Ella Goldschmidt Sigmund and Her Family in the 1880s: Years of Growth

The 1870s were primarily years of growth for the family of Ella Goldschmidt and Albert Sigmund. Three of their children married, and several grandchildren were born. Aside from the tragic death of their daughter Lena in 1875 after a long struggle with cancer, these were primarily good years for Ella and Albert.

The 1880s also started out with more good news. Their son William and his wife Adelaide had three more children, Herman Sigmund was born on May 14, 1880,1 Goldsmith Meyer Sigmund (also known as Goldie) born October 13, 18822 and Howard Lee Sigmund, born June 21, 1886,3 all in Baltimore. William as well as his brother Joseph were working as hatters and furriers with their father Albert.

William Sigmund and family, 1880 US census, Census Place: Baltimore, Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland; Roll: 505; Page: 477B; Enumeration District: 215
Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census

Joseph and his wife Emma also had children in the 1880s. Lenore was born on October 29, 1881,4 and her sister Celeste was born in Baltimore on June 12, 1886.5 And in Pennsylvania, Henrietta and S.J. Katzenstein added four more children to their family in the 1880s:  Milton (1881), Howard (1882), Ivan (1884), and Earl (1887).

In addition, one more of Ella and Albert’s children married in this decade. Their daughter Mollie married Harry Goldman on May 18, 1882, in Baltimore. Remember I warned you of more twists in the Goldman/Sigmund tree? Well, Harry Goldman was the younger brother of Emma Goldman, who’d married Mollie’s brother Joseph, and the younger brother of Samuel Goldman, whose son Leman Poppi Goldman was married to Flora Wolfe, a Schoenthal cousin. (Samuel returns in yet another twist in this tree, as you will see.) Harry was born on December 25, 1857, in Baltimore.6

Marriage record of Mollie Sigmund and Harry Goldman, Maryland State Archives, marriage registry, http://guide.msa.maryland.gov/pages/viewer.aspx?page=marriage#goToPage

Mollie and Harry had three children in the 1880s: Leman Edwin on September 27, 1883,7 Marguerite on December 28, 1884,8 and Adele on August 28, 1887,9 all born in Baltimore. Thus, by the end of 1887, Ella and Albert Sigmund had fifteen grandchildren, most of whom were living near them in Baltimore. Life must have seemed quite grand.

But unfortunately, all that joy was tempered by tragic losses.  First, William and Adelaide’s son Herman died May 9, 1883; he was only three years old.10  Then Herman’s father, William Sigmund, died on April 30, 1887, in Baltimore from phthisis pulmonalis or what we now call tuberculosis.11

William Sigmund, 1887 death certificate 99566, Maryland State Archives

He was only forty years old and left behind his wife Adelaide, who was only 34, and five children ranging in age from Albert, who was thirteen, to Howard, who was only ten months old. Ella and Albert had outlived yet another child, having already lost their son Jacob and their daughter Lena.

And sadly, those were not the only children who would predecease them before 1900.


  1. Baltimore City Birth Index, found at https://msa.maryland.gov/megafile/msa/coagserm/cm1100/cm1134/000000/000002/pdf/msa_cm1134_000002.pdf 
  2. Goldsmith M. Sigmund World War I draft registration, Registration State: District of Columbia; Registration County: Washington; Roll: 1556843; Draft Board: 08, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 
  3. Howard Sigmund, World War I draft registration, Registration State: District of Columbia; Registration County: Washington; Roll: 1556845; Draft Board: 09, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 
  4. Maryland State Archives, Baltimore birth registry, https://msa.maryland.gov/megafile/msa/coagserm/cm1100/cm1134/000000/000003/pdf/msa_cm1134_000003.pdf 
  5. SSN: 523244049, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  6. See gravestone at https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/7890082 
  7. Leman Edwin Goldman, World War I draft registration, Registration State: Maryland; Registration County: Baltimore (Independent City); Roll: 1684137; Draft Board: 13, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 
  8. SSN: 216056370, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  9. SSN: 300400462, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  10. Baltimore death registry, Maryland State Archives, found at https://msa.maryland.gov/megafile/msa/coagsere/ce1/ce42/000000/000082/pdf/ce42-000082.pdf, p. 478, certificate number 66538. I have not yet received his death certificate. 
  11. Baltimore death registry, Maryland State Archives, https://msa.maryland.gov/megafile/msa/coagsere/ce1/ce42/000000/000082/pdf/ce42-000082.pdf, certificate number 99566. 

25 thoughts on “Ella Goldschmidt Sigmund and Her Family in the 1880s: Years of Growth

  1. What heart break for Adelaide… and the parents … what next for Albert and Ella to endure? it’s just so hard to imagine how they got through all this; early deaths was such a part of daily living and while we have made huge health strides it hits – early deaths still haunt our lives today.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. the circle of life…still, seeing such a young widow is always heart-breaking. Not only does she become the sole support of a family, but losing the person she hoped to spend her life while still in the prime of her life, must have been personally devastating…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A tragedy for Adelaide losing her husband so young, and also for Ella and Albert. My mother and mother-in-law were both widowed at 40, it does resonate. I’m looking forward to the next installment to see how Adelaide coped.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is my first time using them (I probably should have before since I’ve had other MD relatives, but didn’t know about them)—and I’ve been really glad to find so much. Unfortunately it costs $25 for every birth or death record (the marriage cards are freely available online), so I have to limit the number I can order.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Life and death seem to be the major theme in family chronicles I have come across so far. However, the message we get from reading about families like Ella’s family is the affirmation of life, whether they rejoiced over yet another child or grandchild or suffered the grief of losing a loved one.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Amy. This is a subject that xauses us to reflect. In past centuries people wete more aware of their mortality. Death was a part of life in a way we are not aware of today until a devastating event bursts the bubble of the go-go lifestyle prevalent in modern times.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Ella Goldschmidt Sigmund’s Family in the 1890s: Years of Transition | Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

  7. I can’t even imagine the heartbreak of outliving children. My cousin died when my grandmother was still living and she remarked that outliving a grandchild was the worst thing she could imagine.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: William Sigmund’s Children: What Pattern Do You See? | Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

  9. Pingback: The “Good and Noble Angel of A Sister,” Sarah Goldschmidt Stern | Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

  10. I am trying to find out if this Joseph Sigmund had a brother, Alois “Louis”Sigmund? I found mention of a Joseph Sigmund in Denver in Louis Sigmund’s day book. He was my grandfather’s grandfather.

    Liked by 1 person

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