Rose Goldsmith Morgenstern and Florence Goldsmith Levy: Two Sisters under One Roof

Like their brothers Eugene and Maurice, Rose (sometimes Rosa) and Florence Goldsmith lived together for much of their lives, including their adult lives even though both married. As we saw, Rose married Hans (Harry) Morgenstern in 1896, and Florence married Leo Levy in 1898, but in 1900, both daughters and their respective husbands were living with their parents Meyer and Helena and brothers Eugene, Maurice, and Samuel.

Meyer Goldsmith and family, 1900 US Census, Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York; Page: 15; Enumeration District: 0780
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

Thanks again to one of Meyer and Helena’s descendants, I have some lovely photographs of Rose and Florence and their husbands and, in Florence’s case, her children.

First, a photograph of Rose’s husband Hans Morgenstern taken on June 8, 1896, two months after his marriage to Rose:

Hans Morgenstern, June 8, 1896. Courtesy of the family

This photograph was taken in 1904 in Atlantic City of Florence and Leo, Rose, and Beatrice Stine, daughter of Bertha Hohenfels Stine, Helena Hohenfels Goldsmith’s sister:

Rose Goldsmith Morgenstern, Florence Goldsmith Levy, Leo Levy, and a cousin, Beatrice Stine. Courtesy of the family

Here is another photograph of Rose and Florence and their cousin Beatrice.

Florence Goldsmith Levy,  Beatrice Stine, and Rose Goldsmith Morgenstern. Courtesy of the family.

Rose and Hans were still living with her father Meyer and brothers Eugene and Maurice in 1910, but by that time Florence and Leo had moved to Queens where they were raising their three children, Helen, Richard, and Eleanor, born between 1900 and 1908.

Meyer Goldsmith 1910 US census, Census Place: Manhattan Ward 12, New York, New York; Roll: T624_1028; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0739; FHL microfilm: 1375041
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

Leo Levy and family, 1910 US Census, Census Place: Queens Ward 5, Queens, New York; Roll: T624_1068; Page: 12B; Enumeration District: 1250; FHL microfilm: 1375081
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

But fate would bring Rose and Florence back under one roof again. Rose’s husband Hans died on June 1, 1914, at age 55.1 According to his death notice in the New York Times on June 3, 1914 (p. 13), he died suddenly. He left his entire estate to his “beloved wife, Rose G. Morgenstern.”

Last Will and Testament of Hans Morgenstern, Record of Wills, 1665-1916; Index to Wills, 1662-1923 (New York County); Author: New York. Surrogate’s Court (New York County); Probate Place: New York, New York
Source Information
Ancestry.com. New York, Wills and Probate Records, 1659-1999

Rose did not have any children, and her parents were both deceased by 1914, so Rose moved to Queens to live with her younger sister Florence and her family; she is listed (as Morgan Stern) with them on the 1915 New York State census. Interestingly, both Rose and Leo are listed as merchants on this census record.

Leo Levy and family 1915 New York State census, New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1915; Election District: 55; Assembly District: 03; City: New York; County: Queens; Page: 38
Ancestry.com. New York, State Census, 1915

Rose continued to live with Florence and Leo in Queens in 1920 (where Leo is once again described as a lawyer by occupation) along with their children, Helen, Richard, and Eleanor. Richard was a student at Dartmouth College at the time, and Helen was at Wellesley.

Leo Levy and family 1920 US Census, Year: 1920; Census Place: Queens Assembly District 5, Queens, New York; Roll: T625_1236; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 378, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census

During the 1920s, two of Florence and Leo’s children married. First, on February 7, 1924, Helen Levy married Herbert M. Harris in New York City.2 Herbert was born in Brooklyn on November 28, 1889, the son of Moses J. and Annie Harris, both of whom were first-generation Americans. Herbert’s father was a lawyer, and in 1920, Herbert was in the clothes manufacturing business.3 Helen and Herbert had one child born in 1925.

Then on March 26, 1928, Richard Goldsmith Levy married Malvene Frankel, who was born either in Austria or Czechoslovakia, depending on the record.4 She was the daughter of David Frankel and Helen Marks, both born in Hungary. David Frankel was a rabbi.5 Some records say Malvene was born in 1903, others say 1907. I am not sure which is correct.  According to a passport application filed by Malvene’s brother Arthur in 1920, the family arrived in 1910.6  A little over two months after marrying Malvene, Richard graduated from New York University Law School, following in his father Leo’s footsteps.7

In 1930, Florence and Leo were living with their daughter Eleanor and Florence’s sister Rose at 10 West 86th Street. Leo was practicing law and Eleanor was a law student. For a woman to be a law student in 1930 was quite unusual. A family member told me that Eleanor enjoyed the intellectual challenges of law and clerked for her father for a few years, but was not interested in law practice. I certainly can relate to that, having left law practice myself after just four years.

Leo Levy and family 1930 US census, Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York; Page: 19B; Enumeration District: 0448, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census

Florence and Leo’s daughter Helen and her family were living at 59 West 71st in New York City in 1930, and Helen’s husband Herbert Harris listed his occupation as dress manufacturer on the 1930 census. According to the family source, he and his brother made a line of moderately priced ready-to-wear clothing for working women that became quite popular and were known as Harris Classics.8

On the 1930 census, Richard Levy and his wife, now using the name Maureen, were living in the Panama Canal Zone, where Richard was an attorney and Maureen a legal stenographer in Panama City.9  One of the cases that Richard successfully litigated involved a criminal libel claim brought against his client, Nelson Rounsevell, the publisher of the Panama American, for referring to the commanding officer of Fort Clayton in the Canal Zone, Colonel J.V. Heidt, as Adolf Hitler for “brutally driving enlisted personnel in the tropics to suicide.”  The judge issued a directed verdict in favor of Richard’s client, concluding that there was insufficient evidence linking the newspaper article to Colonel Heidt. Richard also represented Standard Oil during his time in the Canal Zone, according to the family.10

From the family member I also learned that in 1932 or 1933, Eleanor Levy married David R. Climenko, son of Hyman Climenko and Rose Neborsky. David was born in New York City on August 28, 1906.11 His father was a well-regarded neurologist who died when David was only fourteen. His mother became an activist for widowed mothers, seeking support from President Roosevelt in 1934.12 The family member told me that David went to Dartmouth, where he met Eleanor’s brother Richard, who introduced them.

The New York Times, December 7, 1920, p. 17.

After graduating from Dartmouth, David went to the University of Edinburgh as a Carnegie Fellow, where he received both a Ph.D  and a medical degree by the time he was 24. David then received a teaching position at the University of Edmonton in Calgary, Canada, where he and Eleanor married and first lived.  Eleanor and David had three children, one of whom died when he was only four years old. His name was Peter Gregory Climenko; he was born March 10, 1935, and died September 5, 1939.13 Here is a photograph of Peter with his grandmother Florence Levy:

Florence Goldsmith Levy and grandson Peter Climenko c. 1936. Courtesy of the family.

And here is a photograph of Eleanor Levy Climenko with her parents, Leo and Florence (Goldsmith) Levy, her son Peter, and  a nephew, the son of Herbert and Helen (Levy) Harris. I was happy to see this photograph of Leo as he died on November 9, 1937, probably not that long after this picture was taken; he was only 66 years old.

Eleanor (Levy) Climenko, Peter Climenko, nephew, Leo Levy, Florence (Goldsmith) Levy. Courtesy of the family.

After her husband Leo died, Florence continued to live at 246 West End Avenue with her sister Rose. Rose died on May 25, 1941; she was 71.14  Florence and her oldest sibling Eugene were at that point the only children of Meyer and Helena Goldsmith still living.

In 1940, Helen and Herbert Harris and their child were still living at 59 West 71st Street, and Herbert was still in the dress manufacturing business.15 According to his World War II draft registration in 1942, they were then living at 91 Central Park West.  Herbert’s business was called Harris Dress Company.

Herbert Harris, World War II draft registration, The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975; Record Group Number: 147. Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942

According to his registration for the draft in World War II, Richard Goldsmith Levy was still living in the Panama Canal Zone with his wife Maureen, and he was employed as a Quartermaster Supply Officer at the General Depot in Corozal in the Canal Zone.

Richard G Levy, 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: 138
Ancestry.com. U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947

In 1940, Eleanor and David Climenko were living in Albany, New York, with their children, and David was working as a pharmacologist at a chemical plant, Behr Manning.16 He also taught at Albany Medical College, according to a family source. Prior to that he had worked at Cold Spring Harbor Lab and taught at Cornell Medical School. Numerous newspaper articles reported on David’s research in the pharmaceutical field. In 1939, there were articles reporting on David’s work on a drug for the treatment of tuberculosis (before the development of the vaccine),17 and in 1942, there were reports on his work on a non-addictive form of morphine. 18 Unfortunately, that medication, Demerol, eventually proved to be just as addictive as morphine.

From November 2, 1942, until January 23, 1946, David served as a captain in the medical corps of the US Army during World War II.19 Tragically, he died on October 9, 1947. David was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.20

Richard Goldsmith Levy made a name for himself in 1952 with the publication of his book, Why Women Should Rule the World (Vantage Press, 1952). Although his message was based in part on some sexist stereotypes of women, he was quite serious about his view that women would make better politicians and leaders of government and of business as well. There were several different articles about Richard and his book published in newspapers around the country.

For example, Inez Robb of INS wrote the following:21

“In those significant periods in history when women have ruled states, nations or empires, those political entities have enjoyed unparalleld periods of peace and prosperity,” Mr. Levy declared.

“Look to the times of Queen Elizabeth I of England, to Victoria, to Isabella of Spain, Catherine the Great of Russia, of Queen Margaret of Sweden, Denmark and Norway, or Hatshepsut of Egypt!” he commanded.

To hear him tell it, their countries never had it so good before or since these girls put their respective hands to the throttle. Most of the time these nations have been in trouble because masculine rulers have run them either into the ground or behind the eight ball.

What comes of a masculine ruled and dominated society? What comes, says Mr. Levy in his book and in person, is war, murder, bloodshed, strife, misery, unhappiness, destruction and taxes, taxes, taxes.

“Men are pugnacious, impractical, romantic and stupid,” Mr. Levy snapped.

“Women have a natural aptitude for governing,” he continued.  They are tidy and good housekeepers. Government, by large, is housekeeping on a big scale.

“Politics is woman’s natural forte. Men, as politicians, are hypocrites from head to toe.”

In another article, written by Dorothy Roe, women’s editor of Associated Press, there are similar quotes and assertions. Here are a few that shed further light on Richard Levy’s views:22

The way to accomplish this feminine utopia, says Levy, is for the girls to start a women’s party. The conventional political parties, he feels, are too hidebound ever to endorse petticoat rule. He feels this step should be taken right away—before the 1952 political conventions if possible. Says he:

“If women don’t take over this generation, there won’t be a next generation.”…

Asked who is going to cook, sweep and darn socks while Papa is out fighting duels or exploring wildernesses and Mamma is running the nation’s government and business, he says:

“This is the mechanical age. Housekeeping should be done by machinery. The modern mechanics of keeping house aren’t sufficient to employ even a fraction of the energy and intelligence of an average modern woman.”

He certainly was ahead of his time; I wonder what he would have thought of Margaret Thatcher, Angela Merkel, and Golda Meir and of the 2016 US Presidential election and its aftermath.

Unfortunately, Richard did not live to see any of those women leaders. He was killed in a car accident in Mexico on January 6, 1954. He was 51 years old.

Richard G Levy death record, National Archives at College Park; College Park, Maryland, U.S.A.; NAI Number: 302021; Record Group Title: General Records of the Department of State; Record Group Number: Record Group 59; Series Number: Publication A1 205; Box Number: 915; Box Description: 1950-1954 Mexico I – Mc

Florence Goldsmith Levy died on September 18, 1954, just eight months after her son Richard; she was 81 years old.23 She was survived by her daughters Helen and Eleanor and three grandchildren. Helen died in September 1970,24 her husband Herbert Harris had predeceased her in August, 1966.25 Eleanor died on December 18, 1975. She was buried with her husband David Climenko at Arlington National Cemetery.26

So like their brothers Eugene and Maurice, Rose and Florence Goldsmith shared a home and a life for many, many years. They weathered much heartbreak together, but also much joy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


  1.  Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Extracted Death Index, 1862-1948. Certificate 17784. 
  2. New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829-1940,” database, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:247M-1BL : 10 February 2018), Herbert M. Harris and Helen C. Levy, 07 Feb 1924; citing Marriage, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York City Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,643,076. 
  3. Herbert Harris World War II draft registration card, The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975; Record Group Number: 147. Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942. Moses Harris and family, 1900 US Census, Census Place: Brooklyn Ward 22, Kings, New York; Page: 14; Enumeration District: 0353. Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census. Herbert Harris, 1920 US Census, Census Place: Brooklyn Assembly District 1, Kings, New York; Roll: T625_1143; Page: 13B; Enumeration District: 8. Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  4. New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:24WP-VL4 : 10 February 2018), Richard G. Levy and Malvene Frankel, 26 Mar 1928; citing Marriage, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York City Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,653,341. 
  5. David Frankel and family, 1920 US Census, Census Place: Manhattan Assembly District 6, New York, New York; Roll: T625_1195; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 485.Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census. 
  6. Arthur Frankel passport application,National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 1101; Volume #: Roll 1101 – Certificates: 183126-183499, 11 Mar 1920-11 Mar 1920. Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925. 
  7. “Degrees Conferred on 2,759 at N.Y. University,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 06 Jun 1928, Wed, Page 29. 
  8. Herbert M Harris and family, 1930 US Census, Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0393. Source Information
    Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census. 
  9. RIchard G. Levy, 1930 US Census, Census Place: Ancon, Balboa District, Panama Canal Zone; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 0001. Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census. 
  10. “Editor in Canal Zone Acquitted of Charge Brought by Army Officer,” The Salt Lake Tribune, 20 Sep 1935, Fri, Page 4. 
  11.  Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Extracted Birth Index, Certificate 42449. 
  12. “Homes for ‘Forgotten Mothers’ Urged on Roosevelt as Federal Project,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, January 22, 1934, p. 4. 
  13. Birth record of Peter Climenko, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Birth Index, 1910-1965 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2017. Original data: New York City Department of Health. Certificate 6518. Death notices, New York Times, September 6, 1939. 
  14. New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2WRF-TGZ : 11 February 2018), Mayar Goldsmith in entry for Rose G. Morgenstern, 25 May 1941; citing Death, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 2,130,231. 
  15. Herbert and Helen Harris, 1940 US Census, Census Place: New York, New York, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02637; Page: 21B; Enumeration District: 31-599. Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census [ 
  16. David Climenko and family, 1940 US Census, Census Place: Bethlehem, Albany, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02456; Page: 62B; Enumeration District: 1-6. Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  17. “New Drug Tried in Tuberculosis,” The Baltimore Sun, April 6, 1939, p. 11. 
  18. “A Substitute for Morphine,” Des Moines Tribute, April 1, 1942, p. 2. 
  19.  Ancestry.com. U.S. National Cemetery Interment Control Forms, 1928-1962. Interment Control Forms, 1928–1962. Interment Control Forms, A1 2110-B. Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, 1774–1985, Record Group 92. The National Archives at College Park, College Park, Maryland. 
  20. Ancestry.com. U.S. National Cemetery Interment Control Forms, 1928-1962. Interment Control Forms, 1928–1962. Interment Control Forms, A1 2110-B. Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, 1774–1985, Record Group 92. The National Archives at College Park, College Park, Maryland. 
  21. Inez Robb, “Men Botch Job—Let Women Rule,” Omaha World Herald, April 27, 1952, p. 72. 
  22. Dorothy Roe, “Petticoat Party Urged to Strive for Nation’s Rule,” Stamford (CT) Daily Advocate, April 28, 1952, p.2. 
  23. Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Death Index, 1949-1965. Certificate 19245. 
  24.  Number: 103-26-6470; Issue State: New York; Issue Date: 1951. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014. 
  25.  Number: 111-22-7525; Issue State: New York; Issue Date: Before 1951. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  26. Ancestry.com. U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current at https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/64537577 

Meyer Goldsmith Moves to New York: Weddings, Births, and Deaths 1891-1911

As seen in my last post, after immigrating from Oberlistingen, Germany, my three-times great-uncle Meyer Goldsmith became, like his older brothers Jacob, Abraham, and Levi, a clothing merchant in Philadelphia for many years. He and his wife, Helena Hohenfels, had six children born between 1859 and 1872, and as of 1888, he and his family were still living in Philadelphia at 705 Marshall Street.

But as of 1889, they were no longer listed in the Philadelphia city directories. Their oldest daughter Heloise had married Simon Bernheim Hirsh in 1886 and was living with him and their children in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in the 1890s. But where was the rest of the family?

It appears that Meyer and Helena and their five other adult children had all relocated to New York City by around 1890. Meyer appears in the 1891 New York City directory as residing at 220 East 69th Street, and Meyer and his sons Eugene and Maurice appear as residing at that same address in the 1892 New York City directory. Meyer is listed as a clothier at 648 Broadway, Eugene as in the trimmings business at 236 Church Street, and Maurice as in the clothing business at 722 Broadway. Perhaps after the failure of Goldsmith & Bros. in 1887, the family decided to leave Philadelphia behind and take their chances on New York instead. 1

Thanks once again to Meyer and Helena’s descendant for this photograph, which we believe is a photograph of Meyer and Helena taken some years after the one I shared in my last post. What do you think?

Helena Hohenfels and Meyer Goldsmith possibly.  Courtesy of the family

In 1896, Meyer and Helena’s second oldest daughter Rose married Hans (sometimes Harry) Morgenstern.2 Hans was born on April 23, 1859; although some of the documents indicate that he was born in Austria, his 1904 passport application states that he was born in Beuthen, Prussia, Germany.3 According to this website, Beuthen is one of those towns that was once within the borders of Germany, once within the borders of Austria, and today is located in Poland and known at Bytom, located about 60 miles west of Krakow. In his 1904 passport application, Hans stated that he had arrived in the United States in 1892 and settled in New York City.

Two years after Rose’s wedding, Meyer and Helena’s youngest child, Florence, married Leo Levy on June 8, 1898, in New York City.4 Leo was born in Flushing, Queens, New York, on October 20, 1871. I was unable to find out any information about Leo’s family of origin until I located this wedding announcement from the June 9, 1898 issue of the New York Times (p. 7):

The New York Times, June 8, 1898, p. 7

Although the announcement did not reveal Leo’s parents’ names, it did reveal those of three of his siblings: Rosalie, Jacob, and Sidney. With that information, I was able to locate the family living in Flushing, Queens, on the 1880 US census and learned that Jacob’s parents were Simon Levy and Caroline Hirsch, both born in Baden, Germany; Simon had immigrated in 1857 as a teenager; Caroline had immigrated with her parents in about 1854. Leo’s father Simon was a clothing merchant.

Leo Levy 1880 US Census, Census Place: Queens, Queens, New York; Roll: 917; Page: 182D; Enumeration District: 263
Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census

From the wedding announcement I also learned that Leo was a lawyer practicing with the firm of Erdman, Levy and Mayer.

Thus, by 1900 all three of Meyer and Helena’s daughters were married. Nevertheless, the 1900 census shows that Meyer and Helena still had all three of their sons, two of the daughters, and two of their sons-in-law living with them as well as two servants. They were all living at 129 East 60th Street. Meyer’s occupation was salesman; Eugene was a merchant; Maurice was a traveling salesman; and Samuel, the youngest son, was a dentist. All three sons were single. Meyer’s son-in-law Hans Morgenstern was a “commission merchant,” and his son-in-law Leo Levy was a lawyer.

Meyer Goldsmith and family, 1900 US Census, Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York; Page: 15; Enumeration District: 0780
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

Here are photographs that we believe are Eugene, Maurice, and Samuel:

Eugene and Maurice Goldsmith (possibly). Courtesy of the family.

Samuel Goldsmith (possibly). Courtesy of the family.

By 1905, the two married daughters and their husbands had moved out. I was unable to locate either Rose Goldsmith Morgenstern or Florence Goldsmith Levy on the 1905 New York State census, but they were no longer living in the same household as their parents. Florence and Leo had had two children by 1905; their daughter Helen was born on October 14, 1900,5 and their son Richard was born on November 18, 1903, both in New York City.6

Another child was born to Florence and Leo on July 24, 1908, in Queens; birth records have her name as Edith Catherine,7 but no child with that name appears on the 1910 census or any later census. The 1910 census reports a third child named Eleanor, aged  one year, six months. At first I was quite confused, but one of Florence and Leo’s descendants explained that Florence and Leo decided that they preferred the name Eleanor to Edith after the baby was born and changed her name.

Leo Levy and family, 1910 US Census, Census Place: Queens Ward 5, Queens, New York; Roll: T624_1068; Page: 12B; Enumeration District: 1250; FHL microfilm: 1375081
Description
Enumeration District: 1250
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

Meanwhile, according to one 1905 New York State census record, all three sons of Meyer and Helena were still living with them at 229 West 97th Street in New York City in 1905. Meyer was a clothier, Eugene an importer, Morris (Maurice) a clothier partner, and Samuel a dentist.

Meyer Goldsmith and family 1905 NYS census
New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1905; Election District: A.D. 21 E.D. 45; City: Manhattan; County: New York; Page: 20
Ancestry.com. New York, State Census, 1905

Samuel, however, is also listed with his wife Helen on another page from the New York State 1905 census as residing at 113 East 60th Street in New York City. That he was listed twice on the 1905 New York State census is another example of census inaccuracies.

Samuel and Helen Goldsmith, 1905 NYS census, New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1905; Election District: A.D. 29 E.D. 10; City: Manhattan; County: New York; Page: 19
Ancestry.com. New York, State Census, 1905

Samuel Goldsmith had married Helen Rau on April 20, 1904, in New York.8 (That meant that there was one Helena, one Heloise, and two Helens now in the extended family.) Helen Rau was born on September 9, 1877, in Englewood, New Jersey, to John Rau and Clementine Kayser.9  On July 28, 1906, Helen gave birth to their daughter, Catherine Goldsmith, in Norwood Park, New Jersey.10

Tragically, Samuel died before Catherine was fourteen months old.  He died in St. Paul, Minnesota, on September 25, 1907; he was only forty years old.11  According to his obituary in the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent of September 27, 1907 (p.11), Samuel and his family had moved to St. Paul for his health on the advice of his doctor. Can anyone suggest why Minnesota would be good for one’s health? I’ve heard of people moving to drier or warmer climates for their health, but why Minnesota? Perhaps it was to be near the Mayo Clinic, which had opened in 1889 in Rochester, Minnesota? I did notice that Helen had a sister living in St. Paul at that time, so perhaps Helen was looking for support due to Samuel’s poor health.

Philadelphia Jewish Exponent, September 27, 1907, p. 11

The obituary described Samuel as a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and as “one of the foremost dentists in New York.” Samuel provided in his will that “[a]ll of my property I give to my beloved wife, Helen Rau Goldsmith, absolutely and forever, appointing her sole Executrix.”

Samuel L. Goldsmith will, Record of Wills, 1665-1916; Index to Wills, 1662-1923 (New York County); Author: New York. Surrogate’s Court (New York County); Probate Place: New York, New York. Ancestry.com. New York, Wills and Probate Records, 1659-1999

Sadly, this was only the beginning of heartbreaking news for the family. The family suffered another loss on February 18, 1910, when Helena Hohenfels Goldsmith died at age 73. She was buried at Mt. Hope Cemetery in Hasting-on-Hudson, New York.12

When the 1910 census was taken two months after Helena’s death, Meyer was still living at 229 West 97th Street, with his two surviving sons, Eugene and Maurice, and his daughter Rose and her husband Hans Morgenstern (as well as two servants).  Meyer was no longer working. Eugene was still in the importing business, and Maurice was a department store salesman. Hans was also working for an import house, presumably with Eugene, his brother-in-law. Rose and Hans did not have children.13

In 1910, Florence and Leo Levy were living with their children, a servant, and a nurse in Queens, and Leo was practicing law.13 I was delighted to receive from Florence’s descendant this beautiful photograph of Florence and her three children, probably taken around 1910.

Helen Levy, Florence Goldsmith Levy, Eleanor Levy, and Richard Goldsmith Levy. Courtesy of the family.

Heloise and Simon Bernheim Hirsh continued to live with their two daughters in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where Simon was a clothing merchant.14

I could not find Samuel Goldsmith’s widow Helen Rau Goldsmith or their daughter Catherine Goldsmith on the 1910 census, but I believe they may have been out of the country.  Helen’s sister Emma Rau had been living abroad beginning in 1904, and I have a hunch that Helen and Catherine might have been visiting her at the time of the 1910 census. From several passport applications starting in 1918, it appears that Helen and Catherine also lived abroad for many years.15

There was another tragedy in the family on January 9, 1911, when Meyer’s oldest daughter Heloise Goldsmith Hirsh died from acute dilatation of the heart and diabetes at age fifty. She was survived by her husband, my cousin Simon Bernheim Hirsh, and their two surviving daughters, my double cousins Irma and Dorothy Hirsh, as well as her father Meyer and her remaining siblings.

Death certificate of Heloise Goldsmith Hirsh, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966; Certificate Number Range: 004931-008580. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966

It was only a few months later that her father and my 3x-great-uncle Meyer also passed away. He died on May 26, 1911, when he was 76 years old and was buried with his wife Helena at Mt. Hope Cemetery. Perhaps losing a son, a wife, and a daughter in just a few years was too much for Meyer to bear.16

Although he had not lived in Philadelphia for about twenty years at the time of his death, the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent ran this obituary when Meyer died:

Philadelphia Jewish Exponent, June 2, 1911, p.11

Thus, as of May 26, 1911, Meyer and Helena and two of their children, Heloise and Samuel, were deceased. Meyer and Helena were survived by two of their sons, Eugene and Maurice, and two of their daughters, Rose and Florence, all of whom were living in New York City. They were also survived by six grandchildren, Heloise’s two daughters Irma and Dorothy Hirsh, Samuel’s daughter Catherine Goldsmith, and Florence’s three children, Helen, Richard, and Eleanor Levy. Their stories will follow.

 


  1.  New York, New York, City Directory, 1891, 1892. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  2.  Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Extracted Marriage Index, 1866-1937. Certificate 6656. 
  3. Hans Morgenstern passport application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 647; Volume #: Roll 647 – 01 Apr 1904-11 Apr 1904. Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 
  4. Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Extracted Marriage Index, 1866-1937. Certificate 9123 
  5. New York, New York City Births, 1846-1909,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2WWV-ZK5 : 11 February 2018), Helen Coroline Levy, 14 Oct 1900; citing Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, reference cn 42281 New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,953,853. 
  6. New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:24WP-VL4 : 10 February 2018), Richard G. Levy and Malvene Frankel, 26 Mar 1928; citing Marriage, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York City Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,653,341. 
  7. New York, New York City Births, 1846-1909,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:27YD-M2D : 11 February 2018), Edith Catherine Levy, 24 Jul 1908; citing Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, reference v 9 cn 4359 New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 2,022,365. 
  8. Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Extracted Marriage Index, 1866-1937. Certificate 13130 
  9. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007. SSN: 071368415. 
  10. Catherine Goldsmith 1918 passport application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 604; Volume #: Roll 0604 – Certificates: 39250-39499, 14 Oct 1918-15 Oct 1918. Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 
  11.  Minnesota Deaths and Burials, 1835-1990,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FD8M-Z3K : 10 March 2018), Sam Goldsmith, 25 Sep 1907; citing St. Paul, Minnesota, reference ; FHL microfilm 2,117,569. 
  12.  New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949,” database, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:271F-D9G : 10 February 2018), Helena Goldsmith, 18 Feb 1910; citing Death, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,323,239. 
  13. Leo Levy and family, 1910 US Census, Census Place: Queens Ward 5, Queens, New York; Roll: T624_1068; Page: 12B; Enumeration District: 1250; FHL microfilm: 1375081. Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  14. Simon Hirsh and family, 1910 US Census, Census Place: Lancaster Ward 2, Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1354; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 0062; FHL microfilm: 1375367. Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  15. Emma Rau 1923 passport application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 2159; Volume #: Roll 2159 – Certificates: 240976-241349, 04 Jan 1922-05 Jan 1922. Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925. Also, e.g., Catherine Goldsmith 1918 passport application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 604; Volume #: Roll 0604 – Certificates: 39250-39499, 14 Oct 1918-15 Oct 1918. Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925. More on Catherine in a post to come. 
  16.  New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2WMM-M68 : 10 February 2018), Meyer Goldsmith, 26 May 1911; citing Death, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,323,280.