yet labeled.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I must admit when I got to the line about the men being the right age to serve in WWI, my heart did a flip. I hope the fact that the family didn’t lose anyone in that bloodbath is a good omen. I’m anxious to read the next chapter. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I wanted to look up Sylvester’s wife Ida Simms as soon as I read the name. OK, in the middle writing this comment I did and found her father’s parents were German. It would have been amazing to find they connected in some way to my Sims/Simms.

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    • I have to say, as I said in an earlier post, that I had very little luck finding anything definite about Ida’s past. In fact, the marriage index on FamilySearch had her birth name as Simens. It appears that her father died in about 1875, but I haven’t found anything definitive about him or where he was born. What did you find? I know her mother remarried and became Sarah Stump.

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  6. It seems that the family had a higher than average number of children who died. Does their death certificates reveal much about the causes, and were there any similarities, or were they just “fail to thrive” deaths? Your stories are always so detailed, I enjoy reading them. And YES amazing no one in the family died during WWI, even from the flu!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Levi Goldsmith’s Family 1920-1930, Part I: More Terrible Losses | Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

    • I don’t think so, Debi. Fanny Kohn was born in Bohemia (today’s Czech Republic) and Carrie Kohn’s parents came from Bad Buchau in southwest Germany. Kohn, another form of Cohen, is very common—like Levy!

      Like

  8. Pingback: The Final Chapter on Levi Goldsmith and His Family | Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

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