Milton Goldsmith’s Family Album, Part VIII: Birth Records

This is Part VIII of an ongoing series of posts based on the family album of Milton Goldsmith, so generously shared with me by his granddaughter Sue. See Part I, Part II, Part IIIPart IVPart VPart VI and Part VII at the links.

This record of the births of five of the children of Abraham Goldsmith and Cecelia Adler touched my heart.

I love the florid old script.  Who wrote these entries? Was it Abraham or Cecelia? I wasn’t sure at first, but I was reassured by this record that all the dates I had for the births (and deaths) of these five children were correct.  I loved that the writer added the time of birth, giving a personal touch to the facts.

For the first two entries, there are also Hebrew inscriptions. Thank you to Tracing the Tribe for helping me with these.  For Milton, it says “Mendel Goldsmith born 12 Sivan  5621.” Milton had mentioned on an earlier page that Mendel was his Hebrew name given to him in memory of his maternal grandfather.

The second entry is for Hildegard or Hilda, as she was called on the records I found. How sweet to see the formal name her parents gave her. Hilda died two months before her fourteenth birthday, as I wrote here and as noted on this record. Looking at this entry more carefully, I noted that whoever wrote the entry for her death had also written the entry for her birth.  It is the same handwriting.  And since her mother Cecelia had died in 1874, two years before Hilda died on June 7, 1876, that means that Abraham wrote this entry and all the other birth entries on this record.

No one on Tracing the Tribe was able to translate the Hebrew inscription for Hildegard except to say that it also states her birth date. Her Hebrew name was not legible. I guess Abraham’s Hebrew writing had deteriorated between Milton’s birth and Hilda’s. And the fact that he did not include any Hebrew for the next three children’s birth records may be a sign of his assimilation into secular American society.

It’s also interesting to see how Abraham introduced these entries.  Milton was “our boy.”  Hildegard was “our daughter.” Edwin has no descriptive introduction, nor does Emily, but Rosalinda is “our fourth baby.” (I also never knew that Rose was formally named Rosalinda—what a beautiful name!) I wonder whether Abraham wrote each of these at the time the baby was born or all at once. Since some of these have introductions and others do not, I think each was done separately when each baby was born.

For the last three entries—for Edwin, Rosalinda, and Emily—someone other than Abraham inscribed the information about their deaths. I assume Milton added this information as he outlived all three of those siblings. And there is no death date added to the entry made for Milton.

What is perhaps most perplexing about this page from Milton’s album is the absence of an entry for Abraham and Cecelia’s sixth child, Estelle. Estelle was born on January 20, 1870. Had Abraham lost interest in recording his children’s births by the time his sixth child was born? Or was there a second page that included Estelle (and perhaps Abraham’s four children with his second wife Frances Spanier) that somehow was lost and thus not included in Milton’s album?

 

31 thoughts on “Milton Goldsmith’s Family Album, Part VIII: Birth Records

  1. You truly have an amazing sense of perception, Amy. Where other people, myself included, would overlook seemingly trivial details, you zero in on them and explain their importance. You noticed for example the use of ‘our’ on Abraham’s fourth child and the beautiful variant of Rosa’s name. By the way, Rosalinda in Spanish means beautiful rose. As always your post was an interesting read, Amy.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Actually I take that back. I can now see that. The problem was the third letter. But when you said Hinka. The third letter could be a nun and the fourth letter a couff that he made big that connects with the nun. The final letter looks like an ayin. Usually should end with a hey. But really could be a phonetic spelling of Hinka.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. In noting the times of their births, Abraham showed how he cherished his children. I think there would have been a second page detailing the birth of Estelle and younger children as he was diligent with his record keeping.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. When I saw your comment about Estella and the younger children not being listed I went back to the album and discovered that that page could be removed and there was more on the back! Look for an email.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Good questions! Your guess that he might show his assimilation progress by his change in using Hebrew (first it’s clear, then not, then non-existent) is fascinating to me. What a cool reading of what you found. So Abraham did all that writing and even thought to write down the times of the births. What a good and proud dad.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I’m a bit late reading this and couldn’t wait to give my two cents worth. But I always read the comments first. I was thinking it might have been continued on the back of the page, as Sue confirmed. I was glad to read she has also sent you a scan of it. Until next week – for the continuation of this series.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t come back later when I’m early but I do like to read the interesting comments from your readers when they are quicker than I am. I was worried the page might have been pasted into the album and wouldn’t be easily removed.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I thought that was a possibility also. For example, Sue could tell that the love letter I posted a few weeks ago had writing on the back, but she rightfully was reluctant to remove it from the album to check the back. So I didn’t even think to ask her about the reverse of this one for the same reason—I didn’t want her to risk damaging the paper.

        Liked by 1 person

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

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