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.

The Final Chapter on Levi Goldsmith and His Family

When Sylvester Goldsmith, the youngest child of Levi and Henrietta Goldsmith, died at age 44 in 1914, he left behind his wife Ida and five young children: Louis (16), Harold (13), Blanchard (11), Estelle (8), and Sarah Frances (2). We saw that Ida stayed in Dubois, Pennsylvania, with Louis, Estelle, and Sarah Frances, but that Harold and Blanchard were sent to Dayton, Ohio, for some time after their father’s death. By 1930, Louis had married Helen Heckman and was working on the railroad in Dubois. Estelle and Sarah Frances were still living with their mother in Dubois, and Estelle was working as a stenographer. Harold was married and still living in Dayton, working as a polisher according to the 1933 Dayton directory, and Blanchard was working as a plasterer and living in Atlantic City.

Louis and his wife Helen were living in Dubois for much of the 1930s, but by 1940 they had moved to Little Valley, New York, where Louis was a clerk for the B&O Railroad. As of 1940, they did not have any children.

Louis Goldsmith, 1940 US census, Census Place: Little Valley, Cattaraugus, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02505; Page: 12B; Enumeration District: 5-31
Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census

Harold and his wife Martha and their child were still living in Dayton in 1940, where Harold was working as a polisher for an electric motor company.1 They were still living in Dayton as late as 1944, but by 1946 they had relocated to Dubois, where Harold’s mother Ida was still living. Perhaps Harold moved back to help care for his mother after Louis moved to New York State. In 1948, he was working for the Vulcan Soot Blower Corporation, and in 1955 he was working as a janitor at the Dubois Deposit Bank at that time.2

By 1940 Blanchard Goldsmith had married a woman named Eleanor, and they were living in Atlantic City where Blanchard was working as a bartender. But I had a hard time finding a marriage record or birth name for Eleanor. There was also a family of three living with them as boarders and a niece, fifteen-year-old Evelyn Carson. The niece’s name was the one clue I had to learn more about Eleanor.

Blanchard Goldsmith, 1940 US Census, Census Place: Atlantic City, Atlantic, New Jersey; Roll: m-t0627-02300; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 1-26
Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census

It took some digging, but I found an Evelyn Carson of the same age and birth state on a Border Crossing document traveling with two siblings, Emily and William Carson, with a father W. Carson living in Toronto.

Library and Archives Canada; 1908-1935 Border Entries; Roll: T-15368
Ancestry.com. Border Crossings: From U.S. to Canada, 1908-1935

That led me to search for Emily, William, and Evelyn Carson, and I found the two sisters living with a grandmother named Elizabeth Rourke in Philadelphia in 1940 (Evelyn seemed to be listed twice on the 1940 census).3 Searching backwards, I found that Elizabeth Rourke, born O’Neill, had married Michael Rourke, and they had several children, including an Eleanor and a Gertrude. Gertrude had married a William Carson.4 Putting it all together, I concluded that the Eleanor who married Blanchard Goldsmith must have been Eleanor Rourke, daughter of Elizabeth O’Neill and Michael Rourke. That was quite a long loop just to find a birth name for Blanchard’s first wife—especially since the marriage did not last very long.

In 1950, Blanchard was listed as a bartender in the Atlantic City directory with a different wife named Patricia.5 It also took some digging to find more about Patricia.  She was born Patricia Barry, daughter of Joseph Barry, a sheet metal contractor, and Irene Field. She was born on December 29, 1916, in Atlantic City. She had been previously married to John L. Roth, with whom she’d had one child.6 She and Blanchard would then have two children of their own.

As for Sylvester’s two surviving daughters, Estelle remained in Dubois and by 1936 was married to Harry Lindahl, a moulder for the Dubois Iron Works company, according to the Dubois directory for that year. In 1940 they were living in Dubois with their child, and Harry was still working at the foundry.7

Sarah Frances, now using Frances, also remained in Dubois, where she married her sister Estelle’s brother-in-law, John Lindahl. John and his brother Harry were the sons of Charlie Lindahl, a Swedish immigrant, and Nettie Dinger, a Pennsylvania native.8 In 1940 John was working in a print shop, Frances was working as a stenographer in a wholesale tire store, and they had one child.  Frances’ mother Ida Simms Goldsmith was also living with them.

John Lindahl and family, 1940 US census, Census Place: Dubois, Clearfield, Pennsylvania; Roll: m-t0627-03470; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 17-43
Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census

Ida died on December 24, 1960, in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, at the age of 86.9 And unlike her husband and so many of his siblings and nieces and nephews as well as their first child Helen, her other children all lived long lives. Louis died on December 5, 1987, at the age of 89.10 Estelle died in April 1990; she was 84. 11 Harold died on May 28, 1994, at age 93.12 Blanchard was 91 when he died December 4, 1994, six months after his brother Harold.13 And Frances, the youngest child of Sylvester Goldsmith, who was the youngest child of Levi Goldsmith, died on September 28, 2000, when she was 88.14

Thus, unlike so many of their extended family members, the five children of Sylvester Goldsmith and Ida Simms who lived to adulthood all made it past 80, and two of them made it into their 90s. They must have gotten their longevity from their mother’s DNA, not that of their father or grandfather.

Thus, I come to the end of the saga of my three-times great-uncle Levi Goldsmith and his family, one of the saddest chapters I’ve researched in a while. There were so many premature deaths that at times it seemed almost unbelievable. Why did Levi draw the short straw when his brothers Jacob, Abraham, and Meyer all seemed to find much good fortune (although each also had a fair amount of heartbreak)? I don’t know. It just shows that heartbreaking stories are not fairly distributed evenly among family members.  Some people just suffer more than their fair share.

 

 


  1. Harold Goldsmith, 1940 US census, Census Place: Dayton, Montgomery, Ohio; Roll: m-t0627-03253; Page: 17B; Enumeration District: 94-85. Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  2. Dayton, Ohio, city directory, 1944, Dubois, Pennsylvania, city directory, 1946, 1948, 1955, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995. 
  3. Evelyn Carson with Elizabeth Rourke, 1940 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: m-t0627-03736; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 51-1599. Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  4. Michael Rourke and family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 26, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1400; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 0578; FHL microfilm: 1375413. Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census. William and Gertrude Carson, 1920 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 48, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1648; Page: 11B; Enumeration District: 1814. Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  5. Atlantic City city directory, 1950, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995. 
  6. Patricia Roth, 1940 US census, Year: 1940; Census Place: Atlantic City, Atlantic, New Jersey; Roll: m-t0627-02300;Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 1-19. Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  7. Harry Lindahl and family, 1940 US census, Census Place: Sandy, Clearfield, Pennsylvania; Roll: m-t0627-03471; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 17-81. Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  8. Charles Lindahl and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Sandy, Clearfield, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1553; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 106. Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  9.  Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 114001-116700. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966. Certificate Number: 114311-60 
  10. Ancestry.com. U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010 
  11. Number: 170-26-3884; Issue State: Pennsylvania; Issue Date: Before 1951. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014  
  12.  Number: 288-07-3757; Issue State: Ohio; Issue Date: Before 1951. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014  
  13. Ancestry.com. Florida Death Index, 1877-1998 
  14. Number: 200-05-3391; Issue State: Pennsylvania; Issue Date: Before 1951. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 

Levi Goldsmith’s Family 1920-1930, Part II: Marriages, Divorces, and Stupid Criminals

In my last post I wrote about the families of four of Levi and Henrietta’s children: Eva, Estella, George, and Felix. This post will cover the families of the three youngest of their children: Helen, Blanche and Sylvester.

In 1920 Helen Goldsmith and her husband Harry Loeb were living in Philadelphia with their three children, Armand (26), Henriete (23), and Leonard (18), as well as a servant. Harry and his son Armand were both contractors in the building materials industry, presumably for the same company. From other sources I learned the company was known as the Loeb Warehouse Company.

Harry Loeb and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 32, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1633; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 1063
Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census

Henriete married later that same year. She married Leo August Dessauer, who was also from Philadelphia. I could not find a marriage record, but did find these two newspaper articles dated in February, 1920, indicating that they were to be married that spring:

Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, February 3, 1920, p.11.

The Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, February 12, 1920, p. 11.

Leo was the son of Seligman Dessauer, a German-born immigrant, and Adeline Greenwald, a Philadelphia native; Leo was born on April 2, 1889, in Philadelphia. His father was a ladies’ waist manufacturer who died when Leo was a teenager. Leo was a musician and orchestra conductor.1 Henriete and Leo had a son, Leo, Jr., born on May 26, 1922.2

Ad, The Philadelphia Inquirer, January 13, 1918, p. 43

And then tragedy struck the family again:

“Succumbs on Train,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 3, 1925, p. 18.

A year after his father’s death, Armand Goldsmith Loeb married Rose N Kahn, daughter of Henry Kahn, a German immigrant, and Florence Kahn, a Russian immigrant. Rose was born on November 14, 1904, in Philadelphia. Her father was an insurance agent.3  Armand and Rose would have two children, one born after the 1930 census. In 1930 they were living in Philadelphia where Armand was a merchant, perhaps with the Loeb Warehouse Company where his father had worked.

Armand Loeb and family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 26B; Enumeration District: 0534; FHL microfilm: 2341875
Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census

By 1930, Henriete’s marriage to Leo Dessauer had ended. In fact, Leo had remarried in 1929 and moved across the country to Montana.4 In 1930, Henriete and her son Leo, Jr., were living with her mother Helen and brother Leonard. Leonard was working as a roofing salesman for a wholesale warehouse, again presumably the Loeb Warehouse Company.

Helen Loeb and family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0397; FHL microfilm: 2341842
Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census

Leonard Loeb is listed as single on the 1930 census, enumerated on April 21, 1930. But the Philadelphia marriage index lists him as married to Florence Mayer that year,5 and I found Florence Mayer, born April 18, 1908, on the 1930 census, living with her parents, Albert and Bessie (Halpern) Mayer, in Philadelphia, but listed as married and under the name Florence Loeb. That census was enumerated on April 16, 1930. So why is Leonard living with his parents and listed as single five days later? I don’t know. But Florence and Leonard were in fact married at least at some point in 1930.

Mayer family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 26B; Enumeration District: 1034; FHL microfilm: 2341867
Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census

Blanche Goldsmith Greenbaum and her family were also living in Philadelphia in 1920. Her husband Max was practicing dentistry, and their one surviving child Helen was twelve years old. Ten years later they were all still living in Philadelphia, and Max was still a dentist.6

The family of Sylvester Goldsmith was split up in 1920. Sylvester’s widow Ida was living with three of their children in DuBois, Pennsylvania. Louis (21), their oldest surviving child, was working as a Liberty Bonds broker.  The two daughters, Estelle (13) and Sarah (later Frances, 7) were both home and in school.7

But Sylvester and Ida’s two other sons, Harold and Blanchard, were living in Dayton, Ohio, but not together. Harold (18, almost 19) was living as a roomer at 56 Burns Avenue with two other roomers and a couple named Edwin and Lula Snyder. He did not attend school that year; he was working as a paint maker in a paint factory.

Harold Goldsmith, 1920 US census, Census Place: Dayton Ward 8, Montgomery, Ohio; Roll: T625_1421; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 161
Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census

His younger brother Blanchard (who apparently added a few years to his age both in the census and the news article below; he was 16 in 1920, 19 in 1923) was rooming with a couple named “Stochler” and two other roomers at 676 South Main Street in Dayton, which was a quarter mile away from where his brother Harold was living; from further research, I determined that Mary “Stochler” was in fact Mary Camp Stachler and that she was Blanchard’s aunt, his mother Ida’s (half-)sister.8 Blanchard was employed as a lathe hand for an electric company.  He also had not attended school that year.

Blanchard Goldsmith 1920 US census, Census Place: Dayton Ward 8, Montgomery, Ohio; Roll: T625_1421; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 160
Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census

Why were Harold and Blanchard, both still teenagers, living away from home and separately? Their mother had been from Lima, Ohio, which is about 75 miles from Dayton, and their aunt Mary was living in Dayton. Their father had died in 1914.  Maybe these two teenage boys were just too much for Ida to handle. Louis was the breadwinner for her, and she had two young daughters, so perhaps sending Harold and Blanchard to Dayton was a way to make her life a bit easier after Sylvester died. Blanchard may, in fact, have been a bit much to handle. In 1923 when he was nineteen, he and two other young men were arrested for stealing a watch and other jewelry in Olean, New York—right across the street from the police station:

“Arrest Thieves,” The Buffalo (NY) Times, July 17, 1923, p. 12.

This story reminded me of the routine Jay Leno used to do called “Stupid Criminals.” It does not appear that Blanchard had any future run-ins with the law so perhaps he learned his lesson.

In 1930, Ida and her daughters Estelle (23) and Sarah (17) were still living in DuBois, and Estelle was working as a stenographer in an attorney’s office.8 Louis was also living in DuBois; he had married in about 1923; his wife’s name was Helen Heckman, and she was born on August 6, 1896, in Dubois, the daughter of August Heckman and Mary Weber.  Her father was a farmer. 9 In 1930 Louis was working as a clerk for the railroad.10

I believe Harold Goldsmith continued to live in Dayton, Ohio. He is listed in Dayton directories from 1929 on, but I could not find him on the 1930 census despite having an address for him from both the 1929 and 1930 Dayton directories—329 East Lincoln Street. But he is listed in both with a wife named Martha, with whom he was also living in 1940. Unfortunately, I have not found anything more about Martha’ background except that she was born in Pennsylvania on June 7, 1904.11

Finally, Blanchard Goldsmith was living in Atlantic City in 1930, working as a plasterer. He was at that point still single and had apparently moved to Atlantic City by 1927.12

Thus, by 1930, Eva, Helen and Blanche were the only children still living of Levi and Henrietta Goldsmith; there were also sixteen living grandchildren. What would the 1930s bring for the family?

 

 


  1.  Box Title: Depew, Wallace M – Detwiler, William (101), Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, WWI Veterans Service and Compensation Files, 1917-1919, 1934-1948. Original data: World War I Veterans Service and Compensation File, 1934–1948. RG 19, Series 19.91. Ancestry.com. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Marriage Index, 1885-1951. “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Marriage Index, 1885–1951.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009. Philadelphia County Pennsylvania Clerk of the Orphans’ Court. “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia marriage license index, 1885-1951.” Clerk of the Orphans’ Court, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Seligman Dessauer and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 32, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 9; Enumeration District: 0806; FHL microfilm: 1241473, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census. 
  2. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007. Original data: Social Security Applications and Claims, 1936-2007. SSN: 553348464 
  3. Ancestry.com. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Marriage Index, 1885-1951. Original data: “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Marriage Index, 1885–1951.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009. Philadelphia County Pennsylvania Clerk of the Orphans’ Court. “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia marriage license index, 1885-1951.” Clerk of the Orphans’ Court, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Marriage License Number: 538148. Number: 191-22-0212; Issue State: Pennsylvania; Issue Date: Before 1951.
    Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014. Harry Kahn, 1920 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 38, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1636; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 1371.
    Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  4. Montana State Historical Society; Helena, Montana; Montana, County Marriages, 1865-1950. Ancestry.com. Montana, County Marriages, 1865-1987. Certificate A 19371. 
  5. Ancestry.com. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Marriage Index, 1885-1951. Original data: “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Marriage Index, 1885–1951.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009. Philadelphia County Pennsylvania Clerk of the Orphans’ Court. “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia marriage license index, 1885-1951.” Clerk of the Orphans’ Court, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Marriage License Number: 586636 
  6. Max Greenbaum and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 32, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1633; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 1068. Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census. Max Greenbaum and family 1930 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 20A; Enumeration District: 0298; FHL microfilm: 2341830. Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census  
  7. Ida Goldsmith and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Du Bois Ward 4, Clearfield, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1553; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 83. Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  8. Ida Goldsmith and daughters, 1930 US census, Census Place: Du Bois, Clearfield, Pennsylvania; Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 0027; FHL microfilm: 2341752. Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  9. Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records; Reel: 673. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1669-2013. August Heckman, 1900 US census, Census Place: Huston, Clearfield, Pennsylvania; Page: 4; Enumeration District: 0081; FHL microfilm: 1241396. Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007. Original data: Social Security Applications and Claims, 1936-2007. SSN: 527800863 
  10. Louis Goldsmith and family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Du Bois, Clearfield, Pennsylvania; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0028; FHL microfilm: 2341752. Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  11. 1929, 1930 Dayton, Ohio, directories, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995. 
  12. Blanchard Goldsmith, 1930 US census, Census Place: Atlantic City, Atlantic, New Jersey; Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 0018; FHL microfilm: 2341043. Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 

Levi Goldsmith’s Remaining Family 1910-1918

The family of Levi and Henrietta Goldsmith had suffered a heartbreaking number of deaths between 1886 and 1907: Levi and Henrietta themselves, three of their children, all of whom died before their fiftieth birthdays (Felix, Estella, and Isadore), and a staggering number of the grandchildren: Eva’s first two sons, Estella’s sons Stanley and Leonard, three of Blanche’s children (Ethel, Leah, and Levis), and Sylvester’s daughter Henrietta. Most of those children died as babies or as children under five, and the oldest was thirteen when he died. How did the family cope in the next decade?

Well, they pushed ahead. Estella’s oldest son Jerome married in 1909.1 His wife, Carrie Kohn, was born Claudia Kohn to Arnold and Leah Kohn on June 15, 1884.2 Her father, a German immigrant, was a clothing merchant.3 In 1910, Jerome and Carrie were living in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, with Jerome’s father Solomon and brother Herbert. Jerome, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, was a lawyer, his father was retired, and Herbert, who was only sixteen, was not employed. There was also a servant in the home. Jerome and Carrie would have one child, a daughter they named Estelle for Jerome’s mother; she was born on June 19, 1913.4

Jerome Rothschild and family 1910 census, Census Place: Jenkintown Boro Ward 1, Montgomery, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1377; Page: 25B; Enumeration District: 0084; FHL microfilm: 1375390
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

Eva Goldsmith Anathan, now truly a widow, was living in Philadelphia in 1910 with her two daughters, Helen (30) and Bessie (27), as well as three boarders and a servant. One of those boarders was Harry Napoleon Goldsmith, about whom I wrote in detail here. Helen was working as a probation officer in juvenile court, and Bessie was a public school teacher.

Eva Goldsmith Anathan 1910 US census
Year: 1910; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 32, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1403; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0759; FHL microfilm: 1375416
Description
Enumeration District: 0759
Source Information
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

In 1912, Bessie Anathan married Sim J. Simon,5 who was born in Grunstadt, Germany, on August 12, 1877, to Jean Simon and Fannie Brunhild.6 When he later registered for the World War I draft, Sim’s occupation was listed as a salesman for the Brunhild-Simon Company; from newspaper ads, I learned that the company was a wholesale liquor distributor.7 Bessie and Sim would have three children, John, born January 18, 19138, Robert, born June 16, 19159, and a daughter Evelyn born May 13, 1922.10

In 1910 George Goldsmith was a lodger in the household of another family in Philadelphia and still working as a druggist. The following year George married Leah Abeles; he was fifty years old, and she was 49.11 Leah was the daughter of Seligman Abeles and Fanny Kohn, both of whom were born in Bohemia (today’s Czech Republic); 12 her father was in the millinery business. In 1910 she’d been living with her brother Simon, who was also a milliner. Leah had not been employed. Leah was a neighbor of George’s sister Blanche, and perhaps that was how they met.

Leah Abeles and Blanche Goldsmith Greenbaum on the 1910 US census,
Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 32, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1403; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 0751; FHL microfilm: 1375416
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

Bertha Umstadter Goldsmith, Felix Goldsmith’s widow, was living in Norfolk, Virginia, with their four children in 1910. She was “living on income,” and her oldest daughter Fanny (21) was a school teacher. The other three children, Lee (17), Hortense (12), and Minna (10) were in school. A cousin and a servant were also living with them.

Bertha Goldsmith and family 1910 US census, Census Place: Norfolk Ward 6, Norfolk (Independent City), Virginia; Roll: T624_1638; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0055; FHL microfilm: 1375651
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

Harry and Helen (Goldsmith) Loeb had moved from Dubois, Pennsylvania, to Philadelphia by 1910, and Harry was now working as a brewer. Their three children, Armand (16), Henriete (14), and Leonard (9) were all in school, and there were two servants in the household as well.

Harry Loeb and family 1910 census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 32, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1403; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 0751; FHL microfilm: 1375416
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

Blanche (Goldsmith) and Max Greenbaum were living in Philadelphia in 1910 with their one surviving child, Helen, who was three, and two servants. Max continued to practice dentistry. (See image above.)

Finally, Sylvester Goldsmith and his family were living in Dubois, Pennsylvania, where Sylvester was in the clothing business. In 1910, they had four children still living, Louis (11), Harold (9), Blanchard (6), and Estelle (4).  For some reason, the census, however, lists Henrietta, who had died in 1903, in the line that should have been for Louis.

Sylvester Goldsmith and family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Du Bois Ward 1, Clearfield, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1331; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 0074; FHL microfilm: 1375344
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

Sylvester and Ida would have one more child, a daughter named Sarah at birth, but later called Frances, born on May 4, 1912, in Dubois.13 But Sylvester would not live to see her third birthday; he would not live to see any of his children reach adulthood.  He died from angina pectoris on October 8, 1914, in Dubois. He was only 44 years old; like his siblings Estella, Felix, and Isadore, he did not make it to his fiftieth birthday.

Sylvester Goldsmith death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 094081-097370
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966

The Dubois Daily Express ran this obituary on October 9, 1914:

Sudden Death of Well Known Citizen of DuBois

Sylvester Goldsmith, a well known business man of this place, died quite suddenly last evening at his home on Park avenue of neuralgia of the heart. He had been ailing for several days, but had been up and around the house. On Tuesday he was down town attending to business and last evening he was on his front porch when the band passed out Brady street on the way to the tabernacle. A little later he entered the house and at 8:45 o’clock suddenly expired while sitting on a rocking chair.

The deceased was born in Philadelphia and had he lived until November 4th next, he would have been 45 years of age. He was the son of Levi and Henrietta Goldsmith, both now deceased. For many years he was in business in Indianapolis, Ind., but thirteen years ago he came to DuBois and has resided here ever since. He was at one time engaged in the clothing business with Warren Baxter, near the B., R. & P. station.

Later he was associated with the Meads in the pool room business and about two years ago he engaged in business for himself, opening a pool room, opposite the Martin Brothers store on North Brady street.

Socially Mr. Goldsmith was a member of the Knights of Pythias and the Loyal Order of the Moose. He leaves to survive him his wife, whose maiden name was Miss Ida Simms, and who was from Lima, Ohio, and five children as follows: Louis, Harold, Blanchard, Estelle and Francis. He also leaves three sisters and one brother, namely, Mrs. Harry Loeb, Mrs. D.[sic] Greenbaum, Mrs. Athens [sic] and George Goldsmith, all of Philadelphia.

Yet another set of young children in the Goldsmith family was left without a parent. There were only four of the nine children of Levi and Henrietta Goldsmith left in 1915: Eva, George, Helen, and Blanche.

Four of the remaining grandchildren were men of draft age when the US entered World War I in 1917. Estella’s son Herbert Rothschild served in the US Navy in France from July 5, 1918 until November 11, 1918.14

Felix’s son Lee Goldsmith registered for the draft and stated that he had served for two years as a private in the medical service in Virginia; at the time of his registration, he was employed as the secretary of the Norfolk, Virginia Ports Cotton Exchange (at least that’s what I think it says). I could not find any record for service during World War I itself.

When Helen Goldsmith Loeb’s son Armand registered for the draft, he was working for his father Harry as a salesman. He also served during the war, though not overseas. He served from May 1918 until December 1918. 15

Sylvester Goldsmith had three sons, but only Louis was of draft age during World War I. He served in the medical detachment of the 111th Infantry of the US Army from August 1917 until May 1919; he served in France in that capacity for some of that time.16

Miraculously, given the family’s bad luck, no one was killed while serving in World War I.  In fact, the family suffered no more deaths after Sylvester’s death in 1914 until after 1920. Thus, the years between 1908 and 1920 proved to be better years for the extended family of Levi and Henrietta Goldsmith. Although the family lost Sylvester, the youngest child of Levi and Henrietta, he was the only sibling to die during that time, and no more young children died in those years. In fact, three children were born and three family members were married during those years. So overall these were relatively good years for the family.

What would the Roaring Twenties bring?


  1. Ancestry.com. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Marriage Index, 1885-1951. “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Marriage Index, 1885–1951.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009. Philadelphia County Pennsylvania Clerk of the Orphans’ Court. “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia marriage license index, 1885-1951.” Clerk of the Orphans’ Court, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 
  2.  Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Births, 1860-1906,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VB1J-LDQ : 9 March 2018), Claudia Kohn, 15 Jun 1884; citing p 220, Department of Records; FHL microfilm 1,289,323. 
  3. Arnold Kohn and family, 1880 US Census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1179;Page: 171C; Enumeration District: 396. Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census. 
  4. Year: 1929; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 4596; Line: 9; Page Number: 36. Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 
  5.  Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Marriage Indexes, 1885-1951,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JJ8C-RY8 : 3 November 2017), Simon and Bessie G Anathan, 1912; citing license number 275511, Clerk of the Orphan’s Court. City Hall. 
  6. Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 010501-013500. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966. National Archives; Washington, D.C.; Record Group Title: M1522. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Federal Naturalization Records, 1795-1931. 
  7.  Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Philadelphia; Roll: 1907753; Draft Board: 29. Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005. Original data: United States, Selective Service System. World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. M1509, 4,582 rolls. Imaged from Family History Library microfilm. 
  8.  Number: 058-30-7449; Issue State: New York; Issue Date: 1953-1955. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014. Original data: Social Security Administration. Social Security Death Index, Master File. Social Security Administration. 
  9.  Ancestry.com. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Immigration Cards, 1900-1965 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016. Original data: “Rio de Janeiro Brazil, Immigration Cards, 1900-1965”. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2013. 
  10.  Year: 1927; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 4119; Line: 5; Page Number: 205. Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957. 
  11.  Ancestry.com. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Marriage Index, 1885-1951 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data: “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Marriage Index, 1885–1951.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009. Philadelphia County Pennsylvania Clerk of the Orphans’ Court. “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia marriage license index, 1885-1951.” Clerk of the Orphans’ Court, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 
  12. Seligman Abeles and family, 1870 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 6 District 17, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1391; Page: 149B; Family History Library Film: 552890. Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census. 
  13.  Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007. Original data: Social Security Applications and Claims, 1936-2007. 
  14.  Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, WWI Veterans Service and Compensation Files, 1917-1919, 1934-1948. Original data: World War I Veterans Service and Compensation File, 1934–1948. RG 19, Series 19.91. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg Pennsylvania. 
  15.  Box Title: Litweiler – Loebelenz (258), Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, WWI Veterans Service and Compensation Files, 1917-1919, 1934-1948 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015. Original data: World War I Veterans Service and Compensation File, 1934–1948. RG 19, Series 19.91. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg Pennsylvania. 
  16.  Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, WWI Veterans Service and Compensation Files, 1917-1919, 1934-1948. Original data: World War I Veterans Service and Compensation File, 1934–1948. RG 19, Series 19.91. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg Pennsylvania. 

Heartbreak after Heartbreak: Eight Tragic Deaths in Less than Eight Years

As seen in my earlier posts, by 1900 Levi Goldsmith and his wife Henrietta Lebenbach had both passed away, but they were survived by eight children. Thank you to my cousin Julian Reinheimer for this photograph of the headstones of Levi and Henrietta:

Courtesy of Julian Reinheimer

(I note that Levi’s name is spelled Levy on both stones; records are inconsistent about how he spelled his name, and since I’ve thus far used Levi, I have decided to stick with that spelling for consistency’s sake.)

All of Levi and Henrietta’s children except for their son George were married by 1900, and almost all of those who married had at least one child. Five grandchildren had died very young, but twelve were still living as of 1900. That would not be true in seven years.

The year 1900 saw the births of two more grandchildren. Felix Goldsmith and his wife Bertha Umstadter had their fourth child in Virginia in May 1900, a daughter named Minna.1 And Blanche Goldsmith and her husband Max Greenbaum also had a baby in May of that year, a son named Levis Greenbaum, another grandchild named for Levi Goldsmith.2 He was their third child, but their first two—Ethel and Leah—had died very young.

As of the taking of the 1900 census in June, Eva Goldsmith had separated from her husband Nathan Anathan. On the 1900 census, Eva is listed as a widow, living in Philadelphia with her two daughters, Helen (21) and Bessie (17) and eight boarders. Helen was working as a school teacher, and Bessie was still in school. I assumed that Nathan had died, but then I found him living in Chicago, working as a tobacconist and reporting that his marital status was single. I am quite sure that it is the same Nathan Anathan since he listed his birthplace as Philadelphia, he is the right age, his surname is quite unusual, and he was still in the tobacco business. Further searching revealed that Nathan died (under the name Nathan Nathan) in Chicago on April 9, 1907.3

Eva Goldsmith Anathan and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 29, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 2; Enumeration District: 0710; FHL microfilm: 1241470
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

Nathan Anathan, 1900 US census, Census Place: Chicago Ward 1, Cook, Illinois; Page: 3; Enumeration District: 0020; FHL microfilm: 1240245
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

The 1900 census reported that Estella and her husband Solomon (listed as Samuel here) Rothschild were living in Philadelphia with their three sons, Jerome (16), Leonard (12), and Herbert (6), and two servants.  The boys were all at school, and Solomon reported his occupation as “gentleman.” He is also listed without an occupation in the 1899 Philadelphia directory, though earlier directories list him as being in the millinery business.4

Rothschild family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 29, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 6; Enumeration District: 0711; FHL microfilm: 1241471
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

Levi and Henrietta’s oldest son, George Goldsmith, was living in Philadelphia as a lodger and working as a druggist in 1900.5 His younger brother Felix was living with his wife Bertha in Norfolk, Virginia, with their four children Frances (Fannie here, 11), Lee (7), Hortense (2), and the newborn Minna, who was a month old at that time. Bertha reported that she had given birth to six children, four still living, but I have not yet been able to find the other two children, so there must have been two more grandchildren who died very young. Felix was in the clothing business. They also had a nurse and a cook living with them.

Felix Goldsmith, 1900 US census, Census Place: Norfolk Ward 1, Norfolk City, Virginia; Page: 5; Enumeration District: 0086; FHL microfilm: 1241735
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

The third oldest son, Isadore, and his wife Mary were living as boarders in Philadelphia. They had no children. For his occupation, Isadore listed that he “lives on income.” 6 I wondered where that income came from. More on Isadore in my next post.

Isadore’s next youngest sibling was Helen Goldsmith, and she and her husband Harry Loeb were living in Dubois, Pennsylvania, with their two children, Armand (6) and Henriete (4); Harry was working as a lumberman. They had one servant living with them as well.

Harry Loeb and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Dubois Ward 2, Clearfield, Pennsylvania; Page: 5; Enumeration District: 0071; FHL microfilm: 1241396
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

Blanche, the youngest daughter, was living with her husband Max Greenbaum and her newborn son Levis in Philadelphia, where Max was a dentist. They also had a servant living with them. Although Blanche had lost two children before 1900, she reported that she had only given birth to one child. 7

The youngest Goldsmith sibling, Sylvester, was living in Addison, Indiana, with his wife Ida and their two children Henrietta (4) and Louis (1), as well as Sylvester’s mother-in-law. Sylvester was working as a clothing salesman.8

Unfortunately, during the next seven years the family suffered loss after loss of many of its members including far too many children as well as adults who died too young.

First, on October 30, 1900, just five months after the birth of his daughter Minna, Felix Goldsmith died. He was only 37 years old and left behind not only his infant daughter, but three other young children.

“Mr. Goldsmith’s Funeral,” Norfolk Virginia-Pilot, November 1, 1900, p. 2

According to his obituary in the Norfolk Virginia-Pilot of November 1, 1900 (p. 2), Felix died after being quite ill for two years. The paper described him as a “well-known and highly-esteemed citizen.” It also reported that after high school, Felix had taken “a medical course of study with the intention of being a physician.” Instead he became “an excellent businessman and was quite successful in his enterprises.” What a terrible loss this must have been for his family and his community.

1901 brought two new babies to the extended family in the same week. Harold Goldsmith was born on February 2, 1901, to Sylvester Goldsmith and his wife Ida in Indiana.9 Then six days later Helen Goldsmith Loeb gave birth to her third child, a boy they named Leonard Loeb, presumably for Helen’s father Levi.10

Whatever joy that may have brought to the extended family must have been dashed when little Levis Greenbaum, son of Blanche Goldsmith and Max Greenbaum, died in Philadelphia five months later on July 15, 1901.  According to the death register, he died from toxemic collapse.  With help from my brother and some people in Tracing the Tribe, I’ve determined that Levi most likely died from what today we would call septic shock from a bacterial infection. He was just over a year old when he died. And he was the third child of Blanche and Max to die before reaching age five. I can’t imagine how devastated they must have been.

Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-65Y7-7PQ?cc=1320976&wc=9FRH-C68%3A1073327701 : 16 May 2014), 004047862 > image 394 of 687; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

 

And then, just seven months after the death of little Levis, his cousin Leonard Levi Rothschild, son of Estella Goldsmith and Solomon Rothschild, died on February 2, 1902. He was only thirteen years old. Within the space of just seven months, two of the namesakes of Levi Goldsmith had died as children. Leonard died from gangrenous stomatitis or noma, which according to Wikipedia is “is a rapidly progressive, polymicrobial, often gangrenous infection of the mouth or genitals.” Today it is associated with malnutrition, poor hygiene, and unsafe drinking water. Given the family’s status on the 1900 census, it is hard to imagine that Leonard was malnourished or had poor hygiene.

Leonard Rothschild death certificate, “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-63B7-4Z1?cc=1320976&wc=9F5C-L2S%3A1073221501 : 16 May 2014), 004009533 > image 376 of 1778; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Sylvester Goldsmith and his wife Ida Simms experienced both a tragic loss and the birth of a new child in 1903. On February 15, 1903, their seven-year-old daughter Henrietta died from the measles. She was the eighth grandchild of Levi and Henrietta Goldsmith to die as a child.11

And then eight months to the day later, Ida gave birth to a boy they named Blanchard. 12 Was Ida already pregnant when Henrietta died? That must have been a very bittersweet and frightening pregnancy.

Fortunately 1904 brought no deaths to the family (as well as no births), but the heartbreak began again on January 9, 1905, when Estella Goldsmith Rothschild died from mitral regurgitation and pulmonary edema at age 45.She left behind her husband Solomon and her two surviving sons, Jerome (21) and Herbert (11). Had the loss of her two other sons, Stanley and Leonard, affected her health? It certainly is possible.

Estella Goldsmith Rothschild death certificate, “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-68KD-GL?cc=1320976&wc=9FRY-W38%3A1073113702 : 16 May 2014), 004008757 > image 316 of 534; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Estella’s memory was honored a year later when her brother Sylvester’s wife Ida gave birth to another child on February 8, 1906 and named her Estella Rothschild Goldsmith.

Estella Rothschild Goldsmith birth certificate, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Box Number: 5; Certificate Number: 14402
Source Information
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Birth Certificates, 1906-1910

April 1907 started out with good news when Blanche Goldsmith and Max Greenbaum had a new child, Helen Estelle Greenbaum, on April 7, 1907, also named in memory of Estella Goldsmith Rothschild.

Helen Estelle Greenbaum birth certificate, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Box Number: 100; Certificate Number: 104056
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Birth Certificates, 1906-1910

Two days later Nathan Anathan, Eva’s estranged husband, died in Chicago.13 Then Mary Wheeler, Isadore Goldsmith’s wife, died on April 17, 1907, from a stroke; she was 54.14

Six months later on October 11, 1907, Isadore himself died from a cerebral hemorrhage to which acute alcoholism was found to be a contributing factor. He was only 43 years old; from the death certificate it appears that he died after about a day in the Gibbons Sanitarium in Philadelphia. When I saw that, I decided to look further into Isadore’s life. More on that in my next post.

Isidore Goldsmith Death Certificate, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-68DJ-WR?cc=1320976&wc=9FRT-N38%3A1073183102 : 16 May 2014), 004008905 > image 483 of 536; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Looking back on what the extended family experienced between 1900 and 1907 is mind-boggling. Three of the children of Levi and Henrietta Goldsmith died before their 50th birthdays. Felix was only 37, Estella was 45, and Isadore was 43. In addition, Isadore’s wife Mary and Eva’s estranged husband Nathan died in April 1907.

Even more tragic, three more of their grandchildren died: Levis Greenbaum was only a year old, Leonard Rothschild was thirteen, and Henrietta Goldsmith was seven. That meant that eight of the grandchildren of Levi and Henrietta died as children.

What would the next decade bring for the five children of Levi and Henrietta who remained and for the surviving grandchildren? More to come in a subsequent post.


  1. Minna Goldsmith Goodman, ship manifest, Year: 1932; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 5138; Line: 28; Page Number: 182. Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 
  2. Levis Greenbaum, 1900 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 29, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 1; Enumeration District: 0710; FHL microfilm: 1241470. Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  3. Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878-1994,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N7HF-SQZ : 8 March 2018), Nathan Nathan, 09 Apr 1907; citing , Cook, Illinois, United States, source reference 10463, record number 37, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm 1,239,756. 
  4. Philadelphia city directories, 1879, 1881, 1889, 1890, 1894, 1899, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995. 
  5. George W. Goldsmith, 1900 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 20, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 8; Enumeration District: 0418; FHL microfilm: 1241462. Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  6. Isadore Goldsmith. 1900 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 32, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 5; Enumeration District: 0808; FHL microfilm: 1241473. Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  7. Max Greenbaum and family, 1900 US Census, Census Place: Dubois Ward 2, Clearfield, Pennsylvania; Page: 5; Enumeration District: 0071; FHL microfilm: 1241396.
    Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  8. Sylvester Goldsmith and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Addison, Shelby, Indiana; Page: 4; Enumeration District: 0104; FHL microfilm: 1240402. Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census. 
  9.  Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007. SSN: 288073757. 
  10. Leonard Loeb, 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: 1495. Ancestry.com. U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 
  11. Death record of Henrietta Goldsmith, February 15, 1903, Clearfield County, PA Death Records, 1893 – 1905. PAGE: g-89-1 & g-89-2. NO: 3. Found at http://files.usgwarchives.net/pa/clearfield/vitals/deaths/goldsmith-henrietta.txt 
  12.  Number: 138-03-2325; Issue State: New Jersey; Issue Date: Before 1951.
    Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014. (An eerie note: On the 1910 census, Sylvester is listed with four children, and he and Ida did have four living children at that time, but the names listed on the census included Henrietta, who had died, instead of their still-living son Louis. Sylvester Goldsmith and family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Du Bois Ward 1, Clearfield, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1331; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 0074; FHL microfilm: 1375344. Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  13. See Note 3, above. 
  14. Mary Goldsmith death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 038171-041450. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966 

Levi Goldsmith: The Last Brother to Arrive from Oberlistingen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Philadelphia Times, December 30,1886, p. 2

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

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

 


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

The Children of Heloise Goldsmith Hirsh and Samuel Goldsmith

As we have seen, two of the children of Meyer and Helena Goldsmith died relatively young. Samuel, their youngest son, died in 1907 when he was forty, and Heloise, their oldest daughter, died in 1911 when she was fifty. Both left behind their spouses and children. Samuel’s daughter Catherine was just a baby when he died.  Heloise’s older daughter Irma was 23 when her mother died, and her sister Dorothy was only thirteen. This post is about these three granddaughters of Meyer and Helena Goldsmith.

Heloise’s children, who were my double-cousins as noted here, were living in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, with their father when their mother died. By 1920, however, neither daughter was living with Simon. Simon had moved in with his widowed mother, Auguste Bernheim Hirsh (my first cousin, five times removed). Simon was a merchant in gentlemen’s furnishings. He and his mother were living at 21 North Lime Street in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.1

His daughter Irma Hirsh was married to Daniel Manheimer by 1920 and had two children: Helene, born January 11, 1912, in Lancaster,2 and Sanford Hirsh Manheimer, born January 3, 1914, in Lancaster.3 Daniel Manheimer was born March 5, 1871, in Cassel, Germany4 and had immigrated to the US as a teenager. In 1900 he’d been living with a cousin in Lancaster and working as a traveling salesman.5 In 1920 he was in the cigar manufacturing business. Irma’s sister Dorothy was also living with Irma and Daniel and their children in 1920 at 643 East Orange Street in Lancaster; she was working as a stenographer for a clothing store.

Daniel Manheimer and family, 1920 US Census, Census Place: Lancaster Ward 2, Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1583; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 54
Source Information
Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census

By 1930, the family members had shifted around a bit. Simon was now living at 643 East Orange Street in Lancaster with his daughter Irma and her family, his mother having died in 1922. Both Irma and her husband Daniel were now working in the life insurance business.6

Dorothy was still living with Irma and her family in 1927, according to the 1927 Lancaster directory, but by 1930, she was married. According to the 1930 census, she and Leon Jacobs had married when she was 29 or in 1927. Leon, the son of Alexander and Esther Jacobs, was born April 25, 1899, in Plymouth, Pennsylvania.7 He was in the real estate business.8 Dorothy and Leon would have two children. In 1940, they were all living in Lancaster, and Leon was still in the real estate business. Irma and Daniel were also still living in Lancaster in 1940, and their children were grown by then. Daniel was still in the life insurance business.9

Leon Jacob, 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: 1199
Source Information
Ancestry.com. U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947

Irma died from a heart attack on August 10, 1953, in Lancaster.  She was 65 years old. Her husband Daniel Manheimer had predeceased her; he died on January 3, 1951, when he was 79 years old.10 They are buried at Shomar Shaarayim Cemetery in Lancaster.

Irma Hirsh Manheimer death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 069751-072450

They were survived by their children and Irma’s sister Dorothy, who was the informant on Helen’s death certificate.

The certificate states that Dorothy’s address was in Philadelphia, so Dorothy and Leon must have moved from Lancaster sometime after 1948, the last year I could find them in the Lancaster directory.  Dorothy died in Miami, Florida in January 1972,11 when she was 73. Her husband Leon also died in Miami in February 1979.12 They were survived by their children. So somewhere out there I have more double cousins, the descendants of Heloise Goldsmith and Simon Bernheim Hirsh.

As for Catherine Goldsmith, who lost her father Samuel Goldsmith before her second birthday, it appears that she and her mother lived abroad for some years after Samuel died. She and her mother are listed as passengers on a 1914 trip from Liverpool, England, to New York, giving their US address as Lawrence, New York, on Long Island.

Helen Goldsmith and Catherine Goldsmith, 1914 passenger manifest, Year: 1914; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 2374; Line: 1; Page Number: 17. Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957

On her 1917 passport application, Helen attested that her permanent residence was in St. Paul, Minnesota, but that she had last been in the US in July 1915. She said that planned to return to the US “eventually” and to visit within two years. 13 Similarly, Catherine’s 1918 passport application attested that she had last been in the United States in July 1915 and had been living in Paris and that she planned to return to the US within six months “after the war,” i.e., World War I.  She listed her permanent domicile as New York City. She was then twelve years old.

Catherine Goldsmith 1918 passport application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 604; Volume #: Roll 0604 – Certificates: 39250-39499, 14 Oct 1918-15 Oct 1918. Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925

But Catherine and Helen did not return a few months after the end of World War I. Helen’s 1921 passport application gave her permanent address as Lawrence, New York, but also stated that she had lived in France since 1911, with two trips back to the US, the most recent one not since 1915. In a separate affidavit, Helen explained that the reason for her protracted absence from the US was her daughter’s education and that they expected to stay abroad “for some months yet” for her daughter to complete her education.14

In fact, it appears that Helen and Catherine lived in France for almost another twenty years. Although I do not have any records from France, from passenger manifests and other US records, I learned that Catherine married Gerard Maurice Lambert, who was born in France in about 1905. She must have married him sometime before 1934 because they had two children born in France between 1934 and 1937.15

Catherine and her children made at least two trips between France and the United States, one in 1938 for a few months16 and then in 1940, which was supposed to be for six months.17 But in fact they were still in the US  two years later, according to a document filed when Catherine and Gerard’s young son entered the US in San Diego from Mexico in November 1942. 18 I would imagine that the invasion of France by the Nazis and the persecution of Jews kept Catherine and her family from returning to France.

Gerard also immigrated to the US; he arrived in February 1942, having obtained a visa on December 8. 1941, the day after Pearl Harbor Day, the day the US entered World War II.  His passenger manifest indicates that he was an architect and that he was joining his wife in Los Angeles. In 1946 Gerard was living in Washington, DC, working for the government.19

Catherine and her children returned to France for an indefinite stay in August 1950, and at that time they were residing in Los Angeles. In 1951 they flew on a US Navy plane from England to Quonset Point, Rhode Island. Perhaps this was their return trip to the US. I am not sure where Gerard was at that point.20

Catherine died in California on October 7, 1981.21 I hope I can connect with her descendants at some point.

Thus ends my research on the family of my three-times great-uncle Meyer Goldsmith. Once again I am humbled by what he and all his children and grandchildren endured and experienced and accomplished. It is always such an honor to be able to learn and write about these families.  I am especially grateful to my newly discovered cousin–Meyer’s great-grandchild–who so generously shared the photographs and family stories with me.

 


  1. Simon B Hirsh, 1920 US Census, Census Place: Lancaster Ward 2, Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1583; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 53. Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  2. Helene M Cohen, 1962 passenger manifest, The National Archives at Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C.; Series Title: Passenger and Crew Manifests of Airplanes Arriving at New York, New York.; NAI Number: 2848504; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787 – 2004; Record Group Number: 85; Series Number: A3998; NARA Roll Number: 679. Ancestry.com. New York State, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1917-1967 
  3. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007. SSN: 188038636. 
  4. Daniel Manheimer death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 003601-006150. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966. Certificate 3797. 
  5. Daniel Manheimer, 1900 US Census, Census Place: Lancaster Ward 6, Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Page: 5; Enumeration District: 0056. Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  6. Daniel Manheimer and family, 1930 US Census, Census Place: Lancaster, Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Page: 15A; Enumeration District: 0049. Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  7. Leon Jacob, 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: 1199. Ancestry.com. U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947. This is the only record that spells his name without a final S. 
  8. Leon Jacobs and family, 1930 US Census, Census Place: Manheim, Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 0089. Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  9. Leon Jacobs and family, 1940 US Census, Census Place: Lancaster, Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Roll: m-t0627-03532; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 36-94. Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  10. Daniel Manheimer death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 003601-006150. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966. Certificate 3797. 
  11. Number: 204-03-8654; Issue State: Pennsylvania; Issue Date: Before 1951. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  12. Number: 203-07-6982; Issue State: Pennsylvania; Issue Date: Before 1951. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  13. Helen Rau Goldsmith 1917 passport application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 346; Volume #: Roll 0346 – Certificates: 45901-46300, 26 Jan 1917-30 Jan 1917. Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 
  14. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 1755; Volume #: Roll 1755 – Certificates: 89626-89999, 10 Oct 1921-11 Oct 1921.  Ancestry.com U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 
  15. Gerard Lambert, 1942 passenger manifest, Year: 1942; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 6610; Line: 23; Page Number: 73. Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 
  16.  Year: 1938; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 6227; Line: 11; Page Number: 30. Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 
  17. Year: 1940; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 6473; Line: 27; Page Number: 24. Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957. 
  18. The National Archives and Records Administration; Washington D.C.; Manifests of Alien Arrivals at San Ysidro (Tia Juana), California, April 21, 1908 – December 1952; NAI: 2843448; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787-2004.; Record Group Number: 85; Microfilm Roll Number: 08. Ancestry.com. Border Crossings: From Mexico to U.S., 1895-1964 
  19.  Gerard Lambert, 1942 passenger manifest, Year: 1942; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 6610; Line: 23; Page Number: 73. Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957. Gerard Lambert 1946 passenger manifest, Year: 1946; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 7236; Line: 1; Page Number: 58. Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 
  20. The National Archives at Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C.; Series Title: Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels and Airplanes Departing from New York, New York, 07/01/1948-12/31/1956; NAI Number: 3335533; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787-2004; Record Group Number: 85; Series Number: A4169; NARA Roll Number: 91. Ancestry.com. U.S., Atlantic Ports Passenger Lists, 1820-1873 and 1893-1959 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc., 2010. Original data: Records from Record Group 287, Publications of the U.S. Government; Record Group 85, Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service [INS] and Record Group 36, Records of the United States Customs Service. The National Archives at Washington, D.C.  
  21. Number: 100-16-2554; Issue State: New York; Issue Date: Before 1951. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 

Meyer Goldsmith Moves to New York: Weddings, Births, and Deaths 1891-1911

As seen in my last post, after immigrating from Oberlistingen, Germany, my three-times great-uncle Meyer Goldsmith became, like his older brothers Jacob, Abraham, and Levi, a clothing merchant in Philadelphia for many years. He and his wife, Helena Hohenfels, had six children born between 1859 and 1872, and as of 1888, he and his family were still living in Philadelphia at 705 Marshall Street.

But as of 1889, they were no longer listed in the Philadelphia city directories. Their oldest daughter Heloise had married Simon Bernheim Hirsh in 1886 and was living with him and their children in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in the 1890s. But where was the rest of the family?

It appears that Meyer and Helena and their five other adult children had all relocated to New York City by around 1890. Meyer appears in the 1891 New York City directory as residing at 220 East 69th Street, and Meyer and his sons Eugene and Maurice appear as residing at that same address in the 1892 New York City directory. Meyer is listed as a clothier at 648 Broadway, Eugene as in the trimmings business at 236 Church Street, and Maurice as in the clothing business at 722 Broadway. Perhaps after the failure of Goldsmith & Bros. in 1887, the family decided to leave Philadelphia behind and take their chances on New York instead. 1

Thanks once again to Meyer and Helena’s descendant for this photograph, which we believe is a photograph of Meyer and Helena taken some years after the one I shared in my last post. What do you think?

Helena Hohenfels and Meyer Goldsmith possibly.  Courtesy of the family

In 1896, Meyer and Helena’s second oldest daughter Rose married Hans (sometimes Harry) Morgenstern.2 Hans was born on April 23, 1859; although some of the documents indicate that he was born in Austria, his 1904 passport application states that he was born in Beuthen, Prussia, Germany.3 According to this website, Beuthen is one of those towns that was once within the borders of Germany, once within the borders of Austria, and today is located in Poland and known at Bytom, located about 60 miles west of Krakow. In his 1904 passport application, Hans stated that he had arrived in the United States in 1892 and settled in New York City.

Two years after Rose’s wedding, Meyer and Helena’s youngest child, Florence, married Leo Levy on June 8, 1898, in New York City.4 Leo was born in Flushing, Queens, New York, on October 20, 1871. I was unable to find out any information about Leo’s family of origin until I located this wedding announcement from the June 9, 1898 issue of the New York Times (p. 7):

The New York Times, June 8, 1898, p. 7

Although the announcement did not reveal Leo’s parents’ names, it did reveal those of three of his siblings: Rosalie, Jacob, and Sidney. With that information, I was able to locate the family living in Flushing, Queens, on the 1880 US census and learned that Jacob’s parents were Simon Levy and Caroline Hirsch, both born in Baden, Germany; Simon had immigrated in 1857 as a teenager; Caroline had immigrated with her parents in about 1854. Leo’s father Simon was a clothing merchant.

Leo Levy 1880 US Census, Census Place: Queens, Queens, New York; Roll: 917; Page: 182D; Enumeration District: 263
Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census

From the wedding announcement I also learned that Leo was a lawyer practicing with the firm of Erdman, Levy and Mayer.

Thus, by 1900 all three of Meyer and Helena’s daughters were married. Nevertheless, the 1900 census shows that Meyer and Helena still had all three of their sons, two of the daughters, and two of their sons-in-law living with them as well as two servants. They were all living at 129 East 60th Street. Meyer’s occupation was salesman; Eugene was a merchant; Maurice was a traveling salesman; and Samuel, the youngest son, was a dentist. All three sons were single. Meyer’s son-in-law Hans Morgenstern was a “commission merchant,” and his son-in-law Leo Levy was a lawyer.

Meyer Goldsmith and family, 1900 US Census, Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York; Page: 15; Enumeration District: 0780
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

Here are photographs that we believe are Eugene, Maurice, and Samuel:

Eugene and Maurice Goldsmith (possibly). Courtesy of the family.

Samuel Goldsmith (possibly). Courtesy of the family.

By 1905, the two married daughters and their husbands had moved out. I was unable to locate either Rose Goldsmith Morgenstern or Florence Goldsmith Levy on the 1905 New York State census, but they were no longer living in the same household as their parents. Florence and Leo had had two children by 1905; their daughter Helen was born on October 14, 1900,5 and their son Richard was born on November 18, 1903, both in New York City.6

Another child was born to Florence and Leo on July 24, 1908, in Queens; birth records have her name as Edith Catherine,7 but no child with that name appears on the 1910 census or any later census. The 1910 census reports a third child named Eleanor, aged  one year, six months. At first I was quite confused, but one of Florence and Leo’s descendants explained that Florence and Leo decided that they preferred the name Eleanor to Edith after the baby was born and changed her name.

Leo Levy and family, 1910 US Census, Census Place: Queens Ward 5, Queens, New York; Roll: T624_1068; Page: 12B; Enumeration District: 1250; FHL microfilm: 1375081
Description
Enumeration District: 1250
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

Meanwhile, according to one 1905 New York State census record, all three sons of Meyer and Helena were still living with them at 229 West 97th Street in New York City in 1905. Meyer was a clothier, Eugene an importer, Morris (Maurice) a clothier partner, and Samuel a dentist.

Meyer Goldsmith and family 1905 NYS census
New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1905; Election District: A.D. 21 E.D. 45; City: Manhattan; County: New York; Page: 20
Ancestry.com. New York, State Census, 1905

Samuel, however, is also listed with his wife Helen on another page from the New York State 1905 census as residing at 113 East 60th Street in New York City. That he was listed twice on the 1905 New York State census is another example of census inaccuracies.

Samuel and Helen Goldsmith, 1905 NYS census, New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1905; Election District: A.D. 29 E.D. 10; City: Manhattan; County: New York; Page: 19
Ancestry.com. New York, State Census, 1905

Samuel Goldsmith had married Helen Rau on April 20, 1904, in New York.8 (That meant that there was one Helena, one Heloise, and two Helens now in the extended family.) Helen Rau was born on September 9, 1877, in Englewood, New Jersey, to John Rau and Clementine Kayser.9  On July 28, 1906, Helen gave birth to their daughter, Catherine Goldsmith, in Norwood Park, New Jersey.10

Tragically, Samuel died before Catherine was fourteen months old.  He died in St. Paul, Minnesota, on September 25, 1907; he was only forty years old.11  According to his obituary in the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent of September 27, 1907 (p.11), Samuel and his family had moved to St. Paul for his health on the advice of his doctor. Can anyone suggest why Minnesota would be good for one’s health? I’ve heard of people moving to drier or warmer climates for their health, but why Minnesota? Perhaps it was to be near the Mayo Clinic, which had opened in 1889 in Rochester, Minnesota? I did notice that Helen had a sister living in St. Paul at that time, so perhaps Helen was looking for support due to Samuel’s poor health.

Philadelphia Jewish Exponent, September 27, 1907, p. 11

The obituary described Samuel as a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and as “one of the foremost dentists in New York.” Samuel provided in his will that “[a]ll of my property I give to my beloved wife, Helen Rau Goldsmith, absolutely and forever, appointing her sole Executrix.”

Samuel L. Goldsmith will, Record of Wills, 1665-1916; Index to Wills, 1662-1923 (New York County); Author: New York. Surrogate’s Court (New York County); Probate Place: New York, New York. Ancestry.com. New York, Wills and Probate Records, 1659-1999

Sadly, this was only the beginning of heartbreaking news for the family. The family suffered another loss on February 18, 1910, when Helena Hohenfels Goldsmith died at age 73. She was buried at Mt. Hope Cemetery in Hasting-on-Hudson, New York.12

When the 1910 census was taken two months after Helena’s death, Meyer was still living at 229 West 97th Street, with his two surviving sons, Eugene and Maurice, and his daughter Rose and her husband Hans Morgenstern (as well as two servants).  Meyer was no longer working. Eugene was still in the importing business, and Maurice was a department store salesman. Hans was also working for an import house, presumably with Eugene, his brother-in-law. Rose and Hans did not have children.13

In 1910, Florence and Leo Levy were living with their children, a servant, and a nurse in Queens, and Leo was practicing law.13 I was delighted to receive from Florence’s descendant this beautiful photograph of Florence and her three children, probably taken around 1910.

Helen Levy, Florence Goldsmith Levy, Eleanor Levy, and Richard Goldsmith Levy. Courtesy of the family.

Heloise and Simon Bernheim Hirsh continued to live with their two daughters in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where Simon was a clothing merchant.14

I could not find Samuel Goldsmith’s widow Helen Rau Goldsmith or their daughter Catherine Goldsmith on the 1910 census, but I believe they may have been out of the country.  Helen’s sister Emma Rau had been living abroad beginning in 1904, and I have a hunch that Helen and Catherine might have been visiting her at the time of the 1910 census. From several passport applications starting in 1918, it appears that Helen and Catherine also lived abroad for many years.15

There was another tragedy in the family on January 9, 1911, when Meyer’s oldest daughter Heloise Goldsmith Hirsh died from acute dilatation of the heart and diabetes at age fifty. She was survived by her husband, my cousin Simon Bernheim Hirsh, and their two surviving daughters, my double cousins Irma and Dorothy Hirsh, as well as her father Meyer and her remaining siblings.

Death certificate of Heloise Goldsmith Hirsh, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 004931-008580. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966

It was only a few months later that her father and my 3x-great-uncle Meyer also passed away. He died on May 26, 1911, when he was 76 years old and was buried with his wife Helena at Mt. Hope Cemetery. Perhaps losing a son, a wife, and a daughter in just a few years was too much for Meyer to bear.16

Although he had not lived in Philadelphia for about twenty years at the time of his death, the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent ran this obituary when Meyer died:

Philadelphia Jewish Exponent, June 2, 1911, p.11

Thus, as of May 26, 1911, Meyer and Helena and two of their children, Heloise and Samuel, were deceased. Meyer and Helena were survived by two of their sons, Eugene and Maurice, and two of their daughters, Rose and Florence, all of whom were living in New York City. They were also survived by six grandchildren, Heloise’s two daughters Irma and Dorothy Hirsh, Samuel’s daughter Catherine Goldsmith, and Florence’s three children, Helen, Richard, and Eleanor Levy. Their stories will follow.

 


  1.  New York, New York, City Directory, 1891, 1892. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  2.  Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Extracted Marriage Index, 1866-1937. Certificate 6656. 
  3. Hans Morgenstern passport application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 647; Volume #: Roll 647 – 01 Apr 1904-11 Apr 1904. Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 
  4. Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Extracted Marriage Index, 1866-1937. Certificate 9123 
  5. New York, New York City Births, 1846-1909,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2WWV-ZK5 : 11 February 2018), Helen Coroline Levy, 14 Oct 1900; citing Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, reference cn 42281 New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,953,853. 
  6. New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:24WP-VL4 : 10 February 2018), Richard G. Levy and Malvene Frankel, 26 Mar 1928; citing Marriage, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York City Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,653,341. 
  7. New York, New York City Births, 1846-1909,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:27YD-M2D : 11 February 2018), Edith Catherine Levy, 24 Jul 1908; citing Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, reference v 9 cn 4359 New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 2,022,365. 
  8. Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Extracted Marriage Index, 1866-1937. Certificate 13130 
  9. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007. SSN: 071368415. 
  10. Catherine Goldsmith 1918 passport application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 604; Volume #: Roll 0604 – Certificates: 39250-39499, 14 Oct 1918-15 Oct 1918. Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 
  11.  Minnesota Deaths and Burials, 1835-1990,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FD8M-Z3K : 10 March 2018), Sam Goldsmith, 25 Sep 1907; citing St. Paul, Minnesota, reference ; FHL microfilm 2,117,569. 
  12.  New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949,” database, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:271F-D9G : 10 February 2018), Helena Goldsmith, 18 Feb 1910; citing Death, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,323,239. 
  13. Leo Levy and family, 1910 US Census, Census Place: Queens Ward 5, Queens, New York; Roll: T624_1068; Page: 12B; Enumeration District: 1250; FHL microfilm: 1375081. Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  14. Simon Hirsh and family, 1910 US Census, Census Place: Lancaster Ward 2, Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1354; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 0062; FHL microfilm: 1375367. Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  15. Emma Rau 1923 passport application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 2159; Volume #: Roll 2159 – Certificates: 240976-241349, 04 Jan 1922-05 Jan 1922. Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925. Also, e.g., Catherine Goldsmith 1918 passport application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 604; Volume #: Roll 0604 – Certificates: 39250-39499, 14 Oct 1918-15 Oct 1918. Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925. More on Catherine in a post to come. 
  16.  New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2WMM-M68 : 10 February 2018), Meyer Goldsmith, 26 May 1911; citing Death, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,323,280. 

Meyer Goldsmith: Another Clothier and More Double Cousins

Having now finished the stories of the families of two of my three-times great-uncles, Jacob and Abraham, I am going to turn to their youngest brother, Meyer, because he was the next to immigrate to the United States. I have been very fortunate to connect with one of Meyer’s descendants, who has generously shared photographs and stories with me, as you will see.

Meyer was the youngest son of Seligmann Goldschmidt and Hincka Alexander, my three-times great-grandparents. He was born October 25, 1834, in Oberlistingen, Germany.1

Birth record of Rafael/Meyer Goldschmidt 1834
Geburtsregister der Juden von Oberlistingen (Breuna) 1826-1852 (HHStAW Abt. 365 Nr. 668)AutorHessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, Wiesbaden, p. 5

Meyer arrived in the US on July 8, 1852, when he was seventeen years old.

Meier Goldschmidt passenger manifest
Year: 1852; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 116; Line: 1; List Number: 895

In 1859, he married Helena Hohenfels,2 daughter of Jordan Hohenfels and Adelaide Freinsberg. Helena came with her mother and siblings from Berge, Germany to the US in 1846 and settled in Philadelphia. 3 Meyer and Helena’s descendant shared these amazing photographs of Jordan and Adelaide Hohenfels:

Adelaide Hohenfels Courtesy of the family

Jordan Hohenfels. Courtesy of the family

We also believe that these photographs may be of Meyer and Helena:

Possibly Helena Hohenfels and Meyer Goldsmith

 

Meyer and Helena’s first child Eugene was born on October 6, 1859,4 in Newton, New Jersey, which is about 100 miles north of Philadelphia and sixty miles west of New York City. In 1860 Meyer, Helena, and their infant son Eugene were living in Newton, New Jersey; Meyer was working as a “merchant tailor” and had $4000 worth of personal property. Also living with them were a servant and a thirteen-year-old boy named George Stone from the Hesse region, whose relationship to the family I’ve not determined. Like Jacob and Abraham, by this time Meyer had changed the spelling of his surname to Goldsmith.

Meyer Goldsmith and Helene Hohenfels 1860 census
Year: 1860; Census Place: Newton, Sussex, New Jersey; Roll: M653_709; Page: 605; Family History Library Film: 803709

By 1863 or so, Meyer and his family had relocated to Philadelphia where Meyer continued to be a clothing merchant. In 1867, Meyer filed a complaint and charges were brought against a man named John L. Rich, who apparently took delivery of $2809 worth of merchandise and failed to pay Meyer for those goods.

“An Absconding Merchant Takes $2800 Worth of Goods With Him,” The Philadelphia Evening Telegraph, December 28, 1867, p. 5.

As of 1870 Meyer and Helena had five children: Eugene (1859), Heloise (1860), Maurice/Morris/Murray (1863), Samuel (1867), and Rosa (1869). Helena’s mother Adelaide was also living with them in 1870. Meyer was working as a wholesale clothier and claimed $2000 in personal property. (I guess all those children ate into the $4000 worth of savings they’d had in 1860!) A sixth child, Florence, would be born in 1872.

Meyer Goldsmith 1870 census
Year: 1870; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 13 District 39, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1397; Page: 465A; Family History Library Film: 552896

In 1880, Meyer was still in the clothing business in Philadelphia, and his son Eugene, now 20, was working as a salesman. His second son Morris, seventeen, was employed as a clerk.  Their daughter Heloise was not employed, and the three younger children were all in school. Meyer’s mother-in-law Adelaide Hohenfels was still living with them as was a nephew named “Julius Stein” (actually spelled Stine); Julius was sixteen and working as a stock clerk. He was Helena’s sister’s son. I assume that Eugene, Maurice, and Julius were all working with Meyer in the clothing business.

Meyer Goldsmith and family 1880 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1173; Page: 276B; Enumeration District: 219
Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census

As I wrote about here, in the early 1880s, Meyer’s brothers Abraham and Levi ran into financial problems in their clothing business, and in 1883, they joined with their brother Meyer in the clothing business, using the name Goldsmith Brothers. The three brothers continued in business together for several years, but Levi died on December 29, 1886, and the business failed soon afterwards.

Two months after Levi’s death, Goldsmith Brothers was forced to make an assignment of its assets to another clothing business. The paper reported that at that time Goldsmith Brothers had assets of almost $70,000 but liabilities of over $142,000. From this report it appears that the creditors of Goldsmith Brothers were prepared to take 33 1/3 cents on the dollar for the money owed to them.

“The Creditors of Goldsmith Brothers,” The Philadelphia Times, February 13, 1887, p. 2.

Three days later there was a detailed update on the appraisal of the assets of the business, showing that the company had net assets of $69,306.73:

“Goldsmith Brothers’ Estate,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, February 16, 1887, p. 2.

And two days after that the creditors agreed to accept 37 ½ cents on the dollar for the money owed to them by Goldsmith Brothers.

“The Goldsmith Failure,” The Philadelphia Times, February 18, 1887, p. 1.

In 1888, Abraham went into business with his sons, and Meyer continued alone in his own clothing business. His oldest son Eugene was in the button business with someone named David Jonger Lit in 1888.5

Meanwhile, Meyer and Helena’s oldest daughter Heloise married Simon Bernheim Hirsh in 1886.6 As soon as I saw Simon’s name, I had a feeling that he was also somehow related to me, and indeed, he was my second cousin, four times removed. Simon’s great-grandfather was Samson Bernheim, my five times great-grandfather:

Thus, Simon Bernheim Hirsh was part of my Bernheim branch, and his wife Heloise was my first cousin, three times removed, on the Goldschmidt/Goldsmith branch of my family tree. These are two otherwise unrelated branches; the Bernheims came from Hechingen in the Baden-Wuerttemberg region of Germany and the Goldschmidts from Oberlistingen near Kassel in Hesse.

Simon was born  on September 3, 1859, to Herman Hirsh and Auguste Bernheim in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.7 Lancaster is about eighty miles west of Philadelphia.  His parents were both born in Germany, and his father Herman was a merchant in Lancaster when Simon was born.8  The 1870 census reports that Herman was in the notions business,9 and in 1880 he was in the clothing business, and Simon was a clerk, presumably in his father’s store in Lancaster. Perhaps Simon and Heloise’s fathers knew each other from the clothing business.10

After marrying, Heloise and Simon settled in Lancaster, where their first child Irma was born on June 4, 1888.11  They would have two more daughters in the 1890s, both born in Lancaster; Helen was born on February 27, 1895, but only survived a few months, dying on May 29, 1895.12. The third daughter Dorothy was born on March 21, 1898.13 The Hirsh children were my double-cousins, related to me through these two otherwise completely unrelated lines. Endogamy, endogamy, endogamy.

Meanwhile, the 1890s brought many other changes to the family of Meyer and Helena Goldsmith, including a move from Philadelphia to New York City. More on that in my next post.

 


  1. As I wrote here, although this record shows a baby registered with the name Rafael, I believe that this was the same child later known as Meyer, based on his age on several US records and the fact that the 1900 census says that he was born in October 1834, and that there is no other birth registered to Seligmann Goldschmidt and Hincka Alexander for that month and year. Birth record of Rafael/Meyer Goldschmidt 1834, Geburtsregister der Juden von Oberlistingen (Breuna) 1826-1852 (HHStAW Abt. 365 Nr. 668)AutorHessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, Wiesbaden, p. 5. 
  2. Helena and Meyer Goldsmith and family, 1900 US Census, Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York; Page: 15; Enumeration District: 0780. Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  3.  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. Ancestry.com. Baltimore, Passenger Lists, 1820-1964 
  4. Eugene Goldsmith passport application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 2421; Volume #: Roll 2421 – Certificates: 367850-368349, 29 Jan 1924-31 Jan 1924. Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 
  5. 1888 Philadelphia City Directory, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995. 
  6.  Ancestry.com. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Marriage Index, 1885-1951 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data: “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Marriage Index, 1885–1951.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009. Philadelphia County Pennsylvania Clerk of the Orphans’ Court. “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia marriage license index, 1885-1951.” Clerk of the Orphans’ Court, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 
  7. Simon Bernheim Hirsh death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 006501-009500. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966 
  8. Herman Hirsh and family, 1860 US Census, Census Place: Lancaster, South West Ward, Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Roll: M653_1126; Page: 582; Family History Library Film: 805126. Ancestry.com. 1860 United States Federal Census 
  9. Herman Hirsh and family, 1870 US Census, Census Place: Lancaster Ward 2, Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1356; Page: 195B; Family History Library Film: 552855. Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census 
  10. Herman Hirsh and family, 1880 US Census, Census Place: Lancaster, Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1142; Page: 29A; Enumeration District: 148. Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census. 
  11. Irma Hirsh Manheimer death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 069751-072450. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966. 
  12. JewishGen, comp. JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) 
  13. Number: 204-03-8654; Issue State: Pennsylvania; Issue Date: Before 1951.
    Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014