Sarah Brod Goldfarb’s first twenty years in the United States from 1896 to 1916 were years of change and growth. She arrived with four children and settled in Pittsgrove, New Jersey. She and her husband Sam had three more children, moved from New Jersey to New York City, and saw three of their seven children marry—Julius, Gussie, and Bessie. In addition, Sarah and Sam became grandparents during those years; Bessie and her husband Meyer Malzberg had their first child Norman, and Julius and his wife Ida had their first child Sylvia.
The next five years also saw much growth, but one tragic loss.
When the US entered World War I in 1917, Sarah’s adult sons had to register for the draft. Julius registered in Jersey City, New Jersey, where he was working as a saloon keeper in his own establishment.
Morris’ World War I draft registration shows that in 1917 he was still living at 131 Avenue C with his parents and working as an operator for the B&R Cloak and Shirt Company.
By the time Joe Goldfarb registered in December, 1918 (after the war had ended), Sam and Sarah had moved to 526 Williams Avenue in Brooklyn. Joe was working as a claims adjuster for the American Railway Express Company.
And Leo, the youngest son, also was working for the American Railway Express Company and living at 526 Williams Avenue with his parents.
As far as I can tell, none of the brothers ended up serving in the war, and Sam and Sarah were among the fortunate parents who did not lose a son in World War I.
But the year after the war ended, the family did suffer a tragic loss. Sarah and Sam’s daughter Gussie Goldfarb Katz died on May 13, 1919. She was about 31 years old (records vary). Her death certificate reports that her cause of death was acute lobar pneumonia. According to family lore, she was one of the millions of victims of the 1918-1919 pandemic.
Gussie was survived by her husband Max; they had no children. Max remarried within a few years and had children with his second wife.
There was also good news, however, during those years during and after World War I. Julius and Ida Goldfarb had a second daughter, Gertrude, who was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, on June 28, 1917.1 And Bessie and Meyer Malzberg’s son Gustave was born in New York on June 4, 1919, less than a month after Bessie lost her sister Gussie.2 Gustave was perhaps named for his recently deceased aunt.
There was also another family wedding during this time. Morris Goldfarb, Sarah’s second oldest child, married Anna Grinbaum in Brooklyn on February 2, 1919. Anna, according to the marriage certificate, was born to Samuel Grinbaum and Molly Goldman in Austria/Galicia and was 21 when she married Morris. I could not find any records for Anna earlier than the marriage record, but later records indicate she immigrated to the US in about 1914 and was born in 1897.
On May 26, 1920, Anna gave birth to their first child, Martin Goldfarb, in New York, New York, giving Sarah and Sam their fifth grandchild.3
The 1920 US census shows Sam and Sarah living at 526 Williams Street in Brooklyn with Joe and Leo, both working for the express company, and Rose, a dressmaker for a factory in New York. Sam was not employed and was now 64 years old, according to the census, and Sarah was 54.
Julius and Ida and their two daughters Sylvia and Evelyn were living in Jersey City as of the 1920 census, which listed Julius’ occupation as “liquor business.”
Unfortunately, despite searching anyway and anywhere I could, I could not locate either the family of Morris and Anna Goldfarb or Meyer and Bessie (Goldfarb) Malzberg on the 1920 census.
So as of 1920, the Goldfarb family had experienced much growth and one terribly tragic loss.
- Gertrude Goldfarb Levy, Birth Date: 28 Jun 1917, Birth Place: Jersey City, New Jersey, Death Date: Feb 1979, Father: Julius Goldfarb, Mother: Ida Hecht, SSN: 140449263, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007. ↩
- Gustav Malzberg, Birth Date: 4 Jun 1919, Birth Place: Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA, Certificate Number: 21712, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Birth Index, 1910-1965 ↩
- Martin Goldfarb, Birth Date: 26 May 1920, Birth Place: Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA, Certificate Number: 25007, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Birth Index, 1910-1965 ↩