Lena Goldsmith Basch, Final Chapters: Frank and Hinda

In 1930, four of Lena Goldsmith’s six children were still living—Frank, Hinda, Joel, and Joseph. They ranged in age from Joseph at 63 to Frank at 73. Their children, Lena’s grandchildren, were all adults by 1930. In fact, by 1930 Frank had five grandchildren himself, and one more would arrive in the 1930s. Joel and Joseph would also have grandchildren born in the 1930s. And there were also more marriages among the grandchildren in the years that followed.

The next three posts will conclude the saga of the Basch family of Columbus, Ohio. This post will complete the stories of Frank and Hinda; Joel and Joseph will be discussed in subsequent posts.

Frank Basch’s family

Lewis Basch, Frank and Freda (Rosenthal) Basch’s son, married Maryleone Freund on June 30, 1931. Maryleone was the daughter of a rabbi, Charles J. Freund, and Elizabeth “Bertie” Oberdorfer. She was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, on November 29, 1910, but also lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In 1930 she was living with her parents in Toledo, Ohio.1

Lewis Basch, marriage record, “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:939L-FZFC?cc=1614804&wc=Q6SP-NLG%3A121350601%2C123701101 : 15 July 2014), Franklin > Marriage index and records 1935-1937 vol 108 > image 208 of 330; county courthouses, Ohio.

After marrying Lewis, Maryleone completed her undergraduate degree at Ohio State University. Lewis and Maryleone would have two children in the 1930s.

U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012″; Yearbook Title: The Makio; Year: 1932
Ancestry.com. U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1990

Just three months after her brother Lewis’ wedding, Coryne Basch, Frank and Freda’s daughter, died at age 33 from appendicitis on September 27, 1931.  According to her death certificate, Coryne was the owner of a kindergarten. Coryne was survived by her parents, her sisters Rae and Ruth, and her brother Lewis. She had never married or had children.

Coryne Basch, death certificate, Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X6HL-K9C : 8 March 2018), Coryne Basch, 27 Sep 1931; citing Columbus, Franklin, Ohio, reference fn 53945; FHL microfilm 1,992,473.

Frank Basch died on January 5, 1934, in Columbus, from coronary disease and hypertension. He was 76 years old. With his death, only three of his siblings remained.

Frank Basch, death certificate, Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6QM9-HSN?cc=2128172&wc=7DZ2-PQB%3A1296032501%2C1296824302 : 2 October 2014), Franklin > Death certificates, 1926-1927 > image 1504 of 3280; county courthouses, Ohio.

In 1940, Frank’s three surviving children were all living in different places. Lewis and his family were living in Bexley, Ohio, a suburb less than four miles east of Columbus. Lewis was a dentist in private practice.2 His sister Rae was living with her family in Chillicothe, Ohio, fifty miles south of Columbus; her husband Sidney Katz continued to be a clothing merchant.3  Ruth and her husband Sigmund Front and their children were living in Wheeling, West Virginia, in 1940, where Sigmund was managing an electrical supply store.4 Sigmund’s 1942 World War II draft registration revealed that he was no longer working in his father’s Front Company business, but for Westinghouse. I could not locate Freda Rosenthal Basch, Frank’s widow, on the 1940 census.

Sigmund Front, World War II draft registration, The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Cards (Fourth Registration) for the State of West Virginia; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975; Record Group Number: 147; Series Number: M1937, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942

Rae Basch Katz lost her husband Sidney six years later. He was 57 years old when he died on July 6, 1946.5 She outlived him by 23 years; she died on October 25, 1969, at the age of 73.6 Rae and Sidney were survived by their three daughters.

Freda Rosenthal Basch died on September 16, 1954, twenty years after her husband Frank. She was 85 years old.7

Ruth Basch Front’s husband Sigmund died in Wheeling, West Virginia, on November 2, 1960. He was 66.8 Ruth later moved to Florida, where she died at age 83 on June 1, 1988. Ruth and Sigmund were survived by their two sons.9

Tragically, Lewis Basch lost his son Richard, who, like his father, was a dentist, on July 3, 1970, when Richard was killed in a car accident after his car crossed the median on the Kentucky Turnpike and struck another vehicle. Richard was only 33 and was survived by his wife and two children.10

Lewis Basch and his wife Maryleone remained in the Columbus area, and Lewis died there on July 5, 1986, when he was 86 years old.11 He was survived by his wife Maryleone, who died at 90 on February 14, 2001, in Columbus.12 Their daughter survived them as well as their grandchildren.

Hinda Basch

In 1940 Hinda Basch was living alone in Columbus without an occupation.13 She died four years later on June 23, 1944, from hypostatic pneumonia and myocardial degeneration. She was 83. She was survived by her brothers Joel and Joseph and a number of nieces and nephews. She had no direct descendants.

Hinda Basch, death certificate, Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9PKP-W466?cc=1307272&wc=MD9X-TP8%3A287599501%2C294550101 : 21 May 2014), 1944 > 36501-39300 > image 1707 of 3268.


  1. State File Number: 2830A, Ancestry.com. Utah, Birth Certificates, 1903-1911. Charles Freund and family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Salt Lake City Ward 5, Salt Lake, Utah; Roll: T624_1607; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 0142; FHL microfilm: 1375620, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census  Freund family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Toledo, Lucas, Ohio; Page: 15A; Enumeration District: 0080; FHL microfilm: 2341570, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  2. Lewis Basch and family, 1940 US census, Census Place: Bexley, Franklin, Ohio; Roll: m-t0627-03068; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 25-1, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  3. Sidney Katz and family, 1940 US census, Census Place: Chillicothe, Ross, Ohio; Roll: m-t0627-03138; Page: 18A; Enumeration District: 71-22, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  4. Sigmund Front and family, 1940 US census, Census Place: Wheeling, Ohio, West Virginia; Roll: m-t0627-04436; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 35-37, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  5. Ancestry.com and Ohio Department of Health. Ohio, Death Records, 1908-1932, 1938-2007 
  6.  Certificate: 202624; Volume: 90023, Ancestry.com and Ohio Department of Health. Ohio, Death Records, 1908-1932, 1938-2007 
  7. Ancestry.com. Web: Columbus, Ohio, Green Lawn Cemetery Index, 1780-2010; Original data: Green Lawn Cemetery Burials. Columbus, Ohio. Joe and Dick Fleshman. http://greenlawn.delaohio.com/greenlawn/Greenlawn/index.htm: accessed 09 February 2012. 
  8. FHL Film Number: 857652, Ancestry.com. West Virginia, Deaths Index, 1853-1973 
  9. Ancestry.com. Florida Death Index, 1877-1998 
  10. “Son-in-Law of Dr. King Dies, The Newark (OH) Advocate, 09 Jul 1970, p. 22; “Dental Surgeon, Farmer Die in Separate Accidents,” The (Louisville, KY) Courier-Journal, 04 Jul 1970, p. 15. 
  11.  Certificate: 052193; Volume: 26521, Ancestry.com and Ohio Department of Health. Ohio, Death Records, 1908-1932, 1938-2007 
  12.  Certificate: 010106; Volume: 32734, Ancestry.com and Ohio Department of Health. Ohio, Death Records, 1908-1932, 1938-2007 
  13. Hinda Basch, 1940 US census, Census Place: Columbus, Franklin, Ohio; Roll: m-t0627-03244; Page: 81A; Enumeration District: 93-119B, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 

Gustavus and Lena Goldsmith Basch 1890-1900: Who Was Louis Basch?

In 1890, Lena Goldsmith Basch and her husband Gustavus Basch and four of their six children were living in Columbus, Ohio, where she and Gustavus were involved in a cigar business called Levy Mendel & Company. Their son Joseph was also working there in 1890. Their older sons Frank and Jacob were in the junk business together,  doing business as Basch Brothers. Daughter Hinda was also living with her parents and brothers at 407 East Rich in Columbus.

Columbus, Ohio, City Directory, 1890
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

Two of Gustavus and Lena’s children had left Columbus by 1890. Their younger daughter Ella had married Isadore Shatz in 1888 and moved to Cincinnati. Their third oldest son Joel was living first in Lima, Ohio, and then in Findlay, Ohio, but in 1890, his business in Findlay had failed after he had incurred some substantial gambling debts.

But Joel was not back in Columbus in 1891. The Columbus directory for that year lists Gustavus in the cigar business, presumably Levy Mendel & Co, where “Lina” and their son Joseph were also working. Jacob and Frank were still doing business as the Basch Brothers.1

The 1892 directory is essentially the same, except for an entry that completely confused me:

Columbus, Ohio, City Directory, 1892
Source Information
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

Look at that last entry for Basch—Louis Basch, living at the same address—407 E. Rich—as the other family members and working for Levy Mendel & Co. Louis Basch also appears in the 1893 Columbus directory.2 Who was he? My search for a Louis Basch led me nowhere. There were a few men named Louis Basch, but they were all born much too late to be this Louis Basch or were living too far away.

So then who was Louis Basch? There was never a Louis Basch living in the same household as Gustavus and Lena on any census record. I did notice that Lena was not listed in most of the directories for the later 1890s, but Louis Basch was. Had she taken on the pseudonym of Louis Basch? After all, as reported in the prior post, the family’s junk business had once been known as L. Basch & Sons, where the L was apparently for Lena. Perhaps to disguise the fact that the business was run by a woman the family had created a male pseudonym? What do you think?

On January 25, 1893, Joel became the second of Gustavus and Lena’s children to marry. He married Jeanette Mendel, and guess whose daughter she was? Yes, Levy Mendel, the owner of the cigar company where Joel’s parents Gustavus and Lena and his brother Joseph and the mysterious “Louis” were then associated. 3 I would think that Levy Mendel must have been familiar with Joel’s past gambling issues and would not have permitted his daughter to marry Joel if he believed those problems persisted. So perhaps Joel had cleaned up his act and had been working for his future father-in-law’s business in the years before his wedding to Jeanette. As far as I can tell, Joel had no further gambling issues in his life.

Lima (OH) News, January 10, 1893, p. 8.

By 1894 Joel was was living with his wife and family in Findlay, Ohio, ninety miles away from Columbus. He and Jeanette had two sons born in the 1890s, Sidney Louis Basch on December 7, 1894,4 and Robert Basch on June 26, 1898.5  Both boys were born in Findlay, Ohio. In 1900, he and Jeanette and their two young sons were living in Findlay, and Joel listed his occupation as a merchant.

Joel Basch and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Findlay Ward 4, Hancock, Ohio; Page: 7; Enumeration District: 0061; FHL microfilm: 1241283
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

By 1900, two more of Gustavus and Lena’s children were married. Their oldest child Frank married Freda Rosenthal in 1895. Freda was born in Germany in 1869 and immigrated to the US in 1887, according to the 1900 census.6 Unfortunately, I do not have any earlier records for Freda. Some Ancestry trees show her born in Cumberland, Maryland, but those trees provide no sources for that assertion, so for now I will rely on what is reported on the 1900 census. That census reported that Frank was a dealer in old iron and brass. Frank and Freda had two daughters born in the 1890s: Rachel (known as Rae), born September 3, 1896, in Ohio (presumably Columbus),7 and Coryne, born January 25, 1898, in Columbus.8  A third child, a son Lewis, was born on May 4, 1900.9

Frank Basch and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Columbus Ward 6, Franklin, Ohio; Page: 4; Enumeration District: 0065; FHL microfilm: 1241268, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

Joseph Basch, the youngest of Gustavus and Lena’s six children, also married before the 1900 census. He married Ida S. Steinhauser on April 11, 1899, in Columbus. Ida was the daughter of Arnold Steinhauser and either Louisa Weichler or  Sarah Wechsler; sources conflict, and I don’t know which name was correct. Ida was born on September 2, 1872, in Franklin County, Ohio.10 In 1900, Joseph and Ida were living in Columbus, where Joseph was a tobacco merchant. More specifically, he was working for Levy Mendel & Company, as seen on the 1901 directory.11

Joseph and Ida Basch, Ancestry.com. Ohio, County Marriage Records, 1774-1993

In 1900, Ella Basch and her husband Isadore Shatz were living in Findlay, Ohio, as was her brother Joel. Isadore was a merchant.  They did not have any children after twelve years of marriage.12

In 1900, Gustavus and Lena were living with Jacob and Hinda and a servant; Gustavus reported that he was a landlord on the 1900 census, and Jacob was an iron merchant.13  Gustavus and Lena had five grandchildren by 1900—Frank’s three children and Joel’s two sons. More would arrive in the next decade.

But that first decade of the 20th century would also bring some painful losses.

 

 


  1. Columbus, Ohio, City Directory, 1891, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  2. Columbus, Ohio, City Directory, 1893, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  3. Mendel family, 1880 US census, Census Place: Columbus, Franklin, Ohio; Roll: 1016; Page: 147D; Enumeration District: 026, Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census 
  4. Sidney Louis Basch, World War I draft registration,Registration State: Ohio; Registration County: Franklin; Roll: 1832018; Draft Board: 1, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 
  5. Robert Basch, FHL Film Number: 961484, Ancestry.com. Ohio, Births and Christenings Index, 1774-1973 
  6. Frank Basch and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Columbus Ward 6, Franklin, Ohio; Page: 4; Enumeration District: 0065; FHL microfilm: 1241268, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  7. Rachel Basch, FHL Film Number: 285136, Ancestry.com. Ohio, Births and Christenings Index, 1774-1973 
  8.  Ancestry.com. Web: Columbus, Ohio, Green Lawn Cemetery Index, 1780-2010, Original data: Green Lawn Cemetery Burials. Columbus, Ohio. Joe and Dick Fleshman. http://greenlawn.delaohio.com/greenlawn/Greenlawn/index.htm: accessed 09 February 2012. 
  9. Lewis Basch, Number: 273-36-5982; Issue State: Ohio; Issue Date: 1956-1958, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  10. Ida Steinhauser, FHL Film Number: 285135, Ancestry.com. Ohio, Births and Christenings Index, 1774-1973. 
  11. Joseph and Ida Basch, 1900 US census, Census Place: Columbus Ward 7, Franklin, Ohio; Page: 8; Enumeration District: 0070; FHL microfilm: 1241268, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census. Columbus, Ohio, City Directory, 1901, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  12. Ella and Isadore Shatz, 1900 US census, Census Place: Findlay Ward 4, Hancock, Ohio; Page: 7; Enumeration District: 0061; FHL microfilm: 1241283, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  13. Gustavus Basch and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Columbus Ward 6, Franklin, Ohio; Page: 3; Enumeration District: 0068; FHL microfilm: 1241268, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 

Milton Goldsmith’s Family Album, Part VI: His Parents, Abraham and Cecelia

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

Now that we have seen the pages Milton devoted to his maternal and paternal grandparents, we can turn our attention to those devoted to his parents, Abraham Goldsmith and Cecelia Adler.

First, there is this page:Although they are not labeled, the paired photographs at the bottom must be Cecelia Adler and Abraham Goldsmith. I know this because the photograph on the upper right is one I’ve seen before—I received it from my cousin Julian Reinheimer over a year ago,  labeled as Julian’s great-grandfather, Abraham Goldsmith. So I know that the upper photograph is Abraham, and he is certainly the same man as the man in the photograph at the lower right.

Abraham Goldsmith, courtesy of Julian Reinheimer

I also know that the woman on the left is Cecelia because Julian also sent me this photograph of his great-grandmother Cecelia, and she is the same woman as the woman on the left in the photograph above:

Cecelia Adler, courtesy of Julian Reinheimer

Could the two framed photographs be their wedding photographs?

Cecelia was only nineteen in 1858 when they married, Abraham was six years older or twenty-five. Somehow they look older than that in these photographs, but I am terrible at determining age in these old photographs when people dressed so formally and posed so stiffly without smiling. It’s obvious, however, that these two photographs were taken at the same studio and likely at the same time, given that the same table appears in both. I wonder if there was a date on the reverse, but it is not worth trying to remove the photograph from the album to check.

According to Milton, his grandfather Samuel Adler was not successful in business, but Cecelia certainly is dressed very well in this photograph and is wearing what appears to be a large cameo pendant, similar or perhaps the same as the one in the photograph I received from Julian, seen above. Was this taken after she married Abraham, who was in fact very successful in business? Which photograph appears to be earlier?

Cecelia Adler Goldsmith, courtesy of Sue Jacobson

Finally, there is the photograph labeled “The Homestead in Oberlistingen.” This must have been the house where Abraham and his family lived before he and almost all his siblings immigrated to the United States beginning in the 1840s. So who is the woman standing on the stairs in front of the house? My first hope was that this was Hinka Alexander Goldschmidt, my three-times great-grandmother and Abraham Goldsmith’s mother, Milton’s paternal grandmother.

But then I realized this could not be Hinka. She died in 1860. This looks like a casual snapshop, and thus not something that could have been taken in those early days of photography. In fact, according to the Smithsonian:

Photography emerged in the early 19th century, but well into the 1880s it was a difficult, ponderous thing to do. The reigning forms of photography recorded onto chemically treated plates and paper. Taking a picture required the subjects to sit still for a half minute or more—“torture,” as the social critic Walter Benjamin recalled. Families trooped into studios to get portraits taken, but they were a study in stiffness: everyone sitting ramrod straight, afraid to move—or even to change their expression—for fear of blurring the photo.….Things changed dramatically in 1888 when George Eastman introduced the Kodak camera. A small hand-held box, it cost only $25—about the price of a higher-end iPad in today’s money, which put it in the range of the well-off middle class. And it offered simplicity…

So much to my disappointment, I concluded that this was not Hinka, but some other woman posing on the front steps of what had been the Goldschmidt home in Oberlistingen.

Milton did not write much about Hinka, mentioning her only to say that several girls in the family were named for her (including my great-grandmother Hilda Katzenstein Schoenthal, who was the daughter of Eva Goldschmidt Katzenstein and granddaughter of Hinka Alexander Goldschmidt). Milton obviously never met his grandmother Hinka, who never left Germany and died a year before Milton was born. And unlike the heroic war stories passed down about his grandfather Seligmann Goldschmidt, there were likely no such stories shared about his grandmother. Like women of those times, her life was not in the public sphere, but in the home. So all we know about her is when she was born, who she married, what children were born to her and raised by her, and when she died.

It’s thus not surprising that my heart wanted that to be a photograph of Hinka standing in front of her home, but alas, my brain knew otherwise. I do, however, have this photograph or drawing of Hinka, provided by David Baron and Roger Cibella, who is also her descendant:

Hinka Alexander Goldschmidt. Courtesy of David Baron and Roger Cibella

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

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

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

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

Würzburg, den 6ten November 1837

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

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

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

Würzburg, November 6, 1837

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

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

Samuel Adler

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Milton also included this photograph of his grandfather Samuel.

Samuel Adler

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Milton Goldsmith’s Family Album, Part III: Finding Hettie Steele

Before my father died, I had started posting images from the pages of Milton Goldsmith’s family album. Because my father had a memory of Milton—he was his first cousin, twice removed, his grandmother Hilda’s first cousin—this project was and is special to me. So today I will return to my Monday postings about Milton’s album.

In my last post about Milton Goldsmith’s album, I highlighted this sentence from his family report about his aunt Betty Goldschmidt because it led me to the discovery of a new cousin:

BETTY: married to Jacob Goldschmidt, (a cousin,) with several children, all of whom except Hettie Steele lived in Germany

In my research of Betty and Jacob Goldschmidt, I had not found any living descendants. Their story was among the saddest I’d researched. Betty and Jacob had eight children, but I’d only been able to find adult records for one of those eight, their son Berthold. Berthold and his first wife Mathilde had seven children, and all but one of those children died before reaching adulthood. Only their son Siegfried lived to adulthood, and he and his wife Frieda Fanny Pless were murdered in the Holocaust. Their only child Max survived, but Max died without descendants. In addition, Berthold had a second wife, Rickchen Geissberg, with whom he had two more children and a grandson. All were killed in the Holocaust.1

So I was excited to read in Milton’s family report that Betty and Jacob had had a child—Hettie Steele—who had left Germany and presumably survived. But who was she?

I looked back at my posts and notes on Betty Goldschmidt and Jacob Goldschmidt (Lehmann’s son) and saw that they’d had a daughter named Hedwig for whom I had a birth record, but no subsequent records. She was born on August 21, 1868, in Oberlistingen  Could this be Hettie Steele?

BIrth record of Hedwig Goldschmidt, Abschrift der Geburts-, Trau- und Sterberegister der Juden von Oberlistingen (Breuna) 1826-1890 (1937) (HHStAW Abt. 365 Nr. 673)AutorHessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, Wiesbaden, p. 18

Milton had written under Hettie Steele the name “Adolph,” so I set off to research Adolph and Hettie Steele and found a couple with those names on the 1900 census living in Butler, Pennsylvania. From there I was able to work forwards and backwards in time to learn a great deal about Hettie.

According to the 1900 census, Hettie arrived in the US in 1883, when she was only fifteen years old.2 A number of her mother Betty’s siblings were then living in Philadelphia, including my great-great-grandmother Eva Goldschmidt Katzenstein. Presumably that is where young Hettie was headed, though I have no record of her living in Philadelphia after she arrived.

Hettie married Adolph Steele in Philadelphia in 1889.3 He was born in Germany in November, 1856. Records conflict as to when he immigrated, but the 1900 census as well as the 1930 census say he arrived in 1872, and the 1920 census says 1877, so my guess is that he arrived sometime in the 1870s.4 (The 1910 census says 1864, but that seems less likely to be reliable.) It appears that Adolph settled in Baltimore and lived and worked with his brother Louis, a clothing merchant.5

Adolph and Hettie’s first child Florence was born on September 23, 1890, in Washington, Pennsylvania. 6 Their son Leighton was also born in Washington; he was born on April 15, 1895. 7

Prospect Avenue, Washington, PA 1890
http://www.washingtonpa.us/washingtons-past/

Of course, several other members of the Goldschmidt/Goldsmith clan had lived in Washington, but in 1890, the only member of Hettie’s extended family who was still living there was my great-grandmother, Hilda Katzenstein Schoenthal. Hilda was Eva Goldschmidt’s daughter, Betty’s Goldschmidt’s niece, and thus Hilda and Hettie were first cousins living in the same small town together in the 1890s.  They were also having children at the same time; my great-uncle Lester was born in Washington, Pennsylvania in 1888, his brother Gerson in 1892. These cousins were thus all close in age. They must have known each other, and yet I had never known of Hettie until I read Milton’s family report in his album.

Hilda Katzenstein Schoenthal, my great-grandmother

But by 1900, Hettie and Adolph and their two children had left Washington and moved about sixty miles north to Butler, Pennsylvania, where Adolph was working as a clothing merchant. A boarder named Leopold Goldsmith was living with them, but I wasn’t sure whether he was connected to the family.

Adolph Steele and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Butler Ward 3, Butler, Pennsylvania; Page: 12; Enumeration District: 0057; FHL microfilm: 1241386
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

On the 1910 census, Adolph and Hettie were still living in Butler, and Adolph continued to work as a merchant. Their daughter Florence, now nineteen, was working as a public school teacher. Leopold Goldsmith was still living with them, and this time he was identified as Adolph’s brother-in-law. My eyes lit up. Leopold Goldsmith had to be Hettie’s brother, meaning another child of Betty and Jacob Goldschmidt had made it to adulthood.

Adolph Steele, 1910 US census, Census Place: Butler Ward 3, Butler, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1321; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 0066; FHL microfilm: 1375334
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

Betty and Jacob’s youngest child was named Lehmann on his birth record, and he was born on October 22, 1872. I looked back at the 1900 census and saw that on that census Leopold Goldsmith reported a birth date of October 1872. Leopold had to be Betty and Jacob’s son who was born Lehmann.

Birth record of Lehmann Goldschmidt aka Leopold Goldsmith, Abschrift der Geburts-, Trau- und Sterberegister der Juden von Oberlistingen (Breuna) 1826-1890 (1937) (HHStAW Abt. 365 Nr. 673)AutorHessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, Wiesbaden, p. 19

I searched a bit more and found Leopold living in 1897 with Hettie and Adolph in Washington, Pennsylvania, where he was working for Adolph.8

But alas, Leopold’s life was cut short like so many of his siblings. He died on March 24, 1914, in Butler, Pennsylvania, at the age of 40. According to his death certificate he died from exhaustion from chronic heart disease. His brother-in-law Adolph Steele was the informant on his death certificate.

Leopold Goldsmith, death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1965; Certificate Number Range: 020581-024050, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966

The Butler (PA) Citizen published this lovely obituary on March 25, 1914 (p.3):

Seeing the mention of only Hettie and “a brother in Germany” as survivors confirmed my conclusion that all of Betty and Jacob Goldschmidt’s five other children had died. The brother in Germany must refer to Berthold.

But Hettie’s family survived and grew. On February 15, 1915, Hettie’s daughter Florence married Herman Wise, a German immigrant born on July 1, 1878, making him twelve years older than Florence.9 Herman had immigrated in the 1890s and was working as a clothing merchant in Ottawa, Ohio, when he married Florence. Florence and Herman settled in Ottawa, where their first child Martha was born on February 22, 1916. 10 In 1920, they continued to live in Ottawa, where Herman was still a clothing merchant.11

Butler (PA) Citizen, February 16, 1915, p. 5

Hettie and Adolph’s son Leighton graduated from the dental school at the University of Michigan in 1916. In 1917 when he registered for the draft in World War I, he was a self-employed dentist working in Detroit, Michigan. The 1923 University of Michigan alumni directory lists Leighton as a first lieutenant “D.R.C. 1918-1919;” D.R.C. stands for Dental Reserve Corps. In 1920 he was practicing dentistry in Detroit.12

Leighton Steele, World War I draft registration, Registration State: Michigan; Registration County: Wayne; Roll: 2032496; Draft Board: 18
Source Information
Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918

Hettie and Adolph were still living in Butler, Pennsylvania, in 1920, but Adolph was no longer a clothing merchant. It looks like it says he was an employment agent for “car works” or maybe “gas works.” Anyone have any idea what that means?

Adolph and Hettie Steele, 1920 US census, Census Place: Butler Ward 3, Butler, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1543; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 16
Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census

In 1923, Hettie’s daughter Florence had a second child, a son Robert born on September 9 in Ottawa, Ohio.13 Hettie’s son Leighton married Rae Finsterwald on December 27, 1924, in Detroit. She was born in Marion, Wisconsin, on November 8, 1897, to Charles Finsterwald and Selma Goldberg. She grew up in Wisconsin, but in 1920, she was living with her parents and siblings in Detroit where she must have met Leighton. Leighton and Rae would have two children, one born in 1926 and another in 1935.14

By 1930, Hettie and Adolph had moved from Butler, Pennsylvania, to Highland Park, Michigan. Adolph was now 73, but still working, now as a storekeeper for a carpet business.15 He died just three years later on January 18, 1933, in Ottawa, Ohio, where their daughter Florence was living. According to his death certificate, he died from acute pulmonary edema after suffering from chronic hypertension and myocarditis since 1931. He was 77.

“Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9PKD-9HFM?cc=1307272&wc=MD96-VTG%3A287599601%2C291650202 : 21 May 2014), 1933 > 06001-09000 > image 1083 of 3247.

Hettie died six and a half years later on June 13, 1939, in Ottawa, from acute coronary occlusion; she was seventy. She was the longest surviving child of Betty and Jacob Goldschmidt. And she was survived by her children Florence and Leighton and four grandchildren.

“Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9PTC-3C1?cc=1307272&wc=MD9X-BP8%3A287601801%2C294559601 : 21 May 2014), 1939 > 38901-41800 > image 298 of 3242.

Florence continued to live in Ohio with her husband Herman Wise, until his death there on October 23, 1954.16 Her brother Leighton lived in the Detroit area and practiced dentistry there until about 1952 when he moved to Los Angeles, where he died in 1956.17 His wife Rae died in 1986, as did his sister Florence.18

Florence was 95 when she died on April 9, 1986.19 She and her brother Leighton were survived by their children and grandchildren and have a number of living descendants today.

How grateful I am for that one little comment on Milton Goldsmith’s family report mentioning Hettie and Adolph Steele. It led to the addition of a whole new branch on my Goldschmidt family tree. More importantly, I learned that Betty and Jacob Goldschmidt have living descendants, contrary to what I’d thought before Milton’s report enlightened me.

 

 

 

 

 

 


  1. Death record of Rickchen Geissberg Goldschmidt, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Signatur: 8196, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958. Hedwig Goldschmidt Starksy, Yad Vashem entry, https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=11507302&ind=0. Jacob Julius Goldschmidt, Yad Vashem entry, https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=11507410&ind=0 
  2. Hettie Steele, 1900 US census, Census Place: Butler Ward 3, Butler, Pennsylvania; Page: 12; Enumeration District: 0057; FHL microfilm: 1241386, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census. 
  3. Film Number: 004141925, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Marriages, 1852-1968 
  4. Adolph Steele, see census records depicted below. 
  5. Adolph Steele, 1880 US census, Census Place: Baltimore, Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland; Roll: 498; Page: 105B; Enumeration District: 047, Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census. 
  6. Florence Steele Wise, Number: 295-40-7386; Issue State: Ohio; Issue Date: 1962,
    Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014. “Florence Wise,” Lima (OH) News, April 11, 1986, p. A4 
  7. Leighton G. Steele, World War I draft registration, Registration State: Michigan; Registration County: Wayne; Roll: 2032496; Draft Board: 18, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 
  8. Washington, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1897, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  9. Herman Wise, World War I draft registration, Registration State: Ohio; Registration County: Putnam; Roll: 1851085, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 
  10.  FHL Film Number: 915768, Ancestry.com. Ohio, Births and Christenings Index, 1774-1973 
  11. Herman Wise and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Ottawa, Putnam, Ohio; Roll: T625_1429; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 107, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  12.  Catalogue of graduates, non-graduates, officers, and members of the faculties, 1837-1921. University of Michigan, Ancestry.com. U.S., College Student Lists, 1763-1924; Leighton Steele, 1920 US census, Census Place: Detroit Ward 4, Wayne, Michigan; Roll: T625_805; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 138, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  13. State File Number: 1923091889, Ancestry.com. Ohio, Birth Index, 1908-1964 
  14. Michigan Department of Community Health, Division of Vital Records and Health Statistics; Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan, Marriage Records, 1867-1952; Film: 180; Film Description: 1924 Wayne – 1925 Calhoun, Ancestry.com. Michigan, Marriage Records, 1867-1952; Name: Ray Finsterwald, Birth Date: 8 Nov 1897, Birth Place: Waupaca, Wisconsin, USA, Reel: 0304, Record: 000972, Ancestry.com. Wisconsin, Birth Index, 1820-1907; Finsterwald family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Detroit Ward 4, Wayne, Michigan; Roll: T625_805; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 158, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  15. Adolph and Hettie Steele, 1930 US census, Census Place: Highland Park, Wayne, Michigan; Page: 15B; Enumeration District: 0983; FHL microfilm: 2340809, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  16. “Herman Wise Dies in Lima Hospital,” Washington C.H. Record-Herald, 25 Oct 1954, Mon, Page 10. 
  17. Ancestry.com. California, Death Index, 1940-1997. “Dr. Leighton Steele,” Detroit Times Monday, Mar 12, 1956 Detroit, MI Page: 16. 
  18. Ancestry.com. California, Death Index, 1940-1997 
  19.  Michigan Department of Vital and Health Records. Michigan, Death Index, 1971-1996. “Florence Wise,” Lima (OH) News, April 11, 1986, p. A4 

Ellena Goldsmith Feldstein and Her Family: Not Blessed with Longevity

When I last posted about the children of Jacob Goldsmith, I was focusing on those of his children who died between 1911 and 1920. In 1910, twelve of Jacob’s fourteen children were still living; Emma and George had already passed away. By the end of 1920, only seven of the remaining children were still living.  Five of the siblings died between 1911 and 1920. We have already seen that  Leonora Goldsmith Jaffa died in 1911, Rachel Goldsmith died in 1915, and Felix Goldsmith died in 1919.

The fourth of Jacob Goldsmith’s children to die between 1911 and 1920 was his oldest child, Ellena Goldsmith Feldstein. Ellena had lost her husband Samuel and her son William in 1908, and on June 20, 1914, she died from cerebral thrombosis. She was sixty years old. She was survived by four of her children: Sylvester, Leon (formerly Leopold), Fannie, and Gertrude.

Ellena Goldsmith Feldstein death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1965; Certificate Number Range: 061391-064480, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966

Sylvester had married Selma Lowenstein in 1911 in Philadelphia.1 She was born in Germany on July 12, 1888,2 and had immigrated to the US in 1908.3 Sylvester and Selma settled in Atlantic City where Sylvester was in the cigar business with his brother Leon.4 On March 27, 1914, just two months before Ellena died, Selma gave birth to Samuel Feldstein, obviously named for his grandfather, Sylvester’s father.5 When he registered for the World War I draft, Sylvester was still in the cigar business and reported that he was partly lame in his left leg.

Sylvester Feldstein, World War I draft registration, Registration State: New Jersey; Registration County: Atlantic; Roll: 1711901; Draft Board: 2
Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918

And then tragedy struck the family again in this decade when Sylvester died at age 44 on July 20, 1919, in Atlantic City, leaving behind his wife Selma and his five-year-old son Samuel.6

In 1920, Selma and her son Samuel were still living in Atlantic City, and Selma was working as a housekeeper in a lodging house.7  By 1930 they had moved to Philadelphia where Selma was now working as a “saleslady” in a department store. Samuel was fifteen years old.8 Ten years later Selma and Samuel were still living in Philadelphia where Selma continued to work in a department store and Samuel was now an inspector for Westinghouse Electric.9 In 1941, Samuel married Cele Hammerschlag,10 and they would have four children. Selma died in 1973, Samuel died in 2004, and Cele in 2009.11

Sylvester’s brother and business partner Leopold also married in the 1910s.  He married Martha Tovey in Williamstown, Pennsylvania, on September 17, 1912.  He was 32, she 31, according to their marriage license. Martha was the daughter of Joseph Tovey and Susannah Curtis, and she was born in England in November, 1881, and immigrated as a baby with her parents on July 1, 1882.12 In 1900, Martha was living as a servant in a household in Williamstown, Pennsylvania, a small town about 115 miles northwest of Philadelphia. In 1910 she was living in Atlantic City, working as a housekeeper.13

Marriage record of Leopold Feldstein and Martha Tovey, Film Number: 000021184
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Marriages, 1852-1968

After they married, Leopold, now using the name Leon, and Martha stayed in Atlantic City, where in 1920, Leon was still in the cigar business, and Martha was not employed.14 In 1930, Martha’s mother was living in their household in Atlantic City.  Leon continued to manufacture cigars, and Martha was a “saleslady” in a cigar store.15 They did not have children. Leon died three years later on September 25, 1933 in Atlantic City.  He was 53. I was unable to find a death record for his widow Martha or any other records that revealed what happened to her after Leon’s death, except for a reference to her as one of her mother Susanna’s survivors in 1942.16

As for Ellena Goldsmith Feldstein’s two daughters, Fannie and Gertrude, as noted in an earlier post, Fannie had married Isidor Neufeld in 1904 and had two children, Hortense (1905) and Sylvia (1908). Isidor was a shirt cutter in a factory, a job he continued to hold in the 1910s. By 1920 he had been promoted to a foreman in the shirt factory. Fannie’s sister Gertrude was also living with them; she was working as a stenographer for a bottle company.

Neufeld family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 42, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1643; Page: 22B; Enumeration District: 1561, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census

In 1925, Fannie and Isidor’s daughter Hortense married Philip M. Jacobs in Philadelphia.17 Philip was born on February 21, 1898, in Philadelphia, to Rachael and Reuben Jacobs. In 1920 he’d been working as a men’s clothing salesman and living with his parents in Philadelphia.18  Philip and Hortense had two daughters born in the 1920s. In 1930 they were all living in Philadelphia, and Philip was working in the clothing manufacturing business.19

Fannie, Isidor, their daughter Sylvia, and Fannie’s sister Gertrude were still living together in 1930. Isidor was still the foreman at the shirt factory, Sylvia was a school teacher, and Gertrude was a bookkeeper for a hosiery mill.20

Things changed in the 1930s. Fannie and Isidor Neufeld’s daughter Sylvia married Eugene Fielder Wieder in Philadelphia in 1939.21 Eugene was born October 3, 1891, in Philadelphia, to Albert and Tillie Wieder. His father was a German immigrant, his mother a native Pennsylvanian. His father was a furniture dealer.22

Eugene had been previously married and in 1920 was living with his first wife Edith Wollner and working in shirt manufacturing. 23 I could not locate him on the 1930 census or in any other records until the entry in the Philadelphia marriage index entry for him and Sylvia in 1939.

In 1940 Eugene and Sylvia were living with Sylvia’s mother Fannie Goldsmith Neufeld in Philadelphia; Eugene was now a salesman in a retail furniture store, perhaps his father’s business, and Sylvia was teaching school. But where was Fannie’s husband Isidor?

Neufeld and Wieder family 1940 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: m-t0627-03753; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 51-2158
Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census

I found him living in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, boarding with a family and working as the foreman in a shirt factory.24 Both he and Fannie listed their marital status as married on the 1940 census, so I assume this was a work-related move necessitated by the Depression. That assumption is reinforced by Isidor’s World War II draft registration two years later; he was still living in Lancaster, but listed Fannie as his wife and his contact person on the registration, giving Fannie’s Philadelphia address.

Isidor Neufeld, World War II draft registration, he 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

Fannie’s sister Gertrude also married in the 1930s. She married Louis Lewin in Philadelphia in 1938; she was 49, he was 53.25  Louis was born in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, on February 16, 1885.26  His parents were Samuel Lewin, a German-born clothing merchant, and Helen Obendorf, who was born in Maryland. Louis’ father died in 1904, and by 1906, his family had moved to Baltimore, where his mother’s family lived.27 In 1910 Louis was living with his mother and other relatives and working as a dry goods salesman. By 1920, he was married to a woman named Louisa and living in Philadelphia, but in 1930 he was divorced and back in Baltimore, working as a clerk in the post office, and living as a lodger.28 After he and Gertrude married, they were living in Philadelphia where Louis was a candy salesman and Gertrude a secretary in a law office in 1940.

Louis Lewin and Gertrude Feldstein Lewin, 1940 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: m-t0627-03752; Page: 61A; Enumeration District: 51-2122
Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census

Sadly, Gertrude died just three years later at the age of 55 from hypertensive cardiovascular disease and cerebral hemorrhage.

Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1965; Certificate Number Range: 094201-096650
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966

Of the five children born to Ellena Goldsmith and Samuel Feldstein, only Fannie was left after Gertrude died in 1943. And then Fannie suffered yet another terrible loss when her younger daughter Sylvia died from breast cancer on January 28, 1953, at the age of 44.

Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1965; Certificate Number Range: 007651-010350
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966

Almost exactly two years later Fannie lost her husband Isidor Neufeld on January 13, 1955; he was 73 and died from prostate cancer.29 Fannie survived him for five years, dying at age 76 from congestive heart failure and hypertensive cardiovascular disease on February 6, 1960. According to her death certificate she had suffered from heart disease for five years, so from about the time she lost her husband.

Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1965; Certificate Number Range: 019051-021750
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966

She was survived by her remaining daughter, Hortense Neufeld Jacobs, and two granddaughters. Hortense died in 1983 at 77.30

Ellena Goldsmith and Samuel Feldstein’s family was not blessed with longevity. Ellena was sixty when she died, Samuel 61. Fannie Feldstein Neufeld was their only child to live past sixty; Arthur had died before his first birthday, William at 31, Sylvester at 44, Leon at 53, and then Gertrude at 55. Of those six children, only two had children of their own: Fannie’s two daughters Hortense and Sylvia, and Sylvester’s son Samuel. And Sylvia’s life was also cut short prematurely at 44.  Of all the children and grandchildren of Ellena and Samuel, only Fannie, Hortense, and Samuel lived past seventy. Samuel truly avoided the family’s bad DNA as he lived to age ninety, dying in 2004. He must have inherited those good genes from his mother Selma, who lived to 84, unlike her husband Sylvester who died at 44.


  1. Marriage License Number: 264923, Digital GSU Number: 4140424, Ancestry.com. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Marriage Index, 1885-1951 
  2.  Selma Feldstein, SSN: 164-10-7288, Born: 12 Jul 1888, Died: Jun 1973,
    Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  3. Selma Feldstein, 1920 US census, Census Place: Atlantic City Ward 2, Atlantic, New Jersey; Roll: T625_1015; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 11, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  4. Atlantic City, New Jersey, City Directory, 1912, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  5.  SSN: 185014552, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  6. Philadelphia Inquirer, July 22, 1919, p. 17. 
  7. Selma Feldstein, 1920 US census, Census Place: Atlantic City Ward 2, Atlantic, New Jersey; Roll: T625_1015; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 11, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  8. Selma Feldstein, 1930 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 1074; FHL microfilm: 2341869,
    Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  9. Selma Feldstein, 1940 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: m-t0627-03724; Page: 13B; Enumeration District: 51-1172,
    Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  10. Marriage Year: 1941, Marriage License Number: 730487, Digital GSU Number: 4143600, Ancestry.com. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Marriage Index, 1885-1951 
  11. Selma Feldstein, SSN: 164-10-7288, Born: 12 Jul 1888, Died: Jun 1973,
    Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014. Samuel V. Feldstein
    SSN: 185-01-4552, Born: 26 Mar 1914, Died: 20 Dec 2004, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014. Cele H. Feldstein, Born: 3 Oct 1918, Died: 3 Jul 2009
    Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  12.  Martha Tovey, Registration Year: 1881, Registration Quarter: Oct-Nov-Dec
    Registration district: Kendal, Volume: 10b, Page: 674, FreeBMD. England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915. Ship manifest,  Year: 1882; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 454; Line: 16; List Number: 907, Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 
  13. Tovey family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Williamstown, Dauphin, Pennsylvania; Page: 16; Enumeration District: 0110; FHL microfilm: 1241404,  Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census; Martha Tovey, 1910 US census, Census Place: Atlantic City Ward 3, Atlantic, New Jersey; Roll: T624_867; Page: 15B; Enumeration District: 0018; FHL microfilm: 1374880, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  14. Leon Feldstein, 1920 US census, Census Place: Atlantic City Ward 3, Atlantic, New Jersey; Roll: T625_1015; Page: 14B; Enumeration District: 26, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  15. Leon Feldstein, 1930 US census, Census Place: Atlantic City, Atlantic, New Jersey; Page: 11B; Enumeration District: 0022; FHL microfilm: 2341043, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  16.   The Philadelphia Inquirer, 28 Sep 1933, Thu, Page 23. “Mrs. Susanna Tovey,”  Lykens (PA) Register, 24 Apr 1942, Fri, Page 4. 
  17. Marriage License Number: 507659, Digital GSU Number: 4141807,
    Ancestry.com. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Marriage Index, 1885-1951 
  18. Philip Jacobs, World War I draft registration, Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Philadelphia; Roll: 1907760; Draft Board: 37, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Jacobs family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 20, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1616; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 451, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  19. Philip Jacobs, 1930 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 1048; FHL microfilm: 2341868, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  20. Feldstein family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 15B; Enumeration District: 1080; FHL microfilm: 2341870, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  21.  Marriage Year: 1939, Marriage License Number: 699905,Ancestry.com. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Marriage Index, 1885-1951 
  22. Eugene Wieder, Death Certificate Number: 8990, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1965; Certificate Number Range: 007351-010050, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966. Wieder family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 28, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1402; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 0630; FHL microfilm: 1375415, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  23. Eugene Wieder, 1920 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 20, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1616; Page: 11A; Enumeration District: 451,
    Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  24. Isidor Neufeld, 1940 US census, Census Place: West Earl, Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Roll: m-t0627-03535; Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 36-158, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  25. Marriage Year: 1938, Marriage License Number: 686632, Digital GSU Number: 4141695, Ancestry.com. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Marriage Index, 1885-1951 
  26. Louis Lewin, World War I draft registration,  Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Philadelphia; Roll: 1907611; Draft Board: 09,
    Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 
  27. Lewin, 1900 US census, Census Place: Bellefonte, Centre, Pennsylvania; Page: 5; Enumeration District: 0001; FHL microfilm: 1241391, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census.  “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6QM9-HP2?cc=1320976&wc=9FR2-N3D%3A1073107602 : 16 May 2014), 004008656 > image 211 of 524; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Baltimore, Maryland, City Directory, 1906, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  28. Louis Lewin, 1910 US census, Census Place: Baltimore Ward 14, Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland; Roll: T624_557; Page: 11A; Enumeration District: 0236; FHL microfilm: 1374570; Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census. Louis Lewin 1920 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 15, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1621; Page: 16B; Enumeration District: 309, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census. Louis Lewin, 1930 US census, Census Place: Baltimore, Blank, Maryland; Page: 11B; Enumeration District: 0164; FHL microfilm: 2340590, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  29. Isidor Neufeld death certificate 7955, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1965; Certificate Number Range: 005401-008100, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966 
  30. Number: 182-30-5349; Issue State: Pennsylvania; Issue Date: 1954-1955, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-201 

Milton Goldsmith’s Family Album, Part II: Loving Tributes to His Grandfather and Father

Last week I introduced the precious gift that my cousin Sue shared with me—her grandfather Milton Goldsmith’s family album. Today I will share the second and third pages in that album.

The second page of Milton Goldsmith’s family album tells about his grandfather and my three-times great grandfather, Seligmann Goldschmidt:

Milton wrote this about his grandfather:

My father’s father, was Seligman Goldschmidt. He was born and lived for the greater part of his life in Oberlistingen, near Hessen Kassel. He was a dealer in spices and general goods. At that epoch Jews could not engage in the higher professions. When Napoleon over-ran Europe, he was drafted into the army, and served under Blucher at the Battle of Waterloo, where he acquitted himself with such bravery that a memorial tablet bearing his name and that of two other Jews of Oberlistingen was erected in one of the public halls. His wife was named Hinka, after whom the several girls named Hildah in our family were called.

How wonderful to learn about Seligmann’s occupation and his brave service in the Battle of Waterloo, facts that were not revealed in any records I’d found.

At the bottom of this page and over to the next page in the album is Milton’s outline of the children of his father’s parents, Seligmann Goldschmidt and Hinka Alexander:

As I noted last time, I found this report reassuring in part because it backed up the research I had done on Seligmann and Hinka and their children.

There is also a loving tribute to Milton’s father Abraham on this page. Milton wrote:

Our father, Abraham, came to America at the age of 17 and married at the age of 24. He was a very clever, well educated man, with a thorough knowledge of both German and English, and an omiverous reader of good books. He was successful as a merchant, but failed whenever he undertook any venture outside of his legitimate business. He was at the head of many civic organizations, and highly esteemed by a great circle of friends. In 1878, in consequence of a depression, he retired from the cloth business, and was worth a quarter of a million dollars. Most of this was eventually lost. His declining years were very unhappy, and he lingered for 12 years with an incurable malady. He died at the age of 72.

My blog posts about Abraham mention his business successes and failures, the stroke in 1890 that left him disabled for the last twelve years of his life, and his impressive library of books. But having his son Milton’s affectionate and admiring words adds another layer to the story of this man, my 3x-great-uncle.

But perhaps the most helpful part of this page in Milton’s album was the sentence about his father’s sister, Betty:

BETTY: married to Jacob Goldschmidt, (a cousin,) with several children, all of whom except Hettie Steele lived in Germany.

Who was Hettie Steele? She was not on my family tree. This little sentence led me to a very fruitful and uplifting search.  I will save that for my next post about Milton’s album.

 

My Cousin Sue and Her Grandfather’s Amazing Album

A few weeks back I connected with my third cousin, once removed, Sue Jacobson. Sue is the granddaughter of Milton Goldsmith, and I had been hoping to connect with her for a long time.

Some of you may remember the long series of posts I wrote about my cousin Milton Goldsmith, the author. Milton, the son of Abraham Goldsmith, was my great-grandmother Hilda Katzenstein’s first cousin; both were the grandchildren of Seligmann Goldschmidt and Hinka Alexander. And my father recalled meeting Milton when he was growing up, remembering him as the author of children’s books. So I was fascinated by Milton and his life for many reasons, and finding Sue has been a true gift.

Not only has Sue answered some of my lingering questions and commented on my blog posts to update and respond to those questions, she has shared with me an incredible album that her grandfather Milton compiled in 1936 when he was 75 years old. It includes biographical information, some photographs, and family trees created by Milton. Sue has generously given me permission to post images from this album, and I have decided to add a third day a week to my blogging schedule to post this wonderful material a page or two at a time.  I plan to post these each Monday, keeping my regular posts on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Today I am posting the cover of the album and its inside cover, which is a beautiful rendition of Abraham Goldsmith’s family tree, showing all his children and grandchildren from both his first marriage to Celia Adler and his second marriage to Frances Spanier.

I am very curious about the illustrations. Did Milton buy this album with the illustrations already printed on the cover and on the pages that follow? Or did he have someone do these illustrations? They look not dissimilar to some that appeared in his books. Has anyone ever seen an album like this before?

Next time I will post the page that follows these in the album where Milton reported on the children of Seligmann Goldschmidt, his father’s father. I was delighted that Milton’s report corroborated the research I had done on Seligmann’s family. But I was even more delighted when I learned about a cousin I had not known about before. I am excited to share that discovery next week. Stay tuned.

 

Simon Goldsmith: His Legacy—German Criminal, American Patriarch

In the last post we saw how a number of Jacob Goldsmith’s children left Pennsylvania when they reached adulthood. But Jacob Goldsmith’s children weren’t the only descendants of Simon Goldsmith who moved from Pennsylvania in the 1870s.

By 1878, Simon’s daughter Lena and her husband Gustavus Basch and children had moved to Columbus, Ohio.1 According to directories and the 1880 census, Gustavus was now in the vinegar manufacturing business, and his oldest son Frank, now 22, was working with him in the business. I assume it must have been this business opportunity that drew them to Columbus. In 1880, Lena and Gustavus’ four other children—Joseph, Joel, Hinda, and Ella—were also living with their parents. The only child who was not still living at home was their son Jacob, who was living in Hamilton, Ohio, and working as a hotel clerk. Hamilton is about 100 miles southwest of Columbus.2

Gustavus Basch and family, 1880 US census, Census Place: Columbus, Franklin, Ohio; Roll: 1016; Page: 201D; Enumeration District: 029
Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census

As for Simon’s two youngest children, my double cousins Henry and Hannah, they were busy having children during the 1870s and 1880s. Henry and his wife Sarah Jaffa continued to live in Connellsville, Pennsylvania, where Henry was a clothing merchant. In addition to their first child, Jacob W. Goldsmith, who was born in 1871, Sarah gave birth to four more children between 1873 and 1880: Benjamin (1873),3 Milton (1877),4 Samuel (1879),5 Edison (1880).6 Five more would come between 1881 and 1889: Walter (1881),7 Florence (1883),8 Albert (1884),9 Oliver (1887),10 and Helen (1889).11 In total, Henry and Sarah had ten children. All were born in Connellsville.

Henry Goldsmith and family, 1880 US census, Census Place: Connellsville, Fayette, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1129; Page: 93D; Enumeration District: 035
Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census

Hannah and her husband Joseph Benedict stayed in Pittsburgh where Joseph is listed on the 1880 census as a rag dealer. Hannah gave birth to her third son, Centennial Harry Benedict, on September 24, 1876, in Pittsburgh.12 In most records he is referred to as either C. Harry or Harry; I assume the Centennial was in honor of the centennial of the Declaration of Independence in the year he was born.

The 1880 census lists not only Hannah and Joseph and their three sons in the household, but also Hannah’s father Simon, and three of Hannah’s nephews: Lena’s son Jacob Basch and Henry’s sons Jacob and Benjamin Goldsmith. Since all three are also listed elsewhere on the 1880 census, I wonder whether these three were just visiting their relatives in Pittsburgh when the census was taken.

Joseph and Hannah Benedict and family, 1880 US census, Census Place: Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1092; Page: 508D; Enumeration District: 122
Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census

On March 17, 1883, at the age of 88 or so, Simon Goldsmith died in Pittsburgh; his death record states that he died of old age.

Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh City Deaths, 1870-1905,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XZ7D-M2S : 11 March 2018), Simon Goldsmith, 17 Mar 1883; citing v 33 p 550, Allegheny County Courthouse, Pittsburgh; FHL microfilm 505,832.

What an interesting, challenging, and rich life Simon had. He was born Simon Goldschmidt, the youngest child of Jacob Falcke Goldschmidt and Eva Seligmann in Oberlistingen. He had five children with his first wife Eveline Katzenstein, two of whom died as infants. He had spent time in prison for burglary, but his marriage and his family stayed together. After Eveline died in 1840, he had married a second time, his second wife being Fradchen Schoenthal. He and Fradchen immigrated to the US in 1845, a year after their marriage, and together they had two more children born in the US. Then Simon lost his second wife Fradchen in 1850. He also lost another child, his daughter Eva, sometime after 1862.

But Simon soldiered on, living first with his son Jacob in Washington and later with his daughter Hannah in Pittsburgh. He saw twenty-eight grandchildren born before he died, and five more were born after he died. In addition, he lived to see the births of eight great-grandchildren, and many more were born after his death. When he died, his children and grandchildren were spread from Philadelphia to California, pursuing and living the American dream. He must have looked at his family with amazement—that this man who had gotten himself in trouble with the law back home in Germany had somehow been able to start over in the US and create a huge legacy for himself and his family. Despite his struggles and his losses, he must have been grateful for all that he did have.

What would happen to Simon’s four surviving children and all those grandchildren and great-grandchildren? More in the posts to follow.

 

 


  1. Columbus, Ohio, City Directory, 1878, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  2. Columbus, Ohio, City Directory, 1878, 1879, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  3. Benjamin Goldsmith, World War I draft registration, Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Fayette; Roll: 2022796; Draft Board: 2, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 
  4. Milton Goldsmith, World War I draft registration, Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Allegheny; Roll: 1908756; Draft Board: 08, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 
  5. Samuel Goldsmith, World War I draft registration, Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Fayette; Roll: 2022796; Draft Board: 2, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 
  6. Edison Goldsmith, 1880 US census, Census Place: Connellsville, Fayette, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1129; Page: 93D; Enumeration District: 035, Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census (three days old) 
  7. Walter Goldsmith, World War I draft registration, Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Fayette; Roll: 2022796; Draft Board: 2, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 
  8. Florence Goldsmith, 1912 Passport application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 156; Volume #: Roll 0156 – Certificates: 69177-70076, 01 Apr 1912-11 Apr 1912, Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 
  9. Gravestone at https://billiongraves.com/grave/person/12971467#= 
  10. Oliver Goldsmith, World War I draft registration, Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Fayette; Roll: 2022796; Draft Board: 2, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 
  11. Helen Goldsmith, 1912 passport application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 156; Volume #: Roll 0156 – Certificates: 69177-70076, 01 Apr 1912-11 Apr 1912, Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 
  12. Centennial Harry Goldsmith, Yearbook Title: Cornell Class Book, “U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012”; Yearbook Title: Cornell Class Book; Year: 1897, Ancestry.com. U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1990;  C. Harry Goldsmith, 1921 passport application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 1788; Volume #: Roll 1788 – Certificates: 102000-102375, 02 Dec 1921-03 Dec 1921, Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925