Dora Blumenfeld Livingston’s Children Herman, Alfred and Gussie

I hope all my US readers had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and happy Hanukkah to all who celebrate!

Here is the penultimate chapter in the story of Dora Blumenfeld Livingston. Thanks for reading! I am grateful to you all for doing so and for all the help and support I’ve gotten from my readers. You help to give me hope and light in this darkest time of the year.


By 1930, almost all of Dora Blumenfeld Livingston’s seven surviving children had left Bloomington. The three oldest children were no longer there. Rosalie had moved to Chicago to be near her son Morton after losing her husband Albert in 1924, Maurice had died and his widow and children had moved away, and Sigmund and his family had moved to Chicago.

Herman Livingston, the fourth child, was one of the two children of Dora and Meyer still living in Bloomington as of 1930. He was still a department store owner and living with his wife Dorothy.1 By 1940 Herman was retired, and he and Dorothy were still in Bloomington.2 They lived there the rest of their lives, but also spent time in Florida. After suffering a heart attack in Florida, Herman was on his way back to Bloomington, but was taken to the hospital in Chicago where he died on February 17, 1951. He was 76. He was survived by his wife Dorothy, who died two years later.3

Alfred Livingston and his wife Eva and their daughter Miriam/Marion were living in Chicago in 1930 where Alfred had become the secretary of a musical instrument manufacturing company.4 In 1940 he was working as a representative of a wholesale gift company.5

On April 22, 1937 Alfred and Eva’s daughter Miriam married Robert Gruen in New York City.6 Robert was a native of New York, born there on April 2, 1913, to Toby Gruen and Ethel Janowitz.7 Robert was a graduate of the Carnegie Institute of Technology, majoring in painting and decorating.8

In 1940 Miriam and Robert were living in New York City and Robert was a junior executive in the motion pictures industry.9 However, on his World War II draft registration filed on October 16, 1940, he described himself as self-employed. On a 1946 temporary immigration card to Brazil, Robert described himself as a “desenhista-industrial,” or an industrial designer. Miriam and Robert had two children born in the 1940s.

Robert Gruen, World War II draft, National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Registration Cards for New York City, 10/16/1940 – 03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947

Digital GS Number: 004548695, Ancestry.com. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Immigration Cards, 1900-1965

Miriam’s father Alfred did not live long after the births of his grandchildren. He died on April 1, 1949, in Chicago.10 He was seventy years old. His obituary reported that he was “preceded in death by his parents and three children.”11 I don’t know whether the newspaper was in error and that should have read siblings, as he was preceded in death by his siblings, but by four of them: Rosalie, Maurice, and Sigmund, and also by his brother Irvin, as we will see. I have not seen any records indicating that Alfred and Eva lost three children. In 1910, three years after they’d married in 1907, Eva reported that she had had no children, living or dead. In 1920, Marion (Miriam) is the only child listed on the census. It’s possible that Eva had had three other children who had died between 1910 and 1920, but I think it’s more likely that Alfred’s obituary is wrong since I cannot find any other birth or death records for a child of Robert and Eva.

Eva Siegel Livingston died six years after her husband Alfred on April 11, 1954; she was 71. She died in Los Angeles and was survived by her daughter Miriam Livingston Gruen.12 Miriam died on November 22, 1978, at age 66 after a long illness, according to her obituary. Her obituary described her as someone “who helped turn many of East Hampton (NY)’s old homes into historic landmarks.”13 She was survived by her husband Robert Gruen, who died 21 years later in 1999,14 and their two children.

Gussie Livingston Salzenstein had lost her husband Solomon Salzenstein in 1924, but by 1930 she had remarried. Her second husband was Sam Wertheimer, whose first wife had died. Sam was born in 1871 in Buffalo, New York, to Henry and Regina Wertheimer. Sam grew up in Buffalo, but by 1898 he had relocated to Omaha, Nebraska, where he married his first wife Cora Becker.15 Cora died in 1924,16 just as Gussie’s husband Solomon had, and by 1930 Gussie and Sam had married and were living in Omaha with Gussie’s son James Salzenstein and Sam’s son, Sam, Jr. Sam was in the cattle feed business.17

James Salzenstein was still living in Omaha in 1936, working as a clerk,18 but by 1939 he had relocated to Los Angeles. That year on July 10, 1939, he married Gertrude Goodman in Chicago.19 Gertrude was born there on February 11, 1917, to Milton E. Goodman and Jessie Reinach.20 According to an article announcing their marriage, James was at that time living in Los Angeles.21 James and Gertrude settled in LA where James was working as a merchandising trainer for Sear Roebuck in 1940.22 James enlisted in the US Army on December 21, 1942, and served until October 14, 1945.23 He and Gertrude had three children.

James Salzenstein, World War II draft registration, National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Registration Cards for California, 10/16/1940-03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 1584, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947

James and his family returned to the Chicago area by 1946.24 His mother Gussie was still living with her husband Sam in Omaha. Gussie died on September 12, 1957 at age 75; she was buried back in Bloomington with her first husband Solomon Salzenstein.25 She was survived by her son James and his children. James died when he was 76 on March 16, 199026 and was survived by his wife Gertrude, who lived until 201127, and their children.

Next, the two youngest children of Dora Blumenfeld Livingston, Irvin and Harold, and the final chapter in the story of the Livingston family.


 


  1. Herman and Dorothy Livingston, 1930 US census, Year: 1930; Census Place: Bloomington, McLean, Illinois; Page: 17B; Enumeration District: 0011; FHL microfilm: 2340270, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  2. Herman and Dorothy Livingston, 1940 US census, Year: 1940; Census Place: Bloomington, McLean, Illinois; Roll: m-t0627-00841; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 57-10, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  3. Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/9199176/herman-livingston : accessed 04 November 2021), memorial page for Herman Livingston (29 Dec 1874–17 Feb 1951), Find a Grave Memorial ID 9199176, citing Jewish Cemetery, Bloomington, McLean County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Robin Farley Dixson Coon (contributor 46558224). “Herman Livingston,” The Pantagraph, Bloomington, Illinois, 18 Feb 1951, Sun • Page 12 . Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/9199180/dorothy-livingston : accessed 04 November 2021), memorial page for Dorothy Ensel Livingston (4 Nov 1882–17 Nov 1953), Find a Grave Memorial ID 9199180, citing Jewish Cemetery, Bloomington, McLean County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Robin Farley Dixson Coon (contributor 46558224) . “Mrs. Dorothy Bloomington,” The Pantagraph
    Bloomington, Illinois, 18 Nov 1953, Wed • Page 21 
  4. Alfred Livingston and family, 1930 US census, Year: 1930; Census Place: Chicago, Cook, Illinois; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0177; FHL microfilm: 2340156, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  5. Alfred and Eva Livingston, 1940 US census, Year: 1940; Census Place: Chicago, Cook, Illinois; Roll: m-t0627-00929; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 103-257,
    Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  6. Miriam Rose Livingston, Gender: Female, Marriage Date: 22 Apr 1937, Marriage Place: Manhattan, New York, USA, Spouse: Robert Gruen, Certificate Number: 8497,
    Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Extracted Marriage Index, 1866-1937 
  7. Robert Gruen, World War II draft registration, National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Registration Cards for New York City, 10/16/1940 – 03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947; Robert Gruen
    Gender: Male, Race: White, Birth Date: 2 Apr 1913, Birth Place: New York City, New York, Death Date: 7 Jun 1999, Father: Toby Gruen, Mother: Ethel Janowitz
    SSN: 131105816, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  8.  “U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012”; School Name: Carnegie Institute of Technology; Year: 1934, Ancestry.com. U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1999 
  9. Robert and Miriam Gruen, 1940 US census, Year: 1940; Census Place: New York, New York, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02644; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 31-867,
    Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census. 
  10. Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/9199178/alfred-livingston : accessed 04 November 2021), memorial page for Alfred Livingston (15 Jan 1879–1 Apr 1949), Find a Grave Memorial ID 9199178, citing Jewish Cemetery, Bloomington, McLean County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Robin Farley Dixson Coon (contributor 46558224) . 
  11. “Alfred Livingston,” The Pantagraph, Bloomington, Illinois, 02 Apr 1949, Sat • Page 3 
  12. Eva S Livingston, Gender: Female, Birth Date: 27 Jun 1882, Birth Place: Iowa
    Death Date: 11 Apr 1954, Death Place: Los Angeles, Father’s Surname: Seigle, Ancestry.com. California, U.S., Death Index, 1940-1997 
  13.  Miriam Gruen, Social Security Number: 068-22-2120, Birth Date: 22 Mar 1912
    Issue Year: Before 1951, Issue State: New York, Last Residence: 10021, New York, New York, New York, USA, Death Date: Nov 1978, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014. “Miriam L. Gruen,” Newsday (Nassau Edition)
    Hempstead, New York, 26 Nov 1978, Sun • Page 30. 
  14. Robert Gruen
    Gender: Male, Race: White, Birth Date: 2 Apr 1913, Birth Place: New York City, New York, Death Date: 7 Jun 1999, Father: Toby Gruen, Mother: Ethel Janowitz
    SSN: 131105816, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  15. Marriage record of Sam Wertheimer and Cora Becker, State Library and Archives, Nebraska State Historical Society; Lincoln, Nebraska; Nebraska, Marriage Records, Year Range: 1897-1899, Ancestry.com. Nebraska, U.S., Select County Marriage Records, 1855-1908 
  16. Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/223889386/cora-b-wertheimer : accessed 04 November 2021), memorial page for Cora B Wertheimer (1879–17 Feb 1924), Find a Grave Memorial ID 223889386, citing Pleasant Hill Jewish Cemetery, Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska, USA ; Maintained by Mike Hughbanks (contributor 47582335) . 
  17. Sam Wertheimer and family, 1930 US census, Year: 1930; Census Place: Omaha, Douglas, Nebraska; Page: 11A; Enumeration District: 0088; FHL microfilm: 2341011, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  18. James Salzenstein, 1936 Omaha, Nebraska City Directory, Ancestry.com. U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995 
  19. “Gertrude F. Goodman to be a Bride Tomorrow,” Chicago Tribune
    Chicago, Illinois, 09 Jul 1939, Sun • Page 79 
  20. Gertrude Frances Goodman, Birth Date: 11 Feb 1917, Birth Place: Chicago, Cook, Illinois, Gender: Female, Father: Milton Goodman, Mother: Jessie Reinaet [sic], FHL Film Number: 1276276, Ancestry.com. Cook County, Illinois, U.S., Birth Certificates Index, 1871-1922 
  21. See Note 19. 
  22. James and Gertrude Salzenstein, 1940 US census, Year: 1940; Census Place: Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California; Roll: m-t0627-00401; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 60-301, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  23. James Livingston Salzenstein, Gender: Male, Birth Date: 2 May 1913
    Death Date: 16 Mar 1990, Cause of Death: Natural, SSN: 547125166, Enlistment Branch: ARMY, Enlistment Date: 21 Dec 1942, Discharge Date: 14 Oct 1945
    Page number: 1, Ancestry.com. U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010 
  24. “S. Livingston’s $500,000 Estate Left to Family,” Chicago Tribune
    Chicago, Illinois, 28 Jun 1946, Fri • Page 30 
  25. Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/9198642/gussie-l-wertheimer : accessed 04 November 2021), memorial page for Gussie L Wertheimer (27 Oct 1881–12 Sep 1957), Find a Grave Memorial ID 9198642, citing Jewish Cemetery, Bloomington, McLean County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Robin Farley Dixson Coon (contributor 46558224) . 
  26. James L Salzenstein, Death Date: 16 Mar 1990, Death Location: Cook County, IL
    File Number: 6005377, Archive collection name: Cook County Genealogy Records (Deaths), Archive repository location: Chicago, IL, Archive repository name: Cook County Clerk, Ancestry.com. Cook County, Illinois Death Index, 1908-1988 
  27. Gertrude G Salzenstein, [Gertrude G Goodman], Gender: Female
    Race: White, Birth Date: 11 Feb 1917, Birth Place: Chicago, Illinois, Death Date: 26 Jul 2001, Father:Milton E Goodman, Mother:Jessie B Reinach, SSN: 526266835, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 

8 thoughts on “Dora Blumenfeld Livingston’s Children Herman, Alfred and Gussie

    • I’m afraid I don’t. But he had been there before the 30s, so likely had business connections there. And many Jewish refugees went to Brazil in the 1930s so there was a Jewish community there. Thanks for asking, Peter!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Happy Hanukkah to you and your family Amy 🙂 I really enjoyed this post. I was especially intrigued by Eva Livingston “who helped turn many East Hampton old homes into historic landmarks” Having grown up in Wantagh, on the Island, my parents loved driving around looking at old homes, big homes, any fun homes, and the Hamptons was a treasured destination. We all, my children, all have a love for old historic homes. It’s funny they remember visiting their grandparents ugh…all we do is look at homes – they hated it – now their favorite memory.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Happy Hanukkah! Since my dad was an architect, I’ve also always been interested in houses and buildings—new and old. I was intrigued for that reason by Eva’s obituary also.

      Like

  2. Very cool about Eva and her work to preserve historic homes! Alfred’s obit is a little disturbing though–regarding the three children. That is pretty frustrating. At least, I would be very annoyed by it :/.

    Liked by 1 person

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