In Honor of Yom HaShoah and Yom HaAtzmaut: Hermann Blumenfeld and His Family

After Moses IIB and Sara (Stern) Blumenfeld died, Moses in 1911, Sara in 1928, they had five surviving children and eleven grandchildren.

Hermann and his wife Helma had two children: Hilde Nomi and Hans. Bertha and her husband Ludwig Fernich had two children: Jenny and Else. Salomon and his wife Malchen or known more often as Amalie had three: Gretel, Jenny, and Hilde. Clementine and her husband Richard Abraham had three: Lilli, Martin, and Walter.  Max and his wife Johanna Gruenwald had one child, a son Fritz.

Of those twenty-one family members, only about half are known to have survived the Holocaust. In addition, some of the great-grandchildren of Moses IIB and Sara were also killed in the Holocaust. This post will tell the story of Hermann Blumenfeld, the oldest child of Moses IIB and Sara. It is an appropriate post for today, just a day after Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, and just six days before Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel Independence Day, because although Hermann and his wife Helma were murdered in the Holocaust, their two children survived by escaping to what was then Palestine, but what became the independent state of Israel in 1948.

Hermann Blumenfeld and his wife Helma were deported from Frankfurt to the Littmanstadt Ghetto in Lodz, Poland, on October 19, 1941, and were killed sometime thereafter.

Hermann Blumenfeld, Page of Testimony at Yad Vashem by his daughter Hilde, found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=1899981&ind=1

Helma Lillienstein Blumenfeld Page of Testimony at Yad Vashem by her daughter Hilde, found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=1899975&ind=1

Fortunately, their two children both left Germany earlier and eventually immigrated to what was then Palestine.

Hilde Nomi left Germany for Oslo, Norway, on August 19, 1933, and then entered Palestine on April 22, 1936. She applied for citizenship there on May 23, 1938, when she was living near Haifa and working as a teacher. She became a Palestinian citizen on June 21, 1938. You can see her full immigration file at Blumenfeld Hilda _ מחלקת ההגירה – ממשלת ארץ ישראל – בקשות לאזרחות _ ארכיון המדינה

Hilde Blumenfeld, Palestine Immigration file found at the Israel State Archives at https://www.archives.gov.il/en/

She remained in Palestine, later Israel, and married Isaac Schattner in Jerusalem on February 17, 1942.

Marriage record of Hilde Blumenfeld and Isaac Schattner, found at the Israel Genealogy Research Association at https://genealogy.org.il/AID/

Hilde Nomi died on January 2, 2012.

Her brother Hans arrived in Palestine on July 1, 1935, when he was seventeen. He applied for Palestinian citizenship on September 13, 1938, and was granted citizenship on October 16, 1938. He was working as a laborer at that time and living in Jerusalem. His full immigration file can be seen here: Blumenfeld Hans _ מחלקת ההגירה – ממשלת ארץ ישראל – בקשות לאזרחות _ ארכיון המדינה

Hans Blumenfeld Palestine immigration file found at the Israel State Archives at https://www.archives.gov.il/en/

Hans remained in Palestine, later Israel, and married Ruth Herman in Jerusalem on August 8, 1941. His marriage record confirmed my earlier assumption that he was in fact the son of Hermann and Helma Blumenfeld.

Marriage record of Hans Blumenfeld and Ruth Herman, found at the Israel Genealogy Research Association at https://genealogy.org.il/AID/

In 1947, Hans changed his first name to Hanan.

IGRA website found at https://genealogy.org.il/AID/

At some later point Hanan changed his surname to Bar Sadeh. He and his first wife Ruth were divorced, and in November 1954, he married Esther Asch, daughter of Hillel and Fredericka Asch. I am indebted to David Lesser of Tracing the Tribe who translated the headstone and then went even further and found the wedding announcement for Hanan and Esther on p. 3 of the November 22, 1954, issue of Hatzofe (the Observer), an the Israeli newspaper.  David translated the announcement as follows: “Hanan Bar-Sadeh (Blumenfeld) son of Herman, Divorcee, Germany Tel-Aviv to Esther Ash Daughter of Hillel, Single, Germany Tel-Aviv.”

According to their gravestone, Esther was born May 29, 1925, and died on June 25, 2006. Hans died on September 1, 2004.

Hanan Bar-Sadeh gravestone found at GRAVEZ at https://gravez.me/en/deceased/9A0712A0-3749-4251-A557-E8EDAA465AF2

Thus, because they were able to escape to what was then Palestine and is today Israel, the children of Hermann Blumenfeld and Helma Lillienstein survived the Holocaust. Unfortunately, Hermann and Helma did not.

Nor did Bertha Blumenfeld Fernich and most of her family, as we will see next.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introducing Moses Blumenfeld IIB and His Family

The fourth child of Isaak Blumenfeld (and the third with his second wife Gelle Straus) was named Moses Blumenfeld, and he is labeled Moses Blumenfeld IIB on my tree to distinguish him from his grandfather Moses I, his first cousin Moses IIA, and all the others on the Blumenfeld tree with that name who were born after he was.

Moses IIB was born on May 2, 1847, in Momberg, Germany.

Birth record of Moses Blumenfeld II, Geburtsregister der Juden von Neustadt 1824-1884 (HHStAW Abt. 365 Nr. 628)AutorHessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, WiesbadenErscheinungsjahr1824-1884, p. 16

He married Sara Stern sometime before 1874. She was born in Stadtallendorf, Germany, on May 7, 1852, to Isaak Stern and Schenche Stern.

Birth record for Sara Stern, Geburtsregister der Juden von Allendorf (Stadtallendorf) 1850-1891 (HHStAW Abt. 365 Nr. 29)

I don’t have a marriage record for Moses IIB and Sara, but unsourced trees list their marriage date and place as November 26, 1873, in Allendorf.

Moses IIB and Sara had seven children, five of whom lived to adulthood. First born was their son Hermann, born October 16, 1874, in Kirchhain:

Hermann Blumenfeld birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 4975, Year Range: 1874, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Then came Bertha, born March 16, 1876, in Kirchhain:

Bertha Blumenfeld birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 4977, Year Range: 1876, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Salomon was their third child, born May 30, 1878, in Kirchhain:

Salomon Blumenfeld birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 4979, Year Range: 1878, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

The fourth child was Max, born June 13, 1880, in Kirchhain:

Max Blumenfeld birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 4981, Year Range: 1880, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Meda Blumenfeld, born June 29, 1883, in Kirchhain, died when she was only five years old on October 2, 1888, in Kirchhain.

Meda Blumenfeld birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 4984, Year Range: 1883, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Meda Blumenfeld death record, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5073, Year Range: 1888, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958

Next came Clementine and Rosa, twins, born on June 20, 1886, in Kirchhain.

Clementine Blumenfeld birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 4987, Year Range: 1886, 
Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Rosa Blumenfeld birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 4987, Year Range: 1886, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Sadly, little Rosa Blumenfeld only lived eight months. She died on February 9, 1887, in Kirchhain.

Rosa Blumenfeld death record, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5072, Year Range: 1887, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958

Thus, of the seven children to whom Sara gave birth, five survived to adulthood: Hermann, Bertha, Salomon, Max, and Clementine.

The first to marry was the oldest daughter, Bertha. She married Ludwig Fernich on November 12, 1900, in Kirchhain. Ludwig, the son of Heinrich Fernich and Esther Kaufmann, was born on December 11, 1875, in Klotten, Germany.

Bertha Blumenfeld and Ludwig Fernich marriage record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5028, Year Range: 1900, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Bertha and Ludwig had two daughters. Jenny was born in Klotten on March 10, 1904,1 and Else was born the following year in Klotten on December 9, 1905.2

The next to marry of the children of Moses IIB and Sara Blumenfeld was their third child, Salomon. He married Malchen Levi in Wehrda, Germany, on August 23, 1905. Malchen was born to Selig Levi and Franzika Bacharach in Rhina, Germany, on July 28, 1881.

Marriage record of Salomon Blumenfeld and Malchen Levi, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 907; Laufende Nummer: 6927,  Range: 1905, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Salomon and Malchen had three daughters. Gretel was born in Kirchhain on July 1, 1906.3 Jenny was born June 23, 1907, in Kirchain.4 And Hilde was born June 9, 1911, in Kirchhain.5

Max, Moses IIB and Sara’s fourth child, married Johanna Grunwald, daughter of Isidor Grunwald and Nanny Braun, in Pankow, Germany. Johanna was born in Leobschuetz, Germany, on November 29, 1884.

Max Blumenfeld and Johanna Grunwald marriage record, Landesarchiv Berlin; Berlin, Deutschland; Personenstandsregister Heiratsregister; Laufendenummer: 65, Register Year or Type: 1906 (Erstregister), Ancestry.com. Berlin, Germany, Marriages, 1874-1936

Max and Johanna had one child, a son Fritz, born July 13, 1910, in Graudenz, Germany, where Max had been living at the time of his marriage to Johanna.[^6]

Hermann, the first born of Moses IIB and Sara’s children, married Helma Lillienstein on November 15, 1908, in Usingen, Germany. She was born in Usingen on January 5, 1887, to Sigmund Lillienstein and Emma Stern. Hermann’s occupation at that time was a “Landmesser” or land surveyor.

Hermann Blumenfeld and Helma Lillienstein marriage record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 908; Laufende Nummer: 4998 Description Year Range: 1908, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Hermann and Helma had a daughter Hilde Nomi Blumenfeld, born in Hanau, Germany, on September 21, 1909. Although I have no birth record for Hilde, I know that she was the daughter of Hermann and Helma from her Pages of Testimony filed on their behalf with Yad Vashem. Her birth date appears on her Palestine immigration papers, her gravestone, and a ship manifest.6 (Hermann’s daughter Hilde will be distinguished from her first cousin, Salomon’s daughter Hilde, by using her middle name Nomi when I refer to her.

There is also circumstantial evidence that Hermann and Helma had a son named Hans Blumenfeld born on July 3, 1918. First, several trees on Ancestry, MyHeritage, and Geni list Hans as their son, but without any sources. Not good enough for me. I knew that Hilde ended up in Israel, so I searched for a Hans Blumenfeld who also immigrated to Israel and found one, who was born in Frankfurt on July 3, 1918.7 Again, not enough to tie him to Hilde or to Hermann and Helma. I searched for other records or sources and found a gravestone for a Chanan bar Sadeh born on July 3, 1918, whose father’s name was Herman. Still not very much to conclude that Hans became Chanan bar Sadeh and that he was the son of Hermann Blumenfeld, but perhaps enough to leave him on the family tree while I looked for more.

The youngest of the children of Moses IIB and Sara to survive childhood, their daughter Clementine, married Richard Abraham on November 8, 1909, in Kirchhain. Richard was born in Bruttig, Germany, on September 29, 1876, to David Abraham and Gettchen Meyer.

Marriage record of Clementine Blumenfeld and Richard Abraham, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5037, Year Range: 1909, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Clementine and Richard had three children. Lilli was born September 4, 1910,8 Martin on January 30, 1912,9 and Walter on April 30, 1913,10 all three in Bruttig.

Sadly, Moses Blumenfeld IIB did not live to see the births of all his grandchildren. He died on September 17, 1911, in Kirchhain, at the age of 64.

Moses Blumenfeld IIB death record, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5096, Year Range: 1911, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958

Moses IIB was survived by his wife Sara and five of his children as well as his grandchildren.

His widow Sara was fortunate to live long enough to see the births of not only all of her grandchildren, but also two of her great-grandchildren. Her granddaughter Jenny Fernich, daughter of Bertha Blumenfeld Fernich, married Julius Asser in Kirchhain on October 8, 1926. He was born on May 20, 1905, in Gottingen.

Jenny Fernich and Julius Asser marriage record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5054, Year Range: 1926. Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Jenny and Julius had two children, Kurt, born May 13, 1926, and Lissy, born September 25, 1927, both in Gottingen. These dates come from the Gedenbuch Memorial Book of the Victims of the Persecution of Jews under the National Socialist Tyranny in Germany 1933 – 1945, but I’ve seen no actual records. I am a bit skeptical as to whether these dates are correct since it would mean that Kurt was born six months before his parents married, but for now I have no record to support or contradict the Gedenbuch information.

In any event, if these dates are correct, Sara Stern Blumenfeld lived to see these two great-grandchildren come into the world. She died on November 29, 1928, in Kirchhain at the age of 76.

Sara Stern Blumenfeld death record, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5113, Year Range: 1928, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958

She was survived not only by those two great-grandchildren, but also by her five surviving children, Hermann, Bertha, Salomon, Max, and Clementine, and her eleven grandchildren.

Unfortunately, as with so many of my Blumenfeld relatives and as suggested by some of the sources referred to above, very few of those descendants would survive the Holocaust.

 


  1. Jenny Fernich, Gender: weiblich (Female), Age: 22, Birth Date: 10. Mrz 1904 (10 Mar 1904), Marriage Date: 8. Okt 1926 (8 Oct 1926), Marriage Place: Kirchhain, Hessen (Hesse), Deutschland (Germany), Civil Registration Office: Kirchhain
    Spouse: Julius Asser, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5054, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930 
  2. Else Fernich Hauswirth, Record Type: Petition, Birth Date: 9 Dec 1905
    Birth Place: Clotten, Germany, Arrival Date: 24 Jun 1937,Arrival Place: New York, New York, Petition Place: New York, USA, Spouse: Josef, Petition Number: 430681, National Archives and Records Administration; Washington, DC; NAI Title: Index to Petitions for Naturalizations Filed in Federal, State, and Local Courts in New York City, 1792-1906; NAI Number: 5700802; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: RG 21, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943 
  3. Gretel Blumenfeld, Gender: weiblich (Female), Age: 23, Birth Date: 1. Jul 1906 (1 Jul 1906), Marriage Date: 24. Jan 1930 (24 Jan 1930), Marriage Place: Kirchhain, Hessen (Hesse), Deutschland (Germany), Civil Registration Office: Kirchhain, Spouse:
    David Katz, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5058, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930 
  4. USC Shoah Foundation; Los Angeles, California; Visual History Archive: The Holocaust, Free Access: USC Shoah Foundation, Holocaust – Jewish Survivor Interviews. Alfred Schneider, Die jüd. Familien im ehemaligen Kreise Kirchhain, p. 79. 
  5. Hilde Blumenfeld, Gender: Female, Declaration Age: 19, Record Type: Declaration
    Birth Date: 9 Jun 1911, Birth Place: Kirchhain Germany, Arrival Date: 21 May 1929
    Arrival Place: New York, New York, USA, Declaration Date: 2 Jun 1931, Declaration Place: New York, Court: U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
    Declaration Number: 315685, Box Number: 183, The National Archives at Philadelphia; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; NAI Title: Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1/19/1842 – 10/29/1959; NAI Number: 4713410; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: 21, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943. Hilde had a first cousin also named Hilde, the daughter of Hermann Blumenfeld. I will distinguish the two by using the other Hilde’s middle name Nomi when I refer to her. 
  6. Staatsarchiv Hamburg; Hamburg, Deutschland; Hamburger Passagierlisten; Volume: 373-7 I, VIII A 1 Band 417; Page: 2053; Microfilm No.: K_2000, Staatsarchiv Hamburg. Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934. Her Palestinian immigration papers were found at the Israel Archives. Blumenfeld Hilda _ מחלקת ההגירה – ממשלת ארץ ישראל – בקשות לאזרחות _ ארכיון המדינה 
  7. Found at the Israel Archives by searching for Hans Blumenfeld. Blumenfeld Hans _ מחלקת ההגירה – ממשלת ארץ ישראל – בקשות לאזרחות _ ארכיון המדינה 
  8. Lilli Gerstenhaber, [Lilli Abraham], Gender: Female, Birth Date: 4 Sep 1910, Birth Place: Bruttig, Germany, Birth Place-Modern Name: Bruttig, Death Date: 25 Jan 1944
    Death Place: Poland, Auschwitz, Ancestry.com. France, Jewish Deaths During Deportation, 1941-1948 
  9. Palestinian immigration file found at MARTIN ABRAHAM _ מחלקת ההגירה- ממשלת ארץ ישראל _ ארכיון המדינה immigration file 
  10. Palestinian immigration file found at Abraham Walter _ מחלקת ההגירה – ממשלת ארץ ישראל – בקשות לאזרחות _ ארכיון המדינה immig file 

Finding Meier Blumenfeld’s Children: The Benefits of Teamwork

As I turn to Meier Blumenfeld, Giedel Blumenfeld’s youngest son to survive to adulthood, the first thing I want to do is thank my cousin Richard Bloomfield for all his help in finding the children of Meier Blumenfeld and researching their fates. This was a true example of teamwork in the best sense. Richard is fluent in German and was able to read documents and contact people in a way that I never could have. He is also an extraordinary researcher—thorough and reliable. Together we’ve solved some perplexing mysteries, but I give him the bulk of the credit in pulling this one together. I hope this post will inspire others to find those with whom they can collaborate on their research. Two heads are definitely better than one.

Meier Blumenfeld (labeled as Meier III on my tree) was born on November 2, 1879, in Kirchhain, Germany, to Giedel  Blumenfeld and Gerson Blumenfeld.

Meier Blumenfeld III birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 4980, Year Range: 1879, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

On April 5, 1905, Meier married Emma Oppenheim, in Hersfeld, Germany. Emma, the daughter of Aron Oppenheim and Hannchen Klebe, was born in Wehrda, Germany, on September 8, 1883. 1

Marriage record Emma Oppenheim and Meier Blumenfeld III, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 907, Year Range: 1905, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

So far, so good. But finding Meier and Emma’s children was much more challenging.

According to numerous unsourced trees on Ancestry, Meier and Emma had only one child, a daughter Giedel Trudchen, born in Kirchhain on March 2, 1905, a month before Meier and Emma married. I was very skeptical of these trees at first since I could not find any records for this child; in addition, the date of birth seemed unlikely.

However, with substantial help from my cousin Richard Bloomfield, we have enough circumstantial evidence to conclude that a woman named Gertrud Blumenfeld was the daughter of Meier Blumenfeld and Emma Oppenheim. According to this marriage record, a Gertrud Blumenfeld was born on March 2, 1906 (eleven months AFTER Meier and Emma were married) in Gotha, Germany. Unfortunately, the marriage record does not name the parents of the bride and groom, and the birthplace of Gotha initially threw Richard and me as Meier was from Kirchhain and Emma was born in Wehrda and lived in Hersfeld at the time of their marriage.

Marriage of Gertrud Blumenfeld and Erwin Mayer, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 907, Year Range: 1927, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

But a closer look at the marriage record for Gertrud indicates that although she was living in Hersfeld when they married, she was born in Gotha.

And a closer look at Meier and Emma’s marriage record revealed that Meier was living in Gotha at the time of their marriage in 1905.

This, and more evidence described below, led me to conclude that Gertrud Blumenfeld, born in Gotha on March 2, 1906, was very likely the daughter of Meier and Emma.

Meier, Emma, Gertrud, and Erwin were deported on October 20, 1941, from Frankfurt to the Lodz ghetto in Poland, where Erwin was killed on December 3, 1942, Emma on January 10, 1943, and Meier on February 2, 1943. No date of death was given for Gertrud. The fact that Gertrud and Erwin were deported from the same place (and living on the same street in Frankfurt) and to the same destination as Meier and Emma on the same day further supported the conclusion that Gertrud Blumenfeld Mayer was their daughter.

So I am convinced that Meier and Emma did have a daughter Gertrud. But was she killed in the Holocaust? Yad Vashem says she was. But there are some Arolsen Archives documents that suggest otherwise.

This document dated October 2, 1950, says that Erwin’s wife “ausgewandert nach USA”—emigrated to the USA.

Arolsen Archives, Digital Archive; Bad Arolsen, Germany; Lists of Persecutees 2.1.1.1
Reference Code: 02010101 oS, Ancestry.com. Free Access: Europe, Registration of Foreigners and German Persecutees, 1939-1947

And even more surprising, this one says she emigrated with “2 kinder”—two children.

Arolsen Archives, Digital Archive; Bad Arolsen, Germany; Lists of Persecutees 2.1.1.1
Reference Code: 02010101 oS, Ancestry.com. Free Access: Europe, Registration of Foreigners and German Persecutees, 1939-1947

Was Yad Vashem wrong? Had Gertrud survived? I did find two documents indicating that she had been in the Lodz concentration camp, but nothing about her surviving the war or coming to the US.2 Had she had two children who immigrated with her to the US? So far I cannot find any evidence of Gertrud in the US or of two children.

But much to my surprise, Richard soon discovered that Meier and Emma had two more daughters after Gertrud, two daughters who did not appear on those Ancestry trees that show only one child, Gertrud, for Meier and Emma.

First, Richard found an Arolsen Archive document for a single woman named Ruth Blumenfeld, born August 17, 1920, who’d been residing at the same address as Meier and Emma in Frankfurt, 11.1 Beethovenstrasse. Emma would have been 37 when Ruth was born, so an older mother, but certainly not inconceivable (no pun intended). This document indicated that Ruth was in the US.

Arolsen Archives, Digital Archive; Bad Arolsen, Germany; Lists of Persecutees 2.1.1.1
Reference Code: 02010101 oS, Ancestry.com. Free Access: Europe, Registration of Foreigners and German Persecutees, 1939-1947

And then Richard located records showing a Bertha Blumenfeld who had immigrated to the US on March 4, 1940. The ship manifest reports that she was nineteen years old, born in Hersfeld, and a nurse. More revealing is that she listed her father Meier as the person in her prior residence and an uncle Herman Bloomfield as the person she was going to in the US. I wrote about Herman here, an older brother of Meier. This certainly corroborated the conclusion that Bertha  was the daughter of Meier and Emma Blumenfeld.

Year: 1940; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 1; Page Number: 33, Ship or Roll Number: George Washington, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957

Year: 1940; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 1; Page Number: 33, Ship or Roll Number: George Washington, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957

This declaration of intention tied Ruth and Bertha together as one person and confirmed her birthdate and birthplace as August 17, 1920, in Hersfeld.

Ruth Blumenfeld declaration of intention, The National Archives at Philadelphia; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; NAI Title: Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1/19/1842 – 10/29/1959; NAI Number: 4713410; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: 21, Description: (Roll 588) Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1842-1959 (No 461501-462400), Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943

Ruth Blumenfeld, as she was known in the US, married Leo Friedman on March 21, 1942. According to the New York, New York, Index to Marriage Licenses, 1908-1910, 1938-1940 on Ancestry, the transcription of their license lists Ruth’s parents as Meier and Emma Blumenfeld. Leo was born August 4, 1909, in Crailsheim, Germany, to Louis and Dina Friedman.3 I don’t know whether Ruth and Leo had children. They settled in Queens, New York; Leo died in November 1982,4 and Ruth in February 1984.5

Perhaps the 1950 census will reveal whether they had children. I tried searching on the archives.org site, but there were just too many entries and the artificial intelligence used to scan the names is too imprecise to be able to do a search on a common surname. So I have to wait until the census is better indexed on Ancestry or FamilySearch.

UPDATE! Now that the 1950 census is partially indexed on Ancestry, I was able to find Leo and Ruth and learned that in fact they did have two children born in the 1940s. Now to find them and learn more.

But Richard also found a reference on Geni to a third daughter of Meier and Emma Blumenfeld, a daughter named Hanna born between Gertrud and Bertha Ruth in 1910 in Hersfeld. But we could find no records or other sources for Hanna.

And then I located a website for the Stolpersteine laid in Hersfeld that opened up more avenues for research. Richard transcribed and translated the German text pertaining to the family of Meier (Max) and Emma Oppenheim Blumenfeld:

Max Meier Blumenfeld was born on 2 November 1879 in Kirchhain. About 1910 he took up residence on Dudenstreet, which at that time was the Kaiserstrasse. In house number 16, which belonged to his father-in-law Aron Oppenheim, he opened a shop for “raw products” [I assume “groceries”]. Later he expanded his assortment to include textiles and tobacco products. He was also active in the Jewish Congregation in Hersfeld and was its president for many years.

M. Blumenfeld was from a family that had lived in Kirchhain for generations at Brieselsstrasse 12. In the center of the city the Blumenfelds possessed a stately home which served his [Max] brother Gustav until the end of 1938 as dwelling and place of business ….

Emma Blumenfeld (born 9 September 1883) had lived with her husband and daughter Gertrud (born 2 March 1906) in Gotha before moving to Hersfeld. Emma née Oppenheim was born in Rhina on 9 September 1883, in the house at Oberland 14.

Max and Emma Blumenfeld left Bad Hersfeld on 19 December 1938, hoping to find some protection from the daily discrimination in the anonymity of the big city of Frankfurt. After having lived in the house at Beethovenstrasse 11 for just short of three years, they had to board the first train with deportees from Frankfurt on 20 October 1941 which carried over 1100 Jews to the Ghetto at Lodz. …

Emma’s date of death is recorded as 10 January 1943. The last sign of life from Max Blumenfeld is dated 2 February 1943. Blumenfeld’s daughter Gertrud and her husband Erwin Mayer also died in the Ghetto at Lodz. Daughter Hanna, born 1910, who had moved to Saarland in 1932, was murdered at Auschwitz. Only the youngest daughter Bertha Ruth, who had moved at a 16-year-old to Frankfurt, survived the Holocaust.

This passage confirmed that Meier, Emma, Gertrud, and Erwin had died in Lodz. It also confirmed that Bertha Ruth had survived, and it reported that there was a middle daughter Hanna who had been killed at Auschwitz after moving to Saarland, Germany, in 1932.

Richard then located a second site devoted to Stolpersteine installed in Hersfeld, and that one included this additional information about Hanna, the middle daughter of Meier and Emma:

Siegfried, the youngest child [of the family Levi] (born 1908…) moved 1932 with his wife Hanna née Blumenfeld (from Duden Street) to Merzig/Saar. Siegfried Levi had attended teachers’ college in Würzburg.

Now we knew that Hanna had married Siegfried Levi and moved with him to Merzig, Saarland, Germany, in 1932.

Although the Stolperstein biography indicated that Hanna Blumenfeld Levi had been killed at Auschwitz, there is no entry for a woman with that name listed at Yad Vashem. However, there is a listing for a Hannah Blumenfeld with the birth name Levi, and she was born in Hersfeld on July 18, 1910. Richard and I both feel that the married name and birth name was transposed in the listing and that this is in fact Hanna Blumenfeld Levi, the middle daughter of Meier and Emma Blumenfeld.  According to Yad Vashem, she had lived in Luxembourg and France during the war and had been deported from Drancy, France, on September 7, 1942, to Auschwitz, where she was killed.

But then Richard and I were confused by a listing on Ancestry from the Jewish Holocaust Survivor List from the files of World Jewish Congress, 1918-1982 database that includes Hanna Levi, born in Hersfeld on July 18, 1910, and states that she had a visa for Cuba.6 After Richard consulted with the author of the Hersfeld Stolpersteine site, we concluded that although Hanna may have had a visa for Cuba, she never actually immigrated and was killed at Auschwitz. Her husband Siegfried, however, did survive and ended up immigrating to the US after the war.7

Thus, from starting with my doubts about whether Meier and Emma Blumenfeld had any children, I am now persuaded by the documents that Richard and I found that they had three daughters. The youngest, Bertha Ruth, escaped to the US. The middle child Hanna was killed at Auschwitz. And the oldest Gertrud was also most likely killed in the Holocaust. Why the Arolsen Archives document says she and two children escaped to the US remains an unanswered question. I hope that that document is correct, but all other evidence suggests otherwise.

GeorgDerReisende, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0&gt;, via Wikimedia Commons

GeorgDerReisende, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0&gt;, via Wikimedia Commons

On that sad note, I now have completed the saga of Giedel Blumenfeld, who died so young and left nine children behind. Two of those children left for America as young adults (Markus/Max and Sara/Sadie). The oldest child Moritz had died in 1932, but his children escaped to the US in time. Two of Giedel’s other daughters came to the United States in the 1930s (Bertha and Franziska) as did her son Hermann, his wife, and two of their sons. Hermann’s other two sons escaped to South Africa where they died as young men.

But three of Giedel’s nine children—Dorchen/Dorothea, Salli, and Meier—and almost all of their children were killed in the Holocaust.


  1. Emma’s father Aron later married Franziska Blumenfeld, Meier III’s second cousin, after his first wife Hannchen Klebe died. Franziska Blumenfeld, Gender: weiblich, (Female), Age: 34, Birth Date: 3. Nov 1870 (3 Nov 1870), Marriage Date: 10. Okt 1905 (10 Oct 1905), Marriage Place: Marburg, Hessen (Hesse), Deutschland (Germany)
    Civil Registration Office: Marburg, Spouse: Aron Oppenheim Father: Meine Blumenfeld,
    Mother: Sarchen Blumenfeld, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5620, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930 
  2. Lodz, Name: Gertruda Mayer, [Gertruda Blumenfeld], Gender: F (Female)
    Birth Date: 20 Mar 1906, Profession: Sekretaerin, Address: 97 Flat 2a Muhl Gasse
    Residence: Lodz, Poland, Deportation Date: 20 Apr 1943, JewishGen.org Volunteers, comp. East Europe, Registers and Listings from Ten Jewish Ghettos, 1939-1942. Gertruda Mayer, Gender: weiblich (Female), Birth Date: 2 Mrz 1906 (2 Mar 1906)
    Apartment Number: 68, Street Address: Hanseaten 4, Residence Place: Litzmannstadt, Polen (Poland), Occupation: Sekretär, Previous Address: Frankfurt, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum; Washington, DC; Poland, Lódz Ghetto Register Books, 1939-1944; Record Groups: RG-15.083M; File Name: rg-15_083m_0219-00000393, Ancestry.com. Poland, Łódź Ghetto Register Books, 1939-1944 (USHMM) 
  3. Ruth Blumenfeld, Gender: Female, Race: White, Marriage Age: 21, Birth Date: Aug 1920, Birth Place: Germany, Marriage Date: 21 Mar 1942, Marriage Place: New York, Manhattan, New York, New York, USA, Residence Street Address: 564 W. 160 St.
    Residence Place: New York, Manhattan, Occupation: Factory, Father: Meier Blumenfeld
    Mother: Emma Blumenfeld, Spouse: Leo Friedman, Certificate Number: 5247
    Current Marriage Number: 0, New York City Department of Records & Information Services; New York City, New York; New York City Marriage Licenses; Borough: Manhattan; Year: 1942, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Index to Marriage Licenses, 1908-1910, 1938-1940 
  4.  Leo Friedman, Social Security Number: 064-12-5373, Birth Date: 4 Aug 1909
    Issue Year: Before 1951, Issue State: New York, Last Residence: 11375, Flushing, Queens, New York, USA, Death Date: Nov 1982, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  5.  Ruth Friedman, Social Security Number: 102-14-8791, Birth Date: 17 Aug 1920
    Issue Year: Before 1951, Issue State: New York, Last Residence: 11375, Flushing, Queens, New York, USA, Death Date: Feb 1984, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  6. Hanna Levi, Birth Date: 1910-07-18, Birth Place: Hersfeld, Last Residence: Ettelorueck, Luxembourg, Comments: Passport reference: Allem. 474/40, Visa to: Cuba
    Source: Luxembourg, immigrants to Americas via Bayonne, France, ca. 1945-1946 (Liste des Luxembourgeois a Bayonne, n.d.), Record Set, Page: D51.12,5, JewishGen. Jewish Holocaust Survivor List from the files of World Jewish Congress, 1918-1982 
  7. E.g., see Siegfried Levi, World War II draft registration, National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Registration Cards for New York City, 10/16/1940 – 03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 

Salli Blumenfeld and His Family: A Branch With No New Leaves

Although the last few posts have had their sad stories—young children who died, a horrible accident taking the life of a young mother, a young man dying at 29 from a heart attack—I was at least spared the pain of writing about the murder of my relatives by the Nazis. Sadly, I now must return to such horrific stories as I turn to the two youngest sons of Giedel Blumenfeld and her husband Gerson Blumenfeld, Salli and Meier. First, I will tell the story of Salli Blumenfeld.

Salli Blumenfeld was born in Kirchhain on March 25, 1878.

Salli Blumenfeld birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 4979, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Salli married Fanni Wetterhahn on May 9, 1906, in Hersfeld, Germany. Fanni was born there on May 29, 1879, to Isaak Wetterhahn and Karoline Simon.

Salli Blumenfeld Fanni Wetterhahn marriage record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 907, Year Range: 1906, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Salli and Fanni had two children. Siegfried was born on July 25, 1907, in Kirchhain.1 According to several trees and other secondary sources, a daughter Kathe Karoline was born to Salli and Fanni on November 4, 1910; I don’t have any record tying this child to Salli and Fanni, however. I do have one record showing that a woman named Kathe Karoline Blumenfeld was born in Kirchhain on November 4, 1910, but that record does not identify her parents.2 For now I will assume she was the daughter of Salli and Fanni.

Salli and Fanni’s son Siegfried married Betti Reutlinger on February 24, 1935, in Frankfurt. Betti was born on May 28, 1908, in Frankfurt. Her parents were Julius Reutlinger and Sophie Weil.3

But then this story turns tragic. Salli and Fanni and their presumed daughter Kathe Karoline were all killed in the Holocaust.  They were all deported from Kassel to Riga, Latvia, on December 9, 1941, and died sometime thereafter.

Only Salli and Fanni’s son Siegfried and his wife Betti escaped in time. They arrived in New York on October 21, 1938, with Betti’s mother Sophie Weil and sister Martha Weil.

Siegfried Blumenfeld ship manifest, Year: 1938; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 1; Page Number: 59, Ship or Roll Number: Hansa, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957

On his Declaration of Intention dated March 1, 1939, Siegfried reported that he was a factory hand. He and Betti were living in New York and had no children.4

In 1940, Siegfried and Betti were living with her mother Sophie and brother Walter in New York.5 Siegfried was working as a machine operator. His World War II draft registration lists his employer as Burros and Burros. By that time he had changed his surname to Bloomfield.

Siegfried Bloomfield, World War II draft registration, National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Registration Cards for New York City, 10/16/1940 – 03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947

Siegfried died at the age of 55 in June 1963;5 Betti outlived him by 34 years. She died March 4, 1997, at 88.6 I have not been able to find any record that Siegfried and Betti ever had children. If that is true, it appears that this is another branch of the family of Giedel Blumenfeld and her husband Gerson Blumenfeld that has no living descendants.

Next, the story of Giedel Blumenfeld’s youngest son to live to adulthood, Meier Blumenfeld.


  1. Siegfried Bloomfield, [Siegfried Gerson Blumenfeld], Gender: Male, Declaration Age: 31, Record Type: Declaration, Birth Date: 25 Jul 1907, Birth Place: Kirchheim Germany, Arrival Date: 21 Oct 1938, Arrival Place: New York, New York, USA, Declaration Date: 1 Mar 1939, Declaration Place: New York  Court: U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Spouse: Betti, Declaration Number: 429824
    Box Number: 295, The National Archives at Philadelphia; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; NAI Title: Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1/19/1842 – 10/29/1959; NAI Number: 4713410; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: 21, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943 
  2. Käthe Blumenfeld, Gender: weiblich (Female), Nationality: Deutsche Julen, Residence Age: 28, Record Type: Residence, Birth Date: 4 Nov 1910, Birth Place: Kirchhain, Sojourn Start Date: 2 Sep 1939, Residence Place: Marburg Marburg an der Lahn, Sojourn End Date: 8 Dez 1941 (8 Dec 1941), Notes: Foreigners who were living in the location during the war – permanently or temporarily, Reference Number: 02010101 oS, Document ID: 70454281, Arolsen Archives, Digital Archive; Bad Arolsen, Germany; Lists of Persecutees 2.1.1.1, Ancestry.com. Free Access: Europe, Registration of Foreigners and German Persecutees, 1939-1947 
  3. See Note 1. Betti Paula Bloomfield, [Betty Bloomfield] [Betti Paula Reutlinger], Gender: Female, Race: White, Birth Date: 28 May 1908, Birth Place: Frankfort, Federal Republic of Germany, Death Date: 4 Mar 1997, Father: Julius Reutlinger, Mother:
    Sophie Weil, SSN: 104124761, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  4. See Note 1. 
  5.  Siegrfried Bloomfield, Social Security Number: 066-14-7836, Birth Date: 25 Jul 1907, Issue Year: Before 1951, Issue State: New York, Death Date: Jun 1963, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  6. Betti Paula Bloomfield, [Betty Bloomfield] [Betti Paula Reutlinger], Gender: Female, Race: White, Birth Date: 28 May 1908, Birth Place: Frankfort, Federal Republic of Germany, Death Date: 4 Mar 1997, Father: Julius Reutlinger, Mother:
    Sophie Weil, SSN: 104124761, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 

Hermann Blumenfeld II and His Family: Leaving Germany in Time

It was a bit of a relief, telling the stories of Max Bloomfield I and his sister Sadie Bloomfield, since both left Germany almost fifty years before the Nazis came to power. Even though both suffered tragic losses—Max lost two young daughters from terrible illnesses and Sadie lost a daughter to a horrible freak accident—I knew that they and their descendants would not be killed in the Holocaust.

Now I return to a sibling who stayed in Germany, but who managed to leave in the 1930s along with his family and escape from Nazi persecution. Hermann Blumenfeld II was the seventh child of Giedel Blumenfeld and Gerson Blumenfeld; he was born on March 26, 1876, in Kirchhain. He lost his mother Giedel when he was only seven years old.

On May 21, 1902, Hermann II married Rickchen Lomnitz in Bischhausen, Germany. She was born in Bischhausen on November 6, 1874, to Salomon Lomnitz and Esther Lorge.

Marriage record of Hermann Blumenfeld II and Rickchen Lomnitz, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 923; Laufende Nummer: 905, Year Range: 1902, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Hermann II and Rickchen had four sons. First, they had twins; Gustav and Siegwart were born on January 3, 1904, in Marburg, Germany.1 Then came Max, born on December 23, 1905, in Marburg.2

Their fourth son was Julius Blumenfeld, born October 27, 1907, in Marburg. For a long time I was skeptical about the existence of this fourth son, who was listed on several family trees but with no sources.3 I am very grateful to Richard Bloomfield for tracking down the actual birth record for Julius.

Julius Blumenfeld birth record obtained by Richard Bloomfield from Marburg Archives

Before Richard obtained that birth record, the only actual record I could find for a Julius Blumenfeld born on that date was a record of prisoners held at Dachau concentration camp; that record indicates that a man with that name and birth date and place was imprisoned at Dachau on October 26, 1935, and released on July 25, 1936, but it does not indicate who his parents were.4

Hermann and Rickchen and their sons all escaped from Nazi Germany in the 1930s. Max arrived in the US on July 6, 1936, listing his occupation as a merchant and his prior residence as Vienna.5 His brother Gustav arrived in the US next on October 1, 1937, listing his occupation as a baker and his prior residence as Marburg.6

Then their parents arrived the following year on June 3, 1938, Hermann II listing his occupation as a baker, same as his son Gustav. Traveling with them was Hermann’s younger sister Franziska, the youngest child of Giedel and Gerson Blumenfeld to survive to adulthood and their tenth child. Franziska was 55 and unmarried when she immigrated to the US with her brother Hermann and sister-in-law Rickchen.

Hermann Blumenfeld, ship manifest, Year: 1938; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 1; Page Number: 91, Ship or Roll Number: Hansa, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957

In 1940, Hermann, Rickchen, Gustav and Max were all living together along with Hermann’s sister Franziska in New York. Only Gustav and Max were employed, Gustav as a novelty salesman and Max as an office clerk for a garment company. They had all adopted the surname Bloomfield by then.

Hermann Blumenfeld and family, 1940 US census, Year: 1940; Census Place: New York, New York, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02670; Page: 22B; Enumeration District: 31-1885, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census

Max Bloomfield (II, since he had an uncle who also changed his surname from Blumenfeld to Bloomfield) married Fridl Waldmann Aal, a widow with one child, on September 13, 1941, in New York.7 Fridl was born on March 20, 1909, in Windheim, Germany, and was, like Max, a refugee from Nazi Germany, having arrived on July 6, 1938, with her young daughter.8

When he registered for the draft in 1942, Max was working for the Gibraltar Manufacturing Company.

Max Bloomfield II, World War II draft registration, National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Registration Cards for New York City, 10/16/1940 – 03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947

Max’s brother Gustav was self-employed when he registered for the draft, but I do not know what his occupation was; perhaps he’d returned to baking.

Gustav Bloomfield, World War II draft registration, National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Registration Cards for New York City, 10/16/1940 – 03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947

Meanwhile, Hermann II and Rickchen’s other sons, Gustav’s twin Siegwart and the youngest son Julius, had gone to South Africa instead of the United States. Finding out what happened to Julius took the assistance of the genealogy village, in particular, my cousin Richard Bloomfield and Tracing the Tribe member Michael Moritz.

Given that Hermann Blumenfeld II’s naturalization papers listed only three sons—Gustav, Siegwart, and Max—I assumed that Julius must have died before Hermann filed his declaration of intent in 1941 or perhaps even before Hermann and Rickchen immigrated in 1938. But I had no idea when or where Julius died or whether he’d ever left Germany.

Herman Blumenfeld, Declaration of Intention, The National Archives at Philadelphia; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; NAI Title: Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1/19/1842 – 10/29/1959; NAI Number: 4713410; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: 21, Description: (Roll 610) Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1842-1959 (No 481301-482200), Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943

I posted a question on Tracing the Tribe on Facebook.  Not long after I posted my question, Michael Moritz again came through for me; he found that Julius had immigrated to South Africa, and then found Julius’ marriage record and death record. On December 8, 1937, in Johannesburg, South Africa, Julius married Charlotte Rosenfeld, who was 27 at that time and born in Germany.

Marriage of Julius Blumenfeld and Charlotte Rosenfeld, “South Africa, Civil Marriage Records, 1840-1973”, database, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:8BTM-6BN2 : 1 February 2021), Charlotte Rosenfeld in entry for Julius Blumenfeld, 1936.

Sadly, Julius died just five months later on May 10, 1937, in Johannesburg, South Africa, from sudden cardiac arrest. He was only 29, and I have little doubt that his experiences at Dachau contributed to his early death.

Julius Blumenfeld death certificate, “South Africa, Transvaal, Civil Death, 1869-1954,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C9BY-V7P6-W?cc=2998108 : 15 September 2019), > image 1 of 1; Department of the Interior. Registrar of Births, Marriages, and Deaths, Transvaal.

His brother Siegwart also died young. He died in South Africa on June 18,1945, when he was 41, from lymphosarcoma. According to his death certificate, he was single and I assume had no children.

Siegwart Blumenfeld death certificate, “South Africa, Transvaal, Civil Death, 1869-1954,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:WSSF-4NN2 : 29 October 2019), Siegwart Blumenfeld, 18 Jun 1945; citing Death, Johannesburg, Transvaal, South Africa, Department of the Interior. Registrar of Births, Marriages, and Deaths, Transvaal.

Back in the US, Hermann Blumenfeld II died in New York on August 12, 1944; he was 68.9 His wife Rickchen died six years later on October 19, 1950; she was 75.10 Their son Gustav died on January 28, 1966, at the age of 62;11 as far as I’ve been able to determine, Gustav never married or had children. Max Bloomfield II died in July 1981 at age 75.12 I’ve not found any children from his marriage to Fridl Waldmann, who died at age 96 on September 23, 2005.13

I am hoping that perhaps I’ve missed something and that one of Hermann II and Rickchen’s sons had children and that there are living descendants since this is one of the few branches of Giedel Blumenfeld’s tree that managed to escape Germany in time. But at the moment I have no indication that Hermann Blumenfeld II has any living descendants.

UPDATE 5 30 2022

Good news! I received an email from a distant cousin by marriage who informed me that he had discovered that Max Bloomfield and Fridl Waldmann had a son born in the 1940s. I have now learned a bit about that son, my fifth cousin, who is living in California and has an adult daughter as well. So there are at least two living descendants of Hermann Blumenfeld II.


  1.  Gustav Bloomfield, Social Security Number: 130-03-0510, Birth Date: 3 Jan 1904
    Issue Year: Before 1951, Issue State: New York, Last Residence: 10467, Bronx, Bronx, New York, USA, Death Date: Jan 1966, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014. On his naturalization application, Hermann reported that both Gustav and Siegwart were born on January 3, 1904. Hermann Blumenfeld, Declaration of Intention, The National Archives at Philadelphia; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; NAI Title: Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1/19/1842 – 10/29/1959; NAI Number: 4713410; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: 21, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943. The declaration of intention is inserted in the post at a different point. 
  2. Max Bloomfield, Declaration of Intention, The National Archives at Philadelphia; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; NAI Title: Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1/19/1842 – 10/29/1959; NAI Number: 4713410; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: 21, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943 
  3.   Some of the trees listing Julius as the son of Hermann and Rickchen also attached sources showing a Julius Blumenfeld who came to the US, married a Rose Hymann in 1950, divorced her in 1971, and died in 1974. But there was nothing that linked that Julius to Hermann and RIckchen. In fact, those records don’t even include a birth date or place; the only commonality is the name Julius Blumenfeld. Obviously, as you will see, these trees are incorrect. 
  4. Julius Blumenfeld, Birth Date: 27 Oct 1907, Birth Place: Marburg/Lahn, Arrival Date: 26 Oct 1935, Arrival Country: Germany, Prisoner Number: 8505, Arrival Notes: arrived 26 Oct 1935, Disposition Notes: released 25 Jul 1936, Description: prisoner
    Page: 487/Sch., Original Notes (desc. / arr. / dis.): Sch./ zug. 26 Oct 1935/ entl. 25 Jul 1936, JewishGen volunteers, comp. Germany, Dachau Concentration Camp Records, 1945 
  5. Max Blumenfeld, ship manifest, Year: 1936; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 1; Page Number: 135, Ship or Roll Number: Europa, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 
  6. Gustav Blumenfeld, ship manifest, Year: 1937; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 9; Page Number: 38, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 
  7. Max Bloomfield, Gender: Male, Race: White, Marriage Age: 35, Birth Date: 23 Dec 1905, Birth Place: Germany, Marriage Affidavit Date: 9 Sep 1941, Marriage Date: 13 Sep 1941, Marriage Place: New York, Manhattan, New York, New York, USA, Residence Street Address: 564 W. 160 St., Residence Place: New York City
    Occupation: Paymaster, Father: Hermann Bloomfield, Mother: Rickchen Bloomfield
    Spouse: Fridl Aal, Certificate Number: 16130, Current Marriage Number: 0, Witness 1: A. Wertheim, Witness 2: H. Katzentend, New York City Department of Records & Information Services; New York City, New York; New York City Marriage Licenses; Borough: Manhattan; Year: 1941, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Index to Marriage Licenses, 1908-1910, 1938-1940 
  8. Fridl Waldmann Aal, Declaration of Intention, The National Archives at Philadelphia; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; NAI Title: Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1/19/1842 – 10/29/1959; NAI Number: 4713410; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: 21, (Roll 548) Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1842-1959 (No 426401-427400),
    Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943 
  9. Herman Blumenfeld, Age: 68, Birth Year: abt 1876, Death Date: 12 Aug 1944
    Death Place: Manhattan, New York, USA, Certificate Number: 17482, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Extracted Death Index, 1862-1948 
  10. Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/204634106/rickchen-blumenfeld : accessed 12 March 2022), memorial page for Rickchen Blumenfeld (6 Nov 1874–19 Oct 1950), Find a Grave Memorial ID 204634106, citing King Solomon Memorial Park, Clifton, Passaic County, New Jersey, USA ; Maintained by danthecan (contributor 48474884) . 
  11.  Gustav Bloomfield, Social Security Number: 130-03-0510, Birth Date: 3 Jan 1904
    Issue Year: Before 1951, Issue State: New York, Last Residence: 10467, Bronx, Bronx, New York, USA, Death Date: Jan 1966, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014. Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/204626960/gustav-bloomfield : accessed 12 March 2022), memorial page for Gustav Bloomfield (3 Jan 1904–28 Jan 1966), Find a Grave Memorial ID 204626960, citing King Solomon Memorial Park, Clifton, Passaic County, New Jersey, USA ; Maintained by danthecan (contributor 48474884). 
  12.  Max Bloomfield, Social Security Number: 065-05-5748, Birth Date: 23 Dec 1905
    Issue Year: Before 1951, Issue State: New York, Last Residence: 10033, New York, New York, New York, USA, Death Date: Jul 1981, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  13.  Fridl Bloomfield, Social Security Number: 109-16-6128, Birth Date: 20 Mar 1909, Issue Year: Before 1951, Issue State: New York, Last Residence: 10033, New York, New York, New York, Death Date: 23 Sep 2005, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 

The Perplexing and Tragic Story of Gertrude Sipp, Daughter of Sadie Bloomfield Sipp

Like her older brother Markus, aka Max, Sara Blumenfeld left for the US as a teenager. Sara, born on October 19, 1873, in Kirchhain, was the sixth child of Giedel Blumenfeld and Gerson Blumenfeld, and she was only seventeen when she arrived in New York on June 30, 1891.1 That was three years after Max had arrived, and I assume she must have first stayed with him, but I don’t have any records that show where she was until she married Albert Sipp on June 9, 1899,2 eight years after she’d immigrated to the US. Albert was just a month older than Sara, born on September 19, 1873, in Jersey City, New Jersey, to George Sipp and Eliza Lighte.3

The date of the birth of Sara and Albert’s first child Gertrude, presumably named for Sara’s mother Giedel, is somewhat of a mystery, and I cannot find a birth record to solve that mystery. The 1900 US census shows Sara (known as Sadie now) and Albert living in Manhattan with two children, Gertrude, one year old, born July 1898 (or does it say 1899?) in New York, and George (presumably named for Albert’s father), born March 1900 and just two months old. Albert was working as a produce dealer.

Albert Sipp and family, 1900 US census, Year: 1900; Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York; Roll: 1100; Page: 14; Enumeration District: 0394; FHL microfilm: 1241100
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

The 1905 New York State census shows the family still living in Manhattan and Albert working as a grocer. He and Sara now have four children: Bertha (presumably Gertrude) is listed as seven, George as five, Lizzie as four, and Milton as two. If Gertrude was born in July 1898, she would have been a month shy of her seventh birthday when the census was enumerated on June 1, 1905.

Albert Sipp and family, 1905 NYS census, New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1905; Election District: A.D. 14 E.D. 10; City: Manhattan; County: New York; Page: 13, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State Census, 1905

By 1910, the family had moved to Jersey City, New Jersey, where Albert continued to be a grocer. Gertrude was now twelve, George ten, Lizzie eight, and Milton seven. Again, this would suggest that Gertrude was born in 1898, not 1899. All the children are listed as born in New York.

Albert Sipp and family, 1910 US census, Year: 1910; Census Place: Jersey City Ward 8, Hudson, New Jersey; Roll: T624_891; Page: 11B; Enumeration District: 0160; FHL microfilm: 1374904
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

So when was Gertrude born? If she was born in July 1898, she was born before her parents married unless they had another wedding before the June 1898  date that their New York marriage record suggests. The 1900 census says they were married three years, meaning 1897, not 1898, but where? The 1910 census reports they’d been married 12 years, or 1898 and that Gertrude was 12.

In any event, I cannot find a birth record for Gertrude in the New York City birth databases—not as Sipp, not as Blumenfeld, not as Berha. Even searching by just her parents’ first names did not produce any results. Can anyone else help?

I do have evidence of the births of the other three children. George was born Gustave Sipp on March 20, 1900, consistent with the 1900 census.4 Elizabeth Sipp (or Lizzie) was born on June 6, 1901.5 Milton Sipp was born on March 19, 1903.6 But only George and Milton are listed in the New York, New York, US, Index to Birth Certificates, 1866-1909 database on Ancestry. Maybe Sadie and Albert just didn’t file birth certificates for their daughters.

In any event, Sadie and Albert had four children, and in 1920 they were still living in Jersey City where Albert continued to work as a grocer.7 According to one page in the 1930 census, all four children were still living at home in Jersey City, and Albert now listed his occupation as florist. George, now 27, was working as an electrician, and Milton, 20, was a chicken merchant. Elizabeth was not employed, and Gertrude is listed as married to George Bowker, a butcher. The census indicates that they had been married for about six years since it shows Gertrude to be now 31 and married when she was 25.

Albert Sipp and family, 1930 US census, Year: 1930; Census Place: Jersey City, Hudson, New Jersey; Page: 18A; Enumeration District: 0098; FHL microfilm: 2341088, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census

But once again, researching Gertrude has caused me confusion and headaches. If she had been married for six years in 1930, she would have married in 1924. But a different page of the 1930 census shows Gertrude and George living in a separate household with two children, and it shows Gertrude as 30 and married when she was 22, so eight years.

George Bowker and family, 1930 US census, Year: 1930; Census Place: Jersey City, Hudson, New Jersey; Page: 23A; Enumeration District: 0099; FHL microfilm: 2341088, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census

This is probably more accurate since I have located records that show that Albert Sipp Bowker, George and Gertrude’s first child, was born on December 1, 1923,8 and that his younger brother George Bowker, Jr., was born on October 5, 1927.9 A third son Calvin was born on October 21, 1931.10 All three children were born in Jersey City, New Jersey. An entry in the New Jersey Marriage Index, 1901-1966 database on Ancestry lists Gertrude and George’s marriage date as June 1, 1922.11

George Sipp, Gertrude’s brother, married Evelyn K. Hoff in 1932.12 Evelyn was born in Bayonne, New Jersey, on March 31, 1908, to Herman Hoff and Helene Langer.13 Evelyn and George had two children born in the 1930s.

Milton Sipp, the youngest of the children of Sadie and Albert Sipp, married Minnie Hinz in 1933.14 Minnie, the daughter of John Hinz and Lena Trapp, was born on October 22, 1914, in Jersey City, New Jersey.15 Milton and Minnie also had two children born in the 1930s, bringing the count of grandchildren for Sadie Bloomfield and Albert Sipp to seven.

A terrible tragedy struck the family a few years later. On July 27, 1937, Gertrude Sipp Bowker was killed when an unattended delivery vehicle rolled backwards down the street where she was walking on the sidewalk, jumped the curb, and struck her from behind, causing internal injuries and a fractured skull. She died shortly after being admitted to the hospital. Gertrude was only 39 years old or so and left behind her husband George and three young children. Albert was not yet fourteen, George, Jr., was not yet ten, and Calvin going on six.

“Runaway Auto Kills J.C. Woman,” Jersey Journal, July 27, 1937, pp. 1, 12.

The 1940 census found Gertrude’s widower George Bowker, Sr., and his three sons living in Jersey City with his in-laws Sadie and Albert Sipp and their daughter Elizabeth. Only George was employed out of the house, working as a toolmaker at a shipyard. George Bowker married his sister-in-law Elizabeth Sipp later that year.16

Albert Sipp and family, 1940 US census, Year: 1940; Census Place: Jersey City, Hudson, New Jersey; Roll: m-t0627-02407; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 24-218, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census

George Sipp and his family were living in Teaneck, New Jersey, in 1940, where George was working as a butcher.17 Milton Sipp and his family were living in Jersey City, and Milton was the manager of a retail fruit business.18

Albert Sipp died on May 16, 1942, in Jersey City; he was 68.19 My cousin Sadie Blumenfeld Sipp followed five years later; she died on February 20, 1947, at the age of 73.

Sadie Sipp death notice, Jersey Journal, February 20, 1947, p. 12

Unlike her brother Max, who’d also come to the US long before the Nazis took power in Germany, Sadie lived long enough so that she could have known that many of her relatives had been murdered in the Holocaust. But unlike with Max, I have found no evidence that Sadie was in touch with her family of origin. Sadie Blumenfeld/Bloomfield Sipp’s life in America seems to have been a life of assimilation as I found no evidence that she had stayed connected to her Blumenfeld relatives or to her Jewish origins.

George Sipp, Albert and Sadie’s older son died on July 19, 1974, in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where he had relocated and worked as a real estate broker before retiring; he was 74. He was survived by his wife Evelyn, who died in 1987, and their children and grandchildren.20

Milton Sipp, the youngest child of Sadie Bloomfield and Albert Sipp, lived the longest. He was 92 when he died in Dallas, Texas, on May 10, 1995. He had outlived his wife Minnie, who’d died in Dallas nineteen years earlier on November 9, 1976.21

Elizabeth Sipp Bowker, who had married her sister Gertrude’s widower, was widowed herself just fourteen years after she married George.  He died on July 26, 1954, at the age of 54.

George Bowker obituary, Jersey Journal, July 27, 1954, p. 2

Elizabeth had raised her three nephews, Albert, George, Jr., and Calvin, after her sister was tragically killed, and when she died October 2, 1989, in Charlottesville, Virginia, at the age of 88, her death notice identified Albert, George, Jr., and Calvin as her sons. I don’t know whether she had ever adopted them formally, but in their eyes and presumably in hers, they were her sons. In many ways, she is the heroine of this story.

Elizabeth Bowker death certificate, Virginia Department of Health; Richmond, Virginia; Virginia Deaths, 1912-2014, Certificate Range: 34000-34499, Ancestry.com. Virginia, U.S., Death Records, 1912-2014

The Observer, Charlottesville, Virginia, 05 Oct 1989, Thu • Page 14

 

 

 

 

 


  1.  Sara Blumenfeld, Gender: Female, Ethnicity/ Nationality: German
    Age: 17, Birth Date: abt 1874, Place of Origin: Germany, Departure Port: Bremen, Germany and Southampton, England, Destination: USA, Arrival Date: 30 Jun 1891
    Arrival Port: New York, New York, USA, Ship Name: Ems, Year: 1891; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Line: 44; List Number: 958,
    Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 
  2. “New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:24ZN-7QT : 10 February 2018), Albert Sipp and Sadie Blumenfeld, 09 Jun 1899; citing Marriage, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York City Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,504,064. 
  3. Albert Sipp, Gender: Male.Birth Date: 19 Sep 1873, Birth Place: Jersey City, Hudson, New Jersey, Residence Place: New Jersey, USA, Father: Geo Sipp
    Mother: Eliza, FHL Film Number: 4209000, Ancestry.com. New Jersey, U.S., Births and Christenings Index, 1660-1931. See also Note 2. 
  4. Gustave Sipp, Gender: Male, Race: White, Birth Date: 20 Mar 1900, Birth Place: Manhattan, New York City, New York, New York, USA, Residence Address: E 10th Street 420, Certificate Number: 12065, Father: Albert Sipp, Mother: Sadie Sipp, Mother Maiden Name: Blumfield, New York City Department of Records & Information Services; New York City, New York; New York City Birth Certificates; Borough: Manhattan; Year: 1900, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Index to Birth Certificates, 1866-1909 
  5. Elizabeth Bowker, [Elizabeth Sipp], Gender: Female, Race: White, Birth Date: 6 Jun 1901, Birth Place: New York City, New York, Death Date: 2 Oct 1989, Father: Albert Sipp, Mother: Sadie Blumenfeld, SSN: 140284066, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  6. Milton Zipp, Gender: Male, Race: White, Birth Date: 29 Mar 1903, Birth Place: Manhattan, New York City, New York, New York, USA, Residence Address: E 16 S 430
    Certificate Number: 26450, Father: Alberto Zipp, Mother: Sadie Zipp, Mother Maiden Name: Blumerfeld, New York City Department of Records & Information Services; New York City, New York; New York City Birth Certificates; Borough: Manhattan; Year: 1903,
    Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Index to Birth Certificates, 1866-1909 
  7. Albert Sipp and family, 1920 US census, Year: 1920; Census Place: Jersey City Ward 8, Hudson, New Jersey; Roll: T625_1046; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 199,
    Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  8.  Albert Bowker, Social Security Number: 072-18-1103, Birth Date: 1 Dec 1923, Issue Year: Before 1951, Issue State: New York, Last Residence: 22911, Charlottesville, Albemarle, Virginia, Death Date: 3 Mar 2007, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  9. George Edwin Bowker Jr, Race: White, Age: 18, Birth Date: 5 Oct 1927, Birth Place: Jersey City, New Jersey, Residence Place: Jersey City, Huson CO., New Jersey
    Registration Date: 15 Jul 1946, Registration Place: Jersey City, Hudson CO., New Jersey, USA, Employer: Enemployed (Just Recently Disc. U.S.Navy), Height: 6” 2″
    Weight: 200, Complexion: Ruddy, Hair Color: Blonde, Eye Color: Brown
    Next of Kin: Mr George Bowker, National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Registration Cards for New Jersey, 10/16/1940-03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 62, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 
  10. Calvin Henry Bowker, [Calvin H Bowker], Gender: Male, Race: White, Birth Date: 21 Oct 1931, Birth Place: Jersey Hudso, New Jersey, Death Date: 15 Sep 2003, Father:
    George E Bowker, Mother: Elizabeth Sipp, SSN: 149240274, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007. (Note: Elizabeth Sipp was considered Calvin’s mother for reasons discussed above.) 
  11.  Gertrude Sipp, Maiden Name: Sipp, Gender: Female, Marriage Date: Jun 1922
    Marriage Place: New Jersey, USA, Spouse: G B, New Jersey State Archives; Trenton, New Jersey; Marriage Indexes; Index Type: Bride; Year Range: 1920-1929; Surname Range: P – S, Ancestry.com. New Jersey, U.S., Marriage Index, 1901-2016 
  12.  George Sipp, Gender: Male, Marriage Date: 1932, Marriage Place: New Jersey, USA, Spouse: Evelyn Hoff, New Jersey State Archives; Trenton, New Jersey; Marriage Indexes; Index Type: Bride; Year Range: 1930-1935; Surname Range: E – K; Reel Number: 31, Ancestry.com. New Jersey, U.S., Marriage Index, 1901-2016 
  13.  Evelyn Sipp, Social Security Number: 162-52-3202, Birth Date: 31 Mar 1908
    Issue Year: 1973-1974, Issue State: Pennsylvania, Last Residence: 18103, Allentown, Lehigh, Pennsylvania, USA, Death Date: Apr 1987, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014. Herman Hoff, Gender: Male, Marriage Date: 13 Feb 1898, Marriage Place: Manhattan, New York, USA, Spouse: Helene Langer
    Certificate Number: 2664, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Extracted Marriage Index, 1866-1937 
  14.  Milton Sipp, Gender: Male, Marriage Date: 1933, Marriage Place: New Jersey, USA, Spouse: Minnie Hinz, New Jersey State Archives; Trenton, New Jersey; Marriage Indexes; Index Type: Bride; Year Range: 1930-1935; Surname Range: E – K; Reel Number: 31, Ancestry.com. New Jersey, U.S., Marriage Index, 1901-2016 
  15. Minna Hinz Sipp, [Minna Hinz Hinz], Gender: Female, Race: White, Age: 62
    Birth Date: 22 Oct 1914, Birth Place: Jersey, New Jersey, Residence: Dallas, Dallas, Texas, USA, Death Date: 9 Nov 1976, Death Place: Dallas, Dallas, Texas, USA
    Father: John Hinz, Mother: Lena Trapp, Certificate Number: 82598, Texas Department of State Health Services; Austin Texas, USA, Ancestry.com. Texas, U.S., Death Certificates, 1903-1982 
  16.  George Bowker, Gender: Male, Marriage Date: 1940, Marriage Place: New Jersey, USA, Spouse: Elizabeth Sipp, New Jersey State Archives; Trenton, New Jersey; Marriage Indexes; Index Type: Bride; Year Range: 1940; Surname Range: A – Z, Ancestry.com. New Jersey, U.S., Marriage Index, 1901-2016 
  17. George Sipp and family, 1940 US census, Year: 1940; Census Place: Teaneck, Bergen, New Jersey; Roll: m-t0627-02315; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 2-347, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  18. Milton Sipp and family, 1940 US census, Year: 1940; Census Place: Jersey City, Hudson, New Jersey; Roll: m-t0627-02404; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 24-129,
    Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  19. Death notice, Jersey Journal, May 18, 1942, p. 12. 
  20. “George Sipp, 74; Sold Real Estate,” The Morning Call, Allentown, Pennsylvania
    20 Jul 1974, Sat • Page 9. Evelyn Sipp, Social Security Number: 162-52-3202, Birth Date: 31 Mar 1908, Issue Year: 1973-1974, Issue State: Pennsylvania, Last Residence: 18103, Allentown, Lehigh, Pennsylvania, USA, Death Date: Apr 1987, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  21. Milton Sipp, Death Date: 10 May 1995, Death County: Dallas, Gender: Male, Ancestry.com. Texas, U.S., Death Index, 1903-2000. Also, see Note 15, above. 

Max Bloomfield: An American Immigrant Who Never Forgot His Family Back Home

As mentioned in my earlier post, when Dorothea Blumenfeld’s daughter Gertha came to the US in 1939, she listed on the ship manifest an aunt named “J. Bloomfield” who lived at 1162 Grant Avenue in the Bronx as the person she was going to. I determined, based on that address and the name, that J. Bloomfield was born Johanna Tannenbaum and that she was the widow of Dorothea’s younger brother Markus Blumenfeld (Gertha’s uncle), who became Max Bloomfield in the US. (Because Max also had a nephew who adopted the name Max Bloomfield, I have labeled this Max, the uncle, Max Bloomfield I.)

Max’s immigration story, however, is quite different from that of his niece Gertha as well as that of his older sister Berta and the children of his brother Moritz, who all came to the US in the 1930s to escape Nazi Germany. Max had left Germany fifty years earlier, long before Hitler came to power.

Max, as we saw, was born Markus Blumenfeld in Kirchhain, Germany, on December 3, 1871, the fifth child of Giedel Blumenfeld and Gerson Blumenfeld. His mother Giedel died when he was only eleven years old, and five years later when he was only sixteen, Markus left home and immigrated to America, arriving on August 3, 1888. On the ship manifest he listed his occupation as “dealer.”

Markus Blumenfeld passenger manifest, Year: 1888; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Line: 1; List Number: 1061, Ship or Roll Number: Lahn, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957

What could have led a sixteen-year-old boy with a father and seven siblings back home to leave Germany? It’s hard to imagine why he left or how he managed when he arrived in New York on August 3, 1888.

Markus settled in New York and by 1894 had become Max Bloomenfeld, the name that he was using when on March 28, 1894, he married Johanna Tannenbaum Kahn, a widow who was also an immigrant from Germany. Johanna, who was born in 1868 to Mayer Tannenbaum and Minna Strauss,1 had arrived in the US on November 15, 1887.2 She had married Herman Kahn exactly four years later on November 15, 1891.3  Herman died less than a year after they married; he was 23 and died of an intestinal obstruction and general peritonitis on August 2, 1892.4 Johanna was already pregnant at that time and gave birth to their son two months later on October 10, 1892; she named the baby Herman in memory of his father, a father he never met.5

Then a year and a half later on March 28, 1894, Johanna married Max “Bloomenfeld.”6

On June 15, 1897, Max filed his naturalization petition under the name Max Bloomfield and reported his occupation as a butcher. He used the surname Bloomfield for the rest of his life.

Max Bloomfield naturalization petition, National Archives and Records Administration; Washington, DC; NAI Title: Index to Petitions for Naturalizations Filed in Federal, State, and Local Courts in New York City, 1792-1906; NAI Number: 5700802; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: RG 21, US District Court for the Southern District of New York (058-059), Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943

On the 1900 census, Max and Johanna were living in New York with Johanna’s son Herman, a ten month old daughter Minnie, and several of Johanna’s relatives. Max reported his occupation as carpet layer, as did his brother-in-law Max Tannenbaum.

Max Bloomfield 1900 US census, Year: 1900; Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York; Page: 2; Enumeration District: 0808; FHL microfilm: 1241116, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

I initially thought that Minnie was Max and Johanna’s first child, but a closer look at the 1900 census record alerted me to the fact that there had been two children born before Minnie. Johanna reported that she had had four children, two of whom were living. Given that her first husband died before the birth of their first child and within a year of their marriage, I assumed that the two other children who died were her children with Max, and I set out to locate their records.

I was able to locate both of those children. Gertrude Bloomfield was born on April 17, 1895, and died a month later on May 19, 1895. She died from a condition I’d never heard of before: erysipelas simple. According to WebMD, it is “a common bacterial infection of the skin. It affects the upper dermis (upper layer of the skin) and the lymphatic vessels within the skin. The condition begins with the breaking of the skin, followed by bacterial invasion. Erysipelas face occurs when the bacteria causes tender and bright red rashes to appear on the facial skin. Erysipelas infections usually affect the face and the legs but can occur anywhere on the skin.” According to Gertrude’s death certificate, she had this all over her body. Today it can be treated with antibiotics, but in 1895 that was not an option, and one month old Gertrude could not fight off the infection.7

Gertrude Blumenfeld death certificate

Ella Bloomfield, born October 16, 1896, a year after Max and Johanna lost Gertrude, died on October 26, 1898, at the age of two from complications from asthma.8 I can’t imagine how Max and Johanna must have felt after losing two daughters like that.

So in fact Minnie was Max and Johanna’s third child, and by the time she was born on August 9, 1899, both of her older sisters had died.9 Fortunately, Minnie survived to live a long life.

Max, Johanna, Herman, and Minnie were still living in Manhattan when the 1905 New York State census was taken, and Max now listed his occupation as a dyer.10 Johanna gave birth to their son Gerard Milton Bloomfield on December 4, 1905, in New York.11 I’ve not located any birth or death records for a child of Max and Johanna born between Minnie’s birth in 1899 and Gerard’s birth in 1905, but I wondered whether Johanna and Max had lost any more children between those two births.

The 1910 US census indicates that in fact there had been no other children born, as Johanna reported that she had had five children, three of whom were living (Herman, Minnie, and Gerard). The family had moved from Manhattan to the Bronx between 1905 and 1910, and Max now reported that he was a carpet cleaner.12  The 1915 New York State census found them all still living together in the Bronx, and Max was still cleaning carpets for a living.13 The same held true in 1920 as well, but by then Max was the owner of the carpet cleaning business, and his daughter Minnie was working as a stenographer in the business while his stepson Herman was also in the business. They were now living at the 1162 Grant Avenue address in the Bronx where Max’s niece Gertha would later look for Johanna when she came to the US.14

The following year Minnie Bloomfield married Richard Leon Altman on December 4, 1921, in New York.15 Richard was born in Port Jervis, New York, to Adolph Altman and Selma Schafronsky on July 31, 1897. On the 1920 census, Richard was living with his parents in New York and working as a salesman of cloaks and suits.16

The 1925 New York State census lists Max, Johanna, and Gerard Bloomfield as well as Herman Kahn and his wife Frances  (nee Gutman) all living together in the Bronx where Max and Herman were still in the carpet cleaning business and Gerard, now 20, was a student.17 Meanwhile, Minnie and Richard had also settled in the Bronx, and by 1925 had two children, Lawrence, born in 1922, and Gloria, born in 1925. Richard continued to work as a cloaks and suits salesman.

Altman family, 1925 NYS census, New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1925; Election District: 65; Assembly District: 08; City: New York; County: Bronx; Page: 16, District: A·D· 08 E·D· 65, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State Census, 1925

In 1930, Max and Johanna and their son Gerard were still living at 1162 Grant Avenue in the Bronx, and Max continued to own the carpet business, presumably with his stepson Herman, who also listed his occupation as owning a carpet business. Gerard was working as a lawyer.18 Minnie and her family were also living in the Bronx, and her husband Richard now owned a cleaning business.19

Sadly, Max died three years later on September 13, 1933, in New York; he was 61 years old.20 He was survived by his wife Johanna, stepson Herman Kahn, daughter Minnie, son Gerard, and two grandchildren. He did not live to see his son Gerard marry and have children of his own, giving Max a total of five grandchildren. He also did not live to see that a number of his siblings and their children would come to the US to escape Nazi Germany, including his niece Gertha who listed Max’s widow Johanna as the person she was coming to in the US.

On December 19, 1937, Max and Johanna’s son Gerard married Kathryn Federman, daughter of Morris Federman and Esther “Queenie” Mendel. She was born in Brooklyn, New York, on October 24, 1908. In 1930, she’d been living with her parents in Manhattan and working as an art teacher. Gerard and Kathryn had three sons.21

Now widowed, Johanna Tannenbaum Bloomfield was living with a servant at 1162 Grant Avenue in the Bronx in 1940. Her daughter Minnie and her family were living in an apartment in the same building and apparently right next door. Richard was still managing the cleaning business.

Johanna Bloomfield, 1940 US census, Year: 1940; Census Place: New York, Bronx, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02467; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 3-268C, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census

Richard Altman family, 1940 US census, Year: 1940; Census Place: New York, Bronx, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02467; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 3-268C, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census

And Johanna’s son Herman Kahn and his family were also close by, living at 1420 Grand Concourse in the Bronx; Herman was still in the carpet cleaning business.22 Gerard and his family were also nearby at 1000 Grand Concourse in the Bronx, Gerard working a lawyer in his own practice while his wife Kathryn worked as a high school teacher.23

Johanna Tannenbaum Kahn Bloomfield died in October 1955 and is buried with Max at Mt Zion Cemetery in New York, according to FindAGrave. According to the Mt Zion Cemetery website, she was buried on October 30, 1955. (I was unable to locate any death record for Johanna.) She was 87 years old and was survived by her sons Herman Kahn and Gerard Bloomfield, her daughter Minnie Bloomfield Altman, her daughters-in-law and son-in-law, and five grandchildren.24

Herman Kahn only survived his mother by two years; he died on September 22, 1957, at the age of 64; he was survived by his wife Frances, their two children, and his half-siblings Minnie and Gerard and their families.25

Gerard Bloomfield also did not live a very long life. He died of a heart attack when he was 69 on September 10, 1975. According to his obituary, he was a member of the Mayor’s Economic Council in New York City at the time of his death and had a history of civic involvement. He was survived by his wife Kathryn and their three sons and grandchildren.26

Minnie Bloomfield outlived both of her brothers as well as her husband Lawrence, who died in 1982.27 Minnie died on March 8, 1990, in Hollywood, Florida, at the age of 90. She was survived by her children and grandchildren.28

The story of Max Bloomfield (born Markus Blumenfeld) and his family has its tragic elements; losing two young daughters must have been heartbreaking. But overall his story—coming to the US as a teenager and building a life, a business, and a family in the US—is so different from the stories of the families of his older siblings Moritz and Berta, who escaped from Nazi Germany in the 1930s, and especially different from the story of Max’s sister Dorothea, whose entire family was almost completely wiped out by the Nazis except for her daughter Gertha.

The fact that Gertha named Max’s widow Johanna as the person she was going to in the US indicates that even after over fifty years in the US, Max’s family was still in touch with their Blumenfeld relatives back in Germany. Max may have assimilated into American life, but it appears that he never forgot his family back in Germany.

 


  1. “New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:24HX-4TD : 10 February 2018), Max Bloomenfeld and Johanna Taunenbaum Kahn, 28 Mar 1894; citing Marriage, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York City Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,439,745. 
  2.  Johanna Dannenbaum, Gender: Female, Ethnicity/ Nationality: German, Age: 19
    Birth Date: abt 1868, Place of Origin: Germany, Departure Port: Bremen, Germany, Destination: USA, Arrival Date: 15 Nov 1887, Arrival Port: New York, New York, USA
    Ship Name: Fulda, Year: 1887; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Line: 16; List Number: 1466, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 
  3. Hannah Tannenbaum, Gender: Female, Marriage Date: 15 Nov 1891, Marriage Place: Manhattan, New York, USA, Spouse: Herman Kahn, Certificate Number: 14282,
    Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Extracted Marriage Index, 1866-1937 
  4. Herman Kahn Sex Male Age 23 Death Date 1 Aug 1892 Death Place Manhattan, New York County, New York, United States Death Place (Original) Manhattan, New York, New York, United States Birth Year (Estimated) 1869 Father’s Name Emanuel Father’s Sex Male Mother’s Name Sarah Kahn Mother’s Sex Female Record Type death Certificate Number cn 28859, New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949″, database, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2W68-YJC : 3 June 2020), Herman Kahn, 1892. 
  5. “New York, New York City Births, 1846-1909,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2W9X-C98 : 11 February 2018), Herman Kahn, 12 Oct 1892; citing Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, reference cn 39106 New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,322,269. 
  6. See note 1. 
  7. Name Gertrude Bloomfield, Sex Female, Birth Date 17 Apr 1895, Birthplace Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, Birthplace (Original) Manhattan, New York, Race White, Father’s Name Max Bloomfield, Father’s Age 23,Father’s Birthplace Germany, Mother’s Name Hannah Danober, Mother’s Age 27, Mother’s Birthplace Germany, “New York, New York City Births, 1846-1909,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2WSH-CQY : 11 February 2018), Gertrude Bloomfield, 17 Apr 1895; citing Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, reference cn 17037 New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,322,314. Gertrude Blumenfeld Sex Female Age 0 Death Date 19 May 1895 Death Place Manhattan, New York County, New York, United States Death Place (Original) Manhattan, New York, New York, United States Birth Year (Estimated) 1895 Father’s Name Max Blumenfeld Father’s Sex Male Mother’s Name Johanna Blumenfeld Mother’s Sex Female Record Type death Certificate Number cn 17713, “New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949”, database, FamilySearch  (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2W62-FDD : 3 June 2020), Gertrude Blumenfeld, 1895. 
  8. Ella Bloomfield Sex Female Birth Date 16 Oct 1896 Birthplace Manhattan, New York, New York, United States Birthplace (Original) New York City, New York, New York Race White Father’s Name Max Bloomfield Father’s Age 24 Father’s Birthplace Germany Mother’s Name Hannah Dannenbaum Bloomfield Mother’s Age 29 Mother’s Birthplace Germany, “New York, New York City Births, 1846-1909,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2WSR-C5T : 11 February 2018), Ella Bloomfield, 16 Oct 1896; citing Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, reference 46730 New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,322,343. Ella Bloomfield, Sex Female, Age 2, Residence Place Manhattan, New York City, N.Y.
    Burial Date 27 Oct 1898, Burial Place New York City, N.Y., Death Date 26 Oct 1898
    Death Place Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States, Death Place (Original) Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, Birth Date about 17 Oct 1896
    Birthplace New York, Marital Status Single, Race White, Father’s Name Max Bloomfield
    Father’s Sex Male, Father’s Birthplace Germany, Mother’s Name Johanna Bloomfield
    Mother’s Sex Female, Mother’s Birthplace Germany, Certificate Number cn 30322, “New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949,” database, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2WXM-1X7 : 3 June 2020), Ella Bloomfield, 26 Oct 1898; citing Death, Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,322,951. 
  9.  Minnie Altman, Social Security Number: 068-38-6048, Birth Date: 9 Aug 1899
    Issue Year: 1963, Issue State: New York, Last Residence: 33019, Hollywood, Broward, Florida, USA, Death Date: 8 Mar 1990, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  10. Max Bloomfield and family, 1905 NYS census, New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1905; Election District: A.D. 30 E.D. 08; City: Manhattan; County: New York; Page: 14, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State Census, 1905 
  11.  Gerard Bloomfield, Social Security Number: 065-12-6905, Birth Date: 4 Dec 1905
    Issue Year: Before 1951, Issue State: New York, Last Residence: 10471, Bronx, Bronx, New York, USA, Death Date: Sep 1975, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  12. Max Bloomfield and family, 1910 US census, Year: 1910; Census Place: Bronx Assembly District 32, New York, New York; Roll: T624_996; Page: 14A; Enumeration District: 1421; FHL microfilm: 1375009, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  13. Max Bloomfield and family, 1915 NYS census, New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1915; Election District: 11; Assembly District: 32; City: New York; County: Bronx; Page: 17, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State Census, 1915 
  14. Max Bloomfield and family, 1920 US census, Year: 1920; Census Place: Bronx Assembly District 1, Bronx, New York; Roll: T625_1130; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 26, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  15. “New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:24WJ-54S : 10 February 2018), Richard Altman and Minnie Bloomfield, 04 Dec 1921; citing Marriage, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York City Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,653,316. 
  16. Richard Leon Altman, World War I Draft Registration, Registration State: New York; Registration County: New York, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918; Altman family, 1920 US census, Year: 1920; Census Place: Manhattan Assembly District 21, New York, New York; Roll: T625_1224; Page: 16B; Enumeration District: 1443, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census, Selma Altman death record, New York City Department of Records & Information Services; New York City, New York; New York City Death Certificates; Borough: Manhattan; Year: 1939, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Index to Death Certificates, 1862-1948 
  17. Max Bloomfield and family, 1925 NYS census, New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1925; Election District: 38; Assembly District: 02; City: New York; County: Bronx; Page: 8, District: A·D· 02 E·D· 38, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State Census, 1925 
  18. Max Bloomfield and family, 1930 US census, Year: 1930; Census Place: Bronx, Bronx, New York; Page: 45A; Enumeration District: 0149; FHL microfilm: 2341202, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  19. RIchard Altman and family 1930 US census, Year: 1930; Census Place: Bronx, Bronx, New York; Page: 29A; Enumeration District: 0149; FHL microfilm: 2341202, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  20.  Max Bloomfield, Gender: Male, Race: White, Marital status: Married, Age: 61
    Birth Date: 3 Dec 1871, Birth Place: Germany, Years in US: 45 Years, Death Date: 13 Sep 1933, Death Street Address: 1162 Grant Ave, Death Place: New York City, Bronx, New York, USA, Cause of Death: Chronic Myocarditis, Acute Coronary Thrombosis
    Burial Date: 15 Sep 1933, Burial Place: MT Zion Cemetery, Occupation: Carpet-Eleaner
    Father’s Birth Place: Germany, Mother’s Birth Place: Germany, Father: Gersen Blumenfeld, Mother: Gitel Blumenfeld, Spouse: Johanna Bloomfield, Executor: Johanna Bloomfield, Executor Relationship: Wife, Certificate Number: 7827, New York City Department of Records & Information Services; New York City, New York; New York City Death Certificates; Borough: Bronx; Year: 1933, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Index to Death Certificates, 1862-1948 
  21. Gerard M Bloomfield, Gender: Male, Marriage Date: 19 Dec 1937, Marriage Place: Manhattan, New York, USA, Spouse: Kathryn Federman, Certificate Number: 28519, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Extracted Marriage Index, 1866-1937 ; Catheryne Federman, Gender: Female, Race: White, Birth Date: 24 Oct 1908
    Birth Place: Brooklyn, New York City, Kings, New York, USA, Residence Address: 49th Brooklyn 1122, Certificate Number: 35855, Father: Morris Federman, Mother:
    Queenie Federman, Mother Maiden Name: Mendel, New York City Department of Records & Information Services; New York City, New York; New York City Birth Certificates; Borough: Brooklyn; Year: 1908, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Index to Birth Certificates, 1866-1909. Federman family, 1930 US census, Year: 1930; Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York; Page: 26A; Enumeration District: 0442; FHL microfilm: 2341291, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  22. Herman Kahn and family, 1940 US census, Year: 1940; Census Place: New York, Bronx, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02464; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 3-175, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  23. Gerard Bloomfield and family, 1940 US census, Year: 1940; Census Place: New York, Bronx, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02468; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 3-291,
    Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  24. Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/80993503/johanna-bloomfield : accessed 07 February 2022), memorial page for Johanna Bloomfield (unknown–Oct 1955), Find a Grave Memorial ID 80993503, citing Mount Zion Cemetery, Maspeth, Queens County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Athanatos (contributor 46907585). 
  25. Herman Kahn, Birth Date: 12 Oct 1892, Death Date: 22 Sep 1957, Claim Date: 3 Oct 1957, SSN: 058100609, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  26.  Gerard Bloomfield, Social Security Number: 065-12-6905, Birth Date: 4 Dec 1905
    Issue Year: Before 1951, Issue State: New York, Last Residence: 10471, Bronx, Bronx, New York, USA, Death Date: Sep 1975, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014. “Gerard Bloomfield of Economic Panel,” The New York Times, September 11, 1975, p. 44, found at https://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1975/09/11/76604030.html?pageNumber=44&#160;
  27. Richard L Altman, Race: White, Age at Death: 84, Birth Date: 31 Jul 1897
    Death Date: 13 May 1982, Death Place: Broward, Florida, United States, Ancestry.com. Florida, U.S., Death Index, 1877-1998 
  28. Minnie Altman, Race: White, Birth Date: 9 Aug, Death Date: 8 Mar 1990
    Death Place: Broward, Florida, United States, Ancestry.com. Florida, U.S., Death Index, 1877-1998; death notice, South Florida Sun Sentinel, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
    10 Mar 1990, Sat • Page 34 

Dorothea Blumenfeld Haas, Daughter of Giedel Blumenfeld Blumenfeld: A Family Destroyed

As I turn to the tragic story of the fourth child of Giedel Blumenfeld and Gerson Blumenfeld, Dorothea Blumenfeld Haas, I only wish she, her sons, and her grandchildren had followed many of Dorothea’s siblings and her only daughter out of Germany before it was too late.

As we saw, Dorothea was born on December 26, 1869, in Kirchhain. She married Joseph Haas on August 12, 1898, in Kirchhain. He was born on October 3, 1863, to Wolf Haas and Johannette Schei in Grenzhausen, Germany.

Dorothea Blumenfeld and Joseph Haas marriage record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5026, Year Range: 1898, 
Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Dorothea and Joseph Haas had three children. Walter Haas (presumably named for Joseph’s father Wolf) was born on August 23, 1899, in Hoehr Grenzhausen, Germany. Thank you to Aaron Knappstein for obtaining Walter’s birth record as well as many of the records included in this post.

Walter Haas birth record

His sister Gertha Giedel Haas (presumably named for Dorothea’s mother Giedel) was born in Hoehr Grenzhausen on November 5, 1901.

Gertha Haas birth record

And Gustav Haas was born on December 7, 1908, in Hoehr Grenzhausen.

Gustav Haas birth record from Grenzhausen

Walter Haas married Irma Weinberg on May 11, 1933. Walter’s occupation was a cattle dealer.

Marriage record of Walter Haas and Irma Weinberg

 

Irma was born on January 5, 1901, in Hartenfels, Germany, to Isaac Weinberg and Ida Gerson.

Irma Weinberg birth record

Walter and Irma had two children. Ilse was born in Grenzhausen on July 22, 1934.

Her brother Ingfried was born on February 5, 1937, in Grenzhausen.

Ingfried Haas birth record from Grenzhausen

Thank you to Aaron Knappstein for obtaining the birth records for Walter, Gertha, Gustav, Ilse and Ingfried Haas and for Irma Weinberg and the marriage record of Walter and Irma.

Tragically, almost every member of this family was murdered by the Nazis. Joseph Haas died January 2, 1932,1 so was spared seeing what happened to his wife, children, and grandchildren. Dorothea,2 her sons Gustav3 and Walter,4 and Walter’s wife Irma5 and their son Ingfried6 were all deported to the Minsk concentration camp in either November or December, 1941, and died there in 1942, according to their memorials on Yad Vashem.  Little Ingfried was only four years old.

Walter Haas Page of Testimony at Yad Vashem, found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=5674520&ind=1

Irma Weinberg Haas Page of Testimony at Yad Vashem, found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=1205033&ind=2

Ingfried Haas Page of Testimony at Yad Vashem, found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=5859525&ind=1

Walter and Irma’s daughter Ilse7 had been smuggled out of Germany to the Netherlands for safety before her family was sent to Minsk, but then Ilse was deported from the Netherlands to the Sobibor concentration camp on March 13, 1943, where she was murdered. She was only eight years old.

The entry on FindAGrave for Ilse provides this biographical note:

Ilse was born on July 22, 1934 in Höhr, Germany. She later moved to the Netherlands as a German Jewish refugee. During the war, she lived at an orphanage for Jewish children in Den Haag, Netherlands. German authorities forcibly closed the orphanage in March 1943, sending most of the children and staff to Sobibor on March 10th, where they were murdered on March 13th. Ilse was one of the children killed. She was just 8 years old.

The Dokin website provided this photograph of Ilse:

Ilse Haas. Courtesy of Zina Bee on FindAGrave, located at https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/187427809/ilse-haas

The only member of this extended family who survived was Dorothea and Joseph’s daughter Gertha, who arrived in New York on December 2, 1939, from Frankfurt, where the Haas family had relocated at some point, whether willingly or not.8

The manifest reported that Gertha was going to her aunt, “J. Bloomfield,” at 1162 Grant Avenue in the Bronx.

Gertha Haas, ship manifest, Year: 1939; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 1; Page Number: 40, Ship or Roll Number: Rotterdam, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957

I wasn’t sure who this could be. Using Stevemorse.org, I located on the 1940 census a Johanna Bloomfield, a 70 year-old widow born in Germany, living at the address listed on Gertha’s manifest. Searching my tree, I realized that she was Johanna Tannenbaum, the widow of Max Bloomfield, born Markus Blumenfeld, younger brother of Gertha’s mother Dorothea. Max and Johanna’s story will be told in my next blog post.

Johanna Bloomfield, 1940 US census, Year: 1940; Census Place: New York, Bronx, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02467; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 3-268C, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census

Gertha sailed from Rotterdam, but listed her last residence as Frankfurt. Her ship left Rotterdam on November 22, 1939, almost two months after World War II started when it was very difficult to leave Germany. How was Gertha able to escape when her mother, brothers, and niece and nephew could not? I wish I knew her full story.

Gertha filed her Declaration of Intention to become a US citizen on March 29, 1940.

Gertha Haas, Declaration of Intention, The National Archives at Philadelphia; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; NAI Title: Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1/19/1842 – 10/29/1959; NAI Number: 4713410; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: 21, Description: (Roll 583) Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1842-1959 (No 457001-457900), Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943

Almost three years after safely immigrating to the US, Gertha married Julius Hecht on October 10, 1942.9 Julius was also a refugee from Nazi Germany. He was born on June 23, 1890, in Limburg, Germany, to Abraham Hecht and Regina Stern. He arrived in the US even later than Gertha—on September 9, 1941— and had also been previously living in Frankfurt, but sailed from Spain.10 Julius was 52 and Gertha was 39 when they married, and they did not have children. Julius and Gertha both died in 1974 within two months of each other, Julius in May,11 Gertha in July.12 He was 83, and she was 71.

Sadly, there are no direct descendants of Dorothea Blumenfeld and Joseph Haas to tell their stories. Perhaps I will find a cousin who can tell me more about this family that was almost completely wiped out by the Nazis.

 

 


  1. Joseph Haas, Birth Date: 3 Oct 1863, Death Date: 02 Jan 1932, Age at Death: 68
    Burial Plot: 1, Burial Place: Höhr-Grenzhausen, Germany, JewishGen, comp. JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR). 
  2. Dora Haas Blumenfeld entry at Yad Vashem, found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=11514166&ind=1&#160;
  3. Gustav Haas entry at Yad Vashem, found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=11514218&ind=1&#160;
  4. Walter Haas entry at Yad Vashem, found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=11514400&ind=1&#160;
  5. Irma Weinberg Haas entry at Yad Vashem, found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=11514250&ind=1&#160;
  6. Ingfried Haas, entry at Yad Vashem, found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=5859525&ind=1&#160;
  7. See entry at https://www.wiewaswie.nl/nl/detail/98928585&#160;
  8. Gertha Haas, ship manifest, Year: 1939; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 1; Page Number: 40, Ship or Roll Number: Rotterdam, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 
  9. Gertha Haas, Gender: Female, Race: White, Marriage Age: 39, Birth Date: Nov 1902, Birth Place: Germany, Marriage Date: 10 Oct 1942, Marriage Place: New York, Manhattan, New York, New York, USA, Residence Street Address: 564 W. 160 St., Occupation: Operator, Father: Josepha Haas, Mother: Dora Haas, Spouse: Julius Hecht
    Certificate Number: 19972, Current Marriage Number: 0, New York City Department of Records & Information Services; New York City, New York; New York City Marriage Licenses; Borough: Manhattan; Year: 1942, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Index to Marriage Licenses, 1908-1910, 1938-1940 
  10. Julius Hecht, Gender: männlich (Male), Birth Date: 23. Jun 1890 (23 Jun 1890)
    Birth Place: Limburg, Hessen (Hesse), Deutschland (Germany), Civil Registration Office: Limburg, Mother: Regina Hecht, Father: Abraham Hecht, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 912; Laufende Nummer: 3277,
    Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901. Julius Hecht, Gender: Male
    Declaration Age: 51, Record Type: Declaration, Birth Date: 23 Jun 1890, Birth Place: Limburg Germany, Arrival Date: 9 Sep 1941, Arrival Place: New York, New York, USA
    Declaration Date: 3 Mar 1942, Declaration Place: New York, Court: U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Declaration Number: 515161, Box Number: 390, The National Archives at Philadelphia; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; NAI Title: Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1/19/1842 – 10/29/1959; NAI Number: 4713410; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: 21, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943 
  11.  Julius Hecht, Social Security Number: 083-18-7875, Birth Date: 23 Jun 1890, Issue Year: Before 1951, Issue State: New York, Last Residence: 10033, New York, New York, New York, USA, Death Date: May 1974, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Source Information
    Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  12.  Gerda Hecht, Social Security Number: 101-16-4049, Birth Date: 5 Nov 1902
    Issue Year: Before 1951, Issue State: New York, Last Residence: 10033, New York, New York, New York, USA, Death Date: Jul 1974, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 

Moritz Blumenfeld’s Children and His Sister Berta Blumenfeld: Escape from Germany

As I slowly return to my genealogy work after losing my mother, I am weighted down by the world itself as well as other matters. I hope to get back to my regular posting schedule, but I am taking it slowly for now.

With that note, I will return to the history of my Blumenfeld family, picking up where I left off with the family of my second cousin, three times removed, Giedel Blumenfeld and her husband, Gerson Blumenfeld, my first cousin, four times removed, and Giedel’s first cousin, once removed.


When their mother Giedel Blumenfeld Blumenfeld died in 1883 at the age of 38, there were nine surviving children. Moritz, the oldest, was 16 when his mother died, and Franziska, the youngest, was just days shy of her first birthday. Their lives all took different directions, some living their whole lives in Germany, others immigrating as young adults to America, others coming to the US in the 1930s after Hitler came to power. Those choices had huge consequences for them and for their descendants. I will tell their stories separately while trying to keep in mind the bigger picture. This post will tell the story of the two oldest surviving children, Moritz and Berta (or Bertha).

Moritz was married to Blanka Bauer in 1895, according to the history of the Strauss family compiled by by Rabbi Isaak Strauss and Salomon Koppel Strauss, entitled Anleitung zum Stammbaum der Familie Strauss, and printed in 1910 by L. Schwann in Dusseldorf. I have not yet been able to locate an actual birth or marriage record for Blanka, but her death and burial records indicate that she was born in Merlau, Germany, on May 9, 1868, to Loeb Bauer and Fradchen Blumenfeld.1

Moritz and Blanka had four children. Gerda was born on June 16, 1896, in Kirchhain, Germany.

Gerda Blumenfeld birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 4997. Year Range: 1896, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Flora was born on June 9, 1898, in Kirchhain.

Flora Blumenfeld birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 4999, Year Range: 1898, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Gustav was born January 5, 1900, in Kirchhain.

Gustav Blumenfeld birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5001, Year Range: 1900, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

A fourth child, Herbert, was born on May 9, 1904, according to Anleitung zum Stammbaum der Familie Strauss by Rabbi Isaak Strauss, and Salomon Koppel Strauss.  I could not locate an actual birth record for Herbert, but that is consistent with his age at death as listed on his death record.2

After giving birth to these four children, Blanka died on January 17, 1909, when she was 40 years old, assuming the accuracy of her burial record on JewishGen. Her death record says she was 38 years old. Either way, she was very young and left behind her husband Moritz and their four young children. Thus, like their father Moritz, those four children grew up without their mother.

Blanka Bauer Blumenfeld death record, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5094, Year Range: 1909, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958

Moritz remarried on April 18, 1911, in Frielendorf, Germany. His second wife was Friedericke Plaut, who was born in Frielendorf on February 20, 1876, to Abraham Plaut and Betti Moses.

Marriage record of Moritz Blumenfeld and Friedericke Plaut, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 920; Laufende Nummer: 1591, Year Range: 1911, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Various sources indicate that Moritz and his second wife Friedericke had one child together, a son named Alfred born on August 2, 1912, but he is not listed in the 1910 Strauss Stammbaum book cited above since it predated his birth. The only record I’ve been able to locate for an Alfred Blumenfeld born on that date is a 1935 list of Jewish students at a school in Frankfurt in the collection of the United States Holocaust Memorial and Museum; it indicates that he was from Marburg and that he had left for South America.3 There is nothing that ties this record to Moritz and Friedericke, but, as we will see, there is one piece of evidence that indicates that there was a son named Alfred who ended up in South America.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum; Washington, DC; Nazi Documentation-Munich Municipality (M.1.DN), 1925-1948; Record Group: RG-68.094M; File: rg-68.094m.0004.00000103, Ancestry.com. Munich, Germany, Nazi Documentation Regarding Jews, 1919-1946 (USHMM)

On May 1, 1922, Moritz’s son Herbert Blumenfeld died; he was only seventeen years old. I don’t know his cause of death, but how tragic to lose a son at such a young age.

Herbert Blumenfeld death record, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5107, Year Range: 1922, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958

Just ten years later, Moritz Blumenfeld himself died January 20, 1932, in Kirchhain, at the age of 65, according to a burial record listed on JewishGen.

When Moritz died, not one of his surviving children was married. The first to marry was Gustav Blumenfeld, who married Paula Blum on August 26, 1934, in Kassel, Germany. Paula was born in Mellrichstadt, Germany, on March 7, 1901, to Michael Blum and Ida Gutmann.4 Gustav and Paula did not have any children.

Fortunately, all the children of Moritz Blumenfeld left Germany in time to escape the Holocaust. Gerda and Flora left together, arriving in New York on April 4, 1935. They both changed their surnames to Bloomfield.5

Flora and Gerda Blumenfeld passenger manifest, Year: 1935; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 1; Page Number: 107, Ship or Roll Number: Washington, 
Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957

Their brother Gustav and his wife Paula arrived two years later on July 30, 1937, along with Berta Blumenfeld, Gerda, Flora and Gustav’s aunt and the sister of  their father Moritz Blumenfeld.  She was 69 years old at that time.6

By 1940, all three siblings were settled in New York. Gustav and Paula were living with his sister Gerda and with his aunt Berta (now Bertha) Blumenfeld in the Washington Heights neighborhood where many German Jewish refugees settled in the 1930s. Gustav was working as a salesman in a retail store, Paula as an operator for a manufacturer, and Gerda as a nurse for a private family.

Blumenfelds 1940 US census, Year: 1940; Census Place: New York, New York, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02676; Page: 14B; Enumeration District: 31-2115, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census

Flora Blumenfeld was working as a governess and living with a family with a five-year-old boy in the Bronx.7 Later that same year, Flora married Felix Viktor Vorcheimer. Felix was born in Thuengen, Germany, on May 4, 1896, to Adolf and Ida Vorcheimer,8

Bertha Blumenfeld died on December 16, 1944, in New York. She was 76 years old. She never married so has no descendants.9

Her nephew Gustav Blumenfeld died on April 2, 1945, in New York. He was only 45 years old.10 His widow Paula remarried in Detroit, Michigan, on April 14, 1951; her second husband was Moritz Marx.11

Flora and Gerda died within two months of each other. Flora died on March 17, 1974,12 and Gerda on May 19, 1974. 13 They were 76 and 78 years old, respectively.

As for Alfred Blumenfed, the youngest child of Moritz Blumenfeld, his son with his second wife Friedericke Plaut, as mentioned above, I have no official records that I can definitively tie to him. But this lovely death notice for Flora and Gerda certainly indicates that they had a brother named Alfred and that he, as the school register mentioned above indicated, had gone to South America. When he placed this death notice in the Aufbau newspaper, “Alfredo” was living in Cordoba, Argentina.14

Aufbau Newspaper, May 31, 1974, p. 25

The text translates as:

My sister, our cousin Gerda Bloomfield (Blumenfeld) (formerly Kirchheim/Kassel) was released from her long and patiently endured suffering on May 19, 1974, in the 78th year of her life. She followed her beloved sister Mrs. Flora Vorchheimer, née Blumenfeld, who died in the 76th year of her life after a short illness on March 17, 1974. We shall cherish their memory. Alfredo Blumenfeld, Cordoba, Argentina, and cousins.

The good news about this family is that they all escaped from Nazi Germany in time. But the sad news is that I’ve not located any descendants living today. Bertha Blumenfeld had no children. None of the children of her brother Moritz Blumenfeld and his first wife Blanka appear to have had children, and it appears from the obituary for their daughters Flora and Gerda that their half-brother Alfred also did not have any children as he only mentioned cousins, not nieces and nephews, among the mourners of his two sisters. But as I learned from my experiences with Albert Kaufmann, there is always the possibility that I just haven’t found those descendants yet.

 

 


  1. Blanka Blumenfeld, Gender: weiblich (Female), Age: 40, Birth Date: abt 1869
    Death Date: 17. Jan 1909 (17 Jan 1909), Death Place: Kirchhain, Hessen (Hesse), Deutschland (Germany), Civil Registration Office: Kirchhain, Father: Löb Bauer
    Mother: Fratchen Bauer, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5094, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958 
  2. Herbert Blumenfeld death record, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5107, Year Range: 1922, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958 
  3. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum; Washington, DC; Nazi Documentation-Munich Municipality (M.1.DN), 1925-1948; Record Group: RG-68.094M; File: rg-68.094m.0004.00000103, Ancestry.com. Munich, Germany, Nazi Documentation Regarding Jews, 1919-1946 (USHMM) 
  4. Gustav Blumenfeld, Declaration of Intention, he National Archives at Philadelphia; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; NAI Title: Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1/19/1842 – 10/29/1959; NAI Number: 4713410; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: 21, Description: (Roll 529) Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1842-1959 (No 407701-408700),
    Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943. Paula Marx [Paula Blumenfeld] [Paula Blum] Gender: Female, Birth Date: 7 Mar 1901
    Birth Place: Federal Republic of Germany, Death Date: Nov 1992, Claim Date: 29 Dec 1965 Father: Michael Blum Mother: Ida Gutman  SSN: 07812568, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  5. E.g., Gerda Blumenfeld/Bloomfield Petition for Naturalization, National Archives and Records Administration; Washington, DC; NAI Title: Index to Petitions for Naturalizations Filed in Federal, State, and Local Courts in New York City, 1792-1906; NAI Number: 5700802; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: RG 21, Description: (Roll 1302) Petition No· 371676 – Petition No· 372046, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943 
  6. Gustav and Paula Blumenfeld ship manifest, Year: 1937; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 1; Page Number: 41, Ship or Roll Number: Hansa, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957. Berta Blumenfeld ship manifest, Year: 1937; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 7; Page Number: 62, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957. 
  7. Flora Blumenfeld, 1940 US census, Year: 1940; Census Place: New York, Bronx, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02466; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 3-235B, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  8. Flora Bloomfield [Flora Blumonfeld] Gender: Female Race: White Marriage Age: 42
    Birth Date: Jun 1898 Birth Place: Kirchhain, Germany Marriage Date: 14 Aug 1940
    Marriage Place: New York, Manhattan, New York, New York, USA, Residence Street Address: 630 W. 122nd St., Occupation: None Father: Moritz Blumonfeld Mother:
    Blanka Blumonfeld Spouse: Felix Viktor Vorchheimer Certificate Number: 11414, New York City Department of Records & Information Services; New York City, New York; New York City Marriage Licenses; Borough: Manhattan; Year: 1940, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Index to Marriage Licenses, 1908-1910, 1938-1940 
  9. Name: Bertha Blumenfeld, Gender: Female, Race: White, Marital status: Single
    Age: 76, Birth Date: 27 Dec 1867, Birth Place: Germany-Kinschhain, Residence Street Address: 245 Ft Washington Ave, Residence Place: New York, Years in US: 7 1/2 Years
    Death Date: 16 Dec 1944, Death Street Address: 245 Fort Wahington, Death Place: New York City, Manhattan, New York, USA, Burial Date: 17 Dec 1944, Burial Place: Cedar Park Cem,N J, Occupation: Retired Housework, Father’s Birth Place: Germany
    Mother’s Birth Place: Germany, Father: Gerson Blumenfeld, Mother: Gudel Blumenfeld
    Certificate Number: 26617, New York City Department of Records & Information Services; New York City, New York; New York City Death Certificates; Borough: Manhattan; Year: 1944, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Index to Death Certificates, 1862-1948 
  10. Gustav Blumenfeld, Age: 45, Birth Year: abt 1900, Death Date: 2 Apr 1945
    Death Place: Manhattan, New York, USA, Certificate Number: 7811, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Extracted Death Index, 1862-1948 
  11. Paula Blumenfeld [Paula Blum] Gender: Female Race: White Age: 49
    Birth Date: abt 1902, Birth Place: Germany, Marriage License Place: Wayne
    Marriage Date: 14 Apr 1951, Marriage Place: Detroit, Wayne, Michigan, USA
    Residence Place: Detroit, Michigan, Father: Mike Blum Mother: Ida Gutman
    Spouse: Moritz Marx, County File Number: 802137, State File Number: 480889
    Michigan Department of Community Health, Division of Vital Records and Health Statistics; Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan, Marriage Records, 1867-1952; Film: 377; Film Title: 82 Wayne 479850-483199; Film Description: Wayne (Dates TBD), Ancestry.com. Michigan, U.S., Marriage Records, 1867-1952 
  12. Flora Vorchheimer Social Security Number: 095-42-4853 Birth Date: 9 Jun 1898
    Issue Year: 1964 Issue State: New York Last Residence: 10033, New York, New York, New York, USA, Death Date: Mar 1974, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  13. Gerda Bloomfield, Social Security Number: 081-14-2849, Birth Date: 16 Jun 1896, Issue Year: Before 1951, Issue State: New York, Last Residence: 10033, New York, New York, New York, USA, Death Date: May 1974, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  14. This also indicates that all those trees that say that Alfred died in Frankfurt in 1933 are not correct. 

Giedel Blumenfeld Blumenfeld and Her Eleven Children: Siblings and Cousins

After Isaak Blumenfeld’s first wife Frommet Kugelmann died in 1842, he married Gelle Straus in 1843. Together, as we saw, they had nine children, seven of whom lived to adulthood. After their first baby died the day he was born, their second child was Giedel, born December 16, 1844, in Momberg, Germany. Giedel was presumably named for Isaak’s mother, Gidel Loeb Blumenfeld, not for her mother’s sister Giedel Straus, who was still living at that time and married to Isaak’s brother Abraham IIA.

On November 11, 1863, when she was a month shy of her nineteenth birthday, Giedel married her father’s first cousin, Gerson Blumenfeld.

Giedel Blumenfeld and Gerson Blumenfeld marriage record, LAGIS Hessen Archives, Trauregister der Juden von Kirchhain 1824-1873 (HHStAW Abt. 365 Nr. 498)AutorHessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, WiesbadenErscheinungsjahr1824-1873, p. 7

Gerson, born April 20, 1834, in Kirchhain, Germany, was the son of Maier Blumenfeld and Betti Oppenheim, and Maier Blumenfeld was the younger brother of Moses Blumenfeld I, Isaak Blumenfeld’s father.

Giedel also had a brother Gerson Blumenfeld, born in 1853, as I’ve mentioned before. So I will refer to Giedel’s husband as Gerson Blumenfeld I (son of Maier) and her brother, as noted earlier, as Gerson Blumenfeld II (son of Isaak).

Giedel and Gerson I had ELEVEN children, all but two of whom lived to adulthood. Unfortunately, their first born child was one of the two who did not survive. Abraham Blumenfeld, presumably named for his great-great-grandfather or a cousin or uncle who predeceased him, was born on September 13, 1864, in Kirchhain and died there just ten months later on July 7, 1865.

Abraham Blumenfeld, birth record, LAGIS Hessen Archives, Geburts- und Trauregister der Juden von Kirchhain 1824-1874 (HHStAW Abt. 365 Nr. 497)AutorHessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, WiesbadenErscheinungsjahr1824-1874, p. 13

Abraham Blumenfeld death record, LAGIS Hessen Archives, Sterberegister der Juden von Kirchhain 1832-1874 (HHStAW Abt. 365 Nr. 499)AutorHessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, WiesbadenErscheinungsjahr1832-1874, p. 9

Their second child did survive. He was born in Kirchhain on June 18, 1866, and was named Moritz, presumably for his great-grandfather, Moses Blumenfeld I, my four-times great-uncle. Since this Moses was known as Moritz and was the oldest of the four cousins with that name on my tree, I will refer to him as Moritz Blumenfeld I.

Moritz Blumenfeld son of Gerson and Giedel birth record, LAGIS Hessen Archives, Geburts- und Trauregister der Juden von Kirchhain 1824-1874 (HHStAW Abt. 365 Nr. 497)AutorHessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, WiesbadenErscheinungsjahr1824-1874 Monographie, p. 14

Giedel and Gerson’s third child was born on December 27, 1867, in Kirchhain and was named Berta.

Bertha Blumenfeld birth record , LAGIS Hessen Archives, Geburts- und Trauregister der Juden von Kirchhain 1824-1874 (HHStAW Abt. 365 Nr. 497)AutorHessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, WiesbadenErscheinungsjahr1824-1874, p. 15

Dorchen Blumenfeld was born on December 26, 1869, in Kirchhain. She was also known as Dorothea.

Dorchen Blumenfeld birth record, Geburts- und Trauregister der Juden von Kirchhain 1824-1874 (HHStAW Abt. 365 Nr. 497)AutorHessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, WiesbadenErscheinungsjahr1824-1874, p. 16

Another son was born on December 3, 1871, in Kirchhain; he was named Markus.

Markus Blumenfeld birth record, LAGIS Hessen Archives, Geburts- und Trauregister der Juden von Kirchhain 1824-1874 (HHStAW Abt. 365 Nr. 497)AutorHessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, WiesbadenErscheinungsjahr1824-1874, p. 17

Sara Blumenfeld, born on October 19, 1873, in Kirchhain, was the sixth of Giedel and Gerson’s children.

Sara Blumenfeld daughter of Giedel and Gerson birth record, LAGIS Hessen Archives, Geburts- und Trauregister der Juden von Kirchhain 1824-1874 (HHStAW Abt. 365 Nr. 497)AutorHessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, WiesbadenErscheinungsjahr1824-1874, p. 18

She was followed by her brother Hermann, born on March 16, 1876, in Kirchhain.  There are three Hermann Blumenfeld’s on the family tree, and this one is the second oldest, so I will refer to him as Hermann II.

Hermann Blumenfeld birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 4977, Year Range: 1876, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Giedel and Gerson had another son next and named him Salli; he was born on March 15, 1878, in Kirchain.

Salli Blumenfeld birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 4979, Year Range: 1878, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Then came Meier Blumenfeld, born on November 2, 1879, in Kirchain. He was the third Meier on the tree, so he is Meier III.

Meier Blumenfeld birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 4980, Year Range: 1879, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

The tenth child born to Giedel and Gerson was their daughter Franziska, born on June 12, 1882, in Kirchhain.

Franziska Blumenfeld birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 4983, Year Range: 1882, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

And finally, on June 3, 1883, Giedel gave birth to her eleventh and last child, a boy named Gustav.

Gustav Blumenfeld birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 4984, Year Range: 1883, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Tragically, Giedel died that same day, presumably from complications from childbirth, and her infant son Gustav lived only eighteen days, dying on June 21, 1883.

Giedel Blumenfeld death record, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5068, Year Range: 1883, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958

Gustav Blumenfeld death record, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5068, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958

Giedel was only 38 when she died and had given birth to eleven children between 1865 and 1883. She left behind her husband/cousin Gerson Blumenfeld I and nine of those eleven children, ranging in age from Moritz Blumenfeld I, who was seventeen, to Franziska, who was only a year old. What a terrible tragedy for those children. Unfortunately, it was not the last tragedy suffered by this family, as we will see.

Who helped Gerson raise the nine children who survived the death of their mother Giedel, most of whom were not even ten years old? Well, he remarried a year and a half later on December 1, 1884, in Niederurff. His second wife was named Giedel Katz, daughter of David Katz and Gella Israel, and she was born on September 31 (?), 1842, in Niederurff. So that means that Gerson’s first wife was named Giedel, and so was his second, and his new mother-in-law had the same first name, Gelle or Gella, as his first mother-in-law; it’s no wonder so many Ancestry trees collapsed the two wives into one person….1

Gerson Blumenfeld I and Giedel Katz marriage record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 920; Laufende Nummer: 6193, Year Range: 1884, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Meanwhile, Gelle Straus Blumenfeld died three years after her daughter Giedel on May 5, 1886, in Momberg. Her husband Isaak Blumenfeld died six years later in Momberg on April 2, 1892.

Gelle Straus Blumenfeld death record, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 6553, Year Range: 1886, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958

Isaak Blumenfeld death record, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 6559, Year Range: 1892, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958

What happened to the nine surviving children of their daughter Giedel Blumenfeld Blumenfeld? Their many stories will follow in the posts to come.

 

 

 


  1. I will continue Gerson Blumenfeld I’s story when I get to the family of his father Meier Blumenfeld I, another brother of my three times great-grandmother Breine Blumenfeld Katzenstein.