Henry Goldsmith, The Final Chapter: Walter, Florence, and Helen

I conclude the story of Henry Goldsmith and his family in this post with final chapters on the lives of three of his ten children, those who outlived all the others: Walter, Florence, and Helen.

Walter Goldsmith and his wife Ella Rosenberg had suffered two terrible losses early in their marriage. Their first child had lived just a few weeks, and their second, Sarah, had died in 1921 from gastroenteritis when she was four. But Walter and Ella had had three more children after Sarah, as we have seen: Edison (born shortly before Sarah’s death in 1921), Stanley (1922) and Edna (1924). Thus, in 1930 Walter and Ella had three young children, and Walter was practicing dentistry in Pittsburgh.

Walter Goldsmith and family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Page: 32A; Enumeration District: 0220; FHL microfilm: 2341711
Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census

The 1930s appear to have been fairly uneventful for Walter and his family, and by 1940, the three children were teenagers, and Walter continued to practice dentistry in Pittsburgh.

Walter Goldsmith and family, 1940 US census, Census Place: Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: m-t0627-03662; Page: 17B; Enumeration District: 69-370
Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census

On October 16, 1942, Edison enlisted in the US Army; he’d been a salesman at Gimbel Brothers when he registered for the draft:

Edison Goldsmith, World War II draft registration, Selective Service Registration Cards, World War II: Multiple Registrations, Content Source: The National Archives, Draft Registration Cards for Pennsylvania, 10/16/1940 – 03/31/1947

Edison served in the Army as a warrant officer and was honorably discharged on January 23, 1946. From March 10, 1945, until August 8, 1945, he served overseas in World War II.1

Edison’s younger brother Stanley registered for the draft, but was not called for military service. He was nineteen at the time and not employed. He does appear in the 1942 University of Pittsburgh yearbook as a member of the photography staff of that publication, so he must have been a student when he registered for the draft. According to my cousin Robin, Stanley had very poor eyesight, yet somehow managed to become a photographer.

Stanley Goldsmith, World War II draft registration, Selective Service Registration Cards, World War II: Multiple Registrations, Content Source: The National Archives, Draft Registration Cards for Pennsylvania, 10/16/1940 – 03/31/1947

As listed in the 1954 and 1955 directories, Stanley and Edison and their sister Edna were all still living with their parents Walter and Ella at 1263 Bellerock Street in Pittsburgh. Edison was the vice-president of Manor Products, a company that manufactured awnings, and Edna was a telephone operator for the M.H. Delrick Company.  Stanley had no occupation listed. Their father Walter continued to be listed as a dentist in all these directories.2

On November 25, 1955, Edna Goldsmith married Arnold Feuerlicht.

“Noon Wedding,” The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, November 18, 1955, p. 20.

Arnold was born in Sharon, Pennsylvania, on December 13, 1919,3 to Herman Feuerlicht and Guzella Baum. His father, a Romanian-born immigrant, was a baker. His mother was born in Austria-Hungary. In 1940, the family was living in Erie, Pennsylvania, and Arnold was working as a clerk in a shoe store.4

Arnold is listed in the 1955 Pittsburgh directory as an accountant.5 He and Edna thereafter purchased a new house in Wilkins Township, Pennsylvania, and had two children. After driving cross country on vacation and seeing Los Angeles, they moved In 1968, first living with Florence, and later purchasing a home in 1971, in Beverly Hills, California. Arnold continued to work as an accountant. 6

Four years after her daughter’s wedding, Ella Rosenberg Goldsmith died in Pittsburgh on November 21, 1959 at age 72.7 Her husband Walter survived her for twelve years; he died when he was 89 in August 1971.8

Walter and Ella were survived by their three children. Stanley died on February 24, 1994, in Pittsburgh; he was 71.9 The following year his brother Edison died on November 9, 1995; he was 74.10 Neither had married or had children. Their sister Edna survived them. She died in West Los Angeles, California, on October 19, 2007, at the age of 83. Her husband Arnold died less than two months later on December 5, 2007; he was 87. Edna and Arnold were survived by their children.

With Walter Goldsmith’s death in 1971, only two of Henry Goldsmith’s ten children were still living, his two daughters, Florence and Helen.  Florence died at 91 in Beverly Hills, California, on April 22, 1975.11

That left only Helen, the youngest of Henry Goldsmith’s children. In 1930 she’d been living with her husband Edwin T. Meyer and two sons Edgar and Malcolm in Pittsburgh. Edwin was an optometrist.12

On March 19, 1938 Edgar married Esther Orringer in Weirton, West Virginia.13 Esther was the daughter of Oscar Orringer and Rose Spann and was born on March 5, 1916, in Pittsburgh.14 Her parents were Austrian-born immigrants, and in 1920 her father was in the wholesale grocery business in Pittsburgh.15 A heartfelt thank you to Cathy Meder-Dempsey of Opening Doors in Brick Walls for locating Edgar and Esther’s marriage record.

Edgar Meyer and Esther Orringer marrriage record cropped

West Virginia Vital Research Records Project (database and images), West Virginia Division of Culture and History (A collaborative venture between the West Virginia State Archives and the Genealogical Society of Utah to place vital records online via the West Virginia Archives and History Web site accessible at http://www.wvculture.org/vrr), Register of Marriages Brooke County, West Virginia, page 213, top, Marriage License of Edgar Jaffa Meyer and Esther Orringer.(http://www.wvculture.org/vrr/va_view.aspx?Id=12012126&Type=Marriage : accessed 5 July 2019).

Edgar’s brother Malcolm married Carolyn Schnurrer on September 1, 1942, in Pittsburgh. Carolyn was the daughter of Michael Max Schnurrer, an architectural draftsman, and Eva Katz, both of whom were Romanian immigrants. She was born on December 15, 1919, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.16 Carolyn and Malcolm were both graduates of the University of Pittsburgh.

Pennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885-1950,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VF74-G8X : 18 October 2017), Malcolm G. Meyer and Carolyn Schnurer, 01 Sep 1942; citing Marriage, Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, United States, various county courts and registers, Pennslyvannia; FHL microfilm 1,992,163.

The Pittsburgh Press, October 3, 1942, p. 18

Malcolm was a lieutenant in the US Army when he and Carolyn married; he was stationed at Camp Lee, Virginia. He served in the Army from May 4, 1942, until March 2, 1946, including two and a half years overseas during World War II. When he returned, he and Carolyn settled in Pittsburgh and had two children together. Like his father Edwin, Malcolm was an optometrist.17

Edgar and Esther also stayed in Pittsburgh for some time. They had one child. When Edgar registered for the World War II draft, he was working for Gulf Research and Development Company and living in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, just outside of Pittsburgh.

Edgar Meyer, World War II draft registration, Draft Registration Cards for Pennsylvania, 10/16/1940 – 03/31/1947, Selective Service Registration Cards, World War II: Multiple Registrations

But Edgar was not destined to stay in western Pennsylvania. In 1950 he is listed in the Buffalo, New York directory as a physicist.18 According to his obituary, he lived in Vienna, Austria from 1968 to 1970, working as a representative of the American Optical Company board of directors. Then he returned to the US and settled in Massachusetts where he was the manager of the medical products division of the American Optical Company from 1970 until 1972.19

During that time his father Edwin died. Edwin was 81 when he passed away on March 19, 1971.20 The family suffered another loss two years later when Malcolm’s wife Carolyn died in May 1973; she was only 53.21  Then just two years later Edgar Meyer died on April 17, 1975, in Pittsburgh, to which he had only recently returned upon retiring.  Edgar was sixty years old. He was survived by his mother Helen, his wife Esther, his brother Malcolm, his daughter, and grandchildren.22

Helen Goldsmith Meyer had lost her husband Edwin, her daughter-in-law Carolyn, and her son Edgar in the space of four years.

Helen herself died in August 1983 in Washington, Pennsylvania.  She was 93 years old.23 Her son Malcolm also lived a long life. He was also 93 when he died on May 1, 2011. He was survived by his children and grandchildren.24

I have just connected with two of Helen’s granddaughters and one of Walter’s granddaughters and hope to have more photographs and personal recollections to add to an update to this post. But for now, I have reached the end of the story of my double cousin Henry Goldsmith, his wife Sarah Jaffa, their ten children and many grandchildren.

And it brings me to the last of Simon Goldsmith’s children, my other double cousin Hannah Goldsmith, Henry’s full sister. Both Henry and Hannah were born in the US shortly after their parents immigrated; both lost their mother when they were just toddlers. Both overcame the odds and lived full and successful lives. Both lived those lives in western Pennsylvania.

Hannah’s story comes next.

 


  1. Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946; SSN: 181120537, Ancestry.com. U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010; Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Veteran Compensation Application Files, WWII, 1950-1966. 
  2. Title: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1954, 1955, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  3.  Box Title: Fessler, Elwood E – Fiedor, John F (Box 246), Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Veteran Compensation Application Files, WWII, 1950-1966 
  4. Herman Feuerlicht and family, 1940 US census, Census Place: Erie, Erie, Pennsylvania; Roll: m-t0627-03650; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 68-82, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  5. Title: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1955, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  6. Publication Title: Beverly Hills, City Directory, 1973, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  7. Ella Goldsmith death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1965; Certificate Number Range: 097051-099750, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966 
  8.  Number: 169-32-7384; Issue State: Pennsylvania; Issue Date: 1956-1958, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  9. SSN: 201142857, Death Certificate Number: PA 2972985, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  10. SSN: 181120537, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  11. Social Security #: 572443297, Ancestry.com. California, Death Index, 1940-1997 
  12. Edwin T. Meyer and family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Page: 33A; Enumeration District: 0234; FHL microfilm: 2341713, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  13. Marriage Date: 1938, Marriage Place: Brooke, West Virginia, United States, Ancestry.com. West Virginia, Marriages Index, 1785-1971 
  14. SSN: 170013483, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  15. Oscar Orringer and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Pittsburgh Ward 14, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1522; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 548, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  16. Pennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885-1950,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VF74-G8X : 18 October 2017), Malcolm G. Meyer and Carolyn Schnurer, 01 Sep 1942; citing Marriage, Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, United States, various county courts and registers, Pennslyvannia; FHL microfilm 1,992,163. Schnurer family, 1940 US census, Census Place: West View, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: m-t0627-03420; Page: 12B; Enumeration District: 2-593, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  17. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Veteran Compensation Application Files, WWII, 1950-1966 
  18. Publication Title: Buffalo, New York, City Directory, 1950, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  19. “Edgar J. Meyer,” The Pittsburgh Press, April 18, 1975, p. 42. 
  20. Number: 172-32-4406; Issue State: Pennsylvania; Issue Date: 1956-1958, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014; “Dr. E. Meyer, Optometrist,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 20 Mar 1971, p. 13 
  21. SSN: 301016568, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  22. SSN: 169030713, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007; “Edgar J. Meyer,” The Pittsburgh Press, April 18, 1975, p. 42. 
  23. Number: 173-24-7039; Issue State: Pennsylvania; Issue Date: Before 1951, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  24. Issue State: California; Issue Date: Before 1951, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 

17 thoughts on “Henry Goldsmith, The Final Chapter: Walter, Florence, and Helen

  1. I took a look with google and checked on the Bellerock and Ripply addresses. Looks like both homes are still there and quite lovely. * Bellerock is a stately brick home and the street is the old brick type stones as well. Hoping for some pics and stories for you to share 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Sharon! I tend to forget to do that—I know you are really good at presenting those images, and they are wonderful. I should try and remember to do it myself! Now I will take a look. 🙂

      Like

  2. I’d like to add a record to your story. As Edgar and Esther married in West Virginia, I looked up their marriage license with the Minister’s return which came from Rabbi Louis A. Glyn. You can find the record in the upper right quadrant of this image: http://www.wvculture.org/vrr/va_view.aspx?Id=12012126&Type=Marriage
    I find it interesting the license was applied for more than a month before they were married.
    Congratulations on the end of another chapter. Bring on the next, Amy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, thank you, Cathy!! That’s wonderful. Do you know if there is a proper way to cite to this record? I am not familiar with this database having done no WV research. I wonder why they were married there? Google Maps shows Weirton being about 36 miles west of Pittsburgh. They were both 21 or over so it couldn’t have been a parental permission requirement. Thanks again!

      Like

      • You’re welcome, Amy. The collection can be found through FamilySearch or directly at WVCulture.org. It is a collaborative venture between the West Virginia State Archives and the Genealogical Society of Utah to place vital records online via the West Virginia Archives and History Web site. I messaged you two different citations.

        Could it be they wanted to be married by the Rabbi who turned in the minister’s return? I’m not familiar with Brooke County, West Virginia. But I do know that for Mason County, WV, many citizens went across the river to Gallia County, OH, to marry. I have not figured out the reason when the Mason County courthouse was just as close. Perhaps the formalities were easier or the courthouse not as busy. As an afterthought, perhaps it was easier to get a license there and the Rabbi was from Pennsylvania.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks, Cathy! I am going to add those now.

        I have to believe that Edgar and Esther had a rabbi from PA—I wonder if there was even a Jewish community in Weirton! So my guess is there was some quirk in WV law that made it easier to get married there. Or they eloped.

        Thanks again!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful work here and a thank you to Cathy. I am amazed how even when people don’t die particularly young, the typical range is still so large. I know it’s far from profound but it really struck me here. From 60 to 100, basically. I love how Sharon looked up the houses.

    Liked by 1 person

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