The Fate of Levi Goldsmith’s Descendants, Part I: More Early Deaths

The 1930s did not start well for the family of Eva Goldsmith Anathan. Her son-in-law Sim Simon, husband of her daughter Bessie, died on February 1, 1932. Sadly, he had taken his own life. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Sim had been in poor health after an operation.1

Then just fourteen months later Eva Goldsmith Anathan, the oldest child of Levi and Henrietta Goldsmith, died on April 27, 1933, in Philadelphia, where she had lived her entire life.  She was 77 years old and had outlived six of her eight younger siblings as well as her ex-husband Nathan Anathan and two of their four children. She died from hypertension and chronic myocarditis. She was survived by two daughters, Helen and Bessie, and her remaining two younger siblings, Helen and Blanche.

Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 029001-032000 Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966

But the heartbreak did not end there. Five years later Eva’s daughter Bessie Anathan Simon died at age 55 from an acute coronary occlusion.

Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 076001-079000 Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966

Bessie was survived by her children and by her sister Helen. Her children had lost both their parents and their grandmother within six years. Her sister Helen continued to live in Philadelphia and work as a probation officer as of 1940.2 She somehow beat the odds in her family and lived to age 90, dying on November 15, 1969 in Miami, Florida.3

Unfortunately the family of Estella Goldsmith Rothschild also faced more tragedy in the 1930s, as seen in my earlier post when Estella’s son Herbert lost his wife Nancy to cancer at age 29 in 1931. Herbert moved to New York City in the 1930s, where in 1940 he was working as a paint salesman.4 His son Herbert, Jr., was also living in New York City in 1940, but with his maternal grandmother, Fanny Erber.5 He was only ten years old and had lost his mother before his second birthday. His father was living about eighty blocks away in Manhattan. I assume that Herbert Sr. was not able to care for his young son alone so moved to New York so that his mother-in-law could take care of Herbert, Jr.

Herbert remarried shortly after the enumeration of the 1940 census. According to the New York, New York, Marriage License Index on Ancestry, Herbert Rothschild and Lena M. Beasley applied for a marriage license on August 8, 1940.6 Lena was born in about 1907 in Mississippi to John and Ona Beasley.7  In 1930 she was living as a roomer in New York City working as a private nurse, so she and Herbert must have met in New York.8 Sadly, Herbert died at age 61 in 1955 just fifteen years after they married. He was survived by Lena and his son as well as his brother Jerome.9

Herbert’s older brother Jerome and his wife Carrie and daughter Estella continued to live in Philadelphia, and in 1940 Jerome was still practicing law.10 Jerome continued to live in Philadelphia for the rest of his life. He died from a heart attack at age 80 on July 20, 1964, in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, a Philadelphia suburb. His obituary reported that he was one of the founders of his law firm, Fox, Rothschild, O’Brien, & Frankel, and that he was active in many civic and Jewish organizations. He had served as the first president of the Philadelphia Jewish Community Relations Council, was on the board of the Philadelphia chapter of the American Jewish Committee, and a past president of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, among many other activities.11 His wife Carrie died six years later on December 19, 1970, at age 86. 12They were survived by their daughter Estelle and their grandchildren.

Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Box Number: 2396; Certificate Number Range: 065951-068800 Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966

The family of Felix Goldsmith had dispersed in the 1930s, as we saw in my prior post. His daughter Frances was living in New York City, Hortense was living in Indianapolis, and Minna and her family were living in Cleveland, Ohio. Their brother Lee had died in 1929, and their mother died in 1935.

Hortense married in Cleveland on November 11, 1937 for the first time at age 40.13 Her husband Samuel L. Havre was 49; he was born in Cleveland, Ohio on November 8, 1887, the son of Hungarian immigrants, Anton and Yetta Havre.14 His father owned a department store in Cleveland, where Samuel was a salesman. In 1930 he was living with his parents and siblings and working as a manager at the family department store.15 I assume that Minna, who was living in Cleveland, somehow set up her older sister and Samuel Havre.

In 1940 Samuel and Hortense were living in Cleveland in their own household, and Samuel was now the treasurer of the department store.16 But sadly their life together did not last long as Hortense died on April 10, 1947, from a subarachnoid hemorrhage, “bleeding within the subarachnoid space, which is the area between the brain and the tissues that cover the brain.”  Hortense was only 49 years old and had been married for less than ten years at her death. She was survived by her husband Samuel and by her two sisters, Frances and Minna.

Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 21 May 2014), 1947 > 22301-25400 > image 512 of 3534.

Minna was living in 1940 with her husband Edwin Goodman in Cleveland and their two daughters, and Edwin was the owner of a lamp manufacturing company.17 But Minna’s marriage was also cut short by a death.  Her husband Edwin died on September 24, 1940, in Cleveland at the age of 44;18 their children were 13 and 9 when he died.  Like their mother, whose father Felix died when she was a toddler, Minna’s children lost their father far too young.

In April 1943 Minna remarried, this time marrying Samuel W. Kern, who was born Samuel Kohn. He had been married before and was divorced when he married Minna. Samuel was an electrical engineer.19 Minna and Samuel remained married for the rest of their lives; Minna died March 10, 1970 when she was 69, and Samuel died the following year in April 1971 at age 74.20

Unfortunately, I have not been able to find out what happened to Felix Goldsmith’s oldest daughter, Frances Lee Goldsmith.  The last record I have for her was the 1930 census, and the last mention I’ve found is in her sister’s Hortense’s obituary in 1947, where she was named as a survivor. She is not mentioned as a survivor in Minna’s obituary or death notice in 1970, so I assume that Frances died sometime between the deaths of her two sisters. But I cannot find a death record, obituary, or any other references between those dates.

Once again, the descendants of Levi Goldsmith seemed cursed with a large number of early deaths. The final two chapters of this sad saga will cover the remaining descendants: the families of Helen, Blanche, and Sylvester Goldsmith.



  1. Certificate Number Range: 010501-013500 Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966.
    Original data: Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1963. Series 11.90 (1,905 cartons). Records of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Record Group 11. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. “Man Slashes Throat,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, January 25, 1932, p. 22. 
  2. Helen Anathan, 1940 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: m-t0627-03732; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 51-1426. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  3.  Number: 187-36-8712; Issue State: Pennsylvania; Issue Date: 1962. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014. Original data: Social Security Administration. Social Security Death Index, Master File. Social Security Administration. 
  4. Herbert Rothschild, Sr., 1940 US census, Census Place: New York, New York, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02642; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 31-768. 1940 United States Federal Census  
  5. Herbert Rothschild, Jr., 1940 US census, Census Place: New York, New York, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02677; Page: 13B; Enumeration District: 31-2131. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  6.  New York City Municipal Archives; New York, New York; Volume Number: 5. New York, New York, Marriage License Indexes, 1907-1995 
  7. John Beasley, 1910 US census, Census Place: Beat 2, Copiah, Mississippi; Roll: T624_737; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 0047; FHL microfilm: 1374750. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  8. Lena Beasley, 1930 US census, Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 0912; FHL microfilm: 2341308. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  9. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007. SSN: 109127243 
  10. Jerome Rothschild, 1940 US census,  Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: m-t0627-03754; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 51-2166. 1940 United States Federal Census  
  11. Note that the death certificate was signed by Sidney Goldsmith, MD; he was the grandson of Jacob Goldsmith, Levi’s brother, so he was Jerome’s second cousin. “J.J. Rothschild Dies, Law Firm’s Founder,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, July 21, 1964, p. 30. 
  12. The Philadelphia Inquirer, December 20, 1970, p. 46. 
  13. The Indianapolis News, November 2, 1937, p. 10. “Havre-Goldsmith,” The Virginian Pilot, November 16, 1937, p. 5. 
  14. Series II: Questionnaires: Jews; Record Group Description: (A) General Files, Army and Navy (Boxes 2-4); Box #: 3; Folder #: 9; Box Info: (Box 3) Cleveland: Privates, H-P. U.S., WWI Jewish Servicemen Questionnaires, 1918-1921. Ohio, Births and Christenings Index, 1774-1973. Original data: “Ohio Births and Christenings, 1821-1962.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009, 2011 
  15. Havre family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Cleveland Heights, Cuyahoga, Ohio; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0570; FHL microfilm: 2341518. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  16. Samuel and Hortense Havre, 1940 US census, Census Place: Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio; Roll: m-t0627-03222; Page: 11B; Enumeration District: 92-475. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  17. Edwin Goodman and family, 1940 US census, Census Place: Shaker Heights, Cuyahoga, Ohio; Roll: m-t0627-03058; Page: 64A; Enumeration District: 18-280. 1940 United States Federal Census. 
  18. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007. SSN: 270107526. 
  19.  Cuyahoga County Archive; Cleveland, Ohio; Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Marriage Records, 1810-1973; Volume: 226; Page: 418; Year Range: 1943-1945. Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Marriage Records and Indexes, 1810-1973. Ohio, County Marriage Records, 1774-1993. 
  20.  Certificate: 016802; Volume: 19998, Certificate: 025315; Volume: 20434; and Ohio Department of Health. Ohio, Death Records, 1908-1932, 1938-2007. U.S., 

14 thoughts on “The Fate of Levi Goldsmith’s Descendants, Part I: More Early Deaths

    • Thanks, Sharon. I am not sure how people coped with so much loss. We often marvel at how strong Rose Kennedy was after losing so many of her children to war and assassinations. But these multiple losses seem more widespread than we think today.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. In spite of the tragic losses in the Levi Goldsmith family, there is the consolation of a few members reaching a fairly old age. Any person in the previous century with an age of over 70 was considered fortunate, especially if they maintained their good health till the end. Amy, your family history turned out to be a monumental task. I am sure that present and future generations will be thankful for what you have been doing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am so fortunate that many of my relatives ended up in Pennsylvania and specifically Philadelphia as so many of those records are available online. NYC isn’t too bad either. But New Jersey is the worst!


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