Milton Goldsmith’s Family Album, Part II: Loving Tributes to His Grandfather and Father

Last week I introduced the precious gift that my cousin Sue shared with me—her grandfather Milton Goldsmith’s family album. Today I will share the second and third pages in that album.

The second page of Milton Goldsmith’s family album tells about his grandfather and my three-times great grandfather, Seligmann Goldschmidt:

Milton wrote this about his grandfather:

My father’s father, was Seligman Goldschmidt. He was born and lived for the greater part of his life in Oberlistingen, near Hessen Kassel. He was a dealer in spices and general goods. At that epoch Jews could not engage in the higher professions. When Napoleon over-ran Europe, he was drafted into the army, and served under Blucher at the Battle of Waterloo, where he acquitted himself with such bravery that a memorial tablet bearing his name and that of two other Jews of Oberlistingen was erected in one of the public halls. His wife was named Hinka, after whom the several girls named Hildah in our family were called.

How wonderful to learn about Seligmann’s occupation and his brave service in the Battle of Waterloo, facts that were not revealed in any records I’d found.

At the bottom of this page and over to the next page in the album is Milton’s outline of the children of his father’s parents, Seligmann Goldschmidt and Hinka Alexander:

As I noted last time, I found this report reassuring in part because it backed up the research I had done on Seligmann and Hinka and their children.

There is also a loving tribute to Milton’s father Abraham on this page. Milton wrote:

Our father, Abraham, came to America at the age of 17 and married at the age of 24. He was a very clever, well educated man, with a thorough knowledge of both German and English, and an omiverous reader of good books. He was successful as a merchant, but failed whenever he undertook any venture outside of his legitimate business. He was at the head of many civic organizations, and highly esteemed by a great circle of friends. In 1878, in consequence of a depression, he retired from the cloth business, and was worth a quarter of a million dollars. Most of this was eventually lost. His declining years were very unhappy, and he lingered for 12 years with an incurable malady. He died at the age of 72.

My blog posts about Abraham mention his business successes and failures, the stroke in 1890 that left him disabled for the last twelve years of his life, and his impressive library of books. But having his son Milton’s affectionate and admiring words adds another layer to the story of this man, my 3x-great-uncle.

But perhaps the most helpful part of this page in Milton’s album was the sentence about his father’s sister, Betty:

BETTY: married to Jacob Goldschmidt, (a cousin,) with several children, all of whom except Hettie Steele lived in Germany.

Who was Hettie Steele? She was not on my family tree. This little sentence led me to a very fruitful and uplifting search.  I will save that for my next post about Milton’s album.


31 thoughts on “Milton Goldsmith’s Family Album, Part II: Loving Tributes to His Grandfather and Father

  1. What a wonderful experience the reading of Milton Goldsmith’s family album must have brought to you! To see the results of your hard research work confirmed by this book must have been very gratifying to you, Amy. Nothing escapes your observant eyes. Where others would have skipped over the mentioning of an obscure name like Hettie Steele, you decided to dig a little deeper. I am looking forward to reading what you discovered about this mysterious person. Have a great week! Peter

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Peter. Seeing that name did pique my interest—especially since I didn’t think Betty Goldschmidt had any living descendants. So, as you will see, the search was very gratifying.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Amy, a heartfelt tribute from Milton about his father. So sad Abraham’s depressive period lasted as long because he clearly was an astute businessman and bi-lingual too. I look forward to reading your findings about Hettie Steele. Hettie was my grandmother’s name and not so unusual for early 20th century here in the UK.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am not sure whether the word depression in Milton’s essay referred to his father’s mental state or the economy. I tend to think the latter?? Thanks, Shirley!


  3. Love the looks of old, very fragile, documents that contain precious family information. Take good care of it (although I’m sure you’ve already digitized it). Also, I can’t wait to read about Hettie Steele. There’s always another branch to investigate. Such fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The actual book is in the possession of my cousin Sue; she is scanning it for me. I have suggested that she place it in an acid-free container to preserve it. Thanks for your thoughts!


  4. Pingback: Milton Goldsmith’s Family Album, Part III: Finding Hettie Steele | Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

  5. Pingback: Milton Goldsmith’s Family Album, Part IV: His Mother’s Parents | Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

  6. Pingback: Milton Goldsmith’s Family Album, Part V: A Love Letter | Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

  7. Pingback: Milton Goldsmith’s Family Album, Part VI: His Parents, Abraham and Cecelia | Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

  8. Pingback: Milton Goldsmith’s Family Album, Part VII: Abraham Goldsmith and Cecelia Adler Get Married | Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

  9. Pingback: Milton Goldsmith’s Family Album, Part VIII: Birth Records | Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

  10. Pingback: Milton Goldsmith’s Family Album, Part IX: The Missing Babies | Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

  11. Pingback: Milton Goldsmith’s Family Album, Part X: A Son’s Loving Tribute to His Mother | Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

  12. Pingback: Milton Goldsmith’s Family Album, Part XI: Tributes to His Father Abraham | Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

  13. Pingback: Milton Goldsmith’s Family Album, Part XII: The Mystery of His Stepmother Francis | Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

  14. Pingback: Milton’s Family Album, Part XIII: The Creative Talent of Milton Goldsmith Himself | Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

  15. Pingback: Milton’s Family Album, Part XIV: Teasing His Little Brother | Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

  16. Pingback: Milton Goldsmith’s Family Album, Part XV: Childhood Memories | Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

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