This page from Milton Goldsmith’s family album is puzzling.
It includes an image of a ketubah, a Jewish wedding contract.
I assumed when I saw this that this was a ketubah for one of the members of Milton Goldsmith’s family. Because I couldn’t translate the Hebrew, I posted the image on the Tracing the Tribe Facebook group, asking for help. Much to my surprise, the group members concluded that this was a ketubah dated 1795 for a couple from Italy and was quite obviously not for one of my relatives. In fact, one TTT group member found another image of the exact same ketubah—with the same handwritten note at the bottom—online.
When I did a Google Images search for the image, I found numerous postings of the same image.
The image is used in many websites as an example of a ketubah. But I could not find any explanation of the source, history, or location of the original version of this ketubah.
So why would Milton have included this image? I have no idea. The only possible clue is the obituary that appears on this page and is the only other item on this page. It’s an obituary for Julius Goldschmidt, whom Milton referred to as a “beloved cousin.”
But Julius was born in Frankfurt, Germany, far from Philadelphia where Milton was born and raised. He also was 21 years younger than Milton, as Julius was born in 1882. As his obituary points out, he left Germany for London in 1935 when he was 53 years old and lived there until he died on November 18, 1964. He was a well-regarded art dealer. How did Milton know him well enough to think of him as a “beloved cousin?” I assume that the two must have met when Milton traveled to Europe or Julius traveled to the US. I will write more about Julius when I return to Meyer Goldschmidt’s family.
The question remains, however, as to why Milton included the ketubah image on this page. Had his cousin Julius discovered or purchased this ketubah? Was there any connection at all, or was this just a random placement of these two items on a page in Milton’s family album? The mystery lingers.