Jacob Goldsmith, The final chapter: What happened to his son Frank?

As of 1930, only six of Jacob Goldsmith’s fourteen children were still living: Annie, Celia, Frank, Rebecca, Florence, and Gertrude. As seen in my prior posts, Eva died in 1928. In addition, I have written about the deaths of Gertrude in 1937 and Rebecca in 1940. There remain therefore just four siblings to discuss, and by 1945, they were all deceased.

Annie and Celia, the two oldest remaining siblings, both died in 1933. Celia, who’d been living with her sister Florence and her family in 1930, died on January 15, 1933, in Denver, and was buried in Philadelphia on January 18, 1933. She was 73 years old.  Celia never married and has no living descendants.1

Her sister Annie died four months later, on May 29, 1933, in San Francisco.2 She was 77 and was survived by her three children, Josephine, Harry, and Fanny. Sadly, Harry did not outlive his mother by much more than a year. He died at 53 on August 4, 1934, in San Francisco.3 He was survived by his wife Rose, who died in 1969, and his two sisters, Josephine and Fanny. But Josephine also was not destined for a long life. She died less than three years after her brother Harry on April 23, 1937; she was 59. Like their father Augustus who’d died when he was fifty, Josephine and Harry were not blessed with longevity.

Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 05 March 2019), memorial page for Fannie Mendelsohn Frank (unknown–1 Sep 1974), Find A Grave Memorial no. 100371723, citing Home of Peace Cemetery and Emanu-El Mausoleum, Colma, San Mateo County, California, USA ; Maintained by Diane Reich (contributor 40197331) .

Of Augustus and Annie’s children, only Fanny lived a good long life. She was 93 when she died on September 1, 1974.4 According to her death notice in the San Francisco Chronicle, she had been a dealer in Oriental art objects.5 Like Josephine, Fanny had never married and had no children, nor did their brother Harry. Thus, there are no living descendants of Annie Goldsmith Frank.

Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 05 March 2019), memorial page for Fannie Mendelsohn Frank (unknown–1 Sep 1974), Find A Grave Memorial no. 100371723, citing Home of Peace Cemetery and Emanu-El Mausoleum, Colma, San Mateo County, California, USA ; Maintained by Diane Reich (contributor 40197331) .

The third remaining child of Jacob Goldsmith was Florence Goldsmith Emanuel. In 1930, Florence was living with her husband Jerry Emanuel in Denver as well as their nephew Bernard, the son of Gertrude Goldsmith and Jacob Emanuel, and Florence’s sister Celia. Jerry was working as a clerk in a wholesale tobacco business. In 1940, they were still living in Denver, now with Jerry’s sister Grace in their home, and Jerry was working as a salesman for a wholesale liquor business.6

Emanuel family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Denver, Denver, Colorado; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0137; FHL microfilm: 2339973
Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census

Florence Goldsmith Emanuel died on August 4, 1942, at the age of 73. Her husband Jerry survived her by another seventeen years. He died on June 16, 1959, and is buried with Florence in Denver. He was 89. Florence and Jerry did not have children, so like so many of Florence’s siblings, there are no living descendants.7

That brings me to the last remaining child of Jacob Goldsmith and Fannie Silverman, their son Frank. In 1930, Frank and his wife Barbara were living in Atlantic City, and Frank was retired.8 On July 25, 1937, Barbara died in Philadelphia; she was 67. Like Frank’s parents and many of his siblings, she was buried at Mt Sinai cemetery in Philadelphia; in fact, she was buried in the same lot as Celia and Rachel Goldsmith and one lot over from her in-laws Jacob and Fannie Goldsmith.9

I mention this because for the longest time I was having no luck finding out when or where Frank Goldsmith died or was buried. In 1940, he was living as a widower in the Albemarle Hotel in Atlantic City, and the 1941 Atlantic City directory lists Frank as a resident.9 But after that he disappeared. I couldn’t find any obituaries or death records, but what really mystified me was that there was no record of his burial with his wife Barbara and his other family members at Mt Sinai cemetery.

I contacted Mt Sinai and learned that the plot that had been reserved for Frank is still unused. Barbara is buried with Frank’s sisters Celia and Rachel and one lot over from Frank’s parents. But Frank is not there. Here are two of the Mt Sinai burial records showing that Barbara and Celia are buried right near each other in lots owned by Frank.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records,  Mt· Sinai Cemetery, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1669-2013

I also hired a researcher to search the New Jersey death certificates in Trenton (since they are not available online). She came up empty. So what had happened to Frank?

Well, once again Tracing the Tribe, the Jewish genealogy Facebook group, came to the rescue. I posted a question there and received many responses, most of them suggestions for things I’d already done. But one member,  Katherine Dailey Block, found a 1920 newspaper article that mentioned Frank that I had never seen:

“To Leave for Florida,” Harrisburg Telegraph, December 30, 1920, p. 4.

That raised the possibility that Frank might have spent time in Florida more than this one time. I had made the mistake of assuming that, having lived his whole life in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, he must have died in one of those two states. Now I broadened the search to Florida. (Doing a fifty-state search was not helpful since the name Frank Goldsmith is quite common, and I had no way to figure out whether any of them was my Frank.) And this result came up:

Florida Death Index, 1877-1998,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VV91-P84 : 25 December 2014), Frank F. Goldsmith, 1945; from “Florida Death Index, 1877-1998,” index, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : 2004); citing vol. 1148, certificate number 9912, Florida Department of Health, Office of Vital Records, Jacksonville.

A Frank F. Goldsmith had died in Tampa, Florida in 1945. Could this be my Frank? Tampa is on the opposite coast from Jacksonville as well as much further south. That made me doubt whether this was the same Frank F. Goldsmith. But then I found this record from the 1945 Florida census; notice the second to last entry on the page:

Census Year: 1945, Locality: Precinct 2, County: Hillsborough, Page: 43, Line: 32
Archive Series #: S1371, Roll 20, Frank F. Goldsmith 65
Ancestry.com. Florida, State Census, 1867-1945

There was Frank F. Goldsmith, and when I saw that he was born in Pennsylvania, I was delighted, figuring that this could be my Frank. On the other hand, the census reported that this Frank was 65 years old in 1945 whereas my Frank would have been 82. But it seemed worth ordering a copy of the death certificate from the Florida vital records office to see if it contained information that would either confirm or disprove my hope that this was my cousin Frank.

Unfortunately, here is the death certificate:

As you can see, it has no information about this Frank F. Goldsmith’s wife, parents, birth place, occupation, or much of anything that would help me tie him to my Frank F. Goldsmith. In fact, the age and birth date on the certificate are inconsistent with my Frank Goldsmith, who was born in June 1863, according to the 1900 census, not June of 1878.

Despite these blanks and inconsistencies, my hunch is that this is my Frank. Why? Both Franks have a birth date in June. And on later census records, Frank’s estimated birth year based on his reported age moved later than 1863—1868 in 1910, 1876 in 1920, and 1870 in 1930 and 1940. He seemed to be getting younger as time went on. Maybe by 1945, he was giving a birth year of 1878. And by 1945 there was no one left to inform the hospital of his family’s names or his birth date or age so perhaps whoever completed the death certificate (looks like someone from the funeral home) was just guessing at his age and birth date.

In addition, there is no other Frank F. Goldsmith who fits the parameters of the Frank on the death certificate. Finally, this Frank was to be buried in the “Jew cemetery,” so we know that he was Jewish.

So what do you think? Is this enough to tie the Frank F. Goldsmith who died in Florida to my Frank F. Goldsmith? I know these are thin reeds upon which to make a case, but I think they may have to be enough.

In any event, like his sisters Rachel, Celia, Annie, Emma, Eva and Florence, and his brother Felix, Frank Goldsmith has no living descendants. In fact, it is quite remarkable how few living descendants Jacob Goldsmith and Fannie Silverman have, considering that they had had fourteen children. Five of those fourteen children did not have children of their own: Emma, Rachel, Celia, Frank, and Florence. Four of Jacob and Fannie’s children had no grandchildren: Annie had three children, but none of them had children. Eva had one son, Sidney, who did not have any children, and the same was true of Gertrude’s son Bernard and Felix’s two children Ethel and Clarence. From fourteen children, Jacob and Fannie had twenty grandchildren and only twelve great-grandchildren, and a number of those great-grandchildren also did not have children. From my count, there were only ten great-great-grandchildren. With each generation, instead of growing, the family became smaller.

But that is not the legacy of Jacob and Fannie Goldsmith. Rather, theirs is the remarkable story of two young German immigrants settling in western Pennsylvania and then Philadelphia, raising fourteen children who eventually spanned the continent. From all appearances, many of those fourteen children stayed close, both geographically and presumably emotionally. Many of them lived together, especially the daughters who spent years in Denver together. Like so many first-generation Americans, these fourteen children provided evidence to their parents that the risks they took leaving their home country behind and crossing the ocean were worthwhile. Yes, there was plenty of heartbreak along the way, but overall Jacob, Fannie, and their fourteen children lived comfortably and free from oppression.

 


  1. Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1669-2013 
  2. Ancestry.com. California, Death Index, 1905-1939 
  3. Ancestry.com. California, Death Index, 1905-1939 
  4.  Number: 562-66-4663; Issue State: California; Issue Date: 1962, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  5. San Francisco Chronicle, September 4, 1974, p. 35 
  6. Florence Emanuel, 1940 US census, Census Place: Denver, Denver, Colorado; Roll: m-t0627-00490; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 16-221B, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  7. JewishGen, comp. JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) 
  8. Frank Goldsmith, 1930 US census, Census Place: Atlantic City, Atlantic, New Jersey; Page: 19B; Enumeration District: 0011; FHL microfilm: 2341043, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  9. Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records,  Mt· Sinai Cemetery, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1669-2013 

Rebecca Goldsmith Levy: A Shattered Life

In so many ways, Rebecca Goldsmith seemed to be living a charmed life up through the 1920s. She had married a successful doctor, Robert Levy, had two daughters, Leona and Marion, and was able to provide a home in Denver for many years for a number of her sisters and her father Jacob. She seemed to be a generous and loving sister and daughter. She’d hosted weddings for three of her sisters—Eva, Florence, and Gertrude.

In 1914 her older daughter Leona had married a doctor—Stanley Eichberg—and in 1915, Rebecca and her husband Robert Levy were blessed with a granddaughter, Betty. And on January 16, 1920, a second grandchild was born, Robert Levy Eichberg, named in honor of his grandfather. As Rebecca neared her 50th birthday, she must have been filled with gratitude for her wonderful life.

But then everything was shattered. Her son-in-law Stanley developed a mysterious illness:

“Denver Physician Suffering from Strange Ailment,” Denver Post, February 1, 1921, p. 6

Eventually he was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and after enduring multiple unsuccessful surgeries, Stanley died on May 31, 1921, in Philadelphia, where his father-in-law Robert Levy had taken him for expert care:

“Denver Physician Is Dead in East,” Denver Rocky Mountain News, March 27, 1921, p. 3

Denver Post, March 26, 1921, pp. 1, 7

Leona was a 29-year-old widow with a five-year-old daughter and a one-year-old son. She must have been devastated.

But more tragedy was yet to come. Just five weeks later, Leona’s daughter Betty, just five years old, died due to complications from the whooping cough.

Denver Post, July 1, 1921, p.23

Betty Eichenberg, Denver Rocky Mountain News, October 29, 1916, p. 17

Leona had lost both her husband and her young daughter within weeks of each other.

That would seem like more than enough suffering for any family to bear. For perhaps a brief moment, there was a reason to celebrate. On March 18, 1924, Rebecca and Robert Levy’s younger daughter Marion married Harold Herman Aarons. Harold was, like Marion, a native of Denver, born on February 5, 1898, to Harry and Mary Aarons. 1 He was in the printing and stationery business with his father and had been living at home with his parents and siblings in 1920 before marrying Marion.2

Ancestry.com. Colorado, County Marriage Records and State Index, 1862-2006

Exactly one year later, Marion was burying her husband Harold. According to his obituary, the 27-year-old died from a “strange malady” on March 17, 1925.

Denver Post, March 18, 1925. p. 12

Rebecca Goldsmith Levy now had two widowed daughters. Her blessed life had become unraveled. In 1930, both of these two young widows, Marion and Leona, were living with their parents as was Leona’s son, Robert Levy Eichberg, just ten years old.

Levy family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Denver, Denver, Colorado; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 0108; FHL microfilm: 2339972
Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census

This all seems to have broken Rebecca’s spirit as well as her heart. According to the 1940 US census, by 1935, Rebecca was a patient at the Colorado Springs Psychopathic Hospital in Colorado Springs, and she was still residing there when the 1940 census was enumerated.

Rebecca Goldsmith Levy, 1940 US census, Census Place: El Paso, Colorado; Roll: m-t0627-00462; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 21-86B,  ELECTION PRECINCT 68, COLORADO SPRINGS PSYCHOPATHIC HOSPITAL, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census

She died not long afterwards on November 8, 1940, at the age of 74.3 I could not find any obituary or death notice or death certificate for Rebecca, only the burial record on the JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry and FindAGrave.

UPDATE: After much effort, I was able to obtain a copy of Rebecca’s death certificate.  From the information on the death certificate, I now can calculate that she entered the Colorado Springs Psychopathic Hospital on August 15, 1936, four years, two months, and 24 days before her death. She had been under the same doctor’s care since March 26, 1935, and had suffered from arteriosclerosis for 20 years and diabetes for five years. Her ultimate cause of death was a cerebral hemorrhage. Her husband Robert was the informant on her death certificate.

Rebecca Goldsmith Levy death cert

Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 05 March 2019), memorial page for Rebecca G Levy (1866–1940), Find A Grave Memorial no. 50939404, citing Fairmount Cemetery, Denver, Denver County, Colorado, USA ; Maintained by Athanatos (contributor 46907585) .

Meanwhile, her family continued to live in Denver. By 1940, Rebecca’s daughter Marion had married for a second time. Her second husband was Samuel Rose, who was born on September 3, 1902, in Richmond, Virginia, to Michael Rose and Etta London.4 Samuel’s parents, both immigrants, died when he was quite young, his mother in 1914, his father in 1918, so like Marion, Samuel had suffered serious loss in his life.5

In 1920, Samuel was living with his siblings in Richmond, but something then brought him to Denver by 1932, when he was working as bookkeeper at Temple Emanuel; by 1933 he is listed in the Denver directory with Marion as his wife.6 On the 1940 census it says that he was working as a secretary for a laboratory technician, but since he was still working at Temple Emanuel in 1945, I think the enumerator must not have heard him correctly.7

In 1940, Robert Levy, Rebecca’s widower, was living with his other daughter, Leona Levy Eichberg, and his grandson Robert in Denver, where Robert (the elder), now 76, continued to practice medicine.8 In fact, it seems that Robert continued to practice up until his death at 81 on July 1, 1945. He received a wonderful obituary in the Intermountain Jewish News on July 5, 1945, pp.1, 14.

Robert Levy Eichberg, Leona’s son and the grandson of Rebecca and Robert Levy, attended the University of Colorado, as seen in this photograph from the 1940 yearbook. According to his obituary, he also attended the US Naval Academy.9 Robert married Marion Belle Tohrner on February 9, 1944, in Miami Beach, Florida. He and Marion had three children.10

Yearbook Date: 1940, School: University of Colorado, School Location: Boulder, Colorado, USA
Yearbook Title: Coloradan, Ancestry.com. U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1990

Leona Levy Eichberg never remarried and died in Denver on October 5, 1964; she was 73 years old.11 Her sister Marion Levy Aarons Rose almost made it to her 96th birthday; she died on May 11, 1996, in Denver.  She did not have children.12

Rebecca Goldsmith and Robert Levy’s only grandchild, Robert Levy Eichberg,  died at 75 on March 24, 1995, in Riverside, California. His wife Marion died on December 13, 2013. They were survived by their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.13

Knowing that Rebecca Goldsmith and Robert Levy’s daughter Marion lived to 95 and that their daughter Leona and grandson Robert Eichberg have numerous living descendants took some of the edge off the tragedy that this family endured in the 1920s. But even so, it is still a heartbreaking and unfair chapter in the life of Rebecca Goldsmith.


  1. Harold Aarons, World War I draft registration, Registration State: Colorado; Registration County: Denver; Roll: 1561842; Draft Board: 6, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918; Aarons family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Denver, Arapahoe, Colorado; Page: 4; Enumeration District: 0002; FHL microfilm: 1240117, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  2. Harold Aarons, 1920 US census, Census Place: Denver, Denver, Colorado; Roll: T625_162; Page: 15B; Enumeration District: 233, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  3. JewishGen, comp. JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) 
  4.  Certificate Number: 1902028564, Virginia Department of Health; Richmond, Virginia, Ancestry.com. Virginia, Birth Records, 1912-2014, Delayed Birth Records, 1854-1911 
  5. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/51540123, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/51540109/michael-rose 
  6. Sam Rose, 1920 US census, Census Place: Richmond Madison Ward, Richmond (Independent City), Virginia; Roll: T625_1911; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 148, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census. Denver, Colorado, City Directory, 1932, 1933, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  7. Samuel Rose, 1940 US census, Census Place: Denver, Denver, Colorado; Roll: m-t0627-00488; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 16-146, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census; Denver, Colorado, City Directory, 1945, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  8. Robert Levy and family, 1940 US census, Census Place: Denver, Denver, Colorado; Roll: m-t0627-00488; Page: 12B; Enumeration District: 16-149, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  9. Denver Post, The () , obit for Robert L. Eichberg, Real estate agent, 75, GenealogyBank.com (https://www.genealogybank.com/doc/obituaries/obit/0F97FAFC4F54F9B1-0F97FAFC4F54F9B1 : accessed 22 January 2019) 
  10. Film Number: 002115775, Ancestry.com. Florida, County Marriage Records, 1823-1982 
  11. JewishGen, comp. JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) 
  12. SSN: 524607495, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  13. Denver Post, The () , obit for Robert L. Eichberg, Real estate agent, 75, GenealogyBank.com (https://www.genealogybank.com/doc/obituaries/obit/0F97FAFC4F54F9B1-0F97FAFC4F54F9B1 : accessed 22 January 2019);  Denver Post, The () , obit for Marion Eichberg, GenealogyBank.com (https://www.genealogybank.com/doc/obituaries/obit/14FFCFB386CB0F38-14FFCFB386CB0F38 : accessed 24 January 2019) 

Eva Goldsmith Uhfelder and Gertrude Goldsmith Emanuel

In January 1921, only seven of Jacob Goldsmith’s fourteen children were still living: Annie, Celia, Frank, Rebecca, Florence, Gertrude, and Eva. For Annie, Celia, Frank, and Florence, the 1920s were relatively quiet. But this decade did bring loss and heartbreak, especially for three of the sisters, Eva, Gertrude, and Rebecca.

The family lost another sibling on May 6, 1928, when Eva Goldsmith Uhlfelder died in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

She was 57 years old and was survived by her husband Sigmund and 22-year-old son Sidney. Sidney had only recently opened his own business in Albuquerque:

“Men’s Furnishings, Cigar, Candy Store Rosenwald Building,” Albuquerque Journal, January 10, 1928, p. 2

Sidney then lost his father just three years later. Sigmund Uhlfelder died on January 21, 1931; he was 61 years old.1 Sidney was orphaned at age 25. In 1930, he was living as a lodger in Albuquerque, working as a haberdasher.2

By 1940, Sidney was married to Katherine Bowers.3 Katherine was born on August 9, 1905, in Springfield, Missouri, to Jacob Bowers and Sallie Bryson.4 She’d lived in Missouri as recently as 1935, according to the 1940 census, so I am curious as to how she and Sidney met. In 1940, Sidney and Katherine and Katherine’s mother were living together in Albuquerque. Katherine was working as a saleswoman in an “Indian curio store,” and Sidney reported that he was the proprietor of a cigar store. On his World War II draft registration, Sidney reported that he was the owner of a newstand in the Rosenwald Building in Albuquerque.

Sidney Uhlfelder, World War II draft registration, Selective Service Registration Cards, World War II: Multiple Registrations, Fold3.com

Sidney and Katherine both lived long lives together in Albuquerque; she died at 91 on June 7, 1997,5 and Sidney lived to 97, dying on February 14, 2004, in Albuquerque.6 According to his obituary, he was a “loving and caring man.”7 There were no children listed as survivors in the obituary. Eva Goldsmith Uhlfelder thus has no living descendants.

The loss of Eva in 1928 brought the count of the surviving children of Jacob Goldsmith down to six, and the rest would survive the 1920s. But there were other losses suffered by the extended family.

Gertrude’s husband Jacob died December 4, 1921, at the age of 54 after being ill for a few weeks, according to his obituary:

“Jacob B. Emanuel, Pioneer Resident of Denver, Is Dead,” Denver Post, December 5, 1921, p. 13

His son Bernard was only ten years old when his father died. Nine years later, however, in 1930, Bernard was not living with his mother, but with his aunt Florence Goldsmith Emanuel (his mother Gertrude’s older sister) and uncle Jerry Emanuel (his father Jacob’s brother) as well as his aunt Celia Goldsmith, another of his mother’s sisters.

Emanuel family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Denver, Denver, Colorado; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0137; FHL microfilm: 2339973, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census

Bernard’s mother Gertrude was a practical nurse, living away from the family in the Nurses’ Home at the National Jewish Hospital in Denver in 1930. I do wonder whether the loss of her husband left her unable to care for her son or perhaps inspired her to dedicate her life caring for others as a nurse.8

On March 9, 1934, Gertrude’s son Bernard married Clarice L. Patterson in Georgetown, Colorado; she was the daughter of Walter W. Patterson and Mary Belle Doke and was born in Colorado in about 1916.9 In 1938, Bernard was working as a radio representative, according to the Denver city directory. I wasn’t sure what that meant, but on the 1940 census, Bernard reported that he was working in appliance repairs so I assume he was a radio repairman, not on the radio.10

Ancestry.com. Colorado, County Marriage Records and State Index, 1862-2006

Gertrude Goldsmith Emanuel died on June 21, 1937, in Denver; she was 66 years old.11 Her son Bernard died on October 22, 1973, in Denver; he was 62.12 I was unable to find any other information about Bernard’s wife Clarice, and as far as I can tell, Bernard and Clarice did not have children. Gertrude, like her sister Eva, thus does not appear to have any living descendants.

The sibling who suffered the most losses in the 1920s was Rebecca Goldsmith Levy. Her story merits a separate post.

 


  1. JewishGen, comp. JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) 
  2. Sidney Uhlfelder, 1930 US census, Census Place: Albuquerque, Bernalillo, New Mexico; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0020; FHL microfilm: 2341127, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  3. Sidney Uhlfelder, 1940 US census, Census Place: Albuquerque, Bernalillo, New Mexico; Roll: m-t0627-02439; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 1-36, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  4. SSN: 491038497, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  5. SSN: 491038497, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  6.  Number: 525-01-6662; Issue State: New Mexico; Issue Date: Before 1951,Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  7. Albuquerque Journal, 17 Feb 2004, Tue, Page 20. 
  8. Gertrude Goldsmith Emanuel, 1930 US census, Census Place: Denver, Denver, Colorado; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0105; FHL microfilm: 2339972, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  9. Patterson family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Denver, Denver, Colorado; Roll: T625_159; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 81, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census. Ancestry.com. Colorado, County Marriage Records and State Index, 1862-2006. 
  10. Denver, Colorado, City Directory, 1938, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995. Bernard Emanuel, 1940 US census, Census Place: Denver, Denver, Colorado; Roll: m-t0627-00486; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 16-85, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  11. JewishGen, comp. JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) 
  12. Number: 522-05-5043; Issue State: Colorado; Issue Date: Before 1951, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 

The Surviving Seven: Jacob Goldsmith’s Children in 1920

As we have seen, two of Jacob and Fannie Goldsmith’s fourteen children died before 1910, George (1899) and Emma (1902), and four more died between 1910 and 1919: Leonora (1911), Ellena (1914), Rachel (1915), and Felix (1919). The seventh of Jacob Goldsmith’s children to die was his youngest son Edward.

In 1910, Edward had been living with his wife Hannah and daughter Miriam in Greensboro, Alabama, where he was a bookkeeper in a dry goods store.1 By 1918, he and the family had relocated to Cincinnati, where Hannah’s family lived and where she was born and raised. Edward is listed in the 1918 Cincinnati directory without an occupation listed,2 and on the 1920 census, he, Hannah, and their daughter were living with Hannah’s brother George Wallenstein and his family. Once again, there is no occupation listed for Edward. My hunch is that Edward was already in poor health. He died on December 13, 1920, at the age of 56.3

Edward Goldsmith 1920 US census, Census Place: Cincinnati Ward 13, Hamilton, Ohio; Roll: T625_1391; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 227
Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census

Hannah and their daughter Miriam stayed in Cincinnati where in 1930 they were living with two of Hannah’s brothers, Albert and Millard.4 Miriam graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 1929. Here is her yearbook photograph:

Miriam Goldsmith, “U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012”; Yearbook Title: The Cincinnatian 1929; Year: 1929
Source Information
Ancestry.com. U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1990

On June 21, 1936, Miriam married Armand Rice Hecht in Cincinnati. Their wedding was written up in the Cincinnati Enquirer on June 28, 1936 (p. 63).

I found it rather sad that there is not one of Edward’s relatives named among the guests at the wedding.

Miriam’s husband Armand Rice Hecht was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on June 13, 1902, to Herman Hecht and Jennie Rice.5  He had been previously married and in 1930 was living with his first wife Lyllian and their daughter.  They had a second daughter born before Lyllian died in 1934.6

After Armand and Miriam married, they honeymooned in Bermuda7 and then settled in Bristol, Virginia, where they were living in 1940 with Armand’s two daughters from his first marriage as well as their own daughter and Miriam’s mother Hannah. Armand was the vice-president of a baking company.

Armand Hecht and family, 1940 US census, Census Place: Bristol, Bristol City, Virginia; Roll: m-t0627-04305; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 102-1
Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census

Armand died on January 11, 1957, from pancreatic cancer; he was 54.

Virginia Department of Health; Richmond, Virginia; Virginia Deaths, 1912-2014
Certificate Range: 00725-01097, Ancestry.com. Virginia, Death Records, 1912-2014

Then Miriam lost her mother Hannah on October 15, 1965.8 Miriam died at age 80 on June 5, 1987, in Bristol, Tennessee, survived by her daughter and two stepdaughters.9

With Edward Goldsmith’s death in 1920, half of Jacob Goldsmith’s children had passed away. There remained seven more: Annie Goldsmith Frank, Celia Goldsmith, Frank Goldsmith, Rebecca Goldsmith Levy, Florence Goldsmith Emanuel, Gertrude Goldsmith Emanuel, and Eva Goldsmith Uhlfelder. Where were they in 1920?

Annie Goldsmith Frank was still living in San Francisco with her two daughters, Josephine, a school teacher, and Fannie, who had no occupation.10 Annie’s son Harry had married for a second time; his second wife was Rose Phillips, born in Milwaukee on February 28, 1886, to Charles Phillips and Clara Besemann.11 I don’t know exactly when or where Harry and Rose married, but when he registered for the World War I draft in 1918, he listed Rose as his wife. He was then the assistant manager of the foreign department of Jos. Rothschild & Company in San Francisco. (The 1917 San Francisco directory lists him as a grocer.)12 In 1920, they were living in Burlingame, California, where Harry was the manager of an import-export business.13

Harry Frank, World War I draft registration, Registration State: California; Registration County: San Francisco; Roll: 1544262; Draft Board: 12
Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918

In 1920, Celia Goldsmith was living with her younger sister Eva Goldsmith Uhlfelder and her husband Sigmund and son Sidney in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Sigmund was working as an accountant for a department store there.

Uhlfelder family and Celia Goldsmith, 1920 US census, Census Place: Albuquerque Ward 3, Bernalillo, New Mexico; Roll: T625_1074; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 18
Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census

Frank Goldsmith and his wife Barbara were living in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in 1920, where Frank was a buyer for a department store.14

Rebecca Goldsmith Levy’s daughter Leona was married to Stanley Beckwith Eichberg on December 1, 1914, in Denver.

Ancestry.com. Colorado, County Marriage Records and State Index, 1862-2006

He was the son of German immigrants, Abraham Eichberg and Betty Shields, and was born on December 18, 1880, in Petersburg, Virginia.15  In 1900 Stanley was still in Petersburg, living with his parents and working as a draftsman, but by 1910 he had relocated to Denver where he was practicing medicine.16 Stanley and Leona’s first child Betty (named for Stanley’s mother) was born in 1915.17 In 1920 they were living in Denver where Stanley continued to practice medicine.18 On January 16, 1920, just a week after the 1920 census was enumerated in their district, Leona gave birth to their second child, Robert Levy Eichberg.19

Leona’s parents Rebecca and Robert Levy and her younger sister Marion was also living in Denver in 1920. Robert continued to practice medicine, and I’d imagine he was delighted to have a son-in-law who was a doctor.20

The remaining two Goldsmith siblings, Florence and Gertrude, were also living in Denver with their husbands, the brothers Jerry and Jacob Emanuel, respectively.  They were all living in one household along with Jacob and Jerry’s siblings Grace and Moses and Jacob and Gertrude’s eight year old son Bernard. Jacob was a merchant of men’s furnishings and Jerry a car salesman.

Emanuel household, 1920 US census, Census Place: Denver, Denver, Colorado; Roll: T625_162; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 252
Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census

Thus, in 1920, the six daughters and one son of Jacob Goldsmith who were still living were scattered across the country with only Frank still in the east. Three sisters were in Denver, two in Albuquerque, and one in San Francisco. What would the Roaring Twenties bring to these seven surviving siblings?

 


  1. Edward Harrison, 1910 US census, Census Place: Greensboro, Hale, Alabama; Roll: T624_15; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0042; FHL microfilm: 1374028, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  2. Cincinnati, Ohio, City Directory, 1918, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  3. Ancestry.com and Ohio Department of Health. Ohio, Death Records, 1908-1932, 1938-2007 
  4.   Hannah Goldsmith, 1930 US census, Census Place: Cincinnati, Hamilton, Ohio; Page: 21A; Enumeration District: 0147; FHL microfilm: 2341545, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  5. Ancestry.com. Kentucky, Birth Records, 1847-1911 
  6. Armand Hecht, 1930 US census, Census Place: Bristol, Sullivan, Tennessee; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0023; FHL microfilm: 2342015, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census. Lyllian Hecht, death certificate, December 23, 1934. Virginia Department of Health; Richmond, Virginia; Virginia Deaths, 1912-2014. 
  7. Armand and Miriam Hecht, ear: 1936; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 5824; Line: 29; Page Number: 115, Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 
  8. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/180233204 
  9. Number: 228-46-8303; Issue State: Virginia; Issue Date: 1953-1954, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  10. Annie Frank and daughters, 1920 US census, Census Place: San Francisco Assembly District 31, San Francisco, California; Roll: T625_136; Page: 14B; Enumeration District: 152, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  11. FHL Film Number: 1305106, Ancestry.com. Wisconsin, Births and Christenings Index, 1801-1928 
  12. San Francisco, California, City Directory, 1917, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  13. Harry Frank, 1920 US census, Census Place: Burlingame, San Mateo, California; Roll: T625_145; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 69, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  14. Frank Goldsmith,  1920 US census, Census Place: Harrisburg Ward 4, Dauphin, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1559; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 68, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  15. Stanley Eichberg, World War I draft registration, Registration State: Colorado; Registration County: Denver; Roll: 1561841; Draft Board: 5, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 
  16. Stanley Eichberg, 1900 US census, Census Place: Petersburg Ward 5, Petersburg City, Virginia; Page: 8; Enumeration District: 0102; FHL microfilm: 1241736,
    Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census. Stanley Eichberg, 1910 US Census, Census Place: Denver Ward 10, Denver, Colorado; Roll: T624_116; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 0135; FHL microfilm: 1374129, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census. 
  17. JewishGen, comp. JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) 
  18. Stanley Eichberg and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Denver, Denver, Colorado; Roll: T625_162; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 266, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  19. SSN: 523144521, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  20. Robert Levy and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Denver, Denver, Colorado; Roll: T625_162; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 234, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 

Jacob Goldsmith’s Children and Grandchildren: 1901-1910, Celebrations and Mourning

In the first decade after Jacob Goldsmith died in 1901, there were occasions for celebration as well as times of mourning and loss.

As we saw in the last post, three of Jacob Goldsmith’s daughters married in the first decade of the 20th century: Eva, Gertrude, and Florence. Eva had a son Sidney, born in 1906.1 Sadly, another daughter died in that decade; Emma died on January 6, 1902. She was 48 and died of double croupous pneumonia:

Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-665P-M?cc=1320976&wc=9FR3-YWL%3A1073330701 : 16 May 2014), 004056150 > image 1230 of 1777; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

What about Jacob’s other ten children and their families?

First, one of Jacob’s grandchildren married and had children of her own in this decade. Ellena Goldsmith Feldstein’s daughter Fannie married Isadore Neufeld on September 21, 1904, in Philadelphia.2 Isadore was also a Philadelphia native, born on July 5, 1881.3 His parents Gustav Neufeld and Ida Hauff were German immigrants. Isadore was employed as an apprentice shirt cutter and living with his parents in 1900.4 Fannie and Isadore’s first child Hortense was born on August 25, 1905.5 A second child Sylvia Wilma Neufeld was born three years later on August 7, 1908. Both were born in Philadelphia.

Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Box Number: 178; Certificate Number: 131357, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Birth Certificates, 1906-1910

Some of Jacob’s children relocated in the first ten years of the 20th century. By 1907, Edward Harrison Goldsmith and his wife Hannah had moved to Greensboro, Alabama, where their daughter and only child Miriam Frances Goldsmith was born on December 15, 1907.6 Frank Goldsmith and his wife Barbara relocated from Philadelphia to Harrisburg by 1907. 7

1908 was a very hard year for some members of the extended family of Jacob Goldsmith. William Feldstein, the 31-year-old son of Ellena Goldsmith and Samuel Feldstein, died in Denver on February 8, 1908, from tuberculosis; his body was returned to Philadelphia for burial.

Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JJ94-FFV : 8 March 2018), William Feldstein, 03 Feb 1908; citing cn 4003, Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; FHL microfilm 1,402,930.

Less than four months later, William’s father Samuel died in Philadelphia on May 29, 1908, from cerebral apoplexy, or a stroke. He was 61. Ellena had lost a son and husband in the space of just a few months.

Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1965; Certificate Number Range: 052001-055800
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates

In 1910, after William and Samuel died, Ellena was living in Philadelphia with her daughter Fanny and son-in-law Isadore Neufeld; living with them in addition to the Neufeld’s two young children Hortense and Sylvia were two of Ellena’s other adult children, Sylvester and Gertrude. Isadore continued to work in a factory as a shirt cutter. Sylvester was a cigar maker, and Gertrude a stenographer. Ellena’s other son Leopold,  listed as Lee on the 1910 census, was living in Atlantic City, working like his brother Sylvester as a cigar maker.8

Neufeld and Feldsteins, 1910 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 29, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1399; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 0692; FHL microfilm: 1375412
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

The struggles of Felix Goldsmith in this decade will be discussed in a separate post to follow.

Annie Goldsmith Frank was still living in San Francisco in 1910 with her three children. Josephine continued to work as a teacher, and Harry was a traveling salesman for a liquor house. Annie’s third child, Fanny, was not employed outside the home. According to the 1910 census, Harry had married a year before. Unfortunately, I could not find any information about Harry’s wife except what was on the 1910 census: that her name was Mildred, that she was born in about 1889 in California, that her father was also born in California and her mother in New York. Since, as we will see, Harry was remarried by the next census, finding more information about Mildred was extremely difficult.

[There are several errors on this census report. First, Annie’s name is Annie, not Fannie. Second, Mildred was her daughter-in-law, not her daughter, and, third, Fannie was her daughter, not her daughter-in-law. Note that Mildred is recorded as married, Fannie is not.]

Annie Frank and family, 1910 US census, Census Place: San Francisco Assembly District 41, San Francisco, California; Roll: T624_101; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 0268; FHL microfilm: 1374114, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

Leonora Goldsmith Jaffa and her husband Solomon and their children were all living together in Trinidad, Colorado, in 1910. Solomon was a grocery store merchant, and their son Arthur was a civil engineer.  Their daughter Helen was not employed outside the home.9

Sara Rohrheimer Goldsmith, George Goldsmith’s widow, was living with her mother Mary Rohrheimer in Philadelphia in 1910; Sara’s two children Fanny and Lester were both at home. No one was working outside the home; Sara’s mother was living on “income.”10

Frank Goldsmith and his wife Barbara were living in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in 1910, where Frank was working as a department store manager. Frank and Barbara did not have any children.11 Frank’s younger brother Edward was living in Greensboro, Alabama, with his wife Hannah and daughter Miriam (Marion here); Edward was working as a bookkeeper in a dry goods store.12

Eva Goldsmith Uhfelder and her husband Sigmund and son Sidney were living in Albuquerque in 1910. Sigmund was a bookkeeper in a dry goods store.13

Jacob’s other daughters were all living in Denver in 1910. Rebecca and her husband Robert Levy, the doctor, were providing a home not only for their two young daughters Leona and Marion but also for Rebecca’s two remaining unmarried sisters, Rachel and Celia.

Robert Levy household, 1910 US census, Census Place: Denver Ward 9, Denver, Colorado; Roll: T624_116; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 0113; FHL microfilm: 1374129
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

Gertrude and Florence, who were married to the Emanuel brothers, Jacob and Jerry, in 1906, were all living in the same household in Denver; Jacob and Jerry were clothing merchants.

The Emanuel-Goldsmith couples, 1910 US census, Census Place: Denver Ward 10, Denver, Colorado; Roll: T624_116; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 0130; FHL microfilm: 1374129
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

Thus, the extended family of Jacob Goldsmith experienced some losses in the first decade of the 20th century. It started with Jacob’s death in 1901 and his daughter Emma’s death the following year. Ellena lost a son and her husband in 1908. But on the positive side, three of Jacob’s daughters married in this decade as did two of his grandchildren, and several babies—Jacob’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren—were born.

 


  1. Sidney Uhfelder, World War II draft registration, The National Archives in St. Louis, Missouri; St. Louis, Missouri; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 126, Ancestry.com. U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 
  2.  Marriage License Number: 177918, Ancestry.com. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Marriage Index, 1885-1951 
  3. Isadore Neufeld, death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1965; Certificate Number Range: 005401-008100, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966 
  4. Gustav Neufeld and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 29, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 10; Enumeration District: 0737; FHL microfilm: 1241471, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census; death certificate of Frida Neufeld Steel, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1965; Certificate Number Range: 027601-030150, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966 
  5.  Number: 182-30-5349; Issue State: Pennsylvania; Issue Date: 1954-1955, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  6. Edward Goldsmith and family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Greensboro, Hale, Alabama; Roll: T624_15; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0042; FHL microfilm: 1374028, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census; Number: 228-46-8303; Issue State: Virginia; Issue Date: 1953-1954, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  7. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1907, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  8. Lee Feldstein, 1910 US census, Census Place: Atlantic City Ward 3, Atlantic, New Jersey; Roll: T624_867; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 0018; FHL microfilm: 1374880, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  9. Solomon Jaffa and family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Trinidad Ward 2, Las Animas, Colorado; Roll: T624_122; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 0115; FHL microfilm: 1374135, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  10. Mary Rohrheimer and family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 32, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1403; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 0750; FHL microfilm: 1375416, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  11. Frank Goldsmith, 1910 US census, Census Place: Harrisburg Ward 4, Dauphin, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1336; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 0061; FHL microfilm: 1375349, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  12. Edward Goldsmith, 1910 US census, Census Place: Greensboro, Hale, Alabama; Roll: T624_15; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0042; FHL microfilm: 1374028, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  13. Uhlfelder family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Albuquerque Ward 4, Bernalillo, New Mexico; Roll: T624_913; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 0015; FHL microfilm: 1374926, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 

Jacob Goldsmith’s Will and His Legacy

The 20th century did not start well for the family of Jacob Goldsmith. As the new century dawned, the family lost its patriarch; Jacob Goldsmith died in Denver on January 31, 1901, at the age of 76. His body was returned to Philadelphia where he was buried alongside his wife Fannie at Mt. Sinai cemetery:

“Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-676K-YG?cc=1320976&wc=9F51-VZ9%3A1073329301 : 16 May 2014), 004050474 > image 633 of 1820; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Like his father Simon, Jacob Goldsmith had lived a rich and interesting life. He was born in Oberlistingen, Germany, and after his mother died in 1840 when he was just a teenager, he immigrated all alone to the United States. He was the first of the Goldschmidt clan to come to America. He settled in Washington, Pennsylvania and established himself as a clothing merchant there. He and his wife Fannie started their large family there in 1853.

After his stepmother Fradchen passed away, Jacob opened his home to his father Simon and his two half-siblings Henry and Hannah. Then in the 1860s, Jacob and Fannie and their many children moved to Philadelphia where Jacob was again a clothing merchant; he lived there until Fannie died in 1881. After her death Jacob joined his half-brother Henry back in western Pennsylvania where he established yet another clothing store in Connellsville. Jacob’s final move was to Denver, Colorado, when he was already in his sixties.

Jacob Goldsmith was survived by thirteen of his fourteen children and seventeen grandchildren, plus three more who were born after he died.  His love and care for them all was revealed in his will. Six of his daughters—Emma (47), Rachel (44), Celia (40), Florence (31), Gertrude (29), and Eva (29)—were unmarried when Jacob died, and they were the primary focus of his will.

Jacob had executed the will on March 2, 1899, in Denver:

 

Jacob Goldsmith will, Probate Records, 1900-1946; Author: Denver County (Colorado). Clerk of the County Court; Probate Place: Denver, Colorado
Ancestry.com. Colorado, Wills and Probate Records, 1875-1974, Case Number: 6521

I Jacob Goldsmith of the City of Denver County of Arapahoe State of Colorado being of sound mind, memory and understanding, do make this my last will and testament hereby revoking all former wills and testaments made by me. I give, devise and bequeath unto my executors hereinafter named all my estate, effects and proceeds of Life Insurance that I may die possessed of or be entitled to: upon trust to be invested according to their discretion and judgment and all interest and income arising therefrom to be applied for the maintenance of a home for my unmarried Daughters. And it is my express wish and desire that my unmarried Daughters remain together and the money derived in the way of interest or other [?] off the principal to be paid to them in regular installments as often as practicable quarterly if possible to defray the expenses of their home. In the event of marriage of any of my Daughters or other emergency arising when in the judgment of my executors it may be advisable to use any part of the principal he shall have the power to draw upon it for such an emergency.

Otherwise the Capital or principal shall remain intact until each and everyone of my unmarried children are provided for by marriage or otherwise and in the event it is found better to no longer keep up a home and any of the unmarried children may live with their Relations or otherwise provide themselves with a home then the Interest or income derived off the principal shall be divided between the unmarried children as long as any of them live and remain unmarried. After all of them have by marriage, death or otherwise so provided for that they do not any longer require that the income for their maintenance as herein provided for then the principal or Capital shall be divided share and share alike between all of my children or their heirs. I nominate and appoint my son at laws Robert Levy of Denver Colo and Sol Jaffa of Trinidad Colo as executors of this my will, and they shall not be required to give any bond or surety for the execution of this trust. In case of the death of either of them, the children shall chose [sic] another to act in his place and in case of the deaths of both, two others shall be chosen by the surviving children.

I the said Jacob Goldsmith to this which I declare to be my last will and testament set my hand and seal this the Second day of March 1899.

Signed by the said testator Jacob Goldsmith and acknowledged by him to be his last will and testament in the presence of us, present at the same time and subscribed to us in the presence of the said testator and of each of them.

                                             Jacob Goldsmith [seal]

Attest

Chas A Ferris

Helen F Jaffa

The will certainly reflects its times. The assumption was that a woman would have no means of support unless and until she married, and thus, Jacob’s will provided that the interest and income from the estate would be distributed to his unmarried daughters unless and until they married or died or found some other means of support. I also found it interesting that the will expressed his desire that these daughters would share a home together.  Finally, the will stipulated that once all his daughters were married or deceased or otherwise supported, then the principal of the estate would be distributed to all his children.

One thing that struck me as odd about this was that Jacob made no special provision for his widowed daughter Annie Goldsmith Frank or for the widow of his son George Goldsmith. Both had children, Jacob’s grandchildren, and no longer had a husband to support them. I would have thought that Jacob would have included them with his unmarried daughters in providing for distributions of the estate’s income.

The will was presented for probate on February 2, 1901, by the two executors Jacob had named in the will: his sons-in-law Robert Levy (Rebecca’s husband) and Solomon Jaffa (Leonora’s husband). At that time they reported that the estate was worth $7000.  According to an inflation calculator, $7000 in 1901 would be worth about $207,000 in 2018 dollars. In their probate petition, they also named Jacob’s thirteen living children as the heirs:

The executors later filed a request to amend the petition to include two heirs who had been omitted from the original petition, the children of Jacob’s deceased son George:

Notice, however, that the executors identified George’s children as Fanny and Esther, when in fact George’s children were Fanny and Lester. How could they have made that error? Had someone said “Lester” and Solomon Jaffa and Robert Levy heard “Esther”? I wonder whether that error resulted in any problems if and when the principal of the estate was distributed years later. And it was many years later before all of Jacob’s daughters were either married or deceased.

Sadly, however, it was not long after Jacob’s death that one of those daughters died. Emma Goldsmith died of “double croupous pneumonia” on January 8, 1902, in Philadelphia, where she was buried. She was only 48 years old.

“Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-665P-M?cc=1320976&wc=9FR3-YWL%3A1073330701 : 16 May 2014), 004056150 > image 1230 of 1777; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Of the five remaining unmarried daughters, three married within the next few years. Eva Goldsmith married Sigmund Uhlfelder on October 25, 1905; she was 34, he 35.1 Sigmund was a recent German immigrant, born in 1870, and in 1900 he was living in Roswell, New Mexico and working as a cigar salesman.2 Eva’s sister Rebecca and her husband Robert Levy hosted the elaborate wedding:

Denver Post, October 29, 1905, p. 9

I also noticed that Joseph Langer was one of the invited guests. Joseph, the Denver Post photographer I wrote about here, was the grandson of Sarah Goldschmidt Mansbach, Jacob Goldsmith’s first cousin, Eva’Goldsmith Uhlfelder’s first cousin, once removed.

Eva and Sigmund had one child, a son named Sidney born on August 27, 1906, in Roswell.3

A year after Eva married Sigmund Uhfelder, two more of Jacob Goldsmith’s daughters married, and their husbands were brothers. They were married in a double wedding. On October 10, 1906, in Denver, Florence Goldsmith, then 37, married Jerry B. Emanuel, and her sister Gertrude, 35, married Jacob E. Emanuel.

Ancestry.com. Colorado, County Marriage Records and State Index, 1862-2006

Ancestry.com. Colorado, County Marriage Records and State Index, 1862-2006

Jacob and Jerry were the sons of Moses Emanuel and Dora Tannenbaum, both of whom were born in Hesse, Germany. Jacob and Jerry were born in Mobile, Alabama, in 1867 and 1869, respectively. Their father was a merchant in Mobile in 1870, but by 1880, the family had relocated to Denver.4 In 1900 Jacob was living with his mother and siblings and working as a salesman of men’s furnishings; Jerry, on the other hand was living in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1900, working as a shoe salesman.5

This double wedding was also written up in the paper and hosted by Rebecca and Robert Levy:

Denver Post, October 14, 1906, p. 32

Thus, as of October 10, 1906, only two of Jacob’s daughters remained unmarried: Rachel and Celia. They were now the only ones entitled to a distribution of the interest earned on Jacob’s estate.

In December 1907, Solomon Jaffa and Robert Levy filed this report of the assets of and distributions from Jacob’s account, covering the period from July 30, 1902, through December 3, 1907:

I am not sure what to make of the inconsistencies in the distributions. While Rachel had only received $33, Eva had received $1031. Emma, who had died in 1902, received more than Celia, who was still alive. My hunch is that Florence, Gertrude, and Eva received a bit more to help pay for their weddings, but that can’t be the only explanation. Jacob did leave it to the discretion of the executors to determine what each daughter would receive, to be determined based on their needs. Maybe the executors responded to requests made by the individual sisters.

The report for the following year—December 1907 through December 1908—showed distributions only to Celia. Although Rachel was also still unmarried, she was not included in the distributions. A note at the bottom of the last page of this report explained that Rachel preferred to leave the money in the hands of the executors for investment.

The last report included in Jacob’s probate file on Ancestry.com covered the period of 1909-1914. It shows that as of 1914, there was $10,789.09 in the estate. During this period, Rachel (Ray) had received $921.96 and Celia $1171.79.

But that was to be the last distribution to Rachel. A year later on October 7, 1915, Rachel Goldsmith died in Denver at the age of 58.6

Philadlephia Jewish Exponent, October 15, 1915

Celia was now the only remaining unmarried daughter of Jacob Goldsmith, and as we will see, she lived until 1933 and never married, meaning that the principal of Jacob’s estate could not be distributed until 1933. By then most of Jacob’s children had passed away, but some were still living, and there were many grandchildren living to inherit their parent’s share. Unfortunately, there are no later documents in the probate file, and I don’t know what was left in the estate at that point or how it was distributed.

 

 


  1. Ancestry.com. Colorado, County Marriage Records and State Index, 1862-2006 
  2. Sigmund Uhlfelder, 1900 US census, Census Place: Roswell, Chaves, New Mexico; Page: 32; Enumeration District: 0030; FHL microfilm: 1240999, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  3. Number: 525-01-6662; Issue State: New Mexico; Issue Date: Before 1951, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  4. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 (Jerry Emanuel); Emanuel family, 1870 US census, Census Place: Township 19 Range 1 2 3 and 4, Sumter, Alabama; Roll: M593_40; Page: 220A; Family History Library Film: 545539, Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census; Emanuel family, 1880 US census, Census Place: Denver, Arapahoe, Colorado; Roll: 88; Page: 137D; Enumeration District: 006, Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census 
  5. Jacob Emanuel, 1900 US census, Census Place: Denver, Arapahoe, Colorado; Page: 3; Enumeration District: 0034; FHL microfilm: 1240117, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census. Jerry Emanuel, 1900 US census, Census Place: Omaha Ward 4, Douglas, Nebraska; Page: 5; Enumeration District: 0040; FHL microfilm: 1240924, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  6. Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1669-2013. FindAGrave, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/142381902 

Jacob Goldsmith and His Family, 1881-1900: Years of Growth, Loss, and Change

When he died in 1883, my four-times great-uncle Simon Goldsmith was survived by four children: Jacob and Henry in Connellsville, Pennsylvania, Lena in Columbus, Ohio, and Hannah in Pittsburgh. They all had children and some even had grandchildren by then. The family had gotten so large by 1883 that it is no longer feasible for me to address them all in one post so I will divide the story into separate multiple post segments for each of Simon’s children. This segment will address his son Jacob and his fourteen children and the families of those children; this post tells their story during the last twenty years of the 19th century.

As seen in this earlier post, Jacob’s wife Fannie passed away on March 4, 1881. By August 12, 1881, Jacob had moved to Connellsville, Pennsylvania, as demonstrated by this ad:

The (Connellsville, PA) Weekly Courier, August 12, 1881, p. 3

It made sense that Jacob would have moved to Connellsville after Fannie died for that is where his younger brother Henry was living. Jacob’s three youngest daughters, Florence, Gertrude, and Eva, were quite young when their mother died in 1881 (Florence was twelve, the twins only ten).  Henry, who was more than twenty years younger than his half-brother Jacob, had a young wife and young children, and they would likely have been a source of support to Jacob and his children.

As we saw in earlier posts, three of Jacob’s daughters were already married with children of their own by the time Jacob moved to Connellsville in 1881.  Ellena was married to Samuel Feldstein and was living in Philadelphia with their three young children, Sylvester, Leon, and William. Their fourth child, Fanny, was born in 1883, and a fifth child, Gertrude, was born on May 31, 1889.1 In 1881, Jacob’s daughter Annie was married to Augustus Frank and living in San Francisco with their three children, Josephine, Harry, and Fanny. Jacob’s daughter Leonora and her husband Solomon Jaffa were living in Trinidad with their daughter Helen in 1881, and their son Arthur was born in 1883. Also, Jacob’s son Felix was not married, but had moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1881. But Jacob still had ten children living with him in 1881.

By 1885, Felix had moved from Santa Fe to Denver, where he was working as a bookkeeper; he married Fanny Rosenthal in Hamilton County, Ohio, on January 26, 1887. Fanny was the daughter of Herman and Theresa Rosenthal, German immigrants, and she was born in West Virginia in 1862.2  In 1870, she’d been living with her parents and siblings in Cincinnati where her father was a merchant.3

Ancestry.com. Ohio, County Marriage Records, 1774-1993

Jacob made the trip to Cincinnati for their wedding, as reported in the Connellsville newspaper, The Weekly Courier, on its front page on January 28, 1887:

Felix and Fanny had their first child, a son Clarence, on July 13, 1889 in Denver.4

Jacob’s son George moved to Pottsville, Pennsylvania in 1885; he was working as a cutter.5  By 1889, he had married Sarah Rohrheimer, also a daughter of German immigrants, Morris Rohrheimer and Mary Schloss. Sarah was born on July 13, 1866, in Pennsylvania, and in 1880, she was with her parents in Pottsville where her father was a clothing merchant.6 George was working for her father when they met.7 Their first child, Fanny, was born October 1, 1889, in Pennsylvania.8 Thus, Jacob had two more grandchildren born in 1889.

Not only were two more children born into Jacob’s extended family in 1889, there were also two more weddings. Jacob’s son Frank Goldsmith married Barbara Shanor on July 7 of that year.

Marriage record of Frank Goldsmith and Barbara Shanor, Ancestry.com. Ohio, County Marriage Records, 1774-1993

According to this news article, Barbara was a native of Connellsville and Frank was working there in his father’s store in Connellsville when they married. They married, however, in Hamilton County, Ohio, as had Frank’s brother George two years earlier.

The (Connellsville, PA) Daily Courier, August 11, 1919

The second wedding to take place in 1889 was that of Jacob’s daughter Rebecca to Robert Levy; they were married in Trinidad, Colorado, on August 27, 1989. Trinidad was, as noted in earlier posts, the home of the Jaffa brothers, Henry Goldsmith’s brothers-in-law, so perhaps Rebecca met her husband through the connection with her aunt Sarah Jaffa Goldsmith, Henry’s wife. Robert Levy was born in Ontario, Canada, on May 30, 1864, to Mandel and Rebecca Levy, who were German immigrants. The family was living in Milwaukee by 1870,9 and in 1885 Robert was living in Denver where he was practicing medicine.10

Rebecca Goldsmith and Robert Levy, marriage record, Ancestry.com. Colorado, County Marriage Records and State Index, 1862-2006

Once again, the Connellsville paper reported that Jacob as well as his brother Henry and sister-in-law Sarah (Jafffa) Goldsmith were traveling to attend a family wedding:

The Connellsville, PA, Weekly Courier, August 23, 1889, p. 5

As of 1888, Jacob’s youngest son Edward Goldsmith was living in Philadelphia and working as a salesman.11

Eight of Jacob’s fourteen children were now on their own, but in 1890, Jacob still had six daughters at home in Connellsville: Emma, Rachel, Celia, Florence, Gertrude, and Eva, ranging in age from 36 to nineteen.

In the early 1890s, Jacob was blessed with three more grandchildren: Rebecca’s daughter Leona in 1891,12 George’s son Lester in 1893,13 and Felix’s daughter Ethel in 1895.14

Then on March 29, 1897, there was another wedding. Edward Goldsmith married Hannah Wallenstein in Hamilton County, Ohio, making that the third time one of Jacob’s children had a wedding in that location. Hannah was born in Cincinnati on September 30, 1872, to Solomon Wallenstein, a German immigrant, and Sarah Cohen, also a Cincinnati native. Hannah’s father was a sewing machine agent in 1880.15

Marriage of Edward Goldsmith and Hannah Wallenstein, Ancestry.com. Ohio, County Marriage Records, 1774-1993

Just over a month after Edward’s wedding, Annie’s husband Augustus Frank died on November 13, 1897, in San Francisco. He was only fifty years old and left behind three children as well as Annie, who was only 42 when Augustus died.16

Then just a little over a year after losing Augustus, the family suffered another tragic loss when Jacob’s son George died suddenly from pneumonia on January 13, 1899, in Pottsville, Pennsylvania.17  George was only 36, and his two children Fanny and Lester (incorrectly named as Leslie in George’s obituary) were only nine and three when they lost their father. George’s widow Sarah was only 32.

The Pottsville newspaper, The Miners Journal, published this obituary on its front page on January 14, 1899:

 

“Another Merchant Dead,” Pottsville, PA Miners Journal, January 14, 1899, p. 1

How terrible this must have been for Sarah and the children. My favorite line in the obituary is the one saying that George was “a careful and enterprising business man and had a host of friends.”

By 1900 there was a big geographic shift in the family. Jacob and his six unmarried daughters—Emma, Rachel, Celia, Florence, Gertrude, and Eva—left Pennsylvania and moved to Denver where in 1900 they were all living with Jacob’s daughter Rebecca and her husband Robert Levy and their daughter Leona. Robert was practicing medicine, Rachel (Ray here) was working as a clerk, and Florence was working as a stenographer. The others did not have any occupation listed on the 1900 census. Jacob was 75 years old and had experienced another major relocation—-from Oberlistingen, Germany, to Washington, Pennsylvania, to Philadelphia, to Connellsville, Pennsylvania, and now to Denver. Rebecca Goldsmith Levy gave birth to a second daughter on June 19, 1900, in Denver, named Marion.18

Household of Robert Levy, 1900 US census, Census Place: Denver, Arapahoe, Colorado; Page: 8; Enumeration District: 0072; FHL microfilm: 1240119
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

Felix Goldsmith and his family were also living in Denver in 1900, and Felix was working as a mine superintendent.

Felix Goldsmith and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Denver, Arapahoe, Colorado; Page: 3; Enumeration District: 0064; FHL microfilm: 1240118
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

About two hundred miles south of Denver, Leonora Goldsmith Jaffa was still living in Trinidad, Colorado with her husband Solomon Jaffa and their two children Helen (18) and Arthur (16), and Solomon continued to be a merchant.

Solomon Jaffa and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Trinidad, Las Animas, Colorado; Page: 14; Enumeration District: 0064; FHL microfilm: 1240126
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

Annie Goldsmith Frank, who had been widowed three years earlier, was living with her three children in San Francisco in 1900. Her daughter Josephine, now 22, was a school teacher, and her son Harry, 19, was a shipping clerk.

Annie Frank, 1900 US census,Census Place: San Francisco, San Francisco, California; Page: 6; Enumeration District: 0207; FHL microfilm: 1240105
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

Back east, George Goldsmith’s widow Sarah and two children Fanny and Lester were living in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, with Sarah’s mother Mary Rohrheimer. Both Mary and Sarah listed their occupation on the 1900 census as “capitalists.” I wonder what that meant!

Sarah Rohrheimer Goldsmith and family, Census Place: Pottsville, Schuylkill, Pennsylvania; Page: 10; Enumeration District: 0187; FHL microfilm: 1241485
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

Jacob’s other three surviving children were all in Philadelphia in 1900. Frank Goldsmith was living with his wife Barbara and working as a clerk in the clothing business.19 Edward Goldsmith and his wife Hannah were living with Edward’s older sister Ellena and her husband Samuel Feldstein and their five children. Edward had no occupation listed, but in the 1901 Philadelphia directory, he is identified as a salesman. Samuel Feldstein’s occupation was reported as “manufacturer” on the 1900 census. Samuel and Ellena’s three oldest sons were working: Sylvester, 25, as an artist, William, 23, as a bookkeeper, and Leopold, 19, as a cigar maker. The other two children—Fanny, 17, and Gertrude, 12, did not have occupations listed.

Feldstein household, 1900 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 20, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 5; Enumeration District: 0439; FHL microfilm: 1241462
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

Thus, as of 1900, Jacob’s family was spread between Pennsylvania, Colorado, and California. What would the new century bring for him and his very large extended family?


  1. Fannie Neufeld death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1965; Certificate Number Range: 019051-021750, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966; Gertrude Lewin death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1965; Certificate Number Range: 094201-096650, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966 
  2. “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33SQ-GP2P-9VMD?cc=1307272&wc=MD9X-FNL%3A287599101%2C294427301 : 21 May 2014), 1937 > 29701-32800 > image 2781 of 3325. 
  3. Rosenthal family, 1870 US census, Census Place: Cincinnati Ward 15, Hamilton, Ohio; Roll: M593_1214; Page: 468B; Family History Library Film: 552713, Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census 
  4. “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-XCRQ-4PD?cc=1307272&wc=MD96-FWP%3A287602801%2C289221002 : 21 May 2014), 1946 > 03001-06100 > image 558 of 3479. 
  5. “Another Merchant Dead,” Pottsvile, Pennsylvania Miners Journal, January 14, 1899, p. 1; Pottsville, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1887, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  6. Sarah Rohrheimer Goldsmith death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1965; Certificate Number Range: 020001-023000, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966. Rohrheimer family, 1880 US census, Census Place: Pottsville, Schuylkill, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1193; Page: 373A; Enumeration District: 221,  Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census 
  7. “Another Merchant Dead,” Pottsvile, Pennsylvania Miners Journal, January 14, 1899, p. 1; Pottsville, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1887, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  8. Number: 188-36-5720; Issue State: Pennsylvania; Issue Date: 1962,
    Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  9. Robert Levy, 1908 passport application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 54; Volume #: Roll 0054 – Certificates: 46257-47289, 21 Feb 1908-10 Mar 1908, Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925. Levy family, 1870 US census, Census Place: Milwaukee Ward 5, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Roll: M593_1727; Page: 557A; Family History Library Film: 553226,  Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census 
  10. Denver, Colorado, City Directory, 1885, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  11. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1888, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  12. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, SSN: 524606840 
  13. Lester Goldsmith, World War II draft registration, The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; World War II draft cards (Fourth Registration) for the State of Pennsylvania; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975; Record Group Number: 147; Series Number: M1951, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 
  14. Felix Goldsmith and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Denver, Arapahoe, Colorado; Page: 3; Enumeration District: 0064; FHL microfilm: 1240118, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  15. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, SSN: 225644424. Wallenstein family, 1880 US census, Census Place: Cincinnati, Hamilton, Ohio; Roll: 1026; Page: 447A; Enumeration District: 144, Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census 
  16. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/100371594 
  17.  Ancestry.com. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Death Certificates Index, 1803-1915 
  18.  SSN: 524607495, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  19. Frank and Barbara Goldsmith, 1900 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 32, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 3; Enumeration District: 0830; FHL microfilm: 1241474, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 

Why I Love Marriage Announcements: Guest Lists!

On August 29, 1911, my second cousin, twice removed, Lester Bensev married Jennie Winheim:

Ancestry.com. Colorado, County Marriage Records and State Index, 1862-2006

Lester was almost 38 years old when he married Jennie. Jennie was also born in Germany; she was born in about 1880, making her seven years younger than Lester, and according to the 1920 US census, she immigrated to the US in 1900. I was unable to find any other information about her background until I found this newspaper article about her wedding to Lester, proving once again how valuable newspapers are as a genealogy resource:

Denver Post, September 3, 1911, p. 17

From this article I knew that Jennie Winheim was the niece of a Mrs. A. Schlesinger, and I was able to find Jennie and her brother Sam living with the family of Abraham and Sarah Schlesinger and their children in Denver in 1910.1 Sarah was born in Ohio and Abraham in Miltonberg, Germany on August 10, 1851.2 According to his obituary,3 Abraham came to the US in about 1864 with an older brother and settled first in Indiana, then Kansas, and finally in Denver in the 1890s. Abraham died on April 10, 1910, and in his will he named Jennie as his niece and left her $1000.4

Thus, it appears to me that Jennie Winheim, who according to the 1910 census came to the US in 1895, must have been the daughter of a sister of Abraham Schlesinger. Her uncle had died a year before her wedding, but his widow hosted her wedding at their home.

But what made this wedding article particularly exciting to me were the names on the guest list because included on that list were my great-grandparents—Mr. and Mrs. I. Schoenthal—that is, Isidore Schoenthal and Hilda Katzenstein. Why would they have been attending this wedding?  Well, follow the bouncing ball.

Hilda Katzenstein was the daughter of Eva Goldschmidt Katzenstein. Eva was the sister of Sarah Goldschmidt Mansbach. Sarah was the mother of Breine Mansbach Bensew. Breine was the mother of Lester Bensev, the groom who married Jennie Winheim. In other words, Hilda Katzenstein Schoenthal was Lester’s first cousin, once removed—his mother Breine’s first cousin.

Isidore and Hilda had only recently moved to Denver in 1907 after their son Gerson was diagnosed with asthma. Imagine how happy Hilda must have been to find some cousins in Denver when she got there. When she married Isidore, she had relocated from Philadelphia where she was raised to the small town of Washington, Pennsylvania, and now she was moving 1300 miles further west. I had always thought that she and Isidore knew no one out in Denver, so I was quite excited to learn that she had family there and that she and Isidore were included in this wedding. In fact, now I know that not only did she have her cousin Lester Bensev living in Denver, her first cousin Amelia Mansbach Langer and her family were also living there.

However, it’s not very likely that Hilda knew these cousins well and possible she had never met them before moving to Denver since when they immigrated and settled in Colorado, she was married and living in Washington, Pennsylvania. She grew up in Philadelphia, they grew up in Germany. But family is family, and the fact that Hilda and Isidore were invited to this wedding demonstrates that these cousins were in fact in touch when Hilda and Isidore moved to Denver.

But Lester and Jennie Bensev did not stay in Denver for very long. By 1913 they had relocated to Cleveland, Ohio.5 Their daughter Hortense was born there on February 25, 1915.6 According to his World War I draft registration, Lester was employed as the store manager for Consumers Cigar Company in Cleveland in 1918. The 1920 census reported the same occupation. In 1930, Lester was working as an information clerk for a bank in Cleveland, but in 1940 he had returned to the cigar business.7

Lester Bensev, World War I draft registration, Registration State: Ohio; Registration County: Cuyahoga; Roll: 1831765; Draft Board: 07
Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918

On October 20, 1940, Lester and Jessie’s daughter Hortense married Robert W. Kabb in Cleveland. Robert was a Cleveland native, son of Samuel Kabatchnik and Lillian Fisher, born on March 1, 1913.8 In 1940 he was working as a furniture salesman.9

Marriage record for Hortense Bensev and Robert Kabb , Cuyahoga County Archive; Cleveland, Ohio; Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Marriage Records, 1810-1973; Volume: Vol 193-194; Page: 386; Year Range: 1940 Aug – 1941 Mar
Ancestry.com. Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Marriage Records and Indexes, 1810-1973

Lester died on March 13, 1953, in Cleveland, and his wife Jessie died three years later on August 16, 1956.10 He was 79 when he died, she was seventy. They were survived by their daughter Hortense and her family.

Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-68JS-P5T?cc=1307272&wc=MD96-BP8%3A287602201%2C293606502 : 21 May 2014), 1953 > 13601-16300 > image 2835 of 3155.

Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 15, 1953, p. 59

Lester’s older brother William was still in Denver during the years my great-grandparents and my grandmother were living there and thereafter. By 1918, perhaps to help William after Lester left the area, their brother Heine Bensev moved to Denver from Chicago.  According to his World War I draft registration, Heine was working for his brother William as the manager of a cigar stand. In 1920, Heine was living with William and Jessie and their daughter Theodora:

Bensev household, 1920 US census, Census Place: Denver, Denver, Colorado; Roll: T625_162; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 267, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census

But notice that here Heine is listed under the name Jack. At first I was thrown—was this yet another Bensev brother? According to the 1920 census, Jack Bensev was 39 years old so born in about 1879-1880. Heinemann Bensew was born in Malsfeld, Germany on March 14, 1879.

Heinemann Bensev birth record, Standesamt Malsfeld Geburtsnebenregister 1879 (HStAMR Best. 920 Nr. 4410)AutorHessisches Staatsarchiv MarburgErscheinungsortMalsfeld, p. 14

Heine’s draft registration reports his birth date as March 22, 1879, not the exact date, but still obviously the same person:

Heine Bensev, World War I draft registration, “United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-817R-9STQ?cc=1968530&wc=9FHB-BZS%3A928310401%2C928571801 : 14 May 2014), Colorado > Denver City no 5; A-Talom, William M. > image 229 of 3469; citing NARA microfilm publication M1509 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

The 1920 census also reported that both William and “Jack” immigrated in 1881 and were naturalized in 1885. This is plainly wrong. Even based on the facts in the same census, Jack would have been only toddler in 1881 and a kindergartner in 1885.

But what really threw me was that the 1920 Denver directory has a listing for both Jack Bensev and Heine Bensev, living at the same address as each other and William Bensev, both working as clerks, Jack for William Bensev. The 1925 and the 1940 Denver directories also have listings for both Jack and Heine, but other directories only list Jack.11

Title: Denver, Colorado, City Directory, 1920
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

In the end I concluded that Heine and Jack were in fact the same man and that the family called him Heine, but the outside world called him Jack—probably to appear more American. On the 1930 census, he was listed as Heine Bensev and was living with his brother William and his family. William was the proprietor of a cigar store, and Heine was a cigar salesman. Now he listed his immigration date as 1902, which is consistent with the date on Heine’s naturalization record.

William Bensev household, 1930 US census, Census Place: Denver, Denver, Colorado; Page: 24A; Enumeration District: 0108; FHL microfilm: 2339972
Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census

Roll Description: B-524 through B-550 Gustov Joseph
Ancestry.com. U.S. Naturalization Record Indexes, 1791-1992 (Indexed in World Archives Project)

Meanwhile, the other two Bensev brothers also eventually moved to Denver. Like Heine, Max was naturalized in Chicago in 191512 and was the only brother still in Chicago in 1920.13 He was then rooming with a family and working as a salesman for a clothing store. Julius had moved to Gary, Indiana by 1920 where he was rooming with a family and working as a manager for an oil company, perhaps Standard Oil where he, Max, and Heine had been working in 1910 when they were all living together in Chicago.14

But in 1923 Max and Julius sailed together on the SS Rotterdam from Rotterdam to New York, and both gave their address as 825 17th Street in Denver. If they were living in Denver for any extended period, it is strange that Julius is not listed in the Denver directories for any year. Max does appear once, in 1933, but that is also the only year he appears in the Denver directory.

Year: 1923; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 3247; Line: 1; Page Number: 34, Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957

However, on the 1940 census, the listing for the William Bensev household in Denver included William Bensev, his wife Jessie, daughter Theodora, nephew Edwin Stern, brother Heine and his brothers Julius and Max. Julius and Max are listed on a separate page in the census report , but at the same address and clearly in the same household. Julius and Max were now working as traveling salesman selling wholesale luggage. Heine and William were both still working in the cigar business.

William Bensev household 1940 US census, Census Place: Denver, Denver, Colorado; Roll: m-t0627-00488; Page: 14B; Enumeration District: 16-149
Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census

Julius and Max Bensev, 1940 US census, Census Place: Denver, Denver, Colorado; Roll: m-t0627-00488; Page: 61A; Enumeration District: 16-149
Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census

Thus, William had three of his brothers living in his household as well as a nephew, Edwin Stern, son of his sister Roschen, plus, of course, his wife Jessie and daughter Theodora.  And a maid.

UPDATE: An email written in 2009 to Franz Loewenherz by a relative who lived with Frieda and Emanuel Loewenherz in the 1940s included this additional information about the Bensev brothers: “[Julius and Max] were confirmed bachelors. Both were sales reps for Shwayder Bros, the originators of Samsonite luggage. They operated out of Denver. Max had a territory in North and South Dakota, Wyoming, Mantana and some other northern states. Julius had the lucrative Texas, Arizona, Colorado, Utah and California territory. Both spent several weeks in Winnetka during the winter when they wouldn’t travel. Julius was a very colorful character. He had spent several years in South Africa. He had a wagon drawn by two oxen and peddled “stu’ff” to the Boer farmers and some of the tribes in the area. He spoke Swahili fluently. He was also a good skater and loved it. One winter in Winnetka he and I went to the local skating rink and he took off skating some beautiful figure skating. Mind you he was 80 years old then.”

The younger Bensev siblings lost three family members in the next few years, first their oldest brother William, who had provided a home for so many of them. William died on January 13, 1944, at age 68.15 William’s wife Jessie died less than a year later on September 13, 1944, when she was 60.16 And then sadly William and Jessie’s daughter Theodora died October 5, 1946 when she was only forty.17 Theodora had not married or had children, so there are no descendants for William and Jessie Bensev or their daughter Theodora.

After William’s death, Julius, Heine, and Max all moved to San Diego. They are all listed at the same address in the 1947, 1948 and 1950 San Diego directories:18

Title: San Diego, California, City Directory, 1947
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

Max and Julius traveled together to Europe and other places many times in the 1950s. For example, in 1951, Julius and Max traveled to Israel for a three month stay:

The National Archives at Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C.; Series Title: Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels and Airplanes Departing from New York, New York, 07/01/1948-12/31/1956; NAI Number: 3335533; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787-2004; Record Group Number: 85; Series Number: A4169; NARA Roll Number: 115
Ancestry.com. U.S., Departing Passenger and Crew Lists, 1914-1966 , lines 7 and 8.

They also traveled to Oslo and on the SS Queen Elizabeth to Cherbourg, France. Their brother Heine never joined them on these trips, and I wonder whether that was due to lack of interest or poor health.19

In September 1954, Julius and Max again traveled together, this time on a transatlantic cruise from New York to LeHavre, France.20 Sadly, their brother Heine “Jack” died on September 22, 1954, in San Diego, shortly after his brothers’ return. He was 75 years old. 21 (NOTE: he is listed twice—once as Heine and also as Jack on the California death index.)

Search results for “Bensev” on the California Death Index database on Ancestry.com

I cannot find a death record for Julius Bensev, but I believe he died sometime between September 1954 and April 1956 because (1) only Max is listed in the 1956 San Diego directory and (2) Max traveled alone on April 25, 1956, for a five to six month visit to Germany.22 Max died on November 14, 1959, in San Diego.23 He was 77 years old. Julius must have predeceased him because Max’s death notice named only his sister Frieda and cousin Alfred as survivors. Julius must have died outside California as, unlike Max and Heine, he is not listed in the California Death Index.

San Diego Union, November 19, 1959, p. 11

Julius, Heine, and Max never married or had children, and thus, like their brother William, they have no living descendants. Of the five Bensev brothers, only Lester has living descendants.

What about the two sisters, Frieda Bensew Loewenherz and Roschen Bensew Stern? What happened to them in the 20th century? Stay tuned for the next post.

 

 

 

 

 

 


  1. Abraham Schlesinger household, 1910 US census, Census Place: Denver Ward 10, Denver, Colorado; Roll: T624_116; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 0122; FHL microfilm: 1374129, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  2.  JewishGen, comp. JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry  
  3. “Death Removes One of Denver’s Best Merchants,” The Denver Post, April 23, 1910, p. 11 
  4.  Probate Records, 1900-1946; Author: Denver County (Colorado). Clerk of the County Court; Probate Place: Denver, Colorado, Ancestry.com. Colorado, Wills and Probate Records, 1875-1974, Case Number: 13356. 
  5. Cleveland, Ohio, City Directory, 1913, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  6. Ancestry.com. Ohio, Birth Index, 1908-1964, State File Number: 1915015448. 
  7. Lester Bensev, 1920 US census, Census Place: Cleveland Ward 22, Cuyahoga, Ohio; Roll: T625_1371; Page: 12B; Enumeration District: 431, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census. Lester Bensev, 1930 US census, Census Place: Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio; Page: 11B; Enumeration District: 0456; FHL microfilm: 2341510, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census. Lester Bensev, 1940 US census, Census Place: Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio; Roll: m-t0627-03228; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 92-630, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census. 
  8. Ancestry.com. U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010 
  9. Kabb household, 1940 US census, Census Place: Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio; Roll: m-t0627-03228; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 92-618, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census. 
  10. Ancestry.com and Ohio Department of Health. Ohio, Death Records, 1908-1932, 1938-2007 
  11.  Denver, Colorado, City Directory, 1925, 1940, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  12. Max Bensev, Year: 1923; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 3247; Line: 1; Page Number: 34, Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 
  13. Max Bensev, 1920 US census, Census Place: Chicago Ward 12, Cook (Chicago), Illinois; Roll: T625_320; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 685, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  14. Julius Bensev, 1920 US census, Census Place: Gary Ward 1, Lake, Indiana; Roll: T625_446; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 239, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  15.  JewishGen, comp. JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR). 
  16. JewishGen, comp. JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) 
  17. JewishGen, comp. JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) 
  18.  San Diego, California, City Directory, 1947, 1948, 1950, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  19. Passenger manifests, The National Archives at Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C.; Series Title: Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels and Airplanes Departing from New York, New York, 07/01/1948-12/31/1956; NAI Number: 3335533; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787-2004; Record Group Number: 85; Series Number: A4169; NARA Roll Number: 73, Ancestry.com. U.S., Departing Passenger and Crew Lists, 1914-1966. Year: 1951; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 8016; Line: 7; Page Number: 24, Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists 
  20.   Passenger manifest, Year: 1954; Arrival: New York, New York;Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957;Microfilm Roll: Roll 8504; Line: 1; Page Number: 270, Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957. 
  21. Ancestry.com. California, Death Index, 1940-1997. 
  22. San Diego city directory, 1956, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995. Passenger manifest, Year: 1956; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 8792; Line: 4; Page Number: 21, Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 
  23. Ancestry.com. California, Death Index, 1940-1997 (listed as Max Bensey on Ancestry) 

My Bensew Cousins Come to the US: The Children of Breine Mansbach Bensew

Breine Mansbach, my great-grandmother’s first cousin, was the oldest child of Sarah Goldschmidt and Abraham Mansbach and the only one who did not immigrate to the United States with her siblings and her parents. But all but one of her children did immigrate, and this post and the two that follow will tell their story.

As I wrote back on January 19, 2018, Breine was born on September 27, 1844 in Maden, Germany. She married Jakob Bensew on February 3, 1870, in Maden, and then moved with him to Melsungen. When I first wrote about Breine, I thought that she and her husband Jakob had had six children—five sons and one daughter: William (1872), Julius (1875), Siegmund (1877), Heinemann (1879), Max (1882), and Frieda (1886). Since then I have discovered two more children whom I had not located back in January, Lester (1873) and Roschen (1870).1

Siegmund was born on July 20, 1877, and died before his fifth birthday on January 24, 1882 in Malsfeld, Germany, where the family was then living.

Siegmund Bensew birth, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 920; Laufende Nummer: 4408, 1877. Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Siegmund Bensew death record, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 920; Laufende Nummer: 4484. Year Range: 1882. Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958

The other seven children all survived to adulthood and all but Roschen immigrated to and settled in the US, though Roschen also may have traveled to the US before marrying and having a family back in Germany, as we will see below.

The first Bensew sibling to arrive was William, the oldest son, traveling as Willi Bensew on the SS EMS from Bremen and arriving in New York on August 15, 1885. On the manifest his age is fourteen, but if his US records are accurate, he was born in either February or November 1872 so would have been around thirteen in August 1885. (Birth records for 1872 for Melsungen, Germany were not available online.)1

Roschen, Lester, and Julius seem to have traveled together to the US with a departure from Hamburg on May 15, 1890.

Bensew siblings, ship manifest, Staatsarchiv Hamburg; Hamburg, Deutschland; Hamburger Passagierlisten; Microfilm No.: K_1741 Month: Direkt Band 067 (2 Apr 1890 – 28 Jun 1890) Staatsarchiv Hamburg. Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934

The manifest lists three Bensews traveling together, all from Melsungen, Germany, a 20-year old woman named Rosa, a 16 year old boy named Lasser, and a 14 year old girl named “Juls.” Both Lasser and Juls are identified as “Kaufmann” or merchant. I would think that Lasser was Lester, as Lester was born October 23, 18732 and would have been 16 in May 1890. And I also think that “Juls” was Julius, who would have been 14 in May 1890 as he was born on September 13, 1875;3 since Juls is identified as a Kaufmann—a male noun—I think the gender identification as weiblich (female) was a scrivener’s error. As for Rosa, Roschen was born on January 20, 1870,4 so would have been twenty in May 1890, the age given for Rosa on the manifest. So perhaps that was their big sister Roschen bringing them to America, but I have no later records for her in the US. And Roschen definitely married and raised her children in Germany, as we will see.

Thus, the three oldest Bensew brothers, William, Lester, and Julius, all left home as young teenagers. In America they changed the spelling of their name to Bensev—presumably to preserve the German pronunciation of their name. Otherwise, they would have been called Ben-SOO.

In 1890, William was already living in Denver.5 By 1894, he was joined by his younger brother Julius, and both were clerks for the M. Hyman Cigar Company,6 as they were in 1898 as well. They were living at 615 24th Street with their aunt Amelia Mansbach and her husband Henry Langer.

Denver, Colorado, City Directory, 1898
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

Denver, Colorado, City Directory, 1898
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

In 1900, William was still in Denver, living with the Langers and working as a cigar salesman.

Henry Langer family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Denver, Arapahoe, Colorado; Page: 2; Enumeration District: 0031; FHL microfilm: 1240117
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

But Julius had left Denver and was living in Reading, Pennsylvania, working as a salesman.7

As for Lester, he was living in Philadelphia in 1896,8 working as a salesman. But after Julius left Denver for Pennsylvania, Lester left Pennsylvania for Denver. He came for a visit in 1899, and in 1902 he was living with his brother William and the Langer family and working as a manager for M. Hyman Cigar Company with his brother William, who was the secretary of the company.

Denver Rocky Mountain News, January 1, 1899, p. 6

It was also around this time that two more of the Bensew brothers arrived in the United States.  I could not find a ship manifest for Heinemann Bensew, who was born March 14, 1879, in Malsfeld,9 but according to his naturalization records, he arrived on September 30, 1902.10  The youngest brother Max, who was born on May 24, 1882,11 arrived on May 13, 1903. He was headed for Philadelphia to his uncle, J. Mansbach, i.e. Julius Mansbach, at 915 North 6th Street in Philadelphia:

Max Bensew, ship manifest, line 21, Year: 1903; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 0355; Line: 1; Page Number: 85
Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957

Frieda Bensew, who was born February 21, 1886, in Melsungen,12 followed her older brothers to America four years later; she arrived on November 25, 1907.  On the manifest she listed that she, like Max, was going to her uncle, Julius Mansbach, in Philadelphia.13 In January, 1908, she visited her brother William in Denver.

Denver Post, January 7, 1908, p. 5

But in 1910, she was living in Chicago, where three of her five brothers were also living. Julius, Heinemann (listed as Hein here) and Max were living together in a boarding house in Chicago, and all three were working as clerks for Standard Oil:

Julius, Max and Heine Bensev 1910 US census,Census Place: Chicago Ward 23, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T624_266; Page: 2A;Enumeration District: 0982; FHL microfilm: 1374279
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

Frieda was working as a stenographer for a publishing house and living a mile and half north of her brothers as a roomer with a widow, Sophie Rosenthal, and her adult daughter in 1910.12

Their oldest brother William was still in Denver in 1910. He had married Jessie Fannie Holzman on June 28, 1904, in Denver, in “one of the most elaborate of the numerous June wedding[s]” in Denver that year, as detailed in this wonderful article:

Denver Post July 2, 1905, p. 15

As noted in the article, prior to the wedding, Jessie had been living with David Kline and his wife Frances (Sands) Kline and is listed as their niece on the 1900 census.13 According to the article, Jessie’s father was Joseph Holzman; Joseph Holzman was a German immigrant who married Theresa Sands in Denver in 1877. Jessie was born in Denver on November 6, 1883, and her mother Theresa died when Jessie was eight years old in 1891. I assume that Frances Sands Kline must have been Theresa Sands Holzman’s sister since Jessie was Frances’ niece.14

William and Jessie had a daughter, Theodora, born on December 10, 1905,15 in Colorado. When M. Hyman retired in 1907, he transferred his cigar business to William and a partner, B. F. Meyer. In 1910, William and his family were living in Denver, and William continued to work as a cigar salesman.16

Denver Post, March 10, 1907, p. 2

Lester Bensev was also still in Colorado in 1910, but he had moved from Denver to Colorado Springs where he was the proprietor of a cigar store.17

Thus, by 1910, six of the seven children of Breine Mansbach and Jakob Bensew were living in the United States, four in Chicago and two in Colorado. Their parents were still living in Germany, as was their sister Roschen. Roschen married Joseph Stern, son of Jacob Stern and Esther Koppel, on April 10, 1899, in Kassel, Germany:

Marriage record of Roschen Bensew and Jozef Stern, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 920; Laufende Nummer: 4611, 1899, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

On May 8, 1900, Roschen gave birth to her first child, Alfred Stern, in Kassel. 18 According to US records, Roschen and Joseph had a second son Edwin on January 6, 1905.19 Some family trees have three other children born to Roschen and Joseph Stern, but I have not yet been able to verify that information. The names Alice Stern, Frieda Stern, and Herbert Stern are too common for me to be able to know with certainty whether I am looking at the right person unless I can link them to Roschen and Joseph or some other member of the family, and so far I have not be able to do so. Thus, I will only write about Alfred and Edwin, both of whom ended up in the US, but not until after Hitler came to power.

 

 

 

 


  1. Willi Bensew, ship manifest, Year: 1885; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 489; Line: 1; List Number: 1017.
    Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957. William Bensev, 1900 US census, Census Place: Denver, Arapahoe, Colorado; Page: 2; Enumeration District: 0031; FHL microfilm: 1240117, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census. JewishGen, comp. JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR). 
  2. Lester Bensev, passport application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 68; Volume #: Roll 0068 – Certificates: 59167-60066, 09 Jul 1908-24 Jul 1908. Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 
  3.  Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007. SSN: 521019057. 
  4. Roschen Bensew marriage record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 920; Laufende Nummer: 4611. 1899. Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930 
  5. Ancestry.com. Denver, Colorado City Directory, 1890. 
  6.  Denver, Colorado, City Directory, 1894, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  7. Julius Bensev, 1900 US census, Census Place: Reading Ward 3, Berks, Pennsylvania; Page: 8; Enumeration District: 0053; FHL microfilm: 1241378,
    Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  8. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1896, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  9. Heinemann Bensew birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 920; Laufende Nummer: 4410. Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901 
  10. Illinois, Northern District Naturalization Index, 1840-1950,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:939N-FGS7-2?cc=1838804&wc=M6TM-Q6X%3A165129401 : 20 May 2014), B-524 to B-550 Gustov Joseph > image 983 of 6652; citing NARA microfilm publication M1285 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.). The birth date on the naturalization record is March 22, 1879, whereas the German birth record says March 14, 1879. 
  11. Max Bensew birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 920; Laufende Nummer: 4413. Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901 
  12. Frieda Bensev, 1910 US census, Census Place: Chicago Ward 25, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T624_269; Page: 2B;Enumeration District: 1094; FHL microfilm: 1374282, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  13. Kline household, 1900 US census, Census Place: Denver, Arapahoe, Colorado; Page: 5; Enumeration District: 0030; FHL microfilm: 1240117, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  14. Joseph Holzman and Theresa Sands marriage record, and David Kline and Frances Sands marriage record, Ancestry.com. Colorado, County Marriage Records and State Index, 1862-2006. JewishGen, comp. JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR). “Colorado State Census, 1885,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:939N-8TC6-W?cc=1807096&wc=M83M-BMS%3A149195601%2C149208301%2C149200101 : 1 April 2016), Arapahoe > Denver > Population > image 184 of 598; citing NARA microfilm publication M158 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.). Sands family, 1870 US census, Year: 1870; Census Place: Helena, Lewis and Clark, Montana Territory; Roll: M593_827; Page: 186B; Family History Library Film: 552326, Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census. Ancestry.com. Web: Gallatin County, Montana, Death Index, 1856-2014.  
  15. JewishGen, comp. JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) 
  16. William Bensev household, 1910 US census, Census Place: Denver Ward 8, Denver, Colorado; Roll: T624_115; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 0104; FHL microfilm: 1374128, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  17. Lester Bensev, 1910 US census, Census Place: Colorado Springs Ward 2, El Paso, Colorado; Roll: T624_118; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0037; FHL microfilm: 1374131, Enumeration District: 0037, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  18. Alfred Stern birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 910; Signatur: 910_5143, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901 
  19. Edwin Stern, naturalization record, The National Archives, Washington, D.C.; Washington, DC; Naturalization Records, Colorado, 1876-1990; ARC Title: Naturalization Records Created by the U.S. District Court in Colorado, 1877-1952; NAI Number: M1192; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: 21, Ancestry.com. Colorado, State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1868-1990. Edwin Stern, World War II draft registration, The National Archives in St. Louis, Missouri; St. Louis, Missouri; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 232, Ancestry.com. U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 

The Langer Brothers: Lives Devoted to Photography

Amelia Mansbach and her husband Henry Langer died in the 1920s and were survived by their two sons, my grandmother’s second cousins Joseph and Lester, both of whom were career photographers, Joseph for The Denver Post and Lester as a dark room technician. We saw that in 1930, Joseph was still living in Denver,1 but Lester was living in Kansas City.2 Neither brother was married at that time. Lester was a lodger in what appears to have been a large boarding house in Kansas City, and Joseph was living in a hotel in Denver. This post will look at their lives in more depth.

It was a challenge to learn much more about Lester, the younger of the two brothers. In 1940 he was still living in Kansas City, working as a photographer, and living at the Washington Hotel. According to the census record, he was married, but I found no other indication of a marriage, and he is not listed with another woman named Langer at the Washington Hotel.3 I believe this was an enumerator mistake, or Lester was lying. After all, he had listed his mother as his wife on his World War I draft registration. Lester was still living at the Washington Hotel two years later when he registered for the World War II draft (he was then 58 years old). And he was still working as a photographer—for Guy E. Smith.

Lester Langer, World War II draft registration, The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; World War II Draft Cards (Fourth Registration) for the State of Missouri; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975; Record Group Number: 147; Box or Roll Number: 966.  Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942

I could find no other information about Lester in his years in Kansas City except for this news story about him being the victim of a robbery in 1930:

“Loot Is His By Priority,” Kansas City Star, March 11, 1930, p. 22

The only other reference I could initially find for Lester was an entry on FindAGrave indicating that he died on March 19, 1960, and was buried at Temple Israel Cemetery in Memphis, Tennessee.4 I contacted the synagogue affiliated with the cemetery where Lester was buried, and the archivist there told me that there are no other Langers buried there and that Lester was not a member of the congregation. I was not sure where else to look to learn more about Lester and how he ended up being buried in Memphis.

So I  joined the Tennessee Genealogy group on Facebook, and a very helpful member named Shannon located Lester’s death certificate, which opened the doors to the rest of his story.

Lester Langer death certificate, “Tennessee Deaths, 1914-1966,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9DL-CF56?cc=1417505&wc=34DM-BZS%3A1580614801 : 15 October 2018), 007552516 > image 33 of 2310; Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville.

Lester had died in the Baptist Hospital in Memphis, but was residing at the time of his death in the tiny village of Ridgely, Tennessee, located about 100 miles north of Memphis. Ridgely’s population in 1960 was 1,464. Why was Lester living there? His death certificate indicated that he was still a photographer working as a darkroom technician.

I contacted the local newspaper for Ridgely, The Lake County Banner, and they kindly sent me a copy of Lester’s obituary:

Lake County Banner, March 24, 1960, p. 5

From the obituary I learned that Lester had moved to Ridgely, Tennessee in 1954, just six years before he died, to work with W.L. Glover, a “nationally known livestock photographer,” who had purchased the photography business of Lester’s Kansas City employer, Guy E. Smith (the name mentioned on Lester’s World War II draft registration card) in 1952. The obituary said that Lester had worked for Smith for twenty years, so dating back to 1930 or so, when he was living in Kansas City.

Then I contacted one of W.L. Glover’s sons, Jere, who remembered Lester well and told me that Lester had also spent time in Hollywood where he did photography developing and printing for movie studios. From what I already knew about Lester’s career, I assume that he must have been in Hollywood sometime after 1920, when he was still in Denver, and before 1930, when he was already in Kansas City. Those must have been exciting days in the early years of the movie business. Unfortunately Jere did not have more details as he said that Lester had not talked very much about his Hollywood days.

Jere also told me that Lester “was well liked by everyone in the town. He had a good sense of humor and was a truly nice person.” He thought that Lester was probably the only Jew in the area.  Nevertheless, Lester had held on to his Jewish identity. His funeral was officiated by a rabbi, and he was buried in a Jewish cemetery. I found it particularly touching that a small number of residents of Ridgely, including the Glovers, traveled all the way to Memphis to attend the funeral, as noted in the obituary.

So from knowing almost nothing about Lester, I now have a fairly complete picture of Lester Langer’s life, thanks to the generosity of Shannon from the Tennessee Genealogy group, the Lake County Banner, Temple Israel synagogue in Memphis, and Jere Glover.

Fortunately, it was easier to find information about Lester’s older brother Joseph—largely because Joseph worked for a newspaper. In fact, I was able to find news coverage about Joseph dating back as early as 1899 when he was just twenty years old and won an amateur photography contest with a photograph of the then-governor of Colorado laying the corner stone for a hospital in Denver:

“Joseph Langer Wins The Leslie Prize,” The Denver Post, September 3, 1899, p. 5

Not long after that, Joseph became a staff photographer for The Denver Post. In 1904 he took this photograph:

The Denver Post, January 2, 1904, p. 14

And in 1908 Joseph did this full page layout of photographs of the mayor of Denver, Robert Speer:

The Denver Post, January 19, 1908, p. 46

He also took this photograph of the Denver Post editorial board:

And here is a street photograph he took of a couple hoping to marry:

The Denver Post, July 10, 1909, p. 3

Obviously, these are not very good quality reproductions of the photographs as they are scans of photographs published in old newspapers, but they give a sense of the variety and volume of Joseph’s contribution to the newspaper.

Sometimes Joe Langer was himself the subject of articles, as in this 1911 article written when he broke his leg after slipping on ice. The newspaper wrote of the irony of him injuring himself this way in light of the risks he had taken for his job:

Denver Post, December 20, 1911, p. 7

The strangeness of the ways of fate is here again emphasized.  All newspaperdom familiar with Langer’s record as one of the pluckiest of press photographers and his hair-breadth escapes in the pursuance of his arduous and hazardous vocation, his daring exploits and his proverbial good luck while on perilous ventures—and now a slip and a trifling fall has laid him up in pain for perhaps six weeks!

The article then described some of his feats, including climbing up on the scaffolding on the spire of the new cathedral to get a birds-eye view of Denver and another time climbing up on the tower of a newly completed building, standing in the wind as it swayed, to get another shot of the city.

As noted in an earlier post, Joe served in the armed services intelligence division during World War I. In 1924 the Post published a whole article about Joe, celebrating his 22nd anniversary with the Denver Post:

Denver Post, March 3, 1924, p. 6

This article also heaped high praise on Joe for his work:

“Joe” has been struck by lightning, burned by flashlight powder, his camera has been smashed, he’s been cursed and lauded, rebuffed and welcomed, but he’s never lost his enthusiasm for the press photography fame, and if there is a better newscamera man in the world. The Post hasn’t been able to find him.

… In his twenty two years as The Post’s news photographer, Langer has exposed approximately 90,000 negatives.  If those negatives were placed end to end they would make a glass strip all the way from Denver to Arvada.

The news of Denver, as Langer has seen it thru his cameras, would fill a library. And the most interesting stories, because they are the inside and the most intimate stories of the big happenings of those one score and two years, would far surpass what has been printed.

The article also described some of Joe’s many challenging experiences over the years.

After his mother Amelia died in 1926, Joe retired and began to travel the world.5 In 1930 Joe Langer was one of a number of journalists sailing on the SS Resolute, when this photograph was taken:

Embed from Getty Images

I found one manifest for Joe on the SS Resolute in 1929,6 and Joe also traveled to South America in February 1930 on the SS Samaria,7 and in August he traveled on the SS St. Louis to Hamburg Germany.8 It is thus not surprising that I could not find Joe on the 1930 US census.

While searching on Google for more information about Joseph Langer and for more examples of his photographs, I ran across this image:

Embed from Getty Images

According to the caption with the photograph on the Getty Images website, “JAN 20 1933; Honeymooners are Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Langer of Denver, shown here as they reached New York recently after an eighteen-day cruise of the West Indies. For many years Langer was a photographer on The Denver Post staff. His bride was Miss Bertha Courlander of Denver. Following their wedding here they sailed from New York Dec. 17 on the S.S. Reliance of the Hamburg-American line and spent the holidays sailing the Caribbean sea. (Photo By The Denver Post via Getty Images)”

Unfortunately, I have not been able to locate an actual marriage record for Joseph and Bertha or even a newspaper article, despite a search done by the Denver Public Library of issues of the Denver Post for that time period. From the caption, it appears that they were married in Denver shortly before departing on December 17, 1932, for their honeymoon cruise to the West Indies. It also appears that Joe was no longer working for the Denver Post, as the caption described him as someone who “[f]or many years… was a photographer” for the Post. (Emphasis added.)

Joe was 53 in December, 1932, when he married Bertha. She was 36. Bertha was born in Chicago on August 11, 1896, to David Courlander and Tillie Oppenheim. Her father was a dry goods jobber in 1900.9 In 1910, Bertha and her parents and siblings were living in Indianapolis where her father was now a woolens merchant.10 Then in 1920 Bertha was a patient in the National Jewish Hospital for Consumptives in Denver. She was 24 and listed her occupation as a stenographer for a lawyer. Bertha was also, however, included in the enumeration of her parents’ household in Detroit in 1920, where she was listed without an occupation. Since both enumerations are dated in January 1920, I am not sure how to reconcile this, but my guess is that her parents included her because they still considered her residence to be with them even if she was a hospital patient elsewhere.11

But Bertha Courlander stayed in Denver. She is listed in the 1922 Denver directory as residing at 1356 Pearl Street, in 1924 at 1440 Washington Street, and in 1928, 1929, and 1930, at the Hotel Cosmopolitan, the same hotel where Joe Langer resided.12 It was probably there that Joe and Bertha met. In 1933 they are listed together in the Denver directory as living at 2737 East 13th Avenue in Denver, and Joe was working as an agent for a steamship company. They later moved to 3535 East 17th Avenue in Denver.13

Sadly, their marriage did not last very long because Joe’s life was cut short on August 29, 1934, when he died from complications after a minor operation. He was 54 years old. The obituary published by his former employer, The Denver Post, filled in some of the remaining gaps in the story of Joseph Langer:

“Death Takes Former Post Photographer,” The Denver Post, August 30, 1934, p. 9

Announcement that “Joe” Langer is dead will be received with sincere regret and sorrow by thousands who knew him during his activities as a newspaper photographer. Until he retired to become a world traveler some eight years ago [1926] he was always at the front with his camera in every important story calling for picturization. No day was too long, no task too difficult to curb his enthusiasm or turn his ambition to be the “unscooped photographer.” The great and humble and all in between were to him “interesting subjects: and his files were a clear pictorial history of the times. ….After the death of his mother in 1926 he decided to see something of the world.
He took a world cruise, carrying the faithful camera along, and on his return headlined many club programs with moving pictures and oral descriptions of places he had visited in far lands.

Joe Langer certainly left his mark on the paper and the city of Denver.

Neither Joseph nor Lester Langer had any children, and thus there are no descendants for them or for their parents, Amelia Mansbach and Henry Langer. The two brothers both had such full and interesting careers in photography, one living in Denver all his life, the other living at times in Hollywood, Kansas City, and finally the small town of Ridgely, Tennessee. I am so glad I was able to learn so much about them and keep the facts of their lives from disappearing into oblivion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


  1. Publication Title: Denver, Colorado, City Directory, 1931, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995. 
  2. Lester Langer, 1930 US census, Census Place: Kansas City, Jackson, Missouri; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 0018; FHL microfilm: 2340928. Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census. 
  3. Lester Langer, 1940 US census, Census Place: Kansas City, Jackson, Missouri; Roll: m-t0627-02165; Page: 81A; Enumeration District: 116-13, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census. 
  4. MEMORIAL ID 149610799, Ancestry.com. U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current. 
  5.  “Death Takes Former Post Photographer,” The Denver Post, August 30, 1934, p. 9 
  6.  The National Archives at Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C.; Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at San Pedro/Wilmington/Los Angeles, California;NAI Number: 4486355; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787-2004; Record Group Number: 85. NARA Roll Number: 021, Ancestry.com. California, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1882-1959 
  7. Year: 1930; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 4706; Line: 1; Page Number: 193. Ship or Roll Number: Roll 4706,
    Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists 
  8. Year: 1930; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 4805; Line: 19; Page Number: 14. Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 
  9. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, SSN: 573669492. Courlander household, 1900 census, Census Place: Chicago Ward 9, Cook, Illinois; Page: 10; Enumeration District: 0221; FHL microfilm: 1240253,
    Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  10. Courlander household, 1910 US census, Census Place: Indianapolis Ward 3, Marion, Indiana; Roll: T624_367; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 0062; FHL microfilm: 1374380, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  11. Bertha Courlander 1920 US census, Census Place: Denver, Denver, Colorado; Roll: T625_162; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 244, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census. Courlander household, 1920 US census, Census Place: Detroit Ward 14, Wayne, Michigan; Roll: T625_813; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 428, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  12. Denver City Directories, 1922, 1924, 1928, 1929, 1930, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  13. Denver City Directories, 1933, 1934, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995