Ella Goldschmidt Sigmund and Her Family in the 1880s: Years of Growth

The 1870s were primarily years of growth for the family of Ella Goldschmidt and Albert Sigmund. Three of their children married, and several grandchildren were born. Aside from the tragic death of their daughter Lena in 1875 after a long struggle with cancer, these were primarily good years for Ella and Albert.

The 1880s also started out with more good news. Their son William and his wife Adelaide had three more children, Herman Sigmund was born on May 14, 1880,1 Goldsmith Meyer Sigmund (also known as Goldie) born October 13, 18822 and Howard Lee Sigmund, born June 21, 1886,3 all in Baltimore. William as well as his brother Joseph were working as hatters and furriers with their father Albert.

William Sigmund and family, 1880 US census, Census Place: Baltimore, Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland; Roll: 505; Page: 477B; Enumeration District: 215
Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census

Joseph and his wife Emma also had children in the 1880s. Lenore was born on October 29, 1881,4 and her sister Celeste was born in Baltimore on June 12, 1886.5 And in Pennsylvania, Henrietta and S.J. Katzenstein added four more children to their family in the 1880s:  Milton (1881), Howard (1882), Ivan (1884), and Earl (1887).

In addition, one more of Ella and Albert’s children married in this decade. Their daughter Mollie married Harry Goldman on May 18, 1882, in Baltimore. Remember I warned you of more twists in the Goldman/Sigmund tree? Well, Harry Goldman was the younger brother of Emma Goldman, who’d married Mollie’s brother Joseph, and the younger brother of Samuel Goldman, whose son Leman Poppi Goldman was married to Flora Wolfe, a Schoenthal cousin. (Samuel returns in yet another twist in this tree, as you will see.) Harry was born on December 25, 1857, in Baltimore.6

Marriage record of Mollie Sigmund and Harry Goldman, Maryland State Archives, marriage registry, http://guide.msa.maryland.gov/pages/viewer.aspx?page=marriage#goToPage

Mollie and Harry had three children in the 1880s: Leman Edwin on September 27, 1883,7 Marguerite on December 28, 1884,8 and Adele on August 28, 1887,9 all born in Baltimore. Thus, by the end of 1887, Ella and Albert Sigmund had fifteen grandchildren, most of whom were living near them in Baltimore. Life must have seemed quite grand.

But unfortunately, all that joy was tempered by tragic losses.  First, William and Adelaide’s son Herman died May 9, 1883; he was only three years old.10  Then Herman’s father, William Sigmund, died on April 30, 1887, in Baltimore from phthisis pulmonalis or what we now call tuberculosis.11

William Sigmund, 1887 death certificate 99566, Maryland State Archives

He was only forty years old and left behind his wife Adelaide, who was only 34, and five children ranging in age from Albert, who was thirteen, to Howard, who was only ten months old. Ella and Albert had outlived yet another child, having already lost their son Jacob and their daughter Lena.

And sadly, those were not the only children who would predecease them before 1900.


  1. Baltimore City Birth Index, found at https://msa.maryland.gov/megafile/msa/coagserm/cm1100/cm1134/000000/000002/pdf/msa_cm1134_000002.pdf 
  2. Goldsmith M. Sigmund World War I draft registration, Registration State: District of Columbia; Registration County: Washington; Roll: 1556843; Draft Board: 08, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 
  3. Howard Sigmund, World War I draft registration, Registration State: District of Columbia; Registration County: Washington; Roll: 1556845; Draft Board: 09, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 
  4. Maryland State Archives, Baltimore birth registry, https://msa.maryland.gov/megafile/msa/coagserm/cm1100/cm1134/000000/000003/pdf/msa_cm1134_000003.pdf 
  5. SSN: 523244049, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  6. See gravestone at https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/7890082 
  7. Leman Edwin Goldman, World War I draft registration, Registration State: Maryland; Registration County: Baltimore (Independent City); Roll: 1684137; Draft Board: 13, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 
  8. SSN: 216056370, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  9. SSN: 300400462, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  10. Baltimore death registry, Maryland State Archives, found at https://msa.maryland.gov/megafile/msa/coagsere/ce1/ce42/000000/000082/pdf/ce42-000082.pdf, p. 478, certificate number 66538. I have not yet received his death certificate. 
  11. Baltimore death registry, Maryland State Archives, https://msa.maryland.gov/megafile/msa/coagsere/ce1/ce42/000000/000082/pdf/ce42-000082.pdf, certificate number 99566. 

Ella Goldschmidt, Part II: The 1870s, Gains and A Heartbreaking Loss

As of the 1870 census, Ella Goldschmidt and her husband Albert Sigmund, a furrier, had eight children living at home, ranging in age from William, who was 24, to Mollie, who was eight. Jacob, who had been listed as six on the 1860 census, was not listed on the 1870 census, but no records have yet been found to explain what happened to him.

Twelve years after giving birth to Mollie in 1862, Ella apparently had another child, a daughter May born in 1874. As with all of Ella’s prior children, I cannot locate a birth record for May because Maryland birth records start in 1875, but am relying solely on two census records, specifically the 1880 and 1900 US census records.1 Ella would have been over fifty years old in 1874, according to her death certificate. The 1880 census lists Ella as 55 and May as 6, meaning Ella was at least 49 when May was born.  Could May really be her biological child? Or was she perhaps adopted or an out-of-wedlock child of one of Ella and Albert’s older children or another relative?

Meanwhile, Ella and Albert’s oldest child, William, had married Adelaide or Addie  Newmeyer (sometimes spelled Newmyer or Neumyer or Newmyre and even Neumeir) in September 1873 and was having children of his own by the time his baby sister May was born in 1874. Adelaide was born in about 1851 or 1852 in Pennsylvania, depending on the census record.

In 1870 Adelaide was living with her mother Fanny Newmyer and her six other children in Washington, DC. The 1871 Washington directory lists Fanny as the widow of Abraham,2 but the 1860 census includes the household of a John and Fanny Newmyre living in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, with their five oldest children. Adelaide appears to be listed as Alice on that census, but her siblings’ names match those on later census records. Since records for some of Adelaide’s siblings indicate they were born in Lock Haven, I concluded that this was Adelaide’s family on the 1860 census.3

Newmyre family, 1860 census, Census Place: Lock Haven, Clinton, Pennsylvania; Roll: M653_1097; Page: 274; Family History Library Film: 805097, Ancestry.com. 1860 United States Federal Census

Census Place: Washington Ward 4, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: M593_124; Page: 814A; Family History Library Film: 545623, Washington Ward 4, Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census

I could find no other records for John Newmeyer, no matter how many wild cards or spellings I tried, but I did find a directory listing Abraham Newmeyer in Washington, DC, in 1863 as a peddler4 and a Civil War draft registration dated 1863 for Abram Newmyer, a 44 year old native of Bavaria.  I believe that Adelaide’s father was Abraham Newmeyer and that the family had left Lock Haven for Washington some time between 1860 and 1863.

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Consolidated Lists of Civil War Draft Registration Records (Provost Marshal General’s Bureau; Consolidated Enrollment Lists, 1863-1865); Record Group: 110, Records of the Provost Marshal General’s Bureau (Civil War); Collection Name: Consolidated Enrollment Lists, 1863-1865 (Civil War Union Draft Records); NAI: 4213514; Archive Volume Number: 5 of 5, Ancestry.com. U.S., Civil War Draft Registrations Records, 1863-1865

William and Adelaide’s first child Albert Sigmund was born on August 12, 1874, in Baltimore, according to his World War I draft registration. 4

Their second child was named Abraham, born on April 27, 1876,5 bolstering my conclusion that Abraham was the name of Adelaide’s father. William and Adelaide had a third child Jeannette born sometime between 1878 and 1879. She is listed as two on the 1880 census, but later census records have her born in June 1879 or even as late as 1881. I searched the Baltimore birth index for 1877, 1878, and 1879, and could not find her listed. The closest I could find was a child born on  October 7, 1879, to a William and Addie Smith, but I need to get the birth certificate to be sure that this is the correct couple. At any rate, Jeannette is listed on the 1880 census, so she had to have been born before that was taken.

The 1880 census lists a fourth child, one month old, named Herman living in the household. I found a listing in the 1880 Baltimore birth registry for a child born May 14, 1880, to “William and Annie Sigmon” which I assume must refer to Herman. In 1880, they were all living in Baltimore where William was working as a clerk in the tax office.

William Sigmund and family, 1880 US census, Census Place: Baltimore, Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland; Roll: 505; Page: 477B; Enumeration District: 215, Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census

In 1875, Ella and Albert’s daughter Henrietta married her second cousin Scholum Joseph Katzenstein, the oldest child of my great-great-grandparents, Gerson Katzenstein and Eva Goldschmidt. Henrietta and Scholum Joseph were both the great-grandchildren of Jacob Falck Goldschmidt and Eva Seligmann, my four-times great-grandparents. Their mothers Ella Goldschmidt Sigmund and Eva Goldschmidt Katzenstein were first cousins.

I have already written about Henrietta and Scholum Joseph when I wrote about my Katzenstein relatives. You can find their stories here, here, here, and here. Thus, I will not repeat the stories of Henrietta and her descendants in telling the story of her parents and siblings, except to point out that Henrietta had six children, a daughter Moynelle born in 1879 and five sons, all born between 1881 and 1892, and that she was living in Washington, Pennsylvania.

Thus, Ella and Albert had become grandparents during the 1870s as well as having a new child May. But not all the news was good for their family. On July 31, 1875, their oldest daughter Lena died from cancer of the neck at age 27; according to her death certificate, she had been ill for over ten years.

Her death notice paid tribute to her courage:

UPDATE: Thank you to David Baron, who pointed out to me after I’d first posted this that this death notice mentions Solomon Sigmund as Lena’s husband. Somehow I completely overlooked that. I assume that this is the same Solomon Sigmund who was eighteen years old and living with Lena’s family in 1870 and that he must have been a relative of Albert Sigmund—a nephew or cousin. Once David pointed this out to me, I also located a marriage record for Lena and Solomon:

Sol Sigmund Lena Sigmund marriage 1873 MD state archives

I was unable to find any definite record for Solomon Sigmund after Lena’s death. Perhaps he returned to Germany. There were many other men with that name, but no way for me to connect any of them to Lena’s family.

On September 22, 1880, Ella and Albert’s son Joseph married Emma Goldman (not THAT Emma Goldman) in Baltimore.

Emma Goldman was born in about 1860 in Maryland and was the daughter of Leman Goldman and Henrietta Goldschmidt.6 When I saw Emma’s parents’ names, something rang a bell. Sure enough, there was another twisted branch on my family tree.  Emma’s brother Samuel L. Goldman was the father of Leman Poppi Goldman, who married Flora Wolfe, the daughter of Amalie Schoenthal, the sister of my great-grandfather Isidore Schoenthal.

And it gets even more twisted.  Stay tuned…

Thus, as of the end of 1880, Ella and Albert had lost one child, Lena. Three of their children, William, Henrietta, and Joseph, had married, and they had four grandchildren, William’s three children and Henrietta’s daughter. Ella and Albert were living with their remaining children, Simon (listed here as Samuel, 27), Leo (22), Stella (20), Mollie (18), and six-year-old May. Simon/Samuel and Leo were working as clerks, and Albert continued to work as a fur merchant.

Albert Sigmund and family 1880 US census, Census Place: Baltimore, Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland; Roll: 501; Page: 116C; Enumeration District: 110
Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census

The next twenty years would bring many changes, some good, some bad.



  1. Albert Sigmund and family, 1870 US census,  Census Place: Baltimore Ward 12, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: M593_576; Page: 248A; Family History Library Film: 552075, Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census; 1880 US census, Census Place: Baltimore, Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland; Roll: 501; Page: 116C; Enumeration District: 110, Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census 
  2. Publication Title: Washington, District of Columbia, City Directory, 1871, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  3. Harriet Harris obituary, The Daily Record, Long Branch, New Jersey, 11 Feb 1937, Thu • Page 3 
  4. Albert Sigmund, World War I draft registration, Registration State: District of Columbia; Registration County: Washington; Roll: 1556838; Draft Board: 07, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918.  I find it interesting that they gave their child the same name as William’s father even though he, Albert the elder, was still living, although naming a child for someone still living is fairly common on this side of my family tree. 
  5. Abraham Newmeyer, World War I draft registration, Registration State: District of Columbia; Registration County: Washington; Roll: 1556845; Draft Board: 09, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. 
  6. Leman Goldman family, 1870 census, Census Place: Baltimore Ward 7, Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland; Roll: M593_574; Page: 117A; Family History Library Film: 552073, Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census 

The Gumps and the Business of Alcohol

Hannchen Katzenstein, my great-great-grandfather’s sister, and Marum Mansbach had three children; I’ve already written about the two sons, H.H. and Abraham. This post will be about their daughter and first child, Henrietta Mansbach.

As I’ve written previously, Henrietta married Gabriel Gump, brother of Eliza Gump, who was married to Henrietta’s brother Abraham.  Like her brother Abraham, Henrietta died relatively young at 61 in 1893.  In addition to her husband Gabriel, she was survived by four sons: Abraham, Louis, Harry, and Joseph.

Henrietta’s children and husband worked together in the family business, a wholesale liquor distributorship, and almost all of them lived their whole lives in Baltimore. Unlike the children of her brother, however, Henrietta’s children lived lives that were not marked by tragedy.

In 1887, Louis Gump, the second son, married Caroline (Carrie) Metzger.  She was the daughter of German immigrants, Aaron Metzger and Teresa Hamburg, and was herself born in Baltimore in 1865.  Her father was a horse dealer.  Louis and Carrie had a daughter Rosalind, on October 1, 1887. In 1894, Louis was working for Gump & Sons, his family’s liquor business. According to the 1900 census, Carrie had had two other babies after Rosalind, but only Rosaline was alive as of 1900.

Louis and Carrie Gump on 1900 census showing only 1 of 3 children alive

Louis and Carrie Gump on 1900 census showing only 1 of 3 children alive Year: 1900; Census Place: Baltimore Ward 16, Baltimore City (Independent City), Maryland; Roll: 615; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 0209; FHL microfilm: 1240615

In December 1894, Abraham, the oldest Gump son married Jennie Hamburger.  She was also the daughter of German immigrants, Lewis and Rosa Hamburger; her father was a clothing merchant.  Jennie was born in Maryland.

Der Deutsche Correspondent December 13, 1894

Der Deutsche Correspondent December 13, 1894, p.4

The announcement reports that Jennie Hamburger married Abraham Gump, that they were married by two rabbis, and that there was a happy wedding celebration afterwards. It also lists some of the guests, including Harry and Joseph Gump, Abraham’s brothers, and Louis Mansbach, H.H. Mansbach’s son and Abraham Gump’s first cousin.

Abraham and Jennie had two daughters, Etta, born in 1895, and Ruth, born in 1899.

On December 27, 1899, the third Gump son, Harry, married Mildred Lewith of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.  Their wedding was described in incredible detail in this news article from the Wilkes-Barre Sunday News of December 31, 1899, p. 7:


I will transcribe only a small portion of this long and extremely detailed article, but if you want to read an elaborate description of every step in their ceremony, click through to see the full text:

The wedding of Miss Mildred Lewith of this city and Harry Gump of Baltimore took place at the synagogue B’nai B’rith on South Washington Street at 7:30 Wednesday. The affair was the grandest Hebrew social event of the season. Everyone knew it was going to be a grand affair, but none thought it would be such a brilliant and gorgeous one, and surrounded by so much beauty.

[Then follows a lengthy and florid description of the clothing, the ceremony, the decorations at the reception, the orchestra, the gifts, and a list of the out of town guests.]

The bride and groom left on the midnight train for Old Point Comfort and will remain there for a week.  They will go to Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York, and finally will return to this city and take up their residence in handsome apartments at the Sterling Hotel until late next fall, when their home in Baltimore will be ready for them. The fact that the bride will not at once make her home in another city will be good news to her many friends, for she is a deservedly popular young lady and her friends do not want to part with her.

A few observations about this wedding article. First, Mildred must have come from quite a wealthy family.  Mildred was a native of Wilkes-Barre, and her parents, Lewis Lewith and Josephine Freeman, were immigrants from Nepomuk in what is now the Czech Republic, but was then part of the Austria-Hungary Empire. Lewis, like Harry’s father Gabriel Gump, was in the wholesale liquor business in Wilkes-Barre.  I assume that that is how the connection was made between Harry and Mildred. Mildred and Harry did not have any children.

An old bird-eye map (circa 1889) for Wilkes-Ba...

An old bird-eye map (circa 1889) for Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Second, we think that social media today reveals too many intimate details about people’s lives, but even in 1899 the public was fascinated with the private lives of others. I also wonder how those whose marriage announcement followed this one in the Wilkes-Barre paper felt about their relatively meager announcements.

Thirdly, I don’t know what happened to the home being prepared for them in Baltimore, but as far as I can tell, Harry and Mildred never really left Wilkes-Barre, I am sure to the delight of her many friends.

Thus, as of 1900, three of the Gump sons—Abraham, Louis, and Harry— were married.   Their father Gabriel was living in Baltimore with Louis and his family in 1900, and the youngest son Joseph was living with them as well.

Louis Gump and family 1900 census Year: 1900; Census Place: Baltimore Ward 16, Baltimore City (Independent City), Maryland; Roll: 615; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 0209; FHL microfilm: 1240615

Louis Gump and family 1900 census
Year: 1900; Census Place: Baltimore Ward 16, Baltimore City (Independent City), Maryland; Roll: 615; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 0209; FHL microfilm: 1240615

Abraham was living with his wife Jennie and daughters in Baltimore also, and only Harry was living elsewhere—in Wilkes-Barre.

Joseph, the youngest son, married Francella (sometimes called Frances) Kohler sometime before June 25, 1907.  I cannot find any official or unofficial reference to the date of their marriage, but on that date a newspaper item appeared in the Baltimore Sun reporting that “Mrs. Joseph Gump” would spend July at the Blue Mountain House, a resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains near the border of Maryland and Pennsylvania.


Baltimore Sun, June 23, 1907, p. 6

I wondered how Joseph Gump met Francella Kohler.  She was born in New York City in 1875 and lived in Brooklyn until she was about five when her parents, David Kohler and Jane Kurtz, moved to Baltimore.  David was a merchant, sometimes selling clothing, sometimes tobacco products, and Francella was one of eight children.  Her mother Jane died in 1880, and at some point her father David remarried, and by 1891 the family had moved to Savannah, Georgia.

So how did Joseph Gump meet Francella if she had moved from Baltimore by the time (and perhaps before) she was sixteen? He was four years older than Francella.  Perhaps they’d met while she and he were both growing up in Baltimore or their families were friendly.  Also, I found two items of social news in the Augusta, Georgia, newspaper, one from 1900 and one from 1902, reporting that Joseph Gump of Baltimore was staying in that city.  Although Augusta is almost 140 miles from Savannah, perhaps there was some event that brought Joseph and Francella together while he was visiting Georgia.

joseph-gump-in-ga-1902 joseph-gump-in-ga-1900

At any rate, Joseph and Francella married by June 1907, and on November 17, 1908, their son George Gump was born in Baltimore.  In 1910, Joseph, Francella, and George were living in Baltimore, and Joseph was working in the family liquor business.  Francella’s father David Kohler, widowed again, was living with them.

Joseph Gump and family 1910 US census Year: 1910; Census Place: Baltimore Ward 15, Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland; Roll: T624_558; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 0259; FHL microfilm: 1374571

Joseph Gump and family 1910 US census
Year: 1910; Census Place: Baltimore Ward 15, Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland; Roll: T624_558; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 0259; FHL microfilm: 1374571

Joseph’s father Gabriel was still living with his son Louis and his family in 1910. Gabriel was retired, but Louis was still working in the liquor business with his brothers.  Abraham also was still in the family liquor business, living in Baltimore with his wife and daughters.  Harry continued to live in Wilkes-Barre with his wife Mildred, and although the entry for him on the 1910 census is not legible, according to the 1910 Wilkes-Barre city directory, he was working as a commercial traveler, i.e., a traveling salesman.

On January 28, 1915, Gabriel Gump died at age 84 in Baltimore.  Although I could not find an obituary in the Baltimore Sun, the Wilkes-Barre Evening News (January 29, 1915, p. 5) ran this notice:


When Gabriel’s will was probated a month later, the Baltimore Sun published this article about the distribution of Gabriel’s estate:

Baltimore Sun, February 3, 1915, p. 4

Baltimore Sun, February 3, 1915, p. 4


Gabriel was survived by his four sons and four grandchildren: Rosalind, Etta, Ruth, and George.  In addition, when Gabriel died, he was already a great-grandfather.  His granddaughter Rosalind, daughter of Louis and Carrie (Metzger) Gump, had married Milton Wertheimer, who was born in New York in 1883, but was living in Baltimore in 1910 with his parents and working in his father’s manufacturing business. Rosalind and Milton had a son, Emanuel, in 1912.  A second son, Milton Wertheimer, Jr., was born just five months after Gabriel’s death in 1915.

Thus, at the time of Gabriel Gump’s death, his four sons and their families were prospering from the family’s wholesale liquor business.  The next decade saw drastic changes



Disappearing Daughters and An Estranged Son? The Children of Julius Schoenthal, Part II

Sometimes genealogy research moves along smoothly, and all seems to fall right into place.  Then other times people disappear and other strange things happen. In my prior post I wrote about the two older children of Julius Schoenthal and Minnie Dahl, Leo and Rose. Their stories were easy to trace.  This post catches up with the two younger children and their families from 1920 forward.  They proved more elusive.

Sylvester Schoenthal

Although it was not hard to follow the life of Sylvester Schoenthal, the third child of Julius Schoenthal and Minnie Dahl, tracing the lives of his two daughters has proven to be quite challenging.

In 1920, Sylvester and Bessie (nee Rose) Schoenthal were living at 24 Randolph Place in DC with their two young daughters, Margaret and Helen, and five lodgers.  Sylvester was still working for the railroad, now identified as a carpenter. In 1930, the family was still at 24 Randolph Place; now Sylvester’s occupation was reported as mill foreman for the railroad.  His wife Bessie and his daughter Margaret (15) were living with him, as well as his sister-in-law Annie (more on that below), but there is no listing of his daughter Helen. Helen would only have been twelve years old in 1930, so where could she have been? I cannot find her anywhere else on the 1930 census, so perhaps the enumerator just somehow forgot to record her in the household.

Sylvester Schoenthal and family 1930 US census Year: 1930; Census Place: Washington, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: 293; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0049; Image: 431.0; FHL microfilm: 2340028

Sylvester Schoenthal and family 1930 US census
Year: 1930; Census Place: Washington, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: 293; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0049; Image: 431.0; FHL microfilm: 2340028

In 1932, Sylvester was listed in the directory for Alexandria, Virginia, as a car repairman for the “RF&PRRR,” (the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad) , but also as residing in Washington, DC.

The Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac Rail...

The Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac Railroad – train starting out from Richmond, Virginia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On February 28, 1933, Sylvester and Bessie’s daughter Margaret married John I. Wivel.  Margaret was only 18, and John just 21. In 1930 John had been listed on the census as a clerk in “Landsburg’s” [sic] department store and was living with his parents and siblings in the household of a cousin.  John was born in New Jersey, and his parents were natives of Maryland.  They were living on Randolph Place, the same street where the Schoenthals were living in 1930, so I assumed that was how Margaret and John met, but it was a different enumeration district so perhaps it was just coincidence.

In 1935 John and Margaret were living at 24 Randolph Place, and John was now a salesman at Hecht’s department store.

John Wivel and Margaret Schoenthal 1935 DC directory Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

John Wivel and Margaret Schoenthal 1935 DC directory
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

 Sylvester and Bessie had moved to Alexandria by then, so Margaret and her husband had taken over the home where she had grown up.  They were still living there in 1936, but in 1937, John is listed (without Margaret’s name attached) as residing in Takoma Park, Maryland, and working as an investigator for a retail credit company.  He has a similar listing in the 1938 and 1939 directories for DC, and I cannot find him or Margaret at all on the 1940 census.  John joined the military in 1942, but I have no record for Margaret at all after the 1936 directory listing.

By 1940, Sylvester and Bessie had returned to 24 Randolph Place in DC, and Sylvester was working as a foreman for the Pennsylvania Railroad.  Neither Margaret nor Helen was listed as living with them on the 1940 census. (Note the butchered spelling of Schoenthal; this was a challenge to find.  I had to do it by the address, not the name.)

Year: 1940; Census Place: Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia; Roll: T627_553; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 1-28

Year: 1940; Census Place: Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia; Roll: T627_553; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 1-28

On May 21, 1941, Bessie Rose Schoenthal died; she was 59 years old and was buried at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Suitland, Maryland.

Bessie Rose Schoenthal memorial notice

Washington Evening Star, May 21, 1944, p. 14

Four years later, Sylvester died on June 14, 1945. He also was buried at Cedar Hill Cemetery.  He was 67 years old when he died. Like his brother Leo and other family members, his death was described as sudden.

Sylvester Schoenthal death notice June 15 1945 p 8 Washington Evening Star

Washington Evening Star, June 15, 1945, p. 8


As for their daughters, that remains a mystery.  As I noted above, I could not find any record for Margaret after the 1936 directory that listed her as married to John Wivel and living at 24 Randolph Place in DC.  On her father’s death notice in 1945, she is listed as Margaret Ricks, not Margaret Wivel, and since she was not listed with John in the 1937 directory or those in 1938 or 1939, it would seem that that marriage had not lasted. In a 1945 memorial for her mother, her name was given as Margaret Rose Rick.  But who was Ricks or Rick?  Although I have found many women named Margaret Ricks in the 1940 census, none seems to fit with Margaret Schoenthal.  So the search continues.

Bessie Schoenthal memorial notice 1945

Helen Schoenthal is even more mysterious.  As noted above, she is not even listed with the family on the 1930 census.  On her mother’s memorial notices dated 1944 and 1945, she is identified as simply Jackie. Or is Jackie someone else? “Daughter” in the 1945 notice is singular so could just refer to Margaret.  Then who is Jackie?  On Sylvester’s death notice dated a month after Bessie’s 1945 memorial notice, his daughters are identified as Margaret Ricks and Minnie Fox.  So did Helen become Jackie and then Minnie? I have tried searching with all different name combinations, but so far have not found anyone who I am certain was the younger daughter of Sylvester and Bessie (Rose) Schoenthal.  So that search continues as well.  If anyone has any tips, please pass them on.

Thus, for now I do not know if there are any living descendants of Sylvester Schoenthal.

Moretta Schoenthal

Moretta Schoenthal also proved to be a bit of a challenge.  You would think that someone with that name would be easy to find.  I have no idea where that name came from.  It’s not a first name I’ve run across at all in my research, although I’ve seen it as a surname.  On the 1880 census when he was just an infant, his name was listed as Maurice, but by 1900 when he was twenty, his name is spelled Moretto, and he was working as a cabinet maker, according to the census record. (It was also spelled that way on both the 1896 and 1897 DC directory listings.) On the marriage index in 1901, his name is spelled Moretta. On the 1910 census he is listed simply as M A Schoenthal; he was still a cabinet maker.  He was Moretta on his World War draft registration and working an insurance agent for the Life Insurance Company of Virginia.

Moretta Schoenthal draft registration for World War I Registration State: District of Columbia; Registration County: Washington; Roll: 1556835; Draft Board: 05

Moretta Schoenthal draft registration for World War I
Registration State: District of Columbia; Registration County: Washington; Roll: 1556835; Draft Board: 05

That brings me to 1920 when Moretta was living with his wife Annie and son Arthur as well as Annie’s brother William Heath.  Moretta was working as an assistant superintendent of an insurance company. His son Arthur was 17 years old and working at the Navy Yard as a machinist, as was his uncle William Heath.

Moretta Schoenthal and family 1920 US census Year: 1920; Census Place: Washington, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: T625_207; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 113; Image: 979

Moretta Schoenthal and family 1920 US census
Year: 1920; Census Place: Washington, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: T625_207; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 113; Image: 979

After that things got a little foggier.   Although Moretta was listed an insurance agent or salesman in every DC directory from 1922 through 1928, he is not listed in 1929, and I could not find Moretta on the 1930 census. Annie was still listed as his wife in the 1928 directory, but as noted above, his wife Annie was recorded on the 1930 census as living with Moretta’s brother Sylvester and his family; she was working as a child’s nurse.  She is also listed in the 1931 DC directory as a nurse, living at 24 Randolph Place, the same address given for Sylvester, but not Moretta, for that year.

As for Moretta and Annie’s son Arthur, he married Mazie Marie Connor on October 16, 1924.

Washington Evening Star, October 19, 1924, p. 58

Washington Evening Star, October 19, 1924, p. 58

Aside from the mention of the fact that Arthur was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Schoenthal and a description of his mother’s dress, I could not find one member of the family listed in the description of the wedding.  His best man was not a cousin; the ushers were the bride’s brothers. The bridesmaids also do not appear to have been Arthur’s relatives.  The wedding was in a church; had the other Schoenthals disapproved? That seems unlikely since Sylvester had married someone who wasn’t Jewish, as had his daughter Margaret, as far as I can tell. Arthur was an only child, but he did have first cousins and other relatives who might have participated.

Although I cannot find Arthur and Mazie on the 1930 census, they are listed as living at 323 Quackenbos Road in the 1929, 1931, and 1934 DC directories.  Arthur’s occupation shifted from a stone contractor to an engineer to a business agent in those three directories.

So where was Moretta in 1930? If his wife was living with his brother and listing her status as married, had Moretta died? It does not seem that that was the case as I found two records reporting that he died on March 21, 1940: a FindAGrave record for his grave at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Suitland, Maryland (where his brother Sylvester and sister-in-law Bessie would later be buried; they are, however, the only other Schoenthals buried there) and a listing in the Social Security Applications and Claims index.  If Moretta therefore was still living in 1930, where was he?  Both his wife and his son were still living in DC, so where could he have gone if he was still alive?

Then I found a death notice for Moretta:

Moretta Schoenthal death notice 1940

Washington Evening Star, March 23, 1940, p. 13

Two things struck me when I read this.  First, he died in Hagerstown, Maryland.  Second, neither his wife nor his son was listed as a survivor, only his brother Sylvester and sister Rose (Mrs. Joseph Pach).  A year later Sylvester and Rose published a memorial notice in remembrance of Moretta, and again there was no mention of his wife or son.

Moretto Schoenthal memorial notice by siblings

(Notice also the spelling of his name as Moretto, whereas the death notice had it spelled as Moretta.)

I decided to see if I could find an obituary for Moretta.  Since I knew he had died in Hagerstown, I looked to see if either of my newspaper databases included a paper for that town.  Newspapers.com did have the Hagerstown Daily Mail for the pertinent years, so I searched for Moretta Schoenthal, and I found nothing.  So I decided to search page by page for the issues dated around March 21, 1940, and found this obituary in the March 22, 1940, issue.  You can see why my search for Moretta Schoenthal failed; one letter off, and the search engine missed it:

Moretto Schoenthal obit in MD 1940

Once again, there is no mention of either a wife or a son.  Moretta had lived in Hagerstown for twelve years, which is consistent with his disappearance from the DC directories after 1928.  And he also seemed to have left the insurance business by 1940 to work for the Hughes Motor Company.

Knowing now that Moretta had been living in Hagerstown in 1930, I searched the 1930 census, looking for him in that location, and finally found him as M A Shoenthal, working as a carpenter in a door factory.  That is, Moretta had returned to his first career, doing carpentry.

M A Shoenthal 1930 US census Year: 1930; Census Place: Hagerstown, Washington, Maryland; Roll: 880; Page: 25A; Enumeration District: 0024; Image: 1070.0; FHL microfilm: 2340615

M A Shoenthal 1930 US census
Year: 1930; Census Place: Hagerstown, Washington, Maryland; Roll: 880; Page: 25A; Enumeration District: 0024; Image: 1070.0; FHL microfilm: 2340615


I do not know what took him to Hagerstown, or why, if his marriage was over, his wife Annie was living with his brother Sylvester and Bessie in 1930 and 1931, more than two years after he’d moved to Hagerstown.  Moretta is listed as single on the 1930 census, but Annie still listed herself as married.  I don’t know what happened to Annie Heath Schoenthal after 1931; perhaps she remarried because I cannot find anyone named Annie or Anna Schoenthal who would fit the right person.  Maybe she even died before 1940, thus explaining why she isn’t mentioned as a survivor.

But Moretta’s son Arthur was definitely still alive in 1940 when his father died.  In the 1940 census, he, his wife Mazie, and their young son were listed as living still at 323 Quackenbos Street.  Arthur was the business representative for the stone and marble mason’s union.  Now the earlier directory listings made more sense; he was a stone mason who had become a leader in his union.  (I still am not sure why one directory listed him as an engineer.)

In 1937, Arthur was appointed to the DC Wage Board as a representative of labor to help draft regulations for minimum wage provisions in the District of Columbia.

Arthur L Schoenthal to Wage Board 1937-page-002

Arthur L Schoenthal to Wage Board 1937-page-003

Arthur L Schoenthal to Wage Board 1937-page-004

Washington Evening Star, June 11, 1937, p.21


He left that position in 1940, garnering much praise for his work:

Washington Evening Star, December 18, 1940, p. 2

Washington Evening Star, December 18, 1940, p. 2

The board chairperson, Mrs. William Kittle (despite her position, still named by her husband’s first name), said the following about Arthur:

Loss of Mr. Schoenthal as labor representative on the board will be keenly felt. During his entire service, his attitude was reasonable, sympathetic and steadfast.  I can’t speak too highly of the contribution he made in establishing confidence in wage standards set by the board.

As that article described, he had become a field representative in the Apprentice Training Service for the Department of Labor in DC and Virginia.  In 1942, he became the regional supervisor of the Apprentice Training Service for the War Manpower Commission:

Washington Evening Star, November 1, 1942, p 21

Washington Evening Star, November 1, 1942, p 21

Arthur Schoenthal promoted 1942-page-003 Arthur Schoenthal promoted 1942-page-004

By May 1944, he was the Deputy Director of the Washington, DC, office of the War Manpower Commission.  In 1953, he was the Labor Department’s foreign labor chief.

According to his obituary, Arthur L. Schoenthal worked for the US Labor Department for over twenty years before retiring.  He and his wife Mazie relocated to Florida. Arthur died in San Francisco on September 20, 1974.  He was 71 years old.  He was buried at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Pompano Beach, Florida.

Arthur Leo Schoenthal death notice 1974

Washington Evening Star, September 24, 1974, p. 19


It is somewhat remarkable to me that the grandson of Julius Schoenthal, who had served in the US Army in the Signal Corps in the 1870s and who had wanted to work for the US government afterwards but had been rejected, had a grandson who worked for many years for that government.  More importantly, his grandson Arthur worked to promote the interests of workers—perhaps he knew of his grandfather’s frustrating struggles to have his pension payments increased based on his alleged disabilities. In any event, I imagine that Julius Schoenthal would have been quite proud of his grandson’s accomplishments.





No More Dinkelspiels

My three-times-great-grandfather John Nusbaum had one sister who settled in the US (or at least she is the only one I’ve found): Mathilde Nusbaum, who married Isaac Dinkelspiel in Germany and immigrated with him to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. As I have already discussed, Mathilde died in 1878, and her husband Isaac Dinkelspiel died in 1889.  Their son Adolph died in 1896, and he had no children who survived him.  That left Mathilde and Isaac’s two daughters, Paulina and Sophia, to continue the family line, although not the Dinkelspiel name.  Sadly, Adolph Dinkelspiel was the last member of my family to have this rather unique and interesting name.

This post will focus on the family of Paulina Dinkelspiel. Paulina had married one of the three Simon brothers, Moses, and in 1880 they were living in Baltimore with their children: Joseph, Francis, Leon, Flora, and Nellie, ranging in age from eighteen down to eight years old. Moses was in the retail liquor business.  Moses remained in the liquor business throughout the 1880s and 1890s until he died on February 12, 1899, at age 64.  His wife Paulina Dinkelspiel Simon died five years later on March 29, 1904.  She was 63.

Paulina Dinkelspiel Simon death certificate

Paulina Dinkelspiel Simon death certificate


The terms of Paulina Dinkelspiel Simon’s will were disclosed in a news story in the April 16, 1904, edition of the Baltimore Sun, page 8.  She left her house and its contents to her daughter Nellie.  Her granddaughter Madeline Mayer (daughter of Flora Simon Mayer, to be discussed in my next post) was given $500, and the rest of the estate was divided evenly among her five surviving children, Joseph, Francis, Leon, Flora, and Nellie.  It is interesting that she singled out one child and one grandchild over the others.

Baltimore Sun April 16, 1904, p 8

Baltimore Sun April 16, 1904, p 8

Paulina was buried at Oheb Shalom cemetery in Baltimore along with her husband Moses, her parents Isaac and Mathilde (Nusbaum) Dinkelspiel, and the two children who predeceased her and Moses, Albert and Miriam.

Paulina and Moses Simon’s oldest child Joseph Simon had married Emilie Baernstein in July, 1889, in Baltimore, where she was born and raised.  By 1902, Joseph and Emilie had moved to York, Pennsylvania, where Joseph purchased a millinery shop.

York Daily, January 13, 1902.

York Daily, January 13, 1902.

Joseph and Emilie had a son Moses Joseph Simon, born in 1902, who died in May, 1908.  Unfortunately, I could not locate a death certificate for Moses, so I do not know the cause of death.  All I could locate was this notice of his funeral in the York Daily newspaper and his headstone.

York Daily May 4, 1908 p. 5

York Daily May 4, 1908 p. 5


Joseph and Emilie did not have any other children. They were members of the Hebrew Reformed Congregation in York and supporters of the local symphony orchestra. Joseph worked as a milliner in York for many years until his death in April 1928.  Emilie lived another twelve years.  After Joseph died, she relocated to Baltimore, where she died in 1940.  They were buried with their son Moses at the Prospect Hill Cemetery in York, Pennsylvania.

simon-joseph-0 headstone simon-amelia-0

(Emilie’s official name appears to have been Amelia.)



(All headstone images found at http://usgwarchives.net/pa/york/1picts/cemeteries/prospect-hill-york-city/main/prospect-hill-s.htm )

Joseph’s younger brother Francis Simon, known as Frank, was working as a clerk in 1895, and in 1900 he was living with his mother and younger sister Nellie, still listing his occupation as a clerk.  Like his brother Joseph, Frank married a woman born and raised in Baltimore, Bertha May.  According to the 1930 census, Frank married Bertha when he was 40 years old and she was 34, or in 1904.  They did not have any children.  In 1910, Frank and Bertha were living with Bertha’s father and her sister Tillie and brother-in-law Joseph Wurtzburger and their children.  Frank was working as the treasurer of a mercantile business.  In 1920 Frank and Bertha were living on their own, and neither was employed.  Frank was 54, and Bertha was 50. In the 1922 Baltimore directory, however, Frank is listed as being in the soft drinks business.  The 1930 census again lists them without occupations.

Frank died January 31, 1932, and is buried at the Baltimore Hebrew cemetery; Bertha was living with her widowed sister, Tillie Wurtzburger, at the time of the 1940 census.  Her sister Tillie died in 1945, and Bertha died in June, 1951, at the age of 81.

The third child of Paulina Dinkelspiel and Moses Simon was Leon Simon, born in 1866, two years after Frank.  By 1895 Leon had his own company, L. Simon and Co., listed in the Baltimore directory as a cloak manufacturing company.  He married Helen Wolf the following year in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  Helen was born in Harrisburg, and her father William was a real estate agent there, according to the 1880 census.  Perhaps Frank’s mother Paulina had known the Wolf family when she was growing up in Harrisburg.

Leon and Helen had two sons, William Wolf Simon, born in 1897, and Mervyn Moses Simon, born in 1900: the first named for Helen’s father and the second for Leon’s father, who had died the year before.  Leon had no occupation listed on the 1900 census, but the 1902 Baltimore directory still listed him with L. Simon and Co.  On the 1910 census, however, his occupation appears to read “General Manager Furniture Business;” in the 1914 directory, his firm name now appears as Salontz & Simon, so it would seem that his cloak business no longer existed. I found a listing in a 1904 Pittsburgh directory for the Baltimore firm of Salontz & Simon in the fur business category.  The 1920 census is consistent with this, as it gives his occupation as a manufacturer of furs.  In 1930 he was still in the fur business, though now his occupation is described as a fur retail merchant. The 1940 census also described him as a retail furrier.

By Doug Coldwell (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Doug Coldwell (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

All through these decades, Leon and Helen’s two sons lived with them, and they worked in their father’s fur business once they were old enough.  Neither son ever married.  Leon died on August 29, 1941, and his son Mervyn died the following year on August 27, 1942.  He was only 42 years old.  I have ordered a death certificate for Mervyn to determine his cause of death.

UPDATE: Here is Mervyn’s death certificate.

Mervyn Simon death certificate

William Simon, the older brother, continued to live with his mother at least until 1956 when both are listed at the same address in the Baltimore directory.  (No occupation was listed.)  Helen Wolf Simon died November 29, 1965, and William died less than a year later on October 4, 1966.  All four members of the family are buried at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation.

I am going to skip the fourth child Flora for now and move on to the fifth child, Nellie Simon, the one who inherited the house from her mother Paulina Dinkelspiel Simon.  I had a lot of trouble figuring out what happened to Nellie after her mother died in 1904.  In 1900 she had been living with her mother and brother Frank; she was 27 years old and had no occupation listed. She is also listed in the 1902 directory at the same address at 844 North Howard Street, again with no occupation listed.  Since her mother bequeathed that house to Nellie when she died in 1904, I expected to find Nellie living there in 1910.  But I could not find her there, and although there was another Nellie Simon working as a hairdresser in Baltimore in the 1910s, the address was not the same.

One tree on ancestry.com listed Nellie as married to an Adolph Feldstein, but I could not find any direct sources to corroborate that marriage.  I was able to find Adolph and Nellie S. Feldstein on the 1910 census as well as the 1920 and 1930 census reports living in Philadelphia.  The facts about that Nellie seemed consistent with my Nellie Simon: her age, parents’ birth places, and her birth place were all right, although the latter two census reports had her place of birth as Maryland instead of Pennsylvania.  I still felt uncertain until I found a bill from the funeral home in charge of Nellie’s funeral in 1958.  The document listed Horace A. Stern as the person responsible for the bill.  Although at first the name did not ring a bell, a quick search of my own family tree revealed that Horace Stern was married to the granddaughter of Nellie’s sister Flora.  That was enough to convince me that the Nellie who had married Adolph Feldstein was in fact Nellie Simon, the youngest child of Paulina Dinkelspiel and Moses Simon and the grandchild of Mathilde Nusbaum and Isaac Dinkelspiel.

Nellie and Adolph Feldstein did not have any children.  Adolph worked in his father’s business manufacturing “haircloth.”  I had never heard this term before, but a quick look on the internet revealed that according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary online, it is “any of various stiff wiry fabrics especially of horsehair or camel hair used for upholstery or for stiffening in garments.”   Adolph was the secretary and treasurer of the company in the 1910s, and he continued to work in the business throughout the 1920s and the 1930s until his death by suicide in 1937.  As mentioned above, Nellie lived another twenty years, passing away in 1958.

Hair Cloth Loom

Hair Cloth Loom

It’s interesting that three of these siblings were all involved in the clothing trade, although different aspects of it: hats, furs, and haircloth.  (I am not really sure how Frank supported himself and his wife.)  It’s also interesting that three of the five children of Paulina Dinkelspiel and Moses Simon did not have children who survived them.  Joseph’s one child passed away as a little boy, and Frank and Nellie married but never had children. Leon did have two sons who grew to adulthood, but his sons never married or had children, so there were no descendants to carry on his family line.  Only Flora, the remaining sibling, had grandchildren and further generations of descendants.  I will discuss her and her descendants in my next post.

Mystery Solved—I think

As I wrote yesterday, I was somewhat befuddled by the existence of two men named Hart Cohen, born around the same time (1850-1851), both married to women named Henrietta whose birth names started with B.  Although one Hart was born in Philadelphia and the other in Maryland, at first I (along with many other ancestry.com members) thought they were the same person and had their families intertwined on my family tree.  After spending much time sifting through census reports and other documents, I was finally convinced that there were in fact two Hart Cohens married to two different Henriettas, one living in the Washington, DC, area his whole life and the other living in Philadelphia his whole life except at the very end of his life.  Philadelphia Hart died in Washington, DC, in 1911, thus making the situation even more confusing.  But there were in fact two separate men, not one man living a double life.

But was this more than coincidence? Was there any connection between them aside from all those coincidences?  I went to sleep last night unsure about the answer to that question, but the last document I found before my post was a death record for DC Hart which revealed his parents’ names: Moses Cohen and Adeline Himmel.  Further research revealed that Moses was born in England, Adeline in Germany, and that they had had a son born in Germany named Moses before emigrating to Maryland and having DC Hart.

Hart Cohen DC death record 1926

Hart Cohen DC death record 1926

I woke up this morning, determined to find some link between Moses Cohen, DC Hart’s father, and Jacob Cohen, my great-great grandfather and the father of Philadelphia Hart.  After some searching, I first found Adeline’s death record and saw that she had died in 1895, already a widow, in Washington, DC, and was buried in Washington.  I then tried to figure out when Moses, her husband, had died, and found a number of  Washington, DC. city directory listings in which Adeline Cohen was described as the widow of Moses.  The earliest one I found was dated 1867, meaning that Moses had already died by that time.

1867 Washington DC city directory Adeline Cohen as widow of Moses

1867 Washington DC city directory Adeline Cohen as widow of Moses

In fact, in 1870, Adeline was living with DC Hart and her other children in Washington.

Adeline living with her children 1870 US census

Adeline living with her children 1870 US census


That gave me an outer limit for when Moses, Sr., had died, and by placing a date limit on his death, I was able to uncover this record on ancestry.com:

Moses Cohen death record 1860

Moses Cohen death record 1860

Notice his father’s Hebrew name: Naftali ha Cohen.  This rang a bell, and I went back to my earlier research and found that on my great-great grandfather Jacob Cohen’s marriage record his father’s Hebrew name was recorded as Naftali Hirts ha Cohen.

Jacob and Sarah Cohen's marriage record

Jacob and Sarah Cohen’s marriage record

This was one coincidence too many and enough for me to conclude that Moses, Sr. and Jacob were in fact brothers, that Moses had not stayed in England as I had concluded early on in my Cohen research, but had come to America just as all his other siblings had.  I now also think that it is possible that the “Mordecia” [sic] listed as living with Jacob on the 1850 US census was probably his brother Moses, who had also emigrated in 1848 from England.

Jacob Cohen and family 1850 US census

Jacob Cohen and family 1850 US census

His wife Adeline and son Moses, Jr., must have arrived sometime later, though I have not yet located a record revealing when they came.  I will need to track down a few more documents to be sure—death certificates for Moses and Jacob and also photographs of their headstones.

But assuming my hunches are correct, Philadelphia Hart and DC Hart were first cousins, sharing a name, sharing an occupation (pawnbroker/jewelry store owner), having wives with the same first name, and sharing a grandfather for whom they were both named, my three-times great-grandfather, Hart Levy Cohen.  The only real coincidence was that they both had wives named Henrietta.

I just love when the pieces come together.  It is what makes this so much fun.  Digging around in the muck, being totally confused and overwhelmed, and then that AHA! moment when suddenly it all makes sense.

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