Ella Goldschmidt Sigmund’s Last Three Children: Henrietta, Joseph, and Mollie

After Simon’s death in 1927, only Henrietta, Joseph, and Mollie were left of Ella Goldschmidt and Albert Sigmund’s ten children. By the end of 1941, they were all gone. Henrietta’s story is told here. She died in 1936.

Joseph was still working in advertising in Denver as of the 1930 census1 when he was 74, but he died a few months later on October 30, 1930. According to his obituary, he had been ill with an intestinal disorder for a few weeks before his death.

The Denver Post, October 28, 1930, p. 8

Joseph was clearly well-regarded in Denver.  His obituary describes his success as an advertising writer:2

Mr. Sigmund was one of the first writers of advertising ‘copy’ to appreciate the vast possibilities of modern advertising. A business motto signed by “Sigmund the Ad Man,” which he adopted, became known far and wide. He employed enterprising, novel advertising to make his own business known to the public, as well as to promote the business of his clients.

Joseph was survived by his wife Emma and his two daughters Lenore and Celeste. Emma died six years after Joseph on October 7, 1936, in Denver. She was 76.3

Lenore, who had lost her first husband Henry Isaacs in 1912 and had married Edwin Weinberg in 1919, had a child in 1923. Lenore did not outlive her parents by many years; she died in Denver at the age of 59 on November 12, 1940.4 In addition to her husband and child, Lenore was survived by her sister Celeste.

Celeste and her second husband Hugo Rothenberg were living in Denver in 1940. Celeste’s daughter Marjorie, child of her first marriage to Abe Diamond, had married Edward Cowen on June 4, 1933; he was a salesman, born in New York.  Marjorie and Edward had one child in the 1930s, and in 1940 they were living together along with Celeste and Hugo. Edward and Hugo were both selling women’s lingerie.

Film Number: 001690066, Ancestry.com. Colorado, County Marriage Records and State Index, 1862-2006

Edwin Cowen household, 1940 US census, Census Place: Denver, Denver, Colorado; Roll: m-t0627-00487; Page: 61B; Enumeration District: 16-134A, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census

Hugo died the following year in February 1941; he was 62 years old.5 Celeste had now outlived not only her parents and her sister, but also two husbands. She herself died nine years later on August 30, 1950, at the age of 64.6

With the deaths of Henrietta and Joseph in the 1930s, Mollie was the one remaining child of Ella Goldschmidt and Albert Sigmund still living after 1936. In 1930, Mollie was living with her husband Harry Goldman in Baltimore where he was selling insurance. Their daughter Marguerite was also living with them, working as an accountant for an automobile business.7

Mollie and Harry’s son Leman Edwin Goldman was practicing law and living with his wife Rita and their three children, Nancy, Robert, and Sue, in 1930.

L Edwin Goldman and family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Baltimore, Baltimore City, Maryland; Page: 29A; Enumeration District: 0520; FHL microfilm: 2340605
Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census

By 1940 L.Edwin and Rita’s oldest child Nancy was married to Bertram Hugh Claster; I could not find a marriage record for them nor could I find them on the 1940 census, despite having two addresses that were listed on Bert’s World War II draft registration from October 16, 1940. But according to the draft registration, Bert was already married to Nancy and was working at that time for the Standard Beauty Supply Company in Baltimore. His obituary reported that at his death in 1984, he and Nancy had been married for 45 years, meaning they were married in around 1939.8

Bertram Claster, World War 2 draft registration, WWII Draft Registration CardsMarylandCClClaster, Bertram Hugh (1910)

Bert Claster was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on March 14, 1910, to Joseph Claster, a Russian immigrant, and Beatrice Aaronson, who was born in New York.9 Bert and Nancy would have three children. More on Bert and Nancy in a post to follow.

Mollie and Harry’s daughter Adele continued to live in Cleveland with her husband Raymond Weil, an insurance agent, and their three children, Marjorie, Robert, and Donald, in the 1920s and 1930s.10

By 1940, two of those children had married. Marjorie Weil married Lester P. Aurbach on September 10, 1933, in Cleveland; Lester was another Cleveland native, the son of Alexander Aurbach and Della Zuckerman, both immigrants from Poland, and Lester was born December 11, 1906. In 1930 he was working in the advertising department of General Electric in Cleveland and living with his parents; his father owned a hardware store.11

Marriage record of Marjorie Weil and Lester Aurbach, Cuyahoga County Archive; Cleveland, Ohio; Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Marriage Records, 1810-1973; Volume: Vol 169-170; Page: 64; Year Range: 1933 Feb – 1934 Jan, Ancestry.com. Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Marriage Records and Indexes, 1810-1973

Marjorie’s twin brother Robert married Ruth Steinbrenner on January 14, 1938, in Cleveland; she was born in Cleveland on December 9, 1915, to Philip Steinbrenner and Hulda Hoernig, both of whom were natives of Cleveland. Ruth’s father died from tuberculosis when she was just a young girl, and in 1930 she was living with her mother, stepfather Edward Donahue, and siblings.12

Marriage record of Robert Weil and Ruth Steinbrenner, Cuyahoga County Archive; Cleveland, Ohio; Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Marriage Records, 1810-1973; Volume: Vol 182-183; Page: 144; Year Range: 1937 Aug – 1938 May, Ancestry.com. Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Marriage Records and Indexes, 1810-1973

In 1940, Adele and her husband Raymond were housing all three of their children plus Marjorie’s husband Lester and Robert’s wife Ruth in their home in Cleveland Heights. In addition, there were two young grandchildren living in the household. Raymond was working in his insurance business, Donald was the assistant manager in the lamp department of a department store, Robert was the assistant manager in an insurance office (presumably his father’s), and Lester was the vice-president of a magazine publishing business.

Raymond Weil, 1940 US census, Census Place: Cleveland Heights, Cuyahoga, Ohio; Roll: m-t0627-03049; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 18-56
Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census

Sadly, Adele and her siblings L. Edwin and Marguerite Goldman lost both their parents the following year. Mollie Sigmund Goldman died on November 1, 1941, in Cleveland; she was 79.13 Just seven weeks later, Mollie’s husband Judge Harry Goldman, one of the founders of the Baltimore Orioles, died on his 84th birthday, December 22, 1941. According to his obituary, he had been ill since Mollie’s death the month before.14

Mollie and Harry were survived by their three children and six grandchildren. More on them in my next post.

Thus, at the end of 1941, all ten of Ella Goldschmidt Sigmund’s children were gone. She had outlived four of them before her own death in 1904. There were nineteen of her grandchildren still living in 1942 as well as numerous great-grandchildren already born or to come in the years that followed. Her legacy lived on.

 

 

 


  1. Joseph and Emma Sigmund, 1930 US census, Census Place: Denver, Denver, Colorado; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 0136; FHL microfilm: 2339973, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  2. “Joseph Sigmund, Advertising Man, Dies at Hospital,” The Denver Post, October 28, 1930, p. 8. 
  3. Name: Emma Sigmund, Birth Date: 1860, Death Date: 7 Oct 1936, Age at Death: 76, Burial Plot: 05-03-NS, Burial Place: Denver, Colorado, United States,
    JewishGen, comp. JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) 
  4. Name: Lenore Weinberg, Birth Date: abt 1881, Death Date: 12 Nov 1940, Age at Death: 59, Burial Plot: 05-03-SN, Burial Place: Denver, Colorado, United States
    JewishGen, comp. JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) 
  5. Name: Hugo Rothenburg, Birth Date: 7 Jun 1878, Birth Place: Federal Republic of Germany, Death Date: 20 Feb 1941, SSN: 521016969, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  6. Name: Celeste Rothenburg, Birth Date: 16 Mar 1886, Death Date: 30 Aug 1950
    Age at Death: 64, Burial Plot: 05-11-SS, Burial Place: Denver, Colorado, United States
    JewishGen, comp. JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) 
  7. Harry Goldman and family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Baltimore, Baltimore City, Maryland; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 0207; FHL microfilm: 2340592, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  8. “Bertram Claster Dies; Began Romper Room,” The Baltimore Sun
    Baltimore, Maryland, 12 Mar 1984, Mon • Page 17 
  9. Bertram Claster birth certificate, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania (State). Birth certificates, 1906–1910; Box Number: 307; Certificate Number Range: 033576-036509, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Birth Certificates, 1906-1911. Joseph Claster and family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Harrisburg, Dauphin, Pennsylvania; Page: 12B; Enumeration District: 0022; FHL microfilm: 2341760, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  10. Raymond Weil and family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Cleveland Heights, Cuyahoga, Ohio; Page: 14B; Enumeration District: 0571; FHL microfilm: 2341518, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  11. Name: Lester Philip Auerback, Birth Date: 11 Dec 1906, Birth Place: Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio, Father: Alexander Auerback. Mother: Adella Zuckerman Auerback
    FHL Film Number: 1877981, Ancestry.com. Ohio, Births and Christenings Index, 1774-1973. Aurbach family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio; Page: 14A; Enumeration District: 0449; FHL microfilm: 2341510, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  12. Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-6Q6S-BBR?cc=1307272&wc=MD96-BNG%3A287600101%2C293615301 : 21 May 2014), 1918 > 14591-17590 > image 512 of 3228. Donahue household, 1930 US census, Census Place: Shaker Heights, Cuyahoga, Ohio; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 0701; FHL microfilm: 2341522, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  13. Death notice, The Baltimore Evening Sun – 1 Nov 1941 – Page 12. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/7890080 
  14. “Harry Goldman, 84, Baseball Figure Here Since ’90s, Dies,” The Evening Sun,
    Baltimore, Maryland, 26 Dec 1941, Fri • Page 38 

Was “Etta” Henrietta Iskowitz or her sister Esther Iskowitz? A Genealogy Adventure

Did Simon Sigmund’s son Harold marry Henrietta or Esther Iskowitz?

As of 1920, only four of Ella Goldschmidt Sigmund’s ten children were still living: Henrietta, Joseph, Simon, and Mollie. And before the decade was over, one more would be gone. Simon Sigmund died on May 6, 1927, in Baltimore.1 He was 74. He was survived by his wife Helen and their son and only child, Harold.

Harold Sigmund married “Etta Iskowitz” in New York City on August 21, 1925.2  Their marriage record on FamilySearch showed Etta’s parents’ names as Abraham Iskowitz and Ray Guernsey. Her record with Social Security reports that she was born on February 25, 1900.3 But tracking Etta through the years on the census records presented some challenges because her parents had two daughters, one named Henrietta and one named Esther. Which one was Etta? The census records were quite confusing.

On the 1905 New York State census, I found Abram Ichkowitz living in the Lower East Side on Forsyth Street with his wife Ray and four children: Etta (8), Esther (4), Issi (2), and Joe (one month). All but Joe were born in Romania; Joe was born in the US. That would mean that the family emigrated after 1903 if Issi (the third child) was born in Romania two years before the 1905 New York census. Abram was a plasterer. I assumed the oldest daughter, Etta, was the one who married Harold.

Ichkowitz family, 1905 NYS census, New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1905; Election District: A.D. 08 E.D. 11; City: Manhattan; County: New York; Page: 68, Ancestry.com. New York, State Census, 1905

Five years later the “Ichkowitz” family appeared on the 1910 US census, living on Orchard Street in the Lower East Side. Abraham and his wife Rachel (presumably Ray) reported that they had immigrated in 1904. Abraham was working in building construction. They had six children now: Henrietta (Etta?) (12), Ettie (Esther?) (10), Isidor (7), Joseph (5), Solomon (3), and Mildred (nine months old). The first three were born in Romania, the younger three in the United States.  Which one was Etta, Henrietta or Ettie?

Ichkowitz family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Manhattan Ward 10, New York, New York; Roll: T624_1010; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 0213; FHL microfilm: 1375023
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

That got even more confusing with the 1920 census. The family, the surname now spelled Iskowitz, had moved to the Bronx and out of the Lower East Side. Abraham was now a janitor. He and Rachel now had five children at home: Etta (19), Isadore (17), George (15), Jacob (13), and Mildred (10). Had Joseph changed his name to George? And Solomon his to Jacob? Obviously the Iskowitz family liked to change their names.

Iskowitz family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Bronx Assembly District 1, Bronx, New York; Roll: T625_1131; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 71, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census

And was the nineteen year old Etta living at home in 1920 Henrietta or Esther from the 1905 and 1910 census records? The age lines up better with Esther, who was ten in 1910 and four in 1905, but then what had happened to Henrietta?

The 1925 New York State census helped clarify matters. Abraham had died before the census was taken,4 and Ray is listed as a widow. Living with her are Etta (24), Irvin (presumably Isadore) (22), George (presumably once Joseph) (20), Jack (presumably Solomon/Jacob)(18), Mildred (15), and another daughter named Edith Shapiro (26) with her two children. I assume that Edith was formerly known as Henrietta and was the oldest daughter born in 1899 or so and that “Etta” was formerly Esther and was born in about 1901. Later in 1925 Etta/Esther, the second oldest daughter of Abraham and Rachel/Ray, married my cousin Harold Sigmund.

Iskowitz family, 1925 NYS census, New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1925; Election District: 13; Assembly District: 03; City: New York; County: Bronx; Page: 46,  Ancestry.com. New York, State Census, 1925

Well, that was quite the rabbit hole, wasn’t it?

In 1930, Harold and Etta were living in Manhattan with Harold’s mother Helen;5 Harold and Etta had a business manufacturing cleaning fluids called Afta Chemical Corporation.

That company and Harold and Etta themselves were sued by their former employer, Nacto Cleaner Corporation in 1931. According to an affidavit submitted by Laval A. Cowan, the president of Nacto, in support of the complaint filed by Nacto against the Sigmunds and their company Afta:6

The defendant, Harold Sigmund… was formerly the president of plaintiff corporation. The defendant, Etta Sigmund, was formerly a director and employee of the plaintiff corporation and the defendant, Afta Chemical Corporation, is a corporation owned and controlled by Harold Sigmund one of the defendants. 

The plaintifl’ corporation is engaged in the business of manufacturing and selling a cleaning fluid known as Nacto. The defendant, Afta Chemical Corporation, is also manufacturing a cleaning fluid known as Afta. …[P]laintiff is seeking to have certain resolutions of its Board of Directors set aside on the ground that they were not passed at legal meetings. These resolutions, as the complaint alleges, having been illegally concocted by the defendant, Harold Sigmund, to authorize an increase in salary to himself and to bolster illegal expenditures amounting to $34,000.00.

…. The complaint alleges that defendant impoverished the corporation by illegal payments to himself in the guise of salary and in large and wasteful payments to others so that the business of plaintiff would be placed in such a condition that the defendant could obtain control thereof at his own price. …

After defendant, Harold Sigmund, was unsuccessful in wrecking the plaintiff corporation and had been found out and discharged, he started a competitive business dealing in a cleansing fluid known as Afta. That while defendant, Harold Sigmund, had still been president of plaintiff corporation he had hired a chemist named Foster D. Snell to make investigation and report to plaintiff corporation improvements in cleaning fluids in order to strengthen the position of plaintiff corporation in the field in which it was engaged in business.

That when Sigmund was unsuccessful in his attempt to wreck plaintiff corporation he took from the files of plaintiff corporation all the information received from said chemist and which he had not disclosed to any other persons interested in plaintiff corporation, tried to hire salesmen of plaintiff corporation and then started doing business under the trade name of Afta Chemical Corporation and used the formulae belonging to plaintiff to manufacture his cleaning fluid.

That thereafter he caused to be organized the Afta Chemical Corporation which he owns and controls. That after defendant, Harold Sigmund, had placed himself in business through use of plaintiff’s formulae, he immediately started a campaign of unfair busines methods in which he caused to be represented to customers of the plaintiff corporation that said corporation was out of business and that his company was the successor to the plaintiff. That said defendant, Harold Sigmund, also copied the language and form of plaintiff’s labels and containers.

Harold and Etta denied the allegations made against them. Unfortunately I was unable to learn the outcome of the lawsuit as there is no reported decision. But whether or not the Sigmunds were successful in defending themselves against these allegations, they were still in the cleaning fluid business ten years later and still living in Manhattan.7

Harold died in 1987 at the age of 95; Etta died at 94 in 1995. I guess working with cleaning fluids did not affect their lifespan.8

Harold and Etta did not have children, so there are no descendants for them or for Harold’s parents, Simon and Helen (Hirshberg) Sigmund.


  1. The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore, Maryland, 07 May 1927, Sat • Page 18 
  2.  License Number: 21452, New York City Municipal Archives; New York, New York; Borough: Manhattan; Volume Number: 9, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Marriage License Indexes, 1907-2018. New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:247H-5W9 : 10 February 2018), Harold Sigmund and Etta Iskowitz, 21 Aug 1925; citing Marriage, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York City Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,643,402. 
  3. SSN: 109122202, Death Certificate Number: 109882, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  4. Certificate Number: 3708, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Extracted Death Index, 1862-1948 
  5. Harold Sigmund and family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York; Page: 27B; Enumeration District: 1136; FHL microfilm: 2341316,
    Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  6. Affidavit of Laval A. Cowan in connection with Nacto Cleaner Corporation v. Sigmund filed in the Appellate Division, New York Supreme Court, December 30, 1931, found at https://books.google.com/books?id=t-F6gRKk77EC&pg=RA12-PA17&lpg=RA12-PA17&dq=nacto+cleaner+v+afta+chemical+corporation&source=bl&ots=XOaFVU1dOU&sig=ACfU3U1-Epx39uuGvkeOh-dgpeg_6ghflw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiUvLWfk5PmAhXDPn0KHYz2AzgQ6AEwAHoECAcQAQ#v=onepage&q=nacto%20cleaner%20v%20afta%20chemical%20corporation&f=false 
  7. Harold and Etta Sigmund, 1940 US census, Census Place: New York, New York, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02646; Page: 61A; Enumeration District: 31-930, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  8.  Name: Harold Sigmund, Social Security Number: 093-12-2485, Death Date: Jun 1987, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014. Etta Sigmund, SSN: 109122202, Death Certificate Number: 109882, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 

How Newspaper Articles Helped Solve the Mysteries of Howard Sigmund’s Sons-in-Law

When my cousin Howard Sigmund and his wife Leslie had a second child, Nancy Lee Sigmund, on February 12, 1922,1 he was the first of the children of William and Adelaide Sigmund to have more than one child.  Nancy Sigmund was born over ten years after the birth of her older sister, Audrey, who was born in 1910.

In 1930 Howard was still in the women’s clothing business in DC, like his brother’s Abe and Goldsmith.2 His daughter Audrey Sigmund married Leonard Casillo sometime between August and October, 1938. Oddly, despite numerous social news items posted about Audrey in the Washington DC newspapers, I could not find a wedding article, just a story referring to her as “Audrey Sigmund” in August 1938 and then a story referring to her as “Mrs. Leonard Casillo, formerly Audrey Sigmund,” in October 1938.

Washington DC Evening Star, October 23, 1938, p. 54

Leonard was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut on December 10, 1910,3 to Pasquale and Jennie Casillo, who were born in Italy and immigrated to the US in 1898. In 1930 Leonard was living with his parents, sister, and uncle in Bridgeport where his father was working as the manager of a grocery store.4

I wondered how Audrey, a Jewish girl from Washington, DC, had met an Italian boy from Bridgeport, Connecticut, until I found an article about Georgetown University’s 1938 graduation ceremonies that included this list of dental school graduates:

Washington DC Evening Star, June 14, 1938, p. 5

Leonard, the son of two Italian immigrants, had graduated from dental school  at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, in June 1938.

After marrying, Audrey and Leonard settled in Bridgeport and had a child. I was a bit perplexed by the 1940 census, which shows Leonard living with his parents, sister, and uncle in Bridgeport, but not with Audrey or their child.

Leonard Casillo 1940 US census, Census Place: Bridgeport, Fairfield, Connecticut; Roll: m-t0627-00531; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 9-61, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census

But Leonard’s World War II draft registration, which is dated October 16, 1940, six months after the census enumeration, lists Audrey as his wife at the same address and as the person who will always know Leonard’s address. So perhaps Audrey had taken the baby to visit her family when the enumeration was done.

Leonard Casillo, World War II draft registration, Page 1 – Selective Service Registration Cards, World War II: Multiple Registrations 16 Oct 1940, Draft Registration Cards for Connecticut, 1940 – 1947, Roll: 44002_05_00009

Meanwhile, back in DC in the 1940s, Howard Sigmund was still the owner of a women’s clothing store and was living with his wife Leslie and younger daughter Nancy.5

Nancy married Julian Savage on May 31, 1948, in Washington.

Washington DC Evening Star, June 1, 1948, p. 24

Learning about Julian led me down quite a rabbit hole. Julian was born in Washington, DC, on February 25, 1919;6 his parents appeared from the census records and other documents to be Samuel and Lena Savage, immigrants from either Lithuania, Russia, Germany, or Poland, depending on the record.7 But were Samuel and Lena Julian’s birth parents?

Although Julian was born in 1919 according to his military records, he did not appear on the 1920 census with Samuel, Lena, and their much older children, Rosa (born in 1900) and Benjamin (born in 1905). Since Lena would have been 43 in 1919 when Julian was born, I started to wonder whether Julian was adopted or just a later-in-life (for those days) baby.8

I found this legal notice from 1943 that also made me wonder:

Washington DC Evening Star, January 27, 1943, p. 35

Was Julian Savage born Julian Margolius? If so, who were his biological parents? I figured I’d never know. But in searching for information about Julian Savage in newspapers, I noticed that the best man at his wedding was Bernard Margolius. In addition, Bernard’s obituary listed Julian Savage as his brother.9 Searching for Bernard’s parents, I learned of Wolf Margolius and Jennie Cohen, Russian immigrants, who had five children: Edna, Emanuel, Albert, Bernard, and finally Julian.

Wolf Margolius and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Washington, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: T625_209; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 142
Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census

And where were they living in 1920? In Washington, DC, at 501 Massachusetts Avenue. And who lived at 503 Massachusetts Avenue in 1920? Samuel and Lena Savage and their two children, Rosa and Benjamin.10

So how did Julian end up living with the Savages in 1930? His birth mother Jennie Cohen Margolius died on July 31, 1922, when Julian was only three.11 The other Margolius children were older when their mother died; Bernard, the second youngest, was nine and in school, and the other children were teenagers or beyond. My guess is that Wolf Margolius could not care for the youngest boy and so entrusted him with his friends and neighbors, the Savages. And so Julian Margolius became Julian Savage, the son of Samuel and Lena. But obviously he remained very close to his biological brother, Bernard Margolius, naming him as the best man at his wedding.

In 1940, Julian was the only child left in the Savage household.12 He graduated from Benjamin Franklin University with a degree in accounting and was a CPA by 1940 when he was 21, the youngest CPA in the country at that time. He enlisted in the US Army on March 6, 1941, and achieved the rank of major, serving four years overseas during World War II. When he came home, he attended George Washington University in 1948, hoping to become a lawyer, but he could not afford to continue at school so he “read for the law” by working in an attorney’s office and then passed the Virginia bar. Julian and Nancy had two children.13

Julian became an early investor and developer of Holiday Inn hotels in the Washington, DC, area, and beyond, starting in 1959 and eventually building fifty different hotels, as detailed in a 1968 article from the Washington Evening Star14 and in his obituary.

Howard Sigmund lived to see his daughters living comfortably with their respective husbands. He died at the age of 92 in Washington, DC, in July, 1982.15 He was survived by his daughters, their husbands, and grandchildren. His wife Lesley had predeceased him in April 1977 when she was 89.16

Audrey and Leonard Casillo remained in Bridgeport for the rest of their lives. Audrey died on June 5, 1983,17 when she was 73, just a year after her father Howard died; her husband Leonard outlived her by ten years. He was 83 when he died in Newtown, Connecticut, on November 19, 1983.18 They were survived by their children and grandchildren.

Julian Savage died at the age of 92 on February 17, 2012.19 His wife Nancy Sigmund Savage died almost seven years later on December 15, 2018. They were survived by their children and grandchildren.20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


  1.  Name: Nancy L Savage, Birth Date: 12 Feb 1922, Ancestry.com. U.S. Public Records Index, 1950-1993, Volume 1 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Original data: Voter Registration Lists, Public Record Filings, Historical Residential Records, and Other Household Database Listings. 
  2. Howard Sigmund 1930 US census, Census Place: Washington, District of Columbia; Page: 24A; Enumeration District: 0191; FHL microfilm: 2340032, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  3. SSN: 040326854, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  4. Peter (Pasquale) Casillo and family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Bridgeport, Fairfield, Connecticut; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 0035; FHL microfilm: 2339990,
    Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  5. Howard Sigmund, 1940 US census, Census Place: Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia; Roll: m-t0627-00571; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 1-533, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  6. Julian Savage, World War II draft registration, The National Archives in St. Louis, Missouri; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Registration Cards for District of Columbia, 10/16/1940-03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 201, Ancestry.com. U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 
  7. See, e.g., Julian Savage, 1940 US census, Census Place: Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia; Roll: m-t0627-00567; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 1-413, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  8. Samuel Savage and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Washington, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: T625_209; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 142, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  9. See wedding article above. See obituary at https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/washingtonpost/obituary.aspx?n=bernard-margolius&pid=144450864 
  10. Samuel Savage and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Washington, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: T625_209; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 142, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  11. District of Columbia Deaths, 1874-1961,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F7BW-QCZ : accessed 13 November 2019), Wolf Margolius in entry for Jennie Margolius, 31 Jul 1922, District of Columbia, United States; citing reference ID 767, District Records Center, Washington D.C.; FHL microfilm 2,115,943. 
  12. Samuel Savage and family, 1940 US census, Census Place: Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia; Roll: m-t0627-00567; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 1-413, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  13. “Man Behind the Sign at 30 Holiday Inns,” Washington DC Evening Star, October 5, 1972, p. 68 
  14. “Man Behind the Sign at 30 Holiday Inns,” Washington DC Evening Star, October 5, 1972, p. 68 
  15. Social Security Number: 579-05-1276, Death Date: Jul 1982, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  16. Social Security Number: 577-30-6420, Death Date: Apr 1977,
    Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  17. State File #: 13133, Connecticut Department of Health. Connecticut Death Index, 1949-2012. 
  18. SSN: 040326854, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  19. https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/washingtonpost/obituary.aspx?fhid=2167&n=julian-savage&pid=156038507 
  20. https://www.lastingtributesfuneralcare.com/obituaries/Nancy-Savage/#!/Obituary 

William Sigmund’s Children: What Pattern Do You See?

See if you detect a pattern among the children of William Sigmund and Adelaide Newmeyer.

As we move forward from 1920, it makes sense to look at each of Ella and Albert’s children separately since their own children, Ella and Albert’s grandchildren, were now adults and having families of their own. I will start with Ella and Albert’s oldest child William Sigmund, who had died in 1887, and whose widow Adelaide and their five surviving children were all living in Washington, DC, in 1920, as we saw here.

William’s widow Adelaide died on July 7, 1922, in DC. She was 71 and had been a widow for twenty-five years. She had never remarried after William died, and she had raised her five children on her own thereafter. Since her children had ranged in age when William died from thirteen-year-old Albert down to one-year old Howard, that was no small task for Adelaide. She must have been a very strong woman. And her children appeared to remain close many years after she died, as seen in numerous social items in the Washington papers over the years detailing the many events and trips the family members attended together.

Evening Star, Washington, District of Columbia. 09 Jan 1922, Mon • Page 7

Albert, the oldest child, continued to work as a jeweler in the 1920s, and in 1930 was living with his wife Mae and Mae’s mother in Washington.1 Mae died two years later on June 3, 1932; she was 55 years old.2

Albert remarried seven years later. His second wife was Helen Schiff. She was 40 when she married Albert on October 21, 1939; he was 65. Helen was born January 23, 1899, in Charlotte, North Carolina, to Louis Schiff and Carrie Rosenthal. She grew up there and was still living there with her parents in 1930; her father was an electrical supplies salesman.3 In 1940, she and Albert were living in DC, where Albert continued to run his jewelry store.4

Virginia Department of Health; Richmond, Virginia; Virginia, Marriages, 1936-2014; Roll: 101167826, Description Certificate Range: 35284-35654, Ancestry.com. Virginia, Marriage Records, 1936-2014

Unfortunately, Helen’s marriage to Albert only lasted three years as Albert died on May 3, 1942.

The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore, Maryland, 05 May 1942, Tue • Page 13

Helen survived him for fourteen years; she died on March 31, 1966.5

Albert’s brother Abe, William and Adelaide’s second child, continued to work in the women’s clothing business in the 1920s. In 1930 he and his wife Helene and their daughter Marjorie were living together in DC.6

Marjorie married Abner Bernard Levin on March 29, 1937.7 He was born in Fitzgerald, Georgia, on June 23, 1910, the son of Israel Levin and Sarah Line, and had grown up in Roanoke, Virginia, where his father was the manager of a leather company. 8 Bernard, as he was known, graduated from Washington & Lee University and the University of Georgia Law School.

“Miss Marjorie Sigmund Wed to Mr. Levin Sunday,” Washington DC Evening Star, March 30, 1937, p. 27

After marrying, Bernard and Marjorie settled in Roanoke, where in 1940 Bernard was working for the Shoemakers Supply Company. They would have two children.9

Marjorie’s parents Abe and Helene were still living in DC in 1940 where Abe continued to own his store,10 but not long afterwards they must have moved to Roanoke to be near their only child Marjorie and her family. Abe died from pneumonia in Virginia on September 25, 1944; he was 68 years old. According to his death certificate, he was residing in Roanoke at that time and had been there for eighteen months.

Abraham Sigmund, death certificate, Virginia Department of Health; Richmond, Virginia; Virginia Deaths, 1912-2014, Certificate Range: 19413-19832, Ancestry.com. Virginia, Death Records, 1912-2014

Abe’s widow Helen survived him for only a year. She died at age 65 on October 14, 1945 from a coronary occlusion, arteriosclerosis, and hypertension.11

Abe and Helen were survived by their daughter Marjorie and her children. Bernard Levin died in Roanoke, Virginia, on December 20, 1994, at the age of 84.12 Marjorie died on May 31, 2000; she was 89 years old.13 They were survived by their children and grandchildren.

Jeannette Sigmund Kaufman, William and Adelaide’s only daughter and third child, also continued to live in Washington, DC, during the 1920s and 1930s, where her husband Sydney Kaufman was a clothing merchant.14

Their daughter Virginia married Edward Furman in Washington on June 10, 1931.15 He was born in Philadelphia on January 1, 1908.16  In 1930 he was living with his parents Samuel and Esther Furman in Philadelphia; Edward was not employed.17 After marrying, Edward and Virginia were living in DC where Edward was an insurance salesman.18 They would have one child born in the 1930s and one born in the 1940s.

Then Edward’s life was cut short. He was only 32 when he died on January 21, 1944. I could not locate any explanation of his death, just a short death notice and his grave on FindAGrave. His children were only seven and two years old when they lost their father.19

I could not find much more about Jeannette, Sydney or Virginia. I couldn’t even find Sydney and Jeannette on the 1940 census. Jeanette died on January 21, 1961, in Bethesda, Maryland,20 and Sydney died eleven years later in December 1972.21 I could not locate any information as to Virginia’s death.

That brings us to William and Adelaide’s fourth child, Goldsmith Sigmund.  He and his wife Sadye and their son William continued to live in DC, where Goldie was a merchant. In 1930 he and his son were both working in his department store.22 Eventually Goldie closed his business and went to work for other stores, as seen in this ad. As we will see, the Mr. Casillo mentioned in the ad was married to Goldie’s niece, Audrey Sigmund, daughter of Howard Sigmund.

Washington DC Evening Star, December 6, 1934, p. 45

Goldie’s son William married Marjorie Hertzberg on February 2, 1934.23 She was the daughter of Julius Hertzberg and Caroline Hollander and was born in DC on March 24, 1912. Her mother was also a DC native, and her father was born in Germany and was a buyer of dry goods, according to the 1930 census.24 William and Marjorie would have two children.

In 1940, Goldie and Sadye were still living in DC, and Goldie continued to work in the clothing business.25 His son William and his family also lived in DC, and William was now the vice-president of an advertising agency there.26

Sadye Breslau Sigmund died on January 24, 1952, in DC; she was 61.27

Goldsmith Sigmund remarried; his second wife was Dorothy Daniels.28 Goldsmith died in February 1958 when he was 85. He was survived by Dorothy, his son William,  and two grandchildren.

Washington, DC Evening Star, February 26, 1968, p. 26

 

William F. Sigmund died from a stroke on November 7, 1982; he was 72. The Washington Times reported on his death. The obituary reported that he had been the managing partner of Henry J. Kaufman & Associates, a Washingon advertising firm, for 26 years and that he had previously been in the advertising department of The Washington Post. In addition, he was reported to be active in civic affairs, a devoted sports fan, and a prolific artist. He was survived by his children and grandchildren. 29

Have you noticed the strange pattern so far among the four oldest children of William and Adelaide Sigmund? Albert had no children, and Abe, Jeannette, and Goldsmith each had only one child. I wonder why so many of them had just one child. Could it be because they lost their own father at such a young age? Certainly it was unusual for those times when so many people had such large families.

Howard, William and Adelaide’s youngest child, broke the pattern, but not by much.  His story and that of his children merit a separate post.


  1. Albert Sigmund, 1930 US census, Census Place: Washington, District of Columbia; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0403; FHL microfilm: 2340039, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  2. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/197737863 
  3. Ancestry.com. Web: Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, Birth Index, 1865-2012, Original data: Birth Index. The Register of Deeds Office, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. http://meckrod.manatron.com/Birth/SearchEntry.aspx: accessed 3 April 2012. Louis Schiff and family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Charlotte, Mecklenburg, North Carolina; Page: 27A; Enumeration District: 0012; FHL microfilm: 2341439, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  4. Albert and Helen Sigmund, 1940 US census, Census Place: Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia; Roll: m-t0627-00562; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 1-285, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  5. Helen Schiff Sigmund, death notice, Evening Star, Sunday, Apr 03, 1966 Washington (DC),p. 59 
  6. Abraham Sigmund and family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Washington, District of Columbia; Page: 32A; Enumeration District: 0202; FHL microfilm: 2340032, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  7. Film Number: 002293340, Ancestry.com. District of Columbia, Marriage Records, 1810-1953 
  8. SSN: 231240699, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007. Sarah Line Levin death certificate, Virginia Department of Health; Richmond, Virginia; Virginia Deaths, 1912-2014, Ancestry.com. Virginia, Death Records, 1912-2014. Israel Levin and family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Roanoke, Roanoke (Independent City), Virginia; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 0018; FHL microfilm: 2342216, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  9. Bernard Levin and family, 1940 US census, Census Place: Roanoke, Roanoke City, Virginia; Roll: m-t0627-04328; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 119-44, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  10. Abraham and Helen Sigmund, 1940 US census, Census Place: Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia; Roll: m-t0627-00572; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 1-554, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  11. Helen Sigmund death certificate, Virginia Department of Health; Richmond, Virginia; Virginia Deaths, 1912-2014, Ancestry.com. Virginia, Death Records, 1912-2014 
  12. SSN: 231240699, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  13. SSN: 229809484, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  14. Sydney Kaufman and family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0403; FHL microfilm: 2340039, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census. Title: Washington, District of Columbia, City Directory, 1939, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  15. Film Number: 002399058, Ancestry.com. District of Columbia, Marriage Records, 1810-1953 
  16. Edward Colin Furman, World War II draft registration, The National Archives in St. Louis, Missouri; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Registration Cards for District of Columbia, 10/16/1940-03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 80, Ancestry.com. U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 
  17. Samuel Furman and family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 15A; Enumeration District: 0301; FHL microfilm: 2341830, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  18. Edward Furman and family, 1940 US census, Census Place: Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia; Roll: m-t0627-00559; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 1-213A, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  19. Death notice, Washington DC Evening Star, January 25, 1944, p. 8.  https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/41654741 
  20. Jeanette Sigmund Kaufman, death notice, Washington DC Evening Star, Jan 23, 1961, Page: 21. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/41654740 
  21. Social Security Number: 577-07-5637, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  22. Goldsmith Sigmund and family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia; Page: 30B; Enumeration District: 0319; FHL microfilm: 2340036, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  23. Marriage record of William F. Sigmund and Marjorie Herzberg, Film Number: 002293329, Ancestry.com. District of Columbia, Marriage Records, 1810-1953 
  24. SSN: 578623607, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  25. Goldsmith and Sadye Sigmund, 1940 US census, Census Place: Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia; Roll: m-t0627-00572; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 1-554, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  26. William F. Sigmund and family, 1940 US census, Census Place: Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia; Roll: m-t0627-00562; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 1-272A, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  27. “Mrs. G.M. Sigmund, Lifelong D.C. Resident,” Washington DC Evening Star, January 25, 1952, p. 14 
  28. Marriage license application, Goldsmith Sigmund and Dorothy Daniels, Washington DC Evening Star, September 27, 1953, p. 34. 
  29. “William F. Sigmund, 72, partner in D.C. ad firm,” The Washington Times, November 8, 1982, p. 20 

The Man with the Mustache: Are You My Grandfather?

For Thanksgiving week, I am only posting once, so let me wish all of you a wonderful holiday (for those in the US, anyway). May we all be thankful for all the good we have in our lives—those ancestors and parents who paved the way for us, those we now share our lives and love with, be they spouses, relatives, or friends, and those who will come after us—our children, grandchildren and all our descendants.


For today, I want to update an earlier post where I reported on Ava aka Sherlock Cohn’s analysis of this photograph, taken in 1923, probably in Atlantic City. I am curious about your reactions to our thoughts on the man with the mustache. Is he my grandfather John Nusbaum Cohen?

Based on earlier research and photographs along with Ava’s report, I am now fairly certain of the identities of most of those in the photograph, as I discussed here.  In the front row are Bessie Craig Cohen, probably her mother Sarah Tadley Craig, and Maurice Cohen, Jr. In the middle is Bessie’s niece Margaret Craig and behind Maurice Cohen Jr is his mother, Edna Mayer Cohen. Kneeling behind Edna is her husband, Maurice Cohen, Sr., my great-uncle. I also assume that the photograph was taken by my great-uncle Stanley Cohen based on the fact that he appears in a separate photograph quite obviously taken at the same time and place.

But who is the man kneeling on the left in the top photo, the man with the mustache? How does he connect to the rest of this group? It could not be Bessie Craig Cohen’s brother James because he died in 1918.1 It also could not be her brother Christopher if the photograph was taken in 1923 because he died in 1922.2 Edna Mayer Cohen had a brother Eugene born in 1893 who is the right age to be the man with the mustache. He was living in the Philadelphia area in the 1920s,3 so he is one possibility, but I have no photographs of Eugene.

Ava at first had a much more intriguing conjecture with respect to the man with the mustache. She saw “a resemblance also to the young man holding a hat in the Cohen & Co. Money Loan Office photograph from ten years earlier. If we are to assume that the young man in that photograph is John Nusbaum Cohen, born 1895, then we can assume that the man on the beach is also John Nusbaum Cohen who I estimated to be born circa 1893-1895.” Ava had done a previous report for me on the Cohen & Company photograph and had tentatively identified the young man holding the hat as my grandfather John Nusbaum Cohen, Sr.

Cohen & Company photograph

That is, Ava speculated that the man with the mustache could also be my grandfather because he resembled that boy holding the hat. I can definitely see the resemblance. Look at the chin and lips, the deep set eyes, the angles of the ears, and the high forehead:

It would make sense for my grandfather to be in the 1923 beach photograph.  He was the right age (born in 1895 so 28 in 1923), and he would have been with his two brothers and their wives.

But my grandfather did not have a mustache in any of the photographs I have of him. Also, my grandfather definitely had attached earlobes. It’s hard to see in the beach photograph, but that man does not appear to have attached earlobes.

And where is my grandmother? They married in January, 1923, so if the beach photo is correctly dated as 1923, my grandparents were already married by then. My grandmother would have been pregnant in the summer of 1923 as my aunt was born in January, 1924. Why wouldn’t she have been at the beach with her husband and brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law?

So I was not convinced that the man with the mustache in the photograph was my grandfather, but I also wasn’t willing to dismiss the possibility.

Then I received a whole box of photographs and other papers and books from my cousin Marjorie Cohen’s cousin Lou. Inside that box was this treasure, my grandfather’s 1921 passport including this stunningly clear version of his passport photograph:

The beach photograph was taken two years later in 1923. I definitely see similiarities—in the shape of the face, the lips, the forehead and eyebrows, the chin, and the nose. The eyes are so hard to see in the beach photograph, but they are definitely deep-set. But that mustache threw me off, and I could also see differences. My grandfather’s ears looked smaller and seemed lower set on his face, the top of his ears set below his eyes rather than at the same level.

Later, while doing a search on my computer for pictures of my father, I tripped on this photograph. I have no idea where I got this photograph. And I had no memory of seeing it before. But it had been saved to my computer three years ago. Hmmm. Why didn’t I label it when I got it?

Anyway, it’s another photograph of my paternal grandparents, Eva Schoenthal and John Nusbaum Cohen, Sr., taken some years later than the other two I have of them together. My grandfather was wearing glasses, so I wonder whether he was already having some of the early symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

Eva Schoenthal and John Cohen, Sr.

Does this help to identify the man with the mustache on the beach?

I sent these two additional photographs to Ava to see what she thought, and interestingly, she concluded that although she now believed that the young man holding the hat in the Cohen & Company photograph was my grandfather John Nusbam Cohen, Sr., she did not think that the man with the mustache on the beach was my grandfather. Ava wrote:

He does look similar and, as you know, I initially said that the man with the hat in Cohen & Co. is the same man with the mustache in the beach photo. But as I said, the man in the beach photo is about the same age as John in the [recently added] photo taken with Eva and the two look different. I’m figuring the John and Eva photo is circa 1928-1931. So John would be in his early 30s. I’m quite certain John is in Cohen & Co. and the fact that his hair was parted in the center in 1921 for his passport picture and again in about 1928 would make the 1923 beach photo an anomaly if he had grown a mustache and changed his hairstyle two years after his passport photo and then changed it back by the end of the twenties.

That mustache is the real problem for me. The change in hair style is less concerning—he was at the beach. Maybe he went swimming? But that mustache. Facial hair often makes a man look older, so maybe that’s why he looks more like he’s in his early 30s and not 28, as my grandfather would have been in 1923.

But as Ava said, none of the other photos I have of my grandfather show him with a mustache—not the passport photo from 1921, not the one taken with my grandmother in 1923, and not the two later photographs. In fact, the 1923 photograph of my grandparents is dated July 1923 on its reverse, as I discovered when Lou sent me Marjorie’s collection:

Eva Schoenthal and John Cohen, Jr. July 15, 1923

Did my grandfather grow a mustache sometime that summer after the July 1923 photograph was taken, or maybe before and then quickly shaved it off? Neither of his brothers ever had mustaches. Were they even in style then?

Ava and I decided we both needed to get some distance from the photograph and come back with fresh eyes.  So for over a month, I put this all aside as did Ava. Then we both returned to it.

I asked the Photo Restoration Free Service group on Facebook to help by adding some clarity to the photograph and removing the mustache. Here was the result:

We then studied all the photographs again, adding this new one to the mix.

As I looked over every adult photo of I have of my grandfather, I began to see that he looked different in every single one of them. I was totally befuddled, but now thought that the man on the beach wasn’t my grandfather.

Ava was also convinced that the man with the mustache was not my grandfather. She wrote:

I took a long look at John’s passport photo and compared it to the man on the beach. I still don’t believe the two are the same person. Besides the obvious clues like hairstyle and mustache, it appears that John’s ears and the ears of the man in the beach photo are not the same shape and even though they both seem to have attached earlobes, the pattern of the “shell” is different. … I looked at all the identified pictures of John that I have from you, including his baby picture. I don’t think the man on the beach is your grandfather. I also don’t think that the man on the beach is the person holding his hat in the storefront photo.

I responded that I agreed with her and wrote:

So here’s the $64,000 question—do you think the boy holding the hat in the Cohen & Company photo is my grandfather? 

Ava responded that she thinks it is likely that the boy holding his hat in the Cohen & Company photograph is my grandfather, but without more photographs, it’s impossible to be certain, especially given the blurriness of that photograph and the fact that the boy is squinting, making it difficult to see his eyes.

As I looked over the photographs yet another time, I made a new observation. My grandfather’s hairline, even as it receded, always seemed a bit further back along the temples, a bit more forward in the center. The man with the mustache seems to have a hairline that did not curve backwards in this way.

So in the end, Ava and I both concluded that the man with the mustache was not John Nusbaum Cohen, Sr., but that the boy holding the hat likely is.

What do you all think? Here for your final review are all the photographs that I know are of my grandfather, John Nusbaum Cohen, Sr. as well as the beach photo.

 


  1. James Craig, death certificate, Certificate Number: 140783, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1967; Certificate Number Range: 140251-143500, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1967 
  2. Christopher Craig, death certificate, Certificate Number: 23826, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1967; Certificate Number Range: 023001-026000, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1967 
  3. Eugene Mayer, 1930 US census, Census Place: Cheltenham, Montgomery, Pennsylvania; Page: 12B; Enumeration District: 0024; FHL microfilm: 2341815, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 

Ella Goldschmidt Sigmund’s Family in the 1910s: For Most, A Quiet Decade

With Leo’s death in 1913, only four of Ella Goldschmidt Sigmund’s children were still living: Henrietta, Simon, Joseph, and Mollie. In addition, there were numerous surviving grandchildren: William’s five children, Henrietta’s six children, Simon’s son Harold, Joseph’s two daughters Lenore and Celeste, Leo’s two children Edna and Lloyd, Mollie’s three children, and May’s son, Felix Albert Cahn. I’ve already written about Joseph’s daughters and their tragic losses in the 1910s and about Leo’s death and his family’s status in the aftermath. For Ella’s other descendants, the 1910s were not as difficult.

For the most part, William and Adelaide Sigmund’s five children continued to live in Washington, DC, with their spouses and children in this decade.  Albert continued to live with his wife Mae and work in the jewelry business.1

Abe and his wife Helene had a baby girl Marjorie born on April 16, 1911, in Washington.2 They were living in DC in 1920 where Abe was in the women’s apparel business.3

Jeanette and her husband Sydney Kaufman also were living in DC and had a daughter, Virginia Adelaide (in honor of her grandmother Adelaide, who was still living at that time) on August 22, 1913;4 in 1920 they were living in DC where Sydney was in the men’s clothing business.5

Goldsmith Sigmund and his wife Sadye and son William also were living in DC, and like his brothers Albert and Abe and his brother-in-law Sydney, Goldsmith was a merchant; the 1920 census reported that his business was a sports store.6

Howard Sigmund’s wife Lesley gave birth to their daughter Audrey Frances on May 21, 1910.7 Howard, who did leave Washington for short stints in Boston, Baltimore, and Amsterdam, New York, between 1912 and 1914, had returned to Washington by 1914. In 1920, he and his family were living in DC where he was in the women’s clothing business, seemingly with his brother Abe.8

Evening Star, Washington, District of Columbia, 29 Sep 1912, Sun • Page 66

Evening Star, Washington, District of Columbia, 16 Feb 1913, Sun • Page 65

Evening Star, Washington, District of Columbia, 11 Oct 1914, Sun • Page 70

Ella’s daughter Henrietta Sigmund Katzenstein was now a widow living in Cleveland with her daughter Moynelle. Her family’s story during the 1910s can be found here at the blog.

Ella’s son Simon Sigmund was living in Baltimore during this decade and working in the fur business (separately from his father’s business had been run by Simon’s brother Leo.)9

Simon and Helen’s son Harold was now an adult. In 1917 he was working in the advertising department of The New York Times.10 On April 4, 1918, he was inducted into the US Army to serve in World War I. He was stationed overseas from May 1, 1918, until July 12, 1919; his responsibilities included being in the infantry and then working on Stars & Stripes in their advertising department.11

After the war Harold returned to New York City, and in 1920 he was working as an agent for a publishing company, Butterick Quarterlies.12 Meanwhile, his parents remained in Baltimore, and in 1920 Simon was still working in his furrier’s business.13

Mollie and Harry Goldman’s three children were also adults in the 1910s. All three had been living at home in 1910, and L. Edwin was practicing law and Marguerite had been working as a clerk in an insurance office, presumably her father’s office.

The youngest child Adele was also still living at home in 1910, but she was the first of Mollie and Harry’s children to marry. She married Raymond Weil on December 24, 1911, when she was 24 years old.

Raymond was born in Wichita, Kansas, on June 1, 1885, to Jacob Weil and Henrietta Wolf.  Raymond’s father died in 1898 when Raymond was only thirteen, and in 1900 he was living with his mother and siblings in Cleveland, working as a clerk for an insurance company.13 By 1910 he was an insurance agent still living in Cleveland with his mother and siblings.14

After marrying Raymond, Adele moved to Cleveland where they had three children in the 1910s. Twins Robert and Marjorie were born October 7, 1912, in Cleveland,15 and Donald was born on August 25, 1916.16 Raymond continued to work in the insurance business as shown on his World War I draft registration and the 1920 Cleveland directory.17

Adele’s brother Leman Edwin Goldman married Rita Strauss on June 24, 1913 in Baltimore.

Rita was born in Baltimore on July 6, 1887, to Abraham Strauss and Hannah Selz. Her parents were both German-born, and her father was a dry goods merchant. Her father died in 1905, and in 1910 Rita was living with her mother and siblings in Baltimore, not employed.18

L. Edwin and Rita had three children born between 1915 and 1920. Nancy was born on March 7, 1915,19 Robert on January 9, 1917,20 and Sue on September 7, 1920,21 all born in Baltimore. In 1920, L. Edwin Goldman was living with his mother-in-law Hannah and brother-in-law Henry as well as his wife and two older children (Rita being pregnant with Sue), and he was engaged in the general practice of law.22

Adele and L. Edwin’s sister Marguerite was living with their parents Mollie and Harry in Baltimore in 1920, working as bookkeeper for an automobile company. Judge Harry Goldman was the financial secretary of a fraternal order.23

Finally, I was most concerned about the fate of Felix Albert Cahn, the orphaned son of May Sigmund and Gerson Cahn. He had lost both of his parents before his fifth birthday. In 1910 he’d been living with his aunt/cousin Mollie and her family. In 1913, when he was just thirteen years old, F. Albert made the Baltimore newspaper for his charitable efforts raising money to help save sick babies.

The Baltimore Sun. Baltimore, Maryland, 25 May 1913, Sun • Page 12

Did the tragic losses of his parents as a young boy give Albert a special empathy for sick babies? One would think so.

In May 1914, he was confirmed at the Har Sinai synagogue in Baltimore, along with his cousin T. Edna Sigmund, who had also lost a parent when her father Leo Sigmund died in 1913. Albert, as he was known, appeared to be on the path to a good life.

The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore, Maryland, 27 May 1914, Wed • Page 4

In 1917 Albert entered the US Army to serve in World War I. According to a record found on Ancestry in their Maryland Military Men 1917-1919 database, Albert’s history in the Army was checkered at best. I have sent away for his military records to see if I can get more information, so I will wait until I receive them before reporting more on Albert’s life.

 

 


  1. Albert Sigmund, 1920 US census, Census Place: Washington, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: T625_210; Page: 24B; Enumeration District: 166, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  2. SSN: 229809484, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  3. Abraham Sigmund and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Washington, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: T625_212; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 271,
    Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  4. Virginia Kaufman Furman, passenger manifest, Year: 1931; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 5019; Line: 21; Page Number: 9, Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 
  5. Sydney Kaufman and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Washington, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: T625_212; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 282, Enumeration District: 0282; Description: DC Precinct 10, bounded by Ontario Road, Lanier Place, Adams Mill Road NW, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  6. Goldsmith Sigmund and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Washington, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: T625_210; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 188,
    Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  7.  Social Security Number: 579-07-0855, Birth Date: 21 May 1910,Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  8. Howard Sigmund and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Washington, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: T625_212; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 282,
    Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  9. Baltimore, Maryland, City Directory, 1907, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  10. New York, New York, City Directory, 1917, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  11. Ancestry.com. New York, Abstracts of World War I Military Service, 1917-1919.
    Original data: New York State Abstracts of World War I Military Service, 1917–1919. Adjutant General’s Office. Series B0808. New York State Archives, Albany, New York. A Brief History of the Stars and Stripes, Official Newspaper of the American Expeditionary Forces in France, From February 8, 1918, to June 13, 1919 (Columbia Publishing Company, Washington, DC), p. 34 
  12. Printers’ Ink, Volume 109 (Decker Communications, Inc., 1919), P. 28; Harold Sigmund, 1920 US census, Census Place: Manhattan Assembly District 5, New York, New York; Roll: T625_1194; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 445, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  13. Raymond Weil, World War II draft registration, The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; World War II Draft Cards (4th Registration) for the State of Ohio; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System; Record Group Number: 147, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942. Henrietta Weil and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Cleveland Ward 13, Cuyahoga, Ohio; Page: 3; Enumeration District: 0051; FHL microfilm: 1241253, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census. Marriage record of Jacob Weil and Henrietta Wolf, Film Number: 000877918, Ancestry.com. Ohio, County Marriage Records, 1774-1993. 
  14. Weil family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Cleveland Ward 21, Cuyahoga, Ohio; Roll: T624_1174; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 0319; FHL microfilm: 1375187,
    Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  15. State File Numbers: 1912064139, 1912064140, Additional Information: Raymont, Ancestry.com. Ohio, Birth Index, 1908-1964. 
  16. State File Number: 1916067870, Additional Information: Raymont, Ancestry.com. Ohio, Birth Index, 1908-1964 
  17. Raymond Weil, World War I draft registration, Registration State: Ohio; Registration County: Cuyahoga; Roll: 1831942; Draft Board: 17, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Cleveland, Ohio, City Directory, 1920,
    Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995. I coulld not find the Weil family on the 1920 US census despite searching their address on stevemorse.org. Somehow it seems the enumerator missed their address. I even searched the neighboring enumeration districts thinking that perhaps stevemorse.org had mixed up the ED since Edgehill Road didn’t come up at all in the designated ED. But still nothing. 
  18. Birth certificate number A95750, https://msa.maryland.gov/megafile/msa/coagserm/cm1100/cm1134/000000/000005/pdf/msa_cm1134_000005.pdf. Abraham Strauss and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Baltimore Ward 21, Baltimore City (Independent City), Maryland; Page: 3; Enumeration District: 0274; FHL microfilm: 1240617, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census. Name: Abraham Strauss, Death Date: 12 Apr 1905, Burial Place: Baltimore, Maryland, USA, JewishGen, comp. JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR). Hannah Strauss and family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Baltimore Ward 13, Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland; Roll: T624_557; Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 0199; FHL microfilm: 1374570, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  19. SSN: 220050059, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  20. Robert Goldman, World War II draft registration, The National Archives in St. Louis, Missouri; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Registration Cards for Maryland, 10/16/1940-03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 191, Ancestry.com. U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 
  21. SSN: 220127765, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  22. Hannah Strauss and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Baltimore Ward 13, Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland; Roll: T625_658; Page: 17A; Enumeration District: 203, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  23. Harry Goldman and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Baltimore Ward 13, Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland; Roll: T625_658; Page: 13B; Enumeration District: 203, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 

Leo Sigmund: Loss of A Life, Loss of a Business

The extended Sigmund family suffered one more loss between 1910 and 1920 when Leo Sigmund, Ella and Albert’s son, died at age 54 on July 31, 1913. According to his obituary, he had suffered from a nervous condition for two years. Leo’s children were only thirteen (Tracy Edna) and eleven (Albert Lloyd) when their father died. As the obituary points out, Leo was the only remaining family member carrying on the hat and fur business started by Albert Sigmund in 1846, A. Sigmund & Son.

“Well-known Merchant Who Died Yesterday,” The Baltimore Sun, August 1, 1913, p. 12

The obituary is as much a tribute to Leo’s wife Claudia as it is to Leo; it describes how she took over and even improved the business while Leo was ill as well as nursing Leo and taking care of the household.

Unfortunately, Claudia found herself in a struggle to keep the business after Leo’s death. According to a complaint she filed in 1916 to have receivers appointed to the business, her own brother Michael Hirsch fraudulently induced her to sell him the business for far less than its value in the aftermath of Leo’s death. She claimed that the business was worth at least $45,000 (if valued at more than $60,000 in assets with $14,800 in liabilities) and that she sold it to Michael for only $8,000, leaving her with only $1,600 after paying off the debts.

“Receivers for Furriers,” The Baltimore Evening Sun, December 13, 1916, p. 9

“Receivers for Sigmund & Son,” The Baltimore Sun, December 14, 1916, p. 13

I don’t know whether Claudia ever received any compensation for the alleged fraud committed by her brother as I could find no story that reported on that question. As for Michael Hirsch, he and his wife started another business, and it also ended up in bankruptcy.1

In 1920 Claudia Hirsch Sigmund and her two children, now 20 and 18, were living in Baltimore with her mother and sister. Claudia was not employed outside the home, but her daughter T. Edna was working as a stenographer for a soil improvement company and her son A. Lloyd was an office helper in a straw hat factory.

And the business started by Albert Sigmund in 1846 and that supported his family for so many years was gone.

Claudia Hirsch Sigmund and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Baltimore Ward 13, Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland; Roll: T625_658; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 203
Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census

Fortunately, the 1910s were better years for the rest of Ella Goldschmidt Sigmund’s children and grandchildren, as the next post will reveal.


  1. The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore, Maryland, 02 Apr 1918, Tue • Page 15 

Joseph Sigmund’s Daughters: A Double Tragedy

It’s hard to imagine the nightmare that the 1910s brought to Joseph Sigmund’s daughters, Lenore and Celeste. Both had married in the prior decade. As we saw, Lenore married a doctor, Henry Isaacs, and had moved with him to the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. Celeste married Abe Diamond, a cigar salesman from Chicago who had relocated to Denver, where Celeste and her family were living. Celeste and Abe had a daughter Marjorie who was born December 27, 1909, in Denver.

Then tragedy ended both of these young marriages. On February 19, 1912, Lenore’s husband Henry Isaacs was killed in a collision in Denver between a firetruck and the streetcar in which he was riding. Henry and Lenore were in Denver for the winter because Lenore was in poor health. Henry was only 32 years old.

 

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 21, 1912, p. 11.

Lenore remained in Denver and was at the same address as her parents in the 1913 Denver directory.1

Just four years later, fate dealt the family another cruel blow. Joseph Sigmund’s other son-in-law, Celeste’s husband Abe Diamond, was killed in a car accident in Denver on July 12, 1916. He was driving a car he had purchased just the week before. The car was traveling at a high rate of speed up a steep hill when it skidded and went over an embankment, falling 25 feet below. Abe was pinned under the car and crushed by its weight, dying instantly. A passenger in the car was thrown from the car and escaped serious injury. Abe Diamond was 37 years old when he died, and he was survived by his wife Celeste and their six-year-old daughter Marjorie.

“Abe Diamond Killed in Killed in Auto Wreck,” The Denver Post, July 10, 1916, p. 1

The Denver Rocky Mountain News also wrote about the accident:

“Abe Diamond Dies in Crash of Auto in Mountain Road,” Denver Rocky Mountain News, July 11, 1916, p. 7

Both Denver newspapers noted the terrible fact that both of Joseph Sigmund’s sons-in-law had been killed in automotive accidents in Denver. It is hard for me to fathom how the family responded to the cruelty of these events. How could two sisters both lose their young husbands in accidents like this within five years of each other?

Somehow the family survived and persisted. Both sisters eventually remarried. On September 23, 1919, Lenore married Edwin Weinberg in Denver.2 Edwin was a native of Chicago, born there on February 27, 1892, the son of Moses Weinberg and Emily Moore.3 In 1900, Edwin’s father was a bookkeeper for a wholesale meat business, and Edwin was a clerk in a wholesale hat business.4  Edwin was still living in Chicago in 1917 when he registered for the World War I draft; he was working as a salesman at that time.5 I’ve no idea how Edwin and Lenore met, but after marrying they settled in Denver, where in 1920 Edwin was working as a clerk in a clothing store. Lenore and Edwin would have one child born in the 1920s.6

Meanwhile, in 1920 Celeste was still living with her parents Joseph and Emma in Denver along with her daughter Marjorie. Joseph continued to work as an advertising writer and was supporting his wife, daughter, and granddaughter.

Joseph Sigmund and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Denver, Denver, Colorado; Roll: T625_162; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 276
Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census

But Celeste remarried later that year. On December 12, 1920, she married Hugo Rothenberg in Denver.7  Hugo was born in Hamburg, Germany, on June 7, 1878, to Isaac Rothenburg and Rebecka Heymann, and immigrated to the US in 1896.8 In 1905, he was living in Denver, working as a clerk for Simon Frank & Company, a wholesale notions business.9 He was apparently quite friendly with Abe and Celeste Diamond.

Denver Jewish Outlook, April 26, 1907. p. 10

Denvery Jewish Outlook, June 12, 1908, p. 8

In 1910 he was working as the secretary of a mercantile business, Stern-Prince Importing, in Denver,10 but by 1918 Hugo had relocated to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he was a manager for Paris Fashions Co.

Hugo Rothenburg, World War I draft registration, Registration State: Wisconsin; Roll: 1674778; Draft Board: 01, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918

He was still living there in 1920, and after he and Celeste married in December 1920, they lived in Milwaukee for at least the next four years.11  They would return to Denver by 1925 and remain there for many years, as we will see.

Thus, both Lenore and Celeste remarried after losing their first husbands to tragic accidents. The will to go on and to find love again is remarkable.

 


  1. Publication Title: Denver, Colorado, City Directory, 1913, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  2. Name: Lenore Isaacs, Gender: Female, Marriage Date: 23 Sep 1919, Marriage Place: Colorado, USA, Spouse: Edwin Weinberg, Film Number: 001690147,
    Ancestry.com. Colorado, County Marriage Records and State Index, 1862-2006 
  3. Name: Edward Jacob Weinberg, Birth Date: 27 Feb 1892, Birth Place: Chicago, Cook, Illinois, Ethnicity: American. Gender: Male, Race: White, Father: Moses A Weinberg, Mother: Emily Moore Weinberg, FHL Film Number: 1287929, Ancestry.com. Cook County, Illinois, Birth Certificates Index, 1871-1922 
  4. Moses Weinberg and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Chicago Ward 32, Cook, Illinois; Page: 11; Enumeration District: 1030; FHL microfilm: 1240286, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  5. Edwin Weinberg, World War I draft registration, Registration State: Illinois; Registration County: Cook; Roll: 1439759; Draft Board: 13, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 
  6. Edwin Weinberg and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Denver, Denver, Colorado; Roll: T625_162; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 237, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  7. Name: Celeste Diamond, Gender: Female, Marriage Date: 12 Dec 1920, Marriage Place: Denver, Denver, Colorado, USA, Spouse: Hugo Rothenburg, Film Number: 001690129, Ancestry.com. Colorado, County Marriage Records and State Index, 1862-2006 
  8. Name: Hugo Rothenburg, Gender: männlich (Male), Birth Date: 7 Jun 1878, Birth Place: Hamburg, Hamburg, Deutschland (Germany), Civil Registration Office: Hamburg 02, Father: Isaac Rothenburg, Mother: Rebecka Heymann Rothenburg, Certificate Number: 2720, Reference Number: 332-5_1932, Ancestry.com. Hamburg, Germany, Births, 1874-1901. Staatsarchiv Hamburg; Hamburg, Deutschland; Hamburger Passagierlisten; Volume: 373-7 I, VIII A 1 Band 092 A; Page: 125; Microfilm No.: K_1754, Staatsarchiv Hamburg. Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934 
  9. Denver, Colorado, City Directory, 1905, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  10. Hugo Rothenburg, 1910 US census, Census Place: Denver Ward 9, Denver, Colorado; Roll: T624_116; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 0113; FHL microfilm: 1374129, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census; Publication Title: Denver, Colorado, City Directory, 1911, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  11. Hugo Rothenburg, 1920 US census, Census Place: Milwaukee Ward 3, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Roll: T625_1998; Page: 15B; Enumeration District: 45, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census; The Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 11 Jan 1924, Fri • Page 2 

Ella Goldschmidt Sigmund’s Grandchildren: Eight Weddings between 1901 and 1910

Last time we saw that Ella Goldschmidt Sigmund died in 1904 after losing her daughter/granddaughter May the day prior to her own death. Ella was survived by five of her children: Henrietta in Washington, Pennsylvania; Joseph in Denver; and Simon, Leo, and Mollie in Baltimore. She also was survived by numerous grandchildren.

By the time Ella died, some of those grandchildren were adults and beginning to marry and have families of their own. For example, Henrietta’s daughter Moynelle had married Bert Spanye on October 19, 1900, and had given birth to Ella’s first great-grandchild, Edward Spanye, on September 19, 1902, in Cleveland, Ohio.

And all five of William Sigmund’s children married between 1901 and 1910. Albert married Mae J. Kaufman on January 15, 1901, in Washington, DC.1 Mae was the daughter of Charles Kaufman, a German immigrant, and Elizabeth Wetzler, a Maryland native. Mae was born in January 1877, in DC. Her father was a clothier there.2 In 1910 Albert and Mae were living in DC where Albert was the manager of a jewelry store known as The Ashley. They had no children.3

The next of William’s children to marry was his daughter Jeanette. She married Sydney C. Kaufman on January 28, 1903, in DC.4  Their wedding got a big write-up in the DC Evening Star, including pictures of both the bride and groom:

Sydney was the younger brother of Mae Kaufman, the wife of Jeannette’s brother Albert. Sydney was born on February 18, 1881, in DC,5 and in 1900 was living with his parents and siblings and working as a clerk in a clothing store, presumably his father’s.6 In 1910 Sydney and Jeannette were living in DC, and Jeannette’s mother Addie was living with them; Sydney was working as a clothing merchant on his own account. Sadly, it appears that Sydney and Jeannette had lost two children in the seven years they’d been married.

Sydney Kaufman and family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Precinct 10, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: T624_155; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 0215; FHL microfilm: 1374168
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

Albert and Jeanette’s brother Abraham Sigmund was next to marry, and he did not marry another Kaufman sibling. On January 14, 1907, he married Helene Eiseman,7 a native of DC, born on November 26, 1881, to Moses Eiseman and Bertha Kann8. Moses was also a clothing merchant and was German born; Bertha was born in Maryland. In 1910, Abraham and Helene were living in DC where Abraham was a dry goods merchant; Helene’s father, now a widower, was also living with them. They did not yet have any children.9

Washington DC Evening Star, January 15, 1907, p. 5

One year after Abraham married Helene, his younger brother Goldsmith married Sadye Breslau on January 18, 1908.10 Sadye was a native of DC, born there in about 1890 to Ferdinand Breslau and Clara Gross. Sadye’s father Ferdinand had died in 1905, but had been a milk dealer before his death.11 In 1910, Goldie was a clothing merchant in business with his brothers Abraham and Howard.12 Goldie and Sadye’s son William Ferdinand Sigmund, obviously named for his two grandfathers, was born on June 26, 1910, in Washington, DC.13

The Washington Times, January 20, 1908, p. 4

The youngest of William and Addie Sigmund’s children, Howard, was the last to marry. He married Lesley Wilhoite on April 18, 1909, in DC.14 Her parents were Jeremiah McRae Wilhoite and Frances E. Stith. Her mother was a widow by 1900, and in 1909, Lesley had been living with her mother in DC and working as a stenographer.15 In 1910, Lesley and Howard were lodgers in the household of others, and Howard was working with his brothers Abraham and Goldsmith in their store.16

Thus, all of William and Adelaide Sigmund’s children were married by 1910, though only one of those children yet had a child of his or her own.

Ella Goldschmidt Sigmund’s four other children also saw their families growing between 1901 and 1910. Simon Sigmund’s son Harold became a teenager in that decade. In 1910 he was eighteen and still living at home with his parents and not employed outside the home; Simon continued to work as a fur merchant in Baltimore.17 Leo Sigmund’s children were still quite young in this decade as Tracy Edna was born in 1900 and Albert Lloyd in 1902. In 1910, Leo was also a fur merchant in Baltimore in what had been their father Albert’s business, A. Sigmund & Son.18

Mollie and her husband Harry Goldman were also still living in Baltimore where Harry was no longer a police constable, but in the insurance business. Their children were also adults by the end of the decade. Leman Edwin was still living at home, but practicing law. He had graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 1905 and from the University of Maryland Law School in 1907.

His sister Marguerite was a clerk in an insurance office, presumably her father’s. The youngest sibling Adele was still at home, not working. Also living with the family was Felix Albert Cahn, the orphaned son of Mollie’s sister/niece May, who had died in 1904 just months after her husband Gerson died, leaving three-year-old Felix Albert behind. I was glad to see that Felix was being taken care of by May’s sister/aunt Mollie.

Harry Goldman and family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Baltimore Ward 15, Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland; Roll: T624_558; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 0250; FHL microfilm: 1374571, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

Joseph, the only son who was no longer living in Baltimore, continued to live in Denver in the first decade of the twentieth century and work in the advertising business.19 His daughters both married during those years. Lenore married Henry Isaacs on January 21, 1905, in Denver; Henry was a doctor and was born in Pennsylvania to Isaac E. Isaacs and Elizabeth Sampson in September 1880. He grew up in Pittsburgh and went to college and medical school in western Pennsylvania.20 It would be interesting to know how he met Lenore, who was living in Denver. After they married, they settled in the Pittsburgh area where in 1910 Henry was a doctor at Braddock Hospital in Braddock, Pennsylvania.21

Ancestry.com. Colorado, County Marriage Records and State Index, 1862-2006

Lenore’s younger sister Celeste married two years after her sister on November 28, 1907 in Denver. She married Abe Diamond, who was born in Chicago in 1879 to Solomon A. Diamond, a Dutch immigrant, and Henrietta Kuhn, a French immigrant. In 1900 Abe was still living in Chicago with his parents and working as a salesman, but by the early 1900s he had relocated to Denver where he was a cigar salesman.22 In 1910, Celeste and Abe and their three-month-old daughter Marjorie were living in Denver where Abe continued to work as a cigar merchant.23

Ancestry.com. Colorado, County Marriage Records and State Index, 1862-2006

Unfortunately, the marriages of both Celeste and her sister Lenore were cut short by painfully similar events in the next decade. More on that in my next post.

 


  1. Albert Sigmund and Mae Kaufman marriage record, FHL Film Number: 2108220
    Reference ID: Itm 1 p 1-2 cn 13295, Ancestry.com. District of Columbia, Compiled Marriage Index, 1830-1921 
  2. Charles Kaufman and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Washington, Washington, District of Columbia; Page: 18; Enumeration District: 0071; FHL microfilm: 1240161, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  3. Albert Sigmund, 1910 US census, Census Place: Precinct 7, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: T624_152; Page: 18A; Enumeration District: 0135; FHL microfilm: 1374165, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census; Washington, District of Columbia, City Directory, 1909, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  4. Marriage of Jeannette Sigmund and Sydney Kaufman, FHL Film Number: 2108264
    Reference ID: item 1 p 466 cn 20466, Ancestry.com. District of Columbia, Compiled Marriage Index, 1830-1921 
  5. Sydney Kaufman, passport application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 1931; Volume #: Roll 1931 – Certificates: 155476-155849, 27 Apr 1922-27 Apr 1922, Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 
  6. Charles Kaufman and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Washington, Washington, District of Columbia; Page: 18; Enumeration District: 0071; FHL microfilm: 1240161, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  7. Marriage of Helene K, Eiseman and Abraham Sigmund, FHL Film Number: 2108440, Reference ID: Pg276 CN 35876 Fr475, Ancestry.com. District of Columbia, Compiled Marriage Index, 1830-1921 
  8. Birth record of Helene Eiseman, FHL Film Number: 2114651, Reference ID: cn 28339, Ancestry.com. District of Columbia, Select Births and Christenings, 1830-1955 
  9. Abraham Sigmund and family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Precinct 10, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: T624_155; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 0215; FHL microfilm: 1374168, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  10. Marriage record of Goldsmith Sigmund and Sadye Breslau. FHL Film Number: 2108443, Refence ID: cn 40018, Ancestry.com. District of Columbia, Compiled Marriage Index, 1830-1921 
  11. Ferdinand Breslau family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Washington, Washington, District of Columbia; Page: 4; Enumeration District: 0096; FHL microfilm: 1240162, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census; https://www.findagrave.com/mem Ancestry.com. U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current 
  12. Goldie Sigmund and family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Precinct 8, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: T624_153; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 0142; FHL microfilm: 1374166, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  13.  Number: 578-07-5877; Issue State: District of Columbia; Issue Date: Before 1951,
    Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  14. Washington Evening Star, January 22, 1909, p. 7. 
  15. Lesley Wilhoite, 1900 US census, Census Place: Washington, Washington, District of Columbia; Page: 15; Enumeration District: 0036; FHL microfilm: 1240159, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  16. Howard Sigmund, 1910 US census, Census Place: Precinct 10, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: T624_155; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 0215; FHL microfilm: 1374168, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census. Title: Washington, District of Columbia, City Directory, 1909, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  17. Simon Sigmund and family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Baltimore Ward 14, Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland; Roll: T624_557; Page: 14B; Enumeration District: 0236; FHL microfilm: 1374570, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  18. Leo Sigmund and family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Baltimore Ward 15, Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland; Roll: T624_558; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0250; FHL microfilm: 1374571, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  19. Joseph Sigmund, 1910 US census, Census Place: Denver Ward 9, Denver, Colorado; Roll: T624_116; Page: 14B; Enumeration District: 0113; FHL microfilm: 1374129, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  20. “Dr. H. S. Isaacs,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Feb 21, 1912, p.11. 
  21. Ibid.; Henry Isaacs, 1910 US census, Census Place: Braddock Ward 1, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1293; Page: 19A; Enumeration District: 0019; FHL microfilm: 1375306, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  22. Sol A. Diamond and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Chicago Ward 11, Cook, Illinois; Page: 6; Enumeration District: 0325; FHL microfilm: 1240258, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census; Denver, Colorado, City Directory, 1906, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  23. Abe Diamond, 1910 census, Census Place: Denver Ward 10, Denver, Colorado; Roll: T624_116; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0130; FHL microfilm: 1374129, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 

Ella Goldschmidt Sigmund Did Not Have A Baby in Her Fifties: Mystery Solved

As of 1900, Ella Goldschmidt Sigmund had over twenty grandchildren, but had lost her husband Albert and four of her ten children. Three of those children had died without any descendants: Jacob, Lena, and Stella.

William had left five children behind, and in 1900, all of them were still living with their mother Adelaide in Washington, DC. Albert (26) was a clerk in a jewelry store; Abraham (24) was working in men’s and women’s furnishings. Jeanette (20), Goldie (17), and Howard (13) were not working outside the home.

Adelaide Sigmund and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Washington, Washington, District of Columbia; Page: 1; Enumeration District: 0031; FHL microfilm: 1240159
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

There are two things to note about this census record. First, Goldie was a son, not a daughter. That threw me off until I found later records for Goldie, whose real name was Goldsmith. Second, the record reports that Adelaide had had seven children, only five of whom were still living. I knew that Herman had died in 1883, but I have not located the other child who was no longer living.

Ella Goldschmidt Sigmund’s six surviving children were all married by 1900, and four of them were living in Baltimore.  Ella herself was living with her daughter May, May’s husband Gerson Cahn, a fur salesman, and their baby boy, Felix Albert Cahn (listed as Albert on the census).

Gerson Cahn and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Baltimore Ward 16, Baltimore City (Independent City), Maryland; Page: 13; Enumeration District: 0209; FHL microfilm: 1240615
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

Simon Sigmund was a dry goods salesman and was living with his wife Helen and son Harold in Baltimore.1 Leo Sigmund and his wife Claudia and infant daughter Tracy Edna were also living in Baltimore in 1900 where Leo was a hat merchant.2  Leo and Claudia’s second child Albert Lloyd Sigmund was born on September 17, 1902.3

The fourth of Ella’s children living in Baltimore in 1900 was her daughter Mollie, who was living with her three children and husband Harry Goldman.4 Although Harry was working as a police magistrate in 1900, his other activities are what he would become best known for. Harry Goldman, who was known as Judge, was one of the original organizers and investors in the team that would eventually become Baltimore’s American League baseball team, the Orioles, when the American League was formed in 1900. Here is the first Orioles team in 1901:

As a somewhat lapsed baseball fan, I loved reading the many articles describing how the American League was created and the obstacles it had to overcome as the older circuit, the National League, took extraordinary steps to try and prevent the creation of a league that would compete for audiences and players. For example, Harry Goldman located the land where the Baltimore’s stadium was to be built, and the National League tried to block that acquisition. Harry played such an instrumental role in the organization of the team and its league that he was named the first secretary-treasurer of Baltimore’s first American League team in 1900.5

The Baltimore Sun, November 17, 1900, p. 6.

Ella’s two remaining children were not living in Baltimore in 1900. Henrietta had long ago moved to Washington, Pennsylvania, with her husband S.J. Katzenstein. And by 1900, Joseph Sigmund had left Pittsburgh, where he had moved several years before. In 1900 he was living in Denver with his wife and children and working in advertising.

Joseph Sigmund and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Denver, Arapahoe, Colorado; Page: 4; Enumeration District: 0059; FHL microfilm: 1240118
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Censu

Thus, in 1900, Ella Goldschmidt Sigmund had four of her six surviving children living nearby in Baltimore, plus one living in Pennsylvania and one in Denver. The next four years would be terrible ones, however.

First, Ella’s son-in-law S.J. Katzenstein, Henrietta’s husband, died on December 7, 1901, at the age of 53. He left behind his wife Henrietta and six children, ranging in age from Moynelle, who was 22, to Vernon, who was only nine years old.

Then two years later on November 23, 1903, Ella lost another son-in-law when May’s husband Gerson Cahn died from pulmonary tuberculosis. He was only 31 years old.

But the family’s tragedy deepened when May herself died just four months later on March 18, 1904, at the age of 29, from pulmonary edema and heart failure. Their son Felix Albert was orphaned at just four years old.

When I recently received May’s death certificate, it answered a question I had asked in a recent post: Had Ella Goldschmidt Sigmund really had a child in her fifties?

May was not Ella and Albert’s biological child. She was the child of their daughter Lena and her husband Solomon Sigmund. Although her death certificate states that May was born on May 2, 1875, both the 1880 census record and the 1900 census record suggest that she was born in 1874, not 1875. That would mean she was just over a year old when her mother died on July 31, 1875.

So perhaps her grandparents Ella and Albert adopted her, legally or unofficially, and thus they identified her as their daughter on the 1880 census and as one of Albert’s children in his obituary. But it also explains why Ella reported only five living children on the 1900 census, not six.

Gerson Cahn and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Baltimore Ward 16, Baltimore City (Independent City), Maryland; Page: 13; Enumeration District: 0209; FHL microfilm: 1240615
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

One question that remains unanswered is what happened to Lena’s husband and May’s father Solomon. I have not been able to find one reference or record that reveals where he was after Lena’s death. He is not listed in the Baltimore City Death Index for 1875-1880, so presumably he was still living in 1880 when May was living with her grandparents and listed as their daughter. So perhaps he had returned to Germany or just moved on to a new location in the US.6

Losing May after losing Lena as well as Jacob, Stella, and William must have been just too much for Ella to bear. She had now outlived four of her ten children as well as her husband Albert and now her granddaughter/adopted daughter May. Ella died the day after May on March 19, 1904, at the age of eighty-one from nephritis and diabetes.

Ella Goldschmidt Sigmund, my first cousin, four times removed, had lived quite a challenging life. Born in Grebenstein, Germany, she was the oldest of seven children and lost her mother when she was only sixteen. Faced with financial burdens, she had taken on the responsibility of not only helping to care for those younger siblings but of earning a living as a milliner. Then when she was about twenty-one, she decided to strike out on her own and left Germany for the US, where she married Albert Sigmund and had ten children. Although Albert was a successful businessperson in Baltimore, Ella suffered far too many losses—five of her children predeceased her as well as her husband Albert. One has to wonder whether her dreams of a better life in the US were fulfilled, given how much she had endured as an adult.

But five of her children survived her as well as over twenty grandchildren, so her legacy did not end with her life, as we will see.

 


  1. Simon Sigmund and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Baltimore Ward 16, Baltimore City (Independent City), Maryland; Page: 1; Enumeration District: 0208; FHL microfilm: 1240615, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  2. Leo Sigmund and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Baltimore Ward 16, Baltimore City (Independent City), Maryland; Page: 15; Enumeration District: 0209; FHL microfilm: 1240615, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  3. New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2W23-G4M : 10 February 2018), Claudia Hirsch in entry for Albert Lloyd Sigmund, 24 Oct 1938; citing Death, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 2,108,250. 
  4. Harry Goldman and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Baltimore Ward 16, Baltimore City (Independent City), Maryland; Page: 15; Enumeration District: 0209; FHL microfilm: 1240615, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  5. See, e.g., “The New Ball Club,” The Baltimore Sun, January 27, 1900, p. 6; “More Baseball War,” The Baltimore Sun, July 29, 1902, p. 6; Fred Lieb, The Baltimore Orioles: The History of a Colorful Team in Baltimore and St. Louis (SIU Press, 2005), pp. 91-95,111, 116, 147 
  6. I did find a Sol Sigmund of the same age and born in Germany on the 1900 census, living in St. Louis and married to Emma Lorber with two children, but I have no way to know if that man was the same man. If it was the same Solomon Sigmund, he never reappears with that family either. Sol Sigmund and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: St Louis Ward 12, St Louis (Independent City), Missouri; Page: 5; Enumeration District: 0185; FHL microfilm: 1240894, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census. By 1910 Emma was living with her sons and still listed as married, but Sol is not in the household. By 1920 Emma identified her marital status as divorced. Could this be the same Solomon Sigmund? And if so, where did he now disappear to?