This is the first post about Ella Goldschmidt in the US. Please read first—I posted out of order.
Ella Goldschmidt was the first child of Meyer Goldschmidt and Lea Katzenstein. She was born in about 1823 in Grebenstein, Germany, and as described by her brother Selig, she had run a millinery business in her father’s home in the years after her mother died in 1839. Selig also wrote that after several years, Ella decided to seek better opportunities elsewhere and left the family to immigrate to the United States. Although I have not located a definite ship manifest for Ella, there is a manifest showing a 21-year-old woman named “Eliza” Goldschmidt who arrived in Philadelphia on June 2, 1845, on the ship Louise, sailing from Bremen, Germany.
That may have been Ella, though I can’t be sure. At any rate, I know that Ella had arrived by April 25, 1846, because on that date she married Albert Sigmund in Baltimore, Maryland. (Ella appears to have used numerous variations on Ella in the US, sometimes Helen, sometimes Elena, sometimes as here Helena.) Albert was also a German immigrant; he was born in Bavaria in 1819. According to one source, he came to Baltimore in 1841.
Ella and Albert’s first child, William, was born in about 1847 as he was reported to be three years old on the 1850 census. His sister Lena was born the following year, and in 1850 the family was living in Baltimore where Albert was a customs house officer. His brother Philip was living with them, working as a cap maker. 1
Between 1851 and 1860, Ella and Albert had six more children, all born in Baltimore: Henrietta (1851),2 Simon (sometimes identified as Samuel or Solomon (1852), Jacob (about 1854), Joseph (1856), Leo(pold) (1858), and Stella (also identified as Hester and Estella) (1860).3
Also living with Ella and Albert in 1860 was Ella’s youngest sibling, Falk Goldschmidt. Falk had arrived on July 8, 1852 when he was only sixteen.
Thus, Ella and Albert had a large household by 1860: eight children plus Albert’s father Herman and brother Philip and Ella’s brother Falk. Albert was working as a merchant, and he must have been doing quite well to house twelve people plus three servants.4
This advertisement from the November 23, 1858, Baltimore Daily Exchange (p.3) is for Albert’s fur business:
In 1862, Ella gave birth to a ninth child, Mollie.5 Although the 1870 census lists Mollie’s (Mary here) birthplace as Maryland, every later census record reports her birthplace as New York. I’ve not found a birth record from either place to reach a conclusion as to which is right. One theory I’ve seen mentioned is that the family had moved to New York during the Civil War.
Albert and Ella thus continued to have a large household in 1870, but there were a few things on the 1870 census that confused me. This is how the census listed the children with their ages and occupations:
William (24, clerk in store),
Lena (22, at home),
Henrietta (19, at home),
Simon (10, clerk in store),
Joseph (14, at school),
Leo (12, at school),
Estella (10, at school),
Mary (presumably Mollie) (8, at school).
There were also two servants living in the household plus Albert’s father Herman and another Sigmund:
Solomon, listed as eighteen years old and working as a clerk in a store.
So what is confusing here? First of all, Simon should have been eighteen in 1870, not ten. Plus would a ten year old be working as a clerk when his older brothers Joseph and Leo were both in school? I chalked this up to a scrivener’s error—it should have been an 18, not a ten for his age.
But then I noticed Solomon Sigmund—eighteen years old and a clerk. Had the enumerator listed Simon twice, once as a ten year old and then as Solomon, the eighteen year old? Or was Solomon yet another member of the family? Since the 1870 census did not include relationship to the head of household as a reported fact, it’s hard to know.
UPDATE: Thanks to David Baron, I now know that Solomon Sigmund married Lena Sigmund in 1873 and thus was not one of Ella and Albert’s children, but more likely a nephew or cousin of Albert Sigmund who was living with the family.
The other troubling thing about this 1870 census record is that Ella and Albert’s son Jacob, who would have been about sixteen in 1870, is not listed at all. The 1870 Baltimore directory is consistent with this census; William and Simon are listed as clerks, living at the same address as their father, Albert, the furrier. There is no listing for Jacob, the next oldest son.So where was Jacob? Had he died? Moved away? I could not find one other record for Jacob aside from the 1860 census. I will keep digging to see if I can learn more about him, but since there do not appear to be any death records in Maryland before 1870, I am instead hoping to find a cemetery record somewhere in Baltimore.
UPDATE: Again, thank you to David Baron, who located a record of circumcisions that listed the following:
Ella’s brother Falk was also no longer living with her family in 1870. In fact, Falk had returned to Germany where he had married Babette Carlebach on October 18, 1868, in Mannheim; they had their first child Meier on August 8, 1870 in Grabenhein, Germany.
Matthias Steinke of the German Genealogy group kindly translated this record as follows:
Legitimate son and first child of the salesman Falk Goldschmidt from Gräbenhein in the district Cassel (Kassel) and his wife Babette born Carlebach, married 18th October 1868 in Mannheim, was born here Bleichstreet Nr. 40, Monday the 8th August 1870 in the morning at 5:45 o’clock.
Reason for this entry was the declaration of the father.
Entered the 16th November 1870.
Thus, much of the information about Ella’s first 25 years in the United States is based wholly on the census records. From those records, we can see that she and her husband Albert were the parents of nine children, eight of whom were still living with them in 1870. The next decade would bring many changes to the family: births, deaths, and several marriages.
- These birth years are based almost exclusively on census records; I could not locate birth records online and learned that Maryland did not require registration of births from 1800 through 1864 and that even after 1864, most births in Maryland were not recorded. Thus, I have had to rely on the census and a few death records or obituaries to infer the birth years for the children of Ella and Albert. ↩
- “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9PK5-9WV8?cc=1307272&wc=MD9X-G6D%3A287599701%2C294514201 : 21 May 2014), 1936 > 34601-37500 > image 2425 of 3212. ↩
- Other than for Henrietta, for whom a birth date appeared on her death record, I have no records of precise birth dates for these other children. These dates are based on census records, as discussed also on Note 1. ↩
- The 1860 census record for Albert and his family is not easy to read as the writing is very faint, but the transcription and indices are FamilySearch and Ancestry are consistent. United States Census, 1860″, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M69Z-5QX : 12 December 2017), Albert Sigman, 1860. Census Place: Baltimore Ward 13, Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland; Roll: M653_464; Page: 101; Family History Library Film: 803464, Ancestry.com. 1860 United States Federal Census ↩
- Her gravestone says February 8, 1862. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/7890080 ↩