How Descendants Bear the Scars of their Forebears: The Legacy of Charles Hamberg and His Son Samuel

As my last several posts have described, Samuel T. Hamberg lived an interesting and in many ways sad life.  His mother Lena Goodman Hamberg died when he was nine; his father Charles Baruch Hamberg killed himself when Samuel was eleven.  Samuel was adopted by his second cousin, Henry Schoenthal, and moved to Washington, Pennsylvania, from Columbia, South Carolina.  He even probably lived with my great-grandfather Isidore Schoenthal, also his second cousin, for some time.  I feel some emotional connection to this poor orphaned boy.

Then he moved to Philadelphia where he attended and graduated from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy.  He started to work as a pharmacist, married Jennie Tracy, moved to Camden, New Jersey, and had three children, Charles, Frances, and Edwin, with his wife Jennie.  His life seemed to be remarkably successful and happy for someone who had suffered so much trauma as a young child.

But perhaps there was just an outward appearance of happiness and success.  By 1910, Samuel was no longer living with his wife and children.  Even after Jennie died at a young age in 1917 when her children were not yet grown, Samuel did not come back to live with his children.  Instead, they lived with their aunt, Jennie’s widowed sister, Clara Campbell.

Jennie Hamberg and children 1910 census Year: 1910; Census Place: Camden Ward 12, Camden, New Jersey; Roll: T624_874; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 0080; FHL microfilm: 1374887

Jennie Hamberg and children 1910 census
Year: 1910; Census Place: Camden Ward 12, Camden, New Jersey; Roll: T624_874; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 0080; FHL microfilm: 1374887

Samuel lived in Pittsburgh for some time, working as an investigator for the state, and then by 1930 was back in Philadelphia living with a woman from western Pennsylvania named Cecelia Link.  Cecelia died in 1934.  And I have absolutely no idea what happened to Samuel after 1930.

I can’t find him on the 1940 census anywhere; I can’t find him in any city directory.  I can’t find him in any newspaper articles.  And I can’t find him on any death record. I called the cemetery where Jennie was buried.  He’s not there.  I contacted the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, but received no response.  I have run out of ideas.  A solid brick wall.  I am still searching and hoping to find out more about the rest of his life, but I worry that Samuel’s life ended poorly.

English: A brick wall (stretcher bond) Françai...

English: A brick wall (stretcher bond) Français : Un mur de briques (Appareil en paneresses). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As for his children, in 1920 they were still living at 126 Dudley Street in Camden, but with only their aunt Clara Campbell (Jennie’s sister, a widow) as the adult in the household.  Charles, now nineteen, was working as a bonds salesman.  Frances, now sixteen, was working as a clerk in an insurance company, and Edwin, thirteen, was not employed.

Samuel Hamberg's children 1920 census Year: 1920; Census Place: Camden Ward 12, Camden, New Jersey; Roll: T625_1024; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 84; Image: 182

Samuel Hamberg’s children 1920 census
Year: 1920; Census Place: Camden Ward 12, Camden, New Jersey; Roll: T625_1024; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 84; Image: 182

 

In 1924, Charles and his sister Frances were still living together, but at a new address—2931 Mickle Street in Camden.  They also appear to have changed the spelling of their surname from Hamberg to Hamburg. Were they disassociating from their father? Why would they change the E to a U?

Charles was working as a salesman, Frances as a clerk.  Edwin, who would have been only seventeen, was not listed in the directory.  In 1926, Charles and Frances were living at yet another address—2918 Carman Street—and still working at the same occupations. Their surname is once again spelled Hamburg.  Edwin is still not listed.

And then Charles and Frances disappear.  They are not listed in the 1927 or 1928 Camden directories nor is Edwin.  But in 1929 Edwin does appear in the directory—as Edwin F. Hampton, a salesman residing at 67 South 29th Street in Camden. The 1929 directory has him with the same name, residing at the same address and indicating that he was a salesman in Philadelphia.

Edwin had apparently changed his surname also–from Hamberg to Hampton.  I knew this was the correct Edwin because on the 1930 census Edwin Hampton was living in Camden, NJ, with his aunt Clara Campbell, the same aunt who had taken care of Edwin and his siblings after their mother died in 1917. Edwin was married, and his wife’s name was Edna.  Edwin was working as a weather-stripping contractor, Edna as a bookkeeper in a dairy. Both were 24 and were married at 23, so about a year before the 1930 census.

Edwin Hampton 1930 census Year: 1930; Census Place: Camden, Camden, New Jersey; Roll: 1322; Page: 16B; Enumeration District: 0057; Image: 137.0; FHL microfilm: 2341057

Edwin Hampton 1930 census
Year: 1930; Census Place: Camden, Camden, New Jersey; Roll: 1322; Page: 16B; Enumeration District: 0057; Image: 137.0; FHL microfilm: 2341057

 

I don’t know how long the marriage between Edwin and Edna lasted, but in 1939 Edwin married Ruth V. Peterson, and he is listed on the 1940 census with this second wife, Ruth. Edwin was now working as a driver for an oil company, and they had a two year old daughter.  I again knew this was the correct Edwin because also living with them was Edwin’s aunt, Clara Campbell.  Ruth and Edwin were still living in Camden in 1943, according to the city directory for that year.

Edwin Hampton 1940 census Year: 1940; Census Place: Pennsauken, Camden, New Jersey; Roll: T627_2323; Page: 11A; Enumeration District: 4-116

Edwin Hampton 1940 census
Year: 1940; Census Place: Pennsauken, Camden, New Jersey; Roll: T627_2323; Page: 11A; Enumeration District: 4-116

After that there were no other records I could find for Edwin.  I did, however, find his wife Ruth’s obituary from June 25, 1995, which revealed both where she was to be buried, Bethel Memorial Park in Pennsauken, New Jersey, and that she was a widow when she died.  Thus, I knew that Edwin had died prior to June 1995.  I called the Bethel Memorial Park cemetery and asked if they had any information about Edwin.  I learned that he was buried there on November 23, 1970.  Even with that information, I could not find an exact date of death.  Edwin isn’t even listed in the Social Security Death Index.

What about his siblings, Charles and Frances?

Knowing that Edwin had changed his surname to Hampton, I searched for Charles under that surname as well. There was a Charles T. Hampton in the 1930 census, listed as in the insurance business and residing at 2617 North 33rd Street in Philadelphia. He was married to a woman named Lula (and her mother Lula Wright was living with them), and the census indicated that they had been married about three years. I found a marriage record for Charles T. Hampton and Lula Wright in Philadelphia in 1927.  In 1930 at the time of the census, they had an eighteen month old son.

Charles Hampton 1930 census Year: 1930; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 2113; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 0696; Image: 546.0; FHL microfilm: 2341847

Charles Hampton 1930 census
Year: 1930; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 2113; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 0696; Image: 546.0; FHL microfilm: 2341847

At first I was not at all convinced that this was the right Charles.  He was 32, a few years older than my Charles T. Hamberg would have been in 1930.  The census said he was born in Pennsylvania, where Charles was in fact born, but the census also said that Charles Hampton’s father was born in Pennsylvania instead of South Carolina where Samuel Hamberg had been born.  That error and the age discrepancy gave me reason to doubt that this was Charles Hamberg.

That doubt increased substantially when I found another Charles T. Hampton on the 1900 census living in Aston, Pennsylvania, a seven month old baby who would have been close to the right age to match the Charles T. Hampton I’d found on the 1930 census.  That Charles was the son of Charles and Elsie Hampton.

Some of the doubt was erased, however, when I found those Hamptons on the 1910 and 1920 census and learned that the Charles Hampton born in October 1899 was in fact Charles August Hampton and that in 1930 Charles August Hampton was living in Chattanooga, Tennessee, married to a woman named Mary.

Although that eliminated that Charles Hampton, I still hadn’t confirmed that the Charles T. Hampton married to Lula Wright was in fact born Charles Hamberg, son of Samuel Hamberg and Jenny Tracey.  So I continued to look for more clues about Charles T. Hampton.

I found him with his family on the 1940 census.  He was still married to Lula, and they now had two children, an eleven year old son and a five year old daughter.  Lula’s mother was still living with them.  Charles was a life insurance salesman.  And this time his age was reported as 39, meaning he was born in 1900 or 1901, which is consistent with the birth year for Charles Hamberg.  I was now more convinced that this could be the right person.

Charles Hampton 1940 census Year: 1940; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T627_3714; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 51-873

Charles Hampton 1940 census
Year: 1940; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T627_3714; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 51-873

Could be, but was it?   Lula Wright Hampton died on October 4, 1955, from ovarian cancer.  Her husband Charles signed the death certificate as the informant, so I knew that Charles T. Hampton was still living as of October 4, 1955.  Lula was buried at Mt. Peace cemetery in Philadelphia.

Lula Wright Hampton death certificate Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1963 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014. Original data: Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1963. Series 11.90 (1,905 cartons). Records of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Record Group 11. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Lula Wright Hampton death certificate
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1963 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014.
Original data: Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1963. Series 11.90 (1,905 cartons). Records of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Record Group 11. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

And then I found an important clue: a June 10, 1968 bill submitted by the Oliver H. Bair funeral home for services rendered in connection with the funeral of Charles T. Hampton and his burial at Mt. Peace cemetery.  The same cemetery where Lula Hampton had been buried in 1955.  And the most revealing bit of information on that bill was that it had been submitted to Mr. Edwin F. Hampton.  That is, the brother of Charles T. Hampton.  For me, that was the one piece I needed to tie Charles T. Hampton, husband of Lula, to Charles T. Hamberg, son of Samuel: his funeral had been paid for by his brother, Edwin F. Hampton, born Edwin F. Hamberg.

Bill for funeral of Charles T. Hampton, June 1968 Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Oliver H. Bair Funeral Records Indexes, 1920-1980 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012. Original data: Oliver H. Bair Funeral Records. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

Bill for funeral of Charles T. Hampton, June 1968
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Oliver H. Bair Funeral Records Indexes, 1920-1980 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.
Original data: Oliver H. Bair Funeral Records. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

That left one more sibling to find: Frances D. Hamberg, born in 1903 or so, whom I’d last found in the 1926 Camden directory, living with her brother Charles and working as a clerk.  As is so often the case with women, she seemed to disappear.  I assumed she’d married, but I couldn’t find a marriage record.

Once again, one small clue broke down the wall.  Someone with a private tree on Ancestry had someone on their tree named Dorothy Whitman, wife of Frank E. Whitman, indicating that Dorothy Whitman was born Frances Dorothy Hamburg. [1]  I figured it was a clue worth pursuing.

And it indeed was.  I found a marriage record dated October 4, 1924 for Frank Eugene Whitman and Frances Dorothy Hamburg from the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Philadelphia.  And I knew this was the right Frances D. Hambe/urg because one of the witnesses at the wedding was her brother, Charles T. Hamburg (before he changed his surname to Hampton).  See the last entry on the document below:

Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Collection Name: Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records; Reel: 1018 Description Organization Name : Holy Trinity Episcopal Church

Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Collection Name: Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records; Reel: 1018
Description
Organization Name : Holy Trinity Episcopal Church

 

Frank E. Whitman had been previously married to Mildred Mendenhall, with whom he’d had a son in 1919 named Frank E. Whitman, Jr.  Mildred had died on January 31, 1920, from influenza during the epidemic that killed so many people.  Her infant son, like Samuel T. Hamberg and then like Samuel’s own three children, was left motherless.

There are some strange occurrences in the directory entries for Frank and for Frances in the years right after they married.  In 1925, Frank is listed in the Philadelphia directory as a salesman, living at 3450A Angora Street.  But in 1926, Frances is listed as Frances Hamburg in the Camden directory, living at the same address as her brother Charles, 2918 Carman Street. If she had married Frank in 1924, why was she still using Hamburg, and why was she living in Camden with her brother?

Finally, in 1927 Frank and Frances are listed together at 67 South 29th Street in Camden, the same address where Frances’ brother Edwin Hampton was living. Frank and Frances are listed again at the address two years later in the 1929 Camden directory.

But I cannot find Frank and Frances anywhere on the 1930 census—not in Camden, not in Philadelphia, not in any other place.  On the other hand, I did find Frank’s son from his first marriage living with his grandparents, Frank Sr.’s parents, in Philadelphia.  He was also living with them in 1940, so it appears that he was raised by his paternal grandparents, not his father and stepmother, just as his stepmother Frances had been raised by her aunt, not her father after her mother died.

So where were Frank and Frances in 1930? I don’t know.  They don’t reappear on any records until the 1940 census when they are listed as living at 215 Walnut Lane in Philadelphia, Apt. A202.  Frances is now using her middle name Dorothy as her first name.  Frank was working as a plant manager for a petroleum company.  They had been living at the same place in 1935, and they were still living there two years later when Frank registered for the World War II draft.

Frank and Dorothy Whitman 1940 census Year: 1940; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T627_3704; Page: 14A; Enumeration District: 51-553

Frank and Dorothy Whitman 1940 census
Year: 1940; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T627_3704; Page: 14A; Enumeration District: 51-553

 

Frank and Frances Dorothy (Hambe/urg) Whitman both died in Florida, Frank in 1981, Frances Dorothy in 1998. She was 95 years old.  As far as I can tell, they did not have children together, but without the 1930 census, I cannot be certain.  Her obituary had no personal information at all.

Thus ends the saga of Charles Hamberg, born Baruch Hamberg in Breuna, Germany.  As a young man, he immigrated in 1852 with his cousin Abraham, who died less than two years later.  Charles married Mary Hanchey in 1853, and she was murdered in Columbia, South Carolina, in 1866.  Charles remarried, and with his second wife Lena, he had one child, Samuel.  Then, as stated above, after Lena died and Charles took his own life, Samuel moved to western Pennsylvania where he grew up with his Schoenthal cousins.  As described above and in my prior post, Samuel’s own life was a rollercoaster—a tragic childhood, a promising young adulthood, and then a life that seemed to fray around the edges.

As Samuel must have borne the scars of his tragic childhood, so did his children.  They also lost their mother at a young age.  They also seemed to lose their father early in their lives, although not to death.  They all changed their surnames, perhaps to distance themselves from that father.  Charles Baruch Hamberg’s legacy appears to be a sad one, though without a few more answers, it is hard to know for sure.

 

 

[1] Although the tree was private, Ancestry will list names from a private tree; you just can’t see the details of the tree without permission of the owner.  .

From Orphan to Pharmacist and Then?

In two recent posts I shared the sad story of Charles Hamberg and his life in Columbia, South Carolina, which ended with his suicide in 1879.  His son Samuel was only eleven when his father died.  Samuel’s mother Lena had died two years earlier.  Charles’ cousin Amalia Hamberg administered his estate, and then somehow Charles’ son Samuel came to live in western Pennsylvania where he was adopted by his second cousin, my great-grandfather’s brother, Henry Schoenthal.

Henry Schoenthal and family 1880 census Year: 1880; Census Place: Washington, Washington, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1202; Family History Film: 1255202; Page: 596A; Enumeration District: 271

Henry Schoenthal and family 1880 census
Year: 1880; Census Place: Washington, Washington, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1202; Family History Film: 1255202; Page: 596A; Enumeration District: 271

 

In 1886 when Samuel was then eighteen years old, he was working as a clerk at 5 East Beau Street in Washington and living at the corner of Beau and Lincoln in that town, according to the 1886 directory for Washington, Pennsylvania.  According to that same source, my great-grandfather Isidore Schoenthal, who had arrived in Washington in 1881, was living at 203 East Beau Street that same year; looking at Google Maps, I see that 203 East Beau Street is located at the corner of Lincoln and Beau.

[Thanks to Lara of Lara’s Jewnealogy, I now know how to use Google Maps more effectively.  See her great post here.]

Thus, Samuel Hamberg was probably living with my great-grandfather.  I imagine that they lived and maybe even worked together, my great-grandfather watching over his younger second cousin.  Perhaps Samuel helped my great-grandfather learn English and adjust to American ways.

By 1889, Samuel, now 21 years old, had moved to Philadelphia.  He is listed in the directory for that year as Samuel T. Hamberg, a manager, residing at “134 E. Orthodox, FKD.”  FKD stands for Frankford, a neighborhood in northeast Philadelphia about six miles from the center of the city.  I wondered what had taken him there.

It took me a very long time to find out, but when I finally decided, after exhausting traditional genealogy sources, to Google “Samuel T. Hamberg” as a last ditch effort to learn more, I found these two entries in Google Books:

P.W. Bedford, Pharmaceutical Record and Weekly Market Review, Volume 10, April 21, 1890, p. 163, found here (list of graduates of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy).

26th Annual Report of the Alumni Association of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy (1890), found here.

Class of 1890, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy Alumni Association Report, p. 194

Class of 1890, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy
Alumni Association Report, p. 194

Samuel T. Hamberg, the boy who had lost both his parents before his twelfth birthday, had graduated from the four-year program at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy in 1890 when he was 22 years old. The Philadelphia College of Pharmacy was the first pharmacy school in the United States and still exists today.

Not only had Samuel graduated from this prestigious institution, but a further search into both of the above sources revealed that his middle name was Tilden,[1] that he had written his thesis on nitroglycerin, that he had played the guitar to open the commencement exercises as part of a musical ensemble (perhaps his musical adoptive brother Lionel Schoenthal with whom he’d lived in Washington had given him music lessons), and that he had been selected to be the Class Poet.  The poem he read at the school’s commencement exercises in 1890 is filled with references to professors and specific memories of the school years, but this particular verse seemed a more personal statement:

Sorrows and losses may be borne,

Be baffled and dismayed,

Feel the sharp pang of many a thorn

By our own follies made.

But hope and effort may improve

And help us to thankful be,

It surely did in this case

It helped us—in a degree.

(Samuel Tilden Hamberg, 1890, as published in the Alumni Report, cited above, p.124.)

Samuel Tilden Hamberg certainly had suffered sorrows and losses, though not by his “own follies made.”  But it seems with the love of his family in Washington, Pennsylvania, he had in fact borne those sorrows and losses and succeeded in coming through them as a grateful and successful young man.

Philadelphia College of Pharmacy See page for author [CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Philadelphia College of Pharmacy
See page for author [CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Samuel stayed on in Philadelphia after graduating. In the 1892 directory for Philadelphia, Samuel T. Hamberg is listed as a clerk, living now at 6933 Hagerman Avenue.  Two years later in 1894 he lists his occupation as druggist, living at 824 Somerset.  In 1895 and 1896 there are numerous advertisements listing Samuel T. Hamberg as a pharmacist in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Samuel T. Hamberg married Jane E. Tracey on November 20, 1898, at the Zion Episcopal Church in Philadelphia.  At the time they married, Samuel had been residing in Camden, New Jersey, according to the marriage record.  His wife had been living in Philadelphia where she was born in December, 1869.  Jane, or Jennie as she was generally identified on most records, was the daughter of Edwin Tracey (often spelled Tracy) and Jane Irwin.  Edwin was a Philadelphia native and a shoemaker according to the 1880 census; his wife Jane was born in Ireland.  Jennie was the seventh of nine children.

Marriage record of Samuel Hamberg and Jane Tracey November 20, 1898, Zion Protestant Episcopal Church, Philadelphia Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Collection Name: Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records; Reel: 978

Marriage record of Samuel Hamberg and Jane Tracey November 20, 1898, Zion Protestant Episcopal Church, Philadelphia
Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Collection Name: Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records; Reel: 978

 

In 1900, Samuel and Jennie were living in Philadelphia in the household of Jennie’s brother Albert Tracy along with Jennie’s mother Jane and her three sisters.  Samuel was working as a hospital supplies salesman.  I know this is the correct Samuel Hamberg because his birth place is given as South Carolina, his father’s as Germany, his mother’s as South Carolina.  (I found it interesting that Samuel reported the birth places of his birth parents, Charles and Lena, not those of his adoptive parents.)

Samuel Hamberg 1900 census Year: 1900; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 29, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1472; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 0748; FHL microfilm: 1241472

Samuel Hamberg 1900 census
Year: 1900; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 29, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1472; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 0748; FHL microfilm: 1241472

 

On September 4, 1900, Samuel and Jennie had their first child, a son named Charles, presumably named for Samuel’s father Charles.

The family must have soon thereafter moved to Camden, New Jersey, for Samuel is listed as a salesman in the 1901 Camden directory.  Samuel and Jennie are also listed in the 1902 and 1903 Camden directories at 3010 Westfield Street; Samuel is still listed as a salesman.  A second child was born that year, Frances D. Hamberg, born in January, 1903, in New Jersey.  Samuel and Jennie were still living at the same address in 1904 and in 1905.

Then things start getting a little confusing.  In 1906 Samuel T. Hamberg is listed in the Philadelphia directory as a salesman residing at 27 North 60th Street in that city.  There is no listing for him in the Camden directory for that year.  But the following year Samuel is listed as a salesman in the Camden directory, residing at 126 Dudley Street.  Then in 1908, the listing is only in Jennie’s name—Jennie Hamberg at 126 Dudley Street.

Meanwhile in October 1907, a third child had been born to Samuel and Jennie—Edwin F. Hamberg.  Had Samuel and Jennie separated in 1906, reconciled and had a third child in 1907, and then separated again in 1908? Jennie is again listed alone at 126 Dudley in Camden in 1909, this time with an occupation, dressmaker.

But where was Samuel in 1908 and 1909? He is not listed in the Camden directory.  There are two Samuel Hambergs listed in Philadelphia in 1909, but they are father and son and listed as pawnbrokers, so neither of them seems to be the right Samuel.  There are no Samuel Hambergs listed in the directories for those years for Pittsburgh or Washington, Pennsylvania, or Baltimore.

In 1910, Samuel reappears on the 1910 census in Baltimore, Maryland, living as a boarder and working as a pharmacist in a drugstore.  I know this is my Samuel because he is Samuel T. Hamberg, born in South Carolina, father born in Germany, mother in South Carolina.  But why is he in Baltimore?  He is still listing himself as married, so maybe he went to Baltimore to find work.   Since he had been working as a salesman while living in Camden, maybe he wanted to return to being a regular pharmacist.

Samuel Hamberg 1910 census Year: 1910; Census Place: Baltimore Ward 4, Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland; Roll: T624_553; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 0036; FHL microfilm: 1374566

Samuel Hamberg 1910 census Line 85
Year: 1910; Census Place: Baltimore Ward 4, Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland; Roll: T624_553; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 0036; FHL microfilm: 1374566

Jennie and the three children were still living at 126 Dudley in Camden in 1910.  According to the census, they were living with Jennie’s sister Clara Campbell and her mother Jane Tracy.  Like Samuel, Jennie still reported herself as married.  Although Jennie reported no occupation on the 1910 census, the 1910 and 1911 Camden directories list her as a dressmaker.

Jennie Hamberg and children 1910 census Year: 1910; Census Place: Camden Ward 12, Camden, New Jersey; Roll: T624_874; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 0080; FHL microfilm: 1374887

Jennie Hamberg and children 1910 census
Year: 1910; Census Place: Camden Ward 12, Camden, New Jersey; Roll: T624_874; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 0080; FHL microfilm: 1374887

 

Samuel is listed in the 1911 Baltimore directory, but then he again disappears.  I couldn’t find him in any newspaper article or any directory after 1911 during the decade of the 1910s.

Jennie, however, continued to be listed in the Camden directories from 1910 through 1916.  In 1915, she and her children are listed on the New Jersey census, once again living with her sister Clara and her mother Jane; Samuel is not part of their household.

Jennie Tracey Hamberg died from heart disease on March 4, 1917.  She was only 47 years old, and she left behind three children.  Charles was not yet sixteen, Frances not yet fourteen, and Edwin not yet ten years old.  Like their father Samuel, they lost their mother at a young age.

Jennie Tracey Hamberg death certificate

Jennie Hamberg burial record Fernwood Cemetery, Yeardon, PA Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Collection Name: Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records

Jennie Hamberg burial record
Fernwood Cemetery, Yeardon, PA
Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Collection Name: Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records

So where was their father? I could not find him on the 1920 census or anywhere during the 1920s until I searched for “Samuel T. Hamberg” in Google.  And along with the links noted above relating to his education as a pharmacist, I found several links indicating that in 1920 Samuel was in Pittsburgh working for the state of Pennsylvania as a temporary investigator doing fair price work.  Even knowing this additional information, I could not locate Samuel on the 1920 census or in any directory in the 1920s.

Samuel Hamberg investigator 1920

Herman P. Miller, Snull’s Legislative Handbook and Manual of the State of Pennsylvania, 1920, p. 144, found here.

But Samuel T. Hamberg does reappear on the 1930 census.  He is listed as Sam T. Hamberg, 62 years old (the correct age), married at age 30 (the correct age), widowed (Jennie was dead), born in South Carolina, father born in Germany, mother in South Carolina (all correct).  Clearly this is the right person.  He was now living in Philadelphia, working as a novelty salesman, and living with his “sister” Cecelia Link. What had happened to his pharmacy career? His work as a state investigator? And who was Cecelia Link?

Samuel Hamberg 1930 census Year: 1930; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 2125; Page: 14A; Enumeration District: 0777; Image: 969.0; FHL microfilm: 2341859

Samuel Hamberg 1930 census
Year: 1930; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 2125; Page: 14A; Enumeration District: 0777; Image: 969.0; FHL microfilm: 2341859

Samuel did not have any sisters except for his adoptive sister Hilda Schoenthal, the daughter of Henry Schoenthal.  Cecelia was twenty years younger than Samuel, according to the 1930 census, born in Pennsylvania, single, and working as a telephone operator.  Cecelia answered the enumerator’s questions as indicated by the H on the line where her name is. Who was she, and why was she living with Samuel?

I found a Celia Link living with her mother and two sisters (and a brother-in-law) in Pittsburgh on the 1920 census.  Celia was forty years old, single, and working as a telephone operator.  It seemed like an unlikely coincidence that there were two women with just about the same name, both born in Pennsylvania, and both working as telephone operators.  (Remember that Samuel was living in Pittsburgh in 1920.)

So I looked for more about this Celia Link.  The 1916 Pittsburgh directory had her listed as Cecelia Link working as a telephone operator, so now we had the exact same name.  The 1910 census has her again as Celia, living with her parents, working as a telephone operator, and 33 years old.  Going back yet another ten years, the 1900 census lists her as Cecilia, age 22, with a birth date of March 1878, and no occupation.

Then I found her death certificate.  Cecelia Link died of chronic myocarditis on May 6, 1934, at “abt age 48,” according to her sister, the informant.  Assuming that Cecelia was 22 in 1900, she would have been 56 in 1934.  Even in 1920, she reported to be 40, making her 54 in 1934.  She was therefore only about ten years younger than Samuel, not twenty.  Note also that she was born in Washington, Pennsylvania.

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

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

I assume that Samuel met Cecelia when he was working in Pittsburgh as an investigator. And that they were more than “brother and sister.”  I think Cecelia lied both about her age and her relationship to Charles.

But Cecelia died in 1934 back in Pittsburgh.  What happened to Samuel before and after her death? And where were his children?

More questions to answer.

 

 

 

 

[1] There is no earlier indication that Samuel’s middle name was Tilden.  Did he adopt this middle name himself? In 1868 when Samuel Hamberg was born in Columbia, South Carolina, Samuel Tilden was probably not a nationally known figure.  He was from New York State and a supporter of the Union during the Civil War.  After the war he was active in reforming the Democratic party.  Would Charles Hamberg have known of him and named his son for him? Unlikely.

But Samuel Tilden was the Democratic party’s nominee in the 1876 Presidential election; the results of the election were disputed when several states turned into multiple sets of return.  The Presidency was determined by a partisan commission established by Congress, and Tilden lost to Rutherford B. Hayes, even though he had won the popular vote.  I think it is more likely that Samuel Hamberg adopted Tilden’s name as his middle name sometime as a young adult after Tilden was more of a household name.  Tilden died in 1886, and the first use I’ve seen of the middle initial T by Samuel Hamberg was while he was in pharmacy school in the late 1880s.  For more on Samuel Tilden, see here and here and here.

Final Chapter: The Dreyfuss Family in America

My three-times great-grandmother Jeanette Dreyfuss Nusbaum and her two sisters, Mathilde Dreyfuss Nusbaum Pollock and Caroline Dreyfuss Wiler, came to America and along with their husbands they settled in Pennsylvania where their husbands started as peddlers and then became merchants.  Two of the sisters married Nusbaum brothers: my three-times great grandfather John Nusbaum and his brother Maxwell Nusbaum.  They all had several children.  They all suffered financial hardship, untimely deaths of family members, and in some cases, terrible tragedies.  Today there are no living descendants of Mathilde Dreyfuss.   Jeanette Dreyfuss and John Nusbaum have a number of living descendants, myself included, of course.

As for the family of Caroline Dreyfuss and Moses Wiler, I have written about the lives of their daughter Fanny Wiler and her children and of their son Simon Wiler.  Of their daughter Eliza’s five children, Flora and Nellie were the only ones still alive in 1920, and the only grandchild alive was Flora’s son Lester Strouse.  In 1920, Lester was 32 and working in advertising, living at home with his mother Flora.  In 1928, Lester married Mabel Schoultz; he was forty, and she was 37.  Mabel was born in Pennsylvania, and her parents were born in Sweden.  In 1930, she and Lester were living in the Plaza Hall apartments in Philadelphia.  Lester was still in the advertising business, a field in which he remained for his career.

Lester’s mother Flora was living as a boarder in 1930 at 1712 Mt. Vernon Street in Philadelphia; she listed her marital status as widowed.  In 1940 she was living as a boarder at 2008 Spring Garden Street; her son Lester and his wife Mabel were living in Cheltenham, a suburban community thirteen miles north of Philadelphia.

 

In August, 1941, Nellie Simon Loux, died at 66 of breast cancer, and her nephew Lester paid the bill for her funeral.  A year later Flora Simon Strouse Heulings, Lester’s mother and Nellie’s sister, died in November 1942 from chronic myocarditis. She was 76 years old.  Flora had been residing at the Majestic Hotel before becoming a patient at the Bella Vista Sanitarium in Springfield, Pennsylvania, where she died.  Nellie and Flora were buried at Mt. Sinai cemetery with their parents and siblings.

Flora’s death certificate is yet another example of how unreliable these documents can be.  It says her father’s name was Simon Weiler, when in fact her father was Leman Simon.  Wiler was her mother Eliza’s maiden name.  Apparently whoever filled this out conflated the two surnames.  The certificate also represents that Flora was widowed, which she was when her first husband Nathan Strouse died.  But the husband listed here, Albert C. Heulings, was alive and well and living in Chicago with his second wife.  As the 1920 census had indicated, Flora was divorced, not a widow. Although the 1930 census said she was a widow and the 1940 listed her as single, the 1920 is likely the most accurate.  It’s not surprising that someone grieving would make these mistakes.

Thus, by the end of 1942, all of the children of Eliza and Leman Simon had now passed away.  Their only surviving descendant was their grandson Lester.  That last descendant died on October 14, 1960, from coronary thrombosis; he was 71 years old.  Lester, an advertising salesman all his career, was survived by his wife Mabel.  There were no children, and thus that was the end of the family line for Eliza Wiler and Leman Simon.

That left only the children of Clara Wiler and Daniel Meyers to carry on the line of Caroline Dreyfuss and Moses Wiler.  As of 1920, Daniel and Clara as well as their children Bertha, Samuel, and Harry were gone.  I also discussed Leon Meyers’ death in my last post.  By 1920, all the other children except for Milton, the youngest, were married and had settled on careers, and many had had children.  In the rest of this post I will review how each of those children fared.

In 1920 Isadore Meyers was a clothing manufacturer, married to Elsie Goodman, with two sons, Robert and David.  I had not had much luck finding Isadore in any city directories until I found a listing that included his company’s name, which was Meyers & Obermayer.  I was able to find the company listed as early as 1911, selling “pantaloons.”  Here is a small classified ad from 1915 that I found in which they were looking to purchase a second hand pressing machine for their trousers business.

Philadelphia Inquirer  January 31, 1915 p. 11

Philadelphia Inquirer January 31, 1915 p. 11

The last listing I could find for Meyers & Obermayer in Philadelphia was in 1925.  There are also listings for a clothing manufacturer called Obermyer & Myers in Norristown during the 1910s and 1920s, but I don’t know whether that is just a coincidence or the same business.

In 1930 Isadore, Elsie and their sons were living at 1228 65th Avenue, and Isadore was still a clothing manufacturer.  I was unable to find any records for the family between 1930 and 1940, but the 1940 census finds Isadore, Elsie and David still living at 1228 65th Avenue.   Their older son Robert must have been living elsewhere.

By 1950, Isadore’s business was known as Meyers and Sons, as listed in the 1950 Philadelphia phonebook.  Isadore died on November 1, 1960, from heart disease.  He was 81 years old.  His wife Elsie died fourteen years later on December 23, 1974.  She was 92 years old.  They are buried at Mt. Sinai cemetery.

Isadore Meyers death cert

Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1963 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014. Original data: Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1963. Series 11.90 (1,905 cartons). Records of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Record Group 11. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Max, the next son, was a mechanical engineer working at Newton Machine Tool Works and married to Henrietta Klopfer.  They had a son Donald, born in 1918, and a daughter Dorothy born in 1923.  Almost every year, Max, Henrietta, and their children took a cruise together.  On December 1, 1939, just a few months after their last cruise, Max died from prostate cancer.  He was only 58 years old.  His widow Henrietta lived until April 1977; they are both buried at Mt. Sinai.

Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1963 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014. Original data: Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1963. Series 11.90 (1,905 cartons). Records of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Record Group 11. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1963 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014.
Original data: Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1963. Series 11.90 (1,905 cartons). Records of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Record Group 11. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

In 1920, Benjamin and Leona (Faulcher) Meyers were living in Collingswood, New Jersey, with Leona’s parents, and Benjamin was working as an optometrist.  Benjamin and Leona had two children in the 1920s, Margaret born in 1924, and Clara, named for his mother, born in 1926.  In 1930, the family was back in Philadelphia at 6418 North 16th Street, and Benjamin was now working as a manager in a cotton yarns business, presumably that of his younger brother Clarence, discussed in my last post and below.  The family was still living at that address in 1940 (Margaret was now listed as Rosebud), and Benjamin’s occupation was now reported to be a superintendent in a factory, again his brother Clarence’s yarn business.  He and Leona were now in their fifties and their daughters were teenagers.  His 1942 World War II draft registration confirmed that Benjamin was working with his brother Clarence.

The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; World War II draft cards (Fourth Registration) for the State of Pennsylvania; State Headquarters: Pennsylvania; Microfilm Series: M1951; Microfilm Roll: 212

The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; World War II draft cards (Fourth Registration) for the State of Pennsylvania; State Headquarters: Pennsylvania; Microfilm Series: M1951; Microfilm Roll: 212

 

Benjamin and Leona moved to Camden, New Jersey, the following year.  He died on October 21, 1956, from heart disease.  He was 73 years old.  He and Leona were then living in Audobon, New Jersey, and his occupation was reported to be a superintendent for Clarence L. Meyers & Company.  Leona died less than three years later on April 3, 1959, also of heart disease.  She was 73.

Clarence, the cotton yarns manufacturer, had been in that business since 1910, originally operating as the Elm Converting Company.  In 1920, he and his wife Estelle were living at 2251 North Park Avenue with their one year old daughter, Nancy.  Clarence and Estelle apparently loved to travel.  From as early as 1924 and all through the 1930s and 1940s, the family traveled to many places, according to the numerous ship manifests I located.  His business was seemingly quite successful as at least two of his brothers, Benjamin and Milton, as well as at least one of his nephews were also at one time or another working in the business.

In 1940 Clarence, Estelle, and Nancy were living at 707 Medary Avenue, along with Estelle’s mother, a butler, and a servant.  They were still living there in 1942 when Clarence registered for the draft and also in 1950, according to the 1950 Philadelphia phonebook.

Sadly, on February 5, 1951, Clarence lost his wife Estelle to cancer.  She was sixty years old.  Clarence continued to travel after Estelle died, including a cruise around the world in 1953 and trips to Argentina and to Italy in 1954 and 1955. Clarence died in April, 1961, in Dade County, Florida.  He was 75 years old.  He and Estelle are buried in Mt. Sinai cemetery, as is their daughter Nancy, who died just three years after her father Clarence.

The next brother was Franklin, an optometrist, who in 1920 was living with his wife Mae in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, where he had been since about 1914.  Franklin and Mae had a daughter Carolyn born in 1922.  Franklin and Mae remained in Pottstown throughout the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, and Franklin had an optometry practice there throughout all those years.

Franklin_F__Meyers_ad-page-001

Franklin died on January 23, 1956, and I was able to find this detailed obituary published in the Pottsdown Mercury, the local newspaper, on January 24, 1956, pp. 1, 5:

Part_1_of_obit ff meyers-page-001

obit part 2

Like so many of his siblings, he died from heart related issues.  He was 68.  Despite living in Pottstown for over 40 years, he was buried back in Philadelphia at Mt. Sinai.  His widow Mae died twenty years later in Pottstown, and she also was buried at Mt. Sinai.

Miriam Meyers Strauss was married to Abram Strauss, a doctor, and living with him at 1836 North 17th Street in 1920. From a decision of the Pennsylvania Workmen’s Compensation Board in 1921, I was able to learn that Abram was a dermatologist.    He and Miriam had two sons, Daniel and Richard.  By 1930, they had moved to the suburb of Cheltenham, where they were also living in 1940.

After that I have no records for them until Miriam’s death on July 26, 1975.  I do not have her death certificate because the death is too recent, and I cannot locate an obituary, but I know that she is buried at Mt. Sinai cemetery with her with her parents and her siblings, but not with Abram.  I cannot find any record for Abram after his 1942 draft registration.

Miriam’s younger sister Charlotte was married to J. Albert Field, and in 1920, they were living at 1905 Diamond Street with her brothers Leon and Milton.  In 1930, they were still living at 1905 Diamond Street, but without any other family members or boarders.  Albert was still a department store manager.  Charlotte and Albert took a cruise together to Bermuda in 1931.  In 1940 they had moved to the Oak Lane Tower apartments.  Albert was continuing to work as a department store manager.

Charlotte died on October 8, 1940, just a few months after the 1940 census.  Although I have her burial records at Mt. Sinai, as with her sister Miriam, I cannot find a death certificate so I do not know her cause of death.  Also like Miriam, Charlotte was buried with her parents and siblings and not her husband.  However, Albert listed Charlotte’s brother Clarence as the person who would always know his address on his World War II registration in 1942.  It appears that Albert did remarry sometime after Charlotte died as his marital status at the time was married, and the name of his wife on his death certificate in 1958 was Frances.  Charlotte and Albert had not had any children.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records

Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records

Finally, we come to Milton, the baby of the family. In 1920, he was living with Charlotte, Albert, and Leon at 1905 Diamond Street, and he was working at Clarence’s yarn factory.  Milton married Beatrice Kaufmann sometime between 1920 and 1923 because their son James was born in 1924.  Beatrice was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the daughter of a merchant.  In 1926 their second son Gordon was born.  On the 1930 census, they owned a house worth $35,000 in Cheltenham/Elkins Park.  Milton listed his occupation as a manufacturer of cotton yarns, still in business with his brother Clarence.  They were living in the same house in 1940 (now given a value of only $20,000 after ten years of the Depression), and Milton’s occupation remained the same.  Milton’s World War II draft registration is also consistent with these facts.

Throughout these years and the 1950s, Milton and Beatrice traveled frequently, taking trips to Cuba, England, and Argentina, for example.  Milton died May 8, 1975. He was living in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at the time and was 79 years old.  He was buried in Mt. Sinai cemetery.  His widow Beatrice died in 1996 at age 93.  Her obituary fills in some of the details of her life:

Beatrice Kaufmann Meyers, 93, died Tuesday of cancer at her home in Jenkintown. Mrs. Meyers, who was a graduate of Beechwood Finishing School (now Beaver College), was the widow of Milton Meyers, owner of Clarence L. Meyers & Co., textile manufacturers.  She was a driver for the American Women’s Volunteer Services during World War II, and was active in the Orphan’s Guardian Program, which was similar to Big Brothers/Big Sisters.  She was a member of Philmont Country Club for more than 70 years, and of Rodeph Shalom Congregation.

(The Philadelphia Inquirer, June 20, 1996, p. B04)      Interestingly, Beatrice was not buried at Mt. Sinai with her husband but at Shalom Memorial Park in Lower Moreland, Pennsylvania.

And that brings me to the end of the story of Caroline Dreyfuss and Moses Wiler, their children, and their grandchildren.    Of course, there are other descendants, many of whom are still living.  Looking back on this line of my family, I see a family that truly suffered greatly.  Deaths from tuberculosis, a child killed by matches, financial crises, many adults who did not live to see their grandchildren.  But I also see a resilient family.  The children of Clara Wiler and Daniel Meyers in particular were able to overcome their father’s business problems and create their own businesses that were quite successful, allowing them to travel and provide homes and continuity for their children.

It’s another example of the much sought after American dream.  In seventy years the family started by two people born in Germany who came to the United States in the mid-19th century with little more than their diligence and persistence had grown to include a number of successful descendants: a clothing manufacturer, a cotton yarn manufacturer, several optometrists, and a mechanical engineer.  They overcame incredible tragedies and losses, but they nevertheless thrived in this country that had attracted their grandparents for just those opportunities for success.  So although this particular chapter has at times been very sad and upsetting, in the end it is an uplifting chapter.