Rosa Goldschmidt and Her Family: The Final Chapter

This is the final post about the family of my three-times great-aunt Rosa Goldschmidt and her husband Bernhard Metz.  In 1900, Rosa and Bernhard and three of their four surviving children were all living together in New York; Bernhard was still in the import-export business, and his sons Edwin and Joseph were merchants. Their daughter Hattie was working as a saleswoman, and her husband George Gattel was a commissioner. Rosa and Bernhard had already lost three of their children: Siegfried had died in 1880, Emily in 1885, and Bertha in 1892;  also, their oldest son Paul had abandoned the family and disappeared in 1900.

Bernhard Metz family 1900 US census, Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York; Page: 19; Enumeration District: 0661; FHL microfilm: 1241110
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

Rosa, Bernhard, Hattie and her husband George, Edwin, and Joseph were all still living together in 1905. Edwin was a “nit goods salesman;” Joseph was a dry goods clerk, George Gattel was some kind of salesman, and Bernhard was a commercial merchant. There were also two boarders and two servants living in the household at 209 East 61st Street.

Bernhard Metz family 1905 NYS census, New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1905; Election District: A.D. 24 E.D. 16; City: Manhattan; County: New York; Page: 48. Ancestry.com. New York, State Census, 1905

Things changed between 1905 and 1910. We saw that Edwin, who had married Gertrude Becker in 1903, was living in Chicago in 1910. The youngest sibling, Joseph George Metz, also married during those years. He married Florence W. Wolf on December 31, 1905.

New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2497-DHX : 10 February 2018), Joseph Metz and Florence Wolf, 31 Dec 1905; citing Marriage, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York City Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,558,583.

Florence was the daughter of Louis Wolf and Rebecca Stiefel, and she was born on September 20, 1884, in Fort Wayne, Indiana.1 Florence was living in New York City in 1900 with her parents and siblings; her father was a manufacturer.2 Florence and Joseph had their first child, Robert, on August 19, 1907, in New York.3

In 1910, Joseph Metz was enumerated as the head of household at 149 West 135th Street; in addition to his wife Florence and their son Robert (2), his parents Rosa and Bernhard were living there as well as two servants. Joseph was a ladies’ underwear manufacturer, and his father Bernhard was working as an insurance agent.

Joseph Metz and family 1910 US census, Census Place: Manhattan Ward 12, New York, New York; Roll: T624_1027; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 0710; FHL microfilm: 1375040
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

Not too far away at 607 West 136th Street, Joseph’s sister Hattie was living with her husband George Gattel; George was now a silk merchant. Living with them was Hattie’s niece, the daughter of her deceased sister Bertha, eighteen-year-old Bertha Katzenstein. As you may recall, Rosa and Bernhard’s daughter Bertha Metz died shortly after the birth of her daughter Bertha from puerperal fever. I don’t know whether the child was named Bertha before her mother died or afterwards in her memory.

Hattie Metz Gattel and family 1910 US census, Census Place: Manhattan Ward 12, New York, New York; Roll: T624_1027; Page: 16A; Enumeration District: 0709; FHL microfilm: 1375040
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

Bertha Katzenstein’s father Adolf had remarried in 1895, three years after the death of his first wife Bertha Metz. His second wife, Lisbeth Schierstad, was a German immigrant like Adolf.4 I could not locate Adolf, Lisbeth or Bertha (the daughter) on the 1900 US census. Since Adolf was in the import-export business and traveled many times to Europe, I suppose that he and Lisbeth and Bertha might have been abroad when the 1900 census was taken. But Adolf and Lisbeth are listed on the 1905 New York State census, and Bertha was not with them at that time,5 nor was she with her grandparents or aunt or uncles. She would have been only thirteen at the time. Was she in boarding school? Still abroad? I don’t know. At any rate, in 1910, Bertha was back in New York City, living with her aunt Hattie.

Thus, in 1910, Rosa and Bernhard had only two of their seven children still living nearby: Hattie and Joseph. Paul had disappeared, Edwin was in Chicago, and Siegfried, Emily, and Bertha had passed away. They had five grandchildren: Bertha’s daughter Bertha Katzenstein, Edwin’s son Walter, Joseph’s son Robert, and the two sons of Paul Metz, Elwood and George.

On May 16, 1911, my three-times great-aunt Rosa Goldschmidt Metz passed away at age 73 from colon and liver cancer as well as kidney disease.

New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2WMM-ZTL : 20 March 2015), Rosa Metz, 16 May 1911; citing Death, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives

When I first opened this death certificate, I panicked. It showed Rosa’s parents as Jacob Goldsmith and Gretchen Stern, not Seligmann Goldschmidt and Hincka Alexander. Had I been researching the wrong Rosa Goldschmidt? But then I noticed her very specific age—73 years, 6 months, 19 days. Using a web date calculator, I determined that since she died on May 16, 1911, that meant she was born on October 27, 1837. Bingo! That is EXACTLY the date for Rosa’s birth on the Oberlistingen birth register, showing her parents as Seligmann and Hincka. Phew! But where in the world did the family come up with the names Jacob Goldsmith and Gertrude Stern?? I don’t know.

Two years after Rosa’s death her son Joseph named his second child for her; Rosalind Metz was born on May 21, 1913, in New York City.6

The following year Bernhard Metz died on August 10, 1914, in New York; he was 81.7

Meanwhile, Bertha Katzenstein was married on February 9, 1913, in Harburg, Germany, to Hermann Nathan. It was this fact that also led me to think that she had been living abroad for some part of her childhood. She was only twenty when she married, and six years later they were divorced on July 3, 1919, in Hannover, Germany. (Thank you to Matthias Steinke of the German Genealogy group for translating this document for me.)

Unfortunately that is the last document or record I have for Bertha Katzenstein. I don’t know whether she returned to the US, but if she did, I can’t find her in the US nor can I find her in Germany—not as Bertha Nathan or Bertha Katzenstein. If she remarried, I have no record of it and thus do not know her married name.

Ancestry.com. Hamburg, Germany, Marriages, 1874-1920.
Original data: Best. 332-5 Standesämter, Personenstandsregister, Sterberegister, 1876-1950, Staatsarchiv Hamburg, Hamburg, Deutschland. Certificate Number: 62
Reference Number: 332-5_11409

In 1920, Hattie and George Gattel were still living in New York City, and George was still selling silk. Ten years later they were still living in New York, and George was no longer working.8 Hattie died on December 11, 1930, at the age of 66;9 George died less than a year later on September 24, 1931.10  He was seventy. Having lost both of their children as babies, they have no direct descendants.

Joseph Getz, the remaining and youngest sibling, must have hit some hard times after 1910. In 1915, he and his wife Florence were living with Florence’s mother and brother Milton at 243 West 99th Street, and Joseph had no occupation listed on the 1915 New York State census.11 Their two young children, Robert, who would have been eight, and Rosalind, who was two, were not listed with them nor can I find them elsewhere on the New York State census. Could they have been omitted by mistake? Or were they living some place outside of New York, perhaps with a different relative?

I don’t know, but in 1920 Robert and Rosalind were again living with their parents in New York City; Joseph was now a commercial traveler. Florence’s mother Rebecca Wolf was also living with them.12 In 1925 they were all still living together, and Joseph was now an insurance broker.13 Five years later the 1930 US census shows them all living at the same place, Joseph still working as an insurance broker.

Joseph Metz and family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York; Page: 17B; Enumeration District: 0465; FHL microfilm: 2341292
Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census

Joseph and Florence’s two children married in the 1930s.  Robert married Anna Steinhardt on June 29, 1934, and Rosalind married John L. Swartz on June 2, 1935.

Certificate Number: 17141, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Extracted Marriage Index, 1866-1937.  Historical Newspapers, Birth, Marriage, & Death Announcements, 1851-2003, Ancestry.com

Certificate Number: 11535, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Extracted Marriage Index, 1866-1937. Historical Newspapers, Birth, Marriage, & Death Announcements, 1851-2003, Ancestry.com

Sadly, the decade ended with Joseph’s death on March 4, 1939. He was sixty years old.14 His wife Florence outlived him by more than 25 years, dying at 85 in  September 1965.15 They were survived by their children and grandchildren.

With that, I come to the conclusion of the story of Rosa Goldschmidt, her husband Bernhard Metz, and their seven children. It was quite a wild ride at times. Rosa’s children faced many challenges and provided me with many research challenges. She was the youngest child of my three-times great-grandparents Seligmann Goldschmidt and Hincka Alexander. She was the second to last of their children to come to the US.

Her oldest sister and Seligmann and Hincka’s oldest child, Sarah, was the very last of the Goldschmidt siblings to come to the US. Her story comes next.

 

 


  1.  Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, SSN: 058221651 
  2. Louis Wolf and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York; Page: 6; Enumeration District: 0832; FHL microfilm: 1241118. Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  3. Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Extracted Birth Index, 1878-1909. Certificate Number: 3926. 
  4.  Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Extracted Marriage Index, 1866-1937, Certificate Number: 13289. Lisbeth Schierstad Katzenstein passport application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 1744; Volume #: Roll 1744 – Certificates: 85500-85875, 23 Sep 1921-24 Sep 1921. Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 
  5. Adolf Katzenstein, 1905 NYS census, New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1905; Election District: A.D. 31 E.D. 14; City: Manhattan; County: New York; Page: 42. Ancestry.com. New York, State Census, 1905 
  6.  Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Birth Index, 1910-1965, Certificate Number 27?? (not legible on index) 
  7.  Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Extracted Death Index, 1862-1948 , Certificate Number: 23969. 
  8. Hattie and George Gattel, 1920 US census, Census Place: Manhattan Assembly District 7, New York, New York; Roll: T625_1197; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 555.
    Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census. 1930 US census, Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 0385; FHL microfilm: 2341288. Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  9. Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Extracted Death Index, 1862-1948, Certificate Number: 28089 
  10. Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Extracted Death Index, 1862-1948, Certificate Number 22939 
  11.  New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1915; Election District: 16; Assembly District: 17; City: New York; County: New York; Page: 01. Ancestry.com. New York, State Census, 1915 
  12. Joseph Metz and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Manhattan Assembly District 23, New York, New York; Roll: T625_1226; Page: 18B; Enumeration District: 1489. Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  13. Joseph Metz and family, 1925 NYS census, New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1925; Election District: 34; Assembly District: 09; City: New York; County: New York; Page: 10. Ancestry.com. New York, State Census, 1925 
  14. Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Extracted Death Index, 1862-1948, Certificate Number 5487. 
  15. New York Times, September 13, 1965, p. 35. 

The Search for Edwin Metz

As of 1900, my 3x-great-aunt Rosa Goldschmidt and her husband Bernhard Metz had four children still living: Hattie, Paul, Edwin, and Joseph. I’ve discussed Paul Metz, aka Joseph Raymond, aka George Raymond’s disappearance in 1900. This post will discuss his younger brother Edwin, who was also proved to be elusive.

Searching for Edwin Metz was not nearly the wild ride I experienced in searching for his brother Paul, but it sure had its challenges. As of 1900, he was still living with his parents Rosa and Bernhard in New York City, working as a merchant.1 In the 1905 New York State census the household included Bernhard and Rosa, Hattie and her husband George Gattel, Edwin, and Joseph. This enumerator had the worst handwriting! Can you decipher what Edwin was doing? It sure had me confused, but as you will see, I eventually figured it out. Answer to follow.

Bernhard Metz family 1905 NYS census, New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1905; Election District: A.D. 24 E.D. 16; City: Manhattan; County: New York; Page: 48
Ancestry.com. New York, State Census, 1905

The next record I had for Edwin Metz was the 1910 census, or at least I thought this was Edwin. He is listed with a wife Gertrude and four-year-old son Walter, living in Chicago and working as a salesman—of what, once I again I could not tell:

Edwin Metz and family 1910 US census, Census Place: Chicago Ward 6, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T624_246; Page: 11B; Enumeration District: 0369; FHL microfilm: 1374259
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

I thought this was probably the right Edwin Metz since the age (35) and birth place (New York) and birth places of the parents (both Germany) were right, but I wasn’t sure. What made verification difficult was that I could not find one other record for Edwin Metz. He was not on any later census record, and I could not find a marriage record or a death record or even a newspaper article about him.

I focused my search then on Gertrude and Walter, which was also difficult because I did not know Gertrude’s birth name or anything else about her, except what that 1910 census revealed: that she was then 33, born in Indiana in about 1877 to parents who were both born in Germany. And I knew that Walter was born in New York in about 1906. Not much to go on, but enough to get a start.

First, I found a marriage record dated May 20, 1918, for a Gertrude B. Metz and an Isaac Lederer in the Cook County, Illinois Marriage Index on Ancestry.2 I then was able to find Isaac and Gertrude on the 1920 census with Isaac’s son Joseph and his stepson Walter R. Metz, now 13, living in Chicago. I was quite certain this was the same Gertrude and same Walter who had been living with Edwin Metz in 1910 because the names, ages, and birth places lined up. But where was Edwin? Had he died? Or had Gertrude divorced him? And was he even my Edwin anyway?

Isaac Lederer and family 1920 US census, Census Place: Chicago Ward 3, Cook (Chicago), Illinois; Roll: T625_313; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 164
Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census

Then I found entries on the 1915 South Dakota census for Gertrude Metz and Walter Metz. South Dakota? That surprised me. But they lined up with the Gertrude and Walter I’d found on the 1910 and 1920 US census records: Gertrude was 38, born in 1877, in Indiana, and her parents were born in Germany. Walter was nine, born in 1906, in New York, to a father born in New York and a mother born in Indiana. And most importantly, Gertrude listed her marital status as widowed.

Gertrude Metz, South Dakota State Census, 1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MMHN-CGX : 5 August 2017), Gertrude B Metz; citing State Historical Society, Pierre; FHL microfilm 2,283,681.

Walter Metz, South Dakota State Census, 1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MMHN-CPH : 5 August 2017), Walter R Metz; citing State Historical Society, Pierre; FHL microfilm 2,283,681.

Had Edwin died, or was Gertrude doing what many divorced women did in those days, hiding her status as a divorced woman? And why were they in South Dakota? The town where they were living, Mitchell, was a town with a population in 1910 of about 6500 people, located well over 600 miles from Chicago, where Edwin, Gertrude, and Walter had been living in 1910. How had Gertrude and Walter ended up in Mitchell?

My hunch was that Gertrude had family in South Dakota, so I searched for a Gertrude born in Indiana in about 1877 who was living in South Dakota, and I found Gertrude Kleist on the 1900 census, living in Mitchell, South Dakota, with her parents Emil and Mina, both born in Germany. Her father was a peddler, and Gertrude was a music teacher.

Gertrude Kleist and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Mitchell, Davison, South Dakota; Page: 20; Enumeration District: 0112; FHL microfilm: 1241548
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

But that got me no closer to finding Edwin Metz. I went back to my newspaper searching. In my earlier search for Edwin, I’d had to limit my searches to New York and Chicago because the name was so common that I was overwhelmed with thousands of results. This time I decided to search for Edwin Metz in South Dakota, figuring that it was a crazy long shot.

But it wasn’t.  I found this from the July 10, 1913 edition of the Mitchell (South Dakota) Capital (p. 7):

From this legal notice I knew that Edwin Metz had died sometime before July 1913, and Gertrude was a widow with a seven-year-old little boy. I then found “Edward” Metz on the South Dakota death index; he had died on June 12, 1913, in Davison County, South Dakota.3 It seemed likely that the Gertrude Kleist I’d found on the 1900 census living in Mitchell, South Dakota, was the same woman as Gertrude Metz.

But how had a woman from Mitchell, South Dakota, met and married a man from New York City? Well, knowing now that Gertrude was from Mitchell, I searched for Metz in the Mitchell Capital newspaper on genealogybank.com and found this treasure published on October 9, 1903 (p. 6):

At first I was confused that Gertrude’s name was Becker, not Kleist as I had thought. I was surprised that there could be two Gertrudes in Mitchell, South Dakota, both born around the same time and both in Indiana, with parents born in Germany.

And then I found Gertrude Becker and her family enumerated on the 1900 census; this is clearly the same family as the “Kleist” family in the page depicted above—Emil and Mina, both born in Germany, with daughters Gertrude and Margery and a son Delvin born in Indiana. The Becker and the Kleist entries are nearly identical, except Gertrude has no occupation listed and Emil has moved from being a “peddler” to being a “clothing dealer.”  Once I searched for earlier and later records for the Becker family, it was clear that their name was not Kleist, or hadn’t been for a long time.

Somehow they were counted twice on the 1900 census, once as Becker and once as Kleist. The Becker enumeration was on June 4, the Kleist on June 11, and one was in District 112, the other in District 113. I suppose it is possible the family moved between June 4 and June 11, but it seems unlikely they’d changed their surname from Becker to Kleist.

Gertrude Becker and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Mitchell, Davison, South Dakota; Page: 6; Enumeration District: 0113; FHL microfilm: 1241548 Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

Without transcribing the entire wedding article, I can point out several revealing portions. First, Edwin Metz was from New York City and was working for “the firm of S. Ascher & Co., importers of fancy knit goods.” Looking back now at the 1905 New York State census when my Edwin was living with his parents, I think the enumerator wrote “nit goods salesman” as Edwin’s occupation. Bad handwriting AND bad spelling. And now reading the 1910 US census for Edwin, I can see that it clearly says “knit goods.” (Amazing what context does to help decipher bad handwriting.) So I am persuaded that the Edwin Metz who married Gertrude from South Dakota was in fact my cousin Edwin.

I also learned that Edwin had “made a very favorable impression” on the people of Mitchell and that he was a “pleasant and affable gentleman and full worthy of the charming bride he takes away from us.”

Gertrude was described in particularly glowing terms:

Coming here as a little maiden the bride has grown to womanhood in this city and has always been prominent in musical and social circles. She is possessed with a beautiful soprano voice of high cultivation and times without number has her music brought pleasure to hundreds of hearers. Always generous with her musical ability she has responded many times to assist in musical entertainments that have been enhanced by her presence. She has been a great favorite socially and was the life of any party of which she formed a number. Her going away will be much regretted by her hundreds of friends and a void will be created that will be hard to fill.

But if Edwin and Gertrude were married in October, 1903, why wasn’t she living with him on the 1905 census in New York? The New York census does not record marital status, so I don’t know. Perhaps she had just been left off by mistake? Edwin and Gertrude’s son Walter was born on February 28, 1906, so certainly in 1905 they had to have been living together for some time.

I also was surprised to see that a rabbi performed the ceremony; he came from the “Jewish church” in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, which is over seventy miles east of Mitchell; back then, that must have been a long journey. It also saddened me that none of Edwin’s family attended the wedding. I’d like to think it wasn’t that they didn’t approve or that Edwin was estranged from his family, but just that the time and cost of traveling from New York to South Dakota kept them from attending.

The wedding article was also very informative about the details of the wedding, including the lavish and extensive menu, the clothing, and the names of the twenty guests. The article also hinted that Gertrude may have already been living in New York, as “A portion of the presents were sent here and a large number were sent to her New York residence.” Perhaps that refers to her future residence, but I like to imagine that Gertrude had come to New York City to pursue her musical career, as the article describes her considerable talent. That would also explain how Edwin and Gertrude met, although it is also possible that Emil Becker, the clothing dealer, met Edwin, the knit clothing salesman, and introduced him to his daughter.

That left me with a few remaining questions: why was Edwin in South Dakota in 1913 when he died? Was it a visit, or were they living in Mitchell at that point? Edwin was only 38 when he died—what caused his death? And where is he buried?

And then, as I was first writing that very paragraph, I went back to genealogybank.com one more time and searched for Edwin Metz between June 1, 1913, and July 31, 1913, and found an obituary for Edwin—why hadn’t it shown up before? I don’t know. But here it is:

“Edwin Metz Passes Away,” The Mitchell Capital, June 19, 1913, p. 7

This doesn’t tell me everything, but it does tell me that Edwin had suffered from “nervous trouble” since early 1912, and it suggests that he and Gertrude had moved to Mitchell for family support.  Edwin died in the home of his in-laws, and his brother-in-law accompanied his body back to New York for burial. Gertrude was herself too ill to go.

Of course, every answer leads to more questions.  What kind of “nervous trouble”? Why was he being buried in New York and not in South Dakota or Chicago, the two places he and Gertrude had lived together?

As for Gertrude and Walter, as noted above, Gertrude remarried five years after Edwin’s death and relocated back to Chicago with her second husband, Isaac S. Lederer. Isaac was also widowed and, like Gertrude, had a young son. In 1920,4 they were all still living together in Chicago, as they were in 1930 as well.5 By then, Walter was working in the retail dry goods business, his stepbrother Joseph was a broker, and Isaac was retired. Isaac died the following year at the age of 61. He was buried with his first wife Carrie in Chicago.6

Walter Metz married Marjorie Isaacs in 1933:

1933, Chicago Daily Tribune (1872-1963), Ancestry.com. Historical Newspapers, Birth, Marriage, & Death Announcements, 1851-2003

And in 1940 they were living in Chicago with their son. Walter owned a retail lighting fixtures store.7 Meanwhile, his mother Gertrude was also still living in Chicago in 1940; she was 63 and had been widowed twice.8

Sadly, my cousin Walter Metz inherited some of the bad luck of the Goldsmith family and died at a young age like his father Edwin. He was only 57 when he suffered a heart attack on March 1, 1963, while on a cruise in the Caribbean with his wife Marjorie.9 He was survived by his wife, son, and his mother Gertrude Becker Metz Lederer, who was about 87 at the time. Despite searching every way I can imagine, I have found no clue as to when Gertrude died, though I would assume it was within ten years after her son Walter’s death.  Was she buried with her first husband, just as her second husband Isaac was buried with his first wife? I do not know. I cannot find her. I have contacted the cemetery where Edwin is buried to see if she is buried there and am awaiting an answer.

UPDATE: I just heard from the cemetery; Gertrude Metz Lederer is not buried with Edwin at Beth El Cemetery in New York.

 

 

 

 

 


  1. Bernhard Metz and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York; Page: 19; Enumeration District: 0661; FHL microfilm: 1241110.Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  2. Ancestry.com. Cook County, Illinois Marriage Indexes, 1912-1942. 
  3.  Ancestry.com. South Dakota, Death Index, 1879-1955. Certificate Number: 34853
    Page Number: 503.
     
  4. See image above. 
  5. Isaac Lederer and family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Chicago, Cook, Illinois; Page: 17A; Enumeration District: 0210; FHL microfilm: 2340158. Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  6.  https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/131191424 
  7. Walter Metz and family, 1940 US census, Census Place: Chicago, Cook, Illinois; Roll: m-t0627-00928; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 103-245. Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  8. Gertrude Metz, 1940 US census, Census Place: Chicago, Cook, Illinois; Roll: m-t0627-00929; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 103-283. Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  9. “Walter R. Metz,” Chicago Tribune, March 3, 1963, p. 36. 

The Paul Metz Story: The Brick Wall Tumbles Down

Finally, the brick wall hiding Paul Metz came (mostly) down.

One of the newspaper articles about the disappearance of George B. Metz in 1923 had revealed an important bit of information about the mysterious disappearance of George’s father, Paul Metz, 23 years before. According to statements made by the family quoted in that article, Paul (referred to as Joseph Metz in the news story) had disappeared with his son Elwood around the time that George Metz was born in 1900. According to that same article, no one in the family had heard from either of them since.1

I decided to focus my next search on Elwood. The first name is unusual enough that I thought I had a better chance of finding him than his father Paul Metz/Joseph Raymond. But I also worried that Paul might have changed Elwood’s name to avoid being found.

Fortunately, Paul Metz was not that devious. After much searching, I found an obituary for an Elwood Raymond who died at age 82 on June 26, 1980, in Florida.2 Why did I think this might be the right person? Well, not only did the age match up (my Elwood was born in 1898), this Elwood had come to Florida 65 years earlier from his “native New York City,” meaning he was born in New York, just as my Elwood had been. And Paul Metz had once used the alias Joseph Raymond.

That led me to search for more information about Elwood Raymond in Florida. What I learned was that by 1916, Elwood had attained a degree of fame in Florida—he was reputedly the roller skating champion of the South, according to this article from the Orlando Sentinel of October 20, 1916 (p. 6):

Conrad located this photograph of Elwood as a skater:

Elwood Raymond

Elwood also served as a sergeant in the US Army in World War I and was seriously injured in June, 1918, at the Battle of Chateau Thievry in France, as reported in this article about his bravery and his injury; the article also revealed that Elwood Raymond had a father still living in Ocala, Florida.:

The Ocala Evening Star, 15 Oct 1918, Tue, Page 4

And this article revealed the name of that father:

The Ocala Evening Star, 04 Sep 1919, Thu, Page 3

George Raymond! So Paul Metz had gone from Joseph Raymond to George Raymond! Did he select the name George in some way to connect to the son he had abandoned as an infant, Conrad’s father George? Was it just coincidence that the man who next partnered with Gertrude was also named George—George W. Keller? It all seemed just a bit strange.

On September 1, 1919, the Ocala Evening Star reported that Elwood Raymond was returning home and intending to stay in Ocala:

The Ocala Evening Star, 01 Sep 1919, Mon, Page 3

In 1920, Elwood was lodging with two other men in Ocala, working as a skater at the fire station. I am not sure what that means, but the other two men were also working at the fire station, one as an electrician and one as a laborer.

Elwood Raymond’s occupation (in yellow) on the 1920 US census, Census Place: Ocala Ward 2, Marion, Florida; Roll: T625_226; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 116
Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census

On April 20, 1921, the Ocala Evening Star published this little news item (p.4):

The Ocala Evening Star, 20 Apr 1921, Wed, Page 4

So Elwood was now the chief of the fire department (not just a skater!). And his father George Raymond was staying with him in Ocala and making it his headquarters while traveling—for work? What kind of work?

On January 26, 1922, the Ocala paper reported on Elwood Raymond’s marriage to Ethelyn Adams:

The Ocala Evening Star, 26 Jan 1922, Thu, Page 1

Ethelyn was the daughter of George and Rosa Adam; she was born on January 27, 1904, in Oklahoma, and was living with her parents in Alma, Kansas, in 1910 where her father was a farmer; in 1920, they were living in Kansas City, Missouri, and her father was retired.  According to the wedding announcement, they had moved to Ocala during 1921, having previously lived in Orlando, Florida.3

The wedding announcement is also interesting in that it describes Elwood as “the only son of Mr. George Raymond.” It would thus appear that at least as of 1922, Elwood was unaware of his brother George B. Metz.

There were a number of other articles in the Ocala newspaper about Elwood in his role as fire chief, and then on March 8, 1922 the Ocala Evening Star reported that Elwood had resigned as chief of the fire department. 4 And this news item revealed why—Elwood and Ethelyn were moving to Orlando:

The Ocala Evening Star, 27 Apr 1922, Thu, Page 4

On September 4, 1922, the Ocala Evening Star reported that Ethelyn and Elwood had a new baby, a son.5 Two years later they had a daughter.

In 1930 Elwood, Ethelyn, and their two children were living in Oneco, Florida, where Elwood was employed as a letter carrier for the US Post Office.  Ethelyn’s mother Rosa was also living with them and operating a fruit farm.

Elwood Raymond, 1930 US census, Census Place: Oneco, Manatee, Florida; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 0031; FHL microfilm: 2340059
Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census

Where was Elwood’s father “George Raymond” in the 1920s? Or for that matter any time between 1900 and 1930? In 1905 he was in Augusta, Georgia:

Augusta (Georgia) Chronicle of December 12, 1905 (p. 10)

So in 1905 George was still a piano tuner and possibly still conning—a graduate of a Boston conservatory? Eight years with Steinway & Sons in New York? I’ve seen no evidence of that, but I suppose it is possible. It looks like George and Elwood had been heading south and eventually ended up in Florida.

Conrad found this 1916 article, which also seems of doubtful truth:

“Skater Inherits Big Fortune; Show is Off,” The Tampa Tribune (Tampa, Florida) · 27 Jan 1916, Thu · Page 13

Who is this “uncle” who left George Raymond (or is it Elwood Raymond) a fortune? None of George’s known uncles or Elwood’s known uncles died in 1915; Bernhard Metz died in 1914, however. Was Paul/George somehow trying to claim a share of the estate? Or was this just an excuse to get out of the Clearwater performance?

And this advertisement reveals that George was still tuning pianos in 1920 in Florida:

The Ocala Evening Star (Ocala, Florida) · 10 Mar 1920, Wed · Page 1

Aside from the mentions in the news clippings above, I have no other information about Paul Metz/George Raymond’s whereabouts, his job, his life. He was living in Georgia in 1905 and in Florida at least from 1915 until 1922, given the newspaper articles. But before or after? I don’t know. I found no other trace of him as Paul Metz or Joseph Raymond or George Raymond. If he used another name, I have no idea what that might have been. And I have no idea why he had kidnapped his son Elwood and abandoned his wife and newborn son George in 1900.

But what I did find was this obituary dated June 26, 1934:

 

The Tampa Tribune, 27 Jun 1934, Wed, Page 2

The obituary states that George Raymond had been living in Manatee County, Florida, for six years, and had previously been in Philadelphia. My guess is that the reporter confused the birth place with his prior residence. I found no evidence that Paul/George had returned to Philadelphia in the 1920s.

More importantly, the obituary reveals that by the time Paul Metz/George Raymond died in 1934, he had either revealed to Elwood that he had another son, or Elwood had discovered it on his own. Interestingly, the obituary refers to this son as “George Raymond,” as if he were his father’s namesake. And as if they had an actual relationship.

When I shared all this with Conrad, he revealed to me for the first time that Elwood had contacted George B. Metz sometime after 1934. We don’t know how Elwood learned about his brother George—did his father have a deathbed confession? How did Elwood even find him if he thought his brother’s name was George Raymond? Neither Conrad nor I know the answers, but Conrad shared this photograph of Elwood Raymond and George Metz together, showing that after their father died, the two brothers who had been separated since George Metz’s birth in 1900 had eventually gotten together many years later:

Elwood Raymond and George Metz

Conrad also learned from a cousin that Paul Metz/George Raymond died in the state hospital in Chattahoochee, Florida, in Gadsden County; this is consistent with the listing in the Florida Death Index. The cousin also told him that George Raymond (Paul Metz) had been in the state hospital for several years for psychiatric treatment and for drug and alcohol abuse. That seems credible, given Paul’s earlier history as an opium user and his long history of lying and stealing.

Thus, together Conrad and I had pieced together the long and twisting path of his grandfather’s life, the man who was born Paul Metz and died as George Raymond. There are still gaps in the story, but at least we know the beginning, a bigger part of the middle, and the end. It was one wild roller coaster ride, and I never could have done it without Conrad’s collaboration.

 

 

 

 


  1. “Metz in California, Denver Police Think,” The New York Times, September 14, 1923, p. 22. 
  2. Tampa Bay Times, 28 Jun 1980, Sat, Main Edition, Page 29. 
  3.  Ancestry.com. North Carolina, Death Indexes, 1908-2004. George Adam and family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Alma, Wabaunsee, Kansas; Roll: T624_459; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 0132; FHL microfilm: 1374472. Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census. George Adam and family 1920 US census, Census Place: Kansas City Ward 16, Jackson, Missouri; Roll: T625_928; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 264. Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census. 
  4.  The Ocala Evening Star, 08 Mar 1922, Wed, Page 1. 
  5. The Ocala Evening Star, 04 Sep 1922, Mon, Page 4. 

The Paul Metz Mystery, Part II

As seen in my last post, my cousin Conrad and I came to the conclusion that his grandfather, Paul Metz, had used a false name (Joseph Raymond) on his marriage certificate when he married Gertrude Cone and thus that Paul Metz was in fact the first husband of Gertrude Amelia Cone and the father of their two sons, Elwood, born February 19, 1898, and George, born July 6, 1900.

But Paul Metz/Joseph Raymond was not on the 1900 census with Gertrude and Elwood (George was born after the census enumeration). Where was he? I thought that if we searched for information about Gertrude, Elwood, and George, we might find the answer to what happened to Paul.

According to Conrad, Gertrude next appeared on the 1905 New York State census; she was living in Mount Vernon, New York, with a man named George W. Keller, who was 26. Gertrude is listed as his mother, but she was only 25, so that cannot be right. Apparently that enumerator listed all the wives as “mothers” on that particular census report. There were two children living with them: a son named George, who was five, and a daughter named Ida J., who was two months old.

Gertrude Keller and family 1905 NYS census, New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1905; Election District: E.D. 01; City: Mount Vernon Ward 04; County: Westchester. Ancestry.com. New York, State Census, 1905

At first I wasn’t sure why Conrad thought this was his grandmother Gertrude. The New York State census does not identify the state where the individuals were born or much else about them, so I was uncertain. But Conrad knew that his grandmother had at one time been married to George Washington Keller; in fact, he knew of her only with the surname Keller. And he knew he had an “aunt” named Ida Jane. So this had to be Gertrude and her son George (Metz) and daughter Ida on the 1905 NYS census living with George W. Keller.

But neither Conrad nor I could locate a marriage record for Gertrude and George W. Keller. Nor could we find a birth record for Ida. Was she in fact the daughter of George Keller and Gertrude Cone? Could Paul Metz have been her father? Well, I found Ida on the 1910 census living with her grandparents—George Keller and Ida Keller, who were George W. Keller’s parents.1  From that I concluded that Ida was in fact the daughter of George W. Keller. But why was she living with her grandparents? Where was her father George? And where was her mother Gertrude?

Ida Keller, 1910 US census, Census Place: Bronx Assembly District 34, New York, New York; Roll: T624_1002; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 1583; FHL microfilm: 1375015
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

Well, on January 26, 1910, Gertrude had obtained a license to marry another man, William Blumann.2 But on the 1910 census, she was living with a man named William T. Smith. He was a “railroad man.” Living with them was George B. Metz, Paul Metz’s son. The census record reported that it was a second marriage for both William and Gertrude and that Gertrude had three living children, though only George was living with her. It also reported that Gertrude and William Smith had been married for less than a year.

William Smith and family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Manhattan Ward 12, New York, New York; Roll: T624_1014; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 0311; FHL microfilm: 1375027
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

Was William Smith the same person as William Blumann? Was William Blumann/William T. Smith another alias for Paul Metz? And what had happened to George W. Keller? To answer the first question first, there is this horrifying news article that reveals that in fact William Blumann was the same person as William T. Smith:

“Mother Saved by Son, Madman Ends Own Life,” Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania Evening-News, January 20, 1914, p. 2.

So George Metz, just thirteen years old, had saved his mother Gertrude’s life.  This poor young man had witnessed the attempted murder of his mother and the suicide of his stepfather. And also it appears he had been abandoned by his own father, Paul Metz, and another stepfather as well, George W. Keller. He also had lost two siblings somewhere along the way—Elwood and Ida. In thirteen years he had suffered more trauma and loss than most of us experience in a lifetime.

Meanwhile, in 1909 George’s stepfather George W. Keller had married Laurie Ellis Fredette,3 and in 1910 they were living in Mount Vernon, the same town where George W. Keller had previously lived with Gertrude, George Metz, and Ida.4 But Laurie Fredette died on January 27, 1918, in the Bronx,5 leaving George W. Keller a widower. And thus both George W. Keller and Gertrude Cone Raymond/Metz Blumann/Smith were widowed and unmarried as of January 27, 1918.

In 1920 George W. Keller and Gertrude were living together again, listed this time as husband and wife on the census, although we’ve yet to find a marriage record for George W. Keller and Gertrude. They were living at 2020 Honeywell Avenue in the Bronx. George was working for the railroad just as William Blumann Smith had been.

George W Keller and household, 1920 US census, Census Place: Bronx Assembly District 7, Bronx, New York; Roll: T625_1140; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 373
Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census

Living with George and Gertrude as their son was “George Elwood Keller,” a nineteen-year-old born in New Jersey who was working in a glass factory. The census record states that both his parents were born in New York.So who was this? Was it Elwood “Raymond,” who would have been 22 in 1920, or was it George Metz, who would have been turning 20 in 1920? Only George was born in New Jersey, and his father—Paul Metz—was born in Pennsylvania, not New York. Conrad and I concluded that this had to be George, not Elwood—in large part because Conrad knew that his father had been living with Gertrude at that time whereas Elwood’s whereabouts during that time were unknown.

Why then would this young man have been listed as George Elwood? It looks like the census enumerator first wrote Elwood and then squeezed in George. Strange… Perhaps Gertrude had her two sons confused.

Even more confusing to me was the fact that this same census record also listed a daughter in the household named Florence, fourteen years old, also born in New Jersey with parents both born in New York. Who in the world was Florence?? Ida Jane Keller would have been fourteen, going on fifteen in 1920. But she was born in New York. Since neither Conrad nor I could find any child of George and/or Gertrude who was named Florence or born in New Jersey in 1905-1906 nor could we find any later record for a Florence Keller of that age who fit, we concluded that “Florence” was really Ida. But why would she be listed as Florence, not Ida? Those names aren’t even close.

You can imagine that by now I was ready to throw a brick at the computer. My head was spinning, and I was drawing more timelines and charts than I’d ever had to before. And things did not get much clearer as I moved forward in time.

In 1921 Ida J. Keller married Eugene Merker in the Bronx.6 But that marriage did not last long because by 1925 Ida was apparently separated from Eugene Merker and living at 1976 Honeywell Avenue in the Bronx with her grandparents George and Ida Keller, her father George W. Keller, and her daughter from her marriage to Eugene; they were living down the block from where Gertrude and George had been living with her son George Metz and their daughter Ida in 1920. Ida was eventually divorced from Eugene in 1930.7 It also appears that by 1925 her father George W. Keller was no longer living with Gertrude. I could not find him on the 1930 census, but I did find that he died in 1936.8

Keller family, 1920 US census, New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1925; Election District: 21; Assembly District: 07; City: New York; County: Bronx; Page: 12. Ancestry.com. New York, State Census, 1925

So I had gotten this far, but I still had no answers for the whereabouts of Paul Metz/Joseph Raymond or Elwood Metz/Raymond. Neither Gertrude nor William Blumann Smith nor George W. Keller nor Ida Jane were related to me in anyway except through a chain of marriages. I had researched them and gone in all those circles to try and find Paul Metz and Elwood to no avail.

And then things got stranger. And finally, the brick wall started to fall.

 


  1. Ancestry.com. New York, County Marriage Records, 1847-1849, 1907-1936. Film Number: 001031478. 
  2.  New York City Municipal Archives; New York, New York; Volume Number: 1. Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Marriage License Indexes, 1907-1995. License Number: 2449. 
  3. Ancestry.com. New York, County Marriage Records, 1847-1849, 1907-1936. Film Number: 001031478. 
  4. George W. Keller household, 1910 US census, Census Place: MT Vernon Ward 2, Westchester, New York; Roll: T624_1089; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 0062; FHL microfilm: 1375102. Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census. 
  5.  Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Extracted Death Index, 1862-1948, Certificate Number: 766. 
  6.  New York City Municipal Archives; New York, New York. Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Marriage License Indexes, 1907-1995. License Number: 5510. 
  7. Ancestry.com. Bronx County, New York, Divorce and Civil Case Records, 1914-1995. Volume Number: 2, Page Number: 485, File Number: 1969 
  8. Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Extracted Death Index, 1862-1948. Certificate Number: 1374. 

Rosa Goldschmidt and Bernhard Metz: Two Immigrants Who Found Success and Heartbreak in America

As of September 1853, all four of the sons of Seligmann Goldschmidt and Hincka Alexander, my 3x-great-grandparents, had immigrated to Philadelphia: Jacob, Abraham, Meyer, and Levi. Seligmann and Hincka still had their four daughters in Germany, however: Sarah, Eva, Bette, and Rosa.

Three of those daughters eventually followed their brothers to Philadelphia. First, my great-great-grandmother Eva Goldschmidt Katzenstein immigrated with her husband Gerson and their three oldest children in 1856, as I wrote about here and in several other posts. Then in 1860, Seligmann and Hincka’s youngest child Rosa followed her older siblings to Philadelphia. Sarah, the oldest sibling, would be the last to arrive, coming with her husband in 1882, years after some of her children had already immigrated, as discussed previously. Of the eight siblings, only Bette never left Germany.

The next set of posts will focus on Rosa Goldschmidt and her family. If the stories about her brother Levi and his descendants were overwhelmingly sad, the search for the stories of Rosa’s family was one of the most baffling, surprising, and challenging I’ve encountered since I first started searching for my family history. Stay tuned for some  surprising research successes and discoveries. But first some background on Rosa and her early years in the US, where she experienced both great happiness and terrible sadness.

Rosa Goldschmidt was born on October 27, 1837, in Oberlistingen, Germany.

Roschen Goldschmidt birth record, Geburtsregister der Juden von Oberlistingen (Breuna) 1826-1852 (HHStAW Abt. 365 Nr. 668)AutorHessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, Wiesbaden

She left Germany when she was 22 and arrived in New York City on July 9, 1860.

Roschen Goldschmidt passenger manifest, Year: 1860; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 202; Line: 14; List Number: 597
Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957

I assume she must have settled in Philadelphia where all her older siblings were living and where, on January 20, 1864, she married Bernhardt Metz.1 Bernhardt (later Bernhard) was born in Prussia in 1832 and had immigrated in the mid-1850s. He was in the “cloak and mantilla” business in 1862, according to the Philadelphia directory.2

Rosa and Bernhard’s first child, a daughter named Hattie, was born on November 23, 1864.3 A second child, a son named Paul, was born on November 1, 1866.4 Then came another daughter, Emily, born on February 9, 1868.5 A fourth child was born on October 17, 1869, a daughter named Bertha.6 On the 1870 census, they were all living together in Philadelphia. Bernhard was a cloak manufacturer, and he had $10,000 worth of real property and $2000 of personal property. There were two servants living with them also. Like Rosa’s brothers, Bernhard was doing well as a new immigrant in America.

Bernhard Metz family, 1870 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 20 District 66, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1407; Page: 438B; Family History Library Film: 552906. Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census.

Rosa and Bernhard had three more sons in the 1870s: Siegfried, born in about 1872 in Pennsylvania,7 Edwin Joseph, born on December 16, 1874, in New York City,8 and Joseph George Metz, born on September 14, 1878, in Philadelphia.9 Thus, it appears that at least for some part of the 1870s, Rosa and Bernhard and their children were living in New York, but then returned to Philadelphia by 1878 where their youngest child was born.

That is also consistent with what I found in the Philadelphia directories. Bernhard had been in business with his brother Joseph since at least the 1860s, and it appears from various directory listings that they must have had business in New York City because in the 1872 Philadelphia directory, Bernhard is listed as residing in New York. However, in 1878 he is listed with a Philadelphia residence.10

But their good fortune changed in 1880. On the 1880 census, Bernhard and Rosa and six of their seven children were listed as living in Philadelphia where Bernhard was working as a merchant.11 Sadly, their son Siegfried had died of cholera morbus (or what we would call gastroenteritis today) on May 19, 1880, in Philadelphia; he was only eight years old.12

Soon thereafter they must have moved back to New York City because Bernhard is listed in several New York City directories in the 1880s and 1890s.13

And the family suffered another tragic loss after moving to New York. On April 3, 1885, Rosa and Bernhard’s seventeen-year-old daughter Emily died from pneumonia [?] in New York City.  The death certificate states that she had lived in New York City for three years at the time of her death, meaning the family had moved to New York in 1882. Emily died in the family residence at 427 East 57th Street. I can’t imagine how losing the second of their seven children affected the family.

New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2WJG-J4D : 10 February 2018), Emilie Metz, 03 Apr 1885; citing Death, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,373,964.

Sadly, those were not the only losses the family suffered in the next decade or so.

On October 20, 1887, the oldest daughter Hattie married George Gattel,14 who was born in Berlin, Germany, on June 4, 1861, the son of Moritz Gattel and Ernestine Metzenberg.15 George had immigrated in 1882, and on both his naturalization index card in 1887 and his passport application in 1888, he listed his occupation as salesman.16

Roll Description: G-325; G-400, Ancestry.com. U.S. Naturalization Record Indexes, 1791-1992 (Indexed in World Archives Project)

Hattie and George had an unnamed son born on October 10, 1890;17 I have no further record of that baby, so I assume he may have died. Then Hattie and George had a second child, a daughter Emily born in August 1892,18 obviously named for Hattie’s sister Emily who had died seven years before. In a cruel twist of fate, baby Emily Gattel died less than seven months later on March 25, 1893. Like her namesake, she died from pneumonia. Hattie and her husband George Gattel did not have any more children after the death of their daughter Emily in 1893.

New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2WVQ-KFH : 10 February 2018), Emily Gattel, 25 Mar 1893; citing Death, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,412,519.

The losses did not end there. Rosa and Bernhard’s youngest daughter Bertha married Adolf Katzenstein on July 1, 1891, in New York City.19 Adolf was, like George Gattel, a German immigrant; he was born in Einbeck, Germany, on May 5, 1860, according to his passport applications. Those same documents state that he immigrated in April, 1882. Several passport applications report that he was in the import business.20

Bertha and Adolf had a daughter born on April 23, 1892, in New York City. Tragically, Bertha herself died less than two weeks later on May 4, 1892, from puerperal fever, a fever caused by a uterine infection following childbirth.  Bertha and Adolf’s daughter, also named Bertha, was yet another child destined to grow up without her mother.

Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Extracted Death Index, 1862-1948 [

Thus, by 1900, Rosa and Bernhard had lost one of their four sons, Siegfried, two of their three daughters, Emily and Bertha, and two grandchildren, Hattie’s two babies. They were living at 209 East 61st in New York City with and their two youngest sons, Edwin and Joseph George (here listed as George J.), and with their remaining daughter Hattie and her husband George Gattel. Bernhard was still in the import-export business, and Edwin and Joseph George were merchants. Hattie was working as a saleswoman, and her husband George was a commissioner (of what, I do not know). So three of the four surviving adult Metz siblings were living with their parents in 1900.

Bernhard Metz family 1900 US census, Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York; Page: 19; Enumeration District: 0661; FHL microfilm: 1241110
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

But where was Paul Metz, the oldest son of Rosa and Bernhard, in 1900?

That proved to be quite the mystery.


Wishing all my friends and family who observe Yom Kippur an easy and meaningful fast!

 

 


  1. Pennsylvania Marriages, 1709-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V26Y-SX9 : 6 December 2014), Bernhard Metz and Rosa Goldsmith, 20 Jan 1864; citing Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; FHL microfilm 1,765,018. 
  2. Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Extracted Death Index, 1862-1948, Certificate Number 23969. Bernhard Metz and family, 1870 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 20 District 66, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1407; Page: 438B; Family History Library Film: 552906. Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census. 1862 Philadelphia directory, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995. 
  3. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Births, 1860-1906,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VBYP-P32 : 10 March 2018), Metz, 23 Nov 1864; citing bk 1864 p 329, Department of Records; FHL microfilm 1,289,309. 
  4. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Births, 1860-1906,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VBY8-TXS : 10 March 2018), Metz, 01 Nov 1866; citing bk 1866 p 320, Department of Records; FHL microfilm 1,289,310. 
  5. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Births, 1860-1906,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VBY8-ZHF : 10 March 2018), Metz, 09 Feb 1868; citing bk 1868 p 20, Department of Records; FHL microfilm 1,289,311. 
  6. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Births, 1860-1906,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VB13-98Y : 10 March 2018), Metz, 17 Oct 1869; citing bk 1869 p 253, Department of Records; FHL microfilm 1,289,313. The Philadelphia birth index shows an October birthdate, but the 1900 census indicates she was born in December, 1869. I assume the birth index is more reliable. 
  7. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Non-Population Census Schedules for Pennsylvania, 1850-1880: Mortality; Archive Collection: M1838; Archive Roll Number: 11; Census Year: 1880; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 465. Ancestry.com. U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules, 1850-1885. 
  8. New York, New York City Births, 1846-1909,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:27B5-NVH : 11 February 2018), Edwin Jos. Metz, 16 Dec 1874; citing Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, reference cn 149827 New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,322,085. 
  9. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Births, 1860-1906,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VBBV-FMH : 9 March 2018), U Metz, 14 Sep 1878; citing p 62, Department of Records; FHL microfilm 1,289,319. 
  10. Philadelphia city directories, 1862-1878, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995. 
  11. Bernhard Metz and family, 1880 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1186;Page: 290C; Enumeration District: 589. Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census 
  12. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-623Q-33?cc=1320976&wc=9FR7-82S%3A1073111102 : 16 May 2014), 004008623 > image 181 of 488; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. 
  13. New York City directories, 1880, 1884, 1886, 1889, 1894, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995. 
  14.  New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2434-KSD : 10 February 2018), George Gattel and Hattie Metz, 20 Oct 1887; citing Marriage, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York City Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,571,009. 
  15. Ancestry.com. Prussian Provinces, Selected Lutheran Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1661-1944. New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:24H4-BHF : 10 February 2018), George Gattel and Hattie Metz, 20 Oct 1887; citing Marriage, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York City Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,671,683. 
  16. George Gattel, ship manifest, Staatsarchiv Hamburg; Hamburg, Deutschland; Hamburger Passagierlisten; Microfilm No.: K_1727, Staatsarchiv Hamburg. Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934. George Gattel, 1888 passport application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 315; Volume #: Roll 315 – 01 Oct 1888-31 Oct 1888. Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 
  17. New York, New York City Births, 1846-1909,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2WMB-7ZW : 11 February 2018), Gattel, 10 Oct 1890; citing Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, reference cn 31192 New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,322,236. 
  18.  New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2WVQ-KFH : 10 February 2018), Emily Gattel, 25 Mar 1893; citing Death, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,412,519. 
  19.  New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:24H2-13L : 10 February 2018), Adolf Katzenstein and Bertha Metz, 01 Jul 1891; citing Marriage, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York City Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,452,194. 
  20. E.g, 1892 passport application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 397; Volume #: Roll 397 – 01 Jul 1892-13 Jul 1892. 1896 passport application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 459; Volume #: Roll 459 – 01 Feb 1896-29 Feb 1896.  Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 

The Final Chapter on Levi Goldsmith and His Family

When Sylvester Goldsmith, the youngest child of Levi and Henrietta Goldsmith, died at age 44 in 1914, he left behind his wife Ida and five young children: Louis (16), Harold (13), Blanchard (11), Estelle (8), and Sarah Frances (2). We saw that Ida stayed in Dubois, Pennsylvania, with Louis, Estelle, and Sarah Frances, but that Harold and Blanchard were sent to Dayton, Ohio, for some time after their father’s death. By 1930, Louis had married Helen Heckman and was working on the railroad in Dubois. Estelle and Sarah Frances were still living with their mother in Dubois, and Estelle was working as a stenographer. Harold was married and still living in Dayton, working as a polisher according to the 1933 Dayton directory, and Blanchard was working as a plasterer and living in Atlantic City.

Louis and his wife Helen were living in Dubois for much of the 1930s, but by 1940 they had moved to Little Valley, New York, where Louis was a clerk for the B&O Railroad. As of 1940, they did not have any children.

Louis Goldsmith, 1940 US census, Census Place: Little Valley, Cattaraugus, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02505; Page: 12B; Enumeration District: 5-31
Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census

Harold and his wife Martha and their child were still living in Dayton in 1940, where Harold was working as a polisher for an electric motor company.1 They were still living in Dayton as late as 1944, but by 1946 they had relocated to Dubois, where Harold’s mother Ida was still living. Perhaps Harold moved back to help care for his mother after Louis moved to New York State. In 1948, he was working for the Vulcan Soot Blower Corporation, and in 1955 he was working as a janitor at the Dubois Deposit Bank at that time.2

By 1940 Blanchard Goldsmith had married a woman named Eleanor, and they were living in Atlantic City where Blanchard was working as a bartender. But I had a hard time finding a marriage record or birth name for Eleanor. There was also a family of three living with them as boarders and a niece, fifteen-year-old Evelyn Carson. The niece’s name was the one clue I had to learn more about Eleanor.

Blanchard Goldsmith, 1940 US Census, Census Place: Atlantic City, Atlantic, New Jersey; Roll: m-t0627-02300; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 1-26
Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census

It took some digging, but I found an Evelyn Carson of the same age and birth state on a Border Crossing document traveling with two siblings, Emily and William Carson, with a father W. Carson living in Toronto.

Library and Archives Canada; 1908-1935 Border Entries; Roll: T-15368
Ancestry.com. Border Crossings: From U.S. to Canada, 1908-1935

That led me to search for Emily, William, and Evelyn Carson, and I found the two sisters living with a grandmother named Elizabeth Rourke in Philadelphia in 1940 (Evelyn seemed to be listed twice on the 1940 census).3 Searching backwards, I found that Elizabeth Rourke, born O’Neill, had married Michael Rourke, and they had several children, including an Eleanor and a Gertrude. Gertrude had married a William Carson.4 Putting it all together, I concluded that the Eleanor who married Blanchard Goldsmith must have been Eleanor Rourke, daughter of Elizabeth O’Neill and Michael Rourke. That was quite a long loop just to find a birth name for Blanchard’s first wife—especially since the marriage did not last very long.

In 1950, Blanchard was listed as a bartender in the Atlantic City directory with a different wife named Patricia.5 It also took some digging to find more about Patricia.  She was born Patricia Barry, daughter of Joseph Barry, a sheet metal contractor, and Irene Field. She was born on December 29, 1916, in Atlantic City. She had been previously married to John L. Roth, with whom she’d had one child.6 She and Blanchard would then have two children of their own.

As for Sylvester’s two surviving daughters, Estelle remained in Dubois and by 1936 was married to Harry Lindahl, a moulder for the Dubois Iron Works company, according to the Dubois directory for that year. In 1940 they were living in Dubois with their child, and Harry was still working at the foundry.7

Sarah Frances, now using Frances, also remained in Dubois, where she married her sister Estelle’s brother-in-law, John Lindahl. John and his brother Harry were the sons of Charlie Lindahl, a Swedish immigrant, and Nettie Dinger, a Pennsylvania native.8 In 1940 John was working in a print shop, Frances was working as a stenographer in a wholesale tire store, and they had one child.  Frances’ mother Ida Simms Goldsmith was also living with them.

John Lindahl and family, 1940 US census, Census Place: Dubois, Clearfield, Pennsylvania; Roll: m-t0627-03470; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 17-43
Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census

Ida died on December 24, 1960, in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, at the age of 86.9 And unlike her husband and so many of his siblings and nieces and nephews as well as their first child Helen, her other children all lived long lives. Louis died on December 5, 1987, at the age of 89.10 Estelle died in April 1990; she was 84. 11 Harold died on May 28, 1994, at age 93.12 Blanchard was 91 when he died December 4, 1994, six months after his brother Harold.13 And Frances, the youngest child of Sylvester Goldsmith, who was the youngest child of Levi Goldsmith, died on September 28, 2000, when she was 88.14

Thus, unlike so many of their extended family members, the five children of Sylvester Goldsmith and Ida Simms who lived to adulthood all made it past 80, and two of them made it into their 90s. They must have gotten their longevity from their mother’s DNA, not that of their father or grandfather.

Thus, I come to the end of the saga of my three-times great-uncle Levi Goldsmith and his family, one of the saddest chapters I’ve researched in a while. There were so many premature deaths that at times it seemed almost unbelievable. Why did Levi draw the short straw when his brothers Jacob, Abraham, and Meyer all seemed to find much good fortune (although each also had a fair amount of heartbreak)? I don’t know. It just shows that heartbreaking stories are not fairly distributed evenly among family members.  Some people just suffer more than their fair share.

 

 


  1. Harold Goldsmith, 1940 US census, Census Place: Dayton, Montgomery, Ohio; Roll: m-t0627-03253; Page: 17B; Enumeration District: 94-85. Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  2. Dayton, Ohio, city directory, 1944, Dubois, Pennsylvania, city directory, 1946, 1948, 1955, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995. 
  3. Evelyn Carson with Elizabeth Rourke, 1940 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: m-t0627-03736; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 51-1599. Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  4. Michael Rourke and family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 26, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1400; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 0578; FHL microfilm: 1375413. Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census. William and Gertrude Carson, 1920 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 48, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1648; Page: 11B; Enumeration District: 1814. Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  5. Atlantic City city directory, 1950, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995. 
  6. Patricia Roth, 1940 US census, Year: 1940; Census Place: Atlantic City, Atlantic, New Jersey; Roll: m-t0627-02300;Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 1-19. Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  7. Harry Lindahl and family, 1940 US census, Census Place: Sandy, Clearfield, Pennsylvania; Roll: m-t0627-03471; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 17-81. Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  8. Charles Lindahl and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Sandy, Clearfield, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1553; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 106. Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  9.  Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 114001-116700. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966. Certificate Number: 114311-60 
  10. Ancestry.com. U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010 
  11. Number: 170-26-3884; Issue State: Pennsylvania; Issue Date: Before 1951. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014  
  12.  Number: 288-07-3757; Issue State: Ohio; Issue Date: Before 1951. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014  
  13. Ancestry.com. Florida Death Index, 1877-1998 
  14. Number: 200-05-3391; Issue State: Pennsylvania; Issue Date: Before 1951. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 

The Descendants of Levi Goldsmith, Part 2: The Families of Helen and Blanche

The three youngest children of my 3x-great-uncle Levi Goldsmith and his wife Henrietta—Helen, Blanche, and Sylvester— had all experienced plenty of tragedy in their lives—loss of siblings and children and/or a spouse and in Sylvester’s case, his own early death. By 1933 when their oldest sister Eva died, Helen and Blanche were the only siblings left from the nine babies born to Levi and Henrietta.

Helen Goldsmith Loeb had lost her husband Harry in 1925, but her three children Armand, Henriete, and Leonard were all still living. As we saw, as of 1930 her daughter Henriete was divorced from Leo Dessauer and was living with her mother and brother Leonard in Philadelphia along with her seven year old son. Armand was married to Rose Kahn and had two children by 1930 and was working as merchant, presumably in the Loeb Warehouse with his brother Leonard. Later in 1930 Leonard had married Florence Mayer.

Helen and her children were all still living in Philadelphia in 1940. Helen was living with her son Leonard and his family (he and Florence had two children by then) in Philadelphia, and Leonard was working as a brewery machinery salesman.1 According to his World War II draft registration, he was self-employed.

Leonard Loeb 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: 1495
Ancestry.com. U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947

His older brother Armand was also living in Philadelphia with his wife and two children in 1940, and he listed his occupation as the owner of a machinery company.2 His World War II draft registration also states that he was self-employed and at the same address as his brother Leonard, presumably the Loeb Warehouse Company.

Armand Loeb, 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
Source Information
Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942

Henriete had remarried by 1935 and moved to Florida with her second husband, Ralph Palmer Brown. Ralph was born in Pennsylvania on November 3, 1892, to Alonzo and Ada Kate Brown; his father was a druggist.3 In 1930 Ralph had been living in Philadelphia with his sister and brother-in-law and working as a sewer inspector.4 By 1935 he and Henriete were married and living in Daytona Beach, Florida. In 1940 Ralph, Henriete, and Henriete’s son Leo Dessauer were living in Daytona Beach, and Ralph was a gas station operator (his own business).

Ralph Brown and family, 1940 US census, Census Place: Daytona Beach, Volusia, Florida; Roll: m-t0627-00620; Page: 42A; Enumeration District: 64-28
Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census

Blanche Goldsmith Greenbaum, the youngest surviving sibling, had been living in 1930 with her husband Max and their only surviving child of four children, their daughter Helen. Then she suffered another loss—Max died in September 1937.  Unfortunately I have no official source for Max’s death, just a burial record at Mt Sinai cemetery, a FindAGrave entry, and biography at prabook.com. And although Max appears to have been a successful dentist, I could not find an obituary for him either. He was 69 years old when he died. He must not have died in Pennsylvania, or I assume I would have been able to find a death certificate for him.5

As for Blanche’s daughter Helen, she also proved to be an elusive person to track down. The Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Marriage Index on Ancestry listed a marriage to Jay J Feinstein in 1942.6 According to his US Army enlistment records, Jay was born in Russia in 1900, was an insurance salesman, and had enlisted in the army in August 1942, so either soon after or soon before he married Helen.7 I could find no other record showing Helen and Jay together, nor could I find for a long time any record of what had happened to either of them.

Then I found Jay’s veteran’s compensation application dated February 10, 1950, with Jay listed with a different surname—Jay J Mandell—but mentioning that he had served as Jay J Feinstein.  That record also reported that Jay had been married to Helen G. Mandell, whom he had divorced in January 1945, so obviously Helen and Jay’s marriage had not lasted. But I could find nothing more about Helen as either Helen Greenbaum, Helen Feinstein, or Helen Mandell. But I did find one more clue.

Jay Feinstein Mandell, Veteran Compensation file, Box Title: Fegeley, Joseph Smith Jr – Felker, Carl A (Box 242). 
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Veteran Compensation Application Files, WWII, 1950-1966 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.
Original data: Pennsylvania (State). World War II Veterans Compensation Applications, circa 1950s. Records of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, Record Group 19, Series 19.92 (877 cartons). Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

My next clue as to Helen’s whereabouts came when her mother Blanche died on June 19, 1950, from a cerebral hemorrhage at age 82:

Blanche Goldsmith death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 054451-056880. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966

Her death notice named her as the “wife of the late Dr. Max Greenbaum and the devoted mother of Helen Bank.”[^8] And Helen Bank was the informant on the death certificate. So I knew that Helen must have married again after divorcing Jay in 1945. Although I could not find one record or newspaper article revealing the first name of her second husband, I was able to find an entry in the Social Security Death Index for a Helen Bank with the same birth date and from Pennsylvania.8 Assuming it is Helen Estella Greenbaum with that Social Security number, she died in December 1984 at age 77. As far as I can tell, Helen had not had children with either of her two husbands.

After Blanche died on June 19, 1950, Helen Goldsmith Loeb was the only child of Levi and Henrietta Goldsmith still living. But she did not outlive her younger sister for very long. Helen died less then seven months later on January 3, 1951; she was 85 years old, which made her the sibling with the greatest longevity. She was survived by her three children: Armand, who died in October 1967,9 Henriete, who died in 1978,10 and Leonard, who died in 1964.11 She also was survived by three grandchildren.

Helen Goldsmith Loeb death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 006151-008700
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966

Interestingly, Sylvester Goldsmith, who had died so young back in 1914, had five children who were blessed with a longevity that he was denied and that was denied to so many of the descendants of Levi and Henrietta Goldsmith. In my last post about the family of Levi and Henrietta, I will write about his descendants.


  1. Helen Goldsmith Loeb and family, 1940 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: m-t0627-03749; Page: 13B; Enumeration District: 51-2006. Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  2. Armand Loeb and family, 1940 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: m-t0627-03749; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 51-2007. Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census. 
  3. Alonzo Brown and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Belle Vernon, Fayette, Pennsylvania; Page: 5; Enumeration District: 0001; FHL microfilm: 1241409. Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census. Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Philadelphia; Roll: 1907956; Draft Board: 48. Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. 
  4. Ralph Brown, 1930 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 11B; Enumeration District: 0444; FHL microfilm: 2341854. Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  5. Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1669-2013. Gale Research Company; Detroit, Michigan; Accession Number: 1795533. Ancestry.com. Biography & Genealogy Master Index (BGMI). https://prabook.com/web/max.greenbaum/1064849 
  6. Ancestry.com. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Marriage Index, 1885-1951. “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Marriage Index, 1885–1951.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009. Philadelphia County Pennsylvania Clerk of the Orphans’ Court. “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia marriage license index, 1885-1951.” Clerk of the Orphans’ Court, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 
  7. Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946.Original data: National Archives and Records Administration. Electronic Army Serial Number Merged File, 1938-1946 [Archival Database]; ARC: 1263923. World War II Army Enlistment Records; Records of the National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 64; National Archives at College Park. College Park, Maryland, U.S.A. 
  8. The Philadelphia Inquirer, June 20, 1950, p. 32. 
  9. Number: 163-28-4324; Issue State: Pennsylvania; Issue Date: 1951-1952. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  10. Ancestry.com. Florida Death Index, 1877-1998 
  11.  Number: 181-24-0802; Issue State: Pennsylvania; Issue Date: Before 1951. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014  

The Fate of Levi Goldsmith’s Descendants, Part I: More Early Deaths

The 1930s did not start well for the family of Eva Goldsmith Anathan. Her son-in-law Sim Simon, husband of her daughter Bessie, died on February 1, 1932. Sadly, he had taken his own life. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Sim had been in poor health after an operation.1

Then just fourteen months later Eva Goldsmith Anathan, the oldest child of Levi and Henrietta Goldsmith, died on April 27, 1933, in Philadelphia, where she had lived her entire life.  She was 77 years old and had outlived six of her eight younger siblings as well as her ex-husband Nathan Anathan and two of their four children. She died from hypertension and chronic myocarditis. She was survived by two daughters, Helen and Bessie, and her remaining two younger siblings, Helen and Blanche.

Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 029001-032000
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966

But the heartbreak did not end there. Five years later Eva’s daughter Bessie Anathan Simon died at age 55 from an acute coronary occlusion.

Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 076001-079000
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966

Bessie was survived by her children and by her sister Helen. Her children had lost both their parents and their grandmother within six years. Her sister Helen continued to live in Philadelphia and work as a probation officer as of 1940.2 She somehow beat the odds in her family and lived to age 90, dying on November 15, 1969 in Miami, Florida.3

Unfortunately the family of Estella Goldsmith Rothschild also faced more tragedy in the 1930s, as seen in my earlier post when Estella’s son Herbert lost his wife Nancy to cancer at age 29 in 1931. Herbert moved to New York City in the 1930s, where in 1940 he was working as a paint salesman.4 His son Herbert, Jr., was also living in New York City in 1940, but with his maternal grandmother, Fanny Erber.5 He was only ten years old and had lost his mother before his second birthday. His father was living about eighty blocks away in Manhattan. I assume that Herbert Sr. was not able to care for his young son alone so moved to New York so that his mother-in-law could take care of Herbert, Jr.

Herbert remarried shortly after the enumeration of the 1940 census. According to the New York, New York, Marriage License Index on Ancestry, Herbert Rothschild and Lena M. Beasley applied for a marriage license on August 8, 1940.6 Lena was born in about 1907 in Mississippi to John and Ona Beasley.7  In 1930 she was living as a roomer in New York City working as a private nurse, so she and Herbert must have met in New York.8 Sadly, Herbert died at age 61 in 1955 just fifteen years after they married. He was survived by Lena and his son as well as his brother Jerome.9

Herbert’s older brother Jerome and his wife Carrie and daughter Estella continued to live in Philadelphia, and in 1940 Jerome was still practicing law.10 Jerome continued to live in Philadelphia for the rest of his life. He died from a heart attack at age 80 on July 20, 1964, in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, a Philadelphia suburb. His obituary reported that he was one of the founders of his law firm, Fox, Rothschild, O’Brien, & Frankel, and that he was active in many civic and Jewish organizations. He had served as the first president of the Philadelphia Jewish Community Relations Council, was on the board of the Philadelphia chapter of the American Jewish Committee, and a past president of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, among many other activities.11 His wife Carrie died six years later on December 19, 1970, at age 86. 12They were survived by their daughter Estelle and their grandchildren.

Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Box Number: 2396; Certificate Number Range: 065951-068800
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966

The family of Felix Goldsmith had dispersed in the 1930s, as we saw in my prior post. His daughter Frances was living in New York City, Hortense was living in Indianapolis, and Minna and her family were living in Cleveland, Ohio. Their brother Lee had died in 1929, and their mother died in 1935.

Hortense married in Cleveland on November 11, 1937 for the first time at age 40.13 Her husband Samuel L. Havre was 49; he was born in Cleveland, Ohio on November 8, 1887, the son of Hungarian immigrants, Anton and Yetta Havre.14 His father owned a department store in Cleveland, where Samuel was a salesman. In 1930 he was living with his parents and siblings and working as a manager at the family department store.15 I assume that Minna, who was living in Cleveland, somehow set up her older sister and Samuel Havre.

In 1940 Samuel and Hortense were living in Cleveland in their own household, and Samuel was now the treasurer of the department store.16 But sadly their life together did not last long as Hortense died on April 10, 1947, from a subarachnoid hemorrhage, “bleeding within the subarachnoid space, which is the area between the brain and the tissues that cover the brain.”  Hortense was only 49 years old and had been married for less than ten years at her death. She was survived by her husband Samuel and by her two sisters, Frances and Minna.

Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-69H7-YHQ?cc=1307272&wc=MD9X-4P8%3A287602401%2C294184701 : 21 May 2014), 1947 > 22301-25400 > image 512 of 3534.

Minna was living in 1940 with her husband Edwin Goodman in Cleveland and their two daughters, and Edwin was the owner of a lamp manufacturing company.17 But Minna’s marriage was also cut short by a death.  Her husband Edwin died on September 24, 1940, in Cleveland at the age of 44;18 their children were 13 and 9 when he died.  Like their mother, whose father Felix died when she was a toddler, Minna’s children lost their father far too young.

In April 1943 Minna remarried, this time marrying Samuel W. Kern, who was born Samuel Kohn. He had been married before and was divorced when he married Minna. Samuel was an electrical engineer.19 Minna and Samuel remained married for the rest of their lives; Minna died March 10, 1970 when she was 69, and Samuel died the following year in April 1971 at age 74.20

Unfortunately, I have not been able to find out what happened to Felix Goldsmith’s oldest daughter, Frances Lee Goldsmith.  The last record I have for her was the 1930 census, and the last mention I’ve found is in her sister’s Hortense’s obituary in 1947, where she was named as a survivor. She is not mentioned as a survivor in Minna’s obituary or death notice in 1970, so I assume that Frances died sometime between the deaths of her two sisters. But I cannot find a death record, obituary, or any other references between those dates.

Once again, the descendants of Levi Goldsmith seemed cursed with a large number of early deaths. The final two chapters of this sad saga will cover the remaining descendants: the families of Helen, Blanche, and Sylvester Goldsmith.

 

 


  1. Certificate Number Range: 010501-013500
    Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966.
    Original data: Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1963. Series 11.90 (1,905 cartons). Records of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Record Group 11. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. “Man Slashes Throat,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, January 25, 1932, p. 22. 
  2. Helen Anathan, 1940 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: m-t0627-03732; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 51-1426. Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  3.  Number: 187-36-8712; Issue State: Pennsylvania; Issue Date: 1962. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014. Original data: Social Security Administration. Social Security Death Index, Master File. Social Security Administration. 
  4. Herbert Rothschild, Sr., 1940 US census, Census Place: New York, New York, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02642; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 31-768. Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census  
  5. Herbert Rothschild, Jr., 1940 US census, Census Place: New York, New York, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02677; Page: 13B; Enumeration District: 31-2131. Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  6.  New York City Municipal Archives; New York, New York; Volume Number: 5. Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Marriage License Indexes, 1907-1995 
  7. John Beasley, 1910 US census, Census Place: Beat 2, Copiah, Mississippi; Roll: T624_737; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 0047; FHL microfilm: 1374750. Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  8. Lena Beasley, 1930 US census, Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 0912; FHL microfilm: 2341308. Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  9. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007. SSN: 109127243 
  10. Jerome Rothschild, 1940 US census,  Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: m-t0627-03754; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 51-2166. Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census  
  11. Note that the death certificate was signed by Sidney Goldsmith, MD; he was the grandson of Jacob Goldsmith, Levi’s brother, so he was Jerome’s second cousin. “J.J. Rothschild Dies, Law Firm’s Founder,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, July 21, 1964, p. 30. 
  12. The Philadelphia Inquirer, December 20, 1970, p. 46. 
  13. The Indianapolis News, November 2, 1937, p. 10. “Havre-Goldsmith,” The Virginian Pilot, November 16, 1937, p. 5. 
  14. Series II: Questionnaires: Jews; Record Group Description: (A) General Files, Army and Navy (Boxes 2-4); Box #: 3; Folder #: 9; Box Info: (Box 3) Cleveland: Privates, H-P. Ancestry.com. U.S., WWI Jewish Servicemen Questionnaires, 1918-1921. Ancestry.com. Ohio, Births and Christenings Index, 1774-1973. Original data: “Ohio Births and Christenings, 1821-1962.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009, 2011 
  15. Havre family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Cleveland Heights, Cuyahoga, Ohio; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0570; FHL microfilm: 2341518. Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  16. Samuel and Hortense Havre, 1940 US census, Census Place: Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio; Roll: m-t0627-03222; Page: 11B; Enumeration District: 92-475.  Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  17. Edwin Goodman and family, 1940 US census, Census Place: Shaker Heights, Cuyahoga, Ohio; Roll: m-t0627-03058; Page: 64A; Enumeration District: 18-280.
    Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census. 
  18. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007. SSN: 270107526. 
  19.  Cuyahoga County Archive; Cleveland, Ohio; Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Marriage Records, 1810-1973; Volume: 226; Page: 418; Year Range: 1943-1945. Ancestry.com. Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Marriage Records and Indexes, 1810-1973. Ancestry.com. Ohio, County Marriage Records, 1774-1993. 
  20.  Certificate: 016802; Volume: 19998, Certificate: 025315; Volume: 20434; Ancestry.com and Ohio Department of Health. Ohio, Death Records, 1908-1932, 1938-2007. Ancestry.com. U.S., 

Levi Goldsmith’s Family 1920-1930, Part II: Marriages, Divorces, and Stupid Criminals

In my last post I wrote about the families of four of Levi and Henrietta’s children: Eva, Estella, George, and Felix. This post will cover the families of the three youngest of their children: Helen, Blanche and Sylvester.

In 1920 Helen Goldsmith and her husband Harry Loeb were living in Philadelphia with their three children, Armand (26), Henriete (23), and Leonard (18), as well as a servant. Harry and his son Armand were both contractors in the building materials industry, presumably for the same company. From other sources I learned the company was known as the Loeb Warehouse Company.

Harry Loeb and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 32, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1633; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 1063
Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census

Henriete married later that same year. She married Leo August Dessauer, who was also from Philadelphia. I could not find a marriage record, but did find these two newspaper articles dated in February, 1920, indicating that they were to be married that spring:

Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, February 3, 1920, p.11.

The Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, February 12, 1920, p. 11.

Leo was the son of Seligman Dessauer, a German-born immigrant, and Adeline Greenwald, a Philadelphia native; Leo was born on April 2, 1889, in Philadelphia. His father was a ladies’ waist manufacturer who died when Leo was a teenager. Leo was a musician and orchestra conductor.1 Henriete and Leo had a son, Leo, Jr., born on May 26, 1922.2

Ad, The Philadelphia Inquirer, January 13, 1918, p. 43

And then tragedy struck the family again:

“Succumbs on Train,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 3, 1925, p. 18.

A year after his father’s death, Armand Goldsmith Loeb married Rose N Kahn, daughter of Henry Kahn, a German immigrant, and Florence Kahn, a Russian immigrant. Rose was born on November 14, 1904, in Philadelphia. Her father was an insurance agent.3  Armand and Rose would have two children, one born after the 1930 census. In 1930 they were living in Philadelphia where Armand was a merchant, perhaps with the Loeb Warehouse Company where his father had worked.

Armand Loeb and family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 26B; Enumeration District: 0534; FHL microfilm: 2341875
Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census

By 1930, Henriete’s marriage to Leo Dessauer had ended. In fact, Leo had remarried in 1929 and moved across the country to Montana.4 In 1930, Henriete and her son Leo, Jr., were living with her mother Helen and brother Leonard. Leonard was working as a roofing salesman for a wholesale warehouse, again presumably the Loeb Warehouse Company.

Helen Loeb and family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0397; FHL microfilm: 2341842
Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census

Leonard Loeb is listed as single on the 1930 census, enumerated on April 21, 1930. But the Philadelphia marriage index lists him as married to Florence Mayer that year,5 and I found Florence Mayer, born April 18, 1908, on the 1930 census, living with her parents, Albert and Bessie (Halpern) Mayer, in Philadelphia, but listed as married and under the name Florence Loeb. That census was enumerated on April 16, 1930. So why is Leonard living with his parents and listed as single five days later? I don’t know. But Florence and Leonard were in fact married at least at some point in 1930.

Mayer family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 26B; Enumeration District: 1034; FHL microfilm: 2341867
Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census

Blanche Goldsmith Greenbaum and her family were also living in Philadelphia in 1920. Her husband Max was practicing dentistry, and their one surviving child Helen was twelve years old. Ten years later they were all still living in Philadelphia, and Max was still a dentist.6

The family of Sylvester Goldsmith was split up in 1920. Sylvester’s widow Ida was living with three of their children in DuBois, Pennsylvania. Louis (21), their oldest surviving child, was working as a Liberty Bonds broker.  The two daughters, Estelle (13) and Sarah (later Frances, 7) were both home and in school.7

But Sylvester and Ida’s two other sons, Harold and Blanchard, were living in Dayton, Ohio, but not together. Harold (18, almost 19) was living as a roomer at 56 Burns Avenue with two other roomers and a couple named Edwin and Lula Snyder. He did not attend school that year; he was working as a paint maker in a paint factory.

Harold Goldsmith, 1920 US census, Census Place: Dayton Ward 8, Montgomery, Ohio; Roll: T625_1421; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 161
Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census

His younger brother Blanchard (who apparently added a few years to his age both in the census and the news article below; he was 16 in 1920, 19 in 1923) was rooming with a couple named “Stochler” and two other roomers at 676 South Main Street in Dayton, which was a quarter mile away from where his brother Harold was living; from further research, I determined that Mary “Stochler” was in fact Mary Camp Stachler and that she was Blanchard’s aunt, his mother Ida’s (half-)sister.8 Blanchard was employed as a lathe hand for an electric company.  He also had not attended school that year.

Blanchard Goldsmith 1920 US census, Census Place: Dayton Ward 8, Montgomery, Ohio; Roll: T625_1421; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 160
Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census

Why were Harold and Blanchard, both still teenagers, living away from home and separately? Their mother had been from Lima, Ohio, which is about 75 miles from Dayton, and their aunt Mary was living in Dayton. Their father had died in 1914.  Maybe these two teenage boys were just too much for Ida to handle. Louis was the breadwinner for her, and she had two young daughters, so perhaps sending Harold and Blanchard to Dayton was a way to make her life a bit easier after Sylvester died. Blanchard may, in fact, have been a bit much to handle. In 1923 when he was nineteen, he and two other young men were arrested for stealing a watch and other jewelry in Olean, New York—right across the street from the police station:

“Arrest Thieves,” The Buffalo (NY) Times, July 17, 1923, p. 12.

This story reminded me of the routine Jay Leno used to do called “Stupid Criminals.” It does not appear that Blanchard had any future run-ins with the law so perhaps he learned his lesson.

In 1930, Ida and her daughters Estelle (23) and Sarah (17) were still living in DuBois, and Estelle was working as a stenographer in an attorney’s office.8 Louis was also living in DuBois; he had married in about 1923; his wife’s name was Helen Heckman, and she was born on August 6, 1896, in Dubois, the daughter of August Heckman and Mary Weber.  Her father was a farmer. 9 In 1930 Louis was working as a clerk for the railroad.10

I believe Harold Goldsmith continued to live in Dayton, Ohio. He is listed in Dayton directories from 1929 on, but I could not find him on the 1930 census despite having an address for him from both the 1929 and 1930 Dayton directories—329 East Lincoln Street. But he is listed in both with a wife named Martha, with whom he was also living in 1940. Unfortunately, I have not found anything more about Martha’ background except that she was born in Pennsylvania on June 7, 1904.11

Finally, Blanchard Goldsmith was living in Atlantic City in 1930, working as a plasterer. He was at that point still single and had apparently moved to Atlantic City by 1927.12

Thus, by 1930, Eva, Helen and Blanche were the only children still living of Levi and Henrietta Goldsmith; there were also sixteen living grandchildren. What would the 1930s bring for the family?

 

 


  1.  Box Title: Depew, Wallace M – Detwiler, William (101), Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, WWI Veterans Service and Compensation Files, 1917-1919, 1934-1948. Original data: World War I Veterans Service and Compensation File, 1934–1948. RG 19, Series 19.91. Ancestry.com. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Marriage Index, 1885-1951. “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Marriage Index, 1885–1951.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009. Philadelphia County Pennsylvania Clerk of the Orphans’ Court. “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia marriage license index, 1885-1951.” Clerk of the Orphans’ Court, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Seligman Dessauer and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 32, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 9; Enumeration District: 0806; FHL microfilm: 1241473, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census. 
  2. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007. Original data: Social Security Applications and Claims, 1936-2007. SSN: 553348464 
  3. Ancestry.com. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Marriage Index, 1885-1951. Original data: “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Marriage Index, 1885–1951.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009. Philadelphia County Pennsylvania Clerk of the Orphans’ Court. “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia marriage license index, 1885-1951.” Clerk of the Orphans’ Court, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Marriage License Number: 538148. Number: 191-22-0212; Issue State: Pennsylvania; Issue Date: Before 1951.
    Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014. Harry Kahn, 1920 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 38, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1636; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 1371.
    Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  4. Montana State Historical Society; Helena, Montana; Montana, County Marriages, 1865-1950. Ancestry.com. Montana, County Marriages, 1865-1987. Certificate A 19371. 
  5. Ancestry.com. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Marriage Index, 1885-1951. Original data: “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Marriage Index, 1885–1951.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009. Philadelphia County Pennsylvania Clerk of the Orphans’ Court. “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia marriage license index, 1885-1951.” Clerk of the Orphans’ Court, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Marriage License Number: 586636 
  6. Max Greenbaum and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 32, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1633; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 1068. Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census. Max Greenbaum and family 1930 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 20A; Enumeration District: 0298; FHL microfilm: 2341830. Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census  
  7. Ida Goldsmith and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Du Bois Ward 4, Clearfield, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1553; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 83. Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  8. Ida Goldsmith and daughters, 1930 US census, Census Place: Du Bois, Clearfield, Pennsylvania; Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 0027; FHL microfilm: 2341752. Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  9. Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records; Reel: 673. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1669-2013. August Heckman, 1900 US census, Census Place: Huston, Clearfield, Pennsylvania; Page: 4; Enumeration District: 0081; FHL microfilm: 1241396. Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007. Original data: Social Security Applications and Claims, 1936-2007. SSN: 527800863 
  10. Louis Goldsmith and family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Du Bois, Clearfield, Pennsylvania; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0028; FHL microfilm: 2341752. Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  11. 1929, 1930 Dayton, Ohio, directories, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995. 
  12. Blanchard Goldsmith, 1930 US census, Census Place: Atlantic City, Atlantic, New Jersey; Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 0018; FHL microfilm: 2341043. Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 

Levi Goldsmith’s Family 1920-1930, Part I: More Terrible Losses

As of 1920, only four of the nine children to whom Levi Goldsmith’s wife Henrietta had given birth were still alive: Eva, the oldest daughter, George, the oldest son, and Helen and Blanche, the two youngest daughters. Estella, Felix, Isadore, and Sylvester had already died, all before they turned fifty (as well as the infant who was born prematurely and not named.) There were also seventeen grandchildren still living as well as several great-grandchildren.  This post will report on the fates of Eva and her family, George, and the descendants of Estella and Felix in the 1920s. The one to follow will cover Helen and Blanche and their families as well as the descendants of Sylvester Goldsmith.

In 1920 Eva Goldsmith Anathan was living with her daughter Helen in Philadelphia. Helen, now forty, continued to work as a probation officer. There was also a lodger living with them, Leo Isenthal, 45, a railroad promoter.

Eva Goldsmith Anathan 1920 US census. Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 32, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1633; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 1067
Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census

Bessie Anathan was living in Philadelphia with her husband Sim Simon and their two sons, John and Robert, in 1920; Sim was a manufacturer of extracts—of what, I do not know. They were living a quarter mile away from Eva and Helen.

Sim Simon and family 1920 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 32, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1633; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 1068
Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census

Eva and Helen were still living together in Philadelphia in 1930, and Helen continued to work as a probation officer.1 Bessie and Sim and their children were also still in Philadelphia, and Sim now identified his occupation as a candy manufacturer. 2

Eva Goldsmith Anathan, the oldest child of Levi and Henrietta, died three years later on April 27, 1933, at the age of 77; she died from hypertension and chronic myocarditis.

Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 029001-032000
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates

Estella Goldsmith Rothschild’s widower Solomon and their sons were also living in Philadelphia in 1920. Jerome, her son, was practicing law and was the head of household. His wife Carrie and six-year-old daughter Estelle were living with him as well as his brother Herbert (26) and father Solomon. Herbert was a clerk in a clothing store, and Solomon was the secretary of a Jewish society.

Rothschild family 1920 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 42, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1643; Page: 18A; Enumeration District: 1578
Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census

On December 30, 1924, Solomon was killed in a horrible train accident:

“Killed by Train,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, December 31, 1924, p. 3

Estella’s family suffered so unfairly. First, two of her sons died as children; then she died when she was in her forties. And then her husband met his death in such a gruesome and painful way. Their sons Jerome and Herbert had experienced far too many losses by 1924.

Fortunately, Herbert had reason to celebrate when he married Nancy Erber on June 25, 1925, six months after his father’s death.3 Nancy was born in New York on February 28, 1901, to Samuel Erber and Fannie Schusterman, who were both born in the Austrian Empire (possibly Poland) and came to the US in the 1880s. Samuel was a tailor.4 Herbert and Nancy had a child born in 1929, and in 1930 they were living in New York City where Herbert was the vice-president of a clothing factory.5 His brother Jerome continued to live in Philadelphia with his wife and daughter and to practice law.6

And then tragedy struck the family of Estella Goldsmith once again. On January 24, 1931, Nancy Erber Goldsmith died at the age of 29, from retroperitoneal abdominal neoplasm, which appears to have been a form of pancreatic cancer. It also says she was suffering from cachexia, which is defined as “a ‘wasting’ disorder that causes extreme weight loss and muscle wasting, and can include loss of body fat,” and inanition, defined as “Severe weakness and wasting as occurs from lack of food, defect in assimilation, or neoplastic disease.”  She was so terribly young to die in such an awful way. And another Goldschmidt child, not yet two years old, became motherless, and Herbert Goldsmith experienced yet another heartbreaking loss.

Those were not the only losses the extended family suffered in this period. On December 31, 1929, George Goldsmith, Levi and Henrietta’s oldest son, died from cancer of the cecum at age of 68. His wife Leah Abeles died nine years later on May 26, 1938, from pancreatic cancer;7 she was 73, according to her death certificate. George and Leah had not had any children. They are buried at Mt Sinai cemetery in Philadelphia.

That meant that as of 1933, there were only two of Levi and Henrietta’s children still alive: Helen, and Blanche.

Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 114001-117000
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966

Felix Goldsmith’s widow Bertha Umstadter Goldsmith and three of their surviving children, Hortense (32), Lee (26), and Minna (20), were living together in Norfolk, Virginia, in 1920. Hortense was working at the Navy Yard, and Minna was a stenographer for the shipping board. I cannot read what it says for Lee’s occupation on the census record, but the 1922 Norfolk, Virginia directory has him listed as the deputy US Shipping Commissioner.8

Felix and Bertha’s oldest child, Frances, was living in New York City in 1920, working as a social worker for the “National Conference of [?] Social Services.9 But in 1925 Frances was working in a lingerie shop, living in what appears to be a single room occupancy building in New York City.10 In 1930, she was still working in the lingerie business.11 Unfortunately, that was the last record I could locate for Frances, though I know from her mother’s obituary that she was still living in New York City in 1935.

Lee Goldsmith was the next member of Levi Goldsmith’s extended family to die a premature death. He had left Norfolk sometime after 1922 and moved to Los Angeles, where he was the acting US Shipping Commissioner. He had then moved to Panama in 1926, where he was a customs inspector.12 Then on November 12, 1929, he died from acute meningitis at the age of 37:

“At Post in Panama,” The Los Angeles Times, December 4, 1929, p.23

Lee had never married or had children. He was survived by his mother Bertha and his sisters Frances, Hortense, and Minna.

Felix and Bertha’s daughter Hortense also left Norfolk, Virginia, in the 1920s. Although she is listed in the 1922 Norfolk directory, in 1924 she is listed as living in Indianapolis. The 1926 directory lists her as a stenographer for the American Legion in Indianapolis.13 The 1930 census shows her living in Indianapolis and working as an executive for an unnamed national organization.14 From several newspaper articles I learned that Hortense was working for some time for the American Legion, and in 1932 she was described in one newspaper article as the chief stenographer and supervisor of stenographic employment for the American Legion.15

According to one record, Minna Goldsmith, the youngest of Felix and Bertha’s children, married Edwin Rheinstrom Goodman in 1922.16 He was born in Terre Haute, Indiana, on February 8, 1896, to Leopold Goodman, a German-born immigrant, and Rachel Rheinstrom, who was born in Philadelphia. Leopold was a clothing merchant in Terre Haute.17 In 1920 Edwin had been working as an office manager, living as a boarder in New York City. According to a questionnaire he filled out for the Office of Jewish War Records, he was working for the American Fence Construction Company in New York18. In 1925 Minna and Edwin were living in New York City, and Minna’s mother Bertha was living with them. After all those years living in Norfolk, Virginia, Bertha had relocated at this late point in her life to New York. Edwin was working there as a merchant.

Edwin Goodman household, 1925 NYS census, New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1925; Election District: 32; Assembly District: 07; City: New York; County: New York; Page: IV
Ancestry.com. New York, State Census, 1925

By 1930, however, Minna and Edwin and their child as well as Minna’s mother Bertha had relocated to Cleveland, Ohio, where Edwin was a retail merchant selling men’s clothing.19 Minna and Edwin would have a second child the following year.

Bertha died on December 23, 1935, at the age of 75. She was buried back in Norfolk where she had lived almost her entire life and where her husband Felix and son Lee were also buried.20 By that time none of their three surviving children—Frances, Hortense, and Minna—was living in Norfolk.

The more I learned about Levi’s family, the more unfair and heartbreaking it became. The next post will discuss the families of Levi’s children Helen, Blanche, and Sylvester.

 

 

 

 

 


  1. Eva G. and Helen Anathan, 1930 US census,  Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 0775; FHL microfilm: 2341859. Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census  
  2. Simon family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 11A; Enumeration District: 0775; FHL microfilm: 2341859.  Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  3.  New York City Municipal Archives; New York, New York; Volume Number: 7. Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Marriage License Indexes, 1907-1995. 
  4.  New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2WV5-C2J : 10 February 2018), Nancy Rothchild, 24 Jan 1931; citing Death, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 2,058,015. Erber Family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Manhattan Ward 12, New York, New York; Roll: T624_1021; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 0531; FHL microfilm: 1375034. Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  5. Herbert Rothschild and family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0429; FHL microfilm: 2341289.  Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  6. Jerome Rothschild and family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 1030; FHL microfilm: 2341867. Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  7.  Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 040001-043000. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966 
  8. Bertha Goldsmith and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Norfolk Madison Ward, Norfolk (Independent City), Virginia; Roll: T625_1902; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 100. Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census. 1922 Norfolk, Virginia, City Directory, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995. 
  9. Frances Goldsmith, 1920 US census, Census Place: Manhattan Assembly District 10, New York, New York; Roll: T625_1203; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 735. Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  10. Frances Goldsmith, 1925 New York State census, New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1925; Election District: 42; Assembly District: 10; City: New York; County: New York; Page: 2. Ancestry.com. New York, State Census, 1925 
  11. Frances Goldsmith, 1930 US census, Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 1199; FHL microfilm: 2341294. Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  12. The Los Angeles Times, September 3, 1926, p. 17. 
  13. 1922 Norfolk, Virginia city directory, 1924 and 1926 Indianapolis, Indiana city directory, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995. 
  14. Hortense Goldsmith, 1930 US census, Census Place: Indianapolis, Marion, Indiana; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0091; FHL microfilm: 2340346. Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  15. “Barton, Legion Aids to Head West Friday,” The Indianapolis New, September 1, 1932, p. 12. 
  16. Edwin and Minna Goodman, 1930 US census, Census Place: Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio; Page: 25A; Enumeration District: 0498; FHL microfilm: 2341513.  Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  17.  Series II: Questionnaires: Jews; Record Group Description: (D) Officers-Army (Boxes 11-14); Box #: 12; Folder #: 6; Box Info: (Box 12) Goldstick-Goodman.  Ancestry.com. U.S., WWI Jewish Servicemen Questionnaires, 1918-1921. Leopold Goodman and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Harrison, Vigo, Indiana; Page: 6; Enumeration District: 0108; FHL microfilm: 1240409. Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  18. Series II: Questionnaires: Jews; Record Group Description: (D) Officers-Army (Boxes 11-14); Box #: 12; Folder #: 6; Box Info: (Box 12) Goldstick-Goodman.  Ancestry.com. U.S., WWI Jewish Servicemen Questionnaires, 1918-1921. 
  19. Edwin Goodman and family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio; Page: 25A; Enumeration District: 0498; FHL microfilm: 2341513.
    Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  20. Ancestry.com. U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/11423101