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To Tell the Truth: Will The Real Harry Goldsmith Please Stand Up

My last post ended by alluding to the mysterious whereabouts of my cousin Harry Goldsmith, the younger son of my three-times great-uncle Jacob Goldsmith.

As I wrote here, in the mid-1880s, Harry had been in the fishing tackle business with his father Jacob, but after 1888, Jacob was in business with his other son Philip, and it was hard to determine Harry’s whereabouts because the number of Harry Goldsmiths and their addresses and occupations on Philadelphia directories between 1889 and 1898 was completely befuddling.

In 1889 there was only one Harry Goldsmith, and he was a tobacco dealer who would be charged with fraud that same year, as I wrote about here.

Goldsmiths in 1889 Philadelphia directory
Title: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1889
Source Information
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

The 18901 Philadelphia directory listed only one Harry Goldsmith, a clerk who was living at 1610 North 12th Street in Philadelphia. There is no Harry Goldsmith in the 1891 directory, but in 1892 there is one, in the insurance business. 2, and in 1894, there were two Harrys, one a salesman and one a clerk,3 and in 1895 there were two Harrys, one a clerk, one a boilermaker.4 Then in 1897, there were three Harrys, a printer, a paperhanger, and a salesman,5 and in 1898 there were three Harry Goldsmiths once again: a paperhanger, a tobacconist, and a salesman.6 Were any of these men my Harry? I am not sure.

In March 1898, according to the Philadelphia Times article describing Rena Rice’s wedding,7 my Harry Goldsmith attended his niece Rena’s wedding, appearing on the guest list as a married man: Mr. and Mrs. Harry Goldsmith. But I have had no luck finding a marriage record for Harry before 1898.

And I’ve had no luck finding him with any certainty on the 1900 census. I searched for any Harry Goldsmith born in Pennsylvania between 1848 and 1868 (my Harry was born in 1858), and I found only four men fitting those parameters on the 1900 census. The first was a printer living in Philadelphia, unmarried, and born in 1862 to English-born parents.8 The second was living in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania, and working as a house painter; he was married to a woman named Jennie and was born in 1863. His parents were both born in Pennsylvania.9

The third Harry Goldsmith also had Pennsylvania-born parents, was living in Everett, Pennsylvania, and working as a clothing merchant. He had a wife named Annie and a two-year-old son named Robert. He was born in 1868.10  The fourth Harry Goldsmith was a farmer living in Evesham, New Jersey; he was married to a woman named Marianna, and he was born in 1856. His parents were also born in Pennsylvania.11

None of those four fits my Harry, whose parents were born in Germany. And when I followed up on these four Harrys in other records, it was clear that none of them was my Harry.

But there was a fifth Harry Goldsmith on the 1900 census who might be my cousin. He was born the same year as my Harry, in July, 1858, was living on North 63rd Street in Philadelphia in 1900, was married to a woman named Florence, and had two children, a fifteen-year-old son Stanton and an eight year old daughter Janet. At first I was excited, thinking that “Janet” could have been the “Jeanette” who was the flower girl at Rena’s wedding. The matching year of birth and the fact that he lived in Philadelphia also made me think this might be my Harry. If this was my Harry, then he was the Harry Goldsmith who was in the tobacco business because in the 1899 and 1900 Philadelphia directories, the Harry Goldsmith who was a tobacconist lived on North 63rd Street, just like the Harry Goldsmith married to Florence on the 1900 census.12

Harry Goldsmith and family 1900 census
Year: 1900; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 34, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 3; Enumeration District: 0904

But according to the above census record, the Harry Goldsmith married to Florence was born in Germany and only came to the US in 1885; he’d been married sixteen years, meaning he had immigrated with his wife whom he’d married in 1884. My Harry was most definitely born in Philadelphia in about 1858. Despite this inconsistency, I was still leaning towards thinking that this was my Harry.

The Harry Goldsmith who was married to Florence on the 1900 census was sued for divorce in 1901. Maybe this was the Harry who went bankrupt, leading to the dissolution of his marriage?

The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 12, 1900, p. 9

 

Divorce notice of Harry and Florence Goldsmith
The Philadelphia Times, June 4, 1901, p. 7

If my Harry was the one married to Florence, what happened to him, and what happened to his children, Stanton and Janet, after the divorce?

The name of his son—Stanton Goldsmith—struck me as an unusual enough name that he would be easy to find. But alas, he was not. I could not find any records for a Stanton Goldsmith other than that 1900 census record and a birth record in the Pennsylvania Births and Christenings, 1790-1950 database on FamilySearch, showing his birth date of March 13, 1885, and parents Harry and Florence L. Goldsmith.

Stanton Goldsmith birth record
Pennsylvania Births and Christenings, 1709-1950,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V2V3-7D9 : 9 December 2014), Stanton Goldsmith, 13 Mar 1885; Birth, citing Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; FHL microfilm 1,289,324.

So I searched for any “Stanton” born in Philadelphia in 1885, and records for a Stanton Loeb Dreifus popped up.13 A few more clicks around Ancestry and FamilySearch, and I learned that Florence, Harry’s former wife, was born Florence Loeb, daughter of Joseph and Sophie Loeb. Her father Joseph had been in the tobacco business, just as  Harry had been.14

So where did the surname Dreifus come from? Why was Stanton using that name? Well, Florence remarried pretty quickly after her divorce from Harry. On July 17, 1901, she married Emanuel Dreifus in New York City.15

If you look back at the 1900 census for Harry Goldsmith above, you will notice that living with Harry, Florence, and their children was a boarder named….you guessed it….Emanuel Dreifus. And it seems that not only did Emanuel take Harry’s wife, he took his children as well and they adopted his surname.

Emanuel Dreifus on the 1900 census
Year: 1900; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 34, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 3; Enumeration District: 0904

Tragically, little Janet died from endocarditis on April 28, 1902, less than a year after her mother remarried. She was only ten years old. Her death record recorded her name as Janet Dreifus and her parents’ names as Emanuel and Florence.

Janet Dreifus death record “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-632W-ZHF?cc=1320976&wc=9F55-JWL%3A1073327702 : 16 May 2014), 004047863 > image 261 of 701; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

The death notice in the Philadelphia Inquirer did not mention Harry Goldsmith; instead it identified Emanuel Dreifus as her father. It would appear that Harry was no longer a part of his children’s lives. Emanuel may have even adopted them.

Janet Dreifus death notice
The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 1, 1902, p. 15

But was this Harry Goldsmith my cousin? Was he the one married to Florence on the 1900 census? Was the 1900 census wrong in saying he was born in Germany and had just immigrated to the US in 1885? What do you think?

I think he was. I found one final clue that convinced me. I reviewed the list of those who attended Rena Rice’s 1898 wedding,16 and this time a new name jumped out at me: Mrs. Sophie Loeb. That had to be Florence Loeb’s mother, Harry Goldsmith’s mother-in-law.  Florence’s father Joseph had died in 1895, so Sophie would have attended alone.16

The Harry Goldsmith who’d been married to Florence Loeb and who had had two children, Stanton and Janet, was, I believe, my cousin. In 1900, he was a married man with two children working as a tobacconist. By 1901, he was divorced, and his wife had remarried and given his children the name of her second husband, a man who had been boarding in Harry’s home in 1900.

Do you think I am right? Please let me know in the comments.

As for what happened to Harry after his divorce in 1901—well, that created a whole other set of research puzzles.

To be continued…..

 


  1. Harry Goldsmith,  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1890; Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  2. Harry Goldsmith,  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1892; Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  3. Harry Goldsmith, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1894, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  4. Harry Goldsmith, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1895, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  5. Harry Goldsmith, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1897, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  6. Harry Goldsmith, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1898, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  7. “Wedding at Mercantile Hall,” The Philadelphia Times, March 10, 1898, p. 7. 
  8. Harry Goldsmith, 1900 US census; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 10, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 5; Enumeration District: 0180 
  9. Harry Goldsmith, 1900 US census; Census Place: Mount Pleasant Ward 1, Westmoreland, Pennsylvania; Page: 2; Enumeration District: 0119 
  10. Harry Goldsmith, 1900 US census; Census Place: Everett, Bedford, Pennsylvania; Page: 16; Enumeration District: 0013 
  11. Harry Goldsmith, 1900 US census; Census Place: Evesham, Burlington, New Jersey; Page: 9; Enumeration District: 0018 
  12. Harry Goldsmith, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory,  1899, 1900, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  13. For example, Stanton’s registration for the World War I draft. Stanton Loeb Dreifus, Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Philadelphia; Roll: 1907643; Draft Board: 23,Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. 
  14. Florence Loeb, 1880 US census; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1180; Page: 379B; Enumeration District: 411 
  15. Marriage of Florence Goldsmith and Emanuel Dreifus, July 17, 1901, Certificate 12494; New York, New York, Marriage Indexes 1866-1937, Ancestry.com 
  16. Joseph Loeb, death record, July 13, 1895, Atlantic City, NJ, FHL File No. 589801, Ancestry.com. New Jersey, Deaths and Burials Index, 1798-1971 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. 

Rena Rice’s Wonderful Wedding

Two years after the tragic deaths of Philip and Nellie (Buxbaum) Goldsmith, the family of Jacob and Fannie Goldsmith had an opportunity for a joyful celebration. On March 9, 1898, Jacob and Fannie’s oldest grandchild, Rena Rice, daughter of Nathan and Caroline (Goldsmith) Rice, was married to Edwin Sternfels in Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Times provided a detailed report of the festivities:1

One of the most important of the many weddings which have taken place this winter was performed after the rites of the Jewish faith last night in the New Mercantile Hall…. It was the wedding of Miss Rena G. Rice, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Rice [Caroline Goldsmith], to Edwin Sternfels, of New York.

The guests assembled in the hall and there awaited the entrance of the bridal party. At the hour appointed, to the ever-new strains of the “Lohengrin” Wedding March, played by the orchestra, which was hidden behind the bank of bay trees, palms and exotics of every description, the bridal party entered the hall and moved slowly forward to the dais which had been erected just in front of the stage.

The master of ceremonies, J.J. Rice, led, followed by the ushers….[including] Sid G. Rice [brother of the bride]…of this city, following them coming the groom upon the arm of his mother and then the bride, dressed in a white satin gown, trimmed with duchesse lace, with diamond ornaments, and carrying the bridal Bible and lilies of the valley, upon the arm of her father.

….

Upon reaching the dais, around which was banked bay trees and palms, while overhead a canopy of exquisite beauty was made with festoons of asparagus vine studded with carnations, they stepped upon this platform, where the rabbi was standing, and the ceremony was performed which made them man and wife.

Following the ceremony a wedding feast was served, followed in turn by a reception and dance in honor of the happy couple.

The article concluded with a very lengthy list of some of those who attended the wedding. Among those listed were the following of my relatives:

Mr. and Mrs. A. Coleman: Emma Goldsmith and her husband Abraham Cohlman (typo in the article); Emma was Rena’s aunt, Jacob’s daughter.

Mr. and Mrs. A. Goldsmith: Abraham Goldsmith, Jacob Goldsmith’s brother, Rena’s great-uncle, and my three-times great-uncle

Mr. and Mrs. Harry Goldsmith: Harry was Jacob’s son and Rena’s uncle

Martin Goldsmith: I think this might be another typo and should be Milton Goldsmith, Abraham Goldsmith’s son and Rena’s first cousin, once removed.  I have no record of a Martin Goldsmith.

Mrs. Fannie Goldsmith: Rena’s grandmother and Jacob Goldsmith’s widow.

Byron Goldsmith, Herbert Goldsmith, and Jerome Goldsmith: the orphaned sons of Philip and Nellie Goldsmith and Rena’s first cousins.

Jeannette Goldsmith: named as the flower girl, so presumably a child, but I’ve yet to find her. A mystery to be solved.

Mrs. I. Levy: Hannah Goldsmith, Jacob Goldsmith’s daughter and Rena’s aunt

Mrs. S. Mansbach: Sarah Goldschmidt Mansbach, Jacob Goldsmith’s sister and Rena’s great-aunt

Julius Mansbach: Rena’s first cousin, once removed, and son of Sarah Goldschmidt Mansbach

The Messrs. Raphael and the Misses Raphael: the family of Hulda Goldsmith Raphael, Jacob Goldsmith’s daughter and aunt of the bride

S.G. Rice: the bride’s brother Sidney Goldsmith Rice

In addition, although not included on the list of those attending, Jessie G. Rice, the bride’s sister, was named in the article as the maid of honor.

This was obviously quite an expensive affair, evidence of the prosperity of Nathan and Caroline (Goldsmith) Rice. According to the 1900 census, Nathan was still in the clothing business in Philadelphia, and he owned his house free of any mortgage. His son Sidney was “mostly” employed in the lithography business; he was now 27 years old. Also living with Nathan and Caroline in addition to Sidney and their youngest child Jessie was Nathan’s brother, Jacob J. Rice (presumably the master of ceremonies named as J.J Rice in the wedding article), Caroline’s widowed mother, Fannie Goldsmith, and two servants.

Caroline and Nathan Rice and family 1900 census
Year: 1900; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 29, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 4; Enumeration District: 0710

Caroline’s sister Emma and her husband Abraham Cohlman were also living in Philadelphia in 1900 where Abraham was employed as a salesman; their home was subject to a mortgage. They had no children, but two boarders were living with them.2

A third sibling, Hulda Goldsmith Raphael, was also living in Philadelphia, along with her husband Chapman Raphael and their three children. Chapman was in the wholesale liquor business, and their home was rented. They also had a servant living with them.3

One sibling had left Philadelphia. Hannah and her husband Isaac Levy were living in Circleville, Ohio, a small town of about 6000 people about 30 miles south of Columbus, Ohio, the closest city of any size. What were they doing there and when had they arrived? On the wedding guest list for Rena’s 1898 wedding as reported in The Philadelphia Times, Hannah was reported as Mrs. I. Levy of Circleville, Ohio, so she and Isaac were already living in Ohio by that time. On the 1900 census, Isaac had no occupation listed, but they did own their own home there, free of a mortgage.[^4}

 

But why Circleville, Ohio? I did find an unmarried man named Isaac Levy on the 1880 census living in Circleville and working in the clothing business, but he was born in France. Was this the Isaac Levy who married Hannah Goldsmith in Philadelphia twelve years later?4

Was the 1880 census just in error in naming his birthplace as France? As I wrote in my earlier post, Isaac Levy is such a common name that I can’t seem to narrow down the possibilities to learn more about the Isaac Levy who married Hannah Goldsmith. Unfortunately, Circleville is so small that I can’t even find directories or newspapers to search.

The other sibling whose 1900 whereabouts are somewhat mysterious is Harry Goldsmith. That is a subject for another post. Or another few.


  1. “Wedding at Mercantile Hall,” The Philadelphia Times, March 10, 1898, p. 7. 
  2. Nathan Rice and family, 1900 US census; 1900; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 28, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1469; Page: 14B; Enumeration District: 0674; FHL microfilm: 1241469 
  3. Hulda and Chapman Raphael, 1900 US census; Year: 1900; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 32, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania;Page: 7; Enumeration District: 0808 
  4. Isaac Levy, 1880 US census; Year: 1880; Census Place: Circleville, Pickaway, Ohio; Roll: 1058; Page: 570A;Enumeration District: 229 

The 1896 Atlantic City Train Disaster

Shortly after 6:30 pm on July 30, 1896, a seven-car train of the West Jersey Railroad was proceeding west from Atlantic City, New Jersey, when the engineer of that train observed a Reading Railroad train approaching the crossing ahead of him. Because the signals indicated that it was safe for him to proceed through the crossing, the West Jersey engineer continued into the crossing.  He had almost cleared the crossing when the locomotive of the Reading Railroad train slammed into the first car of the West Jersey train.  The New York Times described the consequences of this collision:1

…[T]he locomotive of the Reading train…struck the first car full in the centre, throwing it far off the track into a nearby ditch, and completely submerging it. The second car of the West Jersey train was also carried into the ditch, the third and fourth cars begin [sic—being?] telescoped. The engine of the Reading train was thrown to the other side of the track, carrying with it the first coach.

A few minutes after the collision, to add to the horror of the situation, the boiler of the Reading locomotive exploded, scalding several to death and casting boiling spray over many of the injured passengers.

One of the sub-headlines to this article read, “Five Loaded Passenger Coaches Crushed into Kindling Wood,” a reminder that train cars were made from wood, not steel, in those days.

The article then described the horrifying scene when rescue efforts began:

It was a gruesome sight presented to onlookers as the mangled and burned forms of the dead were carried from the wreckage which bound them and laid side by side on the gravel bank near the track, with no other pall than the few newspapers gathered from the passengers.2

An investigation into the cause of the accident soon determined that it was the engineer of the Reading Railroad train, Edward Farr, who had been primarily at fault. There was evidence that the Reading train had been traveling at a speed of 45 miles per hour and that Farr had failed to heed the danger signal in time to avoid the collision with the West Jersey train.

However, there was apparently a practice in that area that gave express trains like the Reading train the right of way at crossings over smaller trains like the West Jersey. The tower man in control of the signals disregarded that practice by giving the danger signal to Reading and the go-ahead signal to West Jersey. There was also testimony that Farr was a man of good character and not reckless or careless. Farr himself was killed in the crash; The New York Times reported that when his wife was informed of his death, she collapsed in shock and also died, but The Philadelphia Inquirer in its coverage of Farr’s funeral reported that his his widow attended the funeral.

On August 8, 1896, the coroner’s jury returned a verdict holding Edward Farr primarily at fault for failing to heed the danger signal, but also found that the tower man and the West Jersey engineer had contributed to the tragedy.3

“Three Buried Here,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 3, 1896, p.4.

In the end, fifty people died in this horrific accident, including two of my Goldschmidt relatives, my cousin Phillip Goldsmith, son of Jacob and Fannie, and his wife Nellie Buxbaum.  Phillip was forty years old, and Nellie was 33; they left behind three sons, Sidney Byron, who was fourteen, Herbert Nathaniel, who was thirteen, and Joseph Jerome, who was only eight years old.

In its coverage of this disaster, The Philadelphia Times reported the following about Phillip and Nellie Goldsmith:

Both Mr. and Mrs. Goldsmith were said to be particularly cautious in respect to public travel and rarely ventured abroad except on business, and Mr. Goldsmith’s long-time employee, Henry Kirchoff, expressed great surprise this morning that the couple should have ventured on this excursion at all.4

The Tyrone Daily Herald of Tyrone, Pennsylvania, reported that Phillip and Nellie had died “hand in hand.”5  The Philadelphia Inquirer covered the funeral of Phillip and Nellie and included these sketches as well as details of the funeral and a list of those who attended, including Phillip’s mother Fannie and his siblings. The rabbi in his eulogy “paid high tribute to the departed, dwelling especially on the honorable career of Mr. Goldsmith and the sweet, charitable disposition of his wife.”6

“Three Buried Here,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 3, 1896, p.4.

“Three Buried Here,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 3, 1896, p.4.

 

All in all, this was one of those terrible tragedies where human error, not malice, was to blame. For the family of Phillip and Nellie Goldsmith, it must have been devastating.

Their three sons went to live with Nellie’s family; on the 1900 census they were living in Philadelphia in the household of Nellie’s widowed sister Hortense Buxbaum Strouse along with Nellie’s mother and other siblings.

Goldsmith sons with aunts and uncle 1900 census
Year: 1900; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 28, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1470; Page: 1; Enumeration District: 0680; FHL microfilm: 1241470

By 1910, the three Goldsmith orphans were young men in their twenties. Herbert (26) and Jerome (21) (as he was known) were still living in Philadelphia with their aunt Hortense as well as her brother and three sisters, all of whom were unmarried. Herbert and Jerome and their uncle Herbert Buxbaum were all working in a lithography business:

Herbert and Jerome Goldsmith 1910 census
Year: 1910; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 28, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1402; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 0634; FHL microfilm: 1375415

The oldest Goldsmith son, Sidney Byron (later known as Byron) was 27 in 1910 and was a physician in Philadelphia.7 He was a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.  Here he is in the 1905 yearbook of the university:

Sidney Byron Goldsmith 1905 UPenn yearbook
“U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012”; Yearbook Title: The Record; Year: 1905
Year: 1905  Ancestry.com. U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1990

Note the resemblance to his father. Byron married Mary Elizabeth Long on March 1, 1917.8

All three Goldsmith brothers registered for the World War I draft. Byron’s registration did not disclose any important additional information:

Sidney Byron Goldsmith World War I draft registration
Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Philadelphia; Roll: 1907531; Draft Board: 06  Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918

Herbert’s registration revealed that he was working in the tire manufacturing business:

# Herbert Goldsmith World War I draft registration
Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Philadelphia; Roll: 1907644; Draft Board: 24
Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918

 

According to Jerome’s registration, he was working as a sales manager for a company called Lindsay Brothers, Inc. He claimed an exemption from the draft based on the fact that he had “two maiden aunts” who were solely dependent on him for support. He also claimed disability based on vertigo, varicocele, and hemorrhoids. Varicocele is a condition of varicose veins on the testicles, sometimes leading to infertility.

J Jerome Goldsmith World War I draft registration
Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Philadelphia; Roll: 1907644; Draft Board: 24
Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918

 

In 1920, Jerome and Herbert were still living with their aunt Hortense and her siblings; now both brothers were working in the tire business, as were two of their Buxbaum uncles.9

Their older brother Sidney Byron and his wife Elizabeth (as she was known) had a child on January 12, 1920,10 and were still living in Philadelphia where Byron was practicing medicine in 1920:

Sidney B Goldsmith and family 1920 census
Year: 1920; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 7, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1618; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 153

On November 6, 1929, Jerome Goldsmith married Berda Gans Marks,11 who was a Philadelphia native, daughter of Emanuel Marks and Carrie Gans. He was forty years old, and Berda was 37.  In 1930, they were living in Philadelphia, and Jerome was still working in the tire business as a salesman. Berda was working as a secretary in a medical practice—perhaps that of Jerome’s brother Byron?12

Byron and his family were also still living in Philadelphia in 1930, and Byron continued to practice medicine.13  Herbert, the middle brother, continued to live with his aunts and now listed himself as the proprietor of the tire business.

Herbert Goldsmith 1930 census
Year: 1930; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 2112; Page: 12B; Enumeration District: 0674; FHL microfilm: 2341846

Ten years later, Herbert was still living with his aunts, but now was a broker in the wholesale jewelry business. Perhaps his tire business did not weather the Depression well. He was now 56 years old although the census reports that he was only 52.14

Byron continued to practice medicine and live with his family in Philadelphia in 1940,15 and Jerome and Berda were also living in Philadelphia where Berda continued to work as a medical secretary and Jerome was a salesman for retail tires and radios.16

All three brothers registered for the World War II draft. Byron was still practicing medicine.

S Byron Goldsmith World War II draft registration
The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; World War II draft cards (Fourth Registration) for the State of Pennsylvania; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975; Record Group Number: 147; Series Number: M1951

Herbert was the tallest of the brothers—six feet tall whereas the other two were both 5’ ” 6″ or so. Herbert noted that he had a “cast” in his right eye—a small brown spot. He was now working for a transit company.

Herbert Goldsmith World War II draft registration
The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; World War II draft cards (Fourth Registration) for the State of Pennsylvania; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975; Record Group Number: 147; Series Number: M1951

 

This time Jerome did not claim the same disabilities that he had in the earlier draft, but did note that he had had two fingers “cut” by an electric saw and tattoos on both arms:

Jerome Goldsmith World War II draft registration
The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; World War II draft cards (Fourth Registration) for the State of Pennsylvania; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975; Record Group Number: 147; Series Number: M1951

 

Five years later on April 16, 1947, Herbert Goldsmith passed away at the age of 63 from acute coronary thrombosis. His aunt Hortense Strouse, with whom he had lived since being orphaned as a young boy in 1896, was the informant on his death certificate.  The death certificate reports that he was a statistician, something that had not been at all evident from his draft or census records.

Herbert Goldsmith death certificate
Certificate Number Range: 036751-039300
Source Information
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1964 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014.
Original data: Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1963. Series 11.90 (1,905 cartons). Records of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Record Group 11. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

The two other Goldsmith brothers lived long lives. Jerome died at 86 on July 21, 1975. 17 His wife Berda lived to 97, dying on October 27, 1989. What her obituary revealed that had not been revealed by the official records was that she was an accomplished pianist and that she and her husband had been quite generous contributors to charitable organizations.  One other revelation: at some point after 1940 Jerome had gone into the food importing business.

Berda Marks Goldsmith obituary
The Philadelphia Inquirer, 30 Oct 1989, Mon, Main Edition, Page 31

 

Byron died just a few months after his brother Jerome on November 3, 1975; he was 93.18 His wife Elizabeth had predeceased him on May 28, 1973, when she was 85.  They were survived by their daughter and grandchildren, the only remaining descendants of Philip Goldsmith and Nellie Buxbaum.

The story of the three orphaned Goldsmith brothers is another story of human resilience. Having lost their parents in a horrendous tragedy when they were so young, it’s remarkable that these three boys seemed to have overcome those losses and survived. Perhaps the credit goes to their parents for whatever strength and love they gave them as children and to their aunt Hortense and their other aunts and uncles for raising them after they’d lost their parents in 1896.

 

 

 

 

 

 


  1. “42 Killed, 80 Injured,” The New York Times, July 31, 1896 
  2.  Ibid. 
  3. See “42 Killed, 80 Injured,” The New York Times, July 31, 1896; “The Story of the Wreck,” The New York Times, August 1, 1896; “Farr, The Dead, Blamed,” The New York Times, August 5, 1896; “Three Meadow Wreck Verdicts,” The New York Times, August 8, 1896;“Three Buried Here,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 3, 1896, p.4. 
  4. “Bridgeton’s Dead,” The Philadelphia Times, August 1, 1896, p. 3. 
  5. “The Atlantic Horror,” Tyrone Daily Herald, August 3, 1896, p. 3. 
  6. “Three Buried Here,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 3, 1896, p.4. 
  7. Year: 1910; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 8, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1387; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 0124; FHL microfilm: 1375400 
  8. Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.Original data – “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Marriage Index, 1885–1951.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009. Philadelphia County Pennsylvania Clerk of the Orphans’ Court. 
  9. Year: 1920; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 28, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1632; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 885 
  10. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 for Dorothy Jane Goldsmith 
  11. Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.Original data – “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Marriage Index, 1885–1951.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009. Philadelphia County Pennsylvania Clerk of the Orphans’ Court. 
  12. 1930 US Census for Jerome and Berda Goldsmith,Year: 1930; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 2095;Page: 24A; Enumeration District: 0275;FHL microfilm: 2341829 
  13. 1930 US Census for Byron Goldsmith and family; Year: 1930; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 2136;Page: 29A; Enumeration District: 1075;FHL microfilm: 2341870 
  14. 1940 US Census for Herbert Goldsmith; Year: 1940; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: m-t0627-03713; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 51-838 
  15. 1940 US Census for Byron Goldsmith and family; Year: 1940; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: m-t0627-03753; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 51-2142 
  16. 1940 US Census for Jerome Goldsmith; Year: 1940; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: m-t0627-03691; Page: 81B; Enumeration District: 51-125 
  17. Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records 
  18. The Philadelphia Inquirer, 04 Nov 1975, Tue, Main Edition, Page 16 

Uncle Jacob’s Family 1870-1895

By the early 1880s, all but one of the children of my three-times great-grandparents Seligmann and Hincka (Alexander) Goldschmidt had left Germany and settled in the United States. The next series of posts will address how each of those children and their descendants continued to fare in the US, starting with my three-times great-uncle Jacob Goldsmith, Seligmann and Hincka’s oldest son and second oldest child. He was also the first to emigrate from Germany.

Jacob and Fannie had six children who lived to adulthood: Caroline, Emma, Hannah, Philip, Harry, and Huldah.

As noted in my earlier post, in 1870, Jacob and his wife Fannie were living in Philadelphia with five of their children, and Jacob was working as a merchant. On the census he claimed that he owned $8000 worth of real property and $2000 worth of personal property. Their oldest daughter Caroline was living in Dubuque, Iowa, with her husband Nathan Rice and their baby daughter Rena.

Jacob Goldsmith (Seligmann’s son) and family 1870 census
Year: 1870; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 12 District 34, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1396; Page: 114A; Family History Library Film: 552895

During the 1870s, Jacob continued to work as a clothing merchant with a store at 726 Market Street and a residence at 413 North 4th Street in Philadelphia.1 By 1880, however, the family had moved, and Jacob was working in a new business with his son Harry. According to the 1880 census, he was now a hardware merchant, and the family was living at 1328 Franklin Street.  Living with Jacob at that point in addition to his wife Fannie were three of their children, Hannah, Harry, and Hulda.

Jacob Goldsmith (uncle) and family 1880 census
Year: 1880; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1179; Page: 175C; Enumeration District: 396

By 1873 their oldest daughter Caroline had returned from Iowa to Philadelphia with her husband Nathan Rice and daughter Rena; Nathan is listed in the Philadelphia directory as a clothing merchant in 1873.  Their second child, Sidney, was born in Philadelphia on September 7, 1873.2

Title: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1873
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

On the 1880 census Caroline and Nathan were living with their three children: Rena (1869), Sidney (1873), and Jessica (1880). (The spacing of the children made me wonder whether there were other children who had not survived; however, on the 1900 census, Caroline reported that she had had three children, all three of whom were alive.)

Nathan and Caroline Rice 1880 Census
“United States Census, 1880,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9YB4-SNF?cc=1417683&wc=QZ27-VLY%3A1589394781%2C1589410714%2C1589401700%2C1589404671 : 24 December 2015), Pennsylvania > Philadelphia > Philadelphia > ED 393 > image 11 of 20; citing NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

Jacob and Fannie’s second child Emma was married by 1880 to Henry Meyerhoff, who was about ten years older than Emma and a German immigrant. In 1870 he’d been living in Hastings, Michigan, working as a saloon keeper3 but he is listed in the 1878 Philadelphia directory in the liquor business. On the 1880 census, he reported that he was a liquor dealer.

Henry and Emma (Goldsmith) Meyerhoff 1880 census
Year: 1880; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1173; Page: 332B; Enumeration District: 223

Jacob and Fannie’s third child and first son Philip married Nellie Buxbaum on September 28, 1881, in Philadelphia.  He was 25, Nellie was only eighteen.

Marriage record of Philip Goldsmith and Nelly Buxbaum
Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records; Reel: 792
Organization Name: Congregation Rodeph Shalom
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1669-2013

Nellie was the daughter of Joseph Buxbaum and Theresa Anathan, who were German immigrants; her father was working as a travel agent in 1880. I can’t imagine what that meant back then in the era before vacation traveling and airplane reservations, but perhaps it involved hotel and train planning.4

Philip and Nellie had three sons born in the 1880s: Sydney Byron (1882), Herbert Nathaniel (1883), and Joseph Jerome (1888). They were living in Bridgeton, New Jersey in the 1880s.5

Hulda, the youngest of Jacob and Fannie’s daughters and the youngest surviving child, married Chapman Raphael in 1881, according to the 1900 census.6 Chapman was a Philadelphia native born in about 1850, and in 1880 he was living with his widowed mother Clara and his two brothers; he was a dealer in men’s clothing:

Chapman Raphael 1880 census
Year: 1880; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1169; Page: 261D; Enumeration District: 092

Hulda and Chapman had three children in the 1880s: J. Herbert (1882), Arthur Seligman (1883), and Adelaide (1888). When I saw the name of their second child—Arthur Seligman Raphael, it stopped me in my tracks. My great-great-uncle from Santa Fe who became New Mexico’s governor in 1930 was named Arthur Seligman. But that Arthur was born in 1871 and was only twelve when Arthur Seligman Raphael was born. I assume this was just a coincidence. His middle name might have been Seligman for his great-grandfather, Seligmann Goldschmidt.

Thus, by 1882, all of Jacob and Fannie’s children were married with children, except Harry and Hannah. How were Jacob and his sons supporting themselves and their families during this period?

According to the Philadelphia directory for 1881, Jacob was in a business called J. Goldsmith, Ancker, & Co.  But by 1883, Jacob listed his business as J.Goldsmith and Son, and he and Harry were engaged in the fishing tackle and cutlery business, according to the 1883 directory. Jacob and Harry were in that business together for several years according to the directory listings.

Jacob and Harry Goldsmith 1883 Philadelphia directory
Title: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1883
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

But in 1888 the directory lists Jacob as a “manager” at 510 Market Street and his son Philip as being in the fishing tackle business at 510 Market Street, obviously working together.

Jacob and Philip Goldsmith 1888 Philadelphia directory
Title: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1888
Source Information
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

I am not sure what had happened to Harry by 1888.  There are three Harry Goldsmiths in that same 1888 Philadelphia directory—one in the cigar business, one in the clothing business, and one working as a boilermaker.

Three Harry Goldsmiths 1888 Philadelphia directory
Title: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1888
Source Information
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

The listings for Jacob and his son Philip are the same in 1889, but in the 1889 directory there is only one Harry, and he is in the cigar business. I don’t know, however, that that was Jacob’s son Harry.

Goldsmiths in 1889 Philadelphia directory
Title: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1889
Source Information
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

 

If that was Jacob’s son, he found himself in some legal trouble later that year:

“Fraud Charged,” The Philadelphia Times, July 25, 1889, p. 1

Of course, I hope that this is not my cousin Harry Goldsmith, but I cannot be certain. It appears he was being charged with fraud. The article states the plaintiffs sued to recover $849.24 “on a promissory note given by Goldsmith for tobacco bought by him on the representation that he was making money and was about to increase the facilities of his factory.” Eleven years later a Harry Goldsmith, possibly the same one, declared bankruptcy. 7

In 1891, Jacob and Philip were still in the fishing tackle business, and there is no listing for a Harry Goldsmith at all in that year’s Philadelphia directory.

Title: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1891
Source Information
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

The 1890s were in some ways a challenging decade for the family of Jacob and Fannie Goldsmith. First, Emma Goldsmith’s husband Henry Meyerhoff died on September 18, 1891. He was only 49 years old. The cause of death was phthisis or what we call tuberculosis.

Death certificate of Henry Meyerhoff
“Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-6QZP-2W?cc=1320976&wc=9F5T-7MS%3A1073249701 : 16 May 2014), 004009736 > image 563 of 1753; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Emma’s sister Hannah Goldsmith married Isaac Levy in 1892. She was 38, and he was 51. According to the 1900 census, Isaac was born in Germany in April 1841 and had immigrated to the US in 1880.8 But I have no independent verification of those assertions, and because the name Isaac Levy is so common, I’ve been unable to find out much about Hannah’s husband. 9 Given their ages at the time of their marriage, it is not surprising that they did not have children.

Two years later, Emma remarried.  Her second husband was Abraham Cohlman.10 According to census records, Abraham was born in California sometime in 1869  making him eighteen years younger than Emma. The 1870 census lists him as a six month old baby living in San Francisco with his parents; his father was a junk dealer.  According to the 1880 census, Abraham was then eleven years old, living with his family in Philadelphia.  His father was the superintendent of a silver mine.11

Abraham Cohlman 1880 census
Year: 1880; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1173; Page: 332B; Enumeration District: 223

In the 1892 Philadelphia directory, Abraham was in the clothing business with his mother Bertha in a business called B. Cohlman & Son.12

Jacob and Fannie’s family’s experienced sadness again in 1895 when Jacob, my three-times great-uncle, died on August 11 of that year.  He was 72 years old and died from interstitial nephritis and pulmonary tuberculosis. He was buried at Mt. Sinai cemetery in Philadelphia, where so many of my other relatives were buried.

Jacob Goldsmith death certificate
“Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-64P9-RYW?cc=1320976&wc=9FRT-4WL%3A1073331001 : 16 May 2014), 004056305 > image 913 of 1767; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Unfortunately, that was not the end of the deaths the family suffered in the 1890s. A year later they lost two more members of the family in a terrible accident. More on that in my next post.

 

 

 

 


  1. See, e.g., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1872; Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  2. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Births, 1860-1906,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VB16-8W9 : 8 December 2014), Nathon H. Rice in entry for Rice, 07 Sep 1873; citing bk 1873 p 13, Department of Records; FHL microfilm 1,289,315. 
  3. Year: 1870; Census Place: Hastings, Barry, Michigan; Roll: M593_661; Page: 139A;Family History Library Film: 552160 
  4. Year: 1880; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1179;Page: 57B; Enumeration District: 386 
  5. New Jersey, Births and Christenings Index, 1660-1931 
  6. Year: 1900; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 32, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1473; Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 0808; FHL microfilm: 1241473 
  7. The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 12, 1900, p. 9 
  8. Year: 1900; Census Place: Circleville Ward 3, Pickaway, Ohio; Roll: 1313; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0102; FHL microfilm: 1241313; Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  9. In the 1890 Philadelphia directory, for example, there were five men named Isaac Levy. I have no idea which was Hannah’s husband. or if any of them were. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1890; Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  10. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Marriage Index, 1885–1951.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009. Philadelphia County Pennsylvania Clerk of the Orphans’ Court. 
  11. Some records give Abraham an earlier birth date, but they are further in time from his birth, so the 1870 and 1880 census records seem the most accurate.  See 1870 US census, Census Place: San Francisco Ward 9, San Francisco, California; Roll: M593_83; Page: 42B; Family History Library Film: 545582; Ancestry.com 
  12. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1892;  Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 

Schutzjuden

Back on January 12, 2018, I wrote about my four-times great-grandfather Jacob Falcke Goldschmidt who in 1724 was the first Jew to receive a Schutzbrief in the town of Oberlistingen. I received a couple of comments and questions about the practice of obtaining a Schutzbrief, so I decided to do some additional research to get a better understanding.

Unfortunately, there is not much written online about this practice.  I asked in the Jewish genealogy groups on Facebook and received a recommendation for a book by Mordechai Breuer and Michael Graetz entitled German-Jewish History in Modern Times, Volume I: Tradition and Enlightenment 1600-1780 (Michael A. Meyer, ed., William Templer, translator) (Columbia University Press 1996)(hereinafter “Breuer-Graetz”). Another person recommended a different book, Mathilda Wertheim Stein’s The Way It Was: The Jewish World of Rural Hesse (FrederickMax Publications 2000)(hereinafter “Stein”). What follows is based on just these two sources and is not meant to be a comprehensive summary of German Jewish history by any means, but merely a brief overview of the practice of issuing letters of protection or Schutzbriefe.

In 1236, the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II declared that Jews were servi camerae nostril—that is, permanent servants of the emperor.1   Jews were subject to many restrictions; for example, they were not allowed to bear arms; they were required to pay onerous taxes to the empire; and they were prohibited from many areas of trade and from guilds.2 Because of these restrictions, many Jews made their living as moneylenders and pawnbrokers, fields that were were considered un-Christian. As a result, many Jews developed experience in finance and in facilitating trade.3

It was during this era that a class of “protected Jews” or Schutzjuden developed. Frederick II instituted a policy whereby territorial rulers could take over the oversight and taxation of Jewish.4  As explained by Stein, “When the emperor needed funds, he granted his right over the Jews to territorial feudal lords and free cities.  They in turn charged a regular fee for letters of protection to the Jews living within their domain. As a result, Jews became the subjects of the feudal lords, who furnished a letter of protection (Schutzbrief). Letters of protection had to be renewed periodically for a fee set by the sovereign and they generated a good income.”5  According to Stein, “Many a palace in [Hesse] was built with money exacted from Jews who paid excessively for the privilege of living under wretched conditions at the pleasure of the sovereign.” 6 But the payment for protection at least ensured the Schutzjuden some rights as well as some protection against anti-Semitic violence and abuse.7

By the 16th century, there was some liberalization in the treatment of Jewish residents. According to Breuer-Graetz, those in power at this time “gradually came to view the Jews in a different light: not as individuals bereft of all rights, but as human beings with a basic right to toleration, though no more than that.”8

But Jewish security was still very much dependent on the local nobles, and at the same time the nobles often found themselves depending on the Jews for their expertise in commercial and economic matters.9  During the Thirty Years War in the 17th century, many Jews played a critical role in financing and procuring supplies for the nobles’ armies.10  This led to the development of a class of Jews known as Court Jews who were very wealthy and protected by the nobles though still treated as outsiders.  The Court Jews also played an important role within their own Jewish communities, acting as tax collectors for the nobles and as advocates and benefactors for Jewish residents who needed financial help or who were having legal problems.  Court Jews also hired other Jews to work as their servants in their homes.11 Other Jewish residents worked as peddlers and traders, often as cattle and horse traders.12

The practice of Schutzjuden also was somewhat liberalized during this period in some places. In earlier times, a letter of protection (Schutzbrief) was issued to just one individual and for a limited time, usually just a few years.  Now in some localities letters of protection lasted for the lifetime of an individual and were granted to larger numbers of people. To acquire a letter of protection, Jews were required to pay a substantial annual fee.13

“One important feature of these letters of protection was the specification of a precise territorial area in which they were valid. The patron could cancel the privilege at any time, and there was generally a fixed number of authorized protected Jews.“14  The entire household of a protected Jew was also covered by the letter of protection, including servants. Jews who were not covered by a Schutzbrief were part of an underclass known as “unvergleitet” Jews; they had no right to reside in a community and were dependent on manual labor or begging to survive.15

Even those with protection had quite circumscribed rights. They were still prohibited from most areas of trade, and they could own no real estate other than their home. They were subjected to many taxes and fees in addition to their annual fee for protection, and those taxes were substantially higher than the taxes paid by their Christian neighbors. If an individual Jew did not fulfill his or her personal obligations, the entire Jewish community was responsible for the debts of that individual. Breuer-Graetz observed that the non-Jewish peasant community was in some ways worse off financially than the Schutzjuden, but in many ways had more legal rights than their Jewish neighbors.16

There were many regional variations in Schutzbrief practice. According to Stein, “Renewal of a Schutzbrief was customary in the region of Hesse, but each case was handled individually at the discretion of the local feudal lord with whom terms had to be continually renegotiated.”17 Stein cites as one example a Schutzbrief that was valid for only four years and subject to carrying on an approved business and paying the yearly fee in advance.18 In some towns in Hesse the granting of a Schutzbrief was subject to two other requirements: the ability to read and write and the possession of sufficient wealth.19  A couple wishing to marry often had to wait until a place in a town or village was available before they could marry.20

An example of a Schutzbrief from the Hesse region in 1678 Source: HStAM II A 2 Judenachen 1646-1814

The 18th century saw the dawn of the so-called Age of Enlightenment, but for the Jewish residents it was hardly that.  It was during this time that my ancestor Jacob Falcke Goldschmidt became the first protected Jew in the town of Oberlistingen. Jews were still forced to endure both heavier taxation and greater legal restrictions. “Increased difficulties were likewise encountered in connection with the granting of protection. In many places there was a rigorous expulsion of poor, ‘unprotected’ Jews; the children of protected Jews were not accepted for permanent residence unless the parents were wealthy or had proven their worth by the establishment of manufactories.” 21

During the reign of Frederick the Great (1740-1786), treatment of Jews worsened. He considered Jews “the most dangerous of all sects”22, and despite his view that the state’s most important function was to ensure the welfare of all its subjects, he did not extend that view to his Jewish subjects. “Rather, they remained nothing but an instrument for furthering the welfare of the state and its development into a great European power.”23

Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, painting by
Anton Graff [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Revised General Code of 1750 placed Jews in a number classes from most privileged to least privileged. As described by Breuer-Graetz,24 these categories were:

  1. Generalpriviligierte: the smallest and most elite level. They could purchase land and homes without a permit, work as merchants, and pass on their rights to their children.
  2. Ordentliche Schutzjuden: privileged protected Jews; they could not choose their residence without a permit and could only pass on their rights to one of their children.
  3. Ausserodentliche Schuzjuden: unprivileged protected Jews; only permitted to reside in the town if they had a useful profession or trade and could provide one of their children with the right of residence if the child had sufficient assets.
  4. Community employees, including rabbis.
  5. Unprotected Jews: they required the patronage of a protected Jew and could only marry if their spouse was someone from the top two classes. Children of the privileged protected Jews who did not share in the right to inherit were also placed in this class as were children of community employees.
  6. Servants employed by those in the first class.

According to Breuer-Graez, the purpose of this system of classification was “to curb the growth of the legitimate Jewish population and to put a halt on the illegal influx of unprotected Jews.” 25 It was also a means of raising revenue since each of those who obtained protection paid hefty amounts for that privilege.

This oppressive government-imposed treatment of Jews as outsiders with limited rights lasted for another century. It was not until the 19th century that various Germanic states began to emancipate their Jewish residents and grant them full legal rights as citizens; unfortunately, that did not end anti-Semitism and the violence and discrimination it engendered, as we saw most tragically in the 20th century.

 

 

 

 

 

 


  1. Breuer-Graetz, pp. 28-29. 
  2. Breuer-Graetz. pp. 29-30. 
  3. Breuer-Graetz, pp. 30-31. 
  4. Breuer-Graetz, pp. 29-30. 
  5. Stein, p 6. 
  6. Stein, p.6. 
  7. Stein, p. 20. 
  8. Breuer-Graetz, p. 65. 
  9. Breuer-Graetz, pp. 75-77. 
  10. Breuer-Graetz, pp. 104-117. 
  11. Breuer-Graetz, pp. 117-122. 
  12. Breuer-Graetz, pp. 123-134. 
  13. Breuer-Graetz, pp. 135-136. 
  14. Breuer-Graetz, p. 136. 
  15. Breuer-Graetz, pp.136-137. 
  16. Breuer-Graetz, pp. 137-143. 
  17. Stein, p. 22. 
  18. Stein, p. 22. 
  19. Stein, p. 20. 
  20. Stein, p. 18. 
  21. Breuer-Graetz, p. 145. 
  22. Breuer-Graetz, p. 147. 
  23. Breuer-Graetz, p. 147. 
  24. Breuer-Graetz, 148-149. 
  25. Breuer-Graetz, p. 149. 

Where Are Those Missing Manifests? Sarah Goldschmidt Mansbach and Family

By 1870 many members of the Goldschmidt clan had left Germany and settled in Pennsylvania.  My four-times great-uncle Simon Goldschmidt and all his children had emigrated starting in the 1840s and were, for the most part, living in western Pennsylvania by 1870. 1 During this same period six of the eight children of my three-times great-grandparents Seligmann and Hincka (Alexander) Goldschmidt had settled in Philadelphia: Jakob, Levi, my great-great-grandmother Eva, Abraham, Meyer, and Rosa. They were all living in Philadelphia by 1870. Of Seligmann’s family, only Sarah and Bette were still in Germany as of 1870.

Sarah would also eventually join the family in the US, but only after her children had emigrated. In the 1870s and 1880s, all but one of Sarah’s eight surviving children2 came to the United States, and eventually so did Sarah and her husband Abraham Mansbach II. This is their story.

Although I cannot find passenger manifests for all them, it appears that the first to arrive was Merla/Amalie Mansbach, who sailed to the US in 1872 with Henry Schoenthal and his new wife Helene Lilienfeld, as I discussed here.3

Henry Schoenthal and Helene Lilienfeld 1872 ship manifest lines 95 to 98 with Amalie Mansbach
Year: 1872; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 359; Line: 1; List Number: 484

I have no record of Amalie from the time of her arrival until the 1880 census, but I assume she must have been living in Pennsylvania, probably in Philadelphia, because according to the 1900 census, in 1879, she married Henry Langer. Henry was 22 years older than Amelia, born in 1831 in Austria; he had immigrated to the US in 1856, and in the 1870s he was living in Philadelphia, working as a furrier, according to the Philadelphia directory for 1870 and a newspaper listing in 1877.4

 

Amalie and Henry had relocated to Denver by December 17, 1879,5 when their first child, Joseph Henry Langer, was born. According to the 1880 census, Henry continued to work as a furrier in Denver:

H and A Langer and son 1880 census
Year: 1880; Census Place: Denver, Arapahoe, Colorado; Roll: 88; Page: 116C; Enumeration District: 005

I wondered what had drawn them to Denver. I couldn’t find any other Langers living there at that time, but I then discovered that Colorado had drawn other members of Amalie’s extended family, including her brother Berthold.

Berthold may have been the next child of Sarah and Abraham II to arrive from Germany; although I cannot find a passenger manifest for him, the 1920 census reports that he immigrated to the US in 1874.6 In 1877, he is listed in the Philadelphia directory working as a clerk.

Title: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1877
Source Information
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

But by 1880, he also had relocated to Trinidad, Colorado, where he was living with his cousin Abraham Mansbach V,  the grandson of Marum Mansbach I. Abraham V was a merchant, and Bert was working as a clerk, presumably in his cousin’s store.

Bert Mansbach 1880 census
Year: 1880; Census Place: Trinidad, Las Animas, Colorado; Roll: 92; Page: 65D; Enumeration District: 066

Abraham V had been living in Colorado for some time, as he was naturalized in Denver in 1873,7 so perhaps that was what had drawn his cousin Amalie and her husband Henry Langer to Denver by 1879.

But what had taken Abraham V to Trinidad, a town about 200 miles south of Denver? Looking at the population statistics for Trinidad, I noticed a huge population explosion between 1870, when there were 562 people residing there, and 1880, when there were 2,226.

According to the website Western Mining History:

Trinidad was incorporated in 1876 and became the supply and transportation center for the region’s coal mines. The coal from these mines was highly prized for its quality in creating coking fuels for Colorado’s smelters. As the mines and smelters of Colorado grew into a major industry, Trinidad prospered and became a wealthy commercial center full of stunning Victorian homes and buildings.

Trinidad, Colorado 1907
By Business_section_of_Trinidad,_Colorado.tif: Arthur Russell Allen derivative work: Ori.livneh (Business_section_of_Trinidad,_Colorado.tif) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Thus, Abraham Mansbach V and his cousin Berthold Mansbach must have chosen Trinidad as a place of great economic opportunity. As they say on that old commercial for Barney’s in New York City, all those people were going to need clothes.

 

UPDATE: Thanks to Sharon Haimovitz-Civitano of the Branches of our Haimowitz Family Tree and Branches on Civitano Tree blogs, I now have additional insights into why the Mansbachs ended up in Trinidad.  Those insights will be discussed in a later post, but in short, there were members of the extended Goldschmidt-Mansbach family living in Trinidad even before Berthold Mansbach and his cousin Abraham Mansbach V arrived.

But not all the Mansbach siblings chose to settle out west. Sarah and Abraham II’s oldest son Leiser/Louis Mansbach came to the US on December 16, 1876:

Louis (Lassor) Mansbach ship manifest
Year: 1876; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 406; Line: 1; List Number: 1160
Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957

 

In 1880, he was living with my great-great-grandparents, Gerson Katzenstein and Eva Goldschmidt, who was his aunt, his mother Sarah’s sister. My great-grandmother Hilda, who was then sixteen, was also living at home and thus must have known her first cousin Louis quite well. Louis was 31 years old and was a veterinary surgeon.

Louis Mansbach in the household of Gerson Katzenstein 1880 census
Year: 1880; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1173; Page: 274B; Enumeration District: 219

This is the first veterinarian I’ve found in my family.  Formal education of veterinarians in the US was relatively new at that time as the first public veterinary school in the US wasn’t founded until 1879 in Iowa, and the University of Pennsylvania did not start its veterinary school until 1884. Louis may have arrived at just the right time.

I do not have ship manifests for three of the remaining children of Sarah Goldschmidt and Abraham Mansbach II, Hannah, Meyer, and Julius.  I have tried searching on Ancestry and FamilySearch; I tried using stevemorse.org and wild cards and various spellings and different date ranges. Nothing. For Julius, as discussed below, I even had a date of arrival and ship names from his later passport applications, but still—no manifest.  If anyone is willing to try with fresh eyes, I’d be very grateful. But for now I have to rely on other documents to estimate the dates of arrival for Hannah, Meyer, and Julius. Since none of these three appeared on the 1880 census, I am assuming they arrived sometime after the taking of that census in the spring of 1880.

For Hannah Mansbach, census records indicate three different years of arrival: 1880 on the 1900 census, 1881 on the 1920 and 1930 census records, and 1885 on the 1910 census. Usually I’d assume the one closest in time, the 1900 census, would be the most reliable, but at best I can say she arrived sometime between 1880 and 1885.  Since the rest of the family had arrived by 1882, I think 1880-1881 is more likely.8

Census records also conflict regarding the arrival date for Meyer Mansbach. The 1900 census reports that he arrived in 1879, but the 1910 and 1930 census records both report 1882 as his date of arrival.9

For Julius, as noted above, I found information about his arrival on his passport applications, of which there were three—in 1900, 1903, and 1908. All three provide the same date of arrival (June 12, 1881) and the same port of departure (Bremen), but all three have different names for the ship. The 1900 application says he sailed on the Elbe, the 1903 says the Weser, and the 1908 says the Werra.

Julius Mansbach 1900 passport application
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; NARA Series: Passport Applications, 1795-1905; Roll #: 550; Volume #: Roll 550 – 07 May 1900-11 May 1900

 

Julius Mansbach 1903 passport application
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; NARA Series: Emergency Passport Applications (Issued Abroad), 1877-1907; Roll #: 41; Volume #: Volume 075: Germany

Julius Mansbach 1908 passport application
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; NARA Series: Passport Applications, January 2, 1906 – March 31, 1925; Roll #: 74; Volume #: Roll 0074 – Certificates: 64339-65243, 20 Nov 1908-15 Dec 1908

Julius obviously remembered more or less when he arrived (or maybe departed from Germany), but not the name of his ship. Taking the usual rule that the record made closest in time to an event may be the most reliable, I focused on manifests for the Elbe.

I found a manifest for the Elbe arriving in New York on July 8, 1881, with a passenger named Julius “Halsbach” aged 26 (so ten years older than Julius would have been). That seemed the closest match, and I could not find anything close in date or name on the Weser or the Werra.

Julius Mansbach possible manifest
Year: 1881; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 439; Line: 1; List Number: 914
Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957

It thus seems reasonable to conclude that Hannah, Meyer, and Julius had all arrived by 1881. And so by 1881 all Sarah and Abraham’s eight living children except Kathinka had left Germany.

The following year on October 23, 1882, they were joined by their parents, my three-times great-aunt Sarah Goldschmidt and her husband Abraham Mansbach II, and their youngest daughter Kathinka. Also apparently sailing with them was a twelve year old girl named “Kath. Goldschmidt.” I have yet to identify who this was, but I assume she was the child of one of the Goldschmidt cousins still in Germany.

Abraham Mansbach II and family on passenger manifest
Year: 1882; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 459; Line: 1; List Number: 1509

 

With that final arrival, all but one of the eight children and almost all the grandchildren of my three-times great-grandparents Seligmann Goldschmidt and Hincka Alexander were living the US. Only Bette Goldschmidt and her family were still in Germany.10 It must have been hard to leave Bette behind, but the choice to leave Germany was in the long run a fortunate one for the family of Seligmann and Hincka. And for all of us who are their descendants.

(A big thank you to Amberly Peterson Beck of The Genealogy Girl blog for her brilliant post, Tuesday’s Tip: Awesome & Easy Source Citations in WordPress, which explained how to create footnotes for source citations in an easy and quite useful way. This is my first post experimenting with this technique. Thank you, Amberly!)

 

 

 


  1. I will return to Simon’s family at a later time. For now I am focusing on my closest Goldschmidt relatives, the descendants of Seligmann and Hincka. 
  2. Two died in Germany, Jakob and Hedwig, as discussed in my earlier post
  3. There was also a second eighteen year old woman sailing with them with the same name—Amalie Mansbach. I believe the other Amalie was another relative of Abraham Mansbach II; she was the granddaughter of Marum Mansbach I and sister of Abraham Mansbach V. 
  4. Henry Langer on the 1900 US Census; Year: 1900; Census Place: Denver, Arapahoe, Colorado; Roll: 117; Page: 2;Enumeration District: 0031; FHL microfilm: 1240117′; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1870,
    Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  5. Joseph Langer, Passport Application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; NARA Series: Passport Applications, January 2, 1906 – March 31, 1925; Roll #: 933; Volume #: Roll 0933 – Certificates: 122000-122249, 27 Sep 1919-28 Sep 1919 
  6. Berthold Mansbach, 1920 US Census, Year: 1920; Census Place: Albuquerque Ward 3, Bernalillo, New Mexico; Roll: T625_1074; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 18 
  7. Abraham Mansbach, Naturalization, National Archives at Denver; Broomfield, Colorado; Naturalization Records, Colorado, 1876-1990; ARC Title: Naturalization Cards, 1880 – 1906; NAI Number: 1307044; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787 – 2004 
  8. Hannah Mansbach on the 1900-1930 US Census records: Year: 1900; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 20, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1463; Page: 9; Enumeration District: 0425;FHL microfilm: 1241462; Year: 1910; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 29, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1399; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0692; FHL microfilm: 1375412; Year: 1920; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 29, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1633; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 969; Year: 1930; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 2125; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 0778; FHL microfilm: 2341859 
  9. Meyer Mansbach on 1900-1930 US Census records: Year: 1900; Census Place: Trinidad, Las Animas, Colorado; Roll: 126; Page: 13B; Enumeration District: 0064; FHL microfilm: 1240126; Year: 1910; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 29, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1399; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0692; FHL microfilm: 1375412; Year: 1930; Census Place: Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California; Roll: 136; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0108; FHL microfilm: 2339871 
  10. As Bette married her first cousin Jakob Goldschmidt (yes, another one), the son of her father’s brother Lehmann, I will return to her story when I discuss the Goldschmidt family members who stayed in Germany, including Lehmann and many of his descendants. 

More Goldschmidts Become Goldsmiths in Philadelphia

In my last post we saw how my three-times great-uncle Jacob Goldsmith came to the United States and settled in Philadelphia by 1850, then married and had seven children in the 1850s and 1860s.  He also established a retail clothing business on Market Street.

But Jacob was not the only child of Seligmann and Hincka to come to the US as early as the 1850s. His younger brother Abraham was the second of Seligmann and Hincka’s children to come to the US. Abraham was born in March 13, 1832:

Birth record of Abraham Goldschmidt
Geburtsregister der Juden von Oberlistingen (Breuna) 1826-1852 (HHStAW Abt. 365 Nr. 668)AutorHessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, Wiesbaden, p. 4

Abraham arrived in the US on August 21, 1850, listing his occupation as a merchant:

Abraham Goldschmidt passenger manifest 1850
Year: 1850; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 091; Line: 1; List Number: 951

 

On January 17, 1858, he married Cecelia Adler in Philadelphia.  Cecelia was the daughter of Samuel Adler and Sarah Kargau, and she was born on November 26, 1838, in Würzberg, Germany. She and her parents had immigrated to the US by 1850 and settled in Philadelphia where her father was a merchant.

Marriage record of Abraham Goldschmidt and Cecelia Adler
Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records; Reel: 792
Organization Name: Congregation Rodeph Shalom
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1669-2013

In 1860, Abraham and Cecelia were living in Philadelphia, where Abraham was a clothier with $15,000 worth of personal property. That he amassed that much money so quickly indicates to me that he must have been either a very successful business person, or either his parents or his in-laws provided a substantial financial cushion. Note that Abraham, like his brother Jacob, had Americanized his name from Goldschmidt to Goldsmith.

Abraham and Cecelia (Adler) Goldsmith 1860 census
Year: 1860; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 13, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M653_1163; Page: 914; Family History Library Film: 805163

Abraham and Cecelia had six children between 1861 and 1870: Milton (1861), Hildegard (1862), Edwin (1864), Rose (1866), Emily (1868), and Estelle (1870).  In 1870, Abraham now claimed he had $25,000 worth of real estate and $20,000 worth of personal property.  He continued to be in the clothing business. Cecelia’s parents were also living with Abraham and Cecelia and their six children in 1870, as well as three domestic servants [shown on the next page of the census].

Abraham Goldsmith and family 1870 census
Year: 1870; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 12 District 35, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1396; Page: 133B; Family History Library Film: 552895

Thus, like his older brother Jacob, Abraham was quite well-settled in Philadelphia by 1870.

The youngest son of Seligmann and Hincka, Meyer, was the third brother to immigrate. He was born October 25, 1834, apparently registered with the name Rafael. I still believe that this was the same child later known as Meyer, based on his age on several US records and the fact that the 1900 census says that he was born in October 1834, and there is no other birth registered to Seligmann Goldschmidt and Hincka Alexander for that month and year.

Birth record of Rafael/Meyer Goldschmidt 1834
Geburtsregister der Juden von Oberlistingen (Breuna) 1826-1852 (HHStAW Abt. 365 Nr. 668)AutorHessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, Wiesbaden, p. 5

Meyer arrived in the US on July 8, 1852. He was seventeen years old.

Meier Goldschmidt passenger manifest
Year: 1852; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 116; Line: 1; List Number: 895

According to the 1900 census, in 1859, Meyer married Helene Hohenfels, daughter of Jordan and Adelaide Hohenfels, all of whom had emigrated from Germany to the US by 1850. Meyer and Helene’s first child Eugene was born on October 6, 1859, in Newton, New Jersey, which is about 100 miles north of Philadelphia and sixty miles west of New York City.

In 1860 Meyer, Helene, and Eugene were living in Newton; Meyer was working as a “merchant tailor” and had $4000 worth of personal property. Also living with them were a servant and a thirteen year old boy named George Stone from the Hesse region, whose relationship to the family I’ve not determined. Like Jacob and Abraham, Meyer had changed the spelling of his surname to Goldsmith.

Meyer Goldsmith and Helene Hohenfels 1860 census
Year: 1860; Census Place: Newton, Sussex, New Jersey; Roll: M653_709; Page: 605; Family History Library Film: 803709

 

By 1863 or so, Meyer and his family had relocated to Philadelphia where his siblings were living. On the 1870 census, you can see that while his first two children were born in New Jersey, the third, who was seven in 1870, was born in Pennsylvania.  By 1870 Meyer and Helene had five children: Eugene (1859), Heloise (1860), Maurice (1863), Samuel (1867), and Rosa (1869). Meyer was working as a wholesale clothier and claimed $2000 in personal property. (I guess all those children ate into the $4000 worth of savings they’d had in 1860!) A sixth child, Florence, would be born in 1872.

Meyer Goldsmith 1870 census
Year: 1870; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 13 District 39, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1397; Page: 465A; Family History Library Film: 552896

 

Levy, the second oldest son of Seligmann and Hincka, was the next to come to the US. He was born November 10, 1824. He arrived in the US on September 20, 1853, and also settled in Philadelphia.

Levy Goldschmidt passenger manifest
Year: 1853; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 132; Line: 1; List Number: 991

Two years after arriving he married Henryetta Lebenbach in Philadelphia on March 21, 1855.

Marriage record of Levy Goldschmidt and Henryette Lebenbach
Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records; Reel: 792

In 1860, they were living in Philadelphia with two daughters, Eva (1856) and Estella (1859). He claimed $7,000 worth of personal property, and like his brothers, was now using the surname Goldsmith. Interestingly, he also seems to have changed the spelling of his first name from Levy to Levi. It looks like Henryette had also adopted a new spelling of her name—Henrietta.

Levi Goldsmith and family 1860 census

Levi was, like his three brothers, in the clothing business. A search of the Philadelphia directories for these years revealed that at least Abraham and Levi were in business together.

Title: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1862
Source Information
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

Goldsmiths in the 1866 Philadelphia directory
Title: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1866
Source Information
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

I say “at least” Abraham and Levi were in business together because I think it’s possible that Jacob was also in the same business.  If you compare these two directory listings, one in 1862, one on 1866, you can see that whereas in 1862 Jacob was at 335 Market Street and Levi and Abraham at 532 Market Street, in 1866 they’d reversed—Jacob was at 532 and Levi and Abraham at 335.

By 1870, Levi (here spelled Levy) and Henrietta had seven children. After Eva and Estella came George (1861), Felix (1862), Helen (1865), Blanche (1868), and Sylvester (1869). Levy reported that he was in the wholesale clothing business and that he had $25,000 in real estate and $50,000 in personal property. He obviously was doing quite well.

Levy Goldsmith and family 1870 census
Year: 1870; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 20 District 64, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1406; Page: 293B; Family History Library Film: 552905

 

Although by 1853, all four sons of Seligmann Goldschmidt and Hincka Alexander had thus left Germany for the United States, their four sisters—Sarah, Bette, Eva, and Rose—were still in Germany at that point. But soon enough two of them also would come to the US.

In 1856 my great-great-grandmother Eva Goldschmidt arrived with her husband Gerson Katzenstein, and they, too, settled in Philadelphia, as I’ve written about previously. They came with their three oldest children: Scholum (1848), Jacob (1851), and Brendina (1853). And as noted before, traveling with them were some of the children of Gerson’s sister Hannchen Katzenstein Mansbach, who were also cousins to the children of Eva Goldschmidt’s sister Sarah Goldschmidt Mansbach. As already described, Eva and Gerson would have three more children in the US: Perry (1856), Hannah (1859), and my great-grandmother Hilda (1863).

Seligmann and Hincka’s youngest child, Roschen or Rosa, was born on October 27, 1837.

Birth record of Roschen Goldschmidt
Geburtsregister der Juden von Oberlistingen (Breuna) 1826-1852 (HHStAW Abt. 365 Nr. 668)AutorHessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, Wiesbaden, p. 9

She arrived in the US on July 9, 1860:

Roschen Goldschmidt passenger manifest
Year: 1860; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 202; Line: 1; List Number: 597

 

On January 20, 1864 she married Bernhardt Metz, another German immigrant. They would have four children between 1865 and 1870: Hattie (1865), Paul (1867), Emily (1869), and Bertha (1870). In 1870, they were living in Philadelphia where Bernhardt was a cloak manufacturer. He claimed $10,000 of real estate and $2000 of personal property:

Bernhardt and Rosa (Goldschmidt) Metz 1870 census
Year: 1870; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 20 District 66, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1407; Page: 438B; Family History Library Film: 552906

Thus, by 1860, all but two of  Seligmann and Hincka’s children had emigrated to the US, and by 1870, those in the US were all living in Philadelphia and married with children; all the sons were working in the clothing industry.

Only two siblings were still in Germany: Sarah, the oldest daughter, and Bette/Biele.  After 1870,  the children of Sarah Goldschmidt and her husband Abraham Mansbach II would also begin to emigrate, followed by Sarah and Abraham themselves in 1882, as discussed in my next post.

Another Jakob Goldschmidt Comes to America

As I wrote in my last post, the earliest Goldschmidts to leave Germany and come to the US were the family of Simon Falcke Goldschmidt, brother of my three-times great-grandfather Seligmann Goldschmidt. Simon had arrived in 1845 with his second wife, my three-times great-aunt Fradchen Schoenthal, and by 1860 he and all his children including those from his first wife Eveline were living in western Pennsylvania, most of them in Washington, Pennsylvania.

During this same period, almost all the children of my three-times great-grandparents Seligmann Goldschmidt and Hincka Alexander were also emigrating, though they chose to settle in Philadelphia, about 300 miles east of their relatives in the western part of the state.

The first of Seligmann and Hincka’s children to arrive was their oldest son Jakob. Jakob was born on October 22, 1822, making him about three years older than his first cousin, Simon’s son, also named Jakob Goldschmidt; both cousins changed their names to Jacob Goldsmith once in the US. To make matters even more confusing, both Jacobs married women named Fannie.  Maybe Seligmann’s Jacob chose to settle in Philadelphia and Simon’s across the state to minimize confusion for some not-yet-born family historian?[1]

To distinguish the two Jacob Goldsmiths I will refer to Seligmann’s son as Uncle Jacob as he was my three-times great-uncle, and I will refer to Simon’s Jacob as Cousin Jacob, as he was my first cousin, four times removed.

Uncle Jacob must have arrived in the US before 1849 because by that time he had married Fannie, and they had had their first child, a daughter named Caroline born on May 7, 1849, in Pennsylvania. In 1850 Uncle Jacob was working as a merchant:

Jacob Goldsmith (Seligmann’s son) and family 1850 census

I could not find Uncle Jacob on the 1860 census at all, but he and Fannie must have been living in Philadelphia in the 1850s and 1860s because they had several more children born there between 1850 and 1860: Emma (1851), Hannah (1855), Philip (1856), and Harry (1858). Their sixth child, Huldah, was born in 1861. (Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Births, 1860-1906,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V1M9-7GF : 8 December 2014), Hulda Goldsmith, 18 Jan 1861; citing bk 1 p 252, Department of Records; FHL microfilm 1,289,306.)

One more child was born to Jacob and Fannie in March 1864, a boy named Eli.  Sadly, he died when he was four months old of hydrocephalus internus,

Eli Goldsmith death record “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-DHR6-H?cc=1320976&wc=9F5Z-T3D%3A1073282601 : 16 May 2014), 004010010 > image 197 of 1250; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Searching the Philadelphia newspapers for 1860-1870, I found this little news item about a donation made by Jacob Goldsmith to support the soldiers fighting in the Civil War; based on Jacob’s business address in the 1862 Philadelphia Directory (338 Market Street, which is at the corner of 4th Street), I am reasonably certain that this refers to my uncle Jacob Goldsmith.

“Soldiers Mittens, ” Philadelphia Public Ledger, November 26, 1861.

 

I also found an 1868 advertisement for Jacob’s clothing store, which had moved by then to 624 Market Street:

Ad for Jacob Goldsmith’s store
Philadelphia Public Ledger, October 28, 1868

On the 1870 census, Jacob and Fannie were living with their five younger children. Jacob was working as a merchant and claimed he owned $8000 worth of real property and $2000 worth of personal property.

Jacob Goldsmith (Seligmann’s son) and family 1870 census
Year: 1870; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 12 District 34, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1396; Page: 114A; Family History Library Film: 552895

Their oldest daughter Caroline was no longer living at home in 1870, having married Nathan Rice in 1869; Nathan was born in Philadelphia in 1842 to German immigrant parents, Joseph Reiss and Elizabeth/Betsy Kohn (the spelling was later changed to Rice). In 1870 Nathan and Caroline were living in Dubuque, Iowa, with Nathan’s parents, and Nathan was working as an agent for a wholesale clothing company. His father’s occupation was “retired clothing dealer,” so perhaps Nathan was working in his father’s former business. Caroline and Nathan’s first child, Rena, was born in Iowa in the spring of 1870 and was one month old on June 1 when the census was taken.

Caroline Goldschmidt and Nathan Rice on 1870 census
Year: 1870; Census Place: Dubuque Ward 1, Dubuque, Iowa; Roll: M593_389; Page: 61A; Family History Library Film: 545888

Thus, Uncle Jacob was well established in Philadelphia by 1870 with a large and growing family. He also was joined by several of his siblings during this time, as we will see in my next post.

 

 

 

 

[1] That separation did not last, however. By 1870 Cousin Jacob had moved from Washington to Philadelphia. I spent an entire day trying to decipher which Jacob was which on the 1870 and 1880 census records since both were living in Philadelphia, both had wives named Fannie, both were in the clothing business, and both had many children, including several with the same names. It was a long day!

The Goldschmidts Come to America

I was all set to be logical and sequential and report on each of the children of my three-times great-grandparents Seligmann and Hincka (Alexander) Goldschmidt, starting with their oldest child Sarah Goldschmidt and her husband Abraham Mansbach II. I began their story in this post, but then I realized that I could not tell the rest of the story of the children of Sarah and Abraham without some background regarding the other members of the Goldschmidt family.

What triggered this realization was this ship manifest:

Henry Schoenthal and Helene Lilienfeld with Analie Mansbach on 1872 ship manifest lines 95 to 98
Year: 1872; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 359; Line: 1; List Number: 484

Notice that this is the 1872 manifest for Henry Schoenthal, the brother of my great-grandfather Isidore Schoenthal. Henry had settled in Washington, Pennsylvania, in 1866, but then returned to Germany to marry Helen Lilienfeld. Then on May 24, 1872, Henry and Helen returned to the US, as shown on this manifest.

Why am I talking about a Schoenthal in the context of telling the story of the Goldschmidts?

Because on that manifest (lines 6 and 7, above) were two eighteen-year-old women both named Amalie Mansbach who were apparently sailing with Henry and Helen (lines 5 and 8). I believe that one of those two Amalie Mansbachs was Merla Mansbach, the daughter of Sarah Goldschmidt and Abraham Mansbach II. Merla Mansbach was born on December 10, 1853, meaning she would have been eighteen in May, 1872.

Birth record of Merla Mansbach
HHStAW Abt. 365 Nr. 384, p. 55

But why would Merla Mansbach be sailing with Henry Schoenthal? He was from Sielen, his wife Helen was from Gudensberg, and Merla was from Maden—all towns within a reasonable distance of each other in the Hesse region of Germany, with Maden and Gudensberg being very near each other. There had to be a connection.

 

And that drove me back to my earlier posts about Henry Schoenthal and how he ended up in Washington, Pennsylvania, a small town in western Pennsylvania about 30 miles from Pittsburgh. And those posts reminded me that Henry was not the first Schoenthal to settle in western Pennsylvania—his father Levi’s sister (my three-times great-aunt) Fradchen Schoenthal had preceded him some twenty years before.

And Fradchen Schoenthal was married to Simon Falcke Goldschmidt, the brother of Seligmann Goldschmidt and great-uncle of Merla/Amalie Mansbach:

 

So I am going to digress a bit from the story of the family of my three-times great-grandfather Seligmann Goldschmidt to tell the story of his younger brother Simon Falcke Goldschmidt because telling the story of the Goldschmidt’s immigration to the United States has to start with Simon, who was the first to arrive.

Simon was the youngest of the four sons of Jacob Falcke Goldschmidt and Eva Reuben Seligmann; according to numerous US records, he was born in 1795. In 1822, he married Eveline Katzenstein of Grebenstein (no known familial connection to my Katzensteins). Together they had five children: Jacob (1825), Lena (1828), Hewa “Eva” (1836), Joseph (1837), and Jesajas (1839), all born in Oberlistingen.

Notice the large gap between Lena, born in 1828, and the next child Hewa born in 1836.[1]

David Baron located a record that perhaps provides a reason for that gap; it seems that in 1826 Simon was charged with burglary and attempted robbery. (HStAM Fonds 261 Kriminalakten 1822-1836 No G 40.) I requested a copy of the file from the Marburg archives and learned that the file covers Simon’s appeal of a ten year sentence for his criminal activity. The listing online indicates that the date of appellate decision was December 24, 1830.

The contact person at the Marburg archives did not reveal the outcome of the appeal, so I am now hoping to find someone who might be able to go to Marburg and provide me with a summary (in English) of the judgment. (I could order a copy, but it would be costly and in German. My German has improved, but 130 pages of a legal decision would be too great a challenge!)

Since Simon and Eveline had three more children beginning in 1836, I suppose it’s possible he served some of that ten year sentence. Sadly, Simon and Eveline’s last two babies did not survive. Both Joseph and Jesajas died in infancy.

Joseph Goldschmidt death record
Sterberegister der Juden von Oberlistingen (Breuna) 1827-1852 (HHStAW Abt. 365 Nr. 671), p. 6

Josajas Goldschmidt death record
Sterberegister der Juden von Oberlistingen (Breuna) 1827-1852 (HHStAW Abt. 365 Nr. 671), p. 7

And then Simon lost his wife Eveline as well. She died on August 19, 1840, in Oberlistingen:

Eveline Katzenstein Goldschmidt death record
Sterberegister der Juden von Oberlistingen (Breuna) 1827-1852 (HHStAW Abt. 365 Nr. 671), p. 8

Simon was left on his own to raise his fifteen year old son Jacob, twelve year old daughter Lena, and four year old Hewa/Eva.

Four years after Eveline’s death he married my three-times great-aunt Fradchen Schoenthal on September 10, 1844. Fradchen, the daughter of my three-times great-grandparents Heinemann Schoenthal and Hendel Berenstein, was 37 years old when she married Simon. Thus, as early as 1844, my Schoenthal and Goldschmidt lines had merged, explaining why Merla/Amalia Mansbach would have been sailing with Henry Schoenthal in 1872.

Marriage of Simon Goldschmidt and Fradchen Schoenthal
HHStAW Abt. 365 Nr. 669, S. 11

A year after marrying, Simon and Fradchen left Germany for the United States, arriving in Baltimore with Simon’s youngest daughter Eva on September 20, 1845.

Passenger manifest for Simon Goldschmidt, Fanny Schoenthal and Eva Goldschmidt
Ancestry.com. Baltimore, Passenger Lists, 1820-1964 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006.
Original data: Selected Passenger and Crew Lists and Manifests. National Archives, Washington, D.C.

They must have settled first in Baltimore because Simon and Fradchen had two children who were born there, Henry on January 10, 1847, and Hannah on June 5, 1848. I assume that Henry was named for Heinemann Schoenthal and Hannah for Hendel Berenstein Schoenthal, their maternal grandparents and my three-times great-grandparents.

By 1850, Simon and Fradchen (also known as Fanny) were living in Pittsburgh with Henry and Hannah as well as two of Simon’s children from his first marriage, Lena and Eva. Simon was working as a tailor and had Americanized his surname to Goldsmith.[2]

Simon Goldschmidt and family 1850 census
Year: 1850; Census Place: Pittsburgh Ward 3, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: M432_745; Page: 135A; Image: 274

Simon lost his second wife Fradchen/Fanny soon thereafter; she died on August 11, 1850, at age 43. (The year on the headstone appears to be incorrect; based on the age given on both the marriage record and manifest, Fradchen’s birth year would have been 1807, not 1800. The 1850 census said she was then 39, not 50. Plus it’s unlikely she had children at ages 47 and 48.) She left behind two very young children, Henry and Hannah, as well as her three stepchildren, Jacob, Lena, and Eva, and her husband Simon.

 

Meanwhile, Simon’s son Jacob from his first marriage had settled in Washington, Pennsylvania, by 1850; he was working as a tailor and living with two other men who were tailors. Like his father Simon, Jacob had changed his surname to Goldsmith.

Jacob Goldsmith (Simon’s son) 1850 US census
Year: 1850; Census Place: Washington, Washington, Pennsylvania; Roll: M432_834; Page: 363A; Image: 244

Sometime after 1850 Jacob married Fannie Silverman. (The 1900 census reports that Jacob, who was then widowed, had been married 51 years, but given that he was still single in 1850, that seems unlikely).

Jacob and Fannie had thirteen children between 1853 and 1871—first, six daughters, then three sons, then another four daughters. Wow. I will report on them in more detail in a later post.  For now, I will only name those born between 1853 and 1860: Ellena (1853), Emma (1854), Anna (1855), Rachel (1857), Leonora (1858), and Celia (1860). Six daughters in seven years.

Sometime after Fradchen died, Simon moved to Washington, Pennsylvania, to be with his son Jacob. In 1860, Simon and his two youngest children, Henry and Hannah, were living with Simon’s son Jacob and Jacob’s wife Fannie and their six daughters. Henry and Hannah were only five and six years older than their oldest nieces, Emma and Anna. I assume that Simon needed Fannie and Jacob’s help in raising Henry and Hannah.

Jacob Goldsmith and family 1860 US census
Year: 1860; Census Place: Washington, Washington, Pennsylvania; Roll: M653_1192; Page: 1188; Image: 627; Family History Library Film: 805192

Simon’s other two children, Lena and Hewa/Eva, were married and on their own by 1860. Lena had married another German immigrant, Gustave Basch in 1856. In 1860, they were living in Connellsville, Pennsylvania, with their first two children, Frank (1858) and Jacob (1859).

Lena Goldschmidt and Gustave Basch and sons 1860 census Year: 1860; Census Place: Connellsville, Fayette, Pennsylvania; Roll: M653_1110; Page: 422; Family History Library Film: 805110

 

The story of Simon’s other daughter Eva has already been told. She married Marcus Bohm, an immigrant from Warsaw, Poland, and they had a daughter born in 1862 named Ella who married my great-great-uncle Jacob Katzenstein (son of Gerson Katzenstein and Eva Goldschmidt and thus also Ella’s cousin). Ella and one of her sons died in the Johnstown flood in 1889.  With Ella Bohm’s marriage to Jacob Katzenstein, my Goldschmidt and Katzenstein lines had merged.

I won’t repeat the research and story of Eva Goldsmith and Marcus Bohm, but despite further searching, I unfortunately have not yet found any record for either their marriage or Eva’s death. What I have concluded, however, is that Eva had died by 1870 because by then her daughter Ella was living with Eva’s brother Jacob Goldsmith.

Jacob Goldsmith and family on the 1870 census
Year: 1870; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 12 District 36, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Thus, by 1860, all the members of the family of Simon Goldschmidt were living in western Pennsylvania, most of them in Washington, Pennsylvania, where Fradchen’s nephew Henry Schoenthal would arrive six years later, soon followed by his siblings.

By the 1880s, there were thus familial connections between the Goldschmidt family and the Schoenthal family and also between the Goldschmidt family and the Katzenstein family.  These overlapping connections laid the groundwork for the 1888 marriage of my great-grandparents, Isidore Schoenthal and Hilda Katzenstein, whose mother was a Goldschmidt. It’s amazing to see how the many lines in the family came together in the pairing of two of my direct ancestors.

——

[1] I do not have German birth records for Jacob or Lena, only US records. For the last three children, I was able to locate Oberlistingen birth records.

[2] The names on this census are switched around. Simon’s wife was Fanny, not Lena, and his daughter was Eva, not Fanny. Another reminder of how unreliable census records can be.

Update on the Jeweler and the Suffragette: Some Answers, Some Photos

One of the most intriguing stories I’ve researched is the story of my cousin Maurice Jay Baer (known as “MJ”) and his mysterious marriage to Bossie O’Brien Hundley, a well-known activist for women’s suffrage in Alabama. I wrote in detail about Bossie and what I knew of her relationship with MJ Baer in a post entitled “The Jeweler and the Suffragette: Star-crossed Lovers?” in July 2016.   I first learned of their relationship when I discovered the marriage license for MJ and Bossie dated June 19, 1945; they were married in Tryon, North Carolina. Sadly, MJ died less than a year later on April 25, 1946.

Maurice Jay Baer and Julia Hendley marriage license, 1945
Ancestry.com. North Carolina, Marriage Records, 1741-2011 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.
Original data: North Carolina County Registers of Deeds. Microfilm. Record Group 048. North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, NC.

I was puzzled that MJ’s family hadn’t known that he was married. Bossie was not named as one of his survivors in his obituary, and MJ was buried with his family in Philadelphia, not where Bossie was later buried in North Carolina. When I’d asked my Baer family relatives about the marriage, no one knew anything about it. In fact, the family believed that he had never married at all.  He was described as the “bachelor uncle.”

Maurice Jay Baer death notice
New York Times, April 27, 1946

 

It seemed that Bossie’s family, however, did know about the marriage.  MJ was named as Bossie’s husband on her death certificate, and her obituary mentioned him as her second husband.

The Birmingham News, November 16, 1966, p. 26

Bossie Baer death certificate
Ancestry.com. North Carolina, Death Certificates, 1909-1976 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007.
Original data: North Carolina State Board of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics. North Carolina Death Certificates. Microfilm S.123. Rolls 19-242, 280, 313-682, 1040-1297. North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, North Carolina.

I was left with so many questions. How had a Jewish man from Massachusetts met a Catholic woman from Alabama? Where did they live after their marriage? How and why did they keep the marriage a secret at least from MJ’s family? I tried to find out more, but had no luck.

Then on May 18, 2017, I received a comment on the blog from Mitchell Brown, who shared that she was Bossie’s great-granddaughter and that she had “known about MJ Baer and his connection to our family all [her] life. The family narrative is that it was the religious differences that kept them from being public about their marriage.”

I was thrilled to hear from Mitchell, and since then, Mitchell and her family have generously shared with me some photographs and some additional insights that have answered many if not all my questions about MJ and Bossie.

Two of Bossie’s granddaughters were the primary sources of that information. Elisabeth Hundley Farr Smith remembers MJ very well as she was born in 1934 and spent many summers with her grandmother Bossie in Black Mountain, North Carolina.  Melinda Farr Brown, Elisabeth’s younger sister, was born in 1942 and does not have any memories of MJ, but knew her grandmother Bossie very well.

Elisabeth wrote that “MJ was as close to a grandfather to me as one can get (and actually became my step grandfather when he and Bossie married).” From the age of six until she was in her twenties, she spent her summers in Black Mountain. Her parents would put her on the train in Philadelphia, and Bossie would meet her at the station in Black Mountain.  MJ also spent the summers there for many years, starting even before he married Bossie; however, Elisabeth recalls that he returned north each fall. Elisabeth wrote that MJ had his own room and bath in Bossie’s house. She recalls taking walks with him and their cocker spaniel Buffy every morning, listening to the radio in the evenings with her grandmother and MJ, driving to town to get a drugstore soda, and engaging in various activities on her own, like writing a newspaper to sell for ten cents. She was just a young child and so was not engaged in much of the adult conversation so had no insights into their relationship or how and when they’d met.

One other interesting note: Elisabeth mentioned that she knew MJ’s nephew Jerry and his wife Elsie. I believe this must be a reference to MJ’s sister Elsie Baer and her husband Jerome Grant. Elisabeth recalled that they lived in New York City and that she even visited them a few times with her grandmother even after MJ died.

Melinda also recalled meeting Elsie and Jerome. She described a lunch she had at their home in New York City in 1963 where Elsie spoke about the fact that no one had known about the marriage between MJ and Bossie. And when I reviewed MJ’s death certificate, I saw that Jerome had been the informant on that record; strangely enough he reported that MJ was single when he died.  Either Jerome had not known there had been a marriage or he was still covering up the secret marriage from the rest of the Baer family. Melinda said that she didn’t think anyone but Bossie’s daughter Margaret knew about the marriage until after MJ died.

Maurice Jay Baer death certificate
Ancestry.com. North Carolina, Death Certificates, 1909-1976 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007.
Original data: North Carolina State Board of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics. North Carolina Death Certificates. Microfilm S.123. Rolls 19-242, 280, 313-682, 1040-1297. North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, North Carolina.

It seems that at some point after MJ’s death, the Baer family did learn of his marriage to Bossie. My cousin Mike, who is in fact MJ’s namesake, found a list of family members that was prepared when Mike’s grandfather Samuel Stone, Sr. died in 1957. Samuel Stone was married to Tilda Baer, MJ’s sister. Included on that list of family members was the name “Mrs. Maurice J. Baer, Black Mountain, NC.”

Although I have not obtained a copy of MJ’s will, I had wondered whether he had left any money to Bossie; I still do not know for sure, but Melinda told me that he had left her $1000, so I assume that MJ had also left some of his estate to his wife Bossie and probably to her daughter Margaret and both granddaughters.

As for why the marriage was kept a secret, Melinda recalls that her grandmother said that it was, at least on Bossie’s part, not because of the religious differences but rather because she did not want to be teased about their “personal life.” After all, MJ was 71 and Bossie 69 when they married in 1945.  I suppose some people might have thought it odd for two older people to marry at that point in their lives.

One of the more surprising things I learned from Bossie’s two granddaughters was how long Bossie and MJ had known each other even before they were married. Although neither Elisabeth nor Melinda knew exactly how or when Bossie and MJ met, Melinda shared with me the following page from Bossie’s unpublished book, “With the Passing Years:”

A Tribute to MJ J. Baer

One of the most ennobling influences

of my life was my friendship for twenty

years with MJ J. Baer.  This

beautiful friendship was focused on

June 19, 1945 by our marriage.

 His integrity, appreciation of the best

in art and literature, his personal

charm, fine sense of values and uniform

kindness were forces that built an

unforgettable personality.

Just eight months after our marriage he

died leaving me a beautiful memory.

Thus, Bossie had known MJ for twenty years when he died in 1946, meaning she must have met him in about 1926.  On August 14, 1926, MJ returned to New York from a trans-Atlantic trip on the S.S. Verdam. Bossie had also taken a trans-Atlantic trip that year, returning to New York on May 28, 1926, on the S.S. Rotterdam. I don’t know how long either one of them spent in Europe, but at some point their paths crossed, as seen in this photograph that Bossie’s family kindly shared with me:

1926 photo of Bossie Hundley O’Brien and MJ Baer
Courtesy of the Family of Bossie Hundley O’Brien Baer

As you can see, it is dated 1926, and three people are identified in the photograph: Bossie, Mrs. Hageman, and M.J Baer.  It looks as if they were exploring some ruins, perhaps in Greece.

Melinda reviewed a travel diary that her grandmother kept during a trip taken with MJ in 1930 during which they visited Amsterdam’s Jewish Quarter. About that visit, Bossie wrote, “With Cook’s guide we visited the diamond factory of Amsterdam (not interesting), then the old Jewish Quarter and the old Synagogue dating back to the 16th century.  It was here that M.J. told the woman my father was a Christian but my mother was a Jewess!!”

I assume that Bossie was quoting MJ—that is, that he said his father was a Christian, but his mother was Jewish, not that Bossie’s were. In either case, it’s not accurate, as MJ’s father Jacob Baer was most definitely Jewish, as was his mother, Malchen (Amalie/Amelia) Hamberg. Both are buried in a Jewish cemetery, as was MJ. At any rate it is clear that all those trips taken by MJ and Bossie over the years were trips taken together and that travel was a passion they both shared. As noted in my earlier post, both traveled many times to Europe in the 1920s and 1930s, although on different ships, except for one trip in 1930 when they were listed together on the ship manifest:

1930 ship manifest listing both Maurice Jay Baer and Bossie Hundley
Year: 1930; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 4849; Line: 1; Page Number: 183

It is also interesting that traveling with MJ was his niece, Stephanie Stone of Attleboro, Massachusetts, my cousin’s Mike’s mother. Stephanie obviously knew Bossie, yet Mike had always believed that his great-uncle had never married.

The family generously shared with me the following photographs of Bossie and MJ taken during their many travels together:

Bossie O’Brien and MJ Baer in India
Courtesy of the Family of Bossie Hundley O’Brien Baer

Bossie O’Brien and MJ Baer in Venice
Courtesy of the Family of Bossie Hundley O’Brien Baer

Bossie and MJ aboard ship with monkeys
Courtesy of the Family of Bossie Hundley O’Brien Baer

 

Over a year and a half ago when I wrote that earlier post about the jeweler and the suffragette, I had little expectation that I would be able to learn more about this mysterious couple.  Thanks to the generosity of Bossie’s family and the magic of the internet, I now have a much fuller picture. MJ and Bossie had a long and close friendship for many years, culminating in their marriage in June 1945. Their marriage may have been cut short by MJ’s untimely death in 1946, but their relationship had obviously been an important and valued part of both of their lives for twenty years.