An Update on My Dannenberg Cousins

I now have blogged about Seligmann Goldschmidt and Hincka Alexander, my three-times great-grandparents, and all their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. I also have blogged about two of Seligmann’s brothers, Lehmann and Simon, and their families. Seligmann had one other full brother, Meyer, a full sister, Jette, and two half-siblings, Elieser and Jude. I will turn to Meyer next. I have not yet found any primary or even secondary sources for Jette, Elieser and Jude and their families—just the family trees of others—so I may not blog about them. Time will tell. Maybe I will find more to add to those trees.

But before I turn to Meyer Goldschmidt and his family, I have some other things to write about. In the many months that I’ve been working on my Goldschmidt/Goldsmith family, I’ve also been in touch with a number of cousins who have provided me with additional photographs of and documents about other relatives. Being the somewhat-compulsive person that I am, I didn’t want to break the chronology of the Goldschmidt story, so I kept folders and notes for all those new items and decided I’d return to them once I found a place to take a break in the Goldschmidt/Goldsmith story. So the next couple of weeks will be devoted to these new materials. Then I will return to Meyer Goldschmidt.

To start, I want to share some photographs I received back in March and April from my fourth cousin Arlene, who is also a great-great-great-granddaughter of Seligmann Goldschmidt and Hincka Alexander. Arlene is descended from their daughter Sarah Goldschmidt Mansbach, sister of my great-great-grandmother Eva Goldschmidt Katzenstein. (For more background on the individuals named in this post, please follow the links from their names.)

Arlene’s great-grandmother was Hannah Mansbach, who was my great-grandmother Hilda Katzenstein’s first cousin. Hannah married Gerson Dannenberg. I wrote about the Dannenberg family here. Arlene is the granddaughter of Hannah’s son Arthur M. Dannenberg, Sr., and she is the daughter of his son, Arthur M. Dannenberg, Jr.

Arlene shared these images of two wonderful photographs of her great-grandparents Hannah Mansbach and Gerson Dannenberg:

Gerson Dannenberg. Courtesy of Arlene Dannenberg Bowes

Hannah Mansbach Dannenberg. Courtesy of Arlene Dannenberg Bowes

Both are signed at the bottom by Elias Goldensky 39 (which I assume is the year the photographs were taken when Hannah would have been 81 and Gerson 77; Hannah died in 1940, Gerson in 1943). Elias Goldensky was a very well-known professional portrait photographer in Philadelphia whose works were exhibited world-wide and who even photographed Franklin Roosevelt in the White House in 1932.1

I think I even see a slight resemblance between Hannah and my great-grandmother Hilda, her first cousin, especially around the mouth and nose.  What do you think?

Hilda Katzenstein Schoenthal

In addition, Arlene sent me this image of a photograph of a Passover gathering of the extended Dannenberg-Loeb family in 1937. Most of those depicted are not my blood relatives, but are the family of Arthur M. Dannenberg, Sr.’s wife, Marion Loeb. But Arthur M. Dannenberg, Sr,, and his two sons, Arthur M. Dannenberg, Jr., and James Dannenberg, are included in this photograph, as labeled at the bottom. James stands to the far left in the top row, Arthur Jr. to the far right in the top row, and their father, the much-beloved pediatrician whom I wrote about here, Dr. Arthur M. Dannenberg, Sr., is the tall gentleman standing third from the left in the top row.

Passover, 1937. The Dannenberg-Loeb family. Courtesy of Arlene Dannenberg Bowes

Arlene commented on my blog back in March 2019 that her father, Arthur, Jr., had also become a physician and that he had devoted his career to researching tuberculosis, a cause that was important to him because his mother Marion’s first husband, Milton Stein, had died from TB while Milton and Marion were on their honeymoon in 1915, as I wrote about here. In fact, Arthur was not a true “junior” as his middle name was Milton (for Milton Stein), not Mansbach, his father’s middle name.

Arthur M. Dannenberg, Jr. 1965. Photograph by Julian Hart Fisher. Courtesy of Arlene Dannenberg Bowes.

Arthur M. Dannenberg, Jr., died on June 15, 2018. The American Association of Immunologists published a lovely tribute written by Ellen J. Mackenzie, Dean of the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, where Arthur has spent much of his career as a professor and researcher. The entire tribute can be found here. I will post just a few excerpts from Dr. Mackenzie’s tribute to Arthur Milton Dannenberg, Jr.:

Art’s research explored cellular pathways to preventing and treating tuberculosis, and he was passionate about finding new vaccines against the disease. He was affiliated with the Johns Hopkins Vaccine Initiative as well as the Johns Hopkins Center for Tuberculosis Research, which established a student achievement award in his honor.

His work made a lasting contribution to our understanding of a disease that still, despite significant progress in saving lives through diagnosis and treatment, remains one of the top 10 leading causes of death worldwide.

A graduate of Swarthmore College, Art obtained his medical degree from Harvard in 1947. He continued his studies at the University of Pennsylvania, where, in 1952, he received a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in experimental pathology.


All of us who worked with Art over the years were impressed by his tireless pursuit and devotion to unraveling the mysteries of one of the most important infections plaguing humans throughout history – tuberculosis. We will sorely miss his enthusiasm and devotion to medical research and to educating the next generation of scientists.

My deep gratitude to my cousin Arlene for sharing these photographs and stories with me. It is always wonderful to see the faces of my cousins and learn more about them.

  1. “Elias Goldensky, Photographer, Dies,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 11, 1943, p. 11. 

20 thoughts on “An Update on My Dannenberg Cousins

  1. Amy, great blog as always. I was particularly pleased to read how fortunate your relatives were to be photographed by Elias Goldensky. I’m getting ready to do a presentation for IAJGS on Jewish photographers and had done research on Goldensky for the talk. Not only was he very well known as a portrait photographer but he also trained other photographers such as J.D. Toloff who had studios in the Chicago area. Goldensky’s father owned a photography studio in Kremenchug (now Ukraine) and Goldensky himself was known for his focus (pun intended) on the individuality of each sitter, with stunning results. You are so lucky to have these photographs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Ava, for sharing the additional background on Goldensky. I knew as soon as Arlene sent me these scans that these were no ordinary photographs. They are quite stunning. I hope your talk goes well—wish I could be there. Do they provide tapes of the presentations online?


  2. Photos always add that extra personal touch to one’s blog. The portraits of Gerson and Hannah are of outstanding quality done by one of the great photographers of that time. Comparing Hannah and Hilda I agree that there are some similarities, which are hard to pinpoint in terms of actual facial features. It is more the feeling that both portraits radiate that seem tell that the two ladies are related.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your thoughts, Peter. They are amazing photographs, aren’t they? I wonder also who took the one of Hilda and the companion one of my great-grandfather, her husband Isidore Schoenthal.


  3. Stunning photo’s and Ava’s added information certainly added to the story behind the photo’s. I kept scrolling up and down trying to see a resemblance and like those flip books of old they began to merge into one person, lol. Thrilled for this special cousin connection to Arlene with these passed on treasures. I liked the Passover photo, what a bonus all labeled too. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! That’s pretty funny—I was doing the same thing. I think that’s why I started seeing a resemblance where maybe there wasn’t one. Thanks, Sharon!


  4. we meet again.
    Ihave a Seligmann Dannrnburg borm abt 1819 in Wetter, Marburg ,Germany, married to Hannchen Edelmuth 25/10/1824 in Beuern,Germany. Ufortunately i have no further information about him
    Bryan Knobloch

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Bryan, I don’t know if there is any connection. I have not searched Gerson’s family back very far since he was related only by his marriage to Hannah, but I know his family was from Adelsleben, Germany, originally. Thanks for stopping by!


  5. For those of you tracing the Dannenberg family to Adelebsen, Germany, I recommend getting the book, Im Steilhang, Der Judische Friedhof zu Adelebsen, published by the Universitatsverlag Gottingen, ISBN 978-3-941875-14-2 (publ. in 2010). This 334 page book is an exquisitely detailed research on every gravestone in the Jewish Cemetery just outside Adelebsen, complete with pictures of each gravestone, the Hebrew inscriptions, and their translation (into German). The research includes marriages there, family relations, children, and dates of birth and death. I visited this cemetery and was so moved to be among the Dannenberg dynasty in their home since the early 1700’s. The Cemetery was restored by the German Government in recent years, and they added a plaque remembering those removed from Adelbsen to the concentration camps in WWII. Arthur Dannenberg visited the Hotel Durant in Berkeley, CA in the 1950s, where my brother Albert worked as a bellhop. Recognizing the name, he invited Arthur to our home in Berkeley where he connected with my father, Hans Dannenberg – a distant cousin. I remember well that all the members of Arthur’s family were named with “A” names!

    John Dannenberg
    San Jose, CA

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi John—thank you for sharing this. Very interesting. Did you ever trace your connection to Arthur Dannenberg? My connection to the Dannenbergs only goes back as far as Gerson Dannenberg, who married my cousin Hannah Mansbach.


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