The Descendants of Levi Goldsmith, Part 2: The Families of Helen and Blanche

The three youngest children of my 3x-great-uncle Levi Goldsmith and his wife Henrietta—Helen, Blanche, and Sylvester— had all experienced plenty of tragedy in their lives—loss of siblings and children and/or a spouse and in Sylvester’s case, his own early death. By 1933 when their oldest sister Eva died, Helen and Blanche were the only siblings left from the nine babies born to Levi and Henrietta.

Helen Goldsmith Loeb had lost her husband Harry in 1925, but her three children Armand, Henriete, and Leonard were all still living. As we saw, as of 1930 her daughter Henriete was divorced from Leo Dessauer and was living with her mother and brother Leonard in Philadelphia along with her seven year old son. Armand was married to Rose Kahn and had two children by 1930 and was working as merchant, presumably in the Loeb Warehouse with his brother Leonard. Later in 1930 Leonard had married Florence Mayer.

Helen and her children were all still living in Philadelphia in 1940. Helen was living with her son Leonard and his family (he and Florence had two children by then) in Philadelphia, and Leonard was working as a brewery machinery salesman.1 According to his World War II draft registration, he was self-employed.

Leonard Loeb World War II draft registration, The National Archives in St. Louis, Missouri; St. Louis, Missouri; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 1495 U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947

His older brother Armand was also living in Philadelphia with his wife and two children in 1940, and he listed his occupation as the owner of a machinery company.2 His World War II draft registration also states that he was self-employed and at the same address as his brother Leonard, presumably the Loeb Warehouse Company.

Armand Loeb, World War II draft registration, The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; World War II draft cards (Fourth Registration) for the State of Pennsylvania; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975; Record Group Number: 147; Series Number: M1951
Source Information U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942

Henriete had remarried by 1935 and moved to Florida with her second husband, Ralph Palmer Brown. Ralph was born in Pennsylvania on November 3, 1892, to Alonzo and Ada Kate Brown; his father was a druggist.3 In 1930 Ralph had been living in Philadelphia with his sister and brother-in-law and working as a sewer inspector.4 By 1935 he and Henriete were married and living in Daytona Beach, Florida. In 1940 Ralph, Henriete, and Henriete’s son Leo Dessauer were living in Daytona Beach, and Ralph was a gas station operator (his own business).

Ralph Brown and family, 1940 US census, Census Place: Daytona Beach, Volusia, Florida; Roll: m-t0627-00620; Page: 42A; Enumeration District: 64-28 1940 United States Federal Census

Blanche Goldsmith Greenbaum, the youngest surviving sibling, had been living in 1930 with her husband Max and their only surviving child of four children, their daughter Helen. Then she suffered another loss—Max died in September 1937.  Unfortunately I have no official source for Max’s death, just a burial record at Mt Sinai cemetery, a FindAGrave entry, and biography at And although Max appears to have been a successful dentist, I could not find an obituary for him either. He was 69 years old when he died. He must not have died in Pennsylvania, or I assume I would have been able to find a death certificate for him.5

As for Blanche’s daughter Helen, she also proved to be an elusive person to track down. The Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Marriage Index on Ancestry listed a marriage to Jay J Feinstein in 1942.6 According to his US Army enlistment records, Jay was born in Russia in 1900, was an insurance salesman, and had enlisted in the army in August 1942, so either soon after or soon before he married Helen.7 I could find no other record showing Helen and Jay together, nor could I find for a long time any record of what had happened to either of them.

Then I found Jay’s veteran’s compensation application dated February 10, 1950, with Jay listed with a different surname—Jay J Mandell—but mentioning that he had served as Jay J Feinstein.  That record also reported that Jay had been married to Helen G. Mandell, whom he had divorced in January 1945, so obviously Helen and Jay’s marriage had not lasted. But I could find nothing more about Helen as either Helen Greenbaum, Helen Feinstein, or Helen Mandell. But I did find one more clue.

Jay Feinstein Mandell, Veteran Compensation file, Box Title: Fegeley, Joseph Smith Jr – Felker, Carl A (Box 242). Pennsylvania, Veteran Compensation Application Files, WWII, 1950-1966 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015.
Original data: Pennsylvania (State). World War II Veterans Compensation Applications, circa 1950s. Records of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, Record Group 19, Series 19.92 (877 cartons). Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

My next clue as to Helen’s whereabouts came when her mother Blanche died on June 19, 1950, from a cerebral hemorrhage at age 82:

Blanche Goldsmith death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 054451-056880. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966

Her death notice named her as the “wife of the late Dr. Max Greenbaum and the devoted mother of Helen Bank.”[^8] And Helen Bank was the informant on the death certificate. So I knew that Helen must have married again after divorcing Jay in 1945. Although I could not find one record or newspaper article revealing the first name of her second husband, I was able to find an entry in the Social Security Death Index for a Helen Bank with the same birth date and from Pennsylvania.8 Assuming it is Helen Estella Greenbaum with that Social Security number, she died in December 1984 at age 77. As far as I can tell, Helen had not had children with either of her two husbands.

After Blanche died on June 19, 1950, Helen Goldsmith Loeb was the only child of Levi and Henrietta Goldsmith still living. But she did not outlive her younger sister for very long. Helen died less then seven months later on January 3, 1951; she was 85 years old, which made her the sibling with the greatest longevity. She was survived by her three children: Armand, who died in October 1967,9 Henriete, who died in 1978,10 and Leonard, who died in 1964.11 She also was survived by three grandchildren.

Helen Goldsmith Loeb death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 006151-008700 Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966

Interestingly, Sylvester Goldsmith, who had died so young back in 1914, had five children who were blessed with a longevity that he was denied and that was denied to so many of the descendants of Levi and Henrietta Goldsmith. In my last post about the family of Levi and Henrietta, I will write about his descendants.

  1. Helen Goldsmith Loeb and family, 1940 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: m-t0627-03749; Page: 13B; Enumeration District: 51-2006. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  2. Armand Loeb and family, 1940 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: m-t0627-03749; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 51-2007. 1940 United States Federal Census. 
  3. Alonzo Brown and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Belle Vernon, Fayette, Pennsylvania; Page: 5; Enumeration District: 0001; FHL microfilm: 1241409. 1900 United States Federal Census. Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Philadelphia; Roll: 1907956; Draft Board: 48. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. 
  4. Ralph Brown, 1930 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 11B; Enumeration District: 0444; FHL microfilm: 2341854. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  5. Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1669-2013. Gale Research Company; Detroit, Michigan; Accession Number: 1795533. Biography & Genealogy Master Index (BGMI). 
  6. 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. 
  7. U.S., World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946.Original data: National Archives and Records Administration. Electronic Army Serial Number Merged File, 1938-1946 [Archival Database]; ARC: 1263923. World War II Army Enlistment Records; Records of the National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 64; National Archives at College Park. College Park, Maryland, U.S.A. 
  8. The Philadelphia Inquirer, June 20, 1950, p. 32. 
  9. Number: 163-28-4324; Issue State: Pennsylvania; Issue Date: 1951-1952. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  10. Florida Death Index, 1877-1998 
  11.  Number: 181-24-0802; Issue State: Pennsylvania; Issue Date: Before 1951. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014  

13 thoughts on “The Descendants of Levi Goldsmith, Part 2: The Families of Helen and Blanche

  1. At least there is now one ray of hope in terms of longevity among the descendants of Levi and Henrietta Goldsmith. I am looking forward to the concluding post on that branch of the Goldsmith family. Have a great weekend, Amy!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That was my thought, that your skillful sleuthing is helping you find so much information. I wonder why Helen was cremated. Wasn’t that uncommon? I really like your new top photo using the death certificate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is not usually a practice followed by observant Jews, but I’ve noticed that a lot of my relatives were cremated. But the family was quite assimilated and not very observant! Thanks, Karen!


      • Oh, and the top photo isn’t a change for the blog itself—just this post. WordPress sometimes makes a header from my Selected Photo if it fits their size limits and shape. 🙂


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