My Bensew Cousins Come to the US: The Children of Breine Mansbach Bensew

Breine Mansbach, my great-grandmother’s first cousin, was the oldest child of Sarah Goldschmidt and Abraham Mansbach and the only one who did not immigrate to the United States with her siblings and her parents. But all but one of her children did immigrate, and this post and the two that follow will tell their story.

As I wrote back on January 19, 2018, Breine was born on September 27, 1844 in Maden, Germany. She married Jakob Bensew on February 3, 1870, in Maden, and then moved with him to Melsungen. When I first wrote about Breine, I thought that she and her husband Jakob had had six children—five sons and one daughter: William (1872), Julius (1875), Siegmund (1877), Heinemann (1879), Max (1882), and Frieda (1886). Since then I have discovered two more children whom I had not located back in January, Lester (1873) and Roschen (1870).1

Siegmund was born on July 20, 1877, and died before his fifth birthday on January 24, 1882 in Malsfeld, Germany, where the family was then living.

Siegmund Bensew birth, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 920; Laufende Nummer: 4408, 1877. Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Siegmund Bensew death record, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 920; Laufende Nummer: 4484. Year Range: 1882. Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958

The other seven children all survived to adulthood and all but Roschen immigrated to and settled in the US, though Roschen also may have traveled to the US before marrying and having a family back in Germany, as we will see below.

The first Bensew sibling to arrive was William, the oldest son, traveling as Willi Bensew on the SS EMS from Bremen and arriving in New York on August 15, 1885. On the manifest his age is fourteen, but if his US records are accurate, he was born in either February or November 1872 so would have been around thirteen in August 1885. (Birth records for 1872 for Melsungen, Germany were not available online.)1

Roschen, Lester, and Julius seem to have traveled together to the US with a departure from Hamburg on May 15, 1890.

Bensew siblings, ship manifest, Staatsarchiv Hamburg; Hamburg, Deutschland; Hamburger Passagierlisten; Microfilm No.: K_1741 Month: Direkt Band 067 (2 Apr 1890 – 28 Jun 1890) Staatsarchiv Hamburg. Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934

The manifest lists three Bensews traveling together, all from Melsungen, Germany, a 20-year old woman named Rosa, a 16 year old boy named Lasser, and a 14 year old girl named “Juls.” Both Lasser and Juls are identified as “Kaufmann” or merchant. I would think that Lasser was Lester, as Lester was born October 23, 18732 and would have been 16 in May 1890. And I also think that “Juls” was Julius, who would have been 14 in May 1890 as he was born on September 13, 1875;3 since Juls is identified as a Kaufmann—a male noun—I think the gender identification as weiblich (female) was a scrivener’s error. As for Rosa, Roschen was born on January 20, 1870,4 so would have been twenty in May 1890, the age given for Rosa on the manifest. So perhaps that was their big sister Roschen bringing them to America, but I have no later records for her in the US. And Roschen definitely married and raised her children in Germany, as we will see.

Thus, the three oldest Bensew brothers, William, Lester, and Julius, all left home as young teenagers. In America they changed the spelling of their name to Bensev—presumably to preserve the German pronunciation of their name. Otherwise, they would have been called Ben-SOO.

In 1890, William was already living in Denver.5 By 1894, he was joined by his younger brother Julius, and both were clerks for the M. Hyman Cigar Company,6 as they were in 1898 as well. They were living at 615 24th Street with their aunt Amelia Mansbach and her husband Henry Langer.

Denver, Colorado, City Directory, 1898
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

Denver, Colorado, City Directory, 1898
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

In 1900, William was still in Denver, living with the Langers and working as a cigar salesman.

Henry Langer family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Denver, Arapahoe, Colorado; Page: 2; Enumeration District: 0031; FHL microfilm: 1240117
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

But Julius had left Denver and was living in Reading, Pennsylvania, working as a salesman.7

As for Lester, he was living in Philadelphia in 1896,8 working as a salesman. But after Julius left Denver for Pennsylvania, Lester left Pennsylvania for Denver. He came for a visit in 1899, and in 1902 he was living with his brother William and the Langer family and working as a manager for M. Hyman Cigar Company with his brother William, who was the secretary of the company.

Denver Rocky Mountain News, January 1, 1899, p. 6

It was also around this time that two more of the Bensew brothers arrived in the United States.  I could not find a ship manifest for Heinemann Bensew, who was born March 14, 1879, in Malsfeld,9 but according to his naturalization records, he arrived on September 30, 1902.10  The youngest brother Max, who was born on May 24, 1882,11 arrived on May 13, 1903. He was headed for Philadelphia to his uncle, J. Mansbach, i.e. Julius Mansbach, at 915 North 6th Street in Philadelphia:

Max Bensew, ship manifest, line 21, Year: 1903; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 0355; Line: 1; Page Number: 85
Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957

Frieda Bensew, who was born February 21, 1886, in Melsungen,12 followed her older brothers to America four years later; she arrived on November 25, 1907.  On the manifest she listed that she, like Max, was going to her uncle, Julius Mansbach, in Philadelphia.13 In January, 1908, she visited her brother William in Denver.

Denver Post, January 7, 1908, p. 5

But in 1910, she was living in Chicago, where three of her five brothers were also living. Julius, Heinemann (listed as Hein here) and Max were living together in a boarding house in Chicago, and all three were working as clerks for Standard Oil:

Julius, Max and Heine Bensev 1910 US census,Census Place: Chicago Ward 23, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T624_266; Page: 2A;Enumeration District: 0982; FHL microfilm: 1374279
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

Frieda was working as a stenographer for a publishing house and living a mile and half north of her brothers as a roomer with a widow, Sophie Rosenthal, and her adult daughter in 1910.12

Their oldest brother William was still in Denver in 1910. He had married Jessie Fannie Holzman on June 28, 1904, in Denver, in “one of the most elaborate of the numerous June wedding[s]” in Denver that year, as detailed in this wonderful article:

Denver Post July 2, 1905, p. 15

As noted in the article, prior to the wedding, Jessie had been living with David Kline and his wife Frances (Sands) Kline and is listed as their niece on the 1900 census.13 According to the article, Jessie’s father was Joseph Holzman; Joseph Holzman was a German immigrant who married Theresa Sands in Denver in 1877. Jessie was born in Denver on November 6, 1883, and her mother Theresa died when Jessie was eight years old in 1891. I assume that Frances Sands Kline must have been Theresa Sands Holzman’s sister since Jessie was Frances’ niece.14

William and Jessie had a daughter, Theodora, born on December 10, 1905,15 in Colorado. When M. Hyman retired in 1907, he transferred his cigar business to William and a partner, B. F. Meyer. In 1910, William and his family were living in Denver, and William continued to work as a cigar salesman.16

Denver Post, March 10, 1907, p. 2

Lester Bensev was also still in Colorado in 1910, but he had moved from Denver to Colorado Springs where he was the proprietor of a cigar store.17

Thus, by 1910, six of the seven children of Breine Mansbach and Jakob Bensew were living in the United States, four in Chicago and two in Colorado. Their parents were still living in Germany, as was their sister Roschen. Roschen married Joseph Stern, son of Jacob Stern and Esther Koppel, on April 10, 1899, in Kassel, Germany:

Marriage record of Roschen Bensew and Jozef Stern, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 920; Laufende Nummer: 4611, 1899, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

On May 8, 1900, Roschen gave birth to her first child, Alfred Stern, in Kassel. 18 According to US records, Roschen and Joseph had a second son Edwin on January 6, 1905.19 Some family trees have three other children born to Roschen and Joseph Stern, but I have not yet been able to verify that information. The names Alice Stern, Frieda Stern, and Herbert Stern are too common for me to be able to know with certainty whether I am looking at the right person unless I can link them to Roschen and Joseph or some other member of the family, and so far I have not be able to do so. Thus, I will only write about Alfred and Edwin, both of whom ended up in the US, but not until after Hitler came to power.

 

 

 

 


  1. Willi Bensew, ship manifest, Year: 1885; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 489; Line: 1; List Number: 1017.
    Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957. William Bensev, 1900 US census, Census Place: Denver, Arapahoe, Colorado; Page: 2; Enumeration District: 0031; FHL microfilm: 1240117, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census. JewishGen, comp. JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR). 
  2. Lester Bensev, passport application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 68; Volume #: Roll 0068 – Certificates: 59167-60066, 09 Jul 1908-24 Jul 1908. Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 
  3.  Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007. SSN: 521019057. 
  4. Roschen Bensew marriage record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 920; Laufende Nummer: 4611. 1899. Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930 
  5. Ancestry.com. Denver, Colorado City Directory, 1890. 
  6.  Denver, Colorado, City Directory, 1894, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  7. Julius Bensev, 1900 US census, Census Place: Reading Ward 3, Berks, Pennsylvania; Page: 8; Enumeration District: 0053; FHL microfilm: 1241378,
    Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  8. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1896, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  9. Heinemann Bensew birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 920; Laufende Nummer: 4410. Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901 
  10. 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.). The birth date on the naturalization record is March 22, 1879, whereas the German birth record says March 14, 1879. 
  11. Max Bensew birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 920; Laufende Nummer: 4413. Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901 
  12. Frieda Bensev, 1910 US census, Census Place: Chicago Ward 25, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T624_269; Page: 2B;Enumeration District: 1094; FHL microfilm: 1374282, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  13. Kline household, 1900 US census, Census Place: Denver, Arapahoe, Colorado; Page: 5; Enumeration District: 0030; FHL microfilm: 1240117, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  14. Joseph Holzman and Theresa Sands marriage record, and David Kline and Frances Sands marriage record, Ancestry.com. Colorado, County Marriage Records and State Index, 1862-2006. JewishGen, comp. JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR). “Colorado State Census, 1885,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:939N-8TC6-W?cc=1807096&wc=M83M-BMS%3A149195601%2C149208301%2C149200101 : 1 April 2016), Arapahoe > Denver > Population > image 184 of 598; citing NARA microfilm publication M158 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.). Sands family, 1870 US census, Year: 1870; Census Place: Helena, Lewis and Clark, Montana Territory; Roll: M593_827; Page: 186B; Family History Library Film: 552326, Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census. Ancestry.com. Web: Gallatin County, Montana, Death Index, 1856-2014.  
  15. JewishGen, comp. JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) 
  16. William Bensev household, 1910 US census, Census Place: Denver Ward 8, Denver, Colorado; Roll: T624_115; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 0104; FHL microfilm: 1374128, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  17. Lester Bensev, 1910 US census, Census Place: Colorado Springs Ward 2, El Paso, Colorado; Roll: T624_118; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0037; FHL microfilm: 1374131, Enumeration District: 0037, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  18. Alfred Stern birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 910; Signatur: 910_5143, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901 
  19. Edwin Stern, naturalization record, The National Archives, Washington, D.C.; Washington, DC; Naturalization Records, Colorado, 1876-1990; ARC Title: Naturalization Records Created by the U.S. District Court in Colorado, 1877-1952; NAI Number: M1192; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: 21, Ancestry.com. Colorado, State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1868-1990. Edwin Stern, 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: 232, Ancestry.com. U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 

The Mansbachs in the 1920s: First the Bad News, Then the Good News

As seen in the last two posts, the years between 1910 and 1920 were primarily years of growth for the children of Sarah Goldschmidt and Abraham Mansbach. Unfortunately the next decade was not as happy a time; the family suffered a number of losses as the children of Sarah and Abraham entered their sixties and seventies.

1926 was a particularly bad year. First, Louis Mansbach, Sarah and Abraham’s oldest son, died in Philadelphia from myocarditis on April 2, 1926, at age 77:

Louis Mansbach death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 037001-040000.  Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966

A couple of observations about this death certificate. One, Louis was a veterinarian, but the certificate says he was a doctor; while a vet is a doctor in one sense of the word, it’s still odd that he is identified this way and not as a veterinarian.

Secondly, the informant was Richard Rattin, and I have no idea who that was. Louis’s son-in-law was David Rattin, husband of Rebecca Mansbach. He lived at 1638 North Franklin Street in Philadelphia. But as far as I can tell, David had no siblings, and his father had died long ago. I cannot find any Richard Rattin during this period or any other time in Philadelphia (or elsewhere). Could David have signed using the wrong first name? Did someone forge his signature with the wrong first name? And if so, why?

Third, I was struck by the fact that the informant did not know the names of Louis Mansbach’s parents. I see this so often, and it makes me sad that so quickly the names were forgotten, but it also makes me feel good to know that I am filling in that gap for descendants who might otherwise never know who their ancestors were.

But more tragically than Louis Mansbach’s own death was the death of his daughter, Rebecca Mansbach Rattin. She died less than a month later on April 30, 1926, from meningitis; she was not yet 29 years old. She left behind her husband David and two young daughters, Ruth, who was only seven, and Virginia, who was born on June 27, 1923 and two months shy of her third birthday when she lost her mother.

Rebecca Mansbach Rattin death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 040001-043000
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966

Thus, just as Rebecca had lost her mother Cora when she was a young girl, Rebecca’s daughters lost their mother when they were young girls.

David Rattin was the informant on his wife’s death certificate. Comparing this death certificate with that for Louis above, it does not appear to be the same handwriting or signature, does it? (Also, it says that Rebecca’s father was born in Alsace Lorraine, which is not correct; he was born in Maden in the state of Hesse.) So who was Richard Rattin? Did someone else fill in the death certificate for Louis and just sign the wrong name? It appears that Rebecca had been ill since January, her father since February, so perhaps David Rattin was just too overwhelmed when Louis died to deal with the details of the death certificate.

UPDATE: Frank, a member of Tracing the Tribe, commented that it was likely that David Rattin/Richard Rattin did not sign either certificate, and when I compared the signature on David’s draft registration with the two death certificates, I realized that Frank was right: David had not signed or filled out either form. The registrar or some third party did in each case. And it seems likely that in the case of Louis Mansbach’s death certificate, whoever did fill it out just got David’s first name wrong on the line identifying the informant.

Then the third family death came when Amelia Mansbach Langer died two months after her brother Louis and niece Rebecca; she died in Denver on July 18, 1926, at age 72.1 She had been predeceased by her husband Henry Langer, who had died on October 25, 1921.2 Henry had died the day after his 91st birthday in Denver, where he had lived since at least 1880.

“Death Claims Mother of Joseph H. Langer, Post Photographer,” The Denver Post, July 16, 1926, p. 17

Colorado Springs Gazette, October 26, 1921, p. 3

Amelia and Henry’s son Joseph remained in Denver as a photographer for the Denver Post, but by 1930 their younger son Lester had moved to Kansas City, where he continued to work as photographer. He was living in a large boarding house as a lodger in 1930.3 More on the Langer brothers in my next post.

Meanwhile, back in Melsungen, Germany, Breine Mansbach Bensew, the oldest child of Sarah Goldschmidt and Abraham Mansbach, died on May 31, 1922, at age 77. Her husband Jakob Bensew died three years later on April 25, 1925, in Kassel, Germany; he was 85.

Death record for Breine Mansbach Bensew
Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 920; Laufende Nummer: 4684

Death record for Jakob Bensew, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 910; Signatur: 5599 Description Year Range: 1925 Source Information Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958

Thus, by 1926, the only children of Sarah Goldschmidt and Abraham Mansbach still living were Bert, Hannah, Meyer, and Julius. For them and their children, there were some happier events in the 1920s.

Bert Mansbach’s son Alvin moved to Chicago in 1921 to go to the Western Electric School.

Albuquerque Morning Journal, February 2, 1921, p. 7

At some point thereafter Alvin moved to New York City, where on May 12, 1927, he married Lucille Nelson, a native New Yorker, born in about 1897 to Louis Nelson and Bertha Heineman.4 Finding Lucille’s background was another research adventure as I had to work backwards from the listing of her aunt Marian Heineman in Alvin and Lucille’s household on the 1930 census to find Lucille’s parents.  In 1930, Alvin and Lucille (and Lucille’s aunt) were living on West End Avenue in New York City, and Alvin was working as an engineer for the telephone company. They had a daughter Betty born on February 22, 1932, in New York.5

Alvin Mansbach 1930 US census, Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 0421; FHL microfilm: 2341289
Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census

Alvin’s sister Corinne and her husband Herbert Kahn and daughter Rosalynn were still living in Trinidad in 1930, where Herbert was in the produce business.6 And Alvin and Corinne’s parents were still in Albuquerque. In January 1927, Bert suffered injuries after being hit by a car. In 1930, Bert and Rosa were living in Albuquerque, and Bert was working as a salesman in a retail store.7

“Man Struck by Car Painfully Injured But Is Improving,” Albuquerque Journal, January 22, 1927, p. 8

In 1930 Hannah Mansbach Dannenberg and her husband Gerson were still living in Philadelphia, where Gerson was a “dealer” in “goods.”8 Their daughter Reta had had a second child, a boy, in 1923,9 and in 1930 Reta and her family were also living in Philadelphia where her husband Elmor Alkus continued to work in the towel business.10 Hannah’s third child, Katinka Dannenberg Olsho, was living with her husband Sidney and son Edward in Philadelphia in 1930, where Sidney continued to practice medicine.11

Hannah and Gerson’s son Arthur married Marion Loeb Stein in 1922 in Philadelphia.12 Marion was born on September 11, 1888, in Pennsylvania to Leo and Rosetta Loeb and grew up in Philadelphia.13 Marion was a widow when she married Arthur. On March 15, 1915, she had married Milton C. Stein, who became ill on their honeymoon and died on August 1, 1915; he was only 31.  Reading these two newspaper articles in sequence made me quite sad for Marion:

Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, March 15, 1915, p. 9

“Laid at Rest,” Allentown (PA) Democrat, August 4, 1915, p. 12

But she and Arthur Dannenberg had a long marriage together and had two children born in the 1920s, so I hope she did find happiness after experiencing the tragic loss of her new husband in 1915.

Meyer and Ida (Jaffa) Mansbach’s two children were both married in the 1920s. Their daughter Edith married Herbert Marshutz on July 9, 1924, in Detroit. Herbert was an optometrist, born March 12, 1894, in Los Angeles, where he had grown up and where he was residing at the time of their marriage. Herbert was the son of Siegfried Marshutz, who was born in Bavaria, and Hattie Wolfstein, who was born in Walla Walla, Washington.14 Herbert and Edith would have two children. In 1930, they were living in Los Angeles, where Herbert continued to practice optometry.15

Marriage record, Edith Mansbach and Herbert Marshutz, Michigan Department of Community Health, Division of Vital Records and Health Statistics; Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan, Marriage Records, 1867-1952; Film: 179; Film Description: 1924 Wayne
Ancestry.com. Michigan, Marriage Records, 1867-1952 [

By 1930, Edith’s parents Meyer and Ida had also moved to Los Angeles. I don’t know whether they had moved there to be closer to their daughter Edith or whether they had moved to Los Angeles before Edith even married Herbert and somehow connected him to their daughter. Meyer was working as a millinery salesman in 1930 in Los Angeles.16

Meyer and Ida’s son Arthur Jaffa Mansbach also married in the 1920s. In 1926, he married Gertrude Heller in Milwaukee, where she was born on September 6, 1901, to Henry Heller and Frederika Grothey.17 Arthur and Gertrude would have one daughter, and in 1930 they were living in Detroit where Arthur was the vice-president of a retail store.18

Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle, April 2, 1926, p. 2

Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle, July 23, 1926, p.2

Finally, Julius Mansbach and his wife Frieda and son Alfred were still living in Germany in the 1920s, but according to Alfred’s son Art, Alfred came to the United States in 192919 to go to college in Chicago. In 1930 Alfred was living with Emanuel Loewenherz and his wife Frieda and son Walter in New Trier, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. Alfred was listed as the cousin of the wife of the head of the household, that is, Emanuel’s wife Frieda.

Alfred Mansbach with Loewenherz family, 1930 US census, Census Place: New Trier, Cook, Illinois; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 2223; FHL microfilm: 2340238
Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census

Frieda Loewenherz was born Frieda Bensew and was the daughter of Jakob Bensew and Breine Mansbach. Breine Mansbach Bensew was the daughter of Sarah Goldschmidt and Abraham Mansbach and sister of Alfred’s father Julius, making Frieda Bensew Loewenherz Alfred’s first cousin through his father Julius:

But I believe that Alfred may also have been Frieda Bensew Loewenherz’s cousin through his mother as well. Alfred’s mother was also born with the name Frieda Bensew. Although I haven’t been able to figure out the connection, my hunch is that the two Frieda Bensews were somehow related. More on the Bensew cousins in posts to come.

Thus, the 1920s were years of transition for the children of Sarah Goldschmidt and Abraham Mansbach. Three of them died in this decade, and their children were adults marrying and raising their own children, the great-grandchildren of Sarah and Abraham.

 

 


  1.  JewishGen, comp. JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR). 
  2.  Ancestry.com. U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current. MEMORIAL ID 79956101. 
  3. Lester Langer, 1930 US census, Census Place: Kansas City, Jackson, Missouri; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 0018; FHL microfilm: 2340928. Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  4. Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Extracted Marriage Index, 1866-1937, Certificate Number 13376. Lucille Nelson, 1915 NYS census, New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1915; Election District: 53; Assembly District: 03; City: New York; County: Queens; Page: 46. Ancestry.com. New York, State Census, 1915 
  5. Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Birth Index, 1910-1965, Certificate Number 5591 
  6. Herbert Kahn and family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Trinidad, Las Animas, Colorado; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 0046; FHL microfilm: 2339980. Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  7. Bert and Rosa Mansbach, 1930 US census, Census Place: Albuquerque, Bernalillo, New Mexico; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 0010; FHL microfilm: 2341127. Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  8. Gerson Dannenberg household, 1930 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 0778; FHL microfilm: 2341859. Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census  
  9. Warren Alkus, The National Archives in St. Louis, Missouri; St. Louis, Missouri; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 23. Ancestry.com. U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 
  10. Elmor Alkus household, 1930 US census, Year: 1930; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 23A; Enumeration District: 1030; FHL microfilm: 2341867. Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  11. Sidney Olsho household, 1930 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 0627; FHL microfilm: 2341838. Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  12. Ancestry.com. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Marriage Index, 1885-1951, Marriage License Number: 465401.  
  13.  Number: 188-36-8650; Issue State: Pennsylvania; Issue Date: 1962; Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014.  Loeb family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 20, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 9; Enumeration District: 0408; FHL microfilm: 1241461. Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  14. Herbert Marshutz World War I draft registration, Registration State: California; Registration County: Los Angeles; Roll: 1530901; Draft Board: 2.
    Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Marshutz household on 1910 US census,  Census Place: Los Angeles Assembly District 72, Los Angeles, California; Roll: T624_82; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 0185; FHL microfilm: 1374095. Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census. Marriage record of Sigfreid Marshutz and Hattie Wolfstein, Ancestry.com. California, County Birth, Marriage, and Death Records, 1849-1980. 
  15. Herbert Marshutz household, 1930 US census, Census Place: Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0107; FHL microfilm: 2339871; Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  16. Meyer Mansbach household, 1930 US census, Census Place: Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0108; FHL microfilm: 2339871; Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census. 
  17. Ancestry.com. Wisconsin, Birth Index, 1820-1907, Reel: 0198 Record: 002612. Ancestry.com. Wisconsin, Births and Christenings Index, 1801-1928, FHL Film Number: 1013697. 
  18. Arthur Mansbach household, 1930 US census, Census Place: Detroit, Wayne, Michigan; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 0363; FHL microfilm: 2340781; Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  19. Alfred Mansbach, ship manifest, Year: 1929; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 4639; Line: 1; Page Number: 104; Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 

Sarah Goldschmidt Mansbach’s Grandchildren Come of Age: Philadelphia 1910-1920

The years between 1910 and 1920 were years of growth for the children of Sarah Goldschmidt and Abraham Mansbach who were living in the US.  Their children, Sarah and Abraham’s grandchildren, were becoming adults and starting households of their own. This post will cover the Philadelphia siblings, Hannah and Louis, and their brother Julius, who was living in Germany with his family. The Colorado siblings will be discussed in the next post.

The two Philadelphia siblings, Hannah Mansbach Dannenberg and Louis Mansbach, saw their daughters marry in this decade. Hannah’s older daughter Reta married Elmor Alkus in Philadelphia in 1912.1 Elmor was, like Reta, born in Pennsylvania in 1889; his parents were Morris and Henrietta Alkus, both of whom were born in Germany. Elmor’s father Morris was a wool merchant. In 1910, Elmor was a commercial traveler selling notions.2 Reta and Elmor’s first child, Elaine, was born on April 22, 1914, in Philadelphia.3 In 1920, they were all living in Philadelphia, and Elmor was now the owner of a towel supply company. I assume that his father-in-law Gerson Dannenberg had taken him into his business.4

Hannah’s younger daughter Katinka married Sidney Olsho in 1916 in Philadelphia.5 Sidney, the son of Jacob Olshoffsky (later shortened to Olsho) and Louisa Galeski, was born in Bradford, Pennsylvania, on January 22, 1879, making him fifteen years older than Katinka. He was 37 when they married, she 22. He was a doctor. His parents were German immigrants, and his father was a dry goods merchant.6 Sidney and Katinka had a son, Edward, born on February 6, 1919, in Philadelphia. In 1920, they were living in Philadelphia where Sidney was practicing as an eye, ear, nose and throat physician (amusingly, it was transcribed as “dye, oat, nas, thead” on Ancestry).

Sidney Olsho and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 8, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1619; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 181
Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census

Sidney wasn’t the only doctor in Hannah’s family. Her son Arthur Dannenberg was also a physician, according to his World War I draft registration. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania medical school in 1913 and had trained as a pediatrician:

Arthur Dannenberg, World War I draft registration, Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Philadelphia; Roll: 1907646; Draft Board: 26
Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918

University of Pennsylvania alumni directory, Publication Year: 1917
Ancestry.com. U.S., School Catalogs, 1765-1935

Arthur served in the US Army from August 10, 1917, until August 1, 1919, and was promoted to a captain in May, 1918. He served primarily at Fort Oglethorpe in Georgia in the medical corps and did not serve overseas.7 After the war, Arthur returned home and was living with his parents, Hannah and Gerson Dannenberg, in Philadelphia in 1920.  Arthur was practicing medicine, and his father Gerson was a merchant in the towel business.8

Louis Mansbach’s daughter Rebecca also married in this decade. Rebecca married David Rattin in Philadelphia in 1917.9 David was born on September 10, 1886 or 1887 (records conflict), in Alsace, Germany, to Isadore and Sophia Rattin. They immigrated when David was just a toddler in 1888. David’s father must have died either before they immigrated or shortly thereafter as by 1895, his mother was listed as a widow in the Philadelphia directory.10 So like Rebecca, David had lost a parent when he was a young child.

I believe that this is David, living in the Jewish Home for children in 1900 (line 21):

David Rattin in Jewish Home, 1900 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 22, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 9; Enumeration District: 0512; FHL microfilm: 1241464
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

By 1910, David was reunited with his mother, who was living on her own income, presumably from the boarders who were living in their home:

David Rattin, 1910 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 20, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1394; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0359; FHL microfilm: 1375407
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

In 1912, David graduated from the University of Pennsylvania law school, and in 1918, when he registered for the draft, he was working as an attorney.11 Rebecca and David’s first child Ruth was born on April 28, 1919.12 In 1920 they were living in Philadelphia along with David’s mother Sophia, and David was practicing law.13

University of Pennsylvania alumni directory, Publication Year: 1917
Ancestry.com. U.S., School Catalogs, 1765-1935

Louis Mansbach was also still living in Philadelphia in 1920 and continued to practice as a veterinarian. He was living with Moses Dannenberg, who although listed as Louis’s cousin was more likely his brother-in-law, brother of Gerson Dannenberg, Hannah Mansbach’s husband, because in 1910, Moses had been living with Gerson and Hannah and listed as Gerson’s brother. 14

Meanwhile, Julius Mansbach and his wife Frieda Bensew and their children Beatrice and Alfred were living in Wunstorf, Germany, in the 1910s. Art Mansbach shared this adorable photograph of  his father Alfred in 1916 when he was six:

Alfred Mansbach, 1916. Courtesy of Art Mansbach

The one very sad note in this decade was the death of Beatrice Mansbach, the daughter of Julius Mansbach and Frieda Bensew. Beatrice died in 1918 from the Spanish influenza, according to her nephew Art Mansbach. She was only fourteen years old. These photographs of Beatrice taken when she was just a little girl help to preserve the memory of this young girl whose beautiful life was cut short.

 

 


  1. Ancestry.com. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Marriage Index, 1885-1951, Marriage License Number: 289763. 
  2. Alkus family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 32, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1403; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 0765; FHL microfilm: 1375416. Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census. 
  3.  Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, SSN: 191222552. 
  4. Elmor and Reta Alkus, 1920 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 42, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1643; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 1578.
    Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  5. Ancestry.com. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Marriage Index, 1885-1951, Marriage License Number: 350034. 
  6. Sidney Olsho death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Box Number: 2408; Certificate Number Range: 099851-102700. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966. Olsho family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 28, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1402; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 0630; FHL microfilm: 1375415.  Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  7. Series II: Questionnaires: Jews; Record Group Description: (D) Officers-Army (Boxes 11-14); Box #: 11; Folder #: 14; Box Info: (Box 11) D-Deg. Ancestry.com. U.S., WWI Jewish Servicemen Questionnaires, 1918-1921 
  8. Dannenberg family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 29, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1633; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 969. Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  9. Ancestry.com. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Marriage Index, 1885-1951, Marriage License Number: 363508. 
  10. David Rattin, naturalization papers, National Archives; Washington, D.C.; Record Group Title: M1522. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Federal Naturalization Records, 1795-1931. David Rattin, World War I draft registration, Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Philadelphia; Roll: 1907616; Draft Board: 13, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Philadelphia City directory, 1895, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995. 
  11. David Rattin, World War I draft registration, Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Philadelphia; Roll: 1907616; Draft Board: 13. Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 
  12. Issue State: Wisconsin; Issue Date: Before 1951. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014; 
  13. David Rattin and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 20, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1616; Page: 11B; Enumeration District: 471.
    Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  14. Louis Mansbach, 1920 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 20, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1616; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 455.
    Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 

The Legacy of Sarah Goldschmidt Mansbach: Prosperity in America, Roots in Germany 1900-1910

As seen in the last post, in 1900 six of the surviving children of Sarah Goldschmidt and Abraham Mansbach were living in the United States, as was Sarah. Their oldest daughter Breine Mansbach Bensew was still living in Germany, and three children had passed away, as had Abraham in 1889.

The six children living in the US were split between Colorado and Philadelphia. Amelia Mansbach Langer and her family were living in Denver, and her brothers Berthold and Meyer were living in Trinidad, Colorado. Sarah and her other three children—Louis, Julius, and Hannah —were all living in Philadelphia.  All of Sarah’s children except Julius, the youngest, were married by 1900, and she had nine grandchildren born in the United States plus her German-born grandchildren, the children of her daughter Breine Mansbach Bensew. A tenth American grandchild was born when Meyer and Ida (Jaffa) Mansbach had a second child, Edith, on December 15, 1901, in Colorado.1

In 1903, Julius, Sarah’s youngest child, married Frieda Bensew in Wunstorf, Germany.2 Frieda was born on March 6, 1883, in Wunstorf, the daughter of Moses Bensew and Theodora Freudenthal.3 Julius had applied for a passport on August 10, 1903, stating that he was temporarily residing in Wunstorf, Germany, where he had been since July 8, 1903, and that he intended to stay there for two months. I assume this was when he must have married Frieda.

Julius Mansbach, 1903 passport application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 41; Volume #: Volume 075: Germany
Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925

Their grandson Art shared this photograph of Julius and Frieda dated 1903 when they were engaged:

Julius Mansbach and Frieda Bensew, 1903. Courtesy of Art Mansbach

Julius and Frieda returned to the United States and settled in Philadelphia where on July 12, 1904, their daughter Beatrice was born.4 In May 1905, Julius, Frieda, and Beatrice sailed to Germany, presumably for Frieda’s family to meet the new baby.

Philadelphia Inquirer, May 14, 1905, p. 35

Here are two beautiful photographs of Frieda and her baby daughter Beatrice, courtesy of my cousin Art Mansbach:

Frieda Bensew Mansbach and her three-month old daughter, Beatrice, 1904. Courtesy of Art Mansbach.

Frieda Bensew Mansbach and daughter Beatrice, c. 1906. Courtesy of Art Mansbach

The year 1907 brought two sad losses to the family.  First, on June 26, 1907, Sarah Goldschmidt Mansbach passed away from nephritis at age 88.

Sarah Goldschmidt Mansbach death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 059571-063330
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966

Sarah was the oldest child of Seligmann Goldschmidt and Hincka Alexander and had outlived all but three of her younger siblings. Unlike her younger siblings who had immigrated as young adults, Sarah came to the United States and settled in Philadelphia in the 1880s when she was already in her sixties and had grown children. It must have been a hard transition, especially with half her children living half a continent away in Colorado and one daughter still back in Germany. She had survived her husband and three of her children and lived to 88.

She must have been an exceptionally strong woman. That strength and her warmth certainly show in this photograph of Sarah with her granddaughter Beatrice taken shortly before she died:

Sarah Goldschmidt Mansbach with granddaughter Beatrice Mansbach, 1907. Courtesy of Art Mansbach

The second loss the family suffered in 1907 came less than two months after Sarah’s death. Cora Eslinger Mansbach, Louis Mansbach’s wife, died from tuberculosis on August 22, 1907; she was only 40 years old and left behind not only her husband, but her eleven-year-old daughter, Rebecca.

Cora Eslinger Mansbach death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 078391-082250
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966

This photograph was taken just eight days before Cora’s death.  It is dated August 14, 1907, and taken in Cape May, New Jersey. The young girl on the left is Cora and Louis Mansbach’s daughter Rebecca, and she is with Julius and Frieda Mansbach and their daughter Beatrice:

Rebecca Mansbach, Beatrice Mansbach, Frieda Bensew Mansbach, and Julius Mansbach. August 14, 1907, Cape May, New Jersey. Courtesy of Art Mansbach

Rebecca’s face conveys sadness; her mother must have already been quite ill and had been sick for six months. Perhaps Julius and his family took her to Cape May to distract her from her mother’s illness.

Julius and Frieda Mansbach and their daughter Beatrice moved to Wunstorf, Germany by 1910, where Julius and Frieda’s son Alfred Heinz Mansbach was born on February 10, 1910.5 They did not return to live in the US for another two decades. Thank you again to Art Mansbach for sharing these wonderful photographs of Julius and Frieda and their young children:

Beatrice, Frieda, and Alfred Mansbach, 1911. Courtesy of Art Mansbach

Alfred, Frieda, Julius, and Beatrice Mansbach, 1913 in Wunstorf, Germany. Courtesy of Art Mansbach

In 1910 Louis Mansbach, now a widower, was boarding with his thirteen year old daughter Rebecca in the household of the Beutelspacher family. I cannot find any connection between his family and the Beutelspachers.  Louis continued to practice veterinary medicine.6

Hannah Mansbach Dannenberg, the only other sibling still in Philadelphia, was living in 1910 with her husband Gerson and their three children as well as Moses Dannenberg, Gerson’s brother. Gerson and Moses were both merchants and owned a supply house. Hannah and Gerson’s son Arthur was in college.7

As for the three siblings in Colorado, Amelia Mansbach Langer and her family were still living in Denver in 1910. Her husband Henry, now 71, was retired. Their sons were both living with them. Joseph (30) was a newspaper photographer, and Lester (26) was a photographic printer in a portrait gallery.8

In 1910, Berthold Mansbach and his wife Rose and son Alvin (15) were living in Trinidad9. Bert and his brother Meyer, who had been the proprietors of a dry goods store known as Mansbach Brothers, were now in business with John and Barney Tarabino as owners of The Famous Department Store, as listed in the 1910 Trinidad directory. The directory lists Bert as the treasurer and Meyer as the secretary.

Title: Trinidad, Colorado, City Directory, 1910

Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

Bert and Rose’s daughter Corinne had married Herbert J Kahn on October 11, 1909, in Trinidad. Herbert was a Trinidad, Colorado native, the son of two German immigrants, Jacob and Rosa Kahn. His father was a dealer in hides and wool.10

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

The Denver Rocky Mountain News posted this news item about the wedding on October 12, 1909 (p. 4):

In 1910, Herbert and Corinne were living in Trinidad where Herbert was working as a salesman in a clothing store.11

Berthold’s younger brother Meyer was also living in Trinidad in 1910. He and Ida and their two children Arthur (13) and Edith (8) were living with Ida’s mother Amelia Jaffa, and Meyer was, as described above, the secretary of The Famous Department Store, the store he owned with his brother Berthold and others.12

Thus, in 1910, the family of Sarah Goldschmidt and Abraham Mansbach was doing well. Bert and Meyer and their families were living in Trinidad where the brothers were partners in a department store. Amelia and Henry Langer were living in Denver where Henry was retired and their sons were both involved in photography. Hannah Dannenberg was living with her family in Philadelphia and had a child in college already. Louis and his daughter Rebecca were in Philadelphia, moving forward after the death of Cora. In addition, as we will see, six of the children of Breine Mansbach were also in the US by 1910.

The only descendants of Sarah and Abraham still in Germany in 1910 were their oldest child, Breine Mansbach along with her husband Jakob Bensew and their daughter Roschen and her children, and their youngest child, Julius Mansbach and his wife Frieda Bensew and their children Beatrice and Alfred.

 

 

 

 


  1. Ancestry.com. California, Death Index, 1940-1997, Social Security #: 573387763. 
  2. As per Julius Mansbach’s grandson, Art Mansbach. 
  3. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, SSN: 351248754 
  4. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Births, 1860-1906,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VBYL-HSB : 10 March 2018), Beatrice Mansbach, 12 Jul 1904; citing 18961, Department of Records; FHL microfilm 2,110,929. 
  5. Number: 341-03-5638; Issue State: Illinois; Issue Date: Before 1951, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  6. Louis and Rebecca Mansbach, 1910 US Census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 20, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1394; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 0355; FHL microfilm: 1375407. Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  7. Gerson and Hannah Mansberg and family 1910 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 29, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1399; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0692; FHL microfilm: 1375412. Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census  
  8. Henry and Amelia Langer and family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Denver Ward 10, Denver, Colorado; Roll: T624_116; Page: 18A; Enumeration District: 0134; FHL microfilm: 1374129. Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  9. Berthold Mansbach and family 1910 US census, Census Place: Trinidad Ward 2, Las Animas, Colorado; Roll: T624_122; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0120; FHL microfilm: 1374135. Enumeration District: 0120. Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  10. Registration State: Colorado; Registration County: Las Animas; Roll: 1561836, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Kahn family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Trinidad, Las Animas, Colorado; Page: 4; Enumeration District: 0064; FHL microfilm: 1240126.
    Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  11. Herbert and Corinne Kahn, 1910 US census, Census Place: Trinidad Ward 2, Las Animas, Colorado; Roll: T624_122; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 0120; FHL microfilm: 1374135. Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  12. Meyer Mansbach and family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Trinidad Ward 2, Las Animas, Colorado; Roll: T624_122; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0115; FHL microfilm: 1374135. Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 

Growing in America: The Family of Sarah Goldschmidt Mansbach

As seen in my last post, as of 1882 Sarah Goldschmidt and her husband Abraham Mansbach had immigrated to the United States, as had all but one of their eight surviving children. Three of those seven children had arrived before 1880 and are enumerated on the 1880 census. Amalie and her husband Henry Langer and their two sons were living in Denver, Colorado, where Henry was furrier. Louis was a veterinarian, living with my great-great-grandparents Gerson and Eva (Goldschmidt) Katzenstein in Philadelphia. Berthold was in Trinidad, Colorado, living with and working with his cousin, Abraham Mansbach, in his dry goods business. The rest of the family—Sarah, Abraham, Hannah, Meyer, Kathinka, and Julius—arrived between 1880 and 1882.

The years between 1882 and 1900 were eventful years for Sarah and Abraham and their family—many happy events as well as some sad ones. First, on February 10, 1888, Berthold Mansbach married Rosa Schloss in Philadelphia. Rosa was born in Philadelphia in August 1868, the daughter of Aaron Schloss and Caroline Stein, who were German immigrants. Rosa’s mother Caroline died when Rosa was just nine years old. Her father Aaron was in the jewelry business.1

Berthold Mansbach and Rosa Schloss marriage record, Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records; Reel: 792
Organization Name: Congregation Rodeph Shalom
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1669-2013

Berthold and Rosa’s first child Corinne was born on February 1, 1889, in Trinidad, Colorado.2 Here is a delightful photograph of Corinne with her grandmother Sarah Goldschmidt Mansbach:

Sarah Goldschmidt Mansbach and her granddaughter Corinne Mansbach, c. 1892. Courtesy of the Mansbach family

And here are two photographs taken in Trinidad, Colorado of Corinne as a little girl with her uncle Julius Mansbach:

Julius Mansbach and his niece Corinne Mansbach, c. 1892. Courtesy of Art Mansbach

Julius Mansbach and niece Corinne Mansbach, c. 1892. Courtesy of Art Mansbach

Berthold’s younger sister Hannah was also married in 1888. She married Gerson Dannenberg in Philadelphia.3 Gerson was born in Adelebsen, Germany on July 22, 1862, and had immigrated to the US in 1881. He was the son of Simon Dannenberg and Henrietta Brandes and was a merchant by occupation.4 Hannah and Gerson’s first child, Reta, was born on September 11, 1889.5

Sadly, Abraham Mansbach died not long after the births of these two new grandchildren. He died on October 5, 1889, at the age of 80. (The death certificate has his age as 81 years, nine months, but that is not consistent with other records; I am not sure which is correct.) The cause of death was a lung hemorrhage.

“Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6P3D-C4N?cc=1320976&wc=9FT9-JWL%3A1073324801 : 16 May 2014), 004010398 > image 335 of 1093; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

The next two grandchildren born were presumably named for Abraham.  Arthur Mansbach Dannenberg, son of Hannah Mansbach and Gerson Dannenberg, was born in Philadelphia on January 7, 1891.6  Berthold and Rosa’s second child was also named in memory of Abraham; Alvin Abraham Mansbach was born in Trinidad, Colorado, on December 26, 1894.7

Unfortunately, the family had suffered another loss before the birth of Alvin. On February 3, 1893, Kat(h)inka Mansbach, Sarah and Abraham’s youngest daughter and second youngest child, died from consumption, or tuberculosis, in Trinidad, Colorado. She was only 30 years old. (The death certificate says 27, but that is not consistent with her birth record from Maden.) Her body was transported back to Philadelphia for burial, accompanied by her brother, Louis Mansbach.

Kathinka Mansbach death certificate, “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6353-MYS?cc=1320976&wc=9FR2-929%3A1073252901 : 16 May 2014), 004009761 > image 1367 of 1803; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Katinka’s sister Hannah honored her sister’s memory by naming her third child Katinka Mansbach Dannenberg, born on June 21, 1894, in Philadelphia.8

Louis Mansbach married Cora Eslinger on June 20, 1895 in Philadelphia.9 Cora was born on November 13, 1866 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; her parents were Jacob Eslinger and Rebecca Stein. Cora had experienced many losses by the time she married Louis. Her father had died when she was a very young child—in 1868. A brother William died in 1871 at age four from typhoid fever, her mother died in 1885, and an older brother Solomon died in 1889 at age 26 from heart failure.  Cora had only one member of her immediate family left when she married Louis Mansbach—her older sister Esther.10

Louis and Cora had one child, a daughter, Rebecca, presumably named for Cora’s mother; records conflict as to her date of birth, one is as early as November 1896, another suggests October 28, 1897.11 Since the November 1896 date came from the 1900 census and the other from far later source, it would seem November 1896 may be more reliable. I could not locate a birth record in the Philadelphia birth index.

Meyer Mansbach married Ida Jaffa on January 21, 1896, in Trinidad, Colorado. Ida was born in Trinidad on January 28, 1875, the daughter of Samuel Jaffa and Amelia Sommer. Her parents were both German immigrants, and her father was an important merchant in Trinidad.12

Meyer Mansbach Ida Jaffa mariage record, Ancestry.com. Colorado, County Marriage Records and State Index, 1862-2006. Original data: Marriage Records. Colorado Marriages. State Archives, Denver, Colorado.

In an earlier post about the Mansbach family, I discussed how Trinidad had experienced huge economic growth in the 1870s, making it an attractive place for merchants to settle to take advantage of the population explosion. Sharon Haimovitz-Civitano of the Branches of our Haimowitz Family Tree and Branches on Civitano Tree blogs alerted me to a page on the website of the Jewish Museum of the American West that describes the Jewish history of Trinidad, Colorado. According to that website, Ida Jaffa’s uncles and father were among the earliest Jews in Trinidad, arriving in the 1870s.  Sam Jaffa, Ida’s father, was the first president of the local B’nai Brith and the first chair of Trinidad Town Council, formed in 1876. The synagogue, Congregation Aaron, was founded in 1883 and named for the Jaffa brothers’ father Aaron.

Meyer and Ida’s first child, Arthur Jaffa Mansbach, was born in Trinidad on November 21, 189613 He also was presumably named for his grandfather Abraham Mansbach.

The only surviving child of Sarah and Abraham who did not marry before 1900 was Julius Mansbach, their youngest child. In 1892 he was in the dry goods business with his brothers Berthold and Meyer in Trinidad, Colorado:

Title: Trinidad, Colorado, City Directory, 1892
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

Art Mansbach, Julius’s grandson, generously shared this photograph of Julius and his brothers Bert and Meyer in their Trinidad store:

Bert, Meyer, and Julius Mansbach in the Trinidad store. Courtesy of Art Mansbach

Here Julius is depicted with his two Langer nephews, Joseph and Lester, in Denver.  From the ages of the boys, I would estimate that this was taken in about 1888-1889.

Julius Mansbach with Lester Langer and Joseph Langer. Courtesy of Art Mansbach

By 1897, Julius must have moved to Philadelphia as he was listed in the 1897 Philadelphia directory as a salesman, living at the same address as his brother Louis, the veterinarian, 915 North 16th Street.14 In 1900, he was still living with Louis, Cora, their daughter Rebecca, and his mother Sarah in Philadelphia. Julius was working as a milliner and Louis as a veterinarian.

Louis Mansbach and family 1900 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 16, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 1; Enumeration District: 0313; FHL microfilm: 1241459
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

Hannah and her husband Gerson Dannenberg and their three children were also living in Philadelphia in 1900, and Gerson was in the towel supply business. They were just a mile away from Louis and his household.15

In 1900 Amelia (as she is listed here and known as thereafter) and Henry Langer were still living in Denver with their children and with Amelia’s nephew, William Bensew, son of her sister Breine and brother-in-law Jakob Bensew. Henry was still a furrier, and their older son Joseph (20) was a cigar salesman as was his cousin William (28). Amelia and Henry’s younger son Lester (16) was still in school.16

Henry Langer family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Denver, Arapahoe, Colorado; Page: 2; Enumeration District: 0031; FHL microfilm: 1240117
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

Berthold Mansbach was living with his wife Rosa and children in Trinidad in 1900, where he continued to be a merchant.  His younger brother Meyer was living right nearby (they are enumerated on the same page of the 1900 census report) with his wife Ida, their son Arthur and Ida’s parents and siblings. He also was a merchant.17

Thus, three of the Mansbach children were living in Philadelphia and three were living in Colorado in 1900. Together, Sarah Goldschmidt Mansbach had nine American-born grandchildren living in the United States in 1900.

What would the first decade of the 20th century bring to Sarah’s family?

 

 


  1. Bert Mansbach 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. Caroline Schloss death, Ancestry.com. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Death Certificates Index, 1803-1915. “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803–1915. Schloss family, 1870 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 20 District 66, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1407; Page: 432A; Family History Library Film: 552906.
    Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census 
  2. Corinne Mansbach Kahn death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 057151-059700.  Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966 
  3. Ancestry.com. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Marriage Index, 1885-1951. Original data: “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Marriage Index, 1885–1951.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009. Philadelphia County Pennsylvania Clerk of the Orphans’ Court. “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia marriage license index, 1885-1951.” Clerk of the Orphans’ Court, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Marriage License Number: 20344. 
  4. Gerson Dannenberg death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 020901-023300. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966. Passport application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 81; Volume #: Roll 0081 – Certificates: 1621-2520, 02 Apr 1909-15 Apr 1909. Volume: Roll 0081 – Certificates: 1621-2520, 02 Apr 1909-15 Apr 1909. Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 
  5. Reta Dannenberg Alkus death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 076201-078900. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966. 
  6. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, SSN: 179363551. 
  7. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, SSN: 179363551. 
  8.  Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, SSN: 199369215. 
  9.  Ancestry.com. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Marriage Index, 1885-1951. Original data: “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Marriage Index, 1885–1951.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009. Philadelphia County Pennsylvania Clerk of the Orphans’ Court. “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia marriage license index, 1885-1951.” Clerk of the Orphans’ Court, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 
  10. Cora Eslinger Mansbach death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 078391-082250. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966. Translation of Jacob Eslinger’s gravestone. William Eslinger death certificate, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JD1V-VY4 : 8 March 2018), William Eslinger, 16 Jan 1871; citing , Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; FHL microfilm 2,020,733. Rebecca Eslinger death record, Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records; Reel: 792. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1669-2013 Solomon Eslinger death record, Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records; Reel: 792. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1669-2013 
  11. Louis Mansbach and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 16, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 1; Enumeration District: 0313; FHL microfilm: 1241459. Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census. Rebecca Esslinger Rattin death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 040001-043000. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966 
  12. Sam Jaffa and family, 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. Sam Jaffa and Amelia Sommer marriage record, Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records; Reel: 792. Organization Name: Congregation Rodeph Shalom. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1669-2013. 
  13. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, SSN: 560148581. 
  14.  Title: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1897, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  15. Gerson Dannenberg and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 20, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 9; Enumeration District: 0425; FHL microfilm: 1241462. Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  16. The Bensew/Bensev family will be discussed in subsequent posts in greater detail. 
  17. Berthold Mansbach and family, Meyer Mansbach and family, Census Place: Trinidad, Las Animas, Colorado; Page: 13; Enumeration District: 0064; FHL microfilm: 1240126. Enumeration District: 0064; Description: Trinidad City, Precincts 12, 28 and 32 and 35, Trinidad Ward 1, Ward 2, Ward 5. Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 

(Re)introducing Sarah Goldschmidt Mansbach and Her Family

Sarah Goldschmidt Mansbach, c. 1899
Courtesy of Art Mansbach

I have already told in two earlier posts the beginning of the story of Sarah Goldschmidt, my three-times great aunt and oldest child of my three-times great-grandparents Seligmann Goldschmidt and Hincka Alexander, but that was almost nine months ago. I had moved away from Sarah to tell the story of her younger siblings who had immigrated to the US thirty or so years before Sarah arrived. Now it is once again Sarah’s turn. But first a brief refresher on those earlier posts. Some of this material is covered in more depth in those earlier posts, and some is newly updated.

Sarah Goldschmidt was born December 1, 1818, in Oberlistingen; she married Abraham Mansbach on October 31, 1843.

Marriage record of Sarah (Sarchen) Goldschmidt and Abraham Mansbach
Trauregister der Juden von Gudensberg 1825-1900 (HHStAW Abt. 365 Nr. 386)AutorHessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, Wiesbaden, p. 14

Sarah Goldschmidt and Abraham Mansbach had ten children: Breine (1844), Hewa “Hedwig (1846), Leiser “Louis” (1849), Jacob (1851), Merla “Amalie/Amelia” (1853), Berthold (1856), Hannah (1858), Meyer (1860), Kathinka (1862), and Julius (1865).1

Jacob, the fourth child, born on June 23, 1851, died on September 13, 1853. He was just two years old.

Jacob Mansbach death record
HHStAW Fonds 365 No 387, p. 47

Hedwig was born on November 20, 1846. On February 16, 1875, she married David Rothschild of Zierenberg, Germany. Sadly, Hedwig died nine months to the day later on November 16, 1875.

Hedwig/Hewa Mansbach birth record HHStAW Fonds 365 No 384, p.43

Death record for Hedwig Mansbach Rothschild
Description: Geburten, Heiraten Tote 1874-1875
Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Lutheran Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1730-1875

All but one of Sarah and Abraham’s eight other children emigrated to the United States.  The one who remained in Germany was their oldest child, Breine. She was born on September 27, 1844, and she married Jacob Bensew on February 3, 1870; Jacob was born on January 15, 1840, in Malsfeld, Germany, the son of Heinemann Bensew and Roschen Goldberg.

Breine Mansbach birth record
HHStAW Fonds 365 No 384, p. 39

marriage record for Breine Mansbach and Jacob Bensew
HHStAW Fonds 365 No 386, p. 35

Breine and Jacob had eight children—six sons and two daughters: Roschen (1870), William (1872), Lester (1873), Julius (1875), Siegmund (1877), Heinemann (1879), Max (1882), and Frieda (1886). Siegmund died in 1882 when he was five, but the six of the other seven Bensew children would eventually immigrate to the United States. Breine and Jacob stayed behind, however, and lived the rest of their lives in Germany, as did their daughter Roschen. Breine died in Melsungen, Germany, on May 31, 1922, and her husband Jacob in Kassel, Germany, on April 25, 1925. More on the Bensew family in posts to come. 2

Death record for Breine Mansbach Bensew
Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 920; Laufende Nummer: 4684

This post will now focus on the seven children of Sarah Goldschmidt and Abraham Mansbach who immigrated to the US: Louis, Amalia/Amelia, Berthold, Hannah, Meyer, Kathinka, and Julius.

Thanks to my cousin Art Mansbach, I have some photographs of Sarah and Abraham and their family.  Here is one of Sarah and Abraham and their youngest child, Julius in about 1870:

Abraham Mansbach, Julius Mansbach, and Sarah Goldschmidt Mansbach c. 1870
Courtesy of the Mansbach family

The photograph below is of Sarah with her two youngest sons, Julius and Meyer, taken in about 1874, when Meyer would have been fourteen and Julius nine:

Julius Mansbach, Sarah Goldschmidt Mansbach, and Meyer Mansbach c. 1874
Courtesy of the Mansbach family

It was about this time that Abraham and Sarah’s older children began immigrating to the US. Although I was unable to find passenger manifests for all the Mansbach children, the earliest one I could find was for Merla/Amalie/Amelia. She was born December 10, 1853, in Maden, Germany. She (as Amalie) sailed to the US in 1872 with my great-great-uncle Henry Schoenthal and his new wife Helene Lilienfeld, as I discussed here.

Birth record of Merla Mansbach, Archives for the State of Hessen, Jewish records, HHStAW Fonds 365 No 384, p. 55

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

I have no record of Amalie from the time of her arrival until the 1880 census, but I assume she must have been living in Pennsylvania, probably in Philadelphia, because according to the 1900 census, in 1879, she married Henry Langer. Henry was 22 years older than Amalie, born in 1831 in Austria; he had immigrated to the US in 1856, and in the 1870s he was living in Philadelphia, working as a furrier, according to the Philadelphia directory for 1870 and a newspaper listing in 1877.3

Amalie and Henry relocated to Denver by December 17, 1879, when their first child, Joseph Henry Langer, was born.4 According to the 1880 census, Henry continued to work as a furrier in Denver:

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

Amalie and Henry’s second child, Lester Sylvester Langer was born in Colorado on January 1, 1884.5

Berthold may have been the next child of Sarah and Abraham to arrive from Germany; he was born on February 23, 1856. Although I cannot find a passenger manifest for him, the 1920 census reports that he immigrated to the US in 1874.6 In 1877, he is listed in the Philadelphia directory working as a clerk.7 But by 1880, he  had relocated to Trinidad, Colorado, where he was living with his cousin, who was also named Abraham Mansbach and was the grandson of Marum Mansbach. Abraham  was a merchant, and Bert was working as a clerk, presumably in his cousin’s store.

Birth record of Berthold Mansbach, Archives for the State of Hessen, Jewish records, HHStAW Fonds 365 No 384, p. 59

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

But not all the Mansbach siblings chose to settle out west. Sarah and Abraham Mansbach’s oldest son Leiser/Louis Mansbach, who was born on March 10, 1849, came to the US on December 16, 1876:

Birth record of Louis “Leser” Mansbach, Archives for the State of Hessen, Jewish records, HHStAW Fonds 365 No 384, p. 47

(The long note to the left of the birth record is extremely difficult to read, even by those used to reading German script, but thanks to the efforts of Cathy Meder-Dempsey and a man from the German Genealogy Transcriptions group on Facebook, I now believe that it merely says that the date of birth was provided by the synagogue.)

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

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

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

For Hannah Mansbach, I was unable to locate a birth record, but other records establish that she was born on February 6, 1858. I also have no ship manifest, and census records indicate three different years of arrival: 1880 on the 1900 census, 1881 on the 1920 and 1930 census records, and 1885 on the 1910 census. Usually I’d assume the one closest in time, the 1900 census, would be the most reliable, but at best I can say she arrived sometime between 1880 and 1885.  Since the rest of the family had arrived by 1882, I think 1880-1881 is more likely.8

Census records also conflict regarding the arrival date for Meyer Mansbach. He was born on June 21, 1860. The 1900 census reports that he arrived in 1879, but the 1910 and 1930 census records both report 1882 as his date of arrival.9

Birth record of Meyer Mansbach, Archives for the State of Hessen, Jewish records, HHStAW Fonds 365 No 384, p. 65

For Julius, who was born on November 7, 1865, I found information about his arrival on his passport applications, of which there were three—in 1900, 1903, and 1908. Although all three provide the same date of arrival (June 12, 1881) and the same port of departure (Bremen), they each have a different name for the ship.10 Julius would have been not yet sixteen when he immigrated, perhaps explaining why he didn’t remember the name of the ship. This photograph of Julius at age 13 may capture how young he was only three years later when he left home by himself:

Julius Mansbach, Age 13, c. 1878
Courtesy of Art Mansbach

It thus seems reasonable to conclude that Hannah, Meyer, and Julius had all arrived by 1881-1882.

On October 23, 1882, they were joined by their parents, my three-times great-aunt Sarah Goldschmidt and her husband Abraham Mansbach, and their youngest sister Kathinka.

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

Given that all four sons are adults in this photograph, I believe it was taken shortly after Sarah and Abraham had immigrated to the United States:

Abraham Mansbach and his four sons
Courtesy of Art Mansbach

The next post will pick up with the Mansbach siblings and their parents between 1882 and 1900.

 


  1. Sources for births to be provided as I write about each child. 
  2. Sources for the children’s births will be provided when I write about each child in later posts. 
  3. Henry Langer on the 1900 US Census; Year: 1900; Census Place: Denver, Arapahoe, Colorado; Roll: 117; Page: 2;Enumeration District: 0031; FHL microfilm: 1240117′; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1870,
    Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  4. Joseph Langer, Passport Application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; NARA Series: Passport Applications, January 2, 1906 – March 31, 1925; Roll #: 933; Volume #: Roll 0933 – Certificates: 122000-122249, 27 Sep 1919-28 Sep 1919 
  5. Lester Langer, 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 
  6. Berthold Mansbach, 1920 US Census, Year: 1920; Census Place: Albuquerque Ward 3, Bernalillo, New Mexico; Roll: T625_1074; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 18 
  7. Title: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1877. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  8. Hannah Mansbach death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 071201-073500,Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966, Certificate Number 72276. Hannah Mansbach Dannenberg on the 1900-1930 US Census records: Year: 1900; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 20, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1463; Page: 9; Enumeration District: 0425;FHL microfilm: 1241462; Year: 1910; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 29, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1399; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0692; FHL microfilm: 1375412; Year: 1920; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 29, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1633; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 969; Year: 1930; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 2125; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 0778; FHL microfilm: 2341859 
  9. Meyer Mansbach on 1900-1930 US Census records: Year: 1900; Census Place: Trinidad, Las Animas, Colorado; Roll: 126; Page: 13B; Enumeration District: 0064; FHL microfilm: 1240126; Year: 1910; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 29, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1399; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0692; FHL microfilm: 1375412; Year: 1930; Census Place: Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California; Roll: 136; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0108; FHL microfilm: 2339871 
  10. Julius Mansbach 1900 passport application
    National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; NARA Series: Passport Applications, 1795-1905; Roll #: 550; Volume #: Roll 550 – 07 May 1900-11 May 1900. Julius Mansbach 1903 passport application
    National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; NARA Series: Emergency Passport Applications (Issued Abroad), 1877-1907; Roll #: 41; Volume #: Volume 075: Germany. Julius Mansbach 1908 passport application
    National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; NARA Series: Passport Applications, January 2, 1906 – March 31, 1925; Roll #: 74; Volume #: Roll 0074 – Certificates: 64339-65243, 20 Nov 1908-15 Dec 1908. 

Rosa Goldschmidt and Bernhard Metz: Two Immigrants Who Found Success and Heartbreak in America

As of September 1853, all four of the sons of Seligmann Goldschmidt and Hincka Alexander, my 3x-great-grandparents, had immigrated to Philadelphia: Jacob, Abraham, Meyer, and Levi. Seligmann and Hincka still had their four daughters in Germany, however: Sarah, Eva, Bette, and Rosa.

Three of those daughters eventually followed their brothers to Philadelphia. First, my great-great-grandmother Eva Goldschmidt Katzenstein immigrated with her husband Gerson and their three oldest children in 1856, as I wrote about here and in several other posts. Then in 1860, Seligmann and Hincka’s youngest child Rosa followed her older siblings to Philadelphia. Sarah, the oldest sibling, would be the last to arrive, coming with her husband in 1882, years after some of her children had already immigrated, as discussed previously. Of the eight siblings, only Bette never left Germany.

The next set of posts will focus on Rosa Goldschmidt and her family. If the stories about her brother Levi and his descendants were overwhelmingly sad, the search for the stories of Rosa’s family was one of the most baffling, surprising, and challenging I’ve encountered since I first started searching for my family history. Stay tuned for some  surprising research successes and discoveries. But first some background on Rosa and her early years in the US, where she experienced both great happiness and terrible sadness.

Rosa Goldschmidt was born on October 27, 1837, in Oberlistingen, Germany.

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

She left Germany when she was 22 and arrived in New York City on July 9, 1860.

Roschen Goldschmidt passenger manifest, Year: 1860; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 202; Line: 14; List Number: 597
Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957

I assume she must have settled in Philadelphia where all her older siblings were living and where, on January 20, 1864, she married Bernhardt Metz.1 Bernhardt (later Bernhard) was born in Prussia in 1832 and had immigrated in the mid-1850s. He was in the “cloak and mantilla” business in 1862, according to the Philadelphia directory.2

Rosa and Bernhard’s first child, a daughter named Hattie, was born on November 23, 1864.3 A second child, a son named Paul, was born on November 1, 1866.4 Then came another daughter, Emily, born on February 9, 1868.5 A fourth child was born on October 17, 1869, a daughter named Bertha.6 On the 1870 census, they were all living together in Philadelphia. Bernhard was a cloak manufacturer, and he had $10,000 worth of real property and $2000 of personal property. There were two servants living with them also. Like Rosa’s brothers, Bernhard was doing well as a new immigrant in America.

Bernhard Metz family, 1870 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 20 District 66, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1407; Page: 438B; Family History Library Film: 552906. Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census.

Rosa and Bernhard had three more sons in the 1870s: Siegfried, born in about 1872 in Pennsylvania,7 Edwin Joseph, born on December 16, 1874, in New York City,8 and Joseph George Metz, born on September 14, 1878, in Philadelphia.9 Thus, it appears that at least for some part of the 1870s, Rosa and Bernhard and their children were living in New York, but then returned to Philadelphia by 1878 where their youngest child was born.

That is also consistent with what I found in the Philadelphia directories. Bernhard had been in business with his brother Joseph since at least the 1860s, and it appears from various directory listings that they must have had business in New York City because in the 1872 Philadelphia directory, Bernhard is listed as residing in New York. However, in 1878 he is listed with a Philadelphia residence.10

But their good fortune changed in 1880. On the 1880 census, Bernhard and Rosa and six of their seven children were listed as living in Philadelphia where Bernhard was working as a merchant.11 Sadly, their son Siegfried had died of cholera morbus (or what we would call gastroenteritis today) on May 19, 1880, in Philadelphia; he was only eight years old.12

Soon thereafter they must have moved back to New York City because Bernhard is listed in several New York City directories in the 1880s and 1890s.13

And the family suffered another tragic loss after moving to New York. On April 3, 1885, Rosa and Bernhard’s seventeen-year-old daughter Emily died from pneumonia [?] in New York City.  The death certificate states that she had lived in New York City for three years at the time of her death, meaning the family had moved to New York in 1882. Emily died in the family residence at 427 East 57th Street. I can’t imagine how losing the second of their seven children affected the family.

New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2WJG-J4D : 10 February 2018), Emilie Metz, 03 Apr 1885; citing Death, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,373,964.

Sadly, those were not the only losses the family suffered in the next decade or so.

On October 20, 1887, the oldest daughter Hattie married George Gattel,14 who was born in Berlin, Germany, on June 4, 1861, the son of Moritz Gattel and Ernestine Metzenberg.15 George had immigrated in 1882, and on both his naturalization index card in 1887 and his passport application in 1888, he listed his occupation as salesman.16

Roll Description: G-325; G-400, Ancestry.com. U.S. Naturalization Record Indexes, 1791-1992 (Indexed in World Archives Project)

Hattie and George had an unnamed son born on October 10, 1890;17 I have no further record of that baby, so I assume he may have died. Then Hattie and George had a second child, a daughter Emily born in August 1892,18 obviously named for Hattie’s sister Emily who had died seven years before. In a cruel twist of fate, baby Emily Gattel died less than seven months later on March 25, 1893. Like her namesake, she died from pneumonia. Hattie and her husband George Gattel did not have any more children after the death of their daughter Emily in 1893.

New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2WVQ-KFH : 10 February 2018), Emily Gattel, 25 Mar 1893; citing Death, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,412,519.

The losses did not end there. Rosa and Bernhard’s youngest daughter Bertha married Adolf Katzenstein on July 1, 1891, in New York City.19 Adolf was, like George Gattel, a German immigrant; he was born in Einbeck, Germany, on May 5, 1860, according to his passport applications. Those same documents state that he immigrated in April, 1882. Several passport applications report that he was in the import business.20

Bertha and Adolf had a daughter born on April 23, 1892, in New York City. Tragically, Bertha herself died less than two weeks later on May 4, 1892, from puerperal fever, a fever caused by a uterine infection following childbirth.  Bertha and Adolf’s daughter, also named Bertha, was yet another child destined to grow up without her mother.

Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Extracted Death Index, 1862-1948 [

Thus, by 1900, Rosa and Bernhard had lost one of their four sons, Siegfried, two of their three daughters, Emily and Bertha, and two grandchildren, Hattie’s two babies. They were living at 209 East 61st in New York City with and their two youngest sons, Edwin and Joseph George (here listed as George J.), and with their remaining daughter Hattie and her husband George Gattel. Bernhard was still in the import-export business, and Edwin and Joseph George were merchants. Hattie was working as a saleswoman, and her husband George was a commissioner (of what, I do not know). So three of the four surviving adult Metz siblings were living with their parents in 1900.

Bernhard Metz family 1900 US census, Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York; Page: 19; Enumeration District: 0661; FHL microfilm: 1241110
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

But where was Paul Metz, the oldest son of Rosa and Bernhard, in 1900?

That proved to be quite the mystery.


Wishing all my friends and family who observe Yom Kippur an easy and meaningful fast!

 

 


  1. Pennsylvania Marriages, 1709-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V26Y-SX9 : 6 December 2014), Bernhard Metz and Rosa Goldsmith, 20 Jan 1864; citing Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; FHL microfilm 1,765,018. 
  2. Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Extracted Death Index, 1862-1948, Certificate Number 23969. Bernhard Metz and family, 1870 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 20 District 66, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1407; Page: 438B; Family History Library Film: 552906. Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census. 1862 Philadelphia directory, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995. 
  3. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Births, 1860-1906,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VBYP-P32 : 10 March 2018), Metz, 23 Nov 1864; citing bk 1864 p 329, Department of Records; FHL microfilm 1,289,309. 
  4. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Births, 1860-1906,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VBY8-TXS : 10 March 2018), Metz, 01 Nov 1866; citing bk 1866 p 320, Department of Records; FHL microfilm 1,289,310. 
  5. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Births, 1860-1906,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VBY8-ZHF : 10 March 2018), Metz, 09 Feb 1868; citing bk 1868 p 20, Department of Records; FHL microfilm 1,289,311. 
  6. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Births, 1860-1906,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VB13-98Y : 10 March 2018), Metz, 17 Oct 1869; citing bk 1869 p 253, Department of Records; FHL microfilm 1,289,313. The Philadelphia birth index shows an October birthdate, but the 1900 census indicates she was born in December, 1869. I assume the birth index is more reliable. 
  7. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Non-Population Census Schedules for Pennsylvania, 1850-1880: Mortality; Archive Collection: M1838; Archive Roll Number: 11; Census Year: 1880; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 465. Ancestry.com. U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules, 1850-1885. 
  8. New York, New York City Births, 1846-1909,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:27B5-NVH : 11 February 2018), Edwin Jos. Metz, 16 Dec 1874; citing Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, reference cn 149827 New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,322,085. 
  9. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Births, 1860-1906,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VBBV-FMH : 9 March 2018), U Metz, 14 Sep 1878; citing p 62, Department of Records; FHL microfilm 1,289,319. 
  10. Philadelphia city directories, 1862-1878, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995. 
  11. Bernhard Metz and family, 1880 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1186;Page: 290C; Enumeration District: 589. Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census 
  12. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-623Q-33?cc=1320976&wc=9FR7-82S%3A1073111102 : 16 May 2014), 004008623 > image 181 of 488; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. 
  13. New York City directories, 1880, 1884, 1886, 1889, 1894, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995. 
  14.  New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2434-KSD : 10 February 2018), George Gattel and Hattie Metz, 20 Oct 1887; citing Marriage, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York City Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,571,009. 
  15. Ancestry.com. Prussian Provinces, Selected Lutheran Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1661-1944. New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:24H4-BHF : 10 February 2018), George Gattel and Hattie Metz, 20 Oct 1887; citing Marriage, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York City Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,671,683. 
  16. George Gattel, ship manifest, Staatsarchiv Hamburg; Hamburg, Deutschland; Hamburger Passagierlisten; Microfilm No.: K_1727, Staatsarchiv Hamburg. Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934. George Gattel, 1888 passport application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 315; Volume #: Roll 315 – 01 Oct 1888-31 Oct 1888. Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 
  17. New York, New York City Births, 1846-1909,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2WMB-7ZW : 11 February 2018), Gattel, 10 Oct 1890; citing Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, reference cn 31192 New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,322,236. 
  18.  New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2WVQ-KFH : 10 February 2018), Emily Gattel, 25 Mar 1893; citing Death, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,412,519. 
  19.  New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:24H2-13L : 10 February 2018), Adolf Katzenstein and Bertha Metz, 01 Jul 1891; citing Marriage, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York City Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,452,194. 
  20. E.g, 1892 passport application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 397; Volume #: Roll 397 – 01 Jul 1892-13 Jul 1892. 1896 passport application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 459; Volume #: Roll 459 – 01 Feb 1896-29 Feb 1896.  Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 

Levi Goldsmith: The Last Brother to Arrive from Oberlistingen

Before the break, I finished the story of my three-times great-uncle Meyer Goldsmith and his family. Today I turn to his brother, my three-times great-uncle Levi Goldsmith.

A year after the arrival of his younger brother Meyer and three years after his other younger brother Abraham’s arrival and at least four years after his older brother Jacob’s arrival, Levi Goldschmidt, the second-oldest and remaining son of Seligmann Goldschmidt and Hincka Alexander, immigrated to the United States. Levi (sometimes spelled Levy) was born November 10, 1824, in Oberlistingen,1 and he came to the US on September 20, 1853, and settled where his brothers had settled—in Philadelphia. For his family, life in America brought more than a fair share of tragedy.

Levy Goldschmidt passenger manifest, Year: 1853; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 132; Line: 44; List Number: 991 Source Information Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957

On March 21, 1855, Levi married Henrietta (sometimes Henryette) Lebenbach,2 who was born April 11, 1835, in Willebedassen, Germany.3 I’ve been unable to find anything else yet about Henrietta’s background, but I did determine that Willebedassen is only seventeen miles from Oberlistingen. Maybe Levi and Henrietta knew each other in Germany.  I could not find anyone else with the name Lebenbach in Philadelphia or elsewhere who might have been her parents or siblings, so perhaps she came alone. One of her children’s death records show her birth name as Lowenberg; one shows it as Lobenberg.4  None of the other children’s certificates had any birth name for Henrietta, so I am inclined to take her marriage record with her name as Lebenbach as the most reliable. Is it possible that this is Henrietta on this ship manifest? I don’t know.

Does this say H Lowenberg? Could it be Henrietta? Year: 1849; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 081; Line: 1; List Number: 866
Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957

By 1860, Levi and Henrietta had two children, Eva (yes, yet another Eva Goldsmith), born February 11, 1856,5 in Philadelphia, and Estella (yes, another Estella Goldsmith) born May 15, 18596 in Philadelphia. Another unnamed child was born in between Eva and Estella, but he died from smallpox on December 26, 1857, when he was only eight weeks old. This was only the first of many childhood deaths the extended family experienced.

Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JFV5-BY6 : 8 March 2018), Henrietta Goldsmith in entry for Goldsmith, 26 Dec 1857; citing , Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; FHL microfilm 1,976,713.

Like his brothers, Levi changed his name from Goldschmidt to Goldsmith, and in 1860 he owned $7500 worth of real estate and was working in a clothing store. As noted in my post about his brother Abraham, Levi and Abraham were in the clothing business together by 1861, doing business as Goldsmith Brothers.

Levi Goldsmith, 1860 US Census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 13, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M653_1163; Page: 856; Family History Library Film: 805163
Ancestry.com. 1860 United States Federal Census

By 1870, Levi and Henrietta had eight children. In addition to Eva and Estella, there was George (1861), Felix (1862), Isadore (1864), Helen (1865), Blanche (1868), and Sylvester (1869). Levi (spelled Levy here) claimed to have $25,000 worth of real estate and $50,000 worth of personal property. During the 1870s Levi continued to be in the clothing business with his brother Abraham. Obviously they were doing very well.

Levi Goldsmith, 1870 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 20 District 64, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1406; Page: 293B; Family History Library Film: 552905
Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census

On September 22, 1875, Levi and Henrietta’s oldest child Eva married Nathan Anathan (I know—interesting name).7  Nathan was a native Philadelphian, born on May 25, 1849, to Marum Anathan and Fanny Teller,8 who were both German-born immigrants. Nathan’s father was a wholesale tobacconist, and in 1870 Nathan was working as a clerk in a store.9

Nathan and Eva’s first child was born prematurely on June 24, 1876 and did not survive.10 A second child, Morton Goldsmith Anathan, was born June 18, 1877; sadly that child also did not live very long. He died before his first birthday on March 12, 1878, from diptheria.11 Fortunately, Nathan and Eva’s third child lived to adulthood. Helen Esther Anathan was born on March 7, 1879.12 In 1880, Nathan, Eva, and Helen were living in Philadelphia, and Nathan’s occupation was, like his father, in the tobacco business. Another daughter was born on February 23, 1883, named Bessie Goldsmith Anathan.13

Nathan Anathan and family, 1880 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1188; Page: 101A; Enumeration District: 618
Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census

As for Levi and Henrietta, in 1880 they were living with their remaining seven children, and Levi continued to work in the clothing business.

Levy Goldsmith and family, 1880 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1179; Page: 93B; Enumeration District: 389
Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census

In 1883, Levi and Henrietta’s second daughter Estella married Solomon Rothschild, who proved to be a real mystery man. I could not find one record for him before the 1900 census when he was already married to Estella.14 I do not have a real marriage record for them, nor can I find him on any earlier census record. I didn’t know the names of his parents or where they were from. According to the 1900 census record and those that follow, Solomon was born in Pennsylvania, but his death certificate says he was born in Germany on August 3, 1851.15  In fact, the only reason I knew that Estella married Solomon Rothschild is from some of the death records of their children.16

And then I hit some good luck. From various Philadelphia directories,17 I determined that Solomon was in a millinery business called J. Rothschild & Co. and that J. Rothschild was Jacob Rothschild, who was living in New York. Searching for Jacob Rothschild, I found this obituary and learned that Jacob had married a cousin named Regina Rothschild. (Since Jacob is not really a relative, I’ve only snipped the headline here, but Jacob’ story is quite a rags to riches saga—a fatherless boy who came alone to the US at 13, started a millinery business in New York that expanded to several other cities, and became a very wealthy real estate mogul and hotel owner; you can find the whole obituary here):

The New York Times, April 5, 1911, p. 9

And from there, I found a tree on Ancestry that identified one of Regina’s siblings as the Solomon Rothschild who married Estella Goldsmith. I contacted the owner of that tree, who generously shared with me several records, including this one, Solomon’s birth record showing that his parents were Hirsch Rothschild and Jette Wachtel and that Solomon was born on August 3, 1851, in Oberaula, Germany.

Birth record of Salomon Rothschild, Geburtsregister der Juden von Oberaula 1824-1871 (HHStAW Abt. 365 Nr. 648)AutorHessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, Wiesbaden

I still have no records for Solomon in the US prior to the 1900 census, except for those directory listings, but I am willing to assume from the 1900 census that he married Estella in 1883. Estella and Solomon’s first child, Jerome Joseph Rothschild, was born on January 6, 1884.18 A second child, Stanley, was born on January 29, 1886,19 and died from gastroenteritis on March 30, 1887; he was only fourteen months old.

Stanley Rothschild death certificate, “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-67W7-L8N?cc=1320976&wc=9F5B-BZ9%3A1073304502 : 16 May 2014), 004010199 > image 414 of 1305; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Felix Goldsmith also married in the 1880s. On September 15, 1886, he married Bertha Umstadter in Virginia.20 Bertha was the daughter of Jacob Umstadter and Fannie Sarlouis, both born in Germany.  Bertha was born on November 4, 1860, in Peterburg, Virginia.21

Meanwhile, as I’ve written about before, Levi and Abraham ran into business problems in the 1880s. According to the 1881 Philadelphia directory, their business, Goldsmith Brothers, was in liquidation at that time. In 1883, Abraham and Levi were joined by their brother Meyer in the business.

Whether the Goldsmith Brothers business would have survived with all three brothers involved is not clear, but on December 29, 1886, Levi Goldsmith died from meningitis; he was 62 years old.

Levy Goldsmith death certificate, “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6913-HH9?cc=1320976&wc=9FRJ-K68%3A1073335202 : 16 May 2014), 004058561 > image 459 of 1239; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

And as I’ve written before, Goldsmith Brothers soon dissolved.  Abraham continued in the clothing business for some time with his sons, and Meyer soon moved to New York City with his family where he continued to be in the clothing business.

The Philadelphia Times ran this obituary of Levi on December 30, 1886:

Philadelphia Times, December 30,1886, p. 2

Two of Levi’s children honored his memory by naming their next born children in his honor. Estella and Solomon named their second child, who was born on February 14, 1888, Leonard Levi Rothschild.22 Felix and Bertha named their first child, born on February 24, 1889, Frances Lee Goldsmith.23 I assume that the middles names were for their recently deceased grandfather Levi.

The 1890s would bring more marriages, more babies, and sadly, more deaths. In fact, the overall story of Levi Goldsmith’s family is filled with tragic deaths like those of Levi and Henrietta’s unnamed son who died of smallpox, of Eva’s first two babies who died before their first birthdays, and of Estella’s son Stanley who died from gastroenteritis as a toddler.

 


  1. I am relying for this date on the work of others, as I have no online access to the original records. For the most part, I am relying on the amazing research of Jozef Jacobs, my fifth cousin, another descendant of Jakob Falcke Goldschmidt, as well as my third cousin, once removed Julian Reinheimer, and, as always, David Baron. 
  2. Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records; Reel: 792. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1669-2013 
  3. See Footnote 1. 
  4. Blanche Goldsmith Greenbaum death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 054451-056880. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966. Certificate 55235. Isadore Goldsmith death certificate, “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-68DJ-WR?cc=1320976&wc=9FRT-N38%3A1073183102 : 16 May 2014), 004008905 > image 483 of 536; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. 
  5. See Footnote 1. 
  6. See Footnote 1. 
  7. Pennsylvania Marriages, 1709-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V26B-T32 : 11 February 2018), Nathen Anathan and Eva Goldsmith, 22 Sep 1875; citing Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; FHL microfilm 1,769,061. 
  8.  Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records; Reel: 1112. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1669-2013 
  9. Anathan family, 1870 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 12 District 35, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1396; Page: 171A; Family History Library Film: 552895. Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census 
  10. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JFXK-F8L : 9 March 2018), Anathan, 24 Jun 1876; citing , Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; FHL microfilm 2,027,459. 
  11. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JNJP-25K : 9 March 2018), Moreton Anathan, 12 Mar 1878; citing , Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; FHL microfilm 2,030,361 
  12. Number: 187-36-8712; Issue State: Pennsylvania; Issue Date: 1962.
    Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  13. Bessie Simon death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 076001-079000. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966 
  14. Rothschild family, 1900 US Census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 29, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 6; Enumeration District: 0711; FHL microfilm: 1241471. Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  15. Solomon Rothschild death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 120341-123308. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966 
  16. E.g., Jerome Rothschild death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Box Number: 2396; Certificate Number Range: 065951-068800. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966 
  17. Philadelphia City directories, 1889, 1890, 1894, 1899, 1901, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995. 
  18. Jerome Rothschild death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Box Number: 2396; Certificate Number Range: 065951-068800. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966. Certificate 068602-64. 
  19. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Births, 1860-1906,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V1M3-5CC : 10 March 2018), Sol Rothschild in entry for Stanley S. Rothschild, 29 Jan 1886; citing bk 1886 p 24, Department of Records; FHL microfilm 1,289,325. 
  20. Ancestry.com. Virginia, Select Marriages, 1785-1940. FHL Film Number: 32982. 
  21.  Virginia Births and Christenings, 1584-1917,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X5VN-QG4 : 10 March 2018), Jacob Umstadter, 04 Nov 1860; citing Norfolk, Virginia, reference p 44; FHL microfilm 2,048,450. Michael Umstadter death certificate, Virginia Department of Health; Richmond, Virginia; Virginia Deaths, 1912-2014. Certificate Range: 27285-27850. Ancestry.com. Virginia, Death Records, 1912-2014 
  22. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-63B7-4Z1?cc=1320976&wc=9F5C-L2S%3A1073221501 : 16 May 2014), 004009533 > image 376 of 1778; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. 
  23. Frances Lee Goldsmith, passport application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 1700; Volume #: Roll 1700 – Certificates: 69000-69375, 26 Jul 1921-26 Jul 1921. Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 

My Uncle, The Criminal? If The Shoe Fits….

Before I turn to my three-times great-uncle Meyer and his family, I want to write about another uncle—my four-times great-uncle Simon Goldchmidt, brother of my three-times great-grandfather Seligmann Goldschmidt.

Back in January, I wrote about Simon Goldschmidt, including the fact that he had been in legal trouble in Germany before immigrating to the US. David Baron had located a record that indicated that in 1826 Simon was charged with burglary and attempted robbery. (HStAM Fonds 261 Kriminalakten 1822-1836 No G 40.) I then wrote in that post:

I requested a copy of the file from the Marburg archives and learned that the file covers Simon’s appeal of a ten year sentence for his criminal activity. The listing online indicates that the date of appellate decision was December 24, 1830.

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

Well, with the help of three wonderful women in Germany, I’ve been able to obtain a copy of the report, have it transcribed, and then have it translated.  First, Floriane Pfeiffer-Ditschler from the German Genealogy group on Facebook volunteered to go to the archives in Marburg and scan the entire 130 pages of the documents in the file.1 She sent it to me as a PDF, and it’s too long to post on the blog, but I will post just a few pages in this post so that you can see how difficult it is to read. If you’re interested in seeing the entire document, let me know.

Cover page of file, HStAM 261 Kriminalakten 1822-1836 No. G 40

Neither Floriane nor I could decipher the text, so I turned to my friend Julia Drinnenberg, who had been one of my wonderful guides during my visit to Germany last year. Julia also found the handwriting difficult to read, so she recruited her friend Gabriele Hafermaas to help. Gabriele transcribed the text, which Julia then translated it into English. I cannot tell you how grateful I am to these three women for their help.  It took many, many hours of work for them to produce a document that I can read.

The file contained three documents: the original trial court opinion finding Simon guilty, Simon’s application for appellate review, and the appellate court’s opinion. Because the documents are quite lengthy and at times repetitive, I thought it best to write up a summary.

The alleged crime took place on the night of May 16, 1826. The trial, however, did not take place until four years later.  At this time we do not have any information to explain the long delay between the crime and the trial, but Julia is consulting with a judge and legal historian in Germany, so perhaps he will have some answers.

The trial court reached its decision on May 14, 1830.

Simon Goldschmidt, first page of trial court opinion
HStAM 261 Kriminalakten 1822-1836 No. G 40

According to the trial court’s opinion, on the evening of May 16, 1826, someone broke into the home of eighty-year-old Georg Wolf, a resident of Oberlistingen.  There was a hole in the wall of his home and a ladder lying on the ground in front of his sitting room. The court found that someone used violent force to break into the sitting room, using the ladder to push the door open and even breaking an iron bar that served as a lock on that door. There was a struggle between Wolf and the burglar, during which Wolf claimed he had bitten the hands of the assailant and scratched and pinched his face and neck.

When neighbors heard Wolf’s cries for help, the assailant ran away.  According to Wolf and several witnesses, a pair of shoes was left behind, which Wolf claimed had belonged to the assailant. Wolf described the assailant as a small and flexible man with frizzy hair, wearing a long black cape and speaking with a Yiddish accent.

Based on this description, Simon Goldschmidt, a 32-year-old tailor, was thought to be the assailant, and local authorities went the next morning to his home to investigate. Witnesses testified that Simon had injuries on his face and hands that were consistent with Wolf’s testimony and that he fit the physical description provided by Wolf. Simon denied the charges and claimed that he had injured himself when he fell on a stack of logs in the corridor while going to the toilet in the middle of the night.

The trial court did not find Simon’s assertion that his injuries came from such a fall credible for several reasons.  The court did not find it believable that Simon had used the toilet in the corridor because he had a “night stool” in his room for bathroom use. Simon claimed he could not use the night stool because Jewish law prohibited sharing of the night stool while his wife was menstruating, but the court cited the testimony of a rabbi stating that there was no such prohibition under Jewish law. There also was no evidence that Simon’s wife was in fact menstruating at the time of the crime. Furthermore, the court found that Simon’s injuries were not consistent with falling on logs, citing the testimony of a doctor that Simon appeared to have bite marks on his hands and bruising on his face.

In addition, in a page torn from Cinderella or the OJ Simpson trial, the trial court found that the shoes left behind by the assailant fit Simon as well as his wife. A shoemaker testified that he had made the shoes for Simon’s wife and repaired them. He was able to identify them by the way the heels were worn down on one side. Simon denied that the shoes were his or his wife’s, saying that her shoes had been stolen. The trial court did not find this assertion credible because the theft of the shoes had never been reported to the police.

Cinderella
By Internet Archive Book Images [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons

The fact that Simon was wearing dirty socks covered with thick straw and half-dry black mud when the authorities came to investigate was also relied on by the trial court in its analysis. Simon claimed his socks were dirty from walking inside his house and from walking outside to his well. The trial court was not persuaded, finding evidence that Simon was ordinarily a tidy man, that his floors did not have dirt like that found on his socks, and that the walkway to the well had a stone path. Witnesses also testified that the dirty socks were like those of someone who walked through the village without shoes.

There was also some discussion in the trial court opinion about the fact that Simon had plans to go to the estate of the aristocratic von Malsburg family the morning of the investigation.  Julia and I were not sure what this all meant, but as best I can tell, Simon was wearing boots when the authorities arrived and claimed it was because he was planning to go to the Malsburg estate. The court seems to have concluded that this was not the case, but that Simon had put on boots to hide his dirty socks, which were only revealed when the investigator asked him to remove his boots.

Based on its evaluation of the evidence, the trial court concluded that Simon was guilty of attempted theft with burglary and attempted robbery with murder and sentenced him to ten years in prison with his legs shackled. The court considered as an aggravating factor in determining its sentence that Simon had not voluntarily called off his attempted crime, but only left because he was afraid of being caught when Wolf called for help.

End of trial court opinoin
HStAM 261 Kriminalakten 1822-1836 No. G 40

Although the court observed that the usual penalty for a crime of this nature would be twelve to fifteen years in prison, it noted that the case had been delayed for two years due to an overload of pending cases and therefore reduced the usual penalty and sentenced Simon to ten years in prison. The court’s mention of a two-year delay is confusing since the crime was in 1826 and the trial decision in 1830. Simon had been incarcerated for four years while awaiting trial.

On July 22, 1830, Simon appealed the trial court’s verdict, making many of the same arguments that he made at trial, but with some additional details. For one thing, he claimed that he had not reported the theft of his wife’s shoes because of their low value. As to the fact that he was wearing boots the morning after the crime, he asserted that it was insulting to claim that a tailor would not ordinarily be wearing shoes.

Simon Goldschmidt’s application for appearl, first page
HStAM 261 Kriminalakten 1822-1836 No. G 40

With respect to his dirty socks, Simon asserted that the stones on the walkway to the well were quite distant from each other and that the humid weather had made the ground very muddy. And as for his claim that he injured himself from a fall when he went to the toilet in the corridor, he asserted that he left the bedroom because he did not want to make a stench inside and that he believed, even if incorrectly, that under Jewish law he and his wife could not share a night stool while she was menstruating.

Simon also pointed out that Wolf had not specifically identified him, but had only given a general description of the person who attacked him. In addition, Simon asserted his overall good reputation as a factor mitigating against his guilt.

The appellate court issued its decision on December 24, 1830. Its opinion is far more detailed and thorough than the trial court opinion and raises some additional issues. For example, the appellate court pointed out that Simon had been having financial problems and thus had a motive for stealing from Wolf. The court also mentioned that Simon knew that Wolf had money because he and his brothers had at one time borrowed money from Wolf.

Appellate decision, first page
HStAM 261 Kriminalakten 1822-1836 No. G 40

Simon’s response was that his financial problems were only temporary and that everyone in the village knew that Wolf had money and might have stolen from him. Simon also argued that since Wolf had loaned money to him and his brothers, it would not make sense for him to steal from him. The court concluded that the evidence of Simon’s financial problems supported the trial court’s guilty verdict, although only circumstantially.

(If I were representing Simon, I might also have argued that since Wolf knew Simon, he should have been able to identify him as the assailant rather than merely providing a general description.)

The appellate court also considered Wolf’s description of his assailant and whether it clearly identified Simon. Despite some inconsistencies in the evidence regarding the description of the assailant’s “singing voice” and hair, the court found that this evidence nevertheless pointed towards Simon’s guilt.

With respect to the fact that Simon was wearing boots when the authorities came to investigate early on the morning after the crime, the court found that it was not Simon’s usual practice to wear boots and that his story that he was planning to walk to the Malsburg estate was not supported by any witnesses. But the court considered this only relevant to the claim that Simon was trying to hide the dirt on his socks.

The evidence that the appellate court seemed to consider most persuasive of Simon’s guilt was the evidence relating to the shoes left at Wolf’s house and the dirt on Simon’s socks. In the court’s weighing of the evidence, it concluded that the shoes belonged to Simon and his wife and that he got his socks dirty when he ran home through the town without his shoes.

The appellate court also considered very persuasive the evidence of Simon’s injuries and concluded that Simon’s story about falling on logs was not credible. In response to the assertion that Simon did not use the night stool because his wife was menstruating, the prosecution argued that Simon’s wife could not have been menstruating because she was breastfeeding [presumably Jakob, their first child born in 1825]. I was impressed by the court’s response to this assertion—that women can menstruate even while breastfeeding—because that is a fact that I would not have thought was commonly known in 1830.

But the court nevertheless found that it was not likely that Simon’s injuries were sustained in a fall, given the doctor’s testimony that there were bite marks and the fact that the injuries were in multiple locations on Simon’s body, not on one side as one would expect from a fall. Also, Simon couldn’t give a convincing description of the fall and refused to show his injuries. Thus, the court dismissed Simon’s assertion that he was injured in a fall.

After weighing all the evidence, the appellate court thus upheld the verdict. However, it reduced the sentence from ten years to four years because Wolf’s injuries were not dangerous or life-threatening and because Simon had not used any lethal weapons.  It thus reduced the original charges against Simon to attempted robbery. The court also observed that the delay in trial was not Simon’s fault and took that into consideration in reducing his sentence. Simon was released from prison after the appellate court’s decision.

Last page of appellate decision, HStAM 261 Kriminalakten 1822-1836 No. G 40

As noted in my earlier post, Simon’s first wife Eveline died in 1840, and in 1844 my four-times great-uncle Simon Goldschmidt married Fradchen Schoenthal, the sister of my great-great-grandfather Levi Schoenthal and thus my three-times great-aunt. Fradchen and Simon left for the United States not long after. Simon was the second member of the Goldschmidt family to immigrate to the US, following his oldest son Jakob, and Fradchen was the first Schoenthal to immigrate.

Passenger manifest for Simon Goldschmidt, Fradchen Schoenthal and Eva
Ancestry.com. Baltimore, Passenger Lists, 1820-1964. Original data: Selected Passenger and Crew Lists and Manifests. National Archives, Washington, D.C.

I can’t help but wonder whether their decision to leave Germany was in some part motivated by a desire to leave behind Simon’s criminal past and start over in a new country. If so, well, then I have to say that I am awfully glad that Simon was convicted of this crime because in many ways it was that event that led ultimately to the emigration of my great-great-grandmother Eva Goldschmidt Katzenstein (Simon’s niece) and my great-grandfather Isidore Schoenthal (Fradchen’s nephew), who later married Eva Goldschmidt’s daughter, Hilda Katzenstein.

Thus, in some ways Simon’s crime may have led to the merging of three of my paternal family lines—Goldschmidt, Schoenthal, and Katzenstein—in America.  How very strange.

 

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  1.  HStAM 261 Kriminalakten 1822-1836 No. G 40. 

Schutzjuden

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 


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