Milton Goldsmith’s Family Album, Part V: A Love Letter

This is Part V of an ongoing series of posts based on the family album of Milton Goldsmith, so generously shared with me by his granddaughter Sue. See Part I, Part II, Part III and Part IV at the links.

As promised, today I am sharing a letter that Samuel Adler wrote to his beloved fiancée, Sarah Kargau, shortly before their marriage in 1837.

Once again, I am indebted to Matthias Steinke for his generous help in transcribing this letter:

Würzburg, den 6ten November 1837

Meine Geliebte!
Voll unbeschreiblicher Sehnsucht zähle ich mit dir jede Stunde. Ja, mit heisser Sehnsucht sehe auch ich dem heiligen Momente unserer Einsegnung, unserer ewigen Verbindung entgegen. Nur noch wenige Tage und wir haben das Ziel unserer Wünsche erreicht. O, wie freue ich mich darauf! Schneller durchströmt bei diesem Gedanken das Blut meine Adern, heftiger schlägt bei diesen Gefühlen mein Herz. Ja, dieses Blättchen würde nicht hinreichen, die alle meine dieshaltigen(?) Gefühle zu schildern, und ich will daher davon abbrechen. Ich habe nun noch eine Bitte: Wir werden nämlich an unserem Hochzeitstage nur eine Vase (Chaise?) mit nach Fürth bringen,

The letter must have continued on the back of the page, as Sue could see there was writing on the reverse side. But she did not want to risk damaging this 182-year-old letter by trying to remove it from the album, so we don’t know how Samuel closed out the letter.

Using Google Translate and my rudimentary knowledge of German, I was able to translate the letter as follows:

Würzburg, November 6, 1837

My beloved! Full indescribable longing I count with you every hour. Yes, with a hot longing I too see the holy moments of our consecration, our eternal connection. Only a few days left and we have reached the goal of our wishes. Oh, how happy I am! The blood rushes through my veins faster at this thought, my heart beats harder with these feelings. Yes, this leaflet would not suffice to describe all of my heartfelt (?) Feelings, and I therefore want to stop it. I have one more request: we will bring only one vase (chaise?) to Fürth on our wedding day,

What a passionate letter! This was no marriage of convenience arranged by parents or a matchmaker. This was a true affair of the heart. I admit to being surprised by the ardor expressed so openly in this letter—the desire is palpable. Samuel was certainly a man in love (or at least in lust). But what was the vase or chaise reference all about? I guess some things are best left to the imagination.

Samuel Adler

 

 

Milton Goldsmith’s Family Album, Part IV: His Mother’s Parents

This is Part IV of an ongoing series of posts based on the family album of Milton Goldsmith, so generously shared with me by his granddaughter Sue. See Part I, Part II, and Part III at the links.

In addition to the biographies of his father Abraham and paternal grandfather Seligmann Goldschmidt, Milton Goldsmith wrote about his mother’s family. His mother was Cecelia Adler, Abraham’s first wife, and she was the daughter of Samuel Adler and Sarah Kargau. Although Cecelia’s family is only related to mine through her marriage to Abraham, it is nevertheless fascinating to read about her parents.

Here is Milton’s page about his maternal grandfather, Samuel Adler:

Samuel Adler,–my grandfather, was born in Biebergau, Germany in 1814. He had the usual school education, but was never much of a scholar.  He was a stout, benevolent looking gentleman, hearty and genial, with a host of friends.  He married Sarah Kargau, and we have letters from him to her, also their marriage settlement. A year after my mother was born, they came to American in a sailing vessel, and settled in Philadelphia. For a while he manufactured Mantillas, but was not over-successful. He was one of the founders of the first Reform Temple, the Rodef Scholom in Philada, and became its president. Later, he was one of the founders of the Keneseth Israel Congregation, to which he belonged for the rest of his life.

After the marriage of his daughter, to my father, he came to live with them, until he died of ptomaine poisoning in 1886 at the age of 72. During the later years of his life, he went into the haberdashery business, but it was not successful, my father helping him along and providing for his needs.  Neither he nor my grandmother ever mastered the English language properly, which proved a great handicap. His sister, Mrs. Greenbaum, lived in Burlington, Ia. and died at 90 years of age.

I was left with the impression that Samuel was a wonderful man and well-loved by his family and his community, but not much of a businessman. Certainly he did not measure up to Abraham’s success in business in Milton’s eyes, but this is nevertheless a very loving tribute to his grandfather.

Milton also included this photograph of his grandfather Samuel.

Samuel Adler

But is the man depicted on the lower left side of the page supposed to be Samuel looking like a young George Washington? Or someone else? Any ideas?

As for his maternal grandmother and her family, Milton provided this page:

From looking at this page, I realized that some of the decorative art in this album was probably supplied by whoever manufactured the album. The inserted article at the top overlaps some of that decoration. It is a short biography of Mendel Kargau, Cecelia Adler’s maternal grandmother and Milton’s maternal great-grandmother:

This short biography (taken from the Jewish Encyclopedia, according to Milton) shows that unlike her father Samuel Adler, Cecelia’s maternal grandfather was quite scholarly. In his essay about Mendel Kargau and his daughter Sarah Kargau Adler, Milton wrote:

Mendel Kargau, as the attached biography taken from the Jewish Encyclopedia shows, was an eminent Rabbi in Fuerth, Bavaria. I was named for him, Milton being the English equivalent of Mendel.  He lived and died in Europe.

His only daughter, SARAH, was my maternal grandmother. She emigrated to America about two years after her marriage with SAMUEL ADLER, my grandfather. My mother, Cecelia Adler was a baby when they sailed, and during their sixty day voyage in a sailing vessel, she learned to walk. There were several brothers, one of them Moritz, was still living in Fuerth a few years ago. A nephew, Emanuel Kargau, is a dentist in Chicago. Grandma Adler, was a unique person. She was small in stature and not good looking, but must have been very sprightly in her youth. She was witty, and read a great deal. Her preference was for spicy books.  She lived with us for many years, later in life when the family grew too large, she lived near-by. She outlived her husband by many years, died in 1907 at advanced age of 93, retaining her faculties to the end, although she was always hard of hearing. After mother died, she helped to raise our family of 6 children.

When I researched Milton’s family, I noted that after his mother Cecelia died, his maternal grandparents Samuel and Sarah Adler lived with the family, and I’d assumed that Sarah had taken on part of the responsibility of caring for her daughter’s motherless children. Milton’s essay confirmed that assumption and painted a picture of a grandmother who was lively, interesting, and, his words, unique. I found it amusing that he said she wasn’t good looking. Maybe at 93 she wasn’t or even in her fifties when Milton was a child. Like most children, he probably just saw his grandma as an old lady.

I love this photograph of his grandmother. I have zoomed in on it here so that we can see Sarah Kargau Adler more clearly. I bet she was attractive as a young woman when she swept Samuel Adler off his feet. The letter he wrote before their wedding certainly reveals a man deeply in love. I will save that for my next post.

 

Update: The Strolowitz/Adler Family, My Grandfather’s Cousins

As I have written, in 1910, after my great-grandfather died the day before his daughter Betty arrived and before my great-grandmother and her son David arrived, Betty and her brother Isadore lived with their aunt Tillie Rosensweig Strolovitz and her seven children on East 109th Street in New York City.  Tillie had arrived with her husband Itic Yankel Srulovici and their three youngest children, Beckie, Pincus and Leah, in late December, 1907.  Their four oldest children had left Iasi, Romania, before them: Isidor in 1901, Bertha and Bella in 1906, and David in January, 1907.

Leah Adler c. 1920

Leah Adler c. 1920

Although I have not yet found a ship manifest for Isidor, the oldest child, I do now have manifests for all the other members of the family, having just located David’s last night.  Among the many documents I received this week were David’s naturalization papers, which provided his date of arrival and the name of the ship.  Although his first name was partially torn off the paper, with a little trick of the trade I learned from Renee, I was able to obtain a copy of the ship manifest as well.  David is listed as “…vid Stubowicz” on the manifest, yet another variation on the family name.  He named his brother, Israel (presumably Isidor) Stubowicz, as the person paying for his ticket and meeting him in New York.   Interestingly, although David’s certificate of arrival has his name as Strubewicz, his petition for naturalization was made under the name David Adler.

David Adler petition for naturalization

David Adler petition for naturalization

I had already found the manifests for Bertha and Bella and for Tillie, Jacob and the other children, and interestingly, every member of the family used some variation of Srulovici/Strubowicz/Strolovitz on the manifests, not Adler.  It appears that the Adler name was not used officially by the family until after they came to the United States.  Whether Isidor had already adopted it and then the others eventually followed I do not know.  In 1910, we know that only David and Isidor were using Adler, but as already discussed, eventually every member of the family was using it at least part of the time.

David Adler and his wife Bertha

David Adler and his wife Bertha

In addition to David’s naturalization papers, I received several other documents related to the Adler family.  (For simplicity sake, I will refer to them as the Adlers, except where the Strolowitz name is relevant for a particular reason.)  I had hoped to find something that would help me learn what had happened to Jacob. To recap what I already knew and did not know, I had not found any record of Itic Yankel after the ship manifest of 1907, and family lore said that he had never left Ellis Island.  The ship manifest, however, indicated that he was admitted, after being briefly detained for a doctor’s examination of his eyes.  There is no record of deportation.  I thought perhaps that he had died shortly thereafter, and I ordered the death certificate of the only Jacob Adler I could find who might fit in terms of age and year of death.  I now have that certificate, but unfortunately it was not for the correct Jacob Adler.  The certificate is for a Jacob Adler from Germany who had been in the US since 1880 at the time of his death in 1910.  So I still have no answers to the question of what happened to Jacob, Tillie’s husband.  I am awaiting his immigration papers from the National Archives and hope that they will provide some clues.

I had requested several other documents in order to confirm what I assumed was true: that Tillie was the sister of my great-grandmother Gisella Rosensweig and that Itic Yankel Srulovici and Jacob Adler were the same person and the father of all of the seven children.  Not surprisingly, they all do confirm one or both of those facts.  First, Tillie’s death certificate lists her parents as David and Esther Rosenzweig (no maiden name for Esther, unfortunately), my great-great grandparents, confirming that Tillie was my great-grandmother Gisella’s sister.  Her death certificate was witnessed by her son David, signing as Strulowitz, confirming that Yankel Srulovici was his father and not some other husband named Adler.  (Tillie is also a Strulowitz on the certificate.)

Tillie Strulowitz death certificate

Tillie Strulowitz death certificate

Second, Isidor’s death certificate confirms that he died young—in 1915 of liver cancer at age 31. Although he is identified as Isidor Adler, his parents’ names are given as Tillie Rosenzweig and Jacob Strulowitz. Bertha’s marriage certificate gives her parents’ names also that way, with Bertha also now using Strulowitz.  On the other hand, Leah’s marriage certificate uses Adler and lists her father’s name as simply Jacob (and her mother as Tillie Rosensweig). Finally, David’s death certificate gives his father’s name as Jacob Adler (and David’s name as David Adler), and his mother’s as Tillie Rosensweig.  Certainly this is enough documentation to prove that Jacob Adler and Yankel Srulovici were the same person and the father of the seven children.

Isidor Adler death certificate

Isidor Adler death certificate

Thus, many open questions were answered by these latest documents, but there remains still the question of what happened to Jacob Srulovici/Strolovitz/Strulowitz/Adler after he arrived at Ellis Island.

In addition, the marriage certificate of Bertha contains the signature of a Gustav Rosenzweig as a witness to the marriage.  Could this be Tillie and Gisella’s brother? Or a nephew? Cousin? And thus begins yet another search for a possible member of the extended Goldschlager-Rosensweig family.

Bertha Strulowitz marriage certificate witnessed by Gustav Rosensweig

Bertha Strulowitz marriage certificate witnessed by Gustav Rosensweig

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The Adler Strolowitz family continued

Although I still don’t have answers to all the questions about the Strolowitz/Adler family, I have made a lot of progress finding the descendants of Tillie Strolowitz Adler and her children, with a lot of assistance from Renee Steinig, who continues to teach me and to amaze me with her ability to find people through various search methods.  So here’s a summary and a description of the process used to find most of these people, including several living descendants who I am now trying to contact.

I’ve not had any success finding Tillie’s son Isidor yet aside from the entry in the 1910 census.  There are numerous Isidor Adlers listed in the NYC marriage index and many also in the US and NY census reports, but I cannot with any degree of certainty identify the right one.  Some are too old or were married and had children before 1910, when the right Isidor was still single and living with his mother.  Some are not from Romania or born in the United States.  I am beginning to think that Isidor either died young or maybe even returned to Romania.  I have found one death record for an Isidor Adler who died April 23, 1915, and the age looks right, so I will send for that death certificate.

I’ve had better luck locating the second son, David Adler.  After a careful process of elimination, I believe that Tilllie’s son David married a woman named Bertha (maiden name not yet found).  Since David also had a sister named Bertha, this created some confusion for me.  David and Bertha had a daughter Tessie, born in 1927 (possibly named for Tillie, who had died in 1925).  Renee found a memorial written about Tessie Adler on the Findagrave.com site, and the date of birth corroborated that this is the correct Tessie.  Tessie and her husband Harry had two sons, David, possibly named for his grandfather David Adler, and Ira.  I am now in touch with Ira, who confirmed that he is Tessie’s son and that she was David’s daughter and Tillie’s granddaughter.

The Strolowitz daughters were much trickier to find, as women tend to be.  Once they get married, they are much harder to find, unless I can find a marriage record which gives me their husband’s name.  I first focused on Bertha, figuring that it was a less common name than Beckie, Bella or Lizzie.  I found a marriage record for Bertha Strulovitz to Benny Bloom in May, 1914.  I then did a census search and found a Bertha and Bernard Bloom living on East 109th Street in 1915.  The “Bernard” threw me, as did the fact that Bertha was 27, meaning she would have been born in 1888, not 1885, as reported on the 1910 census.  But while scanning the page to look for their entry, I saw a listing in the same building for a Tillie Stralowitch and her children, David, Bella, Beckie, Peter (Pincus?) and Lizzie.  This was obviously Tillie Strolowitz, living in the same building as in 1910, with her married daughter Bertha and her new husband Bernard or Ben in their own apartment.  So far, so good.  It also made sense that Bertha was born in 1888, not before David, who was 28 in the 1915 census and thus older than Bertha.  That could explain why David and Isidor were Adlers, while the rest of the children were Strolowitz.  Perhaps Mr. Adler died right after David was born, Tillie remarried to Strolowitz and within a year had Bertha?  Phew!  They acted fast back then!  (Remember Harry Coopersmith…)

But after that, I could not find any references for Bertha Bloom at all.  I was stumped.  I couldn’t find any more references for Tillie Strolowitz either, no matter how I spelled it.  Finally, I decided to look for Tillie Adler, and there she was in the 1920 census, listed as Tillie Adler, living with her three daughters, Bertha, Bella and Leah (Lizzie?) on East 107th Street.  The ages and names matched, but why were they now using Adler? So much for my earlier hypothesis.  Maybe Mr. Adler was the father of all these children? Maybe Mr. Adler and Mr. Strolovitz were the same person? And what happened to Bertha’s husband? Why was she living with her mother?  She is listed as married, not single, on the 1920 census, but not living with Bloom.

In 1925 Tillie, Bertha and Bella were all still living together on East 107th Street under the surname Adler.  There was no question about marital status on this form, but apparently Bertha was still legally married because in 1926 she applied for citizenship.  On the naturalization form she signed as “Bertha Adler known as Bertha Strulovici and Bertha Bloom,” and listed her spouse as Benjamin Bloom.  Her brother David Adler signed as a witness for her.

By 1930, Tillie had died, and Bertha and Bella had moved in with David Adler and his wife Bertha and daughter Tessie.  Imagine—two Bertha Adlers living in one household.  The census taker must have been confused because he listed Bertha, David’s sister, as his mother.  On this census, Bertha (the sister) is now listed as divorced, finally.

In 1940, Bertha was no longer living with David, but now was living with her sister Leah on Grant Avenue in the Bronx.  Leah was married to Benjamin Schwartz, an optometrist, and had two children, Ira and Theodora.  Renee helped me locate Theodora, who is now living in Atlanta where her parents eventually moved and died.

No further luck finding out what happened to Bella or Bertha after 1940, but at least we know what happened to Tillie, David, and Leah, and have located the next generation of third cousins, the great-great grandchildren of David and Esther Rosensweig.

More discoveries in the next post, including some of the most interesting ones of all.  But for now, back to the research.

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Who was Tillie Srulowitz? Another mystery solved?

As I mentioned in my post about the ship manifests, Betty Goldschlager was released from Ellis Island to someone she identified as her aunt, Tillie Srulowitz.  I had no idea who this could be when I first saw this many months ago.

In reviewing my Goldschlager research this past week or so, however, I looked more closely at the census report from 1910, as seen below.

The Strolovitz Adler family with Isadore and Betty in 1910

The Strolovitz Adler family with Isadore and Betty in 1910

Isadore and “Bella” Goldschlager are listed as boarders living with….Tillie Strolowitz and her many children.  When I first looked at this, I had no idea who the Strolowitz family was and just assumed that Isadore and Betty were living there as boarders, not relatives.  This time I remembered the name on the ship manifest and made the connection: this was the aunt that met Betty at Ellis Island.

So who were these people?  Tillie was listed as a widow and had five children named Strolowitz: Beckie, Bertha, Bella, Lizzie and Pincus.  She also had two sons with the last name Adler, David and Isidor.  I assumed David and Isidor were children of a first marriage, and the others children of her second marriage, but since David is younger than Bertha, that did not make sense.  Of course, knowing how unreliable census reports are, it is also likely that that is just an error and that David was in fact older than Bertha.  The census also reports that Tillie’s present marriage was 26 years old, but I don’t know whether that means she’d been married to Mr. Strolovitz for 26 years when he died or whether it had been 26 years since she had married him.  All her children named Strolovitz were younger than 26, whereas Isidor was 27.

I then decided to see what I could find about the Strolovitz family and the possible connection to the Goldschlager family.  On the Ellis Island site, I found entries for two sisters, Betty and Bruche Strulovici from Jassy, who arrived together in 1906 on the Noordam when Betty was 17 and Bruche was 20 with thirty dollars between them.  That information matched the ages and dates of arrival for Bella and Bertha Strolovitz on the 1910 census, so it could very well be them.  I so far have not been able to locate any other Ellis Island records for Tillie Strolovitz’s family.

When I searched for later US census records, I could find almost nothing at first for anyone named Strolovitz with similar first names or for Szrulowitz or Strulowitz or any other reasonable variation.  I then turned to search for David and Isidor Adler and ran into the problem of too many people with those names and no certain way of determining which ones were Tillie’s sons.  I think I have narrowed it down, but am still not certain that I have found the right David or Isidor.

On the other hand, while searching for Adlers on the US census I found this one:

Tillie, Bertha, Bella and Leah Adler 1920

Tillie, Bertha, Bella and Leah Adler 1920

Tillie, Bertha, Bella and Leah Adler, listed as mother and daughters, of the approximate ages that Tillie Strolovitz and her daughters would have been in 1920, from Romania.  This seemed too unlikely to be a coincidence, and I feel fairly certain that for some reason, Tillie and her daughters had changed from being Strolovitz to Adler.  I could not find any records under either last name for Tillie or the daughters, except for death certificate for a Tillie Adler dated 1925 for a woman of the correct age.  I have ordered that certificate and will wait to see what it contains.

Having concluded that Tillie and her daughters were now using Adler, I thought that perhaps her son Pincus had also switched from Strolovitz to Adler, so I searched for him.  I found a South Carolina death certificate for Pincus Adler dated July, 1919, age 19, born in Romania, whose father’s name was Jacob Adler, and whose mother’s maiden name was Tillie Rosensweig.

Pincus Adler Death Certificate 1919

Pincus Adler Death Certificate 1919

The informant on the death certificate was David Adler of West 68th Street, New York, New York.   I am fairly certain that this is the same David Adler and the same Pincus Strolovitz AKA Pincus Adler, although the age may be off by a year or so (not anything surprising in these records).  Everything else lines up: mother is Tillie and brother is David Adler from NYC.  Pincus Adler was also buried at Mount Zion cemetery in Queens, not in South Carolina.  Perhaps Pincus ended up in South Carolina after World War I.  I’ve yet to find a draft registration under either name, but am continuing to look.

So why does any of this matter? When I first saw what Tillie’s maiden name, it didn’t mean anything to me.  Like so many other times in the research, I had to move away from it. Several hours later, while doing something completely unrelated, a lightbulb went off.  Rosensweig was Gisella Goldschlager’s maiden name also! Gisella and Tillie were sisters—Tillie, after all, was listed as Betty’s (and thus, David’s and Isadore’s) aunt on that Ellis Island form.  Her children—Bertha, Bella, Beckie, Pincus, Lizzie, David and Isidor— were my grandfather’s first cousins.

I still have more work to do to figure out the Strolovitz/Adler family.  Why did they use two different last names?  I found a Tillie Strulowitz buried at Mount Zion on August 4, 1925, the day after the date of death for Tillie Adler; this must be the same person, but one place she is Adler, the other she is Strulowitz.  Why is Jacob Adler listed by David Adler as Pincus’ father?  Was there ever a Mr. Strolovitz or was Jacob Adler the father of all seven children? Why did Tillie switch back and forth? Why did her daughters become Adlers?

This stuff just never gets boring to me; there is always another mystery, another surprise around each corner.

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