The Surviving Seven: Jacob Goldsmith’s Children in 1920

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


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

Jacob Goldsmith’s Will and His Legacy

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

                                             Jacob Goldsmith [seal]

Attest

Chas A Ferris

Helen F Jaffa

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Denver Post, October 29, 1905, p. 9

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Denver Post, October 14, 1906, p. 32

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

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

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

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

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

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

Philadlephia Jewish Exponent, October 15, 1915

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

 

 


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Simon Goldsmith: His Legacy—German Criminal, American Patriarch

In the last post we saw how a number of Jacob Goldsmith’s children left Pennsylvania when they reached adulthood. But Jacob Goldsmith’s children weren’t the only descendants of Simon Goldsmith who moved from Pennsylvania in the 1870s.

By 1878, Simon’s daughter Lena and her husband Gustavus Basch and children had moved to Columbus, Ohio.1 According to directories and the 1880 census, Gustavus was now in the vinegar manufacturing business, and his oldest son Frank, now 22, was working with him in the business. I assume it must have been this business opportunity that drew them to Columbus. In 1880, Lena and Gustavus’ four other children—Joseph, Joel, Hinda, and Ella—were also living with their parents. The only child who was not still living at home was their son Jacob, who was living in Hamilton, Ohio, and working as a hotel clerk. Hamilton is about 100 miles southwest of Columbus.2

Gustavus Basch and family, 1880 US census, Census Place: Columbus, Franklin, Ohio; Roll: 1016; Page: 201D; Enumeration District: 029
Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census

As for Simon’s two youngest children, my double cousins Henry and Hannah, they were busy having children during the 1870s and 1880s. Henry and his wife Sarah Jaffa continued to live in Connellsville, Pennsylvania, where Henry was a clothing merchant. In addition to their first child, Jacob W. Goldsmith, who was born in 1871, Sarah gave birth to four more children between 1873 and 1880: Benjamin (1873),3 Milton (1877),4 Samuel (1879),5 Edison (1880).6 Five more would come between 1881 and 1889: Walter (1881),7 Florence (1883),8 Albert (1884),9 Oliver (1887),10 and Helen (1889).11 In total, Henry and Sarah had ten children. All were born in Connellsville.

Henry Goldsmith and family, 1880 US census, Census Place: Connellsville, Fayette, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1129; Page: 93D; Enumeration District: 035
Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census

Hannah and her husband Joseph Benedict stayed in Pittsburgh where Joseph is listed on the 1880 census as a rag dealer. Hannah gave birth to her third son, Centennial Harry Benedict, on September 24, 1876, in Pittsburgh.12 In most records he is referred to as either C. Harry or Harry; I assume the Centennial was in honor of the centennial of the Declaration of Independence in the year he was born.

The 1880 census lists not only Hannah and Joseph and their three sons in the household, but also Hannah’s father Simon, and three of Hannah’s nephews: Lena’s son Jacob Basch and Henry’s sons Jacob and Benjamin Goldsmith. Since all three are also listed elsewhere on the 1880 census, I wonder whether these three were just visiting their relatives in Pittsburgh when the census was taken.

Joseph and Hannah Benedict and family, 1880 US census, Census Place: Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1092; Page: 508D; Enumeration District: 122
Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census

On March 17, 1883, at the age of 88 or so, Simon Goldsmith died in Pittsburgh; his death record states that he died of old age.

Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh City Deaths, 1870-1905,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XZ7D-M2S : 11 March 2018), Simon Goldsmith, 17 Mar 1883; citing v 33 p 550, Allegheny County Courthouse, Pittsburgh; FHL microfilm 505,832.

What an interesting, challenging, and rich life Simon had. He was born Simon Goldschmidt, the youngest child of Jacob Falcke Goldschmidt and Eva Seligmann in Oberlistingen. He had five children with his first wife Eveline Katzenstein, two of whom died as infants. He had spent time in prison for burglary, but his marriage and his family stayed together. After Eveline died in 1840, he had married a second time, his second wife being Fradchen Schoenthal. He and Fradchen immigrated to the US in 1845, a year after their marriage, and together they had two more children born in the US. Then Simon lost his second wife Fradchen in 1850. He also lost another child, his daughter Eva, sometime after 1862.

But Simon soldiered on, living first with his son Jacob in Washington and later with his daughter Hannah in Pittsburgh. He saw twenty-eight grandchildren born before he died, and five more were born after he died. In addition, he lived to see the births of eight great-grandchildren, and many more were born after his death. When he died, his children and grandchildren were spread from Philadelphia to California, pursuing and living the American dream. He must have looked at his family with amazement—that this man who had gotten himself in trouble with the law back home in Germany had somehow been able to start over in the US and create a huge legacy for himself and his family. Despite his struggles and his losses, he must have been grateful for all that he did have.

What would happen to Simon’s four surviving children and all those grandchildren and great-grandchildren? More in the posts to follow.

 

 


  1. Columbus, Ohio, City Directory, 1878, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  2. Columbus, Ohio, City Directory, 1878, 1879, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  3. Benjamin Goldsmith, World War I draft registration, Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Fayette; Roll: 2022796; Draft Board: 2, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 
  4. Milton Goldsmith, World War I draft registration, Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Allegheny; Roll: 1908756; Draft Board: 08, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 
  5. Samuel Goldsmith, World War I draft registration, Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Fayette; Roll: 2022796; Draft Board: 2, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 
  6. Edison Goldsmith, 1880 US census, Census Place: Connellsville, Fayette, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1129; Page: 93D; Enumeration District: 035, Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census (three days old) 
  7. Walter Goldsmith, World War I draft registration, Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Fayette; Roll: 2022796; Draft Board: 2, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 
  8. Florence Goldsmith, 1912 Passport application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 156; Volume #: Roll 0156 – Certificates: 69177-70076, 01 Apr 1912-11 Apr 1912, Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 
  9. Gravestone at https://billiongraves.com/grave/person/12971467#= 
  10. Oliver Goldsmith, World War I draft registration, Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Fayette; Roll: 2022796; Draft Board: 2, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 
  11. Helen Goldsmith, 1912 passport application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 156; Volume #: Roll 0156 – Certificates: 69177-70076, 01 Apr 1912-11 Apr 1912, Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 
  12. Centennial Harry Goldsmith, Yearbook Title: Cornell Class Book, “U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012”; Yearbook Title: Cornell Class Book; Year: 1897, Ancestry.com. U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1990;  C. Harry Goldsmith, 1921 passport application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 1788; Volume #: Roll 1788 – Certificates: 102000-102375, 02 Dec 1921-03 Dec 1921, Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


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

Simon Goldsmith’s family 1860-1871: Two Dozen Grandchildren

In 1860, Simon Goldschmidt, now Simon Goldsmith, was a two-time widower living in Washington, Pennsylvania, with his oldest child from his first marriage, Jacob Goldsmith. Also living with them were Jacob’s wife Fannie Silverman and their six young daughters, Ellena, Emma, Annie, Rachel, Leonora, and Celia, and Simon’s two children, Henry and Hannah, from his second marriage to my three-times great-aunt Fradchen Schoenthal.  Jacob was a merchant with $4500 worth of real estate and $6000 in personal property. In 1863, Jacob registered for the Civil War draft in Washington, Pennsylvania, but I have no record showing that he served in the war.1

Simon Goldsmith and family 1860 US census
Year: 1860; Census Place: Washington, Washington, Pennsylvania; Roll: M653_1192; Page: 1188; Image: 627; Family History Library Film: 805192

Jacob and Fannie had many more children in the 1860s; Felix (about 1860)2 and George (1862)3 were likely born in Washington, Pennsylvania, but by the time Frank4 was born in 1863, the family may already have moved to Philadelphia. The next five children were all born in Philadelphia: Edward (born as Oscar, 1864),5 Rebecca (1866),6 Florence (1869),7 and finally a set of twins born early in the next decade, Gertrude and Eva (born January 18, 1871).8 That brought the grand total of Jacob and Fannie’s children to fourteen—four sons and ten daughters.  In 1870, Jacob and Fannie and their children were living in Philadelphia. Jacob was still a retail merchant and now had $20,000 in personal property.

Jacob Goldsmith and family, 1870 US census, Year: 1870; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 12 Dist 36 (2nd Enum), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1424; Page: 589B; Family History Library Film: 552923, Township: Philadelphia Ward 12 Dist 36 (2nd Enum), 
Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census

Jacob Goldsmith and family, 1870 US census, Year: 1870; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 12 District 36, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Ancestry.com

In 1860, Simon’s oldest daughter Lena was living about fifty miles away from her father in Connellsville, Pennsylvania, with her husband Gustavus Basch and their three young children, Frank, Jacob, and Hinda. Gustavus was a clothing merchant and had $3100 in personal property, according to the 1860 census.

Lena and Gustav Basch and family, 1860 census, Year: 1860; Census Place: Connellsville, Fayette, Pennsylvania; Roll: M653_1110; Page: 421; Family History Library Film: 805110 Source Information Ancestry.com. 1860 United States Federal Census

Like his brother-in-law Jacob, Gustavus registered for the Civil War draft in 1863, but I don’t know if he served.9 Lena and Gustavus’ family was also growing in the 1860s, but not as much as Jacob and Fannie’s. They added three more to their family in that decade: Joel (1863),10 Ella (1865),11 and Joseph (1867),12 all born in Connellsville.  In 1868, Gustavus was listed as a clothier in Connellsville in the Pennsylvania State directory, but sometime thereafter he changed occupations and the family relocated.13 By 1870, the family had moved to Pittsburgh, and Gustavus was now working for H. Bier & Company, a brass founders and steam pump manufacturing company.14

Gustavus Basch 1870 US census, Year: 1870; Census Place: Pittsburgh Ward 2, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1295; Page: 423A; Family History Library Film: 552794
Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census,

As for Simon’s second oldest daughter Eva, as reported here in detail, I cannot find her in 1860, but I believe that sometime around 1860 she married Marcus Bohm, a Polish immigrant who had a store in Washington, Pennsylvania, until 1860. It also appears that Marcus and Eva had a daughter Ella, born in February, 1862. Also, as I wrote about earlier, it seems that Eva died sometime before 1870. Her daughter Ella Bohm was then living with her uncle Jacob Goldsmith and his family in Philadelphia. Ella’s father’s whereabouts are not known, although he appears to have been in New Jersey.

Meanwhile, Simon’s two youngest children, my double cousins Henry and Hannah Goldsmith, were teenagers in the 1860s. In 1867, Hannah married Joseph Benedict.15 She was only nineteen, and he was 33. Joseph was born July 3, 1834, in Germany and had immigrated in 1857, according to the 1900 census.16 I cannot find any immigration record for Joseph or a marriage record for Hannah and Joseph.

In 1865 a Joseph Benedict was working as a clerk in Pittsburgh.17 In 1868 he is listed in the Pittsburgh directory as a used furniture dealer, but in 1869 he is listed as a second-hand clothing dealer. The 1870 Pittsburgh directory lists him as a junk dealer, so maybe it was both clothing and furniture.18 The 1870 census merely lists his occupation as “retail.” By that time Joseph and Hannah had a five-month-old son named Jacob, born January 24, 1870, in Pittsburgh.19 Also living with them in 1870 were Hannah’s father, Simon Goldsmith, now a retired tailor, and Amelia Schoenthal, who was Hannah’s first cousin, her mother Fradchen’s niece and the older sister of my great-grandfather Isidore Schoenthal. On June 6, 1871, Hannah Goldsmith Benedict gave birth to a second child, Herschel Newton Benedict, in Pittsburgh.20

Joseph and Hannah Benedict, 1870 US census, Census Place: Pittsburgh Ward 5, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1295; Page: 567A; Family History Library Film: 552794
Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census

Simon’s son Henry had moved out on his own by 1870. Now 23, he was living in Connellsville, Pennsylvania, working as a clothing dealer.21 My hunch is that Henry took over his brother-in-law Gustave’s business when Gustave and Lena moved to Pittsburgh. In 1871, Henry married Sarah Jaffa.22 She was the daughter of Aron Jaffa and Ella Hahn, and she was born in Heinebach, Germany, on October 19, 1851, and immigrated to the US in 1869.23 That marriage brought another twist to my family tree.

Sarah Jaffa had three older brothers who had already immigrated to the US when she arrived.  As I’ve written about previously, the Jaffa brothers would later become business and civic leaders in Trinidad, Colorado, and Albuquerque, New Mexico. And twenty-five years after Henry Goldsmith married Sarah Jaffa, Sarah’s niece Ida Jaffa married Meyer Mansbach, the son of Sarah Goldschmidt Mansbach. Sarah Goldschmidt Mansbach was Henry Goldsmith’s first cousin as their fathers, Seligmann Goldschmidt and Simon Goldschmidt/Goldsmith, were brothers.24

Sarah and Henry had their first child, Jacob W. Goldsmith, on December 24, 1871, in Connellsville, Pennsylvania.25 He was the 24th grandchild of Simon Goldsmith, all born in Pennsylvania. Interestingly, three of those grandchildren were named Jacob: Lena’s son Jacob Basch, Hannah’s son Jacob Benedict, and Henry’s son Jacob W. Goldsmith. Since Simon was still living, it appears that three of his children named their sons for Simon’s father, Jacob Falcke Goldschmidt.

Thus, by the end of 1871, all of Simon Goldsmith’s children had married. Simon, who had outlived two wives and three children, was 76 years old and had twenty-four grandchildren, ranging from newborns to eighteen-year-old Ellena, with more grandchildren to come in the next decade. In fact, he would live to be a great-grandfather. More on that in the next post.

 


  1.  National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Consolidated Lists of Civil War Draft Registration Records (Provost Marshal General’s Bureau; Consolidated Enrollment Lists, 1863-1865); Record Group: 110, Records of the Provost Marshal General’s Bureau (Civil War); Collection Name: Consolidated Enrollment Lists, 1863-1865 (Civil War Union Draft Records); NAI: 4213514; Archive Volume Number: 3 of 3, Ancestry.com. U.S., Civil War Draft Registrations Records, 1863-1865 
  2. Felix Goldsmith, 1870 US census, Year: 1870; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 12 Dist 36 (2nd Enum), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1424; Page: 589B; Family History Library Film: 552923, Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census. I am not certain of Felix’s birthdate. His death certificate says he was born September 25, 1859, and the 1900 census says he was born in September 1859, but he is not on the 1860 census with his family, and in his 1870 his age is reported as nine and in 1880 as nineteen. Thus, I am guessing he was born in about 1860. 
  3. Ancestry.com. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Death Certificates Index, 1803-1915. George Goldsmith, 1870 US census, Year: 1870; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 12 Dist 36 (2nd Enum), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1424; Page: 589B; Family History Library Film: 552923, Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census 
  4. Frank Goldsmith, 1870 US census, Year: 1870; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 12 District 36, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1396; Page: 179B; Family History Library Film: 552895, Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census [ 
  5. Pennsylvania Births and Christenings, 1709-1950,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V2FR-G9S : 11 February 2018), Oscar Goldsmith, 08 Nov 1864; Birth, citing Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; FHL microfilm 1,289,309. 
  6. Rebecca Goldsmith, 1870 US census, Year: 1870; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 12 District 36, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1396; Page: 179B; Family History Library Film: 552895, Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census. Rebecca Levy, ship manifest, 1926, Year: 1926; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 3784; Line: 1; Page Number: 197, Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 
  7.  Pennsylvania Births and Christenings, 1709-1950,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V2F1-KDR : 11 February 2018), Florence Goldsmith, 24 Feb 1869; Birth, citing Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; FHL microfilm 1,289,312 
  8. Pennsylvania Births and Christenings, 1709-1950,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V2FX-1MN : 11 February 2018), Eve Goldsmith, 18 Jan 1871; Birth, citing Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; FHL microfilm 1,289,313.  Pennsylvania Births and Christenings, 1709-1950,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V2FX-1M6 : 11 February 2018), Gertrude Goldsmith, 18 Jan 1871; Birth, citing Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; FHL microfilm 1,289,313 
  9. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Consolidated Lists of Civil War Draft Registration Records (Provost Marshal General’s Bureau; Consolidated Enrollment Lists, 1863-1865); Record Group: 110, Records of the Provost Marshal General’s Bureau (Civil War); Collection Name: Consolidated Enrollment Lists, 1863-1865 (Civil War Union Draft Records); NAI: 4213514; Archive Volume Number: 3 of 3. Ancestry.com. U.S., Civil War Draft Registrations Records, 1863-1865 
  10. “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6Q67-VC2?cc=1307272&wc=MD9N-9P8%3A287599801%2C294723701 : 21 May 2014), 1950 > 74601-76700 > image 303 of 2329. 
  11. “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-D4LQ-GG4?cc=1307272&wc=MD96-DN5%3A287601401%2C287598802 : 21 May 2014), 1930 > 00001-02900 > image 2674 of 3183. 
  12. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, SSN: 297323868. 
  13. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995, Reilly´s Pennsylvania State Business Directory, 1868-69 
  14. Pittsburgh city directory, 1870, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995. 
  15. Hannah and Joseph Benedict, 1900 US census, Census Place: Pittsburgh Ward 11, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Page: 6; Enumeration District: 0142; FHL microfilm: 1241359, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  16. Hannah and Joseph Benedict, 1900 US census, Census Place: Pittsburgh Ward 11, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Page: 6; Enumeration District: 0142; FHL microfilm: 1241359, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  17. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1865, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  18. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1868, 1869, 1870, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  19. Jacob Benedict, death certificate, Certificate No, 88, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1965;Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966 
  20. Herschel Benedict, marriage record, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania County Marriages, 1852-1973; County: Allegheny; Year Range: 1900; Roll Number: 549738, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, County Marriage Records, 1845-1963 
  21. Henry Goldsmith, 1870 US census, Census Place: Connellsville, Fayette, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1342; Page: 79A; Family History Library Film: 552841, Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census [ 
  22. Henry and Sarah Goldsmith, 1900 US census, Census Place: Connellsville, Fayette, Pennsylvania; Page: 7; Enumeration District: 0007; FHL microfilm: 1241409,
    Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  23. Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1965; Certificate Number Range: 093741-097660, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966; Henry and Sarah Goldsmith, 1900 US census, Census Place: Connellsville, Fayette, Pennsylvania; Page: 7; Enumeration District: 0007; FHL microfilm: 1241409,
    Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  24.  And another connection between the Jaffa and Goldschmidt families was made in 1880 when Solomon Jaffa married Leonora Goldsmith, Jacob Goldsmith’s daughter. But that is yet to come. 
  25. Jacob W. Goldsmith, marriage record, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania County Marriages, 1852-1973; County: Allegheny; Year Range: 1899; Roll Number: 549736, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, County Marriage Records, 1845-1963 

Simon Goldschmidt: From German Criminal to American Grandfather

Before my break, I noted that I had finished writing about the descendants of Seligmann Goldschmidt and Hinka Alexander, my three-times great-grandparents, and the descendants of Seligmann’s brother, Lehmann Goldschmidt.

Now I would like to turn to Seligmann’s youngest sibling, Simon Goldschmidt, whose story I’ve already told in bits and pieces at other times because his second wife, Fradchen Schoenthal, was the sister of my Schoenthal great-great-grandfather Levi Schoenthal, and because one of his grandchildren, Ella Bohm, married my great-great-uncle Jacob Katzenstein.

But let me tie together those bits and pieces into one story so that I can continue Simon’s story with some background. Simon was born in Oberlistingen in about 1795 to Jacob Falcke Goldschmidt and Eva Reuben Seligmann (no connection to my Seligmanns). In 1822, he married Eveline Katzenstein of Grebenstein (no known familial connection to my Katzensteins). Their first child, Jacob, was born in about 1825 in Oberlistingen. 1

In May, 1826, Simon was charged with burglary and attempted robbery.2  As I wrote about at length in this post, in 1830 there was a trial, and Simon was convicted and sentenced to ten years in prison with his legs shackled. Simon appealed, and on December 24, 1830, the appellate court upheld the verdict, but reduced the sentence from ten years to four years because the victim’s injuries were not dangerous or life-threatening and because Simon had not used any lethal weapons. The court also observed that the delay in trial was not Simon’s fault and took that into consideration in reducing his sentence.

Simon and Eveline had four more children after Jacob: Lena (1828),3 born while he was awaiting trial, and three born after he was released, Hewa “Eva” (1836), Joseph (1837), and Jesajas (1839), all born in Oberlistingen. Sadly, Simon and Eveline’s last two babies did not survive. Both Joseph and Jesajas died in infancy.

Eva (Hewa) Goldschmidt birth record, Geburtsregister der Juden von Oberlistingen (Breuna) 1826-1852 (HHStAW Abt. 365 Nr. 668)AutorHessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, Wiesbaden, p.7

 

Joseph Goldschmidt death record
Sterberegister der Juden von Oberlistingen (Breuna) 1827-1852 (HHStAW Abt. 365 Nr. 671), p. 6

Jesajas Goldschmidt death record
Sterberegister der Juden von Oberlistingen (Breuna) 1827-1852 (HHStAW Abt. 365 Nr. 671), p. 7

A year after the death of Jesajas, Simon’s wife Eveline died on August 19, 1840. Simon was left on his own to raise his fifteen-year-old son Jacob, twelve-year-old daughter Lena, and four-year-old Eva.

Eveline Katzenstein Goldschmidt death record
Sterberegister der Juden von Oberlistingen (Breuna) 1827-1852 (HHStAW Abt. 365 Nr. 671), p. 8

Simon’s son Jacob left Germany that same year and immigrated to the US.4  By 1850, Jacob was living in Washington, Pennsylvania, working as a tailor and living with two other men who were tailors, and had changed his surname to Goldsmith.

Jacob Goldsmith (Simon’s son) 1850 US census
Year: 1850; Census Place: Washington, Washington, Pennsylvania; Roll: M432_834; Page: 363A; Image: 244

On September 10, 1844, Simon married Fradchen Schoenthal, my three-times great-aunt, in Oberlistingen. Fradchen was already 37 at that time, and Simon was 49.

Marriage of Simon Goldschmidt and Fradchen Schoenthal
HHStAW Abt. 365 Nr. 669, S. 11

Almost exactly a year later, Simon and Fradchen arrived in the United States along with Simon’s youngest daughter, Eva, who was then nine years old.

Simon, Fradchen, and Eva Goldschmidt on 1845 passenger manifest
The National Archives at Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C.; Records of the US Customs Service, RG36; NAI Number: 2655153; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787-2004; Record Group Number: 85

They must have settled first in Baltimore because Simon and Fradchen had two children who were born there, Henry on January 10, 1847,5 and Hannah on June 5, 1848.6 Since Henry and Hannah’s mother and father were both my blood relatives, they are my double cousins: first cousins, three times removed through Fradchen, and first cousins, four times removed through Simon.

By 1850, Simon and Fradchen (also known as Fanny) were living in Pittsburgh with Henry and Hannah as well Simon’s two daughters from his first marriage, Lena and Eva. Simon was working as a tailor and had, like his son Jacob, Americanized his surname to Goldsmith.

Simon lost his second wife Fradchen soon thereafter; she died on August 11, 1850, at age 43. Once again Simon was left with young children—Henry was three, Hannah was two.

Fanny Schoenthal Goldsmith Troy Hill Pittsburgh

By 1853, Simon’s son Jacob had married Fannie Silverman, also a German immigrant, and together they had six daughters born between 1853 and 1860: Ellena (1853)7, Emma (1854),8 Annie (1855),9 Rachel (1857),10 Leonora (1858),11 and Celia (1860).12  By 1860, Simon and his two youngest children, Henry and Hannah, had moved to Washington, Pennsylvania, and were living with Jacob and Fannie and their six daughters. Henry and Hannah were only five and six years older than their oldest niece, Ellena.

Simon Goldsmith and family 1860 US census
Year: 1860; Census Place: Washington, Washington, Pennsylvania; Roll: M653_1192; Page: 1188; Image: 627; Family History Library Film: 805192

Simon’s daughter Lena married another German immigrant, Gustavus Basch in 1856.13 In 1860, they were living in Connellsville, Pennsylvania, with their first two children, Frank (1858) and Jacob (1859). Connellsville is under fifty miles from Washington, Pennsylvania, where Lena’s father Simon and her brother Jacob were then living.

Basch family, 1860 US census, Census Place: Connellsville, Fayette, Pennsylvania; Roll: M653_1110; Page: 421; Family History Library Film: 805110 Source Information Ancestry.com. 1860 United States Federal Census

As for Simon’s youngest child with Eveline, his daughter Eva, her whereabouts in 1860 are unknown. I cannot find her anywhere on the 1860 census. More on Eva here and here and in a subsequent post.

Thus, by 1860, all the members of the family of Simon Goldschmidt (except possibly Eva) were living in western Pennsylvania, most of them in Washington, Pennsylvania.  That was as far as I’d gotten with Simon’s story in my earlier posts. Now I can pick up with Simon and his children in the years after 1860.

 

 


  1. I don’t have original birth or marriage records for these facts, but have relied on various US records as well as the research of others to reach these conclusions. 
  2.  HStAM Fonds 261 Kriminalakten 1822-1836 No G 40. See the linked post for more information about my source for this information. 
  3.  Ancestry.com. Web: Columbus, Ohio, Green Lawn Cemetery Index, 1780-2010 
  4. Jacob Goldsmith, 1900 US census, Census Place: Denver, Arapahoe, Colorado; Page: 8; Enumeration District: 0072; FHL microfilm: 1240119, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  5. Henry Goldsmith, passport application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 156; Volume #: Roll 0156 – Certificates: 69177-70076, 01 Apr 1912-11 Apr 1912, Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 
  6. Hannah Goldsmith Benedict, death certificate, Michigan Department of Community Health, Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics; Lansing, Michigan, Ancestry.com. Michigan, Death Records, 1867-1950, File Number: 007791. 
  7. Ellena Goldsmith Feldstein, death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1965; Certificate Number Range: 061391-064480, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966 
  8. Emma Goldsmith, death certificate, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JX5B-3PG : 9 March 2018), Emma Goldsmith, 06 Jan 1902; citing cn14552, Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; FHL microfilm 1,853,338. 
  9. Annie Goldsmith, 1860 US census, Year: 1860; Census Place: Washington, Washington, Pennsylvania; Roll: M653_1192; Page: 1188; Family History Library Film: 805192, Ancestry.com. 1860 United States Federal Census 
  10. Rachel Goldsmith, 1860 US census, Year: 1860; Census Place: Washington, Washington, Pennsylvania; Roll: M653_1192; Page: 1188; Family History Library Film: 805192, Ancestry.com. 1860 United States Federal Census 
  11. Leonora Goldsmith, 1860 US census, Year: 1860; Census Place: Washington, Washington, Pennsylvania; Roll: M653_1192; Page: 1188; Family History Library Film: 805192, Ancestry.com. 1860 United States Federal Census 
  12. Celia Goldsmith, 1860 US census, Year: 1860; Census Place: Washington, Washington, Pennsylvania; Roll: M653_1192; Page: 1188; Family History Library Film: 805192, Ancestry.com. 1860 United States Federal Census 
  13. Lena and Gustavus Basch, 1900 US census, Census Place: Columbus Ward 6, Franklin, Ohio; Page: 3; Enumeration District: 0068; FHL microfilm: 1241268, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 

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 

Pittsburgh

Where do I start to express how I feel about what happened in Pittsburgh? Do I tell you how my heart didn’t stop racing all day on Saturday from when I first heard the news?  That I am just too sad and scared to be angry? That I feel like an outsider in my own country?

I didn’t know any of the individuals killed or injured in Pittsburgh, but I knew every single one of them. They are my friends and neighbors, my fellow congregants, my family, my ancestors. Yes, I have some actual ties to Pittsburgh—relatives from long ago who lived there including my great-grandfather, friends who grew up there, a brother who once lived there, and so on. But even if I didn’t, I knew these people. Because they were like me, a Jewish person living in America taking for granted all too often that we are safe. That it can never happen here. That people are basically good, that evil will not prevail.

Now I am not so sure. More and more we see the evil prevailing, the anger fanned, the hatred accepted and even condoned. Whether it is directed against someone because of their religion—be it Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, or Christianity—or their skin color or their sexual orientation or their gender or their age or their nationality, the hatred is not only there, it is being acted upon. And it is not being condemned by our federal government in strong enough terms to be credible. In fact, it is encouraged.

I am beginning to lose faith in people. I no longer feel safe, I no longer believe it could never happen here. I have learned from studying my family history and Jewish history in general how much hatred and oppression and discrimination and violence have shaped my own history. Many of my ancestors came to this country in order to escape anti-Semitism and the oppression and lack of opportunity they faced in Europe. When I learned how many of my not-so-distant relatives died in the Holocaust or survived it against all odds or escaped just in time, I felt so grateful for America. America was supposed to be different. But is it really so different now?

Of course, in some ways it is. In Pittsburgh, the police took bullets to protect Jews. The mayor condemned what happened. The government there was not afraid to help the victims or condemn the murderer. On Facebook I am heartened when I see non-Jews standing up and making any kind of statement condemning what happened. We attended a gathering at our synagogue, and I was touched to see representatives there from other faiths and government officials pledging to stand by us. The service ended with the singing of The Star Spangled Banner and Hatikvah. As the rabbi said, we sing The Star Spangled Banner, the American national anthem, because this is our home.  And we sing Hatikvah, the Israeli national anthem which means “the hope,” because we are Jews and to remind us that that we must never abandon hope.

And as I write this, I realize that I am not afraid to publish these thoughts. Because somewhere deep inside I must still trust that I will be safe here. But not as much as I once did.

Tomorrow I will return to telling my family’s story—with even more urgency than before. Because people—not just my people, not just my family—need to know what we as Jews have endured and what we have learned, what we have suffered and what we have contributed. And people need to understand the dreams that brought our ancestors here. We must not let those dreams die.