Til Death Do Us Part

Most of us have heard of a husband and wife dying within weeks or months of each other—sometimes just days. There is apparently some real science behind the phenomenon of long-time spouses dying close in time. In the Jacob Goldsmith family, it happened twice within just a few years to two different couples.

By 1930, as seen in my earlier post, Emma Goldsmith Cohlman was the only surviving child of Jacob and Fannie Goldsmith. On the 1930 census she was living in Philadelphia, claiming to be a 68 year old widow though she was in fact 79 and divorced. There were also ten grandchildren of Jacob and Fannie living in 1930. That would not be the case ten years later.

Caroline Goldsmith and Nathan Rice’s daughter Rena Rice and her husband Edwin Sternfels were still living in New York City in 1930 where Edwin was still in advertising. 1 Rena’s brother Sidney and his wife Martha Sondheim were still living in Philadelphia, and Sidney was also in the advertising business.2 The youngest child of Caroline Goldsmith and Nathan Rice, their daughter Jessica Rice, and her husband Philip Sondheim were still living in Brookline where Philip practiced law.3 Jessica and Philip’s daughter Ruth and her husband Adrian Kramer and daughter Natalie were living in Boston, and Adrian was an equipment salesman.4

Huldah’s children were also well-settled in 1930. Her two sons, Herbert and Arthur Raphael, were living in the same household in Philadelphia, along with Arthur’s wife Josephine and ten year old son Ross.  Arthur was now an insurance salesman and Herbert a commercial salesman. 5 Their younger sister Adelaide and her husband Harry W. Hahn and their two sons were living in Washington, DC, where Harry continued to work in the family shoe business.6

As I wrote earlier, Philip Goldsmith’s three sons were all living in Philadelphia in 1930; Byron and Jerome were married, and Herbert continued to live with his mother Nellie’s siblings. As for Harry Goldsmith’s biological son Stanton Loeb Dreifus, he was living in Queens, New York, with his wife and son and was an iron and steel broker, like his step or adoptive father Emanuel Dreifus.

Thus, as of 1930, all looked fairly calm for the grandchildren of Jacob and Fannie Goldsmith. But within ten years, the family would suffer one heartache after another with just a few occasions for celebration.

Although Harry and Adelaide (Raphael) Hahn’s two sons were married in the 1930s, both weddings were overshadowed by deaths in the family. On January 22, 1934, their older son, Harry W. Hahn, Jr., married Elizabeth Hofheimer in Norfolk, Virginia. 7 Elizabeth was the daughter of J.Caesar Hofheimer and Bessie Hirschler of Norfolk.8 The bride and groom were both 24 years old.

The Washington Star provided this description of the wedding:

Washington DC Evening Star, January 28, 1934, p. 3

The youthful bride, who was given away by her brother, Mr. Edward Hofheimer, looked lovely in her wedding gown of aqua marine crepe, trimmed in Summer ermine. She carried a bouquet of lilies of the valley, a white bible that was used by the bridegroom’s mother and a duchess lace handkerchief that was carried by the bride’s mother. A family dinner followed the ceremony and at 7:30 o’clock in the evening Mr. and Mrs. Hahn left by boat for New York and sailed on Wednesday, January 24, for Bermuda to spent two weeks. On their return they will visit the bridegroom’s parents at their home…for a few days before going to their future home in Baltimore, where they have taken an apartment in Ingraham Hall.

The bridegroom had for his best man his brother, Mr. Arthur Hahn, who is a senior at Yale College. The bridegroom is a graduate of Yale, the class of ’31. ….

Imagine Jacob and Fannie’s pride if they’d lived to see two great-grandsons at Yale. In four generations the family had gone from new immigrants to Ivy League graduates.

But that pride and the joy of the newlywedded couple were soon eclipsed by sadness. Less than a year after the wedding, Harry W. Hahn, Sr., Adelaide’s husband, died “after a long illness” at age 54 on December 8, 1934. He would have turned 55 nine days later. His obituary reported that he had gone to Phillips Exeter Academy, spent a year at Harvard, and graduated from Georgetown University Law School before going into the shoe business established by his father and uncles. He was also active in many civic, business, and charitable organizations.

“H.W. Hahn Dies; Headed Shoe Firm,” Washington (DC) Evening Star, December 8, 1834, p.2.

Baltimore Sun, December 9, 1934, p. 7.

A few months later the family gathered again to celebrate a wedding, this time for Arthur Hahn, Adelaide and the late Harry Sr.’s younger son. On June 20, 1935, Arthur married Maxine Goodkind in Chicago.9  She was the daughter of Abraham Goodkind and Harriet Steele. She and Arthur were only 21 years old when they married.  This wedding did not receive the big write-up in the newspaper that Harry Jr.’s wedding had received eighteen months earlier and was presumably a less elaborate affair, given the recent death of Arthur’s father. The paper did report that they were married at the bride’s home in Chicago and would be returning to Washington where they would live with Arthur’s mother, Adelaide. The paper also reported that Arthur’s mother, his brother Harry Jr., and Harry’s wife Elizabeth also came to Chicago for the wedding.

Washington DC Evening Star, June 23, 1935, p. 4

Once again, the joy of the newlyweds was crushed by another death. On September 30, 1935, just three months after Arthur and Maxine’s wedding, Adelaide Raphael Hahn died from a sudden heart attack after being involved in a three-car accident in Riverdale, Maryland.10 According to the report in the Washington Evening Star, “[a]fter the accident Mrs. Hahn alighted from her car and talked to the police and the drivers of the other machines. Suddenly she collapsed and fell to the ground. She died shortly after Dr. Martin Keane arrived.”

The article also reported that Adelaide’s new daughter-in-law Maxine was in the car with her at the time as was her “colored maid,” Florence Walker, who suffered a possible fractured pelvis. Maxine and the other two drivers were unharmed. It still floors me every time the blatant racism of those times raises its ugly head. Why comment at all on the race of the maid? No mention was made of anyone else’s race. It is so apparent that those who were not white were considered “the other” and that it was considered totally acceptable for the press to make that distinction.

According to the same article, an autopsy was performed and confirmed that Adelaide had died from a heart attack, not from injuries sustained in the accident itself. The paper also reported that Adelaide had been suffering from a heart condition before the accident, according to her personal physician.

Washington DC Evening Star, October 1, 1935, p. 2.

In the space of less than two years, Arthur Hahn and Harry Hahn, Jr. had both experienced the joys of getting married and the heartbreaks of losing both of their parents.

The tragedies suffered by the extended family did not stop there.  Three members of the family died in December, 1936. First, on December 5, 1936, Martha Sondheim Rice, the wife of Sidney Rice, died from lung cancer at age 65; her brother Philip was the informant.

Martha Sondheim Rice death certificate
Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 108501-111500
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966

Then four days later on December 9, 1936, Martha’s husband Sidney Rice died at age 63 from a cerebral thrombosis. Once again, Philip Sondheim was the informant. Remember that Philip was not only Martha’s brother, but was also married to Sidney’s sister Jessica. That is, within four days Philip and Jessica each lost a sibling, and those siblings themselves had been husband and wife. Sidney and Martha were truly a couple who were together not only in life but in death.

Sidney Rice death certificate Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 108501-111500 Description Certificate Number Range: 108501-111500 Source Information Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966

Six days after Sidney Rice died, the last remaining child of Jacob and Fannie Goldsmith, Emma Goldsmith Cohlman, died of an acute intestinal obstruction at age 85 on December 15, 1936. Her nephew Arthur Raphael, Huldah Goldsmith’s son, was the informant on her death certificate. Another nephew, Philip Goldsmith’s son Byron Goldsmith, was the doctor signing the death certificate.

Emma Goldsmith Cohlman death certificate
Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 105501-108500
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966

In less than a month, the family had suffered three losses.

There was, however, one happier occasion during 1936. Huldah Goldsmith Raphael’s older son J. Herbert Raphael married Matilda Wishoff, the daughter of two Russian immigrants, Hyman Wishoff and Rebecca Cohen. Matilda was born in Philadephia on September 20, 1909, not long after her parents and older siblings had immigrated; her father was a barber.  When they married, Matilda was 27, Herbert was 54.11

There was one final loss in the 1930s when Harry Goldsmith’s biological son Stanton Loeb Dreifus died on July 11, 1938. He was 53 years old. I don’t know how much, if any, contact he had had with Harry or Harry’s family after his mother remarried in 1901, but as he was my biological relative, I wanted to mark his passing as well. He was survived by his wife and one son. Another son had died as a toddler in 1915.12

By 1940, the family must have felt quite devastated by all these losses. But life did go on for those who remained—the seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren of Jacob and Fannie Goldsmith  who were still living.  They will be discussed in my next and final post on the descendants of Jacob and Fannie Goldsmith.

 

 

 


  1. Edwin and Rena Sternfels, 1930 US Census, Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York; Roll: 1577; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 1014; FHL microfilm: 2341312,
    Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  2. Sidney and Martha Rice, 1930 US Census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 2102; Page: 20A; Enumeration District: 0572; FHL microfilm: 2341836, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  3. Philip and Jessica Sondheim, 1930 US Census, Census Place: Brookline, Norfolk, Massachusetts; Roll: 933; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 0023; FHL microfilm: 2340668, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  4. Ruth and Adrian Kramer, 1930 US Census, Census Place: Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts; Roll: 949; Page: 1A;Enumeration District: 0328; FHL microfilm: 2340684, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  5. Raphael family, 1930 US Census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 2136; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 1075; FHL microfilm: 2341870, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  6. Adelaide and Harry W. Hahn, 1930 US Census, Census Place: Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: 304; Page: 16A; Enumeration District: 0377; FHL microfilm: 2340039, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  7. Marriage record of Harry W. Hahn, Jr., and Elizabeth Hofheimer, Ancestry.com. Virginia, Select Marriages, 1785-1940, Original data: Virginia, Marriages, 1785-1940. Salt Lake City, Utah: FamilySearch, 2013. 
  8. Elizabeth Hofheimer birth record, Ancestry.com. Virginia, Birth Records, 1912-2014, Delayed Birth Records, 1854-1911 Original data: Virginia, Births, 1864–2014. Virginia Department of Health, Richmond, Virginia. 
  9. Marriage record of Harry Hahn and Maxine Goodkind, Ancestry.com. Cook County, Illinois Marriage Index, 1930-1960, Original data: Cook County Clerk, comp. Cook County Clerk Genealogy Records. Cook County Clerk’s Office, Chicago, IL: Cook County Clerk, 2008. 
  10.  District of Columbia Deaths, 1874-1961,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X2K4-884 : accessed 26 February 2018), Adelaide R Hahn, 30 Sep 1935, Riverdale, Prince George’s, Maryland, United States; citing reference ID , District Records Center, Washington D.C.; FHL microfilm 2,116,849. 
  11.  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.  Ancestry.com. U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current, Original data: Find A Grave. Find A Grave. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi. 

Thank you, Alex from Root to Tip: A Mystery Solved and A Question about Ancestry.com

In my last post, I commented that I had had no luck finding information about the parents of the Adrian Kramer who married my cousin Ruth Sondheim in 1924. I wrote:

Adrian’s background is a mystery.   According to his military record from World War I and his World War II registration card, he was born in New York City on December 14, 1896. But despite searching in numerous places for all Kramers and all Adrians within two years of that date, and all boys born on that date, I have not found his birth record. Perhaps he was born with a different name.

Military record of Adrian Kramer, World War I
Ancestry.com. New York, Abstracts of World War I Military Service, 1917-1919 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.
Original data: New York State Abstracts of World War I Military Service, 1917–1919. Adjutant General’s Office. Series B0808. New York State Archives, Albany, New York.

Little did I know that that was in fact the case. But it took the help of the wonderful researcher, Alex of the Root to Tip genealogy blog, to find that out.

Alex left a comment on my prior post that said in part, “I noticed there was an obituary for Adrian Kramer in 1950 and it says he was the son of “Della Kramer.” Could this be Sandilla?”

Death notice for Adrian Kramer, The New York Times, July 1, 1950, p. 10

The first record I had found for an Adrian Kramer that fit anywhere close to a birth year of 1896 was the 1905 New York State census. On that document, Adrian Kramer, eight years old, was living on West 88th Street in the household of Maier Kramer. Also living in the household were six of Maier’s siblings: Sandilla, Joseph, Leo, Eva, David, and Minnie. None of them was married, but Sandilla was divorced.  She was listed with the surname Kramer, however, not a married name.

Adrian Kramer 1905 NYS census
New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1905; Election District: A.D. 21 E.D. 03; City: Manhattan; County: New York; Page: 12
Description
Election District: A·D· 21 E·D· 03
Source Information
Ancestry.com. New York, State Census, 1905

I had wondered whether Sandilla might have been Adrian’s mother when I saw the 1905 census since she was the only Kramer sibling who had been married, but I was misled by the fact that the 1905 census identified Adrian as the son of the head of household, and the head of household was not Sandilla but Maier.   As I wrote last time, I was able to find the siblings also living together on the 1910 census, where Adrian was this time identified as the brother of the head of household, again being Maier.

The death notice Alex found seemed to suggest that Sandilla might have been Adrian’s mother, not his aunt or his sister. Alex then went the next step and located a marriage record for a woman she thought might be Sandilla; she was listed as Sundilla Kramer on the FindMyPast index.  That record showed that “Sundilla” had married a man named Jacob Baruch on June 26, 1895, in New York City, and that her parents’ names were Abraham Kramer and Miriam Rosenfeld.  Here is a comparable record from FamilySearch.

Marriage record of Sandilla Kramer and Jacob Baruch
New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:24C6-M81 : 10 February 2018), Jacob Baruch and Sundilla Kramer, 26 Jun 1895; citing Marriage, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York City Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,493,183.

I was blown away by Alex’s discoveries and her generous efforts on my behalf. Armed now with these clues, I checked the 18701 and 18802 census records for the Kramer siblings and saw that their parents were in fact named Abraham and Miriam; that confirmed that the “Sundilla Kramer” who had married Jacob Baruch in 1895 was the same woman who was living with Adrian Kramer and the other Kramer siblings in 1905 and 1910.

And Alex hadn’t stopped with the death notice and the marriage record; she also found on Ancestry an index listing for a child born in New York City in December 1896 named Abraham Baruch. Alex said in her comment that she wondered if that was possibly the name given to Adrian Kramer at birth.

So I went to find some evidence confirming that the baby born in December 1896 named Abraham Baruch was the son of Sandilla Kramer and Jacob Baruch. And I found an index listing from the New York, New York City Births, 1846-1909, database on FamilySearch that revealed more than the Ancestry listing located by Alex. It showed that Abraham Baruch, born in December 1896, was the son of Jacob Baruch and “Sandilla Kroper.” That seemed close enough to confirm that Abraham Baruch was Sandilla Kramer’s son with Jacob Baruch.3

But I still wasn’t sure that Abraham Baruch was the boy later known as Adrian Kramer. Fortunately, with the information Alex had provided, I was able to locate the Kramer family on the 1900 census, a census that had eluded me in my prior search:

Sandia and Abraham Baruch, 1900 US census
Year: 1900; Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York; Page: 7; Enumeration District: 0255
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

Notice that Sandilla’s name is given as “Sandia K. Baruch” and that she is listed as the sister of “Myer Cramer.” Under her listing is Myer’s nephew (and obviously “Sandia’s” son) Abraham Baruch, born December 1887 and two years old.

No wonder I couldn’t find this census initially. Look at all those errors. Sandilla is spelled wrong. Maier and Kramer are spelled wrong. And a boy allegedly born in 1887 was listed as two years old in 1900! Even my math isn’t that bad…..

But reading between the lines and ignoring the mistakes on the census record convinced me that Abraham Baruch was  the son of Jacob Baruch and Sandilla Kramer. By 1900, Sandilla and her son had moved in with her Kramer siblings. By 1905, Abraham Baruch was using the name Adrian Kramer, and his mother was divorced.

Now I knew who were the parents of Adrian Kramer and where he was between 1896 and 1905.

Thank you, Alex! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your efforts!

And now the Ancestry.com question:

I was puzzled by the fact that I had not found the death notice for Adrian Kramer that Alex found on Ancestry. What had I done differently in my search logic that caused me to miss this critical piece of evidence?

I asked Alex where and how she’d found the death notice for Adrian Kramer, and she told me that she had simply searched for “Adrian Kramer” in “New York, USA,” on Ancestry, and the death notice had popped up as a result in the Historical Newspapers database.

How had I missed that, I wondered?  I duplicated Alex’s search terms, and still I did not get her results.  And I have the All Access subscription from Ancestry—their most expensive level. I get no results at all from the Historical Newspapers database from those search parameters.

But when I went to the Ancestry Card Catalog, pulled up the Historical Newspapers database, and did a search within the database itself, I was able to locate the obituary. So why didn’t it come up on an overall search for me like it had for Alex? I don’t know. But it sure has me doubting the reliability of Ancestry’s search engine.

If anyone has any explanation for why Alex and I would not get the same search results with the same search terms, please let me know.

UPDATE: Thanks to Lisa in the Ancestry Facebook group, I think I have the answer to why Alex got better results than I did.  Get this—searching with a UK subscription brings up BETTER results even in US databases than searching with a US subscription.  HOW CAN THAT BE FAIR? I will be calling Ancestry back next week (no time today) to address this.

Thank you once again to Alex for her extraordinary research and for taking the time to solve this mystery for me. Once again, I am in awe of the generosity of the genealogy village.


  1. Kramer Family, 1870 US Census, Year: 1870; Census Place: New York Ward 20 District 18, New York, New York; Roll: M593_1008; Page: 572B; Family History Library Film: 552507, Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census 
  2. Kramer Family, 1880 US Census, Year: 1880; Census Place: New York City, New York, New York; Roll: 886; Page: 506C; Enumeration District: 401, Source Information
    Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census 
  3.  New York, New York City Births, 1846-1909,” database, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2WSY-S85 : 11 February 2018), Jacob Baruch in entry for Abraham Baruch, Dec 1896; citing Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, reference cn 54590 New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,322,346. I am hoping to obtain a copy of the actual certificate. 

Keeping It In The Family 1920-1930

By 1920, only two of the children of Jacob and Fannie Goldsmith were still living, their two oldest children, Caroline and Emma. Caroline was a widow, and Emma was divorced; both were living in Philadelphia. How did these two women, now in their seventies, survive without their husbands? A woman without a husband in the 1920s was unusual. The marriage rate in 1920 was the highest ever—92% of women over 15  were married. How did a divorced or widowed woman cope in those times?That is one part of the story in this post.

Jacob and Fannie were also survived by ten grandchildren: Caroline’s three children (Rena, Sidney, and Jessica); Philip’s three sons whose lives I wrote about here; Harry’s son Stanton, whose story is here; and Huldah’s husband Chapman Raphael and their three children, Herbert, Arthur, and Adelaide. This post will report on what happened to Caroline and Emma and the children of  Caroline and Huldah during the 1920s.

I had a hard time finding both Caroline and Emma on the 1920 census. I finally found Emma listed as Emma Coleman, a misspelling of her ex-husband Abraham Cohlman’s surname. At least I think this is Emma. She was living as a lodger in Philadelphia. The age is correct as is her birthplace of Pennsylvania, but her marital status is single, and the record reports her parents were born in Pennsylvania, when in fact Jacob and Fannie were both born in Germany. My assumption is that someone else in the household answered the enumerator’s questions and did not know where Emma’s parents were born, that she was divorced, or even how she spelled her surname.

Emma Goldsmith Cohlman 1920 census
1920; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 22, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1623; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 597
Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census

As for Caroline, she also eluded me for quite a while because I was searching for a woman who was widowed, not married. But then I found a Caroline Rice married to a Jacob Rice who was a woolens salesman, and the light bulb lit up.

Caroline Goldsmith Rice 1920 census
Year: 1920; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 14, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1620; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 278
Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census

(And yes, that is one of my Abraham Mansbachs living next door; that’s Abraham Mansbach V, who was related by marriage to Caroline; Caroline’s aunt Sarah Goldschmidt was married to Abraham Mansbach II, who was Abraham Mansbach V’s first cousin once removed.)

Nathan Rice, Caroline Goldsmith’s husband who died in 1913, had a brother J.J Rice; that brother had been the master of ceremonies at Rena Rice’s wedding. He had been living with Nathan and Caroline in 1900 when he was a wool salesman1 and in 1910 when he listed his occupation as a cloth salesman.2 In fact, in 1870 when Nathan and Caroline were living in Dubuque, Iowa, with Nathan’s parents, Nathan’s brother, Jacob J. Rice, was living in the household as well.3 In other words, Jacob J. or J.J. Rice had been living with his brother Nathan and sister-in-law Caroline for most if not all of their marriage.

A search of the Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Marriage Indexes, 1885-1951, database on FamilySearch confirmed that in fact Jacob J. Rice married Caroline G. Rice in 1915 in Philadelphia.4 So Caroline had married her brother-in-law J.J. Rice two years after the death of her husband (and J.J’s brother) Nathan.

In 1920 Caroline’s daughter Rena and her husband Edwin Sternfels were still living in New York City, where Edwin was in advertising.5 Caroline’s son Sidney and his wife were living in Philadelphia, and Sidney was also in advertising, working as a traveling salesman. 6 Jessica, Caroline’s youngest child, was still living in Brookline, Massachusetts, with her husband Philip Sondheim, the lawyer, and their daughter Ruth, who was now seventeen.7

As for Huldah’s children, her younger son Arthur Seligman Raphael and his wife Josephine Isaacs were living in Philadelphia in 1920; Arthur’s father Chapman and older brother Herbert were also part of that household. Arthur was a shoe salesman, and his brother Herbert sold shoe polish. Arthur and Josephine’s son Ross was born on March 10, 1920, in Philadelphia.8

Raphael family 1920 census
Year: 1920; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 42, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1643; Page: 19A; Enumeration District: 1559
Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census

Huldah’s daughter Adelaide and her husband Harry Hahn were living with their sons in Washington, DC, in 1920; Harry was still a shoe merchant.9

The 1920s were a relatively quiet decade for the family, at least in terms of major lifecycle events.  In 1924, Ruth Sondheim, daughter of Jessica Rice and Philip Sondheim and granddaughter of Caroline Goldsmith Rice, married Adrian Kramer in Brookline, Massachusetts.10 Adrian’s background is a mystery.   According to his military record from World War I (see below),  and his World War II registration card, 11 he was born in New York City on December 14, 1896. But despite searching in numerous places for all Kramers and all Adrians within two years of that date, and all boys born on that date, I have not found his birth record. Perhaps he was born with a different name.

I also cannot find Adrian on the 1900 census; the first record I have for him is the 1905 New York State census, when he was living on West 88th Street in the household of Maier Kramer. Adrian was eight years old and listed as Maier’s son, but there was no wife. Also living in the household were six of Maier’s siblings: Sandilla, Joseph, Leo, Eva, David, and Minnie. At first I thought Sandilla or Eva might have been Maier’s wife, but earlier records show that they were in fact his sisters.

Adrian Kramer 1905 NYS census
New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1905; Election District: A.D. 21 E.D. 03; City: Manhattan; County: New York; Page: 12
Ancestry.com. New York, State Census, 1905

The 1910 census also shows the six Kramer siblings living with Adrian on West 88th Street, but now Adrian is identified as their brother.  That seems like an error—he was fifteen and the youngest of the other “siblings” was thirty. And earlier census records show that Maier’s father was born in about 1837 and his mother was born in 1845; it seems quite unlikely that they had a child in 1896. According to the 1910 census, all of the Kramer siblings were single, except for Sandilla, who was divorced. I can’t find them on the 1920 census, but in both 1930 and 1940, the siblings were still living together, and all were unmarried, except Sandilla, who now reported on both that she was a widow.

Adrian Kramer 1910 US census
Year: 1910; Census Place: Manhattan Ward 12, New York, New York; Roll: T624_1023; Page: 15A; Enumeration District: 0580; FHL microfilm: 1375036
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

So who was Adrian? I don’t know who his parents were, but I do know that he was in the United States Marine Corps during World War I, serving overseas in France from August 26, 1918, until January 13, 1919.

Military record of Adrian Kramer, World War I
Ancestry.com. New York, Abstracts of World War I Military Service, 1917-1919 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.
Original data: New York State Abstracts of World War I Military Service, 1917–1919. Adjutant General’s Office. Series B0808. New York State Archives, Albany, New York.

By 1921 he was living in Boston, working as a salesman.12 And in 1924, he married my cousin Ruth Rice Sondheim. Two years later they had their only child, a daughter named Natalie.13

On December 3, 1925, Hulda Goldsmith’s husband Chapman Raphael died in Washington, DC. He was 75 and had been sick for some time.

“Chapman Raphael Dies, Washington (DC) Evening Star, December 4, 1925, p. 4.

The last family lifecycle event in the 1920s came on July 10, 1928, when the oldest of Jacob and Fannie Goldsmith’s children passed away.  Caroline Goldsmith Rice died from bronchopneumonia at age 79. The informant on the death certificate was her husband/brother-in-law, Jacob J. Rice. And the doctor who signed the death certificate was S. Byron Goldsmith, her nephew and the son of her long-ago deceased brother, Philip Goldsmith. I was heartened to see that Philip’s son had stayed in touch with his father’s family even though he had been taken in and cared for by his mother’s family when his parents were killed in 1896.

Caroline Goldsmith Rice death certificate
Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 068501-071500
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966

Thus, by 1930, Emma Goldsmith Cohlman was the only surviving child of Jacob and Fannie Goldsmith. Unfortunately, the 1930s would bring the family more heartbreak.

 


  1. Jacob J. Rice, 1900 US Census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 29, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 4; Enumeration District: 0710,  Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  2. Jacob J. Rice, 1910 US Census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 47, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1414; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 1200; FHL microfilm: 1375427, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  3. Jacob J. Rice, 1870 US Census, Census Place: Dubuque Ward 1, Dubuque, Iowa; Roll: M593_389; Page: 61A; Family History Library Film: 545888, Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census 
  4.  Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Marriage Indexes, 1885-1951,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JV85-N6R : 26 September 2017), Rice and Caroline G Rice, 1915; citing license number 335782, Clerk of the Orphan’s Court. 
  5. Rena and Edwin Sternfels, 1920 US Census, Manhattan Assembly District 21, New York, New York; Roll: T625_1224; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 1427, 1920 United States Federal Census, Ancestry.com 
  6. Sidney and Martha Rice, 1920 US Census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 38, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1636; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 1344,
    Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  7. Jessica and Philip Sondheim, 1920 US Census, Census Place: Brookline, Norfolk, Massachusetts; Roll: T625_721; Page: 17B; Enumeration District: 167, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  8.  Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007. Original data: Social Security Applications and Claims, 1936-2007. 
  9. Adelaide Goldsmith Hahn and family, 1920 US Census, Census Place: Washington, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: T625_210; Page: 13B; Enumeration District: 166, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  10. Ancestry.com. Massachusetts, Marriage Index, 1901-1955 and 1966-1970 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.
    Original data: Department of Public Health, Registry of Vital Records and Statistics. Massachusetts Vital Records Index to Marriages [1916–1970]. Volumes 76–166, 192– 207. Facsimile edition. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts. 
  11.  The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; World War II Draft Cards (Fourth Registration) for the State of Massachusetts; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975; Record Group Number: 147; Series Number: M2090 
  12.  Boston, Massachusetts, City Directory, 1921, Source Information
    Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  13. Massachusetts, Birth Index, 1901-1960 and 1967-1970, Ancestry.com 

The Goldsmith Sisters: A Post for Women’s History Month

In the last series of posts, I’ve written about the death of my three-times great-uncle, Jacob Goldsmith, the death of his son Philip in the 1896 Atlantic City train tragedy, and the mysterious life of Jacob’s son Harry Goldsmith, who died in 1913. But now it is time to return to the women in Jacob’s family and their families: his wife Fannie and their four daughters, Caroline, Emma, Hannah, and Huldah.

That seems quite appropriate as March is Women’s History Month. None of the Goldsmith sisters had public lives, but their private lives are representative of the lives many women led in those times.

In the earlier posts we saw that all the daughters had married by the 1890s and that two of them, Caroline and Huldah, had children.  In 1900, three of the four daughters were living in Philadelphia while one, Hannah, was living with her husband Isaac in Circleville, Ohio.

The first decade of the 20th century saw three weddings in the family, the births of two of Jacob and Fannie’s great-grandchildren, and one death.

Both of Caroline (Goldsmith) and Nathan Rice’s younger children were married in 1902, and they married siblings. First, on March 25, 1902, Jessica Rice married Philip Joseph Sondheim in Philadelphia1; a month later in Boston, on April 29, 1902, her brother Sidney Rice married Philip’s sister, Martha Sondheim.

Sidney Rice and Martha Sondheim marriage record 1902; Ancestry.com. Massachusetts, Marriage Records, 1840-1915 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.
Original data: Massachusetts Vital Records, 1840–1911. New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts. Massachusetts Vital Records, 1911–1915. New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts.

Martha and Philip were both born in Boston to Joseph and Johanna (Lorch) Sondheim.2 Their father was in the men’s clothing business, and Philip was an attorney. 3

Sidney and Martha settled in Philadelphia, where Sidney was a salesman. Philip and Jessica settled in the Boston area, where Philip continued to practice law. Their daughter Ruth was born on January 16, 1903.4

Fannie Lehmann Goldsmith lived to see the birth of her first great-grandchild Ruth, but died two years later on June 16, 1905, in Philadelphia.  She was 77 years old and died of chronic nephritis. She was buried with her husband Jacob in Mt. Sinai cemetery.

Fannie Goldsmith death record
“Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-6X3Q-KTV?cc=1320976&wc=9FRQ-BZS%3A1073114202 : 16 May 2014), 004008778 > image 153 of 535; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

The third wedding of the 1900s decade was that of Adelaide Raphael, the daughter of Huldah Goldsmith and Chapman Raphael. Adelaide married Harry William Hahn on October 21, 1908. The wedding was written up in the October 25, 1908, Washington (DC) Evening Star:5

A wedding that will interest a number of Washingtonians took place Wednesday night at the Majestic Hotel in Philadelphia, when Miss Adelaide G. Raphael, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Chapman Raphael, became the bride of Mr. Harry W. Hahn of this city.

The ceremony, which was performed by Rev. Dr. Joseph Krauskopf, was witnessed by over one hundred relatives and friends of the couple.

The youthful bride was most becomingly gowned in an empire white satin dress elaborately trimmed with panels of duchess lace and touches of the same lace on the waist.  Her tulle veil was held in place with natural orange blossoms and she carried a shower bouquet of orchids and lilies of the valley. The bride’s two attendants were Miss Rae Hahn, sister of the groom, and Miss Lillian Klein of Philadelphia.  They wore yellow satin empire gowns and carried yellow chrysanthemums.

An example of a wedding dress from 1908 (Not of Adelaide)
By Snyder, Frank R. Flickr: Miami U. Libraries – Digital Collections [No restrictions or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

[Then followed a list of the ushers including the bride’s brothers, Herbert and Arthur.]

Mrs. William Hahn, mother of the groom, wore a handsome gown of gray chiffon velvet, trimmed with real laces, and wore a corsage bouquet of violets and orchids. Mrs. Chapman Raphael, mother of the bride, wore a black lace robe and violets.

After the ceremony and reception a dinner was served.  The tables were made attractive with flowers and trailing vines, from which shone tiny electric lights.

Mr. and Mrs. Hahn are taking a water trip to Savannah and Florida. Upon their return to this city they will take an apartment in the Royalton on M street.

Adelaide and Harry’s first child was born less than ten months later on August 2, 1909; he was named Harry William Hahn, Jr.6

By 1910, three of the four daughters of Jacob and Fannie Goldsmith were what we now call empty nesters. Caroline and Nathan Rice were now in their sixties, living in Philadelphia with Nathan’s brother J.J. Rice and a servant.  Nathan was a traveling clothing salesman.7 Their daughter Rena and her husband Edwin Sternfels were living in New York City; they had no children.8 Sidney Rice and his wife Martha were living in Philadelphia where Sidney was an advertising salesman; they also had no children.9 And Caroline and Nathan’s youngest child Jessica was living in Brookline, Massachusetts with her husband Philip Sondheim and their daughter Ruth; Philip continued to practice law in Boston.10

Emma Goldsmith and her husband Abraham Cohlman were living in Philadelphia in 1910 where Abraham was a clothing merchant. Their ages are not reported accurately on the 1910 census where it reports that Abraham was 48 and Emma 46 when in fact Abraham was 41 and Emma was 59.11

Emma’s younger sister Hannah had returned from Circleville, Ohio, by 1910; she and her husband Isaac Levy were living in Philadelphia where Isaac was working as a liquor salesman. Neither Emma nor Hannah had had children.12

Finally, the youngest sister Huldah was living in Philadelphia with her husband Chapman Raphael and their two sons, Herbert and Arthur. Chapman was in the wholesale liquor business, Herbert was in the polish and oil business, and Arthur was in the shoe business.13 Huldah and Chapman’s daughter Adelaide was living in Washington, DC, with her husband and son, Harry William Hahn, Sr. and Jr., where Harry’s family owned a shoe store, Hahn Shoes. 14 Adelaide and Harry had their second child on September 10, 1912, and named him Arthur.15

Although the 1900s decade was primarily a happy one for the family, the decade between 1910 and 1920 was primarily a decade of losses for the family.

Hannah Goldsmith Levy died in Atlantic City of acute nephritis on August 12, 1912; she was 58 years old.

Hannah Goldsmith Levy death certificate
“Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6SR9-4RD?cc=1320976&wc=9FRK-HZS%3A1073200601 : 16 May 2014), 004009260 > image 264 of 547; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Caroline Goldsmith Rice lost her husband Nathan less than a year later; he died on January 16, 1913, in Philadelphia; he was seventy and died from cerebral apoplexy or a stroke.

Nathan Rice death certificate
Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 009001-012660
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966

Emma Goldsmith suffered a different type of loss; by 1914 her marriage to Abraham Cohlman had ended. Perhaps the eighteen year age difference finally proved to be too difficult. Abraham remarried and by 1920 had a six year old child with his second wife.16 As we will see, Emma lived for over twenty more years, on her own without a husband. She was probably quite unusual for a woman of her times.

As noted in my last post, Harry Goldsmith also died in this decade, in 1917 in Detroit.

There was at least one happy event in this decade. Huldah and Chapman Raphael’s younger son Arthur was married in 1917 to Josephine Isaacs.17 She was the daughter of Marc and Fannie Isaacs, both of whom were Philadelphia natives as was Josephine. Her father was a pawnbroker.18

But the following year the family suffered yet another blow when Hulda Goldsmith Raphael, the youngest daughter of Jacob and Fannie Goldsmith, died from pneumonia on October 3, 1918; she was 57 years old.

Huldah Goldsmith Raphael death certificate
Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 146751-150000
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966

 

Thus, during this decade, Caroline became a widow, Emma was divorced, and Hannah and Huldah died.  Only Caroline and Huldah had children who would survive them. Their lives in 1920 and thereafter will be covered in my next post.

 

 

 

 


  1.  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. Ancestry.com. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Marriage Index, 1885-1951. License Number 144239. 
  2.  Ancestry.com. Massachusetts, Birth Records, 1840-1915; Original data: Massachusetts Vital Records, 1840–1911. New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts.Massachusetts Vital Records, 1911–1915. New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts. 
  3. Joseph Sondheim and family, 1900 US Census, Boston Ward 21, Suffolk, Massachusetts; Page: 13; Enumeration District: 1474; Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  4.   Massachusetts Vital Records, 1840–1911. New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts.Massachusetts Vital Records, 1911–1915. New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts. Ancestry.com.  Massachusetts, Birth Records, 1840-1915. 
  5. Washington (DC) Evening Star, October 25, 1908. p. 61. 
  6.  Draft Registration Cards for District of Columbia, 10/16/1940 – 03/31/1947, WWII Draft Registration Cards. National Archives. Fold3.com. 
  7. Caroline and Nathan Rice, 1910 US Census; Philadelphia Ward 47, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1414; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 1200; FHL microfilm: 1375427; Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census. 
  8. Rena and Edwin Sternfels, 1915 New York State Census, New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1915; Election District: 25; Assembly District: 23; City: New York; County: New York; Page: 22; Ancestry.com. New York, State Census, 1915 
  9. Sidney and Martha Rice, 1910 US Census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 29, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1399; Page: 18B; Enumeration District: 0692; FHL microfilm: 1375412, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census. The census lists Martha as “Rose” for some reason, but all other records identify her as Martha. 
  10. Philip Rice, 1908 Boston City Directory, Boston, Massachusetts, City Directory, 1908; Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  11. Abraham and Emma Cohlman, 1910 US Census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 28, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1402; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 0628; FHL microfilm: 1375415;  Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  12. Emma and Isaac Levy, 1910 US Census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 32, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1403; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 0751; FHL microfilm: 1375416; Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  13. Huldah and Chapman Raphael and family, 1910 US Census; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 32, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1403; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0751; FHL microfilm: 1375416, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  14. Adelaide and Harry W. Hahn, 1910 US Census, Census Place: Precinct 2, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: T624_149; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0015; FHL microfilm: 1374162; Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  15.  The National Archives in St. Louis, Missouri; St. Louis, Missouri; Draft Registration Cards for District of Columbia, 10/16/1940 – 03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 094; Source Information
    Ancestry.com. U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947. 
  16. Abraham Cohlman, 1920 US Census, Year: 1920; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 29, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1633; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 969; Ancestry.com 
  17. Marriage record of Arthur Raphael and Josephine Isaacs, 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. License Number 375863, 1917. 
  18. Marc and Fannie Isaacs and family, 1900 US Census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 32, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 10; Enumeration District: 0829; Source Information Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 

Where Did Harry Go?

In my last post, I described the challenges I faced in trying to learn the whereabouts between 1889 and 1900 of my cousin Harry Goldsmith, son of my three-times great-uncle Jacob Goldsmith. I finally concluded that Harry had married a woman named Florence Loeb sometime around 1884 and had had two children with her, Stanton, born in 1885, and Janet, born in 1892. He and his family were living on North 63rd Street in Philadelphia in 1900, and Harry was in the tobacco business.

Emanuel Dreifus on the 1900 census
Year: 1900; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 34, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 3; Enumeration District: 0904

Thank you to the many readers who gave me feedback on my conclusion that my Harry Goldsmith married Florence Loeb.  That conclusion was then further supported by an article found by Renee Stern Steinig, who many of you may recall was my mentor and my inspiration when I first started doing family history research about six years ago.  Renee saw my blog post on Facebook and found the article below that somehow, despite all my searching, I had missed, probably because Harry is called Henry here.  Now I know for sure that the Harry Goldsmith who was married to Florence Loeb was in fact my cousin.  The big clue—Rena Rice was one of the maids of honor at their wedding on December 4, 1883!

The Philadelphia Inquirer, December 5, 1883, p. 4

But Harry’s life soon changed, as Florence divorced him in 1901 and married their boarder Emanuel Dreifus, who also seemingly adopted Harry’s children.

So what happened to Harry after the divorce from Florence in 1901? Finding the answer to that question led me down several more rabbit holes. Once again, I confronted the problem of a multiplicity of Harry Goldsmiths.

In 1901 there were four Harry Goldsmiths in the Philadelphia directory, but none was in the tobacco business (there was a printer, a paperhanger, a salesman, and a tailor). 1 In 1905 there were two Harry Goldsmiths in the cigar business plus a tailor.2 And in 1908 there were four Harry Goldsmiths: one in the cigar business, a reverend, a printer, and one, a Harry N. Goldsmith, in a business called Goldsmith & Arndt.3

Further research into that last one revealed that Arndt was Max Arndt and that he was a tobacconist. Thus, I think it’s reasonable to conclude that Goldsmith & Arndt was also a tobacco business. The Harry N. Goldsmith in Goldsmith & Arndt was living at 1747 North 15th Street. One of the Harrys in the 1905 directory who listed cigars as his occupation was living at 1711 North 15th Street—presumably the one in business with Max Arndt three years later.4

But was Harry N. Goldsmith my Harry? Well, in 1911, Harry N. Goldsmith was living 1914 Berks Road and in business as H.N. Goldsmith & Co. 5 Searching the 1910 census for a Harry Goldsmith at 1914 Berks Road, I found this one:

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

Is this my Harry? Well, at first, I thought not. For one thing, this Harry was only 34, meaning he was born in about 1876, whereas my Harry was born in 1858. This Harry was single, not divorced. And strangest of all, this Harry claimed to be an electrical engineer for the railroad—an occupation no Harry Goldsmith had claimed on any Philadelphia directory going back over thirty years.

But looking more carefully at this 1910 census report, something else rang a bell.  The head of the household in which this Harry Goldsmith was living was a woman named Eva G. Anathan. Searching my tree, I saw that I have cousin named Eva Goldsmith who was married to a man named Nathan Anathan. 6 Eva was the daughter of Jacob Goldsmith’s brother, Levi, making her Harry Goldsmith’s first cousin. And Eva Anathan was one of the guests at Rena’s wedding in 1898.

I was now feeling pretty certain that this had to be my Harry Goldsmith living at 1914 Berks Road in 1910 with his first cousin Eva Goldsmith Anathan. I didn’t know why the census report on both his age and occupation were so off, but I was convinced that this had to be the Harry Goldsmith who was the son of my three-times great-uncle Jacob Goldsmith. He was still listed at that same address—1914 Berks Road—in Philadelphia directories from 1912 through 1917,7 and his business was reported as cigars in all of them (not electrical engineering). I thought I had found my Harry.

But then I found a marriage record for a Harry Goldsmith, born in Pennsylvania, whose parents were named Jacob and Fanny. The marriage took place in Detroit, Michigan, on December 16, 1913. The groom was 45 years old, meaning born around 1868, ten years after my Harry Goldsmith was born. He was a tobacco dealer. His bride was Henrietta Robinson, who was 37 years old and born in Michigan. It was a second marriage for Harry, a first for Henrietta.

Marriage record of Harry Goldsmith and Henrietta Robinson
Michigan Department of Community Health, Division of Vital Records and Health Statistics; Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan, Marriage Records, 1867-1952; Film: 117; Film Description: 1913 Wayne – 1914 Branch

All the facts seemed to fit my Harry, except his age: his name, parents’ names, birth place, occupation, and the fact that he’d had a prior marriage all matched my Harry. I was certain that this had to be my Harry.

Searching for Harry Goldsmith in Detroit directories, I found one in 1915 living in a hotel, and in 1916, there were four Harry Goldsmiths in Detroit, one of whom was living on Sprout Avenue.8 That Harry Goldsmith, the one living on Sprout Avenue, died on October 5, 1917.

Harry Goldsmith death certificate
Ancestry.com. Michigan, Death Records, 1867-1950 , 251: Detroit, 1917

He was born in Pennsylvania on July 17, 1863, according to his death certificate, and had been a tobacco broker. He was married at the time of his death. His parents were born in Germany. His mother’s name was unknown, and his father was listed as H. Goldsmith by an informant named Mrs. S. Rose of Detroit. According to the death certificate, Harry had suffered from heart disease—chronic myocarditis—for over a year before his death. Was this my Harry?

It seemed more than likely. My Harry Goldsmith had been listed as born in July 1858 on the 1900 census, this Harry was born in July of 1863; perhaps he shaved off five years to appear younger to his second wife Henrietta (and earlier had shaved off ten years on the marriage record). My Harry was born in Pennsylvania; so was this Harry. My Harry had been in the tobacco business in Philadelphia; this Harry was also in the tobacco business. The informant did not know his mother’s name so the H. Goldsmith was probably just a guess as to his father’s name. I thought I had found the end of the Harry Goldsmith mystery.

But then something did not add up. The Harry N. Goldsmith who had been living with my Harry’s first cousin Eva Goldsmith Anathan in 1910 was still apparently alive and living in Philadelphia long after the marriage and even death of the Harry who had married Henrietta and moved to Detroit. As noted above, Harry N. Goldsmith is listed in directories in Philadelphia living at 1914 Berks Road until 1917.

In the 1918 directory, Harry N. Goldsmith was living on Regent Street and is listed as president of two companies:  H.N. Goldsmith & Company and Golco Sanitary System. The 1918 directory had a separate listing for Golco and described the business as “toilet paper and holders.” 9 On the 1920 census, there is a Harry N. Goldsmith living on Regent Street in Philadelphia, 44 years old so born around 1876, and married to a woman named Madge.10 This Harry was in the paper business, as was the Harry N. Goldsmith listed in the 1918 directory as president of Golco.

So who was this Harry N. Goldsmith, and what, if any, connection did he have to my Harry Goldsmith? Was he a son or a cousin? If not, why was he living with my Harry Goldsmith’s first cousin Eva Goldsmith Anathan in 1910?

I was able to find a birth record for a Harry N. Goldsmith born in Philadelphia on May 27, 1875, son of Raphael and Emma (Ettinger) Goldsmith,11 so the right age for the Harry living with Eva Goldsmith Anathan in 1910. That Harry’s father Raphael was born on May 8, 1849, in Philadelphia to Napoleon and Zerlina Goldsmith. I have no relatives with those names, and thus, I don’t think that the Harry Goldsmith who was living with Eva Goldsmith Anathan in 1910 was my relative or, for that matter, Eva Anathan’s relative.

Birth certificate of Raphael Goldsmith
Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records; Reel: 644
Organization Name: Mikveh Israel Jewish Congregation
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1669-2013

But then what was he doing living with Eva Goldsmith Anathan in 1910? Was it just coincidence that another Harry Goldsmith, who also happened to be in the tobacco business, was living with a relative of my Harry Goldsmith?

And if the Harry Goldsmith on the 1910 census was not my Harry, then where was my Harry all those years between 1900 and 1913? There was a second Harry Goldsmith selling cigars in those years in Philadelphia, but when I found him on the 1910 census, it was clearly not my Harry—he was born in 1840, married to a woman named Mary, and from England, as were his parents.

Had my Harry already moved to Detroit? There are Harry Goldsmiths listed in Detroit directories for those years. But are they my Harry?

I don’t know.

I am out of ideas. Maybe Harry was already in Detroit in 1910 or even before. Maybe he just wasn’t listed on the census or in any directories after 1900. Maybe he was in prison or hospitalized. I don’t know where else to look.

What I do know (I think) is that my Harry married Henrietta Robinson in Detroit in 1913 and died just four years later in Detroit. He is buried at Woodmere Cemetery in Detroit, where Henrietta was buried as well when she died four years after Harry from breast cancer at age 49. 11

If I am right about this being my Harry, I am glad to know that he may have found some peace with Henrietta before he died. His life seems to have had some serious challenges. He may have been charged with fraud in 1889. His father Jacob died in 1895, and then his brother Philip was killed in a train accident in 1896. He may have had to declare bankruptcy in 1900, and in 1901 his wife Florence divorced him, taking his children from him as well. Then his daughter Janet died at age ten in 1902.

Harry seems to have disappeared for several years after 1901, or at least he does not appear on any records that I can locate. There are no newspaper stories about him during those years either. He only resurfaces in 1913 with his marriage to Henrietta and then his death from heart disease at age 59 in 1917. I hope those last four years were happy ones.

I welcome any suggestions or theories on the whereabouts of Harry Goldsmith between 1901 and 1913.

 

 

 

 

 

 


  1. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1901; Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  2. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1905; Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  3. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1908; Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  4. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1905, 1908; Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  5. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1911; Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  6. 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. 
  7. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1912-1917; Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  8. Detroit, Michigan, City Directory, 1915, 1916, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  9.  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1917-1919; Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  10. Harry N. Goldsmith, 1920 US census; Philadelphia Ward 40, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1642; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 1506; Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  11.  Ancestry.com. Michigan, Death Records, 1867-1950. Original data: Death Records. Michigan Department of Community Health, Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics, Lansing, Michigan. 

In Honor of Our Children: Working For Safer Gun Laws Is My Personal Plan For Respecting Life (From Zicharonot)

Please read this thoughtful and passionate post from the blog Zicharonot about the issue of gun violence. If you, like so many of us, are horrified and heartbroken by the numbers of people killed by guns in this country, I hope you will take some of the steps suggested here. I would add one more group to the list of organizations to support, especially if you live in New York State, and that is New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, where my daughter Rebecca Fischer is the executive director.

zicharonot

February 27 would have been my Mom’s birthday.  I have thinking about her so much since the latest school shooting. My Mom taught school for 30 years. Most of the time she taught fourth grade. There are some families for whom she taught multiple generations of children.

I also work in a school. It focuses on helping students who do not learn well in a traditional school setting. We have children who have anxiety disorders, ADD/ADHD, extremely brilliant children, bullied children, those on the autism spectrum, gay children, transgender children, depressed children, all special, all worthy and all needing an extra boost.  And I wonder how we will continue to keep all children safe from the outrageous behavior coming from the adults in our country.

I have been wondering what my Mom would think of all this gun violence and what she would do if she was still alive. Our…

View original post 702 more words

To Tell the Truth: Will The Real Harry Goldsmith Please Stand Up

My last post ended by alluding to the mysterious whereabouts of my cousin Harry Goldsmith, the younger son of my three-times great-uncle Jacob Goldsmith.

As I wrote here, in the mid-1880s, Harry had been in the fishing tackle business with his father Jacob, but after 1888, Jacob was in business with his other son Philip, and it was hard to determine Harry’s whereabouts because the number of Harry Goldsmiths and their addresses and occupations on Philadelphia directories between 1889 and 1898 was completely befuddling.

In 1889 there was only one Harry Goldsmith, and he was a tobacco dealer who would be charged with fraud that same year, as I wrote about here.

Goldsmiths in 1889 Philadelphia directory
Title: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1889
Source Information
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

The 18901 Philadelphia directory listed only one Harry Goldsmith, a clerk who was living at 1610 North 12th Street in Philadelphia. There is no Harry Goldsmith in the 1891 directory, but in 1892 there is one, in the insurance business. 2, and in 1894, there were two Harrys, one a salesman and one a clerk,3 and in 1895 there were two Harrys, one a clerk, one a boilermaker.4 Then in 1897, there were three Harrys, a printer, a paperhanger, and a salesman,5 and in 1898 there were three Harry Goldsmiths once again: a paperhanger, a tobacconist, and a salesman.6 Were any of these men my Harry? I am not sure.

In March 1898, according to the Philadelphia Times article describing Rena Rice’s wedding,7 my Harry Goldsmith attended his niece Rena’s wedding, appearing on the guest list as a married man: Mr. and Mrs. Harry Goldsmith. But I have had no luck finding a marriage record for Harry before 1898.

And I’ve had no luck finding him with any certainty on the 1900 census. I searched for any Harry Goldsmith born in Pennsylvania between 1848 and 1868 (my Harry was born in 1858), and I found only four men fitting those parameters on the 1900 census. The first was a printer living in Philadelphia, unmarried, and born in 1862 to English-born parents.8 The second was living in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania, and working as a house painter; he was married to a woman named Jennie and was born in 1863. His parents were both born in Pennsylvania.9

The third Harry Goldsmith also had Pennsylvania-born parents, was living in Everett, Pennsylvania, and working as a clothing merchant. He had a wife named Annie and a two-year-old son named Robert. He was born in 1868.10  The fourth Harry Goldsmith was a farmer living in Evesham, New Jersey; he was married to a woman named Marianna, and he was born in 1856. His parents were also born in Pennsylvania.11

None of those four fits my Harry, whose parents were born in Germany. And when I followed up on these four Harrys in other records, it was clear that none of them was my Harry.

But there was a fifth Harry Goldsmith on the 1900 census who might be my cousin. He was born the same year as my Harry, in July, 1858, was living on North 63rd Street in Philadelphia in 1900, was married to a woman named Florence, and had two children, a fifteen-year-old son Stanton and an eight year old daughter Janet. At first I was excited, thinking that “Janet” could have been the “Jeanette” who was the flower girl at Rena’s wedding. The matching year of birth and the fact that he lived in Philadelphia also made me think this might be my Harry. If this was my Harry, then he was the Harry Goldsmith who was in the tobacco business because in the 1899 and 1900 Philadelphia directories, the Harry Goldsmith who was a tobacconist lived on North 63rd Street, just like the Harry Goldsmith married to Florence on the 1900 census.12

Harry Goldsmith and family 1900 census
Year: 1900; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 34, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 3; Enumeration District: 0904

But according to the above census record, the Harry Goldsmith married to Florence was born in Germany and only came to the US in 1885; he’d been married sixteen years, meaning he had immigrated with his wife whom he’d married in 1884. My Harry was most definitely born in Philadelphia in about 1858. Despite this inconsistency, I was still leaning towards thinking that this was my Harry.

The Harry Goldsmith who was married to Florence on the 1900 census was sued for divorce in 1901. Maybe this was the Harry who went bankrupt, leading to the dissolution of his marriage?

The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 12, 1900, p. 9

 

Divorce notice of Harry and Florence Goldsmith
The Philadelphia Times, June 4, 1901, p. 7

If my Harry was the one married to Florence, what happened to him, and what happened to his children, Stanton and Janet, after the divorce?

The name of his son—Stanton Goldsmith—struck me as an unusual enough name that he would be easy to find. But alas, he was not. I could not find any records for a Stanton Goldsmith other than that 1900 census record and a birth record in the Pennsylvania Births and Christenings, 1790-1950 database on FamilySearch, showing his birth date of March 13, 1885, and parents Harry and Florence L. Goldsmith.

Stanton Goldsmith birth record
Pennsylvania Births and Christenings, 1709-1950,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V2V3-7D9 : 9 December 2014), Stanton Goldsmith, 13 Mar 1885; Birth, citing Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; FHL microfilm 1,289,324.

So I searched for any “Stanton” born in Philadelphia in 1885, and records for a Stanton Loeb Dreifus popped up.13 A few more clicks around Ancestry and FamilySearch, and I learned that Florence, Harry’s former wife, was born Florence Loeb, daughter of Joseph and Sophie Loeb. Her father Joseph had been in the tobacco business, just as  Harry had been.14

So where did the surname Dreifus come from? Why was Stanton using that name? Well, Florence remarried pretty quickly after her divorce from Harry. On July 17, 1901, she married Emanuel Dreifus in New York City.15

If you look back at the 1900 census for Harry Goldsmith above, you will notice that living with Harry, Florence, and their children was a boarder named….you guessed it….Emanuel Dreifus. And it seems that not only did Emanuel take Harry’s wife, he took his children as well and they adopted his surname.

Emanuel Dreifus on the 1900 census
Year: 1900; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 34, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 3; Enumeration District: 0904

Tragically, little Janet died from endocarditis on April 28, 1902, less than a year after her mother remarried. She was only ten years old. Her death record recorded her name as Janet Dreifus and her parents’ names as Emanuel and Florence.

Janet Dreifus death record “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-632W-ZHF?cc=1320976&wc=9F55-JWL%3A1073327702 : 16 May 2014), 004047863 > image 261 of 701; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

The death notice in the Philadelphia Inquirer did not mention Harry Goldsmith; instead it identified Emanuel Dreifus as her father. It would appear that Harry was no longer a part of his children’s lives. Emanuel may have even adopted them.

Janet Dreifus death notice
The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 1, 1902, p. 15

But was this Harry Goldsmith my cousin? Was he the one married to Florence on the 1900 census? Was the 1900 census wrong in saying he was born in Germany and had just immigrated to the US in 1885? What do you think?

I think he was. I found one final clue that convinced me. I reviewed the list of those who attended Rena Rice’s 1898 wedding,16 and this time a new name jumped out at me: Mrs. Sophie Loeb. That had to be Florence Loeb’s mother, Harry Goldsmith’s mother-in-law.  Florence’s father Joseph had died in 1895, so Sophie would have attended alone.16

The Harry Goldsmith who’d been married to Florence Loeb and who had had two children, Stanton and Janet, was, I believe, my cousin. In 1900, he was a married man with two children working as a tobacconist. By 1901, he was divorced, and his wife had remarried and given his children the name of her second husband, a man who had been boarding in Harry’s home in 1900.

Do you think I am right? Please let me know in the comments.

As for what happened to Harry after his divorce in 1901—well, that created a whole other set of research puzzles.

To be continued…..

UPDATE! Thank you to everyone who provided feedback and questions on this post.  I am especially grateful to Renee Stern Steinig, who many of you may recall was my mentor and my inspiration when I first started doing family history research about five years ago.  I shared this post on Facebook, and Randy Schoenberg saw it and suggested that I also share it on the Jewish Genealogy Portal on Facebook. So I did, and within half an hour, Renee saw it and found the article below that somehow despite all my searching, I had missed, probably because Harry is called Henry here.  Now I know for sure that the Harry Goldsmith who was married to Florence Loeb was in fact my cousin.  The big clue—-Rena Rice was one of the maids of honor!

Harry Goldsmith wedding to Florence Loeb Phil Inq Dec 5 1883

The Philadelphia Inquirer, December 5, 1883, p. 4

 


  1. Harry Goldsmith,  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1890; Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  2. Harry Goldsmith,  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1892; Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  3. Harry Goldsmith, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1894, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  4. Harry Goldsmith, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1895, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  5. Harry Goldsmith, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1897, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  6. Harry Goldsmith, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1898, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  7. “Wedding at Mercantile Hall,” The Philadelphia Times, March 10, 1898, p. 7. 
  8. Harry Goldsmith, 1900 US census; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 10, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 5; Enumeration District: 0180 
  9. Harry Goldsmith, 1900 US census; Census Place: Mount Pleasant Ward 1, Westmoreland, Pennsylvania; Page: 2; Enumeration District: 0119 
  10. Harry Goldsmith, 1900 US census; Census Place: Everett, Bedford, Pennsylvania; Page: 16; Enumeration District: 0013 
  11. Harry Goldsmith, 1900 US census; Census Place: Evesham, Burlington, New Jersey; Page: 9; Enumeration District: 0018 
  12. Harry Goldsmith, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory,  1899, 1900, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  13. For example, Stanton’s registration for the World War I draft. Stanton Loeb Dreifus, Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Philadelphia; Roll: 1907643; Draft Board: 23,Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. 
  14. Florence Loeb, 1880 US census; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1180; Page: 379B; Enumeration District: 411 
  15. Marriage of Florence Goldsmith and Emanuel Dreifus, July 17, 1901, Certificate 12494; New York, New York, Marriage Indexes 1866-1937, Ancestry.com 
  16. Joseph Loeb, death record, July 13, 1895, Atlantic City, NJ, FHL File No. 589801, Ancestry.com. New Jersey, Deaths and Burials Index, 1798-1971 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. 

Rena Rice’s Wonderful Wedding

Two years after the tragic deaths of Philip and Nellie (Buxbaum) Goldsmith, the family of Jacob and Fannie Goldsmith had an opportunity for a joyful celebration. On March 9, 1898, Jacob and Fannie’s oldest grandchild, Rena Rice, daughter of Nathan and Caroline (Goldsmith) Rice, was married to Edwin Sternfels in Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Times provided a detailed report of the festivities:1

One of the most important of the many weddings which have taken place this winter was performed after the rites of the Jewish faith last night in the New Mercantile Hall…. It was the wedding of Miss Rena G. Rice, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Rice [Caroline Goldsmith], to Edwin Sternfels, of New York.

The guests assembled in the hall and there awaited the entrance of the bridal party. At the hour appointed, to the ever-new strains of the “Lohengrin” Wedding March, played by the orchestra, which was hidden behind the bank of bay trees, palms and exotics of every description, the bridal party entered the hall and moved slowly forward to the dais which had been erected just in front of the stage.

The master of ceremonies, J.J. Rice, led, followed by the ushers….[including] Sid G. Rice [brother of the bride]…of this city, following them coming the groom upon the arm of his mother and then the bride, dressed in a white satin gown, trimmed with duchesse lace, with diamond ornaments, and carrying the bridal Bible and lilies of the valley, upon the arm of her father.

….

Upon reaching the dais, around which was banked bay trees and palms, while overhead a canopy of exquisite beauty was made with festoons of asparagus vine studded with carnations, they stepped upon this platform, where the rabbi was standing, and the ceremony was performed which made them man and wife.

Following the ceremony a wedding feast was served, followed in turn by a reception and dance in honor of the happy couple.

The article concluded with a very lengthy list of some of those who attended the wedding. Among those listed were the following of my relatives:

Mr. and Mrs. A. Coleman: Emma Goldsmith and her husband Abraham Cohlman (typo in the article); Emma was Rena’s aunt, Jacob’s daughter.

Mr. and Mrs. A. Goldsmith: Abraham Goldsmith, Jacob Goldsmith’s brother, Rena’s great-uncle, and my three-times great-uncle

Mr. and Mrs. Harry Goldsmith: Harry was Jacob’s son and Rena’s uncle

Martin Goldsmith: I think this might be another typo and should be Milton Goldsmith, Abraham Goldsmith’s son and Rena’s first cousin, once removed.  I have no record of a Martin Goldsmith.

Mrs. Fannie Goldsmith: Rena’s grandmother and Jacob Goldsmith’s widow.

Byron Goldsmith, Herbert Goldsmith, and Jerome Goldsmith: the orphaned sons of Philip and Nellie Goldsmith and Rena’s first cousins.

Jeannette Goldsmith: named as the flower girl, so presumably a child, but I’ve yet to find her. A mystery to be solved.

Mrs. I. Levy: Hannah Goldsmith, Jacob Goldsmith’s daughter and Rena’s aunt

Mrs. S. Mansbach: Sarah Goldschmidt Mansbach, Jacob Goldsmith’s sister and Rena’s great-aunt

Julius Mansbach: Rena’s first cousin, once removed, and son of Sarah Goldschmidt Mansbach

The Messrs. Raphael and the Misses Raphael: the family of Hulda Goldsmith Raphael, Jacob Goldsmith’s daughter and aunt of the bride

S.G. Rice: the bride’s brother Sidney Goldsmith Rice

In addition, although not included on the list of those attending, Jessie G. Rice, the bride’s sister, was named in the article as the maid of honor.

This was obviously quite an expensive affair, evidence of the prosperity of Nathan and Caroline (Goldsmith) Rice. According to the 1900 census, Nathan was still in the clothing business in Philadelphia, and he owned his house free of any mortgage. His son Sidney was “mostly” employed in the lithography business; he was now 27 years old. Also living with Nathan and Caroline in addition to Sidney and their youngest child Jessie was Nathan’s brother, Jacob J. Rice (presumably the master of ceremonies named as J.J Rice in the wedding article), Caroline’s widowed mother, Fannie Goldsmith, and two servants.

Caroline and Nathan Rice and family 1900 census
Year: 1900; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 29, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 4; Enumeration District: 0710

Caroline’s sister Emma and her husband Abraham Cohlman were also living in Philadelphia in 1900 where Abraham was employed as a salesman; their home was subject to a mortgage. They had no children, but two boarders were living with them.2

A third sibling, Hulda Goldsmith Raphael, was also living in Philadelphia, along with her husband Chapman Raphael and their three children. Chapman was in the wholesale liquor business, and their home was rented. They also had a servant living with them.3

One sibling had left Philadelphia. Hannah and her husband Isaac Levy were living in Circleville, Ohio, a small town of about 6000 people about 30 miles south of Columbus, Ohio, the closest city of any size. What were they doing there and when had they arrived? On the wedding guest list for Rena’s 1898 wedding as reported in The Philadelphia Times, Hannah was reported as Mrs. I. Levy of Circleville, Ohio, so she and Isaac were already living in Ohio by that time. On the 1900 census, Isaac had no occupation listed, but they did own their own home there, free of a mortgage.[^4}

 

But why Circleville, Ohio? I did find an unmarried man named Isaac Levy on the 1880 census living in Circleville and working in the clothing business, but he was born in France. Was this the Isaac Levy who married Hannah Goldsmith in Philadelphia twelve years later?4

Was the 1880 census just in error in naming his birthplace as France? As I wrote in my earlier post, Isaac Levy is such a common name that I can’t seem to narrow down the possibilities to learn more about the Isaac Levy who married Hannah Goldsmith. Unfortunately, Circleville is so small that I can’t even find directories or newspapers to search.

The other sibling whose 1900 whereabouts are somewhat mysterious is Harry Goldsmith. That is a subject for another post. Or another few.


  1. “Wedding at Mercantile Hall,” The Philadelphia Times, March 10, 1898, p. 7. 
  2. Nathan Rice and family, 1900 US census; 1900; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 28, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1469; Page: 14B; Enumeration District: 0674; FHL microfilm: 1241469 
  3. Hulda and Chapman Raphael, 1900 US census; Year: 1900; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 32, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania;Page: 7; Enumeration District: 0808 
  4. Isaac Levy, 1880 US census; Year: 1880; Census Place: Circleville, Pickaway, Ohio; Roll: 1058; Page: 570A;Enumeration District: 229 

The 1896 Atlantic City Train Disaster

Shortly after 6:30 pm on July 30, 1896, a seven-car train of the West Jersey Railroad was proceeding west from Atlantic City, New Jersey, when the engineer of that train observed a Reading Railroad train approaching the crossing ahead of him. Because the signals indicated that it was safe for him to proceed through the crossing, the West Jersey engineer continued into the crossing.  He had almost cleared the crossing when the locomotive of the Reading Railroad train slammed into the first car of the West Jersey train.  The New York Times described the consequences of this collision:1

…[T]he locomotive of the Reading train…struck the first car full in the centre, throwing it far off the track into a nearby ditch, and completely submerging it. The second car of the West Jersey train was also carried into the ditch, the third and fourth cars begin [sic—being?] telescoped. The engine of the Reading train was thrown to the other side of the track, carrying with it the first coach.

A few minutes after the collision, to add to the horror of the situation, the boiler of the Reading locomotive exploded, scalding several to death and casting boiling spray over many of the injured passengers.

One of the sub-headlines to this article read, “Five Loaded Passenger Coaches Crushed into Kindling Wood,” a reminder that train cars were made from wood, not steel, in those days.

The article then described the horrifying scene when rescue efforts began:

It was a gruesome sight presented to onlookers as the mangled and burned forms of the dead were carried from the wreckage which bound them and laid side by side on the gravel bank near the track, with no other pall than the few newspapers gathered from the passengers.2

An investigation into the cause of the accident soon determined that it was the engineer of the Reading Railroad train, Edward Farr, who had been primarily at fault. There was evidence that the Reading train had been traveling at a speed of 45 miles per hour and that Farr had failed to heed the danger signal in time to avoid the collision with the West Jersey train.

However, there was apparently a practice in that area that gave express trains like the Reading train the right of way at crossings over smaller trains like the West Jersey. The tower man in control of the signals disregarded that practice by giving the danger signal to Reading and the go-ahead signal to West Jersey. There was also testimony that Farr was a man of good character and not reckless or careless. Farr himself was killed in the crash; The New York Times reported that when his wife was informed of his death, she collapsed in shock and also died, but The Philadelphia Inquirer in its coverage of Farr’s funeral reported that his his widow attended the funeral.

On August 8, 1896, the coroner’s jury returned a verdict holding Edward Farr primarily at fault for failing to heed the danger signal, but also found that the tower man and the West Jersey engineer had contributed to the tragedy.3

“Three Buried Here,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 3, 1896, p.4.

In the end, fifty people died in this horrific accident, including two of my Goldschmidt relatives, my cousin Phillip Goldsmith, son of Jacob and Fannie, and his wife Nellie Buxbaum.  Phillip was forty years old, and Nellie was 33; they left behind three sons, Sidney Byron, who was fourteen, Herbert Nathaniel, who was thirteen, and Joseph Jerome, who was only eight years old.

In its coverage of this disaster, The Philadelphia Times reported the following about Phillip and Nellie Goldsmith:

Both Mr. and Mrs. Goldsmith were said to be particularly cautious in respect to public travel and rarely ventured abroad except on business, and Mr. Goldsmith’s long-time employee, Henry Kirchoff, expressed great surprise this morning that the couple should have ventured on this excursion at all.4

The Tyrone Daily Herald of Tyrone, Pennsylvania, reported that Phillip and Nellie had died “hand in hand.”5  The Philadelphia Inquirer covered the funeral of Phillip and Nellie and included these sketches as well as details of the funeral and a list of those who attended, including Phillip’s mother Fannie and his siblings. The rabbi in his eulogy “paid high tribute to the departed, dwelling especially on the honorable career of Mr. Goldsmith and the sweet, charitable disposition of his wife.”6

“Three Buried Here,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 3, 1896, p.4.

“Three Buried Here,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 3, 1896, p.4.

 

All in all, this was one of those terrible tragedies where human error, not malice, was to blame. For the family of Phillip and Nellie Goldsmith, it must have been devastating.

Their three sons went to live with Nellie’s family; on the 1900 census they were living in Philadelphia in the household of Nellie’s widowed sister Hortense Buxbaum Strouse along with Nellie’s mother and other siblings.

Goldsmith sons with aunts and uncle 1900 census
Year: 1900; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 28, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1470; Page: 1; Enumeration District: 0680; FHL microfilm: 1241470

By 1910, the three Goldsmith orphans were young men in their twenties. Herbert (26) and Jerome (21) (as he was known) were still living in Philadelphia with their aunt Hortense as well as her brother and three sisters, all of whom were unmarried. Herbert and Jerome and their uncle Herbert Buxbaum were all working in a lithography business:

Herbert and Jerome Goldsmith 1910 census
Year: 1910; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 28, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1402; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 0634; FHL microfilm: 1375415

The oldest Goldsmith son, Sidney Byron (later known as Byron) was 27 in 1910 and was a physician in Philadelphia.7 He was a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.  Here he is in the 1905 yearbook of the university:

Sidney Byron Goldsmith 1905 UPenn yearbook
“U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012”; Yearbook Title: The Record; Year: 1905
Year: 1905  Ancestry.com. U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1990

Note the resemblance to his father. Byron married Mary Elizabeth Long on March 1, 1917.8

All three Goldsmith brothers registered for the World War I draft. Byron’s registration did not disclose any important additional information:

Sidney Byron Goldsmith World War I draft registration
Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Philadelphia; Roll: 1907531; Draft Board: 06  Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918

Herbert’s registration revealed that he was working in the tire manufacturing business:

# Herbert Goldsmith World War I draft registration
Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Philadelphia; Roll: 1907644; Draft Board: 24
Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918

 

According to Jerome’s registration, he was working as a sales manager for a company called Lindsay Brothers, Inc. He claimed an exemption from the draft based on the fact that he had “two maiden aunts” who were solely dependent on him for support. He also claimed disability based on vertigo, varicocele, and hemorrhoids. Varicocele is a condition of varicose veins on the testicles, sometimes leading to infertility.

J Jerome Goldsmith World War I draft registration
Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Philadelphia; Roll: 1907644; Draft Board: 24
Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918

 

In 1920, Jerome and Herbert were still living with their aunt Hortense and her siblings; now both brothers were working in the tire business, as were two of their Buxbaum uncles.9

Their older brother Sidney Byron and his wife Elizabeth (as she was known) had a child on January 12, 1920,10 and were still living in Philadelphia where Byron was practicing medicine in 1920:

Sidney B Goldsmith and family 1920 census
Year: 1920; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 7, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1618; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 153

On November 6, 1929, Jerome Goldsmith married Berda Gans Marks,11 who was a Philadelphia native, daughter of Emanuel Marks and Carrie Gans. He was forty years old, and Berda was 37.  In 1930, they were living in Philadelphia, and Jerome was still working in the tire business as a salesman. Berda was working as a secretary in a medical practice—perhaps that of Jerome’s brother Byron?12

Byron and his family were also still living in Philadelphia in 1930, and Byron continued to practice medicine.13  Herbert, the middle brother, continued to live with his aunts and now listed himself as the proprietor of the tire business.

Herbert Goldsmith 1930 census
Year: 1930; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 2112; Page: 12B; Enumeration District: 0674; FHL microfilm: 2341846

Ten years later, Herbert was still living with his aunts, but now was a broker in the wholesale jewelry business. Perhaps his tire business did not weather the Depression well. He was now 56 years old although the census reports that he was only 52.14

Byron continued to practice medicine and live with his family in Philadelphia in 1940,15 and Jerome and Berda were also living in Philadelphia where Berda continued to work as a medical secretary and Jerome was a salesman for retail tires and radios.16

All three brothers registered for the World War II draft. Byron was still practicing medicine.

S Byron Goldsmith World War II draft registration
The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; World War II draft cards (Fourth Registration) for the State of Pennsylvania; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975; Record Group Number: 147; Series Number: M1951

Herbert was the tallest of the brothers—six feet tall whereas the other two were both 5’ ” 6″ or so. Herbert noted that he had a “cast” in his right eye—a small brown spot. He was now working for a transit company.

Herbert Goldsmith World War II draft registration
The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; World War II draft cards (Fourth Registration) for the State of Pennsylvania; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975; Record Group Number: 147; Series Number: M1951

 

This time Jerome did not claim the same disabilities that he had in the earlier draft, but did note that he had had two fingers “cut” by an electric saw and tattoos on both arms:

Jerome Goldsmith World War II draft registration
The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; World War II draft cards (Fourth Registration) for the State of Pennsylvania; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975; Record Group Number: 147; Series Number: M1951

 

Five years later on April 16, 1947, Herbert Goldsmith passed away at the age of 63 from acute coronary thrombosis. His aunt Hortense Strouse, with whom he had lived since being orphaned as a young boy in 1896, was the informant on his death certificate.  The death certificate reports that he was a statistician, something that had not been at all evident from his draft or census records.

Herbert Goldsmith death certificate
Certificate Number Range: 036751-039300
Source Information
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1964 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014.
Original data: Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1963. Series 11.90 (1,905 cartons). Records of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Record Group 11. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

The two other Goldsmith brothers lived long lives. Jerome died at 86 on July 21, 1975. 17 His wife Berda lived to 97, dying on October 27, 1989. What her obituary revealed that had not been revealed by the official records was that she was an accomplished pianist and that she and her husband had been quite generous contributors to charitable organizations.  One other revelation: at some point after 1940 Jerome had gone into the food importing business.

Berda Marks Goldsmith obituary
The Philadelphia Inquirer, 30 Oct 1989, Mon, Main Edition, Page 31

 

Byron died just a few months after his brother Jerome on November 3, 1975; he was 93.18 His wife Elizabeth had predeceased him on May 28, 1973, when she was 85.  They were survived by their daughter and grandchildren, the only remaining descendants of Philip Goldsmith and Nellie Buxbaum.

The story of the three orphaned Goldsmith brothers is another story of human resilience. Having lost their parents in a horrendous tragedy when they were so young, it’s remarkable that these three boys seemed to have overcome those losses and survived. Perhaps the credit goes to their parents for whatever strength and love they gave them as children and to their aunt Hortense and their other aunts and uncles for raising them after they’d lost their parents in 1896.

 

 

 

 

 

 


  1. “42 Killed, 80 Injured,” The New York Times, July 31, 1896 
  2.  Ibid. 
  3. See “42 Killed, 80 Injured,” The New York Times, July 31, 1896; “The Story of the Wreck,” The New York Times, August 1, 1896; “Farr, The Dead, Blamed,” The New York Times, August 5, 1896; “Three Meadow Wreck Verdicts,” The New York Times, August 8, 1896;“Three Buried Here,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 3, 1896, p.4. 
  4. “Bridgeton’s Dead,” The Philadelphia Times, August 1, 1896, p. 3. 
  5. “The Atlantic Horror,” Tyrone Daily Herald, August 3, 1896, p. 3. 
  6. “Three Buried Here,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 3, 1896, p.4. 
  7. Year: 1910; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 8, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1387; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 0124; FHL microfilm: 1375400 
  8. Online publication – 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. 
  9. Year: 1920; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 28, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1632; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 885 
  10. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 for Dorothy Jane Goldsmith 
  11. Online publication – 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. 
  12. 1930 US Census for Jerome and Berda Goldsmith,Year: 1930; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 2095;Page: 24A; Enumeration District: 0275;FHL microfilm: 2341829 
  13. 1930 US Census for Byron Goldsmith and family; Year: 1930; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 2136;Page: 29A; Enumeration District: 1075;FHL microfilm: 2341870 
  14. 1940 US Census for Herbert Goldsmith; Year: 1940; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: m-t0627-03713; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 51-838 
  15. 1940 US Census for Byron Goldsmith and family; Year: 1940; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: m-t0627-03753; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 51-2142 
  16. 1940 US Census for Jerome Goldsmith; Year: 1940; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: m-t0627-03691; Page: 81B; Enumeration District: 51-125 
  17. Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records 
  18. The Philadelphia Inquirer, 04 Nov 1975, Tue, Main Edition, Page 16 

Uncle Jacob’s Family 1870-1895

By the early 1880s, all but one of the children of my three-times great-grandparents Seligmann and Hincka (Alexander) Goldschmidt had left Germany and settled in the United States. The next series of posts will address how each of those children and their descendants continued to fare in the US, starting with my three-times great-uncle Jacob Goldsmith, Seligmann and Hincka’s oldest son and second oldest child. He was also the first to emigrate from Germany.

Jacob and Fannie had six children who lived to adulthood: Caroline, Emma, Hannah, Philip, Harry, and Huldah.

As noted in my earlier post, in 1870, Jacob and his wife Fannie were living in Philadelphia with five of their children, and Jacob was working as a merchant. On the census he claimed that he owned $8000 worth of real property and $2000 worth of personal property. Their oldest daughter Caroline was living in Dubuque, Iowa, with her husband Nathan Rice and their baby daughter Rena.

Jacob Goldsmith (Seligmann’s son) and family 1870 census
Year: 1870; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 12 District 34, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1396; Page: 114A; Family History Library Film: 552895

During the 1870s, Jacob continued to work as a clothing merchant with a store at 726 Market Street and a residence at 413 North 4th Street in Philadelphia.1 By 1880, however, the family had moved, and Jacob was working in a new business with his son Harry. According to the 1880 census, he was now a hardware merchant, and the family was living at 1328 Franklin Street.  Living with Jacob at that point in addition to his wife Fannie were three of their children, Hannah, Harry, and Hulda.

Jacob Goldsmith (uncle) and family 1880 census
Year: 1880; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1179; Page: 175C; Enumeration District: 396

By 1873 their oldest daughter Caroline had returned from Iowa to Philadelphia with her husband Nathan Rice and daughter Rena; Nathan is listed in the Philadelphia directory as a clothing merchant in 1873.  Their second child, Sidney, was born in Philadelphia on September 7, 1873.2

Title: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1873
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

On the 1880 census Caroline and Nathan were living with their three children: Rena (1869), Sidney (1873), and Jessica (1880). (The spacing of the children made me wonder whether there were other children who had not survived; however, on the 1900 census, Caroline reported that she had had three children, all three of whom were alive.)

Nathan and Caroline Rice 1880 Census
“United States Census, 1880,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9YB4-SNF?cc=1417683&wc=QZ27-VLY%3A1589394781%2C1589410714%2C1589401700%2C1589404671 : 24 December 2015), Pennsylvania > Philadelphia > Philadelphia > ED 393 > image 11 of 20; citing NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

Jacob and Fannie’s second child Emma was married by 1880 to Henry Meyerhoff, who was about ten years older than Emma and a German immigrant. In 1870 he’d been living in Hastings, Michigan, working as a saloon keeper3 but he is listed in the 1878 Philadelphia directory in the liquor business. On the 1880 census, he reported that he was a liquor dealer.

Henry and Emma (Goldsmith) Meyerhoff 1880 census
Year: 1880; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1173; Page: 332B; Enumeration District: 223

Jacob and Fannie’s third child and first son Philip married Nellie Buxbaum on September 28, 1881, in Philadelphia.  He was 25, Nellie was only eighteen.

Marriage record of Philip Goldsmith and Nelly Buxbaum
Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records; Reel: 792
Organization Name: Congregation Rodeph Shalom
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1669-2013

Nellie was the daughter of Joseph Buxbaum and Theresa Anathan, who were German immigrants; her father was working as a travel agent in 1880. I can’t imagine what that meant back then in the era before vacation traveling and airplane reservations, but perhaps it involved hotel and train planning.4

Philip and Nellie had three sons born in the 1880s: Sydney Byron (1882), Herbert Nathaniel (1883), and Joseph Jerome (1888). They were living in Bridgeton, New Jersey in the 1880s.5

Hulda, the youngest of Jacob and Fannie’s daughters and the youngest surviving child, married Chapman Raphael in 1881, according to the 1900 census.6 Chapman was a Philadelphia native born in about 1850, and in 1880 he was living with his widowed mother Clara and his two brothers; he was a dealer in men’s clothing:

Chapman Raphael 1880 census
Year: 1880; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1169; Page: 261D; Enumeration District: 092

Hulda and Chapman had three children in the 1880s: J. Herbert (1882), Arthur Seligman (1883), and Adelaide (1888). When I saw the name of their second child—Arthur Seligman Raphael, it stopped me in my tracks. My great-great-uncle from Santa Fe who became New Mexico’s governor in 1930 was named Arthur Seligman. But that Arthur was born in 1871 and was only twelve when Arthur Seligman Raphael was born. I assume this was just a coincidence. His middle name might have been Seligman for his great-grandfather, Seligmann Goldschmidt.

Thus, by 1882, all of Jacob and Fannie’s children were married with children, except Harry and Hannah. How were Jacob and his sons supporting themselves and their families during this period?

According to the Philadelphia directory for 1881, Jacob was in a business called J. Goldsmith, Ancker, & Co.  But by 1883, Jacob listed his business as J.Goldsmith and Son, and he and Harry were engaged in the fishing tackle and cutlery business, according to the 1883 directory. Jacob and Harry were in that business together for several years according to the directory listings.

Jacob and Harry Goldsmith 1883 Philadelphia directory
Title: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1883
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

But in 1888 the directory lists Jacob as a “manager” at 510 Market Street and his son Philip as being in the fishing tackle business at 510 Market Street, obviously working together.

Jacob and Philip Goldsmith 1888 Philadelphia directory
Title: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1888
Source Information
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

I am not sure what had happened to Harry by 1888.  There are three Harry Goldsmiths in that same 1888 Philadelphia directory—one in the cigar business, one in the clothing business, and one working as a boilermaker.

Three Harry Goldsmiths 1888 Philadelphia directory
Title: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1888
Source Information
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

The listings for Jacob and his son Philip are the same in 1889, but in the 1889 directory there is only one Harry, and he is in the cigar business. I don’t know, however, that that was Jacob’s son Harry.

Goldsmiths in 1889 Philadelphia directory
Title: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1889
Source Information
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

 

If that was Jacob’s son, he found himself in some legal trouble later that year:

“Fraud Charged,” The Philadelphia Times, July 25, 1889, p. 1

Of course, I hope that this is not my cousin Harry Goldsmith, but I cannot be certain. It appears he was being charged with fraud. The article states the plaintiffs sued to recover $849.24 “on a promissory note given by Goldsmith for tobacco bought by him on the representation that he was making money and was about to increase the facilities of his factory.” Eleven years later a Harry Goldsmith, possibly the same one, declared bankruptcy. 7

In 1891, Jacob and Philip were still in the fishing tackle business, and there is no listing for a Harry Goldsmith at all in that year’s Philadelphia directory.

Title: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1891
Source Information
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

The 1890s were in some ways a challenging decade for the family of Jacob and Fannie Goldsmith. First, Emma Goldsmith’s husband Henry Meyerhoff died on September 18, 1891. He was only 49 years old. The cause of death was phthisis or what we call tuberculosis.

Death certificate of Henry Meyerhoff
“Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-6QZP-2W?cc=1320976&wc=9F5T-7MS%3A1073249701 : 16 May 2014), 004009736 > image 563 of 1753; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Emma’s sister Hannah Goldsmith married Isaac Levy in 1892. She was 38, and he was 51. According to the 1900 census, Isaac was born in Germany in April 1841 and had immigrated to the US in 1880.8 But I have no independent verification of those assertions, and because the name Isaac Levy is so common, I’ve been unable to find out much about Hannah’s husband. 9 Given their ages at the time of their marriage, it is not surprising that they did not have children.

Two years later, Emma remarried.  Her second husband was Abraham Cohlman.10 According to census records, Abraham was born in California sometime in 1869  making him eighteen years younger than Emma. The 1870 census lists him as a six month old baby living in San Francisco with his parents; his father was a junk dealer.  According to the 1880 census, Abraham was then eleven years old, living with his family in Philadelphia.  His father was the superintendent of a silver mine.11

Abraham Cohlman 1880 census
Year: 1880; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1173; Page: 332B; Enumeration District: 223

In the 1892 Philadelphia directory, Abraham was in the clothing business with his mother Bertha in a business called B. Cohlman & Son.12

Jacob and Fannie’s family’s experienced sadness again in 1895 when Jacob, my three-times great-uncle, died on August 11 of that year.  He was 72 years old and died from interstitial nephritis and pulmonary tuberculosis. He was buried at Mt. Sinai cemetery in Philadelphia, where so many of my other relatives were buried.

Jacob Goldsmith death certificate
“Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-64P9-RYW?cc=1320976&wc=9FRT-4WL%3A1073331001 : 16 May 2014), 004056305 > image 913 of 1767; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Unfortunately, that was not the end of the deaths the family suffered in the 1890s. A year later they lost two more members of the family in a terrible accident. More on that in my next post.

 

 

 

 


  1. See, e.g., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1872; Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  2. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Births, 1860-1906,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VB16-8W9 : 8 December 2014), Nathon H. Rice in entry for Rice, 07 Sep 1873; citing bk 1873 p 13, Department of Records; FHL microfilm 1,289,315. 
  3. Year: 1870; Census Place: Hastings, Barry, Michigan; Roll: M593_661; Page: 139A;Family History Library Film: 552160 
  4. Year: 1880; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1179;Page: 57B; Enumeration District: 386 
  5. New Jersey, Births and Christenings Index, 1660-1931 
  6. Year: 1900; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 32, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1473; Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 0808; FHL microfilm: 1241473 
  7. The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 12, 1900, p. 9 
  8. Year: 1900; Census Place: Circleville Ward 3, Pickaway, Ohio; Roll: 1313; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0102; FHL microfilm: 1241313; Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  9. In the 1890 Philadelphia directory, for example, there were five men named Isaac Levy. I have no idea which was Hannah’s husband. or if any of them were. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1890; Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  10. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Marriage Index, 1885–1951.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009. Philadelphia County Pennsylvania Clerk of the Orphans’ Court. 
  11. Some records give Abraham an earlier birth date, but they are further in time from his birth, so the 1870 and 1880 census records seem the most accurate.  See 1870 US census, Census Place: San Francisco Ward 9, San Francisco, California; Roll: M593_83; Page: 42B; Family History Library Film: 545582; Ancestry.com 
  12. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1892;  Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995