Jacob Goldsmith’s Family, 1872-1881: Reaching from Coast to Coast

1867 Map of the United States and territories, United States. General Land Office.
Gorlinski, Joseph. Library of Congress, http://www.loc.gov/

As of the end of 1871, Simon Goldsmith and his four surviving children—Jacob Goldsmith, Lena Basch, Henry Goldsmith, and Hannah Benedict—were all living in Pennsylvania, Jacob and his family in Philadelphia, Lena and Hannah and their families in Pittsburgh, and Henry in Connellsville. Simon was living with Hannah in Pittsburgh as well. All four children were married, and Simon had 24 grandchildren ranging in age from newborn Jacob W. Goldsmith, Henry’s son, to eighteen-year-old Ellena Goldsmith, Jacob’s daughter. Ten years later the family was no longer all living in Pennsylvania.

That movement out of Pennsylvania is best illustrated by the children of Simon’s oldest child, Jacob. Although Jacob and his wife Fannie remained in Philadelphia in the 1870s where Jacob continued to work as a clothing merchant, three of their children moved far away.

Their oldest daughter Ellena did not leave Philadelphia, but she did move out of the family home. Ellena married Samuel Feldstein on November 6, 1872, in Philadelphia.1 She was nineteen, and he was 25. Samuel was born in Prague in what was then Bohemia, now the Czech Republic, on January 12, 1847.2 By 1868 he was living in Philadelphia and was a naturalized citizen.3 In 1870 he was living with his parents and twin brother.4 In 1873 he is listed as being in the cigar business in Philadelphia.5

Ellena and Samuel Feldstein had three children in the 1870s, Simon’s first great-grandchildren: Arthur (1873),6 Sylvester (1875),7 and William (1877).8 Arthur, their first born, died on January 9, 1874, when he was just five months old. The death certificate stated that the cause of death was catarrh, which according to this website listing 19th century causes of death, is “An inflammatory affection of any mucous membrane, in which there are congestion, swelling, and an alteration in the quantity and quality of mucous secreted. In America, especially, a chronic inflammation of, and hypersecretion from the membranes of nose or air passages.”

Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JK32-B35 : 9 March 2018), Arthur Feldstein, 09 Jan 1874; citing , Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; FHL microfilm 2,022,093.

In 1880 Samuel Feldstein was still in the cigar business, and the family was living in Philadelphia. A fourth child, Leopold Feldstein, was born in Philadelphia on August 26, 1880.9

Feldstein family, 1880 US census, Year: 1880; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1176; Page: 137C; Enumeration District: 300
Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census

Ellena’s younger sister Annie was the first of Simon Goldsmith’s descendants to move out of Pennsylvania. She married Augustus Frank sometime in or before 1877 and moved all the way to San Francisco.10 Her husband Augustus was born on November 4, 1847, in New York; his parents were immigrants from Germany.11 But Augustus’ older brother Jacob Jesse Frank had moved to San Francisco by 1867,12 and Augustus must have joined him out there. Annie and Augustus’ first child Josephine was born on October 4, 1877, in California.13 In 1880, Annie and Augustus and their daughter Josephine were living in San Francisco with Augustus’ brother Jacob and his family. Augustus’ occupation was reported as “money broker” on the 1880 census. Annie and Augustus had a second child, Harry, on November 28, 1880, and a third, Fanny, on March 24, 1881, both born in California.14

Augustus Frank and family, 1880 US census, Census Place: San Francisco, San Francisco, California; Roll: 79; Page: 138D; Enumeration District: 206
Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census

The third daughter of Jacob Goldsmith and Fannie Silverman to marry in this time period was Leonora. In 1880 she married Solomon Jaffa, the older brother of Sarah Jaffa, who had married Leonora’s uncle Henry Goldsmith, making this the second marriage between a Goldschmidt and a Jaffa.15 Solomon was born in Heinebach, Germany, on August 6, 1840, and had immigrated to the US as a teenager.16 In 1870, he’d been living on his own in Mora, New Mexico, and working as a farmer.17

After marrying, Leonora and Solomon were living in Trinidad, Colorado, with Solomon’s brother Sam and his wife Amelia and their children, including their daughter Ida, who would later marry Meyer Mansbach, another Goldschmidt cousin. Sam and Solomon were both working as merchants in 1880. Leonora and Solomon had their first child Helen on April 4, 1881,18 and then a son Arthur Goldsmith Jaffa on July 10, 1883, both born in Colorado.19

Jaffa families, 1880 US census, Census Place: Trinidad, Las Animas, Colorado; Roll: 92; Page: 66A; Enumeration District: 066
Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census

The fourth of Jacob and Fannie’s children to leave home was their oldest son Felix. In 1880 he was living in Las Vegas, New Mexico, working as a bookkeeper in a dry goods store.20 This article from the October 16, 1881, issue of the Las Vegas (New Mexico) Gazette revealed more information about Felix’s whereabouts:

Las Vegas (NM) Gazette, October 16, 1881, p. 4

From this article it appears that Felix was then in Trinidad, Colorado, working for his brother-in-law’s company, Jaffa Brothers, but was moving in 1881 to Santa Fe to work for another merchant there.

Thus, by 1881, four of Jacob and Fannie’s children had spread their wings and moved out of the nest.

Meanwhile, back in Philadelphia, Jacob was still working as a clothing merchant and still had ten children at home plus his niece Ella Bohm, the daughter of his deceased sister Eva. Seven daughters were still home: Emma, Rachel, Celia, Rebecca, Florence, Eva, and Gertrude. None were employed, and the youngest four were still in school. Three sons were also still living at home: George, Frank, and Edward. George was working as a clerk in a clothing store and Frank as a clerk in a stationery store. Edward was still in school.

Jacob Goldsmith and family, 1880 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1173; Page: 158D; Enumeration District: 210
Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census

On March 4, 1881, Jacob’s wife Fannie Silverman Goldsmith, who had given birth to fourteen children between 1853 and 1871, died at age 53 from tuberculosis. She was survived by her husband Jacob, her fourteen children, and numerous grandchildren, some of whom were born after she passed away.

Fannie Silverman Goldsmith death certificate,”Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-66Y7-VGR?cc=1320976&wc=9FRQ-ZNL%3A1073342601 : 16 May 2014), 004058654 > image 1071 of 1222; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

In fact, Annie’s daughter Fanny Frank, who was born just a few weeks after Fannie’s death,21 was undoubtedly named for her grandmother Fannie as was Ellena’s daughter Fanny Feldstein, born April 17, 1883.22 I also think that the middle initial of Leonora’s daughter, Helen F. Jaffa, who was born a month to the day after her grandmother’s death, was in honor of Fannie Silverman Goldsmith.23

Fannie certainly deserved these honors, having given birth to and raised fourteen children.

 


  1. Pennsylvania Marriages, 1709-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V26R-2YL : 11 February 2018), Samuel Feldstein and Ellina Goldsmith, 06 Nov 1872; citing Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; FHL microfilm 1,765,164. 
  2. Samuel Feldstein death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1965; Certificate Number Range: 052001-055800, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966 
  3. Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission; Supreme Court Naturalization Papers 1794-1868; Archive Roll: RG-33:813, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Naturalization Records from Supreme and District Courts, 1794-1908, Naturalization papers, 1867-1868, petition nos. 9238-9768 
  4. Samuel Feldstein, 1870 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 12 Dist 36 (2nd Enum), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1424; Page: 554A; Family History Library Film: 552923, Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census 
  5. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1873, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  6. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Births, 1860-1906,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VBT8-63R : 10 March 2018), Arthur Feldstine, 15 Aug 1873; citing Birth, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, City of Philadelphia, Department of Records, Pennsylvania. 
  7. William Feldstein death certificate, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JJ94-FFV : 8 March 2018), William Feldstein, 03 Feb 1908; citing cn 4003, Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; FHL microfilm 1,402,930. 
  8. Sylvester Feldstein, Registration State: New Jersey; Registration County: Atlantic; Roll: 1711901; Draft Board: 2, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 
  9. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Births, 1860-1906,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VBBB-GKM : 9 March 2018), Leopold Feldstein, 26 Aug 1880; citing Birth, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, City of Philadelphia, Department of Records, Pennsylvania. 
  10. I am inferring this from their daughter Josephine’s birth in October 1877. See below. 
  11. Headstone inscription at https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/100371594 
  12. California State Library, California History Section; Great Registers, 1866-1898; Collection Number: 4 – 2A; CSL Roll Number: 41; FHL Roll Number: 977097, Ancestry.com. California, Voter Registers, 1866-1898 
  13. The National Archives at Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C.; Manifests of Passengers Arriving at St. Albans, VT, District through Canadian Pacific and Atlantic Ports, 1895-1954; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787 – 2004; Record Group Number: 85; Series Number: M1464; Roll Number: 556, Ancestry.com. U.S., Border Crossings from Canada to U.S., 1895-1960 
  14. Harry Garfield Frank, World War I draft registration, Registration State: California; Registration County: San Francisco; Roll: 1544262; Draft Board: 12, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918; Fannie Frank, Ancestry.com. California, San Francisco Area Funeral Home Records, 1895-1985 
  15. Leonora and Sol Jaffa, 1900 US census, Census Place: Trinidad, Las Animas, Colorado; Page: 14; Enumeration District: 0064; FHL microfilm: 1240126, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  16. Solomon Jaffa, Passport application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 1312; Volume #: Roll 1312 – Certificates: 73250-73625, 29 Jul 1920-29 Jul 1920, Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 
  17. Solomon Jaffa, 1870 US census, Census Place: Mora, Mora, New Mexico Territory; Roll: M593_894; Page: 313A; Family History Library Film: 552393,
    Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census 
  18. JewishGen, comp. JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) 
  19. Arthur Jaffa, World War I draft registration, Registration State: New Mexico; Registration County: Chaves; Roll: 1711858, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 
  20. Felix Goldsmith, 1880 US census, Census Place: Las Vegas, San Miguel, New Mexico; Roll: 803; Page: 289B; Enumeration District: 032, Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census 
  21. Ancestry.com. California, San Francisco Area Funeral Home Records, 1895-1985. 
  22. Fannie Feldstein Neufeld death certificate,  Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1965; Certificate Number Range: 019051-021750, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966 
  23. JewishGen, comp. JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) 

16 thoughts on “Jacob Goldsmith’s Family, 1872-1881: Reaching from Coast to Coast

  1. The railways had been built by the time the Jacob Goldsmith family started moving west. In spite of the enormous distances going west was relatively easy. Still one wonders about the motives of this particular family branch to move so far away from their home base in Pennsylvania. Fanny Goldsmith’s death must have been a big blow to her husband with so many children to look after. Another interesting read, Amy!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You know I love anything and everything about Trinidad! Your Goldsmith family had an amazing history. Great documentation, so rich and colorful ~ I’m thinking your Trinadad family would be a fascinating book in itself. Not only their merchantile store but pioneering and estabishing the oldest Synagogue in CO, named after their father, opening the first opera house ….there’s a lot of wild west Jewish history there! Always enjoy your post ~ Sharon

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Sharon! You’re right—the Jaffa family is quite fascinating. My connection to them is only through marriage, but I also find them a very interesting family.

      Like

  3. Pingback: Simon Goldsmith: His Legacy—German Criminal, American Patriarch | Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

  4. Pingback: Jacob Goldsmith and His Family, 1881-1900: Years of Growth, Loss, and Change | Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

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