Jacob Goldsmith, The final chapter: What happened to his son Frank?

As of 1930, only six of Jacob Goldsmith’s fourteen children were still living: Annie, Celia, Frank, Rebecca, Florence, and Gertrude. As seen in my prior posts, Eva died in 1928. In addition, I have written about the deaths of Gertrude in 1937 and Rebecca in 1940. There remain therefore just four siblings to discuss, and by 1945, they were all deceased.

Annie and Celia, the two oldest remaining siblings, both died in 1933. Celia, who’d been living with her sister Florence and her family in 1930, died on January 15, 1933, in Denver, and was buried in Philadelphia on January 18, 1933. She was 73 years old.  Celia never married and has no living descendants.1

Her sister Annie died four months later, on May 29, 1933, in San Francisco.2 She was 77 and was survived by her three children, Josephine, Harry, and Fanny. Sadly, Harry did not outlive his mother by much more than a year. He died at 53 on August 4, 1934, in San Francisco.3 He was survived by his wife Rose, who died in 1969, and his two sisters, Josephine and Fanny. But Josephine also was not destined for a long life. She died less than three years after her brother Harry on April 23, 1937; she was 59. Like their father Augustus who’d died when he was fifty, Josephine and Harry were not blessed with longevity.

Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 05 March 2019), memorial page for Fannie Mendelsohn Frank (unknown–1 Sep 1974), Find A Grave Memorial no. 100371723, citing Home of Peace Cemetery and Emanu-El Mausoleum, Colma, San Mateo County, California, USA ; Maintained by Diane Reich (contributor 40197331) .

Of Augustus and Annie’s children, only Fanny lived a good long life. She was 93 when she died on September 1, 1974.4 According to her death notice in the San Francisco Chronicle, she had been a dealer in Oriental art objects.5 Like Josephine, Fanny had never married and had no children, nor did their brother Harry. Thus, there are no living descendants of Annie Goldsmith Frank.

Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 05 March 2019), memorial page for Fannie Mendelsohn Frank (unknown–1 Sep 1974), Find A Grave Memorial no. 100371723, citing Home of Peace Cemetery and Emanu-El Mausoleum, Colma, San Mateo County, California, USA ; Maintained by Diane Reich (contributor 40197331) .

The third remaining child of Jacob Goldsmith was Florence Goldsmith Emanuel. In 1930, Florence was living with her husband Jerry Emanuel in Denver as well as their nephew Bernard, the son of Gertrude Goldsmith and Jacob Emanuel, and Florence’s sister Celia. Jerry was working as a clerk in a wholesale tobacco business. In 1940, they were still living in Denver, now with Jerry’s sister Grace in their home, and Jerry was working as a salesman for a wholesale liquor business.6

Emanuel family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Denver, Denver, Colorado; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0137; FHL microfilm: 2339973
Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census

Florence Goldsmith Emanuel died on August 4, 1942, at the age of 73. Her husband Jerry survived her by another seventeen years. He died on June 16, 1959, and is buried with Florence in Denver. He was 89. Florence and Jerry did not have children, so like so many of Florence’s siblings, there are no living descendants.7

That brings me to the last remaining child of Jacob Goldsmith and Fannie Silverman, their son Frank. In 1930, Frank and his wife Barbara were living in Atlantic City, and Frank was retired.8 On July 25, 1937, Barbara died in Philadelphia; she was 67. Like Frank’s parents and many of his siblings, she was buried at Mt Sinai cemetery in Philadelphia; in fact, she was buried in the same lot as Celia and Rachel Goldsmith and one lot over from her in-laws Jacob and Fannie Goldsmith.9

I mention this because for the longest time I was having no luck finding out when or where Frank Goldsmith died or was buried. In 1940, he was living as a widower in the Albemarle Hotel in Atlantic City, and the 1941 Atlantic City directory lists Frank as a resident.9 But after that he disappeared. I couldn’t find any obituaries or death records, but what really mystified me was that there was no record of his burial with his wife Barbara and his other family members at Mt Sinai cemetery.

I contacted Mt Sinai and learned that the plot that had been reserved for Frank is still unused. Barbara is buried with Frank’s sisters Celia and Rachel and one lot over from Frank’s parents. But Frank is not there. Here are two of the Mt Sinai burial records showing that Barbara and Celia are buried right near each other in lots owned by Frank.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records,  Mt· Sinai Cemetery, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1669-2013

I also hired a researcher to search the New Jersey death certificates in Trenton (since they are not available online). She came up empty. So what had happened to Frank?

Well, once again Tracing the Tribe, the Jewish genealogy Facebook group, came to the rescue. I posted a question there and received many responses, most of them suggestions for things I’d already done. But one member,  Katherine Dailey Block, found a 1920 newspaper article that mentioned Frank that I had never seen:

“To Leave for Florida,” Harrisburg Telegraph, December 30, 1920, p. 4.

That raised the possibility that Frank might have spent time in Florida more than this one time. I had made the mistake of assuming that, having lived his whole life in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, he must have died in one of those two states. Now I broadened the search to Florida. (Doing a fifty-state search was not helpful since the name Frank Goldsmith is quite common, and I had no way to figure out whether any of them was my Frank.) And this result came up:

Florida Death Index, 1877-1998,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VV91-P84 : 25 December 2014), Frank F. Goldsmith, 1945; from “Florida Death Index, 1877-1998,” index, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : 2004); citing vol. 1148, certificate number 9912, Florida Department of Health, Office of Vital Records, Jacksonville.

A Frank F. Goldsmith had died in Tampa, Florida in 1945. Could this be my Frank? Tampa is on the opposite coast from Jacksonville as well as much further south. That made me doubt whether this was the same Frank F. Goldsmith. But then I found this record from the 1945 Florida census; notice the second to last entry on the page:

Census Year: 1945, Locality: Precinct 2, County: Hillsborough, Page: 43, Line: 32
Archive Series #: S1371, Roll 20, Frank F. Goldsmith 65
Ancestry.com. Florida, State Census, 1867-1945

There was Frank F. Goldsmith, and when I saw that he was born in Pennsylvania, I was delighted, figuring that this could be my Frank. On the other hand, the census reported that this Frank was 65 years old in 1945 whereas my Frank would have been 82. But it seemed worth ordering a copy of the death certificate from the Florida vital records office to see if it contained information that would either confirm or disprove my hope that this was my cousin Frank.

Unfortunately, here is the death certificate:

As you can see, it has no information about this Frank F. Goldsmith’s wife, parents, birth place, occupation, or much of anything that would help me tie him to my Frank F. Goldsmith. In fact, the age and birth date on the certificate are inconsistent with my Frank Goldsmith, who was born in June 1863, according to the 1900 census, not June of 1878.

Despite these blanks and inconsistencies, my hunch is that this is my Frank. Why? Both Franks have a birth date in June. And on later census records, Frank’s estimated birth year based on his reported age moved later than 1863—1868 in 1910, 1876 in 1920, and 1870 in 1930 and 1940. He seemed to be getting younger as time went on. Maybe by 1945, he was giving a birth year of 1878. And by 1945 there was no one left to inform the hospital of his family’s names or his birth date or age so perhaps whoever completed the death certificate (looks like someone from the funeral home) was just guessing at his age and birth date.

In addition, there is no other Frank F. Goldsmith who fits the parameters of the Frank on the death certificate. Finally, this Frank was to be buried in the “Jew cemetery,” so we know that he was Jewish.

So what do you think? Is this enough to tie the Frank F. Goldsmith who died in Florida to my Frank F. Goldsmith? I know these are thin reeds upon which to make a case, but I think they may have to be enough.

In any event, like his sisters Rachel, Celia, Annie, Emma, Eva and Florence, and his brother Felix, Frank Goldsmith has no living descendants. In fact, it is quite remarkable how few living descendants Jacob Goldsmith and Fannie Silverman have, considering that they had had fourteen children. Five of those fourteen children did not have children of their own: Emma, Rachel, Celia, Frank, and Florence. Four of Jacob and Fannie’s children had no grandchildren: Annie had three children, but none of them had children. Eva had one son, Sidney, who did not have any children, and the same was true of Gertrude’s son Bernard and Felix’s two children Ethel and Clarence. From fourteen children, Jacob and Fannie had twenty grandchildren and only twelve great-grandchildren, and a number of those great-grandchildren also did not have children. From my count, there were only ten great-great-grandchildren. With each generation, instead of growing, the family became smaller.

But that is not the legacy of Jacob and Fannie Goldsmith. Rather, theirs is the remarkable story of two young German immigrants settling in western Pennsylvania and then Philadelphia, raising fourteen children who eventually spanned the continent. From all appearances, many of those fourteen children stayed close, both geographically and presumably emotionally. Many of them lived together, especially the daughters who spent years in Denver together. Like so many first-generation Americans, these fourteen children provided evidence to their parents that the risks they took leaving their home country behind and crossing the ocean were worthwhile. Yes, there was plenty of heartbreak along the way, but overall Jacob, Fannie, and their fourteen children lived comfortably and free from oppression.

 


  1. Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1669-2013 
  2. Ancestry.com. California, Death Index, 1905-1939 
  3. Ancestry.com. California, Death Index, 1905-1939 
  4.  Number: 562-66-4663; Issue State: California; Issue Date: 1962, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  5. San Francisco Chronicle, September 4, 1974, p. 35 
  6. Florence Emanuel, 1940 US census, Census Place: Denver, Denver, Colorado; Roll: m-t0627-00490; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 16-221B, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  7. JewishGen, comp. JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) 
  8. Frank Goldsmith, 1930 US census, Census Place: Atlantic City, Atlantic, New Jersey; Page: 19B; Enumeration District: 0011; FHL microfilm: 2341043, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  9. Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records,  Mt· Sinai Cemetery, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1669-2013 

Rebecca Goldsmith Levy: A Shattered Life

In so many ways, Rebecca Goldsmith seemed to be living a charmed life up through the 1920s. She had married a successful doctor, Robert Levy, had two daughters, Leona and Marion, and was able to provide a home in Denver for many years for a number of her sisters and her father Jacob. She seemed to be a generous and loving sister and daughter. She’d hosted weddings for three of her sisters—Eva, Florence, and Gertrude.

In 1914 her older daughter Leona had married a doctor—Stanley Eichberg—and in 1915, Rebecca and her husband Robert Levy were blessed with a granddaughter, Betty. And on January 16, 1920, a second grandchild was born, Robert Levy Eichberg, named in honor of his grandfather. As Rebecca neared her 50th birthday, she must have been filled with gratitude for her wonderful life.

But then everything was shattered. Her son-in-law Stanley developed a mysterious illness:

“Denver Physician Suffering from Strange Ailment,” Denver Post, February 1, 1921, p. 6

Eventually he was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and after enduring multiple unsuccessful surgeries, Stanley died on May 31, 1921, in Philadelphia, where his father-in-law Robert Levy had taken him for expert care:

“Denver Physician Is Dead in East,” Denver Rocky Mountain News, March 27, 1921, p. 3

Denver Post, March 26, 1921, pp. 1, 7

Leona was a 29-year-old widow with a five-year-old daughter and a one-year-old son. She must have been devastated.

But more tragedy was yet to come. Just five weeks later, Leona’s daughter Betty, just five years old, died due to complications from the whooping cough.

Denver Post, July 1, 1921, p.23

Betty Eichenberg, Denver Rocky Mountain News, October 29, 1916, p. 17

Leona had lost both her husband and her young daughter within weeks of each other.

That would seem like more than enough suffering for any family to bear. For perhaps a brief moment, there was a reason to celebrate. On March 18, 1924, Rebecca and Robert Levy’s younger daughter Marion married Harold Herman Aarons. Harold was, like Marion, a native of Denver, born on February 5, 1898, to Harry and Mary Aarons. 1 He was in the printing and stationery business with his father and had been living at home with his parents and siblings in 1920 before marrying Marion.2

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

Exactly one year later, Marion was burying her husband Harold. According to his obituary, the 27-year-old died from a “strange malady” on March 17, 1925.

Denver Post, March 18, 1925. p. 12

Rebecca Goldsmith Levy now had two widowed daughters. Her blessed life had become unraveled. In 1930, both of these two young widows, Marion and Leona, were living with their parents as was Leona’s son, Robert Levy Eichberg, just ten years old.

Levy family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Denver, Denver, Colorado; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 0108; FHL microfilm: 2339972
Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census

This all seems to have broken Rebecca’s spirit as well as her heart. According to the 1940 US census, by 1935, Rebecca was a patient at the Colorado Springs Psychopathic Hospital in Colorado Springs, and she was still residing there when the 1940 census was enumerated.

Rebecca Goldsmith Levy, 1940 US census, Census Place: El Paso, Colorado; Roll: m-t0627-00462; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 21-86B,  ELECTION PRECINCT 68, COLORADO SPRINGS PSYCHOPATHIC HOSPITAL, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census

She died not long afterwards on November 8, 1940, at the age of 74.3 I could not find any obituary or death notice or death certificate for Rebecca, only the burial record on the JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry and FindAGrave.

Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 05 March 2019), memorial page for Rebecca G Levy (1866–1940), Find A Grave Memorial no. 50939404, citing Fairmount Cemetery, Denver, Denver County, Colorado, USA ; Maintained by Athanatos (contributor 46907585) .

Meanwhile, her family continued to live in Denver. By 1940, Rebecca’s daughter Marion had married for a second time. Her second husband was Samuel Rose, who was born on September 3, 1902, in Richmond, Virginia, to Michael Rose and Etta London.4 Samuel’s parents, both immigrants, died when he was quite young, his mother in 1914, his father in 1918, so like Marion, Samuel had suffered serious loss in his life.5

In 1920, Samuel was living with his siblings in Richmond, but something then brought him to Denver by 1932, when he was working as bookkeeper at Temple Emanuel; by 1933 he is listed in the Denver directory with Marion as his wife.6 On the 1940 census it says that he was working as a secretary for a laboratory technician, but since he was still working at Temple Emanuel in 1945, I think the enumerator must not have heard him correctly.7

In 1940, Robert Levy, Rebecca’s widower, was living with his other daughter, Leona Levy Eichberg, and his grandson Robert in Denver, where Robert (the elder), now 76, continued to practice medicine.8 In fact, it seems that Robert continued to practice up until his death at 81 on July 1, 1945. He received a wonderful obituary in the Intermountain Jewish News on July 5, 1945, pp.1, 14.

Robert Levy Eichberg, Leona’s son and the grandson of Rebecca and Robert Levy, attended the University of Colorado, as seen in this photograph from the 1940 yearbook. According to his obituary, he also attended the US Naval Academy.9 Robert married Marion Belle Tohrner on February 9, 1944, in Miami Beach, Florida. He and Marion had three children.10

Yearbook Date: 1940, School: University of Colorado, School Location: Boulder, Colorado, USA
Yearbook Title: Coloradan, Ancestry.com. U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1990

Leona Levy Eichberg never remarried and died in Denver on October 5, 1964; she was 73 years old.11 Her sister Marion Levy Aarons Rose almost made it to her 96th birthday; she died on May 11, 1996, in Denver.  She did not have children.12

Rebecca Goldsmith and Robert Levy’s only grandchild, Robert Levy Eichberg,  died at 75 on March 24, 1995, in Riverside, California. His wife Marion died on December 13, 2013. They were survived by their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.13

Knowing that Rebecca Goldsmith and Robert Levy’s daughter Marion lived to 95 and that their daughter Leona and grandson Robert Eichberg have numerous living descendants took some of the edge off the tragedy that this family endured in the 1920s. But even so, it is still a heartbreaking and unfair chapter in the life of Rebecca Goldsmith.


  1. Harold Aarons, World War I draft registration, Registration State: Colorado; Registration County: Denver; Roll: 1561842; Draft Board: 6, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918; Aarons family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Denver, Arapahoe, Colorado; Page: 4; Enumeration District: 0002; FHL microfilm: 1240117, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  2. Harold Aarons, 1920 US census, Census Place: Denver, Denver, Colorado; Roll: T625_162; Page: 15B; Enumeration District: 233, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  3. JewishGen, comp. JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) 
  4.  Certificate Number: 1902028564, Virginia Department of Health; Richmond, Virginia, Ancestry.com. Virginia, Birth Records, 1912-2014, Delayed Birth Records, 1854-1911 
  5. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/51540123, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/51540109/michael-rose 
  6. Sam Rose, 1920 US census, Census Place: Richmond Madison Ward, Richmond (Independent City), Virginia; Roll: T625_1911; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 148, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census. Denver, Colorado, City Directory, 1932, 1933, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  7. Samuel Rose, 1940 US census, Census Place: Denver, Denver, Colorado; Roll: m-t0627-00488; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 16-146, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census; Denver, Colorado, City Directory, 1945, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  8. Robert Levy and family, 1940 US census, Census Place: Denver, Denver, Colorado; Roll: m-t0627-00488; Page: 12B; Enumeration District: 16-149, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  9. Denver Post, The () , obit for Robert L. Eichberg, Real estate agent, 75, GenealogyBank.com (https://www.genealogybank.com/doc/obituaries/obit/0F97FAFC4F54F9B1-0F97FAFC4F54F9B1 : accessed 22 January 2019) 
  10. Film Number: 002115775, Ancestry.com. Florida, County Marriage Records, 1823-1982 
  11. JewishGen, comp. JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) 
  12. SSN: 524607495, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  13. Denver Post, The () , obit for Robert L. Eichberg, Real estate agent, 75, GenealogyBank.com (https://www.genealogybank.com/doc/obituaries/obit/0F97FAFC4F54F9B1-0F97FAFC4F54F9B1 : accessed 22 January 2019);  Denver Post, The () , obit for Marion Eichberg, GenealogyBank.com (https://www.genealogybank.com/doc/obituaries/obit/14FFCFB386CB0F38-14FFCFB386CB0F38 : accessed 24 January 2019) 

Eva Goldsmith Uhfelder and Gertrude Goldsmith Emanuel

In January 1921, only seven of Jacob Goldsmith’s fourteen children were still living: Annie, Celia, Frank, Rebecca, Florence, Gertrude, and Eva. For Annie, Celia, Frank, and Florence, the 1920s were relatively quiet. But this decade did bring loss and heartbreak, especially for three of the sisters, Eva, Gertrude, and Rebecca.

The family lost another sibling on May 6, 1928, when Eva Goldsmith Uhlfelder died in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

She was 57 years old and was survived by her husband Sigmund and 22-year-old son Sidney. Sidney had only recently opened his own business in Albuquerque:

“Men’s Furnishings, Cigar, Candy Store Rosenwald Building,” Albuquerque Journal, January 10, 1928, p. 2

Sidney then lost his father just three years later. Sigmund Uhlfelder died on January 21, 1931; he was 61 years old.1 Sidney was orphaned at age 25. In 1930, he was living as a lodger in Albuquerque, working as a haberdasher.2

By 1940, Sidney was married to Katherine Bowers.3 Katherine was born on August 9, 1905, in Springfield, Missouri, to Jacob Bowers and Sallie Bryson.4 She’d lived in Missouri as recently as 1935, according to the 1940 census, so I am curious as to how she and Sidney met. In 1940, Sidney and Katherine and Katherine’s mother were living together in Albuquerque. Katherine was working as a saleswoman in an “Indian curio store,” and Sidney reported that he was the proprietor of a cigar store. On his World War II draft registration, Sidney reported that he was the owner of a newstand in the Rosenwald Building in Albuquerque.

Sidney Uhlfelder, World War II draft registration, Selective Service Registration Cards, World War II: Multiple Registrations, Fold3.com

Sidney and Katherine both lived long lives together in Albuquerque; she died at 91 on June 7, 1997,5 and Sidney lived to 97, dying on February 14, 2004, in Albuquerque.6 According to his obituary, he was a “loving and caring man.”7 There were no children listed as survivors in the obituary. Eva Goldsmith Uhlfelder thus has no living descendants.

The loss of Eva in 1928 brought the count of the surviving children of Jacob Goldsmith down to six, and the rest would survive the 1920s. But there were other losses suffered by the extended family.

Gertrude’s husband Jacob died December 4, 1921, at the age of 54 after being ill for a few weeks, according to his obituary:

“Jacob B. Emanuel, Pioneer Resident of Denver, Is Dead,” Denver Post, December 5, 1921, p. 13

His son Bernard was only ten years old when his father died. Nine years later, however, in 1930, Bernard was not living with his mother, but with his aunt Florence Goldsmith Emanuel (his mother Gertrude’s older sister) and uncle Jerry Emanuel (his father Jacob’s brother) as well as his aunt Celia Goldsmith, another of his mother’s sisters.

Emanuel family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Denver, Denver, Colorado; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0137; FHL microfilm: 2339973, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census

Bernard’s mother Gertrude was a practical nurse, living away from the family in the Nurses’ Home at the National Jewish Hospital in Denver in 1930. I do wonder whether the loss of her husband left her unable to care for her son or perhaps inspired her to dedicate her life caring for others as a nurse.8

On March 9, 1934, Gertrude’s son Bernard married Clarice L. Patterson in Georgetown, Colorado; she was the daughter of Walter W. Patterson and Mary Belle Doke and was born in Colorado in about 1916.9 In 1938, Bernard was working as a radio representative, according to the Denver city directory. I wasn’t sure what that meant, but on the 1940 census, Bernard reported that he was working in appliance repairs so I assume he was a radio repairman, not on the radio.10

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

Gertrude Goldsmith Emanuel died on June 21, 1937, in Denver; she was 66 years old.11 Her son Bernard died on October 22, 1973, in Denver; he was 62.12 I was unable to find any other information about Bernard’s wife Clarice, and as far as I can tell, Bernard and Clarice did not have children. Gertrude, like her sister Eva, thus does not appear to have any living descendants.

The sibling who suffered the most losses in the 1920s was Rebecca Goldsmith Levy. Her story merits a separate post.

 


  1. JewishGen, comp. JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) 
  2. Sidney Uhlfelder, 1930 US census, Census Place: Albuquerque, Bernalillo, New Mexico; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0020; FHL microfilm: 2341127, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  3. Sidney Uhlfelder, 1940 US census, Census Place: Albuquerque, Bernalillo, New Mexico; Roll: m-t0627-02439; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 1-36, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  4. SSN: 491038497, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  5. SSN: 491038497, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  6.  Number: 525-01-6662; Issue State: New Mexico; Issue Date: Before 1951,Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  7. Albuquerque Journal, 17 Feb 2004, Tue, Page 20. 
  8. Gertrude Goldsmith Emanuel, 1930 US census, Census Place: Denver, Denver, Colorado; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0105; FHL microfilm: 2339972, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  9. Patterson family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Denver, Denver, Colorado; Roll: T625_159; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 81, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census. Ancestry.com. Colorado, County Marriage Records and State Index, 1862-2006. 
  10. Denver, Colorado, City Directory, 1938, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995. Bernard Emanuel, 1940 US census, Census Place: Denver, Denver, Colorado; Roll: m-t0627-00486; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 16-85, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  11. JewishGen, comp. JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) 
  12. Number: 522-05-5043; Issue State: Colorado; Issue Date: Before 1951, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 

The Surviving Seven: Jacob Goldsmith’s Children in 1920

As we have seen, two of Jacob and Fannie Goldsmith’s fourteen children died before 1910, George (1899) and Emma (1902), and four more died between 1910 and 1919: Leonora (1911), Ellena (1914), Rachel (1915), and Felix (1919). The seventh of Jacob Goldsmith’s children to die was his youngest son Edward.

In 1910, Edward had been living with his wife Hannah and daughter Miriam in Greensboro, Alabama, where he was a bookkeeper in a dry goods store.1 By 1918, he and the family had relocated to Cincinnati, where Hannah’s family lived and where she was born and raised. Edward is listed in the 1918 Cincinnati directory without an occupation listed,2 and on the 1920 census, he, Hannah, and their daughter were living with Hannah’s brother George Wallenstein and his family. Once again, there is no occupation listed for Edward. My hunch is that Edward was already in poor health. He died on December 13, 1920, at the age of 56.3

Edward Goldsmith 1920 US census, Census Place: Cincinnati Ward 13, Hamilton, Ohio; Roll: T625_1391; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 227
Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census

Hannah and their daughter Miriam stayed in Cincinnati where in 1930 they were living with two of Hannah’s brothers, Albert and Millard.4 Miriam graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 1929. Here is her yearbook photograph:

Miriam Goldsmith, “U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012”; Yearbook Title: The Cincinnatian 1929; Year: 1929
Source Information
Ancestry.com. U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1990

On June 21, 1936, Miriam married Armand Rice Hecht in Cincinnati. Their wedding was written up in the Cincinnati Enquirer on June 28, 1936 (p. 63).

I found it rather sad that there is not one of Edward’s relatives named among the guests at the wedding.

Miriam’s husband Armand Rice Hecht was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on June 13, 1902, to Herman Hecht and Jennie Rice.5  He had been previously married and in 1930 was living with his first wife Lyllian and their daughter.  They had a second daughter born before Lyllian died in 1934.6

After Armand and Miriam married, they honeymooned in Bermuda7 and then settled in Bristol, Virginia, where they were living in 1940 with Armand’s two daughters from his first marriage as well as their own daughter and Miriam’s mother Hannah. Armand was the vice-president of a baking company.

Armand Hecht and family, 1940 US census, Census Place: Bristol, Bristol City, Virginia; Roll: m-t0627-04305; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 102-1
Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census

Armand died on January 11, 1957, from pancreatic cancer; he was 54.

Virginia Department of Health; Richmond, Virginia; Virginia Deaths, 1912-2014
Certificate Range: 00725-01097, Ancestry.com. Virginia, Death Records, 1912-2014

Then Miriam lost her mother Hannah on October 15, 1965.8 Miriam died at age 80 on June 5, 1987, in Bristol, Tennessee, survived by her daughter and two stepdaughters.9

With Edward Goldsmith’s death in 1920, half of Jacob Goldsmith’s children had passed away. There remained seven more: Annie Goldsmith Frank, Celia Goldsmith, Frank Goldsmith, Rebecca Goldsmith Levy, Florence Goldsmith Emanuel, Gertrude Goldsmith Emanuel, and Eva Goldsmith Uhlfelder. Where were they in 1920?

Annie Goldsmith Frank was still living in San Francisco with her two daughters, Josephine, a school teacher, and Fannie, who had no occupation.10 Annie’s son Harry had married for a second time; his second wife was Rose Phillips, born in Milwaukee on February 28, 1886, to Charles Phillips and Clara Besemann.11 I don’t know exactly when or where Harry and Rose married, but when he registered for the World War I draft in 1918, he listed Rose as his wife. He was then the assistant manager of the foreign department of Jos. Rothschild & Company in San Francisco. (The 1917 San Francisco directory lists him as a grocer.)12 In 1920, they were living in Burlingame, California, where Harry was the manager of an import-export business.13

Harry Frank, World War I draft registration, Registration State: California; Registration County: San Francisco; Roll: 1544262; Draft Board: 12
Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918

In 1920, Celia Goldsmith was living with her younger sister Eva Goldsmith Uhlfelder and her husband Sigmund and son Sidney in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Sigmund was working as an accountant for a department store there.

Uhlfelder family and Celia Goldsmith, 1920 US census, Census Place: Albuquerque Ward 3, Bernalillo, New Mexico; Roll: T625_1074; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 18
Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census

Frank Goldsmith and his wife Barbara were living in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in 1920, where Frank was a buyer for a department store.14

Rebecca Goldsmith Levy’s daughter Leona was married to Stanley Beckwith Eichberg on December 1, 1914, in Denver.

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

He was the son of German immigrants, Abraham Eichberg and Betty Shields, and was born on December 18, 1880, in Petersburg, Virginia.15  In 1900 Stanley was still in Petersburg, living with his parents and working as a draftsman, but by 1910 he had relocated to Denver where he was practicing medicine.16 Stanley and Leona’s first child Betty (named for Stanley’s mother) was born in 1915.17 In 1920 they were living in Denver where Stanley continued to practice medicine.18 On January 16, 1920, just a week after the 1920 census was enumerated in their district, Leona gave birth to their second child, Robert Levy Eichberg.19

Leona’s parents Rebecca and Robert Levy and her younger sister Marion was also living in Denver in 1920. Robert continued to practice medicine, and I’d imagine he was delighted to have a son-in-law who was a doctor.20

The remaining two Goldsmith siblings, Florence and Gertrude, were also living in Denver with their husbands, the brothers Jerry and Jacob Emanuel, respectively.  They were all living in one household along with Jacob and Jerry’s siblings Grace and Moses and Jacob and Gertrude’s eight year old son Bernard. Jacob was a merchant of men’s furnishings and Jerry a car salesman.

Emanuel household, 1920 US census, Census Place: Denver, Denver, Colorado; Roll: T625_162; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 252
Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census

Thus, in 1920, the six daughters and one son of Jacob Goldsmith who were still living were scattered across the country with only Frank still in the east. Three sisters were in Denver, two in Albuquerque, and one in San Francisco. What would the Roaring Twenties bring to these seven surviving siblings?

 


  1. Edward Harrison, 1910 US census, Census Place: Greensboro, Hale, Alabama; Roll: T624_15; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0042; FHL microfilm: 1374028, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  2. Cincinnati, Ohio, City Directory, 1918, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  3. Ancestry.com and Ohio Department of Health. Ohio, Death Records, 1908-1932, 1938-2007 
  4.   Hannah Goldsmith, 1930 US census, Census Place: Cincinnati, Hamilton, Ohio; Page: 21A; Enumeration District: 0147; FHL microfilm: 2341545, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  5. Ancestry.com. Kentucky, Birth Records, 1847-1911 
  6. Armand Hecht, 1930 US census, Census Place: Bristol, Sullivan, Tennessee; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0023; FHL microfilm: 2342015, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census. Lyllian Hecht, death certificate, December 23, 1934. Virginia Department of Health; Richmond, Virginia; Virginia Deaths, 1912-2014. 
  7. Armand and Miriam Hecht, ear: 1936; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 5824; Line: 29; Page Number: 115, Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 
  8. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/180233204 
  9. Number: 228-46-8303; Issue State: Virginia; Issue Date: 1953-1954, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  10. Annie Frank and daughters, 1920 US census, Census Place: San Francisco Assembly District 31, San Francisco, California; Roll: T625_136; Page: 14B; Enumeration District: 152, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  11. FHL Film Number: 1305106, Ancestry.com. Wisconsin, Births and Christenings Index, 1801-1928 
  12. San Francisco, California, City Directory, 1917, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  13. Harry Frank, 1920 US census, Census Place: Burlingame, San Mateo, California; Roll: T625_145; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 69, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  14. Frank Goldsmith,  1920 US census, Census Place: Harrisburg Ward 4, Dauphin, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1559; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 68, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  15. Stanley Eichberg, World War I draft registration, Registration State: Colorado; Registration County: Denver; Roll: 1561841; Draft Board: 5, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 
  16. Stanley Eichberg, 1900 US census, Census Place: Petersburg Ward 5, Petersburg City, Virginia; Page: 8; Enumeration District: 0102; FHL microfilm: 1241736,
    Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census. Stanley Eichberg, 1910 US Census, Census Place: Denver Ward 10, Denver, Colorado; Roll: T624_116; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 0135; FHL microfilm: 1374129, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census. 
  17. JewishGen, comp. JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) 
  18. Stanley Eichberg and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Denver, Denver, Colorado; Roll: T625_162; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 266, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  19. SSN: 523144521, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  20. Robert Levy and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Denver, Denver, Colorado; Roll: T625_162; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 234, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 

Leonora Goldsmith Jaffa and Her Family: Too Many Lives Cut Short

The second decade of the 20th century saw the oldest of Jacob Goldsmith’s children entering their sixties while his youngest children were entering their forties. In 1910, twelve of Jacob’s fourteen children were still living; Emma and George had already passed away. By the end of 1920, only seven of the remaining children were still living.  Five of the siblings died between 1911 and 1920. We have already seen that one of them was Jacob’s oldest son Felix, who died in 1919. We also saw that Rachel Goldsmith died in 1915. But two other siblings predeceased them in that decade, and one died in 1920.

The first was Leonora Goldsmith Jaffa. She died on February 22, 1911, at the age of fifty-two.1  According to her obituary, she had been ill for two years:

“Pioneer Woman of Trinidad Summoned,” The Las Vegas (NM) Daily Optic, February 24, 1911, p. 5

Mrs. Sol Jaffa Dies There After A Long Illness—Aunt of Secretary Jaffa

Trinidad is mourning the death of Mrs. Sol H. Jaffa, wife of the city treasurer and prominent retail merchant, who passed away peacefully at her home, 218 east Third Street, Wednesday night. The deceased, who was one of the oldest residents of Trinidad, had been ill for the past two years, her malady taking a serious turn last October, when she was reported to be in a precarious condition. Since that time the deceased had been steadily declining and thus her sad demise did not come unexpected to her relatives and friends.

The deceased was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Goldsmith of Washington, Pa. She was married to Sol H. Jaffa in Philadelphia, thirty years ago, in the year 1881, when she took up her residence in the city of Trinidad. The deceased had been a resident of this city since that time and had been an active charity worker and prominent in the Jewish circles of the city. Her death is deeply mourned throughout the city and county by a host of friends.

The deceased was 52 years of age and is survived by her husband, Sol H. Jaffa and a daughter, Miss Helen Jaffa, of this city, and a son, Arthur who is engaged in the government service as an engineer, residing in Cheyenne, Wyo., and four sisters and three brothers. Her sisters are Mrs. Dr. Levy of Denver, Mrs. J. Emanuel and Mrs. R. Emanuel of Denver and Mrs. Uhlfelder of Albuquerque, N.M. The three brothers of the deceased reside in the east and south. Arthur Jaffa was notified of the death of his mother by telegraph and is expected to arrive her either today or tomorrow.

The funeral will take place from the family residence Sunday afternoon, and interment will be in the Jewish cemetery. Among the relatives who will attend the funeral are the son, Arthur Jaffa, Dr. and Mrs. Levy of Denver, Mrs. R. Emanuel and Mrs. M. Emanuel of Denver, Mrs. Uhlfelder of Albuquerque, and give nephews of the deceased, Nathan Jaffa, secretary of the territory of New Mexico, Joseph Jaffa, an attorney of Denver, Julius Jaffa of Roswell, N.M., and Ben Jaffa of Albuquerque.

[A final paragraph discusses how Nathan Jaffa, who was acting governor of New Mexico, asked President Roosevelt for a leave of absence to attend Leonora’s funeral.]

There are some strange omissions from this obituary. The only sisters named as survivors are Rebecca, Gertrude, Florence, and Eva, but in 1911 Leonora had four other living sisters—Annie in San Francisco, Rachel and Celia in Denver, and Ellena in Philadelphia. Why weren’t they mentioned? I first thought that this was an oversight as Rachel and Celia were living with Rebecca in Denver in 1910, but a second obituary from the Denver Rocky Mountain News also mentioned only the same four sisters as survivors.

“Mrs. Sol H. Jaffa Is Dead,” Denver Rocky Mountain News, February 24, 1911, p. 4

Had their been a falling out between Leonora and the other sisters?

Two years later, Leonora’s daughter Helen F. Jaffa married Abram Harold Minton on June 8, 1913, in Trinidad.

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

It was a challenge tracking down Abram’s history before he married Helen. According to his World War I draft registration, Abram was born on August 6, 1879;2 in 1900, he is listed as Abram Minsky, living with his mother Rose Minsky and sister Ada in New York City; that census reports his birth place as Russia Poland and states that he and his mother and sister had immigrated to the US in 1887. Abram, then twenty, was in school and his sister was a school teacher.3 I was able to locate seven year old Abraham Minske on a passenger manifest arriving in the US on May 31, 1887, with a thirty year old male (first name not legible), presumably his father, who must have died before the 1900 census was taken.4

On August 25, 1910, Abram H. Minton married Julia Cohen, in New York City. His parents were listed on the index as Aaron Minton and Rose Feltstein; Abram’s birth year was estimated as 1879 since his age was 31. Given the match to his age, name, and mother’s first name, I assume this was the same Abram Minton who later married Helen Jaffa, but this record says Abram was born in New York. His first wife Julia was the daughter of Israel and Esther Cohen and was according to the index on FamilySearch also born in New York.5 Julia died less than a year after the marriage on June 5, 1911, in New York. I do not know the cause of death; she was only 28 years old.6

But if Abram was married to Julia in August 1910 in New York and she died there a year later, I cannot understand why Abram is listed (as Abraham H. Minton) on the 1910 US census as living already in Trinidad, Colorado, 29 years old, single, boarding with a family, and working as a school teacher. This census lists his birthplace as New York and his parents as born in the US, both of which were not accurate, but nevertheless I still think this refers to the same Abram H. Minton who married Helen Jaffa in 1913.7 That Abram did become a school teacher, and the name and age match closely. In addition, the 1910 and 1912 Trinidad directories list an Arthur H. Minton as a school teacher residing in Trinidad, as does the 1915, although now as Abram H. Minton. My best guess is that Abram returned to New York in August 1910, married Julia, perhaps stayed in New York until she died, and then returned to Trinidad where he met and married Helen Jaffa in 1913.

But Abram’s bad fortune continued as Helen Jaffa Minton died on May 1, 1915, less than two years after their wedding. She had just given birth on April 26, 1915, to their son Arnold Jaffa Minton, in Trinidad,8 and I assume her death was related to some complication from childbirth. So Abram was once again a widower, now with a newborn son to care for.

http://data.jewishgen.org/imagedata/jowbr/USA-01836/TAT128.jpg; JewishGen, comp. JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR)

Abram Minton and his son Arnold left Trinidad, and in 1920 were living in New York City with Abram’s family. Abram continued to work as a school teacher.9 In 1925 they were living in Brooklyn with Abram’s sister Ada, and Abram continued to teach. He had not married again.10

Then, tragically, Abram died on August 24, 1927, at age 48, leaving his twelve-year-old son Arnold an orphan.11 Arnold continued to live with his father’s relatives in 1930 and in 1940, when he was working as a merchant in New York.12 He married Alma Cohen in 1947 and lived the rest of his life in New York, dying on September 14, 1998.13 I wonder whether he ever had contact with his mother’s family again once they left Trinidad after her untimely death.

Solomon Jaffa and his son Arthur had thus suffered two devastating losses in the space of four years, first the death of Leonora and then the death of Helen—as well as the relocation of little Arnold, their grandson and nephew, respectively.

There had been some happier news for them in those years, however. On June 8, 1914, Arthur married Eleanor J. Jaffa, who was his first cousin, once removed. Eleanor was the great-granddaughter of Aron Jaffa, Arthur his grandson. Eleanor’s grandfather Benjamin Jaffa was the brother of Solomon Jaffa, Arthur’s father. Eleanor was born on October 4, 1893, in Roswell, New Mexico, where she and Arthur married. Eleanor’s father Nathan Jaffa had been the Secretary of State in New Mexico, and acting governor, as mentioned above. Eleanor was the granddaughter of Aron Jaffa, the father of Sarah Jaffa Goldsmith (Henry’s wife) and Sol Jaffa (Leonora Goldsmith’s husband and Eleanor’s father-in-law).14

“Another Jaffa Wedding,” Albuquerque Journal, 31 May 1914, Sun, Page 10

Arthur and Eleanor settled in Roswell, New Mexico, where in 1918 Arthur was the city manager, according to his World War I draft registration. They would have two sons. In 1920, Arthur was still the Roswell City Manager, but by 1930 Arthur and his family had moved to Las Vegas, New Mexico, where he was working as an accountant for a wholesale merchandise business. His father Solomon was also living with them at that time. 15 Ten years later in 1940, they were all still living together in Las Vegas and Arthur was now listed as a bookkeeper for a wholesale merchandise business.16

Arthur Jaffa World War I draft registration, Registration State: New Mexico; Registration County: Chaves; Roll: 1711858
Source Information
Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918

Solomon Jaffa died the following year at the age of 92. He was buried back in Trinidad where his wife Leonora and daughter Helen were buried. 17 The Intermountain Jewish News published this wonderful obituary on its front page on December 5, 1941:

Arthur Jaffa did not inherit his father’s longevity; like his mother, he died before his seventieth birthday in 1952.18  He and his wife Eleanor, who died in 1970, were buried in Las Vegas, New Mexico. They are survived by their sons and grandchildren.

 


  1. Trinidad, Colorado, City Directory, 1912, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  2. Abram Minton, World War I draft registration, Registration State: Colorado; Registration County: Las Animas; Roll: 1561836, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 
  3. Abram Minsky, 1900 US census, Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York; Page: 1; Enumeration District: 0843; FHL microfilm: 1241119, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  4. Abraham Minske, passenger manifest, Year: 1887; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 507; Line: 41; List Number: 657,
    Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 
  5. New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:24ZH-SNJ : 10 February 2018), Abram H. Minton and Julie Cohen, 25 Aug 1910; citing Marriage, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York City Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,503,752. 
  6. New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2WMM-4D3 : 10 February 2018), Julia Minton, 05 Jun 1911; citing Death, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,323,280. 
  7. Abraham H, Minton, 1910 US census, Census Place: Trinidad Ward 1, Las Animas, Colorado; Roll: T624_122; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0113; FHL microfilm: 1374135, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  8. SSN 125-10-8177, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  9. Abram Minton, 1920 US census, Census Place: Manhattan Assembly District 9, New York, New York; Roll: T625_1202; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 693,
    Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  10. Abram Minton, 1925 NYS census, New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1925; Election District: 45; Assembly District: 21; City: Brooklyn; County: Kings; Page: 2, Ancestry.com. New York, State Census, 1925 
  11.  Certificate Number: 4568, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Extracted Death Index, 1862-1948 
  12. Arnold J. Minton, 1930 US census, Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York; Page: 16B; Enumeration District: 0463; FHL microfilm: 2341292, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census; 1940 US census, Census Place: New York, New York, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02641; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 31-736,
    Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  13. Marriage record, License Number: 7751, New York City Municipal Archives; New York, New York; Borough: Manhattan; Volume Number: 12, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Marriage License Indexes, 1907-2018. Number: 125-10-8177; Issue State: New York; Issue Date: Before 1951, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014. https://www.nytimes.com/1998/09/15/classified/paid-notice-deaths-minton-arnold-jaffa.html 
  14. SSN: 525322497, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007; 
  15. Arthur Jaffa and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Roswell Ward 5, Chaves, New Mexico; Roll: T625_1074; Page: 11B; Enumeration District: 7, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census; 1930 US census, Census Place: Las Vegas, San Miguel, New Mexico; Enumeration District: 0032; FHL microfilm: 2341134, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census. 
  16. Arthur Jaffa and family, 1940 US census, Census Place: Las Vegas, San Miguel, New Mexico; Roll: m-t0627-02451; Page: 26A; Enumeration District: 24-34, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  17. “Solomon Jaffa Dies In Las Vegas,” Albuquerque Journal, 01 Dec 1941, Mon, Page 1. JewishGen, comp. JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) 
  18. “Arthur Jaffa,”  Las Vegas Daily Optic, 22 Nov 1952, Sat, Page 6. JewishGen, comp. JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR). 

Jacob Goldsmith’s Children and Grandchildren: 1901-1910, Celebrations and Mourning

In the first decade after Jacob Goldsmith died in 1901, there were occasions for celebration as well as times of mourning and loss.

As we saw in the last post, three of Jacob Goldsmith’s daughters married in the first decade of the 20th century: Eva, Gertrude, and Florence. Eva had a son Sidney, born in 1906.1 Sadly, another daughter died in that decade; Emma died on January 6, 1902. She was 48 and died of double croupous pneumonia:

Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-665P-M?cc=1320976&wc=9FR3-YWL%3A1073330701 : 16 May 2014), 004056150 > image 1230 of 1777; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

What about Jacob’s other ten children and their families?

First, one of Jacob’s grandchildren married and had children of her own in this decade. Ellena Goldsmith Feldstein’s daughter Fannie married Isadore Neufeld on September 21, 1904, in Philadelphia.2 Isadore was also a Philadelphia native, born on July 5, 1881.3 His parents Gustav Neufeld and Ida Hauff were German immigrants. Isadore was employed as an apprentice shirt cutter and living with his parents in 1900.4 Fannie and Isadore’s first child Hortense was born on August 25, 1905.5 A second child Sylvia Wilma Neufeld was born three years later on August 7, 1908. Both were born in Philadelphia.

Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Box Number: 178; Certificate Number: 131357, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Birth Certificates, 1906-1910

Some of Jacob’s children relocated in the first ten years of the 20th century. By 1907, Edward Harrison Goldsmith and his wife Hannah had moved to Greensboro, Alabama, where their daughter and only child Miriam Frances Goldsmith was born on December 15, 1907.6 Frank Goldsmith and his wife Barbara relocated from Philadelphia to Harrisburg by 1907. 7

1908 was a very hard year for some members of the extended family of Jacob Goldsmith. William Feldstein, the 31-year-old son of Ellena Goldsmith and Samuel Feldstein, died in Denver on February 8, 1908, from tuberculosis; his body was returned to Philadelphia for burial.

Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JJ94-FFV : 8 March 2018), William Feldstein, 03 Feb 1908; citing cn 4003, Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; FHL microfilm 1,402,930.

Less than four months later, William’s father Samuel died in Philadelphia on May 29, 1908, from cerebral apoplexy, or a stroke. He was 61. Ellena had lost a son and husband in the space of just a few months.

Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1965; Certificate Number Range: 052001-055800
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates

In 1910, after William and Samuel died, Ellena was living in Philadelphia with her daughter Fanny and son-in-law Isadore Neufeld; living with them in addition to the Neufeld’s two young children Hortense and Sylvia were two of Ellena’s other adult children, Sylvester and Gertrude. Isadore continued to work in a factory as a shirt cutter. Sylvester was a cigar maker, and Gertrude a stenographer. Ellena’s other son Leopold,  listed as Lee on the 1910 census, was living in Atlantic City, working like his brother Sylvester as a cigar maker.8

Neufeld and Feldsteins, 1910 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 29, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1399; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 0692; FHL microfilm: 1375412
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

The struggles of Felix Goldsmith in this decade will be discussed in a separate post to follow.

Annie Goldsmith Frank was still living in San Francisco in 1910 with her three children. Josephine continued to work as a teacher, and Harry was a traveling salesman for a liquor house. Annie’s third child, Fanny, was not employed outside the home. According to the 1910 census, Harry had married a year before. Unfortunately, I could not find any information about Harry’s wife except what was on the 1910 census: that her name was Mildred, that she was born in about 1889 in California, that her father was also born in California and her mother in New York. Since, as we will see, Harry was remarried by the next census, finding more information about Mildred was extremely difficult.

[There are several errors on this census report. First, Annie’s name is Annie, not Fannie. Second, Mildred was her daughter-in-law, not her daughter, and, third, Fannie was her daughter, not her daughter-in-law. Note that Mildred is recorded as married, Fannie is not.]

Annie Frank and family, 1910 US census, Census Place: San Francisco Assembly District 41, San Francisco, California; Roll: T624_101; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 0268; FHL microfilm: 1374114, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

Leonora Goldsmith Jaffa and her husband Solomon and their children were all living together in Trinidad, Colorado, in 1910. Solomon was a grocery store merchant, and their son Arthur was a civil engineer.  Their daughter Helen was not employed outside the home.9

Sara Rohrheimer Goldsmith, George Goldsmith’s widow, was living with her mother Mary Rohrheimer in Philadelphia in 1910; Sara’s two children Fanny and Lester were both at home. No one was working outside the home; Sara’s mother was living on “income.”10

Frank Goldsmith and his wife Barbara were living in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in 1910, where Frank was working as a department store manager. Frank and Barbara did not have any children.11 Frank’s younger brother Edward was living in Greensboro, Alabama, with his wife Hannah and daughter Miriam (Marion here); Edward was working as a bookkeeper in a dry goods store.12

Eva Goldsmith Uhfelder and her husband Sigmund and son Sidney were living in Albuquerque in 1910. Sigmund was a bookkeeper in a dry goods store.13

Jacob’s other daughters were all living in Denver in 1910. Rebecca and her husband Robert Levy, the doctor, were providing a home not only for their two young daughters Leona and Marion but also for Rebecca’s two remaining unmarried sisters, Rachel and Celia.

Robert Levy household, 1910 US census, Census Place: Denver Ward 9, Denver, Colorado; Roll: T624_116; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 0113; FHL microfilm: 1374129
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

Gertrude and Florence, who were married to the Emanuel brothers, Jacob and Jerry, in 1906, were all living in the same household in Denver; Jacob and Jerry were clothing merchants.

The Emanuel-Goldsmith couples, 1910 US census, Census Place: Denver Ward 10, Denver, Colorado; Roll: T624_116; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 0130; FHL microfilm: 1374129
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

Thus, the extended family of Jacob Goldsmith experienced some losses in the first decade of the 20th century. It started with Jacob’s death in 1901 and his daughter Emma’s death the following year. Ellena lost a son and her husband in 1908. But on the positive side, three of Jacob’s daughters married in this decade as did two of his grandchildren, and several babies—Jacob’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren—were born.

 


  1. Sidney Uhfelder, World War II draft registration, The National Archives in St. Louis, Missouri; St. Louis, Missouri; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 126, Ancestry.com. U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 
  2.  Marriage License Number: 177918, Ancestry.com. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Marriage Index, 1885-1951 
  3. Isadore Neufeld, death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1965; Certificate Number Range: 005401-008100, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966 
  4. Gustav Neufeld and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 29, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 10; Enumeration District: 0737; FHL microfilm: 1241471, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census; death certificate of Frida Neufeld Steel, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1965; Certificate Number Range: 027601-030150, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966 
  5.  Number: 182-30-5349; Issue State: Pennsylvania; Issue Date: 1954-1955, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  6. Edward Goldsmith and family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Greensboro, Hale, Alabama; Roll: T624_15; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0042; FHL microfilm: 1374028, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census; Number: 228-46-8303; Issue State: Virginia; Issue Date: 1953-1954, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  7. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1907, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  8. Lee Feldstein, 1910 US census, Census Place: Atlantic City Ward 3, Atlantic, New Jersey; Roll: T624_867; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 0018; FHL microfilm: 1374880, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  9. Solomon Jaffa and family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Trinidad Ward 2, Las Animas, Colorado; Roll: T624_122; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 0115; FHL microfilm: 1374135, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  10. Mary Rohrheimer and family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 32, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1403; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 0750; FHL microfilm: 1375416, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  11. Frank Goldsmith, 1910 US census, Census Place: Harrisburg Ward 4, Dauphin, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1336; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 0061; FHL microfilm: 1375349, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  12. Edward Goldsmith, 1910 US census, Census Place: Greensboro, Hale, Alabama; Roll: T624_15; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0042; FHL microfilm: 1374028, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  13. Uhlfelder family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Albuquerque Ward 4, Bernalillo, New Mexico; Roll: T624_913; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 0015; FHL microfilm: 1374926, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 

Jacob Goldsmith’s Will and His Legacy

The 20th century did not start well for the family of Jacob Goldsmith. As the new century dawned, the family lost its patriarch; Jacob Goldsmith died in Denver on January 31, 1901, at the age of 76. His body was returned to Philadelphia where he was buried alongside his wife Fannie at Mt. Sinai cemetery:

“Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-676K-YG?cc=1320976&wc=9F51-VZ9%3A1073329301 : 16 May 2014), 004050474 > image 633 of 1820; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Like his father Simon, Jacob Goldsmith had lived a rich and interesting life. He was born in Oberlistingen, Germany, and after his mother died in 1840 when he was just a teenager, he immigrated all alone to the United States. He was the first of the Goldschmidt clan to come to America. He settled in Washington, Pennsylvania and established himself as a clothing merchant there. He and his wife Fannie started their large family there in 1853.

After his stepmother Fradchen passed away, Jacob opened his home to his father Simon and his two half-siblings Henry and Hannah. Then in the 1860s, Jacob and Fannie and their many children moved to Philadelphia where Jacob was again a clothing merchant; he lived there until Fannie died in 1881. After her death Jacob joined his half-brother Henry back in western Pennsylvania where he established yet another clothing store in Connellsville. Jacob’s final move was to Denver, Colorado, when he was already in his sixties.

Jacob Goldsmith was survived by thirteen of his fourteen children and seventeen grandchildren, plus three more who were born after he died.  His love and care for them all was revealed in his will. Six of his daughters—Emma (47), Rachel (44), Celia (40), Florence (31), Gertrude (29), and Eva (29)—were unmarried when Jacob died, and they were the primary focus of his will.

Jacob had executed the will on March 2, 1899, in Denver:

 

Jacob Goldsmith will, Probate Records, 1900-1946; Author: Denver County (Colorado). Clerk of the County Court; Probate Place: Denver, Colorado
Ancestry.com. Colorado, Wills and Probate Records, 1875-1974, Case Number: 6521

I Jacob Goldsmith of the City of Denver County of Arapahoe State of Colorado being of sound mind, memory and understanding, do make this my last will and testament hereby revoking all former wills and testaments made by me. I give, devise and bequeath unto my executors hereinafter named all my estate, effects and proceeds of Life Insurance that I may die possessed of or be entitled to: upon trust to be invested according to their discretion and judgment and all interest and income arising therefrom to be applied for the maintenance of a home for my unmarried Daughters. And it is my express wish and desire that my unmarried Daughters remain together and the money derived in the way of interest or other [?] off the principal to be paid to them in regular installments as often as practicable quarterly if possible to defray the expenses of their home. In the event of marriage of any of my Daughters or other emergency arising when in the judgment of my executors it may be advisable to use any part of the principal he shall have the power to draw upon it for such an emergency.

Otherwise the Capital or principal shall remain intact until each and everyone of my unmarried children are provided for by marriage or otherwise and in the event it is found better to no longer keep up a home and any of the unmarried children may live with their Relations or otherwise provide themselves with a home then the Interest or income derived off the principal shall be divided between the unmarried children as long as any of them live and remain unmarried. After all of them have by marriage, death or otherwise so provided for that they do not any longer require that the income for their maintenance as herein provided for then the principal or Capital shall be divided share and share alike between all of my children or their heirs. I nominate and appoint my son at laws Robert Levy of Denver Colo and Sol Jaffa of Trinidad Colo as executors of this my will, and they shall not be required to give any bond or surety for the execution of this trust. In case of the death of either of them, the children shall chose [sic] another to act in his place and in case of the deaths of both, two others shall be chosen by the surviving children.

I the said Jacob Goldsmith to this which I declare to be my last will and testament set my hand and seal this the Second day of March 1899.

Signed by the said testator Jacob Goldsmith and acknowledged by him to be his last will and testament in the presence of us, present at the same time and subscribed to us in the presence of the said testator and of each of them.

                                             Jacob Goldsmith [seal]

Attest

Chas A Ferris

Helen F Jaffa

The will certainly reflects its times. The assumption was that a woman would have no means of support unless and until she married, and thus, Jacob’s will provided that the interest and income from the estate would be distributed to his unmarried daughters unless and until they married or died or found some other means of support. I also found it interesting that the will expressed his desire that these daughters would share a home together.  Finally, the will stipulated that once all his daughters were married or deceased or otherwise supported, then the principal of the estate would be distributed to all his children.

One thing that struck me as odd about this was that Jacob made no special provision for his widowed daughter Annie Goldsmith Frank or for the widow of his son George Goldsmith. Both had children, Jacob’s grandchildren, and no longer had a husband to support them. I would have thought that Jacob would have included them with his unmarried daughters in providing for distributions of the estate’s income.

The will was presented for probate on February 2, 1901, by the two executors Jacob had named in the will: his sons-in-law Robert Levy (Rebecca’s husband) and Solomon Jaffa (Leonora’s husband). At that time they reported that the estate was worth $7000.  According to an inflation calculator, $7000 in 1901 would be worth about $207,000 in 2018 dollars. In their probate petition, they also named Jacob’s thirteen living children as the heirs:

The executors later filed a request to amend the petition to include two heirs who had been omitted from the original petition, the children of Jacob’s deceased son George:

Notice, however, that the executors identified George’s children as Fanny and Esther, when in fact George’s children were Fanny and Lester. How could they have made that error? Had someone said “Lester” and Solomon Jaffa and Robert Levy heard “Esther”? I wonder whether that error resulted in any problems if and when the principal of the estate was distributed years later. And it was many years later before all of Jacob’s daughters were either married or deceased.

Sadly, however, it was not long after Jacob’s death that one of those daughters died. Emma Goldsmith died of “double croupous pneumonia” on January 8, 1902, in Philadelphia, where she was buried. She was only 48 years old.

“Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-665P-M?cc=1320976&wc=9FR3-YWL%3A1073330701 : 16 May 2014), 004056150 > image 1230 of 1777; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Of the five remaining unmarried daughters, three married within the next few years. Eva Goldsmith married Sigmund Uhlfelder on October 25, 1905; she was 34, he 35.1 Sigmund was a recent German immigrant, born in 1870, and in 1900 he was living in Roswell, New Mexico and working as a cigar salesman.2 Eva’s sister Rebecca and her husband Robert Levy hosted the elaborate wedding:

Denver Post, October 29, 1905, p. 9

I also noticed that Joseph Langer was one of the invited guests. Joseph, the Denver Post photographer I wrote about here, was the grandson of Sarah Goldschmidt Mansbach, Jacob Goldsmith’s first cousin, Eva’Goldsmith Uhlfelder’s first cousin, once removed.

Eva and Sigmund had one child, a son named Sidney born on August 27, 1906, in Roswell.3

A year after Eva married Sigmund Uhfelder, two more of Jacob Goldsmith’s daughters married, and their husbands were brothers. They were married in a double wedding. On October 10, 1906, in Denver, Florence Goldsmith, then 37, married Jerry B. Emanuel, and her sister Gertrude, 35, married Jacob E. Emanuel.

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

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

Jacob and Jerry were the sons of Moses Emanuel and Dora Tannenbaum, both of whom were born in Hesse, Germany. Jacob and Jerry were born in Mobile, Alabama, in 1867 and 1869, respectively. Their father was a merchant in Mobile in 1870, but by 1880, the family had relocated to Denver.4 In 1900 Jacob was living with his mother and siblings and working as a salesman of men’s furnishings; Jerry, on the other hand was living in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1900, working as a shoe salesman.5

This double wedding was also written up in the paper and hosted by Rebecca and Robert Levy:

Denver Post, October 14, 1906, p. 32

Thus, as of October 10, 1906, only two of Jacob’s daughters remained unmarried: Rachel and Celia. They were now the only ones entitled to a distribution of the interest earned on Jacob’s estate.

In December 1907, Solomon Jaffa and Robert Levy filed this report of the assets of and distributions from Jacob’s account, covering the period from July 30, 1902, through December 3, 1907:

I am not sure what to make of the inconsistencies in the distributions. While Rachel had only received $33, Eva had received $1031. Emma, who had died in 1902, received more than Celia, who was still alive. My hunch is that Florence, Gertrude, and Eva received a bit more to help pay for their weddings, but that can’t be the only explanation. Jacob did leave it to the discretion of the executors to determine what each daughter would receive, to be determined based on their needs. Maybe the executors responded to requests made by the individual sisters.

The report for the following year—December 1907 through December 1908—showed distributions only to Celia. Although Rachel was also still unmarried, she was not included in the distributions. A note at the bottom of the last page of this report explained that Rachel preferred to leave the money in the hands of the executors for investment.

The last report included in Jacob’s probate file on Ancestry.com covered the period of 1909-1914. It shows that as of 1914, there was $10,789.09 in the estate. During this period, Rachel (Ray) had received $921.96 and Celia $1171.79.

But that was to be the last distribution to Rachel. A year later on October 7, 1915, Rachel Goldsmith died in Denver at the age of 58.6

Philadlephia Jewish Exponent, October 15, 1915

Celia was now the only remaining unmarried daughter of Jacob Goldsmith, and as we will see, she lived until 1933 and never married, meaning that the principal of Jacob’s estate could not be distributed until 1933. By then most of Jacob’s children had passed away, but some were still living, and there were many grandchildren living to inherit their parent’s share. Unfortunately, there are no later documents in the probate file, and I don’t know what was left in the estate at that point or how it was distributed.

 

 


  1. Ancestry.com. Colorado, County Marriage Records and State Index, 1862-2006 
  2. Sigmund Uhlfelder, 1900 US census, Census Place: Roswell, Chaves, New Mexico; Page: 32; Enumeration District: 0030; FHL microfilm: 1240999, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  3. Number: 525-01-6662; Issue State: New Mexico; Issue Date: Before 1951, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  4. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 (Jerry Emanuel); Emanuel family, 1870 US census, Census Place: Township 19 Range 1 2 3 and 4, Sumter, Alabama; Roll: M593_40; Page: 220A; Family History Library Film: 545539, Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census; Emanuel family, 1880 US census, Census Place: Denver, Arapahoe, Colorado; Roll: 88; Page: 137D; Enumeration District: 006, Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census 
  5. Jacob Emanuel, 1900 US census, Census Place: Denver, Arapahoe, Colorado; Page: 3; Enumeration District: 0034; FHL microfilm: 1240117, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census. Jerry Emanuel, 1900 US census, Census Place: Omaha Ward 4, Douglas, Nebraska; Page: 5; Enumeration District: 0040; FHL microfilm: 1240924, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  6. Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1669-2013. FindAGrave, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/142381902 

Jacob Goldsmith and His Family, 1881-1900: Years of Growth, Loss, and Change

When he died in 1883, my four-times great-uncle Simon Goldsmith was survived by four children: Jacob and Henry in Connellsville, Pennsylvania, Lena in Columbus, Ohio, and Hannah in Pittsburgh. They all had children and some even had grandchildren by then. The family had gotten so large by 1883 that it is no longer feasible for me to address them all in one post so I will divide the story into separate multiple post segments for each of Simon’s children. This segment will address his son Jacob and his fourteen children and the families of those children; this post tells their story during the last twenty years of the 19th century.

As seen in this earlier post, Jacob’s wife Fannie passed away on March 4, 1881. By August 12, 1881, Jacob had moved to Connellsville, Pennsylvania, as demonstrated by this ad:

The (Connellsville, PA) Weekly Courier, August 12, 1881, p. 3

It made sense that Jacob would have moved to Connellsville after Fannie died for that is where his younger brother Henry was living. Jacob’s three youngest daughters, Florence, Gertrude, and Eva, were quite young when their mother died in 1881 (Florence was twelve, the twins only ten).  Henry, who was more than twenty years younger than his half-brother Jacob, had a young wife and young children, and they would likely have been a source of support to Jacob and his children.

As we saw in earlier posts, three of Jacob’s daughters were already married with children of their own by the time Jacob moved to Connellsville in 1881.  Ellena was married to Samuel Feldstein and was living in Philadelphia with their three young children, Sylvester, Leon, and William. Their fourth child, Fanny, was born in 1883, and a fifth child, Gertrude, was born on May 31, 1889.1 In 1881, Jacob’s daughter Annie was married to Augustus Frank and living in San Francisco with their three children, Josephine, Harry, and Fanny. Jacob’s daughter Leonora and her husband Solomon Jaffa were living in Trinidad with their daughter Helen in 1881, and their son Arthur was born in 1883. Also, Jacob’s son Felix was not married, but had moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1881. But Jacob still had ten children living with him in 1881.

By 1885, Felix had moved from Santa Fe to Denver, where he was working as a bookkeeper; he married Fanny Rosenthal in Hamilton County, Ohio, on January 26, 1887. Fanny was the daughter of Herman and Theresa Rosenthal, German immigrants, and she was born in West Virginia in 1862.2  In 1870, she’d been living with her parents and siblings in Cincinnati where her father was a merchant.3

Ancestry.com. Ohio, County Marriage Records, 1774-1993

Jacob made the trip to Cincinnati for their wedding, as reported in the Connellsville newspaper, The Weekly Courier, on its front page on January 28, 1887:

Felix and Fanny had their first child, a son Clarence, on July 13, 1889 in Denver.4

Jacob’s son George moved to Pottsville, Pennsylvania in 1885; he was working as a cutter.5  By 1889, he had married Sarah Rohrheimer, also a daughter of German immigrants, Morris Rohrheimer and Mary Schloss. Sarah was born on July 13, 1866, in Pennsylvania, and in 1880, she was with her parents in Pottsville where her father was a clothing merchant.6 George was working for her father when they met.7 Their first child, Fanny, was born October 1, 1889, in Pennsylvania.8 Thus, Jacob had two more grandchildren born in 1889.

Not only were two more children born into Jacob’s extended family in 1889, there were also two more weddings. Jacob’s son Frank Goldsmith married Barbara Shanor on July 7 of that year.

Marriage record of Frank Goldsmith and Barbara Shanor, Ancestry.com. Ohio, County Marriage Records, 1774-1993

According to this news article, Barbara was a native of Connellsville and Frank was working there in his father’s store in Connellsville when they married. They married, however, in Hamilton County, Ohio, as had Frank’s brother George two years earlier.

The (Connellsville, PA) Daily Courier, August 11, 1919

The second wedding to take place in 1889 was that of Jacob’s daughter Rebecca to Robert Levy; they were married in Trinidad, Colorado, on August 27, 1989. Trinidad was, as noted in earlier posts, the home of the Jaffa brothers, Henry Goldsmith’s brothers-in-law, so perhaps Rebecca met her husband through the connection with her aunt Sarah Jaffa Goldsmith, Henry’s wife. Robert Levy was born in Ontario, Canada, on May 30, 1864, to Mandel and Rebecca Levy, who were German immigrants. The family was living in Milwaukee by 1870,9 and in 1885 Robert was living in Denver where he was practicing medicine.10

Rebecca Goldsmith and Robert Levy, marriage record, Ancestry.com. Colorado, County Marriage Records and State Index, 1862-2006

Once again, the Connellsville paper reported that Jacob as well as his brother Henry and sister-in-law Sarah (Jafffa) Goldsmith were traveling to attend a family wedding:

The Connellsville, PA, Weekly Courier, August 23, 1889, p. 5

As of 1888, Jacob’s youngest son Edward Goldsmith was living in Philadelphia and working as a salesman.11

Eight of Jacob’s fourteen children were now on their own, but in 1890, Jacob still had six daughters at home in Connellsville: Emma, Rachel, Celia, Florence, Gertrude, and Eva, ranging in age from 36 to nineteen.

In the early 1890s, Jacob was blessed with three more grandchildren: Rebecca’s daughter Leona in 1891,12 George’s son Lester in 1893,13 and Felix’s daughter Ethel in 1895.14

Then on March 29, 1897, there was another wedding. Edward Goldsmith married Hannah Wallenstein in Hamilton County, Ohio, making that the third time one of Jacob’s children had a wedding in that location. Hannah was born in Cincinnati on September 30, 1872, to Solomon Wallenstein, a German immigrant, and Sarah Cohen, also a Cincinnati native. Hannah’s father was a sewing machine agent in 1880.15

Marriage of Edward Goldsmith and Hannah Wallenstein, Ancestry.com. Ohio, County Marriage Records, 1774-1993

Just over a month after Edward’s wedding, Annie’s husband Augustus Frank died on November 13, 1897, in San Francisco. He was only fifty years old and left behind three children as well as Annie, who was only 42 when Augustus died.16

Then just a little over a year after losing Augustus, the family suffered another tragic loss when Jacob’s son George died suddenly from pneumonia on January 13, 1899, in Pottsville, Pennsylvania.17  George was only 36, and his two children Fanny and Lester (incorrectly named as Leslie in George’s obituary) were only nine and three when they lost their father. George’s widow Sarah was only 32.

The Pottsville newspaper, The Miners Journal, published this obituary on its front page on January 14, 1899:

 

“Another Merchant Dead,” Pottsville, PA Miners Journal, January 14, 1899, p. 1

How terrible this must have been for Sarah and the children. My favorite line in the obituary is the one saying that George was “a careful and enterprising business man and had a host of friends.”

By 1900 there was a big geographic shift in the family. Jacob and his six unmarried daughters—Emma, Rachel, Celia, Florence, Gertrude, and Eva—left Pennsylvania and moved to Denver where in 1900 they were all living with Jacob’s daughter Rebecca and her husband Robert Levy and their daughter Leona. Robert was practicing medicine, Rachel (Ray here) was working as a clerk, and Florence was working as a stenographer. The others did not have any occupation listed on the 1900 census. Jacob was 75 years old and had experienced another major relocation—-from Oberlistingen, Germany, to Washington, Pennsylvania, to Philadelphia, to Connellsville, Pennsylvania, and now to Denver. Rebecca Goldsmith Levy gave birth to a second daughter on June 19, 1900, in Denver, named Marion.18

Household of Robert Levy, 1900 US census, Census Place: Denver, Arapahoe, Colorado; Page: 8; Enumeration District: 0072; FHL microfilm: 1240119
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

Felix Goldsmith and his family were also living in Denver in 1900, and Felix was working as a mine superintendent.

Felix Goldsmith and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Denver, Arapahoe, Colorado; Page: 3; Enumeration District: 0064; FHL microfilm: 1240118
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

About two hundred miles south of Denver, Leonora Goldsmith Jaffa was still living in Trinidad, Colorado with her husband Solomon Jaffa and their two children Helen (18) and Arthur (16), and Solomon continued to be a merchant.

Solomon Jaffa and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Trinidad, Las Animas, Colorado; Page: 14; Enumeration District: 0064; FHL microfilm: 1240126
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

Annie Goldsmith Frank, who had been widowed three years earlier, was living with her three children in San Francisco in 1900. Her daughter Josephine, now 22, was a school teacher, and her son Harry, 19, was a shipping clerk.

Annie Frank, 1900 US census,Census Place: San Francisco, San Francisco, California; Page: 6; Enumeration District: 0207; FHL microfilm: 1240105
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

Back east, George Goldsmith’s widow Sarah and two children Fanny and Lester were living in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, with Sarah’s mother Mary Rohrheimer. Both Mary and Sarah listed their occupation on the 1900 census as “capitalists.” I wonder what that meant!

Sarah Rohrheimer Goldsmith and family, Census Place: Pottsville, Schuylkill, Pennsylvania; Page: 10; Enumeration District: 0187; FHL microfilm: 1241485
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

Jacob’s other three surviving children were all in Philadelphia in 1900. Frank Goldsmith was living with his wife Barbara and working as a clerk in the clothing business.19 Edward Goldsmith and his wife Hannah were living with Edward’s older sister Ellena and her husband Samuel Feldstein and their five children. Edward had no occupation listed, but in the 1901 Philadelphia directory, he is identified as a salesman. Samuel Feldstein’s occupation was reported as “manufacturer” on the 1900 census. Samuel and Ellena’s three oldest sons were working: Sylvester, 25, as an artist, William, 23, as a bookkeeper, and Leopold, 19, as a cigar maker. The other two children—Fanny, 17, and Gertrude, 12, did not have occupations listed.

Feldstein household, 1900 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 20, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 5; Enumeration District: 0439; FHL microfilm: 1241462
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

Thus, as of 1900, Jacob’s family was spread between Pennsylvania, Colorado, and California. What would the new century bring for him and his very large extended family?


  1. Fannie Neufeld death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1965; Certificate Number Range: 019051-021750, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966; Gertrude Lewin death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1965; Certificate Number Range: 094201-096650, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966 
  2. “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33SQ-GP2P-9VMD?cc=1307272&wc=MD9X-FNL%3A287599101%2C294427301 : 21 May 2014), 1937 > 29701-32800 > image 2781 of 3325. 
  3. Rosenthal family, 1870 US census, Census Place: Cincinnati Ward 15, Hamilton, Ohio; Roll: M593_1214; Page: 468B; Family History Library Film: 552713, Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census 
  4. “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-XCRQ-4PD?cc=1307272&wc=MD96-FWP%3A287602801%2C289221002 : 21 May 2014), 1946 > 03001-06100 > image 558 of 3479. 
  5. “Another Merchant Dead,” Pottsvile, Pennsylvania Miners Journal, January 14, 1899, p. 1; Pottsville, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1887, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  6. Sarah Rohrheimer Goldsmith death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1965; Certificate Number Range: 020001-023000, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966. Rohrheimer family, 1880 US census, Census Place: Pottsville, Schuylkill, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1193; Page: 373A; Enumeration District: 221,  Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census 
  7. “Another Merchant Dead,” Pottsvile, Pennsylvania Miners Journal, January 14, 1899, p. 1; Pottsville, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1887, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  8. Number: 188-36-5720; Issue State: Pennsylvania; Issue Date: 1962,
    Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  9. Robert Levy, 1908 passport application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 54; Volume #: Roll 0054 – Certificates: 46257-47289, 21 Feb 1908-10 Mar 1908, Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925. Levy family, 1870 US census, Census Place: Milwaukee Ward 5, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Roll: M593_1727; Page: 557A; Family History Library Film: 553226,  Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census 
  10. Denver, Colorado, City Directory, 1885, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  11. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1888, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  12. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, SSN: 524606840 
  13. Lester Goldsmith, World War II draft registration, The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; World War II draft cards (Fourth Registration) for the State of Pennsylvania; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975; Record Group Number: 147; Series Number: M1951, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 
  14. Felix Goldsmith and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Denver, Arapahoe, Colorado; Page: 3; Enumeration District: 0064; FHL microfilm: 1240118, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  15. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, SSN: 225644424. Wallenstein family, 1880 US census, Census Place: Cincinnati, Hamilton, Ohio; Roll: 1026; Page: 447A; Enumeration District: 144, Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census 
  16. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/100371594 
  17.  Ancestry.com. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Death Certificates Index, 1803-1915 
  18.  SSN: 524607495, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  19. Frank and Barbara Goldsmith, 1900 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 32, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 3; Enumeration District: 0830; FHL microfilm: 1241474, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 

Jacob Goldsmith’s Family, 1872-1881: Reaching from Coast to Coast

1867 Map of the United States and territories, United States. General Land Office.
Gorlinski, Joseph. Library of Congress, http://www.loc.gov/

As of the end of 1871, Simon Goldsmith and his four surviving children—Jacob Goldsmith, Lena Basch, Henry Goldsmith, and Hannah Benedict—were all living in Pennsylvania, Jacob and his family in Philadelphia, Lena and Hannah and their families in Pittsburgh, and Henry in Connellsville. Simon was living with Hannah in Pittsburgh as well. All four children were married, and Simon had 24 grandchildren ranging in age from newborn Jacob W. Goldsmith, Henry’s son, to eighteen-year-old Ellena Goldsmith, Jacob’s daughter. Ten years later the family was no longer all living in Pennsylvania.

That movement out of Pennsylvania is best illustrated by the children of Simon’s oldest child, Jacob. Although Jacob and his wife Fannie remained in Philadelphia in the 1870s where Jacob continued to work as a clothing merchant, three of their children moved far away.

Their oldest daughter Ellena did not leave Philadelphia, but she did move out of the family home. Ellena married Samuel Feldstein on November 6, 1872, in Philadelphia.1 She was nineteen, and he was 25. Samuel was born in Prague in what was then Bohemia, now the Czech Republic, on January 12, 1847.2 By 1868 he was living in Philadelphia and was a naturalized citizen.3 In 1870 he was living with his parents and twin brother.4 In 1873 he is listed as being in the cigar business in Philadelphia.5

Ellena and Samuel Feldstein had three children in the 1870s, Simon’s first great-grandchildren: Arthur (1873),6 Sylvester (1875),7 and William (1877).8 Arthur, their first born, died on January 9, 1874, when he was just five months old. The death certificate stated that the cause of death was catarrh, which according to this website listing 19th century causes of death, is “An inflammatory affection of any mucous membrane, in which there are congestion, swelling, and an alteration in the quantity and quality of mucous secreted. In America, especially, a chronic inflammation of, and hypersecretion from the membranes of nose or air passages.”

Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JK32-B35 : 9 March 2018), Arthur Feldstein, 09 Jan 1874; citing , Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; FHL microfilm 2,022,093.

In 1880 Samuel Feldstein was still in the cigar business, and the family was living in Philadelphia. A fourth child, Leopold Feldstein, was born in Philadelphia on August 26, 1880.9

Feldstein family, 1880 US census, Year: 1880; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1176; Page: 137C; Enumeration District: 300
Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census

Ellena’s younger sister Annie was the first of Simon Goldsmith’s descendants to move out of Pennsylvania. She married Augustus Frank sometime in or before 1877 and moved all the way to San Francisco.10 Her husband Augustus was born on November 4, 1847, in New York; his parents were immigrants from Germany.11 But Augustus’ older brother Jacob Jesse Frank had moved to San Francisco by 1867,12 and Augustus must have joined him out there. Annie and Augustus’ first child Josephine was born on October 4, 1877, in California.13 In 1880, Annie and Augustus and their daughter Josephine were living in San Francisco with Augustus’ brother Jacob and his family. Augustus’ occupation was reported as “money broker” on the 1880 census. Annie and Augustus had a second child, Harry, on November 28, 1880, and a third, Fanny, on March 24, 1881, both born in California.14

Augustus Frank and family, 1880 US census, Census Place: San Francisco, San Francisco, California; Roll: 79; Page: 138D; Enumeration District: 206
Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census

The third daughter of Jacob Goldsmith and Fannie Silverman to marry in this time period was Leonora. In 1880 she married Solomon Jaffa, the older brother of Sarah Jaffa, who had married Leonora’s uncle Henry Goldsmith, making this the second marriage between a Goldschmidt and a Jaffa.15 Solomon was born in Heinebach, Germany, on August 6, 1840, and had immigrated to the US as a teenager.16 In 1870, he’d been living on his own in Mora, New Mexico, and working as a farmer.17

After marrying, Leonora and Solomon were living in Trinidad, Colorado, with Solomon’s brother Sam and his wife Amelia and their children, including their daughter Ida, who would later marry Meyer Mansbach, another Goldschmidt cousin. Sam and Solomon were both working as merchants in 1880. Leonora and Solomon had their first child Helen on April 4, 1881,18 and then a son Arthur Goldsmith Jaffa on July 10, 1883, both born in Colorado.19

Jaffa families, 1880 US census, Census Place: Trinidad, Las Animas, Colorado; Roll: 92; Page: 66A; Enumeration District: 066
Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census

The fourth of Jacob and Fannie’s children to leave home was their oldest son Felix. In 1880 he was living in Las Vegas, New Mexico, working as a bookkeeper in a dry goods store.20 This article from the October 16, 1881, issue of the Las Vegas (New Mexico) Gazette revealed more information about Felix’s whereabouts:

Las Vegas (NM) Gazette, October 16, 1881, p. 4

From this article it appears that Felix was then in Trinidad, Colorado, working for his brother-in-law’s company, Jaffa Brothers, but was moving in 1881 to Santa Fe to work for another merchant there.

Thus, by 1881, four of Jacob and Fannie’s children had spread their wings and moved out of the nest.

Meanwhile, back in Philadelphia, Jacob was still working as a clothing merchant and still had ten children at home plus his niece Ella Bohm, the daughter of his deceased sister Eva. Seven daughters were still home: Emma, Rachel, Celia, Rebecca, Florence, Eva, and Gertrude. None were employed, and the youngest four were still in school. Three sons were also still living at home: George, Frank, and Edward. George was working as a clerk in a clothing store and Frank as a clerk in a stationery store. Edward was still in school.

Jacob Goldsmith and family, 1880 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1173; Page: 158D; Enumeration District: 210
Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census

On March 4, 1881, Jacob’s wife Fannie Silverman Goldsmith, who had given birth to fourteen children between 1853 and 1871, died at age 53 from tuberculosis. She was survived by her husband Jacob, her fourteen children, and numerous grandchildren, some of whom were born after she passed away.

Fannie Silverman Goldsmith death certificate,”Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-66Y7-VGR?cc=1320976&wc=9FRQ-ZNL%3A1073342601 : 16 May 2014), 004058654 > image 1071 of 1222; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

In fact, Annie’s daughter Fanny Frank, who was born just a few weeks after Fannie’s death,21 was undoubtedly named for her grandmother Fannie as was Ellena’s daughter Fanny Feldstein, born April 17, 1883.22 I also think that the middle initial of Leonora’s daughter, Helen F. Jaffa, who was born a month to the day after her grandmother’s death, was in honor of Fannie Silverman Goldsmith.23

Fannie certainly deserved these honors, having given birth to and raised fourteen children.

 


  1. Pennsylvania Marriages, 1709-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V26R-2YL : 11 February 2018), Samuel Feldstein and Ellina Goldsmith, 06 Nov 1872; citing Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; FHL microfilm 1,765,164. 
  2. Samuel Feldstein death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1965; Certificate Number Range: 052001-055800, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966 
  3. Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission; Supreme Court Naturalization Papers 1794-1868; Archive Roll: RG-33:813, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Naturalization Records from Supreme and District Courts, 1794-1908, Naturalization papers, 1867-1868, petition nos. 9238-9768 
  4. Samuel Feldstein, 1870 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 12 Dist 36 (2nd Enum), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1424; Page: 554A; Family History Library Film: 552923, Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census 
  5. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1873, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  6. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Births, 1860-1906,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VBT8-63R : 10 March 2018), Arthur Feldstine, 15 Aug 1873; citing Birth, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, City of Philadelphia, Department of Records, Pennsylvania. 
  7. William Feldstein death certificate, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JJ94-FFV : 8 March 2018), William Feldstein, 03 Feb 1908; citing cn 4003, Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; FHL microfilm 1,402,930. 
  8. Sylvester Feldstein, Registration State: New Jersey; Registration County: Atlantic; Roll: 1711901; Draft Board: 2, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 
  9. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Births, 1860-1906,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VBBB-GKM : 9 March 2018), Leopold Feldstein, 26 Aug 1880; citing Birth, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, City of Philadelphia, Department of Records, Pennsylvania. 
  10. I am inferring this from their daughter Josephine’s birth in October 1877. See below. 
  11. Headstone inscription at https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/100371594 
  12. California State Library, California History Section; Great Registers, 1866-1898; Collection Number: 4 – 2A; CSL Roll Number: 41; FHL Roll Number: 977097, Ancestry.com. California, Voter Registers, 1866-1898 
  13. The National Archives at Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C.; Manifests of Passengers Arriving at St. Albans, VT, District through Canadian Pacific and Atlantic Ports, 1895-1954; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787 – 2004; Record Group Number: 85; Series Number: M1464; Roll Number: 556, Ancestry.com. U.S., Border Crossings from Canada to U.S., 1895-1960 
  14. Harry Garfield Frank, World War I draft registration, Registration State: California; Registration County: San Francisco; Roll: 1544262; Draft Board: 12, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918; Fannie Frank, Ancestry.com. California, San Francisco Area Funeral Home Records, 1895-1985 
  15. Leonora and Sol Jaffa, 1900 US census, Census Place: Trinidad, Las Animas, Colorado; Page: 14; Enumeration District: 0064; FHL microfilm: 1240126, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  16. Solomon Jaffa, Passport application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 1312; Volume #: Roll 1312 – Certificates: 73250-73625, 29 Jul 1920-29 Jul 1920, Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 
  17. Solomon Jaffa, 1870 US census, Census Place: Mora, Mora, New Mexico Territory; Roll: M593_894; Page: 313A; Family History Library Film: 552393,
    Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census 
  18. JewishGen, comp. JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) 
  19. Arthur Jaffa, World War I draft registration, Registration State: New Mexico; Registration County: Chaves; Roll: 1711858, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 
  20. Felix Goldsmith, 1880 US census, Census Place: Las Vegas, San Miguel, New Mexico; Roll: 803; Page: 289B; Enumeration District: 032, Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census 
  21. Ancestry.com. California, San Francisco Area Funeral Home Records, 1895-1985. 
  22. Fannie Feldstein Neufeld death certificate,  Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1965; Certificate Number Range: 019051-021750, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966 
  23. JewishGen, comp. JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) 

The Life of Frieda Bensew Loewenherz, Part I: 1885-1912

In the last post I published before Thanksgiving, I wrote about the two daughters of Breine Mansbach and Jacob Bensew, Roschen and Frieda. They were my grandmother’s second cousins, my second cousins, twice removed. They were the great-granddaughters of Seligmann Goldschmidt and Hinka Alexander, my three-times great-grandparents.

After publishing that post on November 16, I received a wonderful treasure trove of pictures and documents and information from Frieda Bensew’s great-grandson, Franz Loewenherz, my fourth cousin, once removed. Among those shared items was an almost 60 page memoir written by Frieda in 1970 when she was in her eighties (with an addendum written in 1972).

Reading that memoir moved me to tears—not because Frieda had a hard or sad life. To the contrary. She wrote about a life filled primarily with love and happiness—parents who adored her, a marriage filled with deep love, an adoring son and his family, and an extended family that she cared for and about and who cared for and about her. Of course, there were heartbreaking losses and difficult challenges, but throughout her memoir, Frieda’s love of live and her gratitude for all she was given came shining through.

With the permission of her great-grandson Franz, I want to share some of this memoir and also photographs of Frieda, her husband Emanuel Loewenherz, and their son Walter.  Not only is this a touching life story, it has value not only for what it reveals of family history but for its insights into the times in which Frieda lived.

As noted in my earlier post, Frieda was the youngest child of Breine Mansbach and Jacob Bensew, born February 21, 1886, in Melsungen, Germany.1 Here are two photographs of Frieda as a young child, one with her brothers Max and Heine and one alone:

Heine, Frieda, and Max Bensew, c. 1890. Courtesy of Franz Loewenherz

Frieda Bensew c. 1890. Courtesy of Franz Loewenherz

Her memoir gives a sense of her happy childhood in Melsungen:

[Melsungen] was situated in a valley on the river Fulda, surrounded by beautiful woods. A climb of 15 minutes from my home would take me into the thick of them. Oak, Linden and Pine exuded that spicy fragrance remembered for all time. Of course in the summer when school was out this was my favorite outing. But I had also some duties to perform, not just picnic, and that was berry picking! With my friends I would start out in the morning, provided with sandwiches and a pail. It was blueberry time and our ambition was to come home with a full pail. Sitting under trees in a blueberry patch, with the sun filtering down, bees humming around us, we often had a very extended lunch hour! Our dessert were berries eaten right from the bushes. We had to hurry to finish our work as we had to be home before sundown, picking wild flowers on the way. My mother would be pleased with the crop to be used for cake, preserves and jelly. She was not so pleased with the condition of my white undies, full of squashed blueberry stains!!

Winter’s great recreation was ice skating on the river. The ice was so clear, it looked green and one could see the plant life beneath it, moving according to the current. The surface was like glass and I took many tumbles! In those days there were no snow or skating outfits. I wore woolen petticoats, long knitted black wool stockings, flannel pants. When I got home my petticoats and dress usually would stand out like a ballerina’s lampshade – frozen stiff! My mother would receive me with a warm drink and a piece of black bread after getting into dry clothes and warming myself at the stove. There were many simple pleasures, another sledding down a hill or when my father would take me along in the sleigh drawn by our horse, with hot bricks at our feet. The floor of the sleigh covered thick with straw. When we stopped at a village inn, my father would let me take a sip of his grag!

Frieda Bensew c. 1898
Courtesy of Franz Loewenherz

Frieda seemed to have a special relationship with her uncle, Julius Mansbach, her mother Breine’s brother who had, like all of Breine’s siblings, immigrated to the United States. But Julius returned to Germany and visited Frieda when she was fourteen years old or in about 1900.

My happiest recollections are, from the time I was 14 when my Uncle Julius, my mother’s youngest brother, came to visit us from America. He took me along on so many day trips to historical places, one of them the famous Wartburg, where Martin Luther was imprisoned and where he translated the Bible. And, of course, it is the setting of Wagner’s opera “Tannhaeuser.” I learned history on authentic grounds. With my uncle I saw my first American circus! Barnum and Bailey, with Buffalo Bill and his wild-west show were touring Germany then and we saw the performance in Kassel. The clowns told their jokes in English, naturally, and my uncle would translate them to me. The three ring performances left me breathless, as did the riding skill of the Indians. This was an unforgettable summer. I was so grateful to my uncle, not alone for providing so many pleasures of various kinds for me but he also was the one who taught me quite a few English expressions and the first rudiments of the language.

Frieda’s ongoing relationship with Julius as well as her uncle Louis Mansbach and grandmother Sarah Goldschmidt Mansbach as well as her use of English can be seen in the postcard she sent on September 21, 1902. The photograph is of Frieda and, I believe, her uncle Julius, probably taken while he was visiting the family in Melsungen.

Courtesy of Franz Loewenherz

Some wonderful people in the Jekkes Engaged Worldwide in Social Networking group on Facebook helped me transcribe and translate the German parts of the card:

On the right side: Dated 21-9-02 (September 21, 1902) from Melsungen:

Dearest Grandmama [Sarah Goldschmidt Mansbach] and Uncle Julius [Mansbach],

Unsere Karte von Cassel aus habt Ihr bei dieser Zeit hoffentlich erhalten, morgen ist es wieder ein heisser+ nasser Tag, wo Willi + Heine uns verlassen. Was denkt Ihr vom nebenstehendem Bild? Ist es nicht beautiful? Ende dieser Woche erwarte ich sicher einen grossen Brief von dir, sowie die Ansichtskarte.

(Translated: I hope you have received our card from Cassel by this time. Tomorrow will again be a hot and wet day when Willi + Heine leave us. What do you think of the picture on the other side? Isn’t it beautiful? At the end of the week I expect a long letter from you as well as the picture postcard.)

With best love and kisses, your Fritz

I believe Fritz was Frieda’s nickname.

Underneath Frieda’s message in a different handwriting is this note from her brothers Willi and Heine:

Meine Lieben haltet den Jontef Cholent warm.

Translation: My dears, keep the holiday Cholent warm.

Willi & Heine

I believe that Willi and Heine were sailing to the US, Willi to return having lived in the US since 1885 and Heine coming for the first time: his naturalization card states that he arrived on September 30, 1902.2;I had to smile when I checked and saw that Rosh Hashanah that year started on the next night, October 1. So Willi and Heine must have spent the holidays with the family in Philadelphia. (For those who do not know, cholent is traditional Jewish dish—a stew that usually has meat and vegetables. Here is a typical recipe.)

Along the margin of the right side of the card, Frieda wrote:

Hast du die K. abgeliefert? Wenn nicht, bekommst du keine wieder von mir.

Translation: Did you deliver the K? [card, I assume] If not, you won’t get another from me.

The left side is mostly in English; at the top it says “Best regards to Uncle Louis, Aunt Cora, and Rebecca.” This would be referring to her mother’s brother Louis Mansbach and his family.

Under the picture it says: “Im “Fidelio” war es grossartig [“Fidelio was fabulous]. If you, dear uncle, come again, I will sing the “Arien” [arias] for you. Don’t stay long! Otherwise you are well.” I assume this was directed to her dear uncle Julius Mansbach.

Frieda received a good education at a school in Kassel and had a passion for music and art. And, as she wrote, she wanted to see the world, in particular, America. By the time she was 21 in 1907, all her brothers had immigrated to America, and she also decided to move across the world from her birth place:

It was only natural that I wanted to go to America. Most of our family lived here, from three generations back. My grandparents [Sarah Goldschmidt and Abraham Mansbach] had come to Philadelphia where most of their children lived and some in the west, in Colorado. My mother [Breine] was the only one who remained in Germany as she had a family and my father refused to leave. When the time came for me to investigate, I did so with the promise of my parents that they would follow after I had familiarized myself with my new surroundings. My disappointment was great when my father declared he changed his mind. They did not wish me to return, however, insisting that I had a right to my own life. That is how loving and understanding and unselfish they were.

This paragraph touched me deeply— thinking of Frieda’s courage and determination and her parents’ respect for it. And yet I also could feel how torn both she and they must have been about this separation.

And so, as I wrote before, Frieda left home in 1907 when she was 21 and joined her brothers and other family in the US. First, she settled in Denver where some of her brothers as well other Mansbach cousins were living, and once again she demonstrated her determination and independence:

After a few months of visits with my family in Denver I had acquired quite a vocabulary and felt able to enter an American School of business. There I studied besides English, correspondence, shorthand and light bookkeeping and typing. I knew German shorthand, and the switch was not easy. It required extreme concentration as, in addition, I did not know business language and form either. Well, I made it and kept step with my class, all American born. I finished even ahead of time and got my first job shortly after. And what was the requirement? German shorthand! The irony of it all! 90% of the dictation was in German and 10% in English.

From what I gathered in the memoir and from what I know from the 1910 census, this job was in Chicago, and as we saw, in 1910, Frieda’s brothers Julius, Max, and Heine were also living in Chicago. Frieda wrote about these days as a single young woman in Chicago with great joy—describing activities and trips she took with her friends and also a trip to Philadelphia to see her relatives. This trip probably took place in 1912 because Frieda notes that her cousin Reta Dannenberg was engaged, and Reta was married in December 1912:3

My Aunt Hannah [Mansbach Dannenberg] and Uncle and their three children made our visit of a few days most enjoyable, Rita the oldest was engaged, Arthur a medical student at the U. of Penn. And Katrinka, the youngest, showed us the sights. We had a lot of fun! Then on to New York. My uncle Julius-who was in this country on business from Germany (he had returned there a few years before with his wife, my cousin Frieda on account of her parents’ wishes) entertained us royally.

In this one paragraph I learned three things. First, that Frieda and presumably the other Bensews were very much in touch with their mother’s Mansbach relatives in the US. Secondly, that the Frieda Bensew who married Julius Mansbach was in fact related to this Frieda Bensew and her family (though I still don’t know how). And thirdly, I learned why Julius Mansbach had returned to live in Germany—to satisfy the wishes of his in-laws.

Frieda Bensew as a young woman. Date unknown. Courtesy of Franz Loewenherz

From New York, Frieda and a friend named Rose sailed to Germany where they spent the summer of 1912. Frieda was delighted to be with her parents and sister Roschen, but the separation at the end of that visit was difficult. Frieda wrote:

And then came the time to say good bye again. It was not easy – My parents were so kind and understanding.They realized that I had outgrown my old environment and that my opportunities for a fuller life were so much better in America, the land which I loved and do to this day. Perhaps, being foreign born, gave me even a deeper appreciation of the freedom and privileges so many seem to take for granted. My parents and I were grateful for the time we spent together and kept up a brave front at parting.

She stopped in Philadelphia on her way home and was invited to stay for her cousin Reta’s wedding that coming December. She had a wonderful long visit there, and then after the wedding she received a letter from her brother Julius about a new job opportunity in Chicago, so she left to start her new job. That decision was life-changing, as we will see in the next post.


All excerpts from Frieda Loewenherz’s memoir and all the photographs in this post are published with the permission of Franz Loewenherz, her great-grandson. My deep gratitude to Franz for his generosity.

 

 


  1.  Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 920; Laufende Nummer: 4574, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901 
  2.  “Illinois, Northern District Naturalization Index, 1840-1950,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:939N-FGS7-2?cc=1838804&wc=M6TM-Q6X%3A165129401 : 20 May 2014), B-524 to B-550 Gustov Joseph > image 983 of 6652; citing NARA microfilm publication M1285 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.). 
  3. Ancestry.com. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Marriage Index, 1885-1951, Marriage Year: 1912, Marriage License Number: 289763