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Clementine Blumenfeld Abraham’s Family: Her Sons Escaped; She, Her Husband, Daughter, Son-in-Law, and Grandson Did Not

I have returned from my break, and unfortunately, I have another sad post to publish about my third cousin, twice removed, Clementine Blumenfeld Abraham. Clementine was the youngest child of Moses Blumenfeld IIB, and like her siblings Hermann and Bertha, she and much of her family were killed in the Holocaust.

Clementine’s daughter Lilli married Leon Gerstenhaber sometime before June 23, 1937, when their son David was born in Metz, France.1 Leon was also born in Metz, France; he was born to Simon Gerstenhaber and Dinah Beiser on November 31, 1901.2

Martin Abraham, Clementine’s older son, traveled from Germany to France in 1932, perhaps to visit his sister Lilli, and then in the spring of 1936, he immigrated to Palestine. The documents below including his German passport are from his Palestinian immigration file found at the Israel State Archives. Martin married Corinne Bloch, who was born in Trimbach, France, on May 13, 1912. She immigrated to Palestine in 1938, and they had one child together born in the 1940s.

 

Martin’s brother Walter also immigrated to Palestine, arriving just a couple of months after Martin on July 24, 1936, as seen in these documents from the Israel State Archives.

Unfortunately, Clementine, her husband Richard Abraham, their daughter Lilli, and her husband Leon and their son David did not follow Martin and Walter to Palestine. They were all killed at Auschwitz. Richard was deported from the Drancy concentration camp to Auschwitz on Transport 40 on November 4, 1942. Clementine was also deported from the Drancy Camp to Auschwitz on Transport 62 on November 20, 1943. Lilli and her family were also sent from the Drancy concentration camp in France to Auschwitz on January 20, 1944 on Transport 66.

Clementine Blumenfeld Abraham, Page of Testimony at Yad Vashem found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=612790&ind=2

Richard Abraham Page of Testimony at Yad Vashem, found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=612794&ind=2

Lilli Abraham Gerstenhaber Page of Testimony at Yad Vashem, https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=1949660&ind=2

Leon Gerstenhaber Page of Testimony at Yad Vashem, found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=13857240&ind=1

David Gerstenhaber, Page of Testimony at Yad Vashem, found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=1390876&ind=2

Thus, three of Moses IIB’s five surviving children—Hermann, Bertha, and Clementine—and most of their children and grandchildren were killed by the Nazis. I am totally drained by telling their stories and reading these Pages of Testimony. I am also so grateful that Israel exists to provide a sanctuary for those who escaped.

The remaining two children of Moses IIB and Sara Blumenfeld, Salomon and Max, were more fortunate than their other siblings.

 

 

 

 


  1. See Page of Testimony for David Gerstenhaber filed by Hilde Schattner at Yad Vashem, found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=1390876&ind=2 
  2. See Page of Testimony for Leon Gerstenhaber filed by nephew Michael Gerstenhaber at Yad Vashem, found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=13857240&ind=1 

Bertha Blumenfeld Fernich: Another Family Destroyed in the Holocaust

Another tragic story. There are times I can barely bring myself to write about what happened to so many of my relatives. Bertha Blumenfeld Fernich was my third cousin, twice removed.

Bertha, the second child of Moses IIB and Sara Blumenfeld, was born in 1876 and married Ludwig Fernich in 1900, as we saw. They had two daughters, Jenny, born in 1904, and Else, born in 1905. Jenny had married Julius Asser in 1926, and they had two children, Kurt and Lissy, born in 1926 and 1927, respectively.

It appears that Bertha’s husband Ludwig died sometime before January 18, 1939 since he is not included in the marginal note on their marriage record made on that date, which reported that Bertha had had Sara added to her name to identify her asJewish as required by Nazi law. My assumption is that Ludwig must have died or the note would have indicated that Israel had been added to his name. But I’ve been unable to locate an actual death record for Ludwig.

Marriage record of Bertha Blumenfeld and Ludwig Fernich, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5028
Description
Year Range: 1900
Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Bertha, her daughter Jenny, son-in-law Julius Asser, and grandchildren Kurt and Lissy Asser were all deported to the Warsaw Ghetto in 1942 and were killed during Holocaust. Kurt and Lissy were young teenagers. Although I cannot fathom how a human being kills another human being for no reason, I find it especially hard to imagine how anyone kills innocent children who haven’t even had a chance to live life.

Bertha Blumenfeld Fernich Page of Testimony at Yad Vashem, found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=3579289&ind=1

Jenny Fernich Asser, Page of Testimony at Yad Vashem, found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=1882529&ind=2

Julius Asser, Page of Testimony at Yad Vashem, found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=1853283&ind=1

Kurt Asser Page of Testimony at Yad Vashem found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=1853448&ind=1

Lissy Asser Page of Testimony at Yad Vashem, found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=1797444&ind=1

But Bertha’s younger daughter Else and her husband Josef Hauswirth did escape in time. Else had married Josef on August 19, 1932, in Dortmund, Germany, where Josef was born on January 8, 1904. They immigrated to the US on June 24, 1937, and settled in New York City,1 where in 1940 they were living at 153 West 80th Street and both were working as operators in the fur trade; Else was now using the name Ellen.2 On his World War II draft registration, Josef indicated that he was self-employed, so apparently this was their own fur business. And I was lucky to find Josef and Ellen on the 1950 census, my first real research use of the 1950 census! They were still living in New York City, and Josef was the owner of a fur business.

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

By 1958 Ellen and Josef Hauswirth were registered to vote in Los Angeles, California.3 They both died in California, Joseph on April 16, 1987,4 Ellen on March 12, 1998.5 As far as I can tell, Josef and Ellen did not have children as none was living with them in either 1940 or 1950 or when they immigrated. Did they choose not to have children because of the Holocaust? We will never know.

Thus, Bertha Blumenfeld Fernwich has no living descendants today. Most of her family was murdered by the Nazis, and her only surviving child Else/Ellen had no children.


I will be taking a much needed break from blogging next week. I will be back on May 17.


  1. Else Fernich Hauswirth Petition for Naturalization, The National Archives and Records Administration; Washington, D.C.; Petitions for Naturalization from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, 1897-1944; Series: M1972; Roll: 1440, Archive Roll Descriptions: (Roll 1440) Petition No· 430413 – Petition No· 430800,
    Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Naturalization Records, 1882-1944 
  2. Ellen and Josef Hauswirth, 1940 US Census, Year: 1940; Census Place: New York, New York, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02636; Page: 12B; Enumeration District: 31-559, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  3. Josef Hauswirth, Residence Date: 1958, Street Address: 6052 Willouchby Ave, Residence Place: Los Angeles, California, USA, Party Affiliation: Democrat, California State Library; Sacramento, California; Great Register of Voters, 1900-1968, Ancestry.com. California, U.S., Voter Registrations, 1900-1968 
  4. Josef Hauswirth, Social Security #: 123039073, Gender: Male, Birth Date: 8 Jan 1904, Birth Place: Other Country, Death Date: 16 Apr 1987, Death Place: Los Angeles
    Mother’s Maiden Name: Kempler, Place: Los Angeles; Date: 16 Apr 1987; Social Security: 123039073, Ancestry.com. California, U.S., Death Index, 1940-1997 
  5.  Ellen F. Hauswirth, Social Security Number: 119-09-1530, Birth Date: 9 Dec 1905
    Issue Year: Before 1951, Issue State: New York, Last Residence: 90048, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA, Death Date: 12 Mar 1998, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 

Does Hermann Blumenfeld Have Any Living Descendants?

Before I move on to Bertha Blumenfeld and her family, I have an update to my last post. One of my loyal readers, my dear friend Laurel, wanted to know whether either of the two children of Hermann and Helma (Lillienstein) Blumenfeld, Hilde Nomi and Hanan/Hans, had children. Were there living descendants of Hermann and Helma and their two children? My first response was I don’t know, and I’ve no idea how to find out.

But I mentioned this question to David Lesser, the Tracing the Tribe member who so generously helped me find the information about Hanan’s second marriage, and he once again offered to help. He contacted someone in Israel who provided him with some information.

Hanan did not have children, according to the research done by David’s contact. Hilde Nomi, however, did have a child with her husband Isaac Schattner. I was delighted to hear that and hope to be able to contact him.

David then went a few steps further and researched Hilde’s husband, Isaac Schattner, who was a well-known and well-regarded professor of geography at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. According to Wikipedia (as translated by Google Translate):

Yitzhak Shatner studied geography and history at the University of Vienna , received his doctorate in 1925 and worked there at the Geographical Institute. At the same time he devoted himself to Zionist activity and prepared for immigration to Eretz Israel….

In 1936 , Yitzhak Shatner immigrated to Eretz Israel. His first professional steps in the Land of Israel included part-time mapping work in the Department of Geology at the Hebrew University, as well as advising the Jewish Agency on land-settlement relations.….In 1947 he was responsible for the collection of maps and aerial photographs of the Haganah in Jerusalem, and after the establishment of the state he served in the decipherment unit of the IDF.

In 1949, Shatner joined the faculty of the Department of Geography at the Hebrew University, founded by his colleague David Amiran . The establishment of the department is considered a turning point in the development of geography as an academic discipline in Israel and the beginning of rapid change in study and research…..

During the late fifties and early sixties , Shatner taught physical geography at the Hebrew University, during which time he authored the first Hebrew textbook in geomorphology. Some see the education of generations of Israeli geomorphologists as the main scientific legacy of Yitzhak Shatner, who continued to guide students and colleagues even after his retirement in 1968 and encouraged them to follow the paths of revolutions that changed the face of geomorphology.

Isaac Schattner found athttps://he.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D7%99%D7%A6%D7%97%D7%A7_%D7%A9%D7%98%D7%A0%D7%A8

David also found several newspaper notices about Hilde and Isaac’s deaths and about the bar mitzvah of their son as well as information about some of Isaac’s family members.

Thus, I now can answer Laurel’s question, thank to the generous assistance of David Lesser. There is at least one living descendant of Hermann and Helma Blumenfeld. Thank you so much, David!

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Honor of Yom HaShoah and Yom HaAtzmaut: Hermann Blumenfeld and His Family

After Moses IIB and Sara (Stern) Blumenfeld died, Moses in 1911, Sara in 1928, they had five surviving children and eleven grandchildren.

Hermann and his wife Helma had two children: Hilde Nomi and Hans. Bertha and her husband Ludwig Fernich had two children: Jenny and Else. Salomon and his wife Malchen or known more often as Amalie had three: Gretel, Jenny, and Hilde. Clementine and her husband Richard Abraham had three: Lilli, Martin, and Walter.  Max and his wife Johanna Gruenwald had one child, a son Fritz.

Of those twenty-one family members, only about half are known to have survived the Holocaust. In addition, some of the great-grandchildren of Moses IIB and Sara were also killed in the Holocaust. This post will tell the story of Hermann Blumenfeld, the oldest child of Moses IIB and Sara. It is an appropriate post for today, just a day after Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, and just six days before Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel Independence Day, because although Hermann and his wife Helma were murdered in the Holocaust, their two children survived by escaping to what was then Palestine, but what became the independent state of Israel in 1948.

Hermann Blumenfeld and his wife Helma were deported from Frankfurt to the Littmanstadt Ghetto in Lodz, Poland, on October 19, 1941, and were killed sometime thereafter.

Hermann Blumenfeld, Page of Testimony at Yad Vashem by his daughter Hilde, found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=1899981&ind=1

Helma Lillienstein Blumenfeld Page of Testimony at Yad Vashem by her daughter Hilde, found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=1899975&ind=1

Fortunately, their two children both left Germany earlier and eventually immigrated to what was then Palestine.

Hilde Nomi left Germany for Oslo, Norway, on August 19, 1933, and then entered Palestine on April 22, 1936. She applied for citizenship there on May 23, 1938, when she was living near Haifa and working as a teacher. She became a Palestinian citizen on June 21, 1938. You can see her full immigration file at Blumenfeld Hilda _ מחלקת ההגירה – ממשלת ארץ ישראל – בקשות לאזרחות _ ארכיון המדינה

Hilde Blumenfeld, Palestine Immigration file found at the Israel State Archives at https://www.archives.gov.il/en/

She remained in Palestine, later Israel, and married Isaac Schattner in Jerusalem on February 17, 1942.

Marriage record of Hilde Blumenfeld and Isaac Schattner, found at the Israel Genealogy Research Association at https://genealogy.org.il/AID/

Hilde Nomi died on January 2, 2012.

Her brother Hans arrived in Palestine on July 1, 1935, when he was seventeen. He applied for Palestinian citizenship on September 13, 1938, and was granted citizenship on October 16, 1938. He was working as a laborer at that time and living in Jerusalem. His full immigration file can be seen here: Blumenfeld Hans _ מחלקת ההגירה – ממשלת ארץ ישראל – בקשות לאזרחות _ ארכיון המדינה

Hans Blumenfeld Palestine immigration file found at the Israel State Archives at https://www.archives.gov.il/en/

Hans remained in Palestine, later Israel, and married Ruth Herman in Jerusalem on August 8, 1941. His marriage record confirmed my earlier assumption that he was in fact the son of Hermann and Helma Blumenfeld.

Marriage record of Hans Blumenfeld and Ruth Herman, found at the Israel Genealogy Research Association at https://genealogy.org.il/AID/

In 1947, Hans changed his first name to Hanan.

IGRA website found at https://genealogy.org.il/AID/

At some later point Hanan changed his surname to Bar Sadeh. He and his first wife Ruth were divorced, and in November 1954, he married Esther Asch, daughter of Hillel and Fredericka Asch. I am indebted to David Lesser of Tracing the Tribe who translated the headstone and then went even further and found the wedding announcement for Hanan and Esther on p. 3 of the November 22, 1954, issue of Hatzofe (the Observer), an the Israeli newspaper.  David translated the announcement as follows: “Hanan Bar-Sadeh (Blumenfeld) son of Herman, Divorcee, Germany Tel-Aviv to Esther Ash Daughter of Hillel, Single, Germany Tel-Aviv.”

According to their gravestone, Esther was born May 29, 1925, and died on June 25, 2006. Hans died on September 1, 2004.

Hanan Bar-Sadeh gravestone found at GRAVEZ at https://gravez.me/en/deceased/9A0712A0-3749-4251-A557-E8EDAA465AF2

Thus, because they were able to escape to what was then Palestine and is today Israel, the children of Hermann Blumenfeld and Helma Lillienstein survived the Holocaust. Unfortunately, Hermann and Helma did not.

Nor did Bertha Blumenfeld Fernich and most of her family, as we will see next.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introducing Moses Blumenfeld IIB and His Family

The fourth child of Isaak Blumenfeld (and the third with his second wife Gelle Straus) was named Moses Blumenfeld, and he is labeled Moses Blumenfeld IIB on my tree to distinguish him from his grandfather Moses I, his first cousin Moses IIA, and all the others on the Blumenfeld tree with that name who were born after he was.

Moses IIB was born on May 2, 1847, in Momberg, Germany.

Birth record of Moses Blumenfeld II, Geburtsregister der Juden von Neustadt 1824-1884 (HHStAW Abt. 365 Nr. 628)AutorHessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, WiesbadenErscheinungsjahr1824-1884, p. 16

He married Sara Stern sometime before 1874. She was born in Stadtallendorf, Germany, on May 7, 1852, to Isaak Stern and Schenche Stern.

Birth record for Sara Stern, Geburtsregister der Juden von Allendorf (Stadtallendorf) 1850-1891 (HHStAW Abt. 365 Nr. 29)

I don’t have a marriage record for Moses IIB and Sara, but unsourced trees list their marriage date and place as November 26, 1873, in Allendorf.

Moses IIB and Sara had seven children, five of whom lived to adulthood. First born was their son Hermann, born October 16, 1874, in Kirchhain:

Hermann Blumenfeld birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 4975, Year Range: 1874, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Then came Bertha, born March 16, 1876, in Kirchhain:

Bertha Blumenfeld birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 4977, Year Range: 1876, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Salomon was their third child, born May 30, 1878, in Kirchhain:

Salomon Blumenfeld birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 4979, Year Range: 1878, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

The fourth child was Max, born June 13, 1880, in Kirchhain:

Max Blumenfeld birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 4981, Year Range: 1880, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Meda Blumenfeld, born June 29, 1883, in Kirchhain, died when she was only five years old on October 2, 1888, in Kirchhain.

Meda Blumenfeld birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 4984, Year Range: 1883, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Meda Blumenfeld death record, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5073, Year Range: 1888, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958

Next came Clementine and Rosa, twins, born on June 20, 1886, in Kirchhain.

Clementine Blumenfeld birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 4987, Year Range: 1886, 
Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Rosa Blumenfeld birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 4987, Year Range: 1886, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Sadly, little Rosa Blumenfeld only lived eight months. She died on February 9, 1887, in Kirchhain.

Rosa Blumenfeld death record, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5072, Year Range: 1887, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958

Thus, of the seven children to whom Sara gave birth, five survived to adulthood: Hermann, Bertha, Salomon, Max, and Clementine.

The first to marry was the oldest daughter, Bertha. She married Ludwig Fernich on November 12, 1900, in Kirchhain. Ludwig, the son of Heinrich Fernich and Esther Kaufmann, was born on December 11, 1875, in Klotten, Germany.

Bertha Blumenfeld and Ludwig Fernich marriage record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5028, Year Range: 1900, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Bertha and Ludwig had two daughters. Jenny was born in Klotten on March 10, 1904,1 and Else was born the following year in Klotten on December 9, 1905.2

The next to marry of the children of Moses IIB and Sara Blumenfeld was their third child, Salomon. He married Malchen Levi in Wehrda, Germany, on August 23, 1905. Malchen was born to Selig Levi and Franzika Bacharach in Rhina, Germany, on July 28, 1881.

Marriage record of Salomon Blumenfeld and Malchen Levi, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 907; Laufende Nummer: 6927,  Range: 1905, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Salomon and Malchen had three daughters. Gretel was born in Kirchhain on July 1, 1906.3 Jenny was born June 23, 1907, in Kirchain.4 And Hilde was born June 9, 1911, in Kirchhain.5

Max, Moses IIB and Sara’s fourth child, married Johanna Grunwald, daughter of Isidor Grunwald and Nanny Braun, in Pankow, Germany. Johanna was born in Leobschuetz, Germany, on November 29, 1884.

Max Blumenfeld and Johanna Grunwald marriage record, Landesarchiv Berlin; Berlin, Deutschland; Personenstandsregister Heiratsregister; Laufendenummer: 65, Register Year or Type: 1906 (Erstregister), Ancestry.com. Berlin, Germany, Marriages, 1874-1936

Max and Johanna had one child, a son Fritz, born July 13, 1910, in Graudenz, Germany, where Max had been living at the time of his marriage to Johanna.[^6]

Hermann, the first born of Moses IIB and Sara’s children, married Helma Lillienstein on November 15, 1908, in Usingen, Germany. She was born in Usingen on January 5, 1887, to Sigmund Lillienstein and Emma Stern. Hermann’s occupation at that time was a “Landmesser” or land surveyor.

Hermann Blumenfeld and Helma Lillienstein marriage record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 908; Laufende Nummer: 4998 Description Year Range: 1908, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Hermann and Helma had a daughter Hilde Nomi Blumenfeld, born in Hanau, Germany, on September 21, 1909. Although I have no birth record for Hilde, I know that she was the daughter of Hermann and Helma from her Pages of Testimony filed on their behalf with Yad Vashem. Her birth date appears on her Palestine immigration papers, her gravestone, and a ship manifest.6 (Hermann’s daughter Hilde will be distinguished from her first cousin, Salomon’s daughter Hilde, by using her middle name Nomi when I refer to her.

There is also circumstantial evidence that Hermann and Helma had a son named Hans Blumenfeld born on July 3, 1918. First, several trees on Ancestry, MyHeritage, and Geni list Hans as their son, but without any sources. Not good enough for me. I knew that Hilde ended up in Israel, so I searched for a Hans Blumenfeld who also immigrated to Israel and found one, who was born in Frankfurt on July 3, 1918.7 Again, not enough to tie him to Hilde or to Hermann and Helma. I searched for other records or sources and found a gravestone for a Chanan bar Sadeh born on July 3, 1918, whose father’s name was Herman. Still not very much to conclude that Hans became Chanan bar Sadeh and that he was the son of Hermann Blumenfeld, but perhaps enough to leave him on the family tree while I looked for more.

The youngest of the children of Moses IIB and Sara to survive childhood, their daughter Clementine, married Richard Abraham on November 8, 1909, in Kirchhain. Richard was born in Bruttig, Germany, on September 29, 1876, to David Abraham and Gettchen Meyer.

Marriage record of Clementine Blumenfeld and Richard Abraham, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5037, Year Range: 1909, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Clementine and Richard had three children. Lilli was born September 4, 1910,8 Martin on January 30, 1912,9 and Walter on April 30, 1913,10 all three in Bruttig.

Sadly, Moses Blumenfeld IIB did not live to see the births of all his grandchildren. He died on September 17, 1911, in Kirchhain, at the age of 64.

Moses Blumenfeld IIB death record, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5096, Year Range: 1911, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958

Moses IIB was survived by his wife Sara and five of his children as well as his grandchildren.

His widow Sara was fortunate to live long enough to see the births of not only all of her grandchildren, but also two of her great-grandchildren. Her granddaughter Jenny Fernich, daughter of Bertha Blumenfeld Fernich, married Julius Asser in Kirchhain on October 8, 1926. He was born on May 20, 1905, in Gottingen.

Jenny Fernich and Julius Asser marriage record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5054, Year Range: 1926. Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Jenny and Julius had two children, Kurt, born May 13, 1926, and Lissy, born September 25, 1927, both in Gottingen. These dates come from the Gedenbuch Memorial Book of the Victims of the Persecution of Jews under the National Socialist Tyranny in Germany 1933 – 1945, but I’ve seen no actual records. I am a bit skeptical as to whether these dates are correct since it would mean that Kurt was born six months before his parents married, but for now I have no record to support or contradict the Gedenbuch information.

In any event, if these dates are correct, Sara Stern Blumenfeld lived to see these two great-grandchildren come into the world. She died on November 29, 1928, in Kirchhain at the age of 76.

Sara Stern Blumenfeld death record, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5113, Year Range: 1928, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958

She was survived not only by those two great-grandchildren, but also by her five surviving children, Hermann, Bertha, Salomon, Max, and Clementine, and her eleven grandchildren.

Unfortunately, as with so many of my Blumenfeld relatives and as suggested by some of the sources referred to above, very few of those descendants would survive the Holocaust.

 


  1. Jenny Fernich, Gender: weiblich (Female), Age: 22, Birth Date: 10. Mrz 1904 (10 Mar 1904), Marriage Date: 8. Okt 1926 (8 Oct 1926), Marriage Place: Kirchhain, Hessen (Hesse), Deutschland (Germany), Civil Registration Office: Kirchhain
    Spouse: Julius Asser, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5054, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930 
  2. Else Fernich Hauswirth, Record Type: Petition, Birth Date: 9 Dec 1905
    Birth Place: Clotten, Germany, Arrival Date: 24 Jun 1937,Arrival Place: New York, New York, Petition Place: New York, USA, Spouse: Josef, Petition Number: 430681, National Archives and Records Administration; Washington, DC; NAI Title: Index to Petitions for Naturalizations Filed in Federal, State, and Local Courts in New York City, 1792-1906; NAI Number: 5700802; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: RG 21, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943 
  3. Gretel Blumenfeld, Gender: weiblich (Female), Age: 23, Birth Date: 1. Jul 1906 (1 Jul 1906), Marriage Date: 24. Jan 1930 (24 Jan 1930), Marriage Place: Kirchhain, Hessen (Hesse), Deutschland (Germany), Civil Registration Office: Kirchhain, Spouse:
    David Katz, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5058, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930 
  4. USC Shoah Foundation; Los Angeles, California; Visual History Archive: The Holocaust, Free Access: USC Shoah Foundation, Holocaust – Jewish Survivor Interviews. Alfred Schneider, Die jüd. Familien im ehemaligen Kreise Kirchhain, p. 79. 
  5. Hilde Blumenfeld, Gender: Female, Declaration Age: 19, Record Type: Declaration
    Birth Date: 9 Jun 1911, Birth Place: Kirchhain Germany, Arrival Date: 21 May 1929
    Arrival Place: New York, New York, USA, Declaration Date: 2 Jun 1931, Declaration Place: New York, Court: U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
    Declaration Number: 315685, Box Number: 183, The National Archives at Philadelphia; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; NAI Title: Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1/19/1842 – 10/29/1959; NAI Number: 4713410; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: 21, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943. Hilde had a first cousin also named Hilde, the daughter of Hermann Blumenfeld. I will distinguish the two by using the other Hilde’s middle name Nomi when I refer to her. 
  6. Staatsarchiv Hamburg; Hamburg, Deutschland; Hamburger Passagierlisten; Volume: 373-7 I, VIII A 1 Band 417; Page: 2053; Microfilm No.: K_2000, Staatsarchiv Hamburg. Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934. Her Palestinian immigration papers were found at the Israel Archives. Blumenfeld Hilda _ מחלקת ההגירה – ממשלת ארץ ישראל – בקשות לאזרחות _ ארכיון המדינה 
  7. Found at the Israel Archives by searching for Hans Blumenfeld. Blumenfeld Hans _ מחלקת ההגירה – ממשלת ארץ ישראל – בקשות לאזרחות _ ארכיון המדינה 
  8. Lilli Gerstenhaber, [Lilli Abraham], Gender: Female, Birth Date: 4 Sep 1910, Birth Place: Bruttig, Germany, Birth Place-Modern Name: Bruttig, Death Date: 25 Jan 1944
    Death Place: Poland, Auschwitz, Ancestry.com. France, Jewish Deaths During Deportation, 1941-1948 
  9. Palestinian immigration file found at MARTIN ABRAHAM _ מחלקת ההגירה- ממשלת ארץ ישראל _ ארכיון המדינה immigration file 
  10. Palestinian immigration file found at Abraham Walter _ מחלקת ההגירה – ממשלת ארץ ישראל – בקשות לאזרחות _ ארכיון המדינה immig file 

Finding Meier Blumenfeld’s Children: The Benefits of Teamwork

As I turn to Meier Blumenfeld, Giedel Blumenfeld’s youngest son to survive to adulthood, the first thing I want to do is thank my cousin Richard Bloomfield for all his help in finding the children of Meier Blumenfeld and researching their fates. This was a true example of teamwork in the best sense. Richard is fluent in German and was able to read documents and contact people in a way that I never could have. He is also an extraordinary researcher—thorough and reliable. Together we’ve solved some perplexing mysteries, but I give him the bulk of the credit in pulling this one together. I hope this post will inspire others to find those with whom they can collaborate on their research. Two heads are definitely better than one.

Meier Blumenfeld (labeled as Meier III on my tree) was born on November 2, 1879, in Kirchhain, Germany, to Giedel  Blumenfeld and Gerson Blumenfeld.

Meier Blumenfeld III birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 4980, Year Range: 1879, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

On April 5, 1905, Meier married Emma Oppenheim, in Hersfeld, Germany. Emma, the daughter of Aron Oppenheim and Hannchen Klebe, was born in Wehrda, Germany, on September 8, 1883. 1

Marriage record Emma Oppenheim and Meier Blumenfeld III, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 907, Year Range: 1905, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

So far, so good. But finding Meier and Emma’s children was much more challenging.

According to numerous unsourced trees on Ancestry, Meier and Emma had only one child, a daughter Giedel Trudchen, born in Kirchhain on March 2, 1905, a month before Meier and Emma married. I was very skeptical of these trees at first since I could not find any records for this child; in addition, the date of birth seemed unlikely.

However, with substantial help from my cousin Richard Bloomfield, we have enough circumstantial evidence to conclude that a woman named Gertrud Blumenfeld was the daughter of Meier Blumenfeld and Emma Oppenheim. According to this marriage record, a Gertrud Blumenfeld was born on March 2, 1906 (eleven months AFTER Meier and Emma were married) in Gotha, Germany. Unfortunately, the marriage record does not name the parents of the bride and groom, and the birthplace of Gotha initially threw Richard and me as Meier was from Kirchhain and Emma was born in Wehrda and lived in Hersfeld at the time of their marriage.

Marriage of Gertrud Blumenfeld and Erwin Mayer, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 907, Year Range: 1927, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

But a closer look at the marriage record for Gertrud indicates that although she was living in Hersfeld when they married, she was born in Gotha.

And a closer look at Meier and Emma’s marriage record revealed that Meier was living in Gotha at the time of their marriage in 1905.

This, and more evidence described below, led me to conclude that Gertrud Blumenfeld, born in Gotha on March 2, 1906, was very likely the daughter of Meier and Emma.

Meier, Emma, Gertrud, and Erwin were deported on October 20, 1941, from Frankfurt to the Lodz ghetto in Poland, where Erwin was killed on December 3, 1942, Emma on January 10, 1943, and Meier on February 2, 1943. No date of death was given for Gertrud. The fact that Gertrud and Erwin were deported from the same place (and living on the same street in Frankfurt) and to the same destination as Meier and Emma on the same day further supported the conclusion that Gertrud Blumenfeld Mayer was their daughter.

So I am convinced that Meier and Emma did have a daughter Gertrud. But was she killed in the Holocaust? Yad Vashem says she was. But there are some Arolsen Archives documents that suggest otherwise.

This document dated October 2, 1950, says that Erwin’s wife “ausgewandert nach USA”—emigrated to the USA.

Arolsen Archives, Digital Archive; Bad Arolsen, Germany; Lists of Persecutees 2.1.1.1
Reference Code: 02010101 oS, Ancestry.com. Free Access: Europe, Registration of Foreigners and German Persecutees, 1939-1947

And even more surprising, this one says she emigrated with “2 kinder”—two children.

Arolsen Archives, Digital Archive; Bad Arolsen, Germany; Lists of Persecutees 2.1.1.1
Reference Code: 02010101 oS, Ancestry.com. Free Access: Europe, Registration of Foreigners and German Persecutees, 1939-1947

Was Yad Vashem wrong? Had Gertrud survived? I did find two documents indicating that she had been in the Lodz concentration camp, but nothing about her surviving the war or coming to the US.2 Had she had two children who immigrated with her to the US? So far I cannot find any evidence of Gertrud in the US or of two children.

But much to my surprise, Richard soon discovered that Meier and Emma had two more daughters after Gertrud, two daughters who did not appear on those Ancestry trees that show only one child, Gertrud, for Meier and Emma.

First, Richard found an Arolsen Archive document for a single woman named Ruth Blumenfeld, born August 17, 1920, who’d been residing at the same address as Meier and Emma in Frankfurt, 11.1 Beethovenstrasse. Emma would have been 37 when Ruth was born, so an older mother, but certainly not inconceivable (no pun intended). This document indicated that Ruth was in the US.

Arolsen Archives, Digital Archive; Bad Arolsen, Germany; Lists of Persecutees 2.1.1.1
Reference Code: 02010101 oS, Ancestry.com. Free Access: Europe, Registration of Foreigners and German Persecutees, 1939-1947

And then Richard located records showing a Bertha Blumenfeld who had immigrated to the US on March 4, 1940. The ship manifest reports that she was nineteen years old, born in Hersfeld, and a nurse. More revealing is that she listed her father Meier as the person in her prior residence and an uncle Herman Bloomfield as the person she was going to in the US. I wrote about Herman here, an older brother of Meier. This certainly corroborated the conclusion that Bertha  was the daughter of Meier and Emma Blumenfeld.

Year: 1940; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 1; Page Number: 33, Ship or Roll Number: George Washington, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957

Year: 1940; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 1; Page Number: 33, Ship or Roll Number: George Washington, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957

This declaration of intention tied Ruth and Bertha together as one person and confirmed her birthdate and birthplace as August 17, 1920, in Hersfeld.

Ruth Blumenfeld declaration of intention, The National Archives at Philadelphia; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; NAI Title: Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1/19/1842 – 10/29/1959; NAI Number: 4713410; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: 21, Description: (Roll 588) Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1842-1959 (No 461501-462400), Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943

Ruth Blumenfeld, as she was known in the US, married Leo Friedman on March 21, 1942. According to the New York, New York, Index to Marriage Licenses, 1908-1910, 1938-1940 on Ancestry, the transcription of their license lists Ruth’s parents as Meier and Emma Blumenfeld. Leo was born August 4, 1909, in Crailsheim, Germany, to Louis and Dina Friedman.3 I don’t know whether Ruth and Leo had children. They settled in Queens, New York; Leo died in November 1982,4 and Ruth in February 1984.5

Perhaps the 1950 census will reveal whether they had children. I tried searching on the archives.org site, but there were just too many entries and the artificial intelligence used to scan the names is too imprecise to be able to do a search on a common surname. So I have to wait until the census is better indexed on Ancestry or FamilySearch.

But Richard also found a reference on Geni to a third daughter of Meier and Emma Blumenfeld, a daughter named Hanna born between Gertrud and Bertha Ruth in 1910 in Hersfeld. But we could find no records or other sources for Hanna.

And then I located a website for the Stolpersteine laid in Hersfeld that opened up more avenues for research. Richard transcribed and translated the German text pertaining to the family of Meier (Max) and Emma Oppenheim Blumenfeld:

Max Meier Blumenfeld was born on 2 November 1879 in Kirchhain. About 1910 he took up residence on Dudenstreet, which at that time was the Kaiserstrasse. In house number 16, which belonged to his father-in-law Aron Oppenheim, he opened a shop for “raw products” [I assume “groceries”]. Later he expanded his assortment to include textiles and tobacco products. He was also active in the Jewish Congregation in Hersfeld and was its president for many years.

M. Blumenfeld was from a family that had lived in Kirchhain for generations at Brieselsstrasse 12. In the center of the city the Blumenfelds possessed a stately home which served his [Max] brother Gustav until the end of 1938 as dwelling and place of business ….

Emma Blumenfeld (born 9 September 1883) had lived with her husband and daughter Gertrud (born 2 March 1906) in Gotha before moving to Hersfeld. Emma née Oppenheim was born in Rhina on 9 September 1883, in the house at Oberland 14.

Max and Emma Blumenfeld left Bad Hersfeld on 19 December 1938, hoping to find some protection from the daily discrimination in the anonymity of the big city of Frankfurt. After having lived in the house at Beethovenstrasse 11 for just short of three years, they had to board the first train with deportees from Frankfurt on 20 October 1941 which carried over 1100 Jews to the Ghetto at Lodz. …

Emma’s date of death is recorded as 10 January 1943. The last sign of life from Max Blumenfeld is dated 2 February 1943. Blumenfeld’s daughter Gertrud and her husband Erwin Mayer also died in the Ghetto at Lodz. Daughter Hanna, born 1910, who had moved to Saarland in 1932, was murdered at Auschwitz. Only the youngest daughter Bertha Ruth, who had moved at a 16-year-old to Frankfurt, survived the Holocaust.

This passage confirmed that Meier, Emma, Gertrud, and Erwin had died in Lodz. It also confirmed that Bertha Ruth had survived, and it reported that there was a middle daughter Hanna who had been killed at Auschwitz after moving to Saarland, Germany, in 1932.

Richard then located a second site devoted to Stolpersteine installed in Hersfeld, and that one included this additional information about Hanna, the middle daughter of Meier and Emma:

Siegfried, the youngest child [of the family Levi] (born 1908…) moved 1932 with his wife Hanna née Blumenfeld (from Duden Street) to Merzig/Saar. Siegfried Levi had attended teachers’ college in Würzburg.

Now we knew that Hanna had married Siegfried Levi and moved with him to Merzig, Saarland, Germany, in 1932.

Although the Stolperstein biography indicated that Hanna Blumenfeld Levi had been killed at Auschwitz, there is no entry for a woman with that name listed at Yad Vashem. However, there is a listing for a Hannah Blumenfeld with the birth name Levi, and she was born in Hersfeld on July 18, 1910. Richard and I both feel that the married name and birth name was transposed in the listing and that this is in fact Hanna Blumenfeld Levi, the middle daughter of Meier and Emma Blumenfeld.  According to Yad Vashem, she had lived in Luxembourg and France during the war and had been deported from Drancy, France, on September 7, 1942, to Auschwitz, where she was killed.

But then Richard and I were confused by a listing on Ancestry from the Jewish Holocaust Survivor List from the files of World Jewish Congress, 1918-1982 database that includes Hanna Levi, born in Hersfeld on July 18, 1910, and states that she had a visa for Cuba.6 After Richard consulted with the author of the Hersfeld Stolpersteine site, we concluded that although Hanna may have had a visa for Cuba, she never actually immigrated and was killed at Auschwitz. Her husband Siegfried, however, did survive and ended up immigrating to the US after the war.7

Thus, from starting with my doubts about whether Meier and Emma Blumenfeld had any children, I am now persuaded by the documents that Richard and I found that they had three daughters. The youngest, Bertha Ruth, escaped to the US. The middle child Hanna was killed at Auschwitz. And the oldest Gertrud was also most likely killed in the Holocaust. Why the Arolsen Archives document says she and two children escaped to the US remains an unanswered question. I hope that that document is correct, but all other evidence suggests otherwise.

GeorgDerReisende, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0&gt;, via Wikimedia Commons

GeorgDerReisende, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0&gt;, via Wikimedia Commons

On that sad note, I now have completed the saga of Giedel Blumenfeld, who died so young and left nine children behind. Two of those children left for America as young adults (Markus/Max and Sara/Sadie). The oldest child Moritz had died in 1932, but his children escaped to the US in time. Two of Giedel’s other daughters came to the United States in the 1930s (Bertha and Franziska) as did her son Hermann, his wife, and two of their sons. Hermann’s other two sons escaped to South Africa where they died as young men.

But three of Giedel’s nine children—Dorchen/Dorothea, Salli, and Meier—and almost all of their children were killed in the Holocaust.


  1. Emma’s father Aron later married Franziska Blumenfeld, Meier III’s second cousin, after his first wife Hannchen Klebe died. Franziska Blumenfeld, Gender: weiblich, (Female), Age: 34, Birth Date: 3. Nov 1870 (3 Nov 1870), Marriage Date: 10. Okt 1905 (10 Oct 1905), Marriage Place: Marburg, Hessen (Hesse), Deutschland (Germany)
    Civil Registration Office: Marburg, Spouse: Aron Oppenheim Father: Meine Blumenfeld,
    Mother: Sarchen Blumenfeld, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5620, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930 
  2. Lodz, Name: Gertruda Mayer, [Gertruda Blumenfeld], Gender: F (Female)
    Birth Date: 20 Mar 1906, Profession: Sekretaerin, Address: 97 Flat 2a Muhl Gasse
    Residence: Lodz, Poland, Deportation Date: 20 Apr 1943, JewishGen.org Volunteers, comp. East Europe, Registers and Listings from Ten Jewish Ghettos, 1939-1942. Gertruda Mayer, Gender: weiblich (Female), Birth Date: 2 Mrz 1906 (2 Mar 1906)
    Apartment Number: 68, Street Address: Hanseaten 4, Residence Place: Litzmannstadt, Polen (Poland), Occupation: Sekretär, Previous Address: Frankfurt, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum; Washington, DC; Poland, Lódz Ghetto Register Books, 1939-1944; Record Groups: RG-15.083M; File Name: rg-15_083m_0219-00000393, Ancestry.com. Poland, Łódź Ghetto Register Books, 1939-1944 (USHMM) 
  3. Ruth Blumenfeld, Gender: Female, Race: White, Marriage Age: 21, Birth Date: Aug 1920, Birth Place: Germany, Marriage Date: 21 Mar 1942, Marriage Place: New York, Manhattan, New York, New York, USA, Residence Street Address: 564 W. 160 St.
    Residence Place: New York, Manhattan, Occupation: Factory, Father: Meier Blumenfeld
    Mother: Emma Blumenfeld, Spouse: Leo Friedman, Certificate Number: 5247
    Current Marriage Number: 0, New York City Department of Records & Information Services; New York City, New York; New York City Marriage Licenses; Borough: Manhattan; Year: 1942, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Index to Marriage Licenses, 1908-1910, 1938-1940 
  4.  Leo Friedman, Social Security Number: 064-12-5373, Birth Date: 4 Aug 1909
    Issue Year: Before 1951, Issue State: New York, Last Residence: 11375, Flushing, Queens, New York, USA, Death Date: Nov 1982, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  5.  Ruth Friedman, Social Security Number: 102-14-8791, Birth Date: 17 Aug 1920
    Issue Year: Before 1951, Issue State: New York, Last Residence: 11375, Flushing, Queens, New York, USA, Death Date: Feb 1984, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  6. Hanna Levi, Birth Date: 1910-07-18, Birth Place: Hersfeld, Last Residence: Ettelorueck, Luxembourg, Comments: Passport reference: Allem. 474/40, Visa to: Cuba
    Source: Luxembourg, immigrants to Americas via Bayonne, France, ca. 1945-1946 (Liste des Luxembourgeois a Bayonne, n.d.), Record Set, Page: D51.12,5, JewishGen. Jewish Holocaust Survivor List from the files of World Jewish Congress, 1918-1982 
  7. E.g., see Siegfried Levi, World War II draft registration, National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Registration Cards for New York City, 10/16/1940 – 03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 

The Boston Marathon 2022

As a mother, I have been blessed with many days that have brought me immeasurable joy and pride—the days my daughters were born, their first words, their first steps, their first days of school. Watching them perform on stage in theatrical and musical performances. Bat mitzvahs, graduations, a wedding, and the births of my grandchildren. Those are the big events. Then there are so many smaller events that have filled my heart with so much love and joy—when they’ve done something kind to a friend or family member, when they’ve made someone smile, when they’ve made me laugh until tears roll down my face. Being their mother has been a constant source of joy and pride.

Yes, there were and still are moments that I get exasperated with them. There were times I’ve lost my temper or said something too harsh. Times I was in too much of a rush or under too much stress to be as patient or attentive as I should have been. And there were times they also didn’t behave as I might have wanted them to. But overall being a mother has brought me the greatest challenges and the greatest rewards of my life.

Yesterday was one of those days of immeasurable joy and pride just as last October 11 had been when Maddy ran the Boston Marathon for the first time. Yesterday she did it again. Of course, I am proud of her determination and her hard work and her accomplishment of running 26.2 miles on one of the hardest marathon courses in the world. But it is more than that. So much more than that.

Maddy works at the Lenox Hotel in Boston, a beautiful old hotel with so much style and class that it puts any other hotel to shame. And it happens to be located just a block away from the Marathon finish line. It is the perfect place to watch the thousands of runners as they finally reach their goal after hours of running. You are a witness to all their excitement, exhaustion, and elation as they see that finish line in front of them. And so, of course, we stayed at the hotel to watch and to witness Maddy’s completion of the marathon for the second time.

From the moment we entered the hotel on Sunday night, we were treated like VIPs. Everyone told us how proud they were of Maddy, how excited they were, and how much they loved her. From the top management of the hotel to the woman who came to clean our room, we heard over and over again how kind she was, how special she was. What more could a parent ask for?

And then we waited and watched as the participants passed the Lenox. First, the amazing grit and determination of the wheelchair and hand-cycle participants, then the awe-inspiring runners who were pushing a loved one in a wheelchair through the racecourse, then the elite runners arriving in just over two hours, and then wave after wave of runners from all over the world of all ages.

The fourth wave were the runners who ran for charity, not based on a qualifying time, and in my mind, they are the most important of all. They are not doing it solely for the athletic challenge, but to make life better for others at the same time.

Maddy was in that fourth wave. In the three times she has raised money in order to run in the Marathon (the first time cancelled because of COVID), she has raised close to $50,000 from friends and family for the Boston Medical Center, a non-profit 514-bed academic hospital in Boston; its mission statement states that the hospital is “driven by a commitment to care for all people, regardless of their ability to pay, providing not only traditional medical care, but also programs and services that wrap around that care to enhance overall health.” Maddy’s ability to raise that kind of money for the hospital is a testament to how many people care about her and support her efforts.

As we waited for Maddy to approach the finish line, we tracked her on the Boston Athletic Association app. She was running with her friend Mo, and they stopped to send us a selfie they took as they passed the halfway mark at 13.1 miles—their big smiles glowing with pride and happiness. Maddy’s oldest and dearest friend Anna traveled from western Massachusetts with her family to stand along the race route to cheer Maddy on and give her a hug. Our cousins in Newton waited along Heartbreak Hill to cheer her on as well.

Anna and Maddy

And then we saw on the app that Maddy was crossing Mass Avenue and then turning onto Hereford Street and finally on to Boylston Street, just a few blocks away from where we were standing. We noticed that Mo was now trailing her just a bit and later learned that Mo had graciously told Maddy to run ahead—perhaps to get all her glory alone as she passed us, arms high, smile beaming, with her co-workers and friends and her parents yelling and screaming her name as she ran by and then crossed the finish line.

We then waited for her to return to the hotel, her home away from home, the place where so many who love her were waiting to cheer her accomplishment. As she walked in, the DJ played “Eye of the Tiger,” and the crowd cheered and applauded and then allowed us, her parents, to give her the first hugs.

And then, as she was being hugged and greeted by others, she noticed that the 95-year-old owner of the hotel was also in the lobby, sitting in a wheelchair, waiting to see her. Maddy went over and gave him a hug and spoke to him, and my heart almost exploded with pride and emotion.

So yes, yesterday was one of those days you dream of as a mother when you are raising a young child and hoping that they will grow up to be hard-working and determined and kind and generous. That they will be filled with joy and self-confidence. And most importantly, that they will be loved and loving.

I am so blessed that both of my daughters have fulfilled those dreams for me in so many ways. Rebecca, through her work fighting against gun violence and as a loving and devoted mother, wife, daughter, sister, and friend, has also given me many days of intense joy and pride. And yesterday was only one of the many days when Maddy has brought tears to my eyes with her kindness and love and joyfulness and her determination to do her best at whatever she does.

But yesterday—well, yesterday was one of those truly special days that I will always cherish.

Salli Blumenfeld and His Family: A Branch With No New Leaves

Although the last few posts have had their sad stories—young children who died, a horrible accident taking the life of a young mother, a young man dying at 29 from a heart attack—I was at least spared the pain of writing about the murder of my relatives by the Nazis. Sadly, I now must return to such horrific stories as I turn to the two youngest sons of Giedel Blumenfeld and her husband Gerson Blumenfeld, Salli and Meier. First, I will tell the story of Salli Blumenfeld.

Salli Blumenfeld was born in Kirchhain on March 25, 1878.

Salli Blumenfeld birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 4979, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Salli married Fanni Wetterhahn on May 9, 1906, in Hersfeld, Germany. Fanni was born there on May 29, 1879, to Isaak Wetterhahn and Karoline Simon.

Salli Blumenfeld Fanni Wetterhahn marriage record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 907, Year Range: 1906, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Salli and Fanni had two children. Siegfried was born on July 25, 1907, in Kirchhain.1 According to several trees and other secondary sources, a daughter Kathe Karoline was born to Salli and Fanni on November 4, 1910; I don’t have any record tying this child to Salli and Fanni, however. I do have one record showing that a woman named Kathe Karoline Blumenfeld was born in Kirchhain on November 4, 1910, but that record does not identify her parents.2 For now I will assume she was the daughter of Salli and Fanni.

Salli and Fanni’s son Siegfried married Betti Reutlinger on February 24, 1935, in Frankfurt. Betti was born on May 28, 1908, in Frankfurt. Her parents were Julius Reutlinger and Sophie Weil.3

But then this story turns tragic. Salli and Fanni and their presumed daughter Kathe Karoline were all killed in the Holocaust.  They were all deported from Kassel to Riga, Latvia, on December 9, 1941, and died sometime thereafter.

Only Salli and Fanni’s son Siegfried and his wife Betti escaped in time. They arrived in New York on October 21, 1938, with Betti’s mother Sophie Weil and sister Martha Weil.

Siegfried Blumenfeld ship manifest, Year: 1938; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 1; Page Number: 59, Ship or Roll Number: Hansa, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957

On his Declaration of Intention dated March 1, 1939, Siegfried reported that he was a factory hand. He and Betti were living in New York and had no children.4

In 1940, Siegfried and Betti were living with her mother Sophie and brother Walter in New York.5 Siegfried was working as a machine operator. His World War II draft registration lists his employer as Burros and Burros. By that time he had changed his surname to Bloomfield.

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

Siegfried died at the age of 55 in June 1963;5 Betti outlived him by 34 years. She died March 4, 1997, at 88.6 I have not been able to find any record that Siegfried and Betti ever had children. If that is true, it appears that this is another branch of the family of Giedel Blumenfeld and her husband Gerson Blumenfeld that has no living descendants.

Next, the story of Giedel Blumenfeld’s youngest son to live to adulthood, Meier Blumenfeld.


  1. Siegfried Bloomfield, [Siegfried Gerson Blumenfeld], Gender: Male, Declaration Age: 31, Record Type: Declaration, Birth Date: 25 Jul 1907, Birth Place: Kirchheim Germany, Arrival Date: 21 Oct 1938, Arrival Place: New York, New York, USA, Declaration Date: 1 Mar 1939, Declaration Place: New York  Court: U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Spouse: Betti, Declaration Number: 429824
    Box Number: 295, The National Archives at Philadelphia; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; NAI Title: Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1/19/1842 – 10/29/1959; NAI Number: 4713410; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: 21, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943 
  2. Käthe Blumenfeld, Gender: weiblich (Female), Nationality: Deutsche Julen, Residence Age: 28, Record Type: Residence, Birth Date: 4 Nov 1910, Birth Place: Kirchhain, Sojourn Start Date: 2 Sep 1939, Residence Place: Marburg Marburg an der Lahn, Sojourn End Date: 8 Dez 1941 (8 Dec 1941), Notes: Foreigners who were living in the location during the war – permanently or temporarily, Reference Number: 02010101 oS, Document ID: 70454281, Arolsen Archives, Digital Archive; Bad Arolsen, Germany; Lists of Persecutees 2.1.1.1, Ancestry.com. Free Access: Europe, Registration of Foreigners and German Persecutees, 1939-1947 
  3. See Note 1. Betti Paula Bloomfield, [Betty Bloomfield] [Betti Paula Reutlinger], Gender: Female, Race: White, Birth Date: 28 May 1908, Birth Place: Frankfort, Federal Republic of Germany, Death Date: 4 Mar 1997, Father: Julius Reutlinger, Mother:
    Sophie Weil, SSN: 104124761, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  4. See Note 1. 
  5.  Siegrfried Bloomfield, Social Security Number: 066-14-7836, Birth Date: 25 Jul 1907, Issue Year: Before 1951, Issue State: New York, Death Date: Jun 1963, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  6. Betti Paula Bloomfield, [Betty Bloomfield] [Betti Paula Reutlinger], Gender: Female, Race: White, Birth Date: 28 May 1908, Birth Place: Frankfort, Federal Republic of Germany, Death Date: 4 Mar 1997, Father: Julius Reutlinger, Mother:
    Sophie Weil, SSN: 104124761, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 

Hermann Blumenfeld II and His Family: Leaving Germany in Time

It was a bit of a relief, telling the stories of Max Bloomfield I and his sister Sadie Bloomfield, since both left Germany almost fifty years before the Nazis came to power. Even though both suffered tragic losses—Max lost two young daughters from terrible illnesses and Sadie lost a daughter to a horrible freak accident—I knew that they and their descendants would not be killed in the Holocaust.

Now I return to a sibling who stayed in Germany, but who managed to leave in the 1930s along with his family and escape from Nazi persecution. Hermann Blumenfeld II was the seventh child of Giedel Blumenfeld and Gerson Blumenfeld; he was born on March 26, 1876, in Kirchhain. He lost his mother Giedel when he was only seven years old.

On May 21, 1902, Hermann II married Rickchen Lomnitz in Bischhausen, Germany. She was born in Bischhausen on November 6, 1874, to Salomon Lomnitz and Esther Lorge.

Marriage record of Hermann Blumenfeld II and Rickchen Lomnitz, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 923; Laufende Nummer: 905, Year Range: 1902, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Hermann II and Rickchen had four sons. First, they had twins; Gustav and Siegwart were born on January 3, 1904, in Marburg, Germany.1 Then came Max, born on December 23, 1905, in Marburg.2

Their fourth son was Julius Blumenfeld, born October 27, 1907, in Marburg. For a long time I was skeptical about the existence of this fourth son, who was listed on several family trees but with no sources.3 I am very grateful to Richard Bloomfield for tracking down the actual birth record for Julius.

Julius Blumenfeld birth record obtained by Richard Bloomfield from Marburg Archives

Before Richard obtained that birth record, the only actual record I could find for a Julius Blumenfeld born on that date was a record of prisoners held at Dachau concentration camp; that record indicates that a man with that name and birth date and place was imprisoned at Dachau on October 26, 1935, and released on July 25, 1936, but it does not indicate who his parents were.4

Hermann and Rickchen and their sons all escaped from Nazi Germany in the 1930s. Max arrived in the US on July 6, 1936, listing his occupation as a merchant and his prior residence as Vienna.5 His brother Gustav arrived in the US next on October 1, 1937, listing his occupation as a baker and his prior residence as Marburg.6

Then their parents arrived the following year on June 3, 1938, Hermann II listing his occupation as a baker, same as his son Gustav. Traveling with them was Hermann’s younger sister Franziska, the youngest child of Giedel and Gerson Blumenfeld to survive to adulthood and their tenth child. Franziska was 55 and unmarried when she immigrated to the US with her brother Hermann and sister-in-law Rickchen.

Hermann Blumenfeld, ship manifest, Year: 1938; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 1; Page Number: 91, Ship or Roll Number: Hansa, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957

In 1940, Hermann, Rickchen, Gustav and Max were all living together along with Hermann’s sister Franziska in New York. Only Gustav and Max were employed, Gustav as a novelty salesman and Max as an office clerk for a garment company. They had all adopted the surname Bloomfield by then.

Hermann Blumenfeld and family, 1940 US census, Year: 1940; Census Place: New York, New York, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02670; Page: 22B; Enumeration District: 31-1885, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census

Max Bloomfield (II, since he had an uncle who also changed his surname from Blumenfeld to Bloomfield) married Fridl Waldmann Aal, a widow with one child, on September 13, 1941, in New York.7 Fridl was born on March 20, 1909, in Windheim, Germany, and was, like Max, a refugee from Nazi Germany, having arrived on July 6, 1938, with her young daughter.8

When he registered for the draft in 1942, Max was working for the Gibraltar Manufacturing Company.

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

Max’s brother Gustav was self-employed when he registered for the draft, but I do not know what his occupation was; perhaps he’d returned to baking.

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

Meanwhile, Hermann II and Rickchen’s other sons, Gustav’s twin Siegwart and the youngest son Julius, had gone to South Africa instead of the United States. Finding out what happened to Julius took the assistance of the genealogy village, in particular, my cousin Richard Bloomfield and Tracing the Tribe member Michael Moritz.

Given that Hermann Blumenfeld II’s naturalization papers listed only three sons—Gustav, Siegwart, and Max—I assumed that Julius must have died before Hermann filed his declaration of intent in 1941 or perhaps even before Hermann and Rickchen immigrated in 1938. But I had no idea when or where Julius died or whether he’d ever left Germany.

Herman Blumenfeld, Declaration of Intention, The National Archives at Philadelphia; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; NAI Title: Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1/19/1842 – 10/29/1959; NAI Number: 4713410; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: 21, Description: (Roll 610) Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1842-1959 (No 481301-482200), Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943

I posted a question on Tracing the Tribe on Facebook.  Not long after I posted my question, Michael Moritz again came through for me; he found that Julius had immigrated to South Africa, and then found Julius’ marriage record and death record. On December 8, 1937, in Johannesburg, South Africa, Julius married Charlotte Rosenfeld, who was 27 at that time and born in Germany.

Marriage of Julius Blumenfeld and Charlotte Rosenfeld, “South Africa, Civil Marriage Records, 1840-1973”, database, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:8BTM-6BN2 : 1 February 2021), Charlotte Rosenfeld in entry for Julius Blumenfeld, 1936.

Sadly, Julius died just five months later on May 10, 1937, in Johannesburg, South Africa, from sudden cardiac arrest. He was only 29, and I have little doubt that his experiences at Dachau contributed to his early death.

Julius Blumenfeld death certificate, “South Africa, Transvaal, Civil Death, 1869-1954,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C9BY-V7P6-W?cc=2998108 : 15 September 2019), > image 1 of 1; Department of the Interior. Registrar of Births, Marriages, and Deaths, Transvaal.

His brother Siegwart also died young. He died in South Africa on June 18,1945, when he was 41, from lymphosarcoma. According to his death certificate, he was single and I assume had no children.

Siegwart Blumenfeld death certificate, “South Africa, Transvaal, Civil Death, 1869-1954,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:WSSF-4NN2 : 29 October 2019), Siegwart Blumenfeld, 18 Jun 1945; citing Death, Johannesburg, Transvaal, South Africa, Department of the Interior. Registrar of Births, Marriages, and Deaths, Transvaal.

Back in the US, Hermann Blumenfeld II died in New York on August 12, 1944; he was 68.9 His wife Rickchen died six years later on October 19, 1950; she was 75.10 Their son Gustav died on January 28, 1966, at the age of 62;11 as far as I’ve been able to determine, Gustav never married or had children. Max Bloomfield II died in July 1981 at age 75.12 I’ve not found any children from his marriage to Fridl Waldmann, who died at age 96 on September 23, 2005.13

I am hoping that perhaps I’ve missed something and that one of Hermann II and Rickchen’s sons had children and that there are living descendants since this is one of the few branches of Giedel Blumenfeld’s tree that managed to escape Germany in time. But at the moment I have no indication that Hermann Blumenfeld II has any living descendants.

 

 


  1.  Gustav Bloomfield, Social Security Number: 130-03-0510, Birth Date: 3 Jan 1904
    Issue Year: Before 1951, Issue State: New York, Last Residence: 10467, Bronx, Bronx, New York, USA, Death Date: Jan 1966, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014. On his naturalization application, Hermann reported that both Gustav and Siegwart were born on January 3, 1904. Hermann Blumenfeld, Declaration of Intention, The National Archives at Philadelphia; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; NAI Title: Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1/19/1842 – 10/29/1959; NAI Number: 4713410; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: 21, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943. The declaration of intention is inserted in the post at a different point. 
  2. Max Bloomfield, Declaration of Intention, The National Archives at Philadelphia; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; NAI Title: Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1/19/1842 – 10/29/1959; NAI Number: 4713410; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: 21, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943 
  3.   Some of the trees listing Julius as the son of Hermann and Rickchen also attached sources showing a Julius Blumenfeld who came to the US, married a Rose Hymann in 1950, divorced her in 1971, and died in 1974. But there was nothing that linked that Julius to Hermann and RIckchen. In fact, those records don’t even include a birth date or place; the only commonality is the name Julius Blumenfeld. Obviously, as you will see, these trees are incorrect. 
  4. Julius Blumenfeld, Birth Date: 27 Oct 1907, Birth Place: Marburg/Lahn, Arrival Date: 26 Oct 1935, Arrival Country: Germany, Prisoner Number: 8505, Arrival Notes: arrived 26 Oct 1935, Disposition Notes: released 25 Jul 1936, Description: prisoner
    Page: 487/Sch., Original Notes (desc. / arr. / dis.): Sch./ zug. 26 Oct 1935/ entl. 25 Jul 1936, JewishGen volunteers, comp. Germany, Dachau Concentration Camp Records, 1945 
  5. Max Blumenfeld, ship manifest, Year: 1936; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 1; Page Number: 135, Ship or Roll Number: Europa, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 
  6. Gustav Blumenfeld, ship manifest, Year: 1937; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 9; Page Number: 38, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 
  7. Max Bloomfield, Gender: Male, Race: White, Marriage Age: 35, Birth Date: 23 Dec 1905, Birth Place: Germany, Marriage Affidavit Date: 9 Sep 1941, Marriage Date: 13 Sep 1941, Marriage Place: New York, Manhattan, New York, New York, USA, Residence Street Address: 564 W. 160 St., Residence Place: New York City
    Occupation: Paymaster, Father: Hermann Bloomfield, Mother: Rickchen Bloomfield
    Spouse: Fridl Aal, Certificate Number: 16130, Current Marriage Number: 0, Witness 1: A. Wertheim, Witness 2: H. Katzentend, New York City Department of Records & Information Services; New York City, New York; New York City Marriage Licenses; Borough: Manhattan; Year: 1941, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Index to Marriage Licenses, 1908-1910, 1938-1940 
  8. Fridl Waldmann Aal, Declaration of Intention, The National Archives at Philadelphia; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; NAI Title: Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1/19/1842 – 10/29/1959; NAI Number: 4713410; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: 21, (Roll 548) Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1842-1959 (No 426401-427400),
    Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943 
  9. Herman Blumenfeld, Age: 68, Birth Year: abt 1876, Death Date: 12 Aug 1944
    Death Place: Manhattan, New York, USA, Certificate Number: 17482, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Extracted Death Index, 1862-1948 
  10. Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/204634106/rickchen-blumenfeld : accessed 12 March 2022), memorial page for Rickchen Blumenfeld (6 Nov 1874–19 Oct 1950), Find a Grave Memorial ID 204634106, citing King Solomon Memorial Park, Clifton, Passaic County, New Jersey, USA ; Maintained by danthecan (contributor 48474884) . 
  11.  Gustav Bloomfield, Social Security Number: 130-03-0510, Birth Date: 3 Jan 1904
    Issue Year: Before 1951, Issue State: New York, Last Residence: 10467, Bronx, Bronx, New York, USA, Death Date: Jan 1966, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014. Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/204626960/gustav-bloomfield : accessed 12 March 2022), memorial page for Gustav Bloomfield (3 Jan 1904–28 Jan 1966), Find a Grave Memorial ID 204626960, citing King Solomon Memorial Park, Clifton, Passaic County, New Jersey, USA ; Maintained by danthecan (contributor 48474884). 
  12.  Max Bloomfield, Social Security Number: 065-05-5748, Birth Date: 23 Dec 1905
    Issue Year: Before 1951, Issue State: New York, Last Residence: 10033, New York, New York, New York, USA, Death Date: Jul 1981, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  13.  Fridl Bloomfield, Social Security Number: 109-16-6128, Birth Date: 20 Mar 1909, Issue Year: Before 1951, Issue State: New York, Last Residence: 10033, New York, New York, New York, Death Date: 23 Sep 2005, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 

The Perplexing and Tragic Story of Gertrude Sipp, Daughter of Sadie Bloomfield Sipp

Like her older brother Markus, aka Max, Sara Blumenfeld left for the US as a teenager. Sara, born on October 19, 1873, in Kirchhain, was the sixth child of Giedel Blumenfeld and Gerson Blumenfeld, and she was only seventeen when she arrived in New York on June 30, 1891.1 That was three years after Max had arrived, and I assume she must have first stayed with him, but I don’t have any records that show where she was until she married Albert Sipp on June 9, 1899,2 eight years after she’d immigrated to the US. Albert was just a month older than Sara, born on September 19, 1873, in Jersey City, New Jersey, to George Sipp and Eliza Lighte.3

The date of the birth of Sara and Albert’s first child Gertrude, presumably named for Sara’s mother Giedel, is somewhat of a mystery, and I cannot find a birth record to solve that mystery. The 1900 US census shows Sara (known as Sadie now) and Albert living in Manhattan with two children, Gertrude, one year old, born July 1898 (or does it say 1899?) in New York, and George (presumably named for Albert’s father), born March 1900 and just two months old. Albert was working as a produce dealer.

Albert Sipp and family, 1900 US census, Year: 1900; Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York; Roll: 1100; Page: 14; Enumeration District: 0394; FHL microfilm: 1241100
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

The 1905 New York State census shows the family still living in Manhattan and Albert working as a grocer. He and Sara now have four children: Bertha (presumably Gertrude) is listed as seven, George as five, Lizzie as four, and Milton as two. If Gertrude was born in July 1898, she would have been a month shy of her seventh birthday when the census was enumerated on June 1, 1905.

Albert Sipp and family, 1905 NYS census, New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1905; Election District: A.D. 14 E.D. 10; City: Manhattan; County: New York; Page: 13, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State Census, 1905

By 1910, the family had moved to Jersey City, New Jersey, where Albert continued to be a grocer. Gertrude was now twelve, George ten, Lizzie eight, and Milton seven. Again, this would suggest that Gertrude was born in 1898, not 1899. All the children are listed as born in New York.

Albert Sipp and family, 1910 US census, Year: 1910; Census Place: Jersey City Ward 8, Hudson, New Jersey; Roll: T624_891; Page: 11B; Enumeration District: 0160; FHL microfilm: 1374904
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

So when was Gertrude born? If she was born in July 1898, she was born before her parents married unless they had another wedding before the June 1898  date that their New York marriage record suggests. The 1900 census says they were married three years, meaning 1897, not 1898, but where? The 1910 census reports they’d been married 12 years, or 1898 and that Gertrude was 12.

In any event, I cannot find a birth record for Gertrude in the New York City birth databases—not as Sipp, not as Blumenfeld, not as Berha. Even searching by just her parents’ first names did not produce any results. Can anyone else help?

I do have evidence of the births of the other three children. George was born Gustave Sipp on March 20, 1900, consistent with the 1900 census.4 Elizabeth Sipp (or Lizzie) was born on June 6, 1901.5 Milton Sipp was born on March 19, 1903.6 But only George and Milton are listed in the New York, New York, US, Index to Birth Certificates, 1866-1909 database on Ancestry. Maybe Sadie and Albert just didn’t file birth certificates for their daughters.

In any event, Sadie and Albert had four children, and in 1920 they were still living in Jersey City where Albert continued to work as a grocer.7 According to one page in the 1930 census, all four children were still living at home in Jersey City, and Albert now listed his occupation as florist. George, now 27, was working as an electrician, and Milton, 20, was a chicken merchant. Elizabeth was not employed, and Gertrude is listed as married to George Bowker, a butcher. The census indicates that they had been married for about six years since it shows Gertrude to be now 31 and married when she was 25.

Albert Sipp and family, 1930 US census, Year: 1930; Census Place: Jersey City, Hudson, New Jersey; Page: 18A; Enumeration District: 0098; FHL microfilm: 2341088, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census

But once again, researching Gertrude has caused me confusion and headaches. If she had been married for six years in 1930, she would have married in 1924. But a different page of the 1930 census shows Gertrude and George living in a separate household with two children, and it shows Gertrude as 30 and married when she was 22, so eight years.

George Bowker and family, 1930 US census, Year: 1930; Census Place: Jersey City, Hudson, New Jersey; Page: 23A; Enumeration District: 0099; FHL microfilm: 2341088, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census

This is probably more accurate since I have located records that show that Albert Sipp Bowker, George and Gertrude’s first child, was born on December 1, 1923,8 and that his younger brother George Bowker, Jr., was born on October 5, 1927.9 A third son Calvin was born on October 21, 1931.10 All three children were born in Jersey City, New Jersey. An entry in the New Jersey Marriage Index, 1901-1966 database on Ancestry lists Gertrude and George’s marriage date as June 1, 1922.11

George Sipp, Gertrude’s brother, married Evelyn K. Hoff in 1932.12 Evelyn was born in Bayonne, New Jersey, on March 31, 1908, to Herman Hoff and Helene Langer.13 Evelyn and George had two children born in the 1930s.

Milton Sipp, the youngest of the children of Sadie and Albert Sipp, married Minnie Hinz in 1933.14 Minnie, the daughter of John Hinz and Lena Trapp, was born on October 22, 1914, in Jersey City, New Jersey.15 Milton and Minnie also had two children born in the 1930s, bringing the count of grandchildren for Sadie Bloomfield and Albert Sipp to seven.

A terrible tragedy struck the family a few years later. On July 27, 1937, Gertrude Sipp Bowker was killed when an unattended delivery vehicle rolled backwards down the street where she was walking on the sidewalk, jumped the curb, and struck her from behind, causing internal injuries and a fractured skull. She died shortly after being admitted to the hospital. Gertrude was only 39 years old or so and left behind her husband George and three young children. Albert was not yet fourteen, George, Jr., was not yet ten, and Calvin going on six.

“Runaway Auto Kills J.C. Woman,” Jersey Journal, July 27, 1937, pp. 1, 12.

The 1940 census found Gertrude’s widower George Bowker, Sr., and his three sons living in Jersey City with his in-laws Sadie and Albert Sipp and their daughter Elizabeth. Only George was employed out of the house, working as a toolmaker at a shipyard. George Bowker married his sister-in-law Elizabeth Sipp later that year.16

Albert Sipp and family, 1940 US census, Year: 1940; Census Place: Jersey City, Hudson, New Jersey; Roll: m-t0627-02407; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 24-218, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census

George Sipp and his family were living in Teaneck, New Jersey, in 1940, where George was working as a butcher.17 Milton Sipp and his family were living in Jersey City, and Milton was the manager of a retail fruit business.18

Albert Sipp died on May 16, 1942, in Jersey City; he was 68.19 My cousin Sadie Blumenfeld Sipp followed five years later; she died on February 20, 1947, at the age of 73.

Sadie Sipp death notice, Jersey Journal, February 20, 1947, p. 12

Unlike her brother Max, who’d also come to the US long before the Nazis took power in Germany, Sadie lived long enough so that she could have known that many of her relatives had been murdered in the Holocaust. But unlike with Max, I have found no evidence that Sadie was in touch with her family of origin. Sadie Blumenfeld/Bloomfield Sipp’s life in America seems to have been a life of assimilation as I found no evidence that she had stayed connected to her Blumenfeld relatives or to her Jewish origins.

George Sipp, Albert and Sadie’s older son died on July 19, 1974, in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where he had relocated and worked as a real estate broker before retiring; he was 74. He was survived by his wife Evelyn, who died in 1987, and their children and grandchildren.20

Milton Sipp, the youngest child of Sadie Bloomfield and Albert Sipp, lived the longest. He was 92 when he died in Dallas, Texas, on May 10, 1995. He had outlived his wife Minnie, who’d died in Dallas nineteen years earlier on November 9, 1976.21

Elizabeth Sipp Bowker, who had married her sister Gertrude’s widower, was widowed herself just fourteen years after she married George.  He died on July 26, 1954, at the age of 54.

George Bowker obituary, Jersey Journal, July 27, 1954, p. 2

Elizabeth had raised her three nephews, Albert, George, Jr., and Calvin, after her sister was tragically killed, and when she died October 2, 1989, in Charlottesville, Virginia, at the age of 88, her death notice identified Albert, George, Jr., and Calvin as her sons. I don’t know whether she had ever adopted them formally, but in their eyes and presumably in hers, they were her sons. In many ways, she is the heroine of this story.

Elizabeth Bowker death certificate, Virginia Department of Health; Richmond, Virginia; Virginia Deaths, 1912-2014, Certificate Range: 34000-34499, Ancestry.com. Virginia, U.S., Death Records, 1912-2014

The Observer, Charlottesville, Virginia, 05 Oct 1989, Thu • Page 14

 

 

 

 

 


  1.  Sara Blumenfeld, Gender: Female, Ethnicity/ Nationality: German
    Age: 17, Birth Date: abt 1874, Place of Origin: Germany, Departure Port: Bremen, Germany and Southampton, England, Destination: USA, Arrival Date: 30 Jun 1891
    Arrival Port: New York, New York, USA, Ship Name: Ems, Year: 1891; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Line: 44; List Number: 958,
    Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 
  2. “New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:24ZN-7QT : 10 February 2018), Albert Sipp and Sadie Blumenfeld, 09 Jun 1899; citing Marriage, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York City Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,504,064. 
  3. Albert Sipp, Gender: Male.Birth Date: 19 Sep 1873, Birth Place: Jersey City, Hudson, New Jersey, Residence Place: New Jersey, USA, Father: Geo Sipp
    Mother: Eliza, FHL Film Number: 4209000, Ancestry.com. New Jersey, U.S., Births and Christenings Index, 1660-1931. See also Note 2. 
  4. Gustave Sipp, Gender: Male, Race: White, Birth Date: 20 Mar 1900, Birth Place: Manhattan, New York City, New York, New York, USA, Residence Address: E 10th Street 420, Certificate Number: 12065, Father: Albert Sipp, Mother: Sadie Sipp, Mother Maiden Name: Blumfield, New York City Department of Records & Information Services; New York City, New York; New York City Birth Certificates; Borough: Manhattan; Year: 1900, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Index to Birth Certificates, 1866-1909 
  5. Elizabeth Bowker, [Elizabeth Sipp], Gender: Female, Race: White, Birth Date: 6 Jun 1901, Birth Place: New York City, New York, Death Date: 2 Oct 1989, Father: Albert Sipp, Mother: Sadie Blumenfeld, SSN: 140284066, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  6. Milton Zipp, Gender: Male, Race: White, Birth Date: 29 Mar 1903, Birth Place: Manhattan, New York City, New York, New York, USA, Residence Address: E 16 S 430
    Certificate Number: 26450, Father: Alberto Zipp, Mother: Sadie Zipp, Mother Maiden Name: Blumerfeld, New York City Department of Records & Information Services; New York City, New York; New York City Birth Certificates; Borough: Manhattan; Year: 1903,
    Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Index to Birth Certificates, 1866-1909 
  7. Albert Sipp and family, 1920 US census, Year: 1920; Census Place: Jersey City Ward 8, Hudson, New Jersey; Roll: T625_1046; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 199,
    Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  8.  Albert Bowker, Social Security Number: 072-18-1103, Birth Date: 1 Dec 1923, Issue Year: Before 1951, Issue State: New York, Last Residence: 22911, Charlottesville, Albemarle, Virginia, Death Date: 3 Mar 2007, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  9. George Edwin Bowker Jr, Race: White, Age: 18, Birth Date: 5 Oct 1927, Birth Place: Jersey City, New Jersey, Residence Place: Jersey City, Huson CO., New Jersey
    Registration Date: 15 Jul 1946, Registration Place: Jersey City, Hudson CO., New Jersey, USA, Employer: Enemployed (Just Recently Disc. U.S.Navy), Height: 6” 2″
    Weight: 200, Complexion: Ruddy, Hair Color: Blonde, Eye Color: Brown
    Next of Kin: Mr George Bowker, National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Registration Cards for New Jersey, 10/16/1940-03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 62, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 
  10. Calvin Henry Bowker, [Calvin H Bowker], Gender: Male, Race: White, Birth Date: 21 Oct 1931, Birth Place: Jersey Hudso, New Jersey, Death Date: 15 Sep 2003, Father:
    George E Bowker, Mother: Elizabeth Sipp, SSN: 149240274, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007. (Note: Elizabeth Sipp was considered Calvin’s mother for reasons discussed above.) 
  11.  Gertrude Sipp, Maiden Name: Sipp, Gender: Female, Marriage Date: Jun 1922
    Marriage Place: New Jersey, USA, Spouse: G B, New Jersey State Archives; Trenton, New Jersey; Marriage Indexes; Index Type: Bride; Year Range: 1920-1929; Surname Range: P – S, Ancestry.com. New Jersey, U.S., Marriage Index, 1901-2016 
  12.  George Sipp, Gender: Male, Marriage Date: 1932, Marriage Place: New Jersey, USA, Spouse: Evelyn Hoff, New Jersey State Archives; Trenton, New Jersey; Marriage Indexes; Index Type: Bride; Year Range: 1930-1935; Surname Range: E – K; Reel Number: 31, Ancestry.com. New Jersey, U.S., Marriage Index, 1901-2016 
  13.  Evelyn Sipp, Social Security Number: 162-52-3202, Birth Date: 31 Mar 1908
    Issue Year: 1973-1974, Issue State: Pennsylvania, Last Residence: 18103, Allentown, Lehigh, Pennsylvania, USA, Death Date: Apr 1987, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014. Herman Hoff, Gender: Male, Marriage Date: 13 Feb 1898, Marriage Place: Manhattan, New York, USA, Spouse: Helene Langer
    Certificate Number: 2664, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Extracted Marriage Index, 1866-1937 
  14.  Milton Sipp, Gender: Male, Marriage Date: 1933, Marriage Place: New Jersey, USA, Spouse: Minnie Hinz, New Jersey State Archives; Trenton, New Jersey; Marriage Indexes; Index Type: Bride; Year Range: 1930-1935; Surname Range: E – K; Reel Number: 31, Ancestry.com. New Jersey, U.S., Marriage Index, 1901-2016 
  15. Minna Hinz Sipp, [Minna Hinz Hinz], Gender: Female, Race: White, Age: 62
    Birth Date: 22 Oct 1914, Birth Place: Jersey, New Jersey, Residence: Dallas, Dallas, Texas, USA, Death Date: 9 Nov 1976, Death Place: Dallas, Dallas, Texas, USA
    Father: John Hinz, Mother: Lena Trapp, Certificate Number: 82598, Texas Department of State Health Services; Austin Texas, USA, Ancestry.com. Texas, U.S., Death Certificates, 1903-1982 
  16.  George Bowker, Gender: Male, Marriage Date: 1940, Marriage Place: New Jersey, USA, Spouse: Elizabeth Sipp, New Jersey State Archives; Trenton, New Jersey; Marriage Indexes; Index Type: Bride; Year Range: 1940; Surname Range: A – Z, Ancestry.com. New Jersey, U.S., Marriage Index, 1901-2016 
  17. George Sipp and family, 1940 US census, Year: 1940; Census Place: Teaneck, Bergen, New Jersey; Roll: m-t0627-02315; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 2-347, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  18. Milton Sipp and family, 1940 US census, Year: 1940; Census Place: Jersey City, Hudson, New Jersey; Roll: m-t0627-02404; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 24-129,
    Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  19. Death notice, Jersey Journal, May 18, 1942, p. 12. 
  20. “George Sipp, 74; Sold Real Estate,” The Morning Call, Allentown, Pennsylvania
    20 Jul 1974, Sat • Page 9. Evelyn Sipp, Social Security Number: 162-52-3202, Birth Date: 31 Mar 1908, Issue Year: 1973-1974, Issue State: Pennsylvania, Last Residence: 18103, Allentown, Lehigh, Pennsylvania, USA, Death Date: Apr 1987, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  21. Milton Sipp, Death Date: 10 May 1995, Death County: Dallas, Gender: Male, Ancestry.com. Texas, U.S., Death Index, 1903-2000. Also, see Note 15, above.