To Tell the Truth: Will The Real Harry Goldsmith Please Stand Up

My last post ended by alluding to the mysterious whereabouts of my cousin Harry Goldsmith, the younger son of my three-times great-uncle Jacob Goldsmith.

As I wrote here, in the mid-1880s, Harry had been in the fishing tackle business with his father Jacob, but after 1888, Jacob was in business with his other son Philip, and it was hard to determine Harry’s whereabouts because the number of Harry Goldsmiths and their addresses and occupations on Philadelphia directories between 1889 and 1898 was completely befuddling.

In 1889 there was only one Harry Goldsmith, and he was a tobacco dealer who would be charged with fraud that same year, as I wrote about here.

Goldsmiths in 1889 Philadelphia directory
Title: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1889
Source Information
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

The 18901 Philadelphia directory listed only one Harry Goldsmith, a clerk who was living at 1610 North 12th Street in Philadelphia. There is no Harry Goldsmith in the 1891 directory, but in 1892 there is one, in the insurance business. 2, and in 1894, there were two Harrys, one a salesman and one a clerk,3 and in 1895 there were two Harrys, one a clerk, one a boilermaker.4 Then in 1897, there were three Harrys, a printer, a paperhanger, and a salesman,5 and in 1898 there were three Harry Goldsmiths once again: a paperhanger, a tobacconist, and a salesman.6 Were any of these men my Harry? I am not sure.

In March 1898, according to the Philadelphia Times article describing Rena Rice’s wedding,7 my Harry Goldsmith attended his niece Rena’s wedding, appearing on the guest list as a married man: Mr. and Mrs. Harry Goldsmith. But I have had no luck finding a marriage record for Harry before 1898.

And I’ve had no luck finding him with any certainty on the 1900 census. I searched for any Harry Goldsmith born in Pennsylvania between 1848 and 1868 (my Harry was born in 1858), and I found only four men fitting those parameters on the 1900 census. The first was a printer living in Philadelphia, unmarried, and born in 1862 to English-born parents.8 The second was living in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania, and working as a house painter; he was married to a woman named Jennie and was born in 1863. His parents were both born in Pennsylvania.9

The third Harry Goldsmith also had Pennsylvania-born parents, was living in Everett, Pennsylvania, and working as a clothing merchant. He had a wife named Annie and a two-year-old son named Robert. He was born in 1868.10  The fourth Harry Goldsmith was a farmer living in Evesham, New Jersey; he was married to a woman named Marianna, and he was born in 1856. His parents were also born in Pennsylvania.11

None of those four fits my Harry, whose parents were born in Germany. And when I followed up on these four Harrys in other records, it was clear that none of them was my Harry.

But there was a fifth Harry Goldsmith on the 1900 census who might be my cousin. He was born the same year as my Harry, in July, 1858, was living on North 63rd Street in Philadelphia in 1900, was married to a woman named Florence, and had two children, a fifteen-year-old son Stanton and an eight year old daughter Janet. At first I was excited, thinking that “Janet” could have been the “Jeanette” who was the flower girl at Rena’s wedding. The matching year of birth and the fact that he lived in Philadelphia also made me think this might be my Harry. If this was my Harry, then he was the Harry Goldsmith who was in the tobacco business because in the 1899 and 1900 Philadelphia directories, the Harry Goldsmith who was a tobacconist lived on North 63rd Street, just like the Harry Goldsmith married to Florence on the 1900 census.12

Harry Goldsmith and family 1900 census
Year: 1900; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 34, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 3; Enumeration District: 0904

But according to the above census record, the Harry Goldsmith married to Florence was born in Germany and only came to the US in 1885; he’d been married sixteen years, meaning he had immigrated with his wife whom he’d married in 1884. My Harry was most definitely born in Philadelphia in about 1858. Despite this inconsistency, I was still leaning towards thinking that this was my Harry.

The Harry Goldsmith who was married to Florence on the 1900 census was sued for divorce in 1901. Maybe this was the Harry who went bankrupt, leading to the dissolution of his marriage?

The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 12, 1900, p. 9

 

Divorce notice of Harry and Florence Goldsmith
The Philadelphia Times, June 4, 1901, p. 7

If my Harry was the one married to Florence, what happened to him, and what happened to his children, Stanton and Janet, after the divorce?

The name of his son—Stanton Goldsmith—struck me as an unusual enough name that he would be easy to find. But alas, he was not. I could not find any records for a Stanton Goldsmith other than that 1900 census record and a birth record in the Pennsylvania Births and Christenings, 1790-1950 database on FamilySearch, showing his birth date of March 13, 1885, and parents Harry and Florence L. Goldsmith.

Stanton Goldsmith birth record
Pennsylvania Births and Christenings, 1709-1950,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V2V3-7D9 : 9 December 2014), Stanton Goldsmith, 13 Mar 1885; Birth, citing Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; FHL microfilm 1,289,324.

So I searched for any “Stanton” born in Philadelphia in 1885, and records for a Stanton Loeb Dreifus popped up.13 A few more clicks around Ancestry and FamilySearch, and I learned that Florence, Harry’s former wife, was born Florence Loeb, daughter of Joseph and Sophie Loeb. Her father Joseph had been in the tobacco business, just as  Harry had been.14

So where did the surname Dreifus come from? Why was Stanton using that name? Well, Florence remarried pretty quickly after her divorce from Harry. On July 17, 1901, she married Emanuel Dreifus in New York City.15

If you look back at the 1900 census for Harry Goldsmith above, you will notice that living with Harry, Florence, and their children was a boarder named….you guessed it….Emanuel Dreifus. And it seems that not only did Emanuel take Harry’s wife, he took his children as well and they adopted his surname.

Emanuel Dreifus on the 1900 census
Year: 1900; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 34, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 3; Enumeration District: 0904

Tragically, little Janet died from endocarditis on April 28, 1902, less than a year after her mother remarried. She was only ten years old. Her death record recorded her name as Janet Dreifus and her parents’ names as Emanuel and Florence.

Janet Dreifus death record “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-632W-ZHF?cc=1320976&wc=9F55-JWL%3A1073327702 : 16 May 2014), 004047863 > image 261 of 701; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

The death notice in the Philadelphia Inquirer did not mention Harry Goldsmith; instead it identified Emanuel Dreifus as her father. It would appear that Harry was no longer a part of his children’s lives. Emanuel may have even adopted them.

Janet Dreifus death notice
The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 1, 1902, p. 15

But was this Harry Goldsmith my cousin? Was he the one married to Florence on the 1900 census? Was the 1900 census wrong in saying he was born in Germany and had just immigrated to the US in 1885? What do you think?

I think he was. I found one final clue that convinced me. I reviewed the list of those who attended Rena Rice’s 1898 wedding,16 and this time a new name jumped out at me: Mrs. Sophie Loeb. That had to be Florence Loeb’s mother, Harry Goldsmith’s mother-in-law.  Florence’s father Joseph had died in 1895, so Sophie would have attended alone.16

The Harry Goldsmith who’d been married to Florence Loeb and who had had two children, Stanton and Janet, was, I believe, my cousin. In 1900, he was a married man with two children working as a tobacconist. By 1901, he was divorced, and his wife had remarried and given his children the name of her second husband, a man who had been boarding in Harry’s home in 1900.

Do you think I am right? Please let me know in the comments.

As for what happened to Harry after his divorce in 1901—well, that created a whole other set of research puzzles.

To be continued…..

UPDATE! Thank you to everyone who provided feedback and questions on this post.  I am especially grateful to Renee Stern Steinig, who many of you may recall was my mentor and my inspiration when I first started doing family history research about five years ago.  I shared this post on Facebook, and Randy Schoenberg saw it and suggested that I also share it on the Jewish Genealogy Portal on Facebook. So I did, and within half an hour, Renee saw it and found the article below that somehow despite all my searching, I had missed, probably because Harry is called Henry here.  Now I know for sure that the Harry Goldsmith who was married to Florence Loeb was in fact my cousin.  The big clue—-Rena Rice was one of the maids of honor!

Harry Goldsmith wedding to Florence Loeb Phil Inq Dec 5 1883

The Philadelphia Inquirer, December 5, 1883, p. 4

 


  1. Harry Goldsmith,  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1890; Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  2. Harry Goldsmith,  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1892; Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  3. Harry Goldsmith, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1894, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  4. Harry Goldsmith, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1895, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  5. Harry Goldsmith, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1897, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  6. Harry Goldsmith, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1898, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  7. “Wedding at Mercantile Hall,” The Philadelphia Times, March 10, 1898, p. 7. 
  8. Harry Goldsmith, 1900 US census; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 10, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 5; Enumeration District: 0180 
  9. Harry Goldsmith, 1900 US census; Census Place: Mount Pleasant Ward 1, Westmoreland, Pennsylvania; Page: 2; Enumeration District: 0119 
  10. Harry Goldsmith, 1900 US census; Census Place: Everett, Bedford, Pennsylvania; Page: 16; Enumeration District: 0013 
  11. Harry Goldsmith, 1900 US census; Census Place: Evesham, Burlington, New Jersey; Page: 9; Enumeration District: 0018 
  12. Harry Goldsmith, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory,  1899, 1900, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  13. For example, Stanton’s registration for the World War I draft. Stanton Loeb Dreifus, Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Philadelphia; Roll: 1907643; Draft Board: 23,Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. 
  14. Florence Loeb, 1880 US census; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1180; Page: 379B; Enumeration District: 411 
  15. Marriage of Florence Goldsmith and Emanuel Dreifus, July 17, 1901, Certificate 12494; New York, New York, Marriage Indexes 1866-1937, Ancestry.com 
  16. Joseph Loeb, death record, July 13, 1895, Atlantic City, NJ, FHL File No. 589801, Ancestry.com. New Jersey, Deaths and Burials Index, 1798-1971 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. 

Rena Rice’s Wonderful Wedding

Two years after the tragic deaths of Philip and Nellie (Buxbaum) Goldsmith, the family of Jacob and Fannie Goldsmith had an opportunity for a joyful celebration. On March 9, 1898, Jacob and Fannie’s oldest grandchild, Rena Rice, daughter of Nathan and Caroline (Goldsmith) Rice, was married to Edwin Sternfels in Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Times provided a detailed report of the festivities:1

One of the most important of the many weddings which have taken place this winter was performed after the rites of the Jewish faith last night in the New Mercantile Hall…. It was the wedding of Miss Rena G. Rice, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Rice [Caroline Goldsmith], to Edwin Sternfels, of New York.

The guests assembled in the hall and there awaited the entrance of the bridal party. At the hour appointed, to the ever-new strains of the “Lohengrin” Wedding March, played by the orchestra, which was hidden behind the bank of bay trees, palms and exotics of every description, the bridal party entered the hall and moved slowly forward to the dais which had been erected just in front of the stage.

The master of ceremonies, J.J. Rice, led, followed by the ushers….[including] Sid G. Rice [brother of the bride]…of this city, following them coming the groom upon the arm of his mother and then the bride, dressed in a white satin gown, trimmed with duchesse lace, with diamond ornaments, and carrying the bridal Bible and lilies of the valley, upon the arm of her father.

….

Upon reaching the dais, around which was banked bay trees and palms, while overhead a canopy of exquisite beauty was made with festoons of asparagus vine studded with carnations, they stepped upon this platform, where the rabbi was standing, and the ceremony was performed which made them man and wife.

Following the ceremony a wedding feast was served, followed in turn by a reception and dance in honor of the happy couple.

The article concluded with a very lengthy list of some of those who attended the wedding. Among those listed were the following of my relatives:

Mr. and Mrs. A. Coleman: Emma Goldsmith and her husband Abraham Cohlman (typo in the article); Emma was Rena’s aunt, Jacob’s daughter.

Mr. and Mrs. A. Goldsmith: Abraham Goldsmith, Jacob Goldsmith’s brother, Rena’s great-uncle, and my three-times great-uncle

Mr. and Mrs. Harry Goldsmith: Harry was Jacob’s son and Rena’s uncle

Martin Goldsmith: I think this might be another typo and should be Milton Goldsmith, Abraham Goldsmith’s son and Rena’s first cousin, once removed.  I have no record of a Martin Goldsmith.

Mrs. Fannie Goldsmith: Rena’s grandmother and Jacob Goldsmith’s widow.

Byron Goldsmith, Herbert Goldsmith, and Jerome Goldsmith: the orphaned sons of Philip and Nellie Goldsmith and Rena’s first cousins.

Jeannette Goldsmith: named as the flower girl, so presumably a child, but I’ve yet to find her. A mystery to be solved.

Mrs. I. Levy: Hannah Goldsmith, Jacob Goldsmith’s daughter and Rena’s aunt

Mrs. S. Mansbach: Sarah Goldschmidt Mansbach, Jacob Goldsmith’s sister and Rena’s great-aunt

Julius Mansbach: Rena’s first cousin, once removed, and son of Sarah Goldschmidt Mansbach

The Messrs. Raphael and the Misses Raphael: the family of Hulda Goldsmith Raphael, Jacob Goldsmith’s daughter and aunt of the bride

S.G. Rice: the bride’s brother Sidney Goldsmith Rice

In addition, although not included on the list of those attending, Jessie G. Rice, the bride’s sister, was named in the article as the maid of honor.

This was obviously quite an expensive affair, evidence of the prosperity of Nathan and Caroline (Goldsmith) Rice. According to the 1900 census, Nathan was still in the clothing business in Philadelphia, and he owned his house free of any mortgage. His son Sidney was “mostly” employed in the lithography business; he was now 27 years old. Also living with Nathan and Caroline in addition to Sidney and their youngest child Jessie was Nathan’s brother, Jacob J. Rice (presumably the master of ceremonies named as J.J Rice in the wedding article), Caroline’s widowed mother, Fannie Goldsmith, and two servants.

Caroline and Nathan Rice and family 1900 census
Year: 1900; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 29, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 4; Enumeration District: 0710

Caroline’s sister Emma and her husband Abraham Cohlman were also living in Philadelphia in 1900 where Abraham was employed as a salesman; their home was subject to a mortgage. They had no children, but two boarders were living with them.2

A third sibling, Hulda Goldsmith Raphael, was also living in Philadelphia, along with her husband Chapman Raphael and their three children. Chapman was in the wholesale liquor business, and their home was rented. They also had a servant living with them.3

One sibling had left Philadelphia. Hannah and her husband Isaac Levy were living in Circleville, Ohio, a small town of about 6000 people about 30 miles south of Columbus, Ohio, the closest city of any size. What were they doing there and when had they arrived? On the wedding guest list for Rena’s 1898 wedding as reported in The Philadelphia Times, Hannah was reported as Mrs. I. Levy of Circleville, Ohio, so she and Isaac were already living in Ohio by that time. On the 1900 census, Isaac had no occupation listed, but they did own their own home there, free of a mortgage.[^4}

 

But why Circleville, Ohio? I did find an unmarried man named Isaac Levy on the 1880 census living in Circleville and working in the clothing business, but he was born in France. Was this the Isaac Levy who married Hannah Goldsmith in Philadelphia twelve years later?4

Was the 1880 census just in error in naming his birthplace as France? As I wrote in my earlier post, Isaac Levy is such a common name that I can’t seem to narrow down the possibilities to learn more about the Isaac Levy who married Hannah Goldsmith. Unfortunately, Circleville is so small that I can’t even find directories or newspapers to search.

The other sibling whose 1900 whereabouts are somewhat mysterious is Harry Goldsmith. That is a subject for another post. Or another few.


  1. “Wedding at Mercantile Hall,” The Philadelphia Times, March 10, 1898, p. 7. 
  2. Nathan Rice and family, 1900 US census; 1900; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 28, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1469; Page: 14B; Enumeration District: 0674; FHL microfilm: 1241469 
  3. Hulda and Chapman Raphael, 1900 US census; Year: 1900; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 32, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania;Page: 7; Enumeration District: 0808 
  4. Isaac Levy, 1880 US census; Year: 1880; Census Place: Circleville, Pickaway, Ohio; Roll: 1058; Page: 570A;Enumeration District: 229 

The 1896 Atlantic City Train Disaster

Shortly after 6:30 pm on July 30, 1896, a seven-car train of the West Jersey Railroad was proceeding west from Atlantic City, New Jersey, when the engineer of that train observed a Reading Railroad train approaching the crossing ahead of him. Because the signals indicated that it was safe for him to proceed through the crossing, the West Jersey engineer continued into the crossing.  He had almost cleared the crossing when the locomotive of the Reading Railroad train slammed into the first car of the West Jersey train.  The New York Times described the consequences of this collision:1

…[T]he locomotive of the Reading train…struck the first car full in the centre, throwing it far off the track into a nearby ditch, and completely submerging it. The second car of the West Jersey train was also carried into the ditch, the third and fourth cars begin [sic—being?] telescoped. The engine of the Reading train was thrown to the other side of the track, carrying with it the first coach.

A few minutes after the collision, to add to the horror of the situation, the boiler of the Reading locomotive exploded, scalding several to death and casting boiling spray over many of the injured passengers.

One of the sub-headlines to this article read, “Five Loaded Passenger Coaches Crushed into Kindling Wood,” a reminder that train cars were made from wood, not steel, in those days.

The article then described the horrifying scene when rescue efforts began:

It was a gruesome sight presented to onlookers as the mangled and burned forms of the dead were carried from the wreckage which bound them and laid side by side on the gravel bank near the track, with no other pall than the few newspapers gathered from the passengers.2

An investigation into the cause of the accident soon determined that it was the engineer of the Reading Railroad train, Edward Farr, who had been primarily at fault. There was evidence that the Reading train had been traveling at a speed of 45 miles per hour and that Farr had failed to heed the danger signal in time to avoid the collision with the West Jersey train.

However, there was apparently a practice in that area that gave express trains like the Reading train the right of way at crossings over smaller trains like the West Jersey. The tower man in control of the signals disregarded that practice by giving the danger signal to Reading and the go-ahead signal to West Jersey. There was also testimony that Farr was a man of good character and not reckless or careless. Farr himself was killed in the crash; The New York Times reported that when his wife was informed of his death, she collapsed in shock and also died, but The Philadelphia Inquirer in its coverage of Farr’s funeral reported that his his widow attended the funeral.

On August 8, 1896, the coroner’s jury returned a verdict holding Edward Farr primarily at fault for failing to heed the danger signal, but also found that the tower man and the West Jersey engineer had contributed to the tragedy.3

“Three Buried Here,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 3, 1896, p.4.

In the end, fifty people died in this horrific accident, including two of my Goldschmidt relatives, my cousin Phillip Goldsmith, son of Jacob and Fannie, and his wife Nellie Buxbaum.  Phillip was forty years old, and Nellie was 33; they left behind three sons, Sidney Byron, who was fourteen, Herbert Nathaniel, who was thirteen, and Joseph Jerome, who was only eight years old.

In its coverage of this disaster, The Philadelphia Times reported the following about Phillip and Nellie Goldsmith:

Both Mr. and Mrs. Goldsmith were said to be particularly cautious in respect to public travel and rarely ventured abroad except on business, and Mr. Goldsmith’s long-time employee, Henry Kirchoff, expressed great surprise this morning that the couple should have ventured on this excursion at all.4

The Tyrone Daily Herald of Tyrone, Pennsylvania, reported that Phillip and Nellie had died “hand in hand.”5  The Philadelphia Inquirer covered the funeral of Phillip and Nellie and included these sketches as well as details of the funeral and a list of those who attended, including Phillip’s mother Fannie and his siblings. The rabbi in his eulogy “paid high tribute to the departed, dwelling especially on the honorable career of Mr. Goldsmith and the sweet, charitable disposition of his wife.”6

“Three Buried Here,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 3, 1896, p.4.

“Three Buried Here,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 3, 1896, p.4.

 

All in all, this was one of those terrible tragedies where human error, not malice, was to blame. For the family of Phillip and Nellie Goldsmith, it must have been devastating.

Their three sons went to live with Nellie’s family; on the 1900 census they were living in Philadelphia in the household of Nellie’s widowed sister Hortense Buxbaum Strouse along with Nellie’s mother and other siblings.

Goldsmith sons with aunts and uncle 1900 census
Year: 1900; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 28, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1470; Page: 1; Enumeration District: 0680; FHL microfilm: 1241470

By 1910, the three Goldsmith orphans were young men in their twenties. Herbert (26) and Jerome (21) (as he was known) were still living in Philadelphia with their aunt Hortense as well as her brother and three sisters, all of whom were unmarried. Herbert and Jerome and their uncle Herbert Buxbaum were all working in a lithography business:

Herbert and Jerome Goldsmith 1910 census
Year: 1910; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 28, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1402; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 0634; FHL microfilm: 1375415

The oldest Goldsmith son, Sidney Byron (later known as Byron) was 27 in 1910 and was a physician in Philadelphia.7 He was a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.  Here he is in the 1905 yearbook of the university:

Sidney Byron Goldsmith 1905 UPenn yearbook
“U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012”; Yearbook Title: The Record; Year: 1905
Year: 1905  Ancestry.com. U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1990

Note the resemblance to his father. Byron married Mary Elizabeth Long on March 1, 1917.8

All three Goldsmith brothers registered for the World War I draft. Byron’s registration did not disclose any important additional information:

Sidney Byron Goldsmith World War I draft registration
Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Philadelphia; Roll: 1907531; Draft Board: 06  Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918

Herbert’s registration revealed that he was working in the tire manufacturing business:

# Herbert Goldsmith World War I draft registration
Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Philadelphia; Roll: 1907644; Draft Board: 24
Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918

 

According to Jerome’s registration, he was working as a sales manager for a company called Lindsay Brothers, Inc. He claimed an exemption from the draft based on the fact that he had “two maiden aunts” who were solely dependent on him for support. He also claimed disability based on vertigo, varicocele, and hemorrhoids. Varicocele is a condition of varicose veins on the testicles, sometimes leading to infertility.

J Jerome Goldsmith World War I draft registration
Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Philadelphia; Roll: 1907644; Draft Board: 24
Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918

 

In 1920, Jerome and Herbert were still living with their aunt Hortense and her siblings; now both brothers were working in the tire business, as were two of their Buxbaum uncles.9

Their older brother Sidney Byron and his wife Elizabeth (as she was known) had a child on January 12, 1920,10 and were still living in Philadelphia where Byron was practicing medicine in 1920:

Sidney B Goldsmith and family 1920 census
Year: 1920; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 7, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1618; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 153

On November 6, 1929, Jerome Goldsmith married Berda Gans Marks,11 who was a Philadelphia native, daughter of Emanuel Marks and Carrie Gans. He was forty years old, and Berda was 37.  In 1930, they were living in Philadelphia, and Jerome was still working in the tire business as a salesman. Berda was working as a secretary in a medical practice—perhaps that of Jerome’s brother Byron?12

Byron and his family were also still living in Philadelphia in 1930, and Byron continued to practice medicine.13  Herbert, the middle brother, continued to live with his aunts and now listed himself as the proprietor of the tire business.

Herbert Goldsmith 1930 census
Year: 1930; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 2112; Page: 12B; Enumeration District: 0674; FHL microfilm: 2341846

Ten years later, Herbert was still living with his aunts, but now was a broker in the wholesale jewelry business. Perhaps his tire business did not weather the Depression well. He was now 56 years old although the census reports that he was only 52.14

Byron continued to practice medicine and live with his family in Philadelphia in 1940,15 and Jerome and Berda were also living in Philadelphia where Berda continued to work as a medical secretary and Jerome was a salesman for retail tires and radios.16

All three brothers registered for the World War II draft. Byron was still practicing medicine.

S Byron Goldsmith World War II draft registration
The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; World War II draft cards (Fourth Registration) for the State of Pennsylvania; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975; Record Group Number: 147; Series Number: M1951

Herbert was the tallest of the brothers—six feet tall whereas the other two were both 5’ ” 6″ or so. Herbert noted that he had a “cast” in his right eye—a small brown spot. He was now working for a transit company.

Herbert Goldsmith World War II draft registration
The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; World War II draft cards (Fourth Registration) for the State of Pennsylvania; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975; Record Group Number: 147; Series Number: M1951

 

This time Jerome did not claim the same disabilities that he had in the earlier draft, but did note that he had had two fingers “cut” by an electric saw and tattoos on both arms:

Jerome Goldsmith World War II draft registration
The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; World War II draft cards (Fourth Registration) for the State of Pennsylvania; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975; Record Group Number: 147; Series Number: M1951

 

Five years later on April 16, 1947, Herbert Goldsmith passed away at the age of 63 from acute coronary thrombosis. His aunt Hortense Strouse, with whom he had lived since being orphaned as a young boy in 1896, was the informant on his death certificate.  The death certificate reports that he was a statistician, something that had not been at all evident from his draft or census records.

Herbert Goldsmith death certificate
Certificate Number Range: 036751-039300
Source Information
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1964 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014.
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.

The two other Goldsmith brothers lived long lives. Jerome died at 86 on July 21, 1975. 17 His wife Berda lived to 97, dying on October 27, 1989. What her obituary revealed that had not been revealed by the official records was that she was an accomplished pianist and that she and her husband had been quite generous contributors to charitable organizations.  One other revelation: at some point after 1940 Jerome had gone into the food importing business.

Berda Marks Goldsmith obituary
The Philadelphia Inquirer, 30 Oct 1989, Mon, Main Edition, Page 31

 

Byron died just a few months after his brother Jerome on November 3, 1975; he was 93.18 His wife Elizabeth had predeceased him on May 28, 1973, when she was 85.  They were survived by their daughter and grandchildren, the only remaining descendants of Philip Goldsmith and Nellie Buxbaum.

The story of the three orphaned Goldsmith brothers is another story of human resilience. Having lost their parents in a horrendous tragedy when they were so young, it’s remarkable that these three boys seemed to have overcome those losses and survived. Perhaps the credit goes to their parents for whatever strength and love they gave them as children and to their aunt Hortense and their other aunts and uncles for raising them after they’d lost their parents in 1896.

 

 

 

 

 

 


  1. “42 Killed, 80 Injured,” The New York Times, July 31, 1896 
  2.  Ibid. 
  3. See “42 Killed, 80 Injured,” The New York Times, July 31, 1896; “The Story of the Wreck,” The New York Times, August 1, 1896; “Farr, The Dead, Blamed,” The New York Times, August 5, 1896; “Three Meadow Wreck Verdicts,” The New York Times, August 8, 1896;“Three Buried Here,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 3, 1896, p.4. 
  4. “Bridgeton’s Dead,” The Philadelphia Times, August 1, 1896, p. 3. 
  5. “The Atlantic Horror,” Tyrone Daily Herald, August 3, 1896, p. 3. 
  6. “Three Buried Here,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 3, 1896, p.4. 
  7. Year: 1910; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 8, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1387; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 0124; FHL microfilm: 1375400 
  8. Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.Original data – “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Marriage Index, 1885–1951.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009. Philadelphia County Pennsylvania Clerk of the Orphans’ Court. 
  9. Year: 1920; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 28, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1632; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 885 
  10. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 for Dorothy Jane Goldsmith 
  11. Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.Original data – “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Marriage Index, 1885–1951.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009. Philadelphia County Pennsylvania Clerk of the Orphans’ Court. 
  12. 1930 US Census for Jerome and Berda Goldsmith,Year: 1930; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 2095;Page: 24A; Enumeration District: 0275;FHL microfilm: 2341829 
  13. 1930 US Census for Byron Goldsmith and family; Year: 1930; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 2136;Page: 29A; Enumeration District: 1075;FHL microfilm: 2341870 
  14. 1940 US Census for Herbert Goldsmith; Year: 1940; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: m-t0627-03713; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 51-838 
  15. 1940 US Census for Byron Goldsmith and family; Year: 1940; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: m-t0627-03753; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 51-2142 
  16. 1940 US Census for Jerome Goldsmith; Year: 1940; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: m-t0627-03691; Page: 81B; Enumeration District: 51-125 
  17. Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records 
  18. The Philadelphia Inquirer, 04 Nov 1975, Tue, Main Edition, Page 16 

Uncle Jacob’s Family 1870-1895

By the early 1880s, all but one of the children of my three-times great-grandparents Seligmann and Hincka (Alexander) Goldschmidt had left Germany and settled in the United States. The next series of posts will address how each of those children and their descendants continued to fare in the US, starting with my three-times great-uncle Jacob Goldsmith, Seligmann and Hincka’s oldest son and second oldest child. He was also the first to emigrate from Germany.

Jacob and Fannie had six children who lived to adulthood: Caroline, Emma, Hannah, Philip, Harry, and Huldah.

As noted in my earlier post, in 1870, Jacob and his wife Fannie were living in Philadelphia with five of their children, and Jacob was working as a merchant. On the census he claimed that he owned $8000 worth of real property and $2000 worth of personal property. Their oldest daughter Caroline was living in Dubuque, Iowa, with her husband Nathan Rice and their baby daughter Rena.

Jacob Goldsmith (Seligmann’s son) and family 1870 census
Year: 1870; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 12 District 34, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1396; Page: 114A; Family History Library Film: 552895

During the 1870s, Jacob continued to work as a clothing merchant with a store at 726 Market Street and a residence at 413 North 4th Street in Philadelphia.1 By 1880, however, the family had moved, and Jacob was working in a new business with his son Harry. According to the 1880 census, he was now a hardware merchant, and the family was living at 1328 Franklin Street.  Living with Jacob at that point in addition to his wife Fannie were three of their children, Hannah, Harry, and Hulda.

Jacob Goldsmith (uncle) and family 1880 census
Year: 1880; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1179; Page: 175C; Enumeration District: 396

By 1873 their oldest daughter Caroline had returned from Iowa to Philadelphia with her husband Nathan Rice and daughter Rena; Nathan is listed in the Philadelphia directory as a clothing merchant in 1873.  Their second child, Sidney, was born in Philadelphia on September 7, 1873.2

Title: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1873
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

On the 1880 census Caroline and Nathan were living with their three children: Rena (1869), Sidney (1873), and Jessica (1880). (The spacing of the children made me wonder whether there were other children who had not survived; however, on the 1900 census, Caroline reported that she had had three children, all three of whom were alive.)

Nathan and Caroline Rice 1880 Census
“United States Census, 1880,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9YB4-SNF?cc=1417683&wc=QZ27-VLY%3A1589394781%2C1589410714%2C1589401700%2C1589404671 : 24 December 2015), Pennsylvania > Philadelphia > Philadelphia > ED 393 > image 11 of 20; citing NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

Jacob and Fannie’s second child Emma was married by 1880 to Henry Meyerhoff, who was about ten years older than Emma and a German immigrant. In 1870 he’d been living in Hastings, Michigan, working as a saloon keeper3 but he is listed in the 1878 Philadelphia directory in the liquor business. On the 1880 census, he reported that he was a liquor dealer.

Henry and Emma (Goldsmith) Meyerhoff 1880 census
Year: 1880; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1173; Page: 332B; Enumeration District: 223

Jacob and Fannie’s third child and first son Philip married Nellie Buxbaum on September 28, 1881, in Philadelphia.  He was 25, Nellie was only eighteen.

Marriage record of Philip Goldsmith and Nelly Buxbaum
Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records; Reel: 792
Organization Name: Congregation Rodeph Shalom
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1669-2013

Nellie was the daughter of Joseph Buxbaum and Theresa Anathan, who were German immigrants; her father was working as a travel agent in 1880. I can’t imagine what that meant back then in the era before vacation traveling and airplane reservations, but perhaps it involved hotel and train planning.4

Philip and Nellie had three sons born in the 1880s: Sydney Byron (1882), Herbert Nathaniel (1883), and Joseph Jerome (1888). They were living in Bridgeton, New Jersey in the 1880s.5

Hulda, the youngest of Jacob and Fannie’s daughters and the youngest surviving child, married Chapman Raphael in 1881, according to the 1900 census.6 Chapman was a Philadelphia native born in about 1850, and in 1880 he was living with his widowed mother Clara and his two brothers; he was a dealer in men’s clothing:

Chapman Raphael 1880 census
Year: 1880; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1169; Page: 261D; Enumeration District: 092

Hulda and Chapman had three children in the 1880s: J. Herbert (1882), Arthur Seligman (1883), and Adelaide (1888). When I saw the name of their second child—Arthur Seligman Raphael, it stopped me in my tracks. My great-great-uncle from Santa Fe who became New Mexico’s governor in 1930 was named Arthur Seligman. But that Arthur was born in 1871 and was only twelve when Arthur Seligman Raphael was born. I assume this was just a coincidence. His middle name might have been Seligman for his great-grandfather, Seligmann Goldschmidt.

Thus, by 1882, all of Jacob and Fannie’s children were married with children, except Harry and Hannah. How were Jacob and his sons supporting themselves and their families during this period?

According to the Philadelphia directory for 1881, Jacob was in a business called J. Goldsmith, Ancker, & Co.  But by 1883, Jacob listed his business as J.Goldsmith and Son, and he and Harry were engaged in the fishing tackle and cutlery business, according to the 1883 directory. Jacob and Harry were in that business together for several years according to the directory listings.

Jacob and Harry Goldsmith 1883 Philadelphia directory
Title: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1883
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

But in 1888 the directory lists Jacob as a “manager” at 510 Market Street and his son Philip as being in the fishing tackle business at 510 Market Street, obviously working together.

Jacob and Philip Goldsmith 1888 Philadelphia directory
Title: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1888
Source Information
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

I am not sure what had happened to Harry by 1888.  There are three Harry Goldsmiths in that same 1888 Philadelphia directory—one in the cigar business, one in the clothing business, and one working as a boilermaker.

Three Harry Goldsmiths 1888 Philadelphia directory
Title: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1888
Source Information
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

The listings for Jacob and his son Philip are the same in 1889, but in the 1889 directory there is only one Harry, and he is in the cigar business. I don’t know, however, that that was Jacob’s son Harry.

Goldsmiths in 1889 Philadelphia directory
Title: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1889
Source Information
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

 

If that was Jacob’s son, he found himself in some legal trouble later that year:

“Fraud Charged,” The Philadelphia Times, July 25, 1889, p. 1

Of course, I hope that this is not my cousin Harry Goldsmith, but I cannot be certain. It appears he was being charged with fraud. The article states the plaintiffs sued to recover $849.24 “on a promissory note given by Goldsmith for tobacco bought by him on the representation that he was making money and was about to increase the facilities of his factory.” Eleven years later a Harry Goldsmith, possibly the same one, declared bankruptcy. 7

In 1891, Jacob and Philip were still in the fishing tackle business, and there is no listing for a Harry Goldsmith at all in that year’s Philadelphia directory.

Title: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1891
Source Information
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

The 1890s were in some ways a challenging decade for the family of Jacob and Fannie Goldsmith. First, Emma Goldsmith’s husband Henry Meyerhoff died on September 18, 1891. He was only 49 years old. The cause of death was phthisis or what we call tuberculosis.

Death certificate of Henry Meyerhoff
“Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-6QZP-2W?cc=1320976&wc=9F5T-7MS%3A1073249701 : 16 May 2014), 004009736 > image 563 of 1753; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Emma’s sister Hannah Goldsmith married Isaac Levy in 1892. She was 38, and he was 51. According to the 1900 census, Isaac was born in Germany in April 1841 and had immigrated to the US in 1880.8 But I have no independent verification of those assertions, and because the name Isaac Levy is so common, I’ve been unable to find out much about Hannah’s husband. 9 Given their ages at the time of their marriage, it is not surprising that they did not have children.

Two years later, Emma remarried.  Her second husband was Abraham Cohlman.10 According to census records, Abraham was born in California sometime in 1869  making him eighteen years younger than Emma. The 1870 census lists him as a six month old baby living in San Francisco with his parents; his father was a junk dealer.  According to the 1880 census, Abraham was then eleven years old, living with his family in Philadelphia.  His father was the superintendent of a silver mine.11

Abraham Cohlman 1880 census
Year: 1880; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1173; Page: 332B; Enumeration District: 223

In the 1892 Philadelphia directory, Abraham was in the clothing business with his mother Bertha in a business called B. Cohlman & Son.12

Jacob and Fannie’s family’s experienced sadness again in 1895 when Jacob, my three-times great-uncle, died on August 11 of that year.  He was 72 years old and died from interstitial nephritis and pulmonary tuberculosis. He was buried at Mt. Sinai cemetery in Philadelphia, where so many of my other relatives were buried.

Jacob Goldsmith death certificate
“Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-64P9-RYW?cc=1320976&wc=9FRT-4WL%3A1073331001 : 16 May 2014), 004056305 > image 913 of 1767; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Unfortunately, that was not the end of the deaths the family suffered in the 1890s. A year later they lost two more members of the family in a terrible accident. More on that in my next post.

 

 

 

 


  1. See, e.g., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1872; Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  2. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Births, 1860-1906,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VB16-8W9 : 8 December 2014), Nathon H. Rice in entry for Rice, 07 Sep 1873; citing bk 1873 p 13, Department of Records; FHL microfilm 1,289,315. 
  3. Year: 1870; Census Place: Hastings, Barry, Michigan; Roll: M593_661; Page: 139A;Family History Library Film: 552160 
  4. Year: 1880; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1179;Page: 57B; Enumeration District: 386 
  5. New Jersey, Births and Christenings Index, 1660-1931 
  6. Year: 1900; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 32, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1473; Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 0808; FHL microfilm: 1241473 
  7. The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 12, 1900, p. 9 
  8. Year: 1900; Census Place: Circleville Ward 3, Pickaway, Ohio; Roll: 1313; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0102; FHL microfilm: 1241313; Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  9. In the 1890 Philadelphia directory, for example, there were five men named Isaac Levy. I have no idea which was Hannah’s husband. or if any of them were. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1890; Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  10. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Marriage Index, 1885–1951.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009. Philadelphia County Pennsylvania Clerk of the Orphans’ Court. 
  11. Some records give Abraham an earlier birth date, but they are further in time from his birth, so the 1870 and 1880 census records seem the most accurate.  See 1870 US census, Census Place: San Francisco Ward 9, San Francisco, California; Roll: M593_83; Page: 42B; Family History Library Film: 545582; Ancestry.com 
  12. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1892;  Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 

Where Are Those Missing Manifests? Sarah Goldschmidt Mansbach and Family

By 1870 many members of the Goldschmidt clan had left Germany and settled in Pennsylvania.  My four-times great-uncle Simon Goldschmidt and all his children had emigrated starting in the 1840s and were, for the most part, living in western Pennsylvania by 1870. 1 During this same period six of the eight children of my three-times great-grandparents Seligmann and Hincka (Alexander) Goldschmidt had settled in Philadelphia: Jakob, Levi, my great-great-grandmother Eva, Abraham, Meyer, and Rosa. They were all living in Philadelphia by 1870. Of Seligmann’s family, only Sarah and Bette were still in Germany as of 1870.

Sarah would also eventually join the family in the US, but only after her children had emigrated. In the 1870s and 1880s, all but one of Sarah’s eight surviving children2 came to the United States, and eventually so did Sarah and her husband Abraham Mansbach II. This is their story.

Although I cannot find passenger manifests for all them, it appears that the first to arrive was Merla/Amalie Mansbach, who sailed to the US in 1872 with Henry Schoenthal and his new wife Helene Lilienfeld, as I discussed here.3

Henry Schoenthal and Helene Lilienfeld 1872 ship manifest lines 95 to 98 with Amalie Mansbach
Year: 1872; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 359; Line: 1; List Number: 484

I have no record of Amalie from the time of her arrival until the 1880 census, but I assume she must have been living in Pennsylvania, probably in Philadelphia, because according to the 1900 census, in 1879, she married Henry Langer. Henry was 22 years older than Amelia, born in 1831 in Austria; he had immigrated to the US in 1856, and in the 1870s he was living in Philadelphia, working as a furrier, according to the Philadelphia directory for 1870 and a newspaper listing in 1877.4

 

Amalie and Henry had relocated to Denver by December 17, 1879,5 when their first child, Joseph Henry Langer, was born. According to the 1880 census, Henry continued to work as a furrier in Denver:

H and A Langer and son 1880 census
Year: 1880; Census Place: Denver, Arapahoe, Colorado; Roll: 88; Page: 116C; Enumeration District: 005

I wondered what had drawn them to Denver. I couldn’t find any other Langers living there at that time, but I then discovered that Colorado had drawn other members of Amalie’s extended family, including her brother Berthold.

Berthold may have been the next child of Sarah and Abraham II to arrive from Germany; although I cannot find a passenger manifest for him, the 1920 census reports that he immigrated to the US in 1874.6 In 1877, he is listed in the Philadelphia directory working as a clerk.

Title: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1877
Source Information
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

But by 1880, he also had relocated to Trinidad, Colorado, where he was living with his cousin Abraham Mansbach V,  the grandson of Marum Mansbach I. Abraham V was a merchant, and Bert was working as a clerk, presumably in his cousin’s store.

Bert Mansbach 1880 census
Year: 1880; Census Place: Trinidad, Las Animas, Colorado; Roll: 92; Page: 65D; Enumeration District: 066

Abraham V had been living in Colorado for some time, as he was naturalized in Denver in 1873,7 so perhaps that was what had drawn his cousin Amalie and her husband Henry Langer to Denver by 1879.

But what had taken Abraham V to Trinidad, a town about 200 miles south of Denver? Looking at the population statistics for Trinidad, I noticed a huge population explosion between 1870, when there were 562 people residing there, and 1880, when there were 2,226.

According to the website Western Mining History:

Trinidad was incorporated in 1876 and became the supply and transportation center for the region’s coal mines. The coal from these mines was highly prized for its quality in creating coking fuels for Colorado’s smelters. As the mines and smelters of Colorado grew into a major industry, Trinidad prospered and became a wealthy commercial center full of stunning Victorian homes and buildings.

Trinidad, Colorado 1907
By Business_section_of_Trinidad,_Colorado.tif: Arthur Russell Allen derivative work: Ori.livneh (Business_section_of_Trinidad,_Colorado.tif) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Thus, Abraham Mansbach V and his cousin Berthold Mansbach must have chosen Trinidad as a place of great economic opportunity. As they say on that old commercial for Barney’s in New York City, all those people were going to need clothes.

 

UPDATE: Thanks to Sharon Haimovitz-Civitano of the Branches of our Haimowitz Family Tree and Branches on Civitano Tree blogs, I now have additional insights into why the Mansbachs ended up in Trinidad.  Those insights will be discussed in a later post, but in short, there were members of the extended Goldschmidt-Mansbach family living in Trinidad even before Berthold Mansbach and his cousin Abraham Mansbach V arrived.

But not all the Mansbach siblings chose to settle out west. Sarah and Abraham II’s oldest son Leiser/Louis Mansbach came to the US on December 16, 1876:

Louis (Lassor) Mansbach ship manifest
Year: 1876; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 406; Line: 1; List Number: 1160
Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957

 

In 1880, he was living with my great-great-grandparents, Gerson Katzenstein and Eva Goldschmidt, who was his aunt, his mother Sarah’s sister. My great-grandmother Hilda, who was then sixteen, was also living at home and thus must have known her first cousin Louis quite well. Louis was 31 years old and was a veterinary surgeon.

Louis Mansbach in the household of Gerson Katzenstein 1880 census
Year: 1880; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1173; Page: 274B; Enumeration District: 219

This is the first veterinarian I’ve found in my family.  Formal education of veterinarians in the US was relatively new at that time as the first public veterinary school in the US wasn’t founded until 1879 in Iowa, and the University of Pennsylvania did not start its veterinary school until 1884. Louis may have arrived at just the right time.

I do not have ship manifests for three of the remaining children of Sarah Goldschmidt and Abraham Mansbach II, Hannah, Meyer, and Julius.  I have tried searching on Ancestry and FamilySearch; I tried using stevemorse.org and wild cards and various spellings and different date ranges. Nothing. For Julius, as discussed below, I even had a date of arrival and ship names from his later passport applications, but still—no manifest.  If anyone is willing to try with fresh eyes, I’d be very grateful. But for now I have to rely on other documents to estimate the dates of arrival for Hannah, Meyer, and Julius. Since none of these three appeared on the 1880 census, I am assuming they arrived sometime after the taking of that census in the spring of 1880.

For Hannah Mansbach, census records indicate three different years of arrival: 1880 on the 1900 census, 1881 on the 1920 and 1930 census records, and 1885 on the 1910 census. Usually I’d assume the one closest in time, the 1900 census, would be the most reliable, but at best I can say she arrived sometime between 1880 and 1885.  Since the rest of the family had arrived by 1882, I think 1880-1881 is more likely.8

Census records also conflict regarding the arrival date for Meyer Mansbach. The 1900 census reports that he arrived in 1879, but the 1910 and 1930 census records both report 1882 as his date of arrival.9

For Julius, as noted above, I found information about his arrival on his passport applications, of which there were three—in 1900, 1903, and 1908. All three provide the same date of arrival (June 12, 1881) and the same port of departure (Bremen), but all three have different names for the ship. The 1900 application says he sailed on the Elbe, the 1903 says the Weser, and the 1908 says the Werra.

Julius Mansbach 1900 passport application
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; NARA Series: Passport Applications, 1795-1905; Roll #: 550; Volume #: Roll 550 – 07 May 1900-11 May 1900

 

Julius Mansbach 1903 passport application
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; NARA Series: Emergency Passport Applications (Issued Abroad), 1877-1907; Roll #: 41; Volume #: Volume 075: Germany

Julius Mansbach 1908 passport application
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; NARA Series: Passport Applications, January 2, 1906 – March 31, 1925; Roll #: 74; Volume #: Roll 0074 – Certificates: 64339-65243, 20 Nov 1908-15 Dec 1908

Julius obviously remembered more or less when he arrived (or maybe departed from Germany), but not the name of his ship. Taking the usual rule that the record made closest in time to an event may be the most reliable, I focused on manifests for the Elbe.

I found a manifest for the Elbe arriving in New York on July 8, 1881, with a passenger named Julius “Halsbach” aged 26 (so ten years older than Julius would have been). That seemed the closest match, and I could not find anything close in date or name on the Weser or the Werra.

Julius Mansbach possible manifest
Year: 1881; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 439; Line: 1; List Number: 914
Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957

It thus seems reasonable to conclude that Hannah, Meyer, and Julius had all arrived by 1881. And so by 1881 all Sarah and Abraham’s eight living children except Kathinka had left Germany.

The following year on October 23, 1882, they were joined by their parents, my three-times great-aunt Sarah Goldschmidt and her husband Abraham Mansbach II, and their youngest daughter Kathinka. Also apparently sailing with them was a twelve year old girl named “Kath. Goldschmidt.” I have yet to identify who this was, but I assume she was the child of one of the Goldschmidt cousins still in Germany.

Abraham Mansbach II and family on passenger manifest
Year: 1882; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 459; Line: 1; List Number: 1509

 

With that final arrival, all but one of the eight children and almost all the grandchildren of my three-times great-grandparents Seligmann Goldschmidt and Hincka Alexander were living the US. Only Bette Goldschmidt and her family were still in Germany.10 It must have been hard to leave Bette behind, but the choice to leave Germany was in the long run a fortunate one for the family of Seligmann and Hincka. And for all of us who are their descendants.

(A big thank you to Amberly Peterson Beck of The Genealogy Girl blog for her brilliant post, Tuesday’s Tip: Awesome & Easy Source Citations in WordPress, which explained how to create footnotes for source citations in an easy and quite useful way. This is my first post experimenting with this technique. Thank you, Amberly!)

 

 

 


  1. I will return to Simon’s family at a later time. For now I am focusing on my closest Goldschmidt relatives, the descendants of Seligmann and Hincka. 
  2. Two died in Germany, Jakob and Hedwig, as discussed in my earlier post
  3. There was also a second eighteen year old woman sailing with them with the same name—Amalie Mansbach. I believe the other Amalie was another relative of Abraham Mansbach II; she was the granddaughter of Marum Mansbach I and sister of Abraham Mansbach V. 
  4. Henry Langer on the 1900 US Census; Year: 1900; Census Place: Denver, Arapahoe, Colorado; Roll: 117; Page: 2;Enumeration District: 0031; FHL microfilm: 1240117′; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1870,
    Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  5. Joseph Langer, Passport Application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; NARA Series: Passport Applications, January 2, 1906 – March 31, 1925; Roll #: 933; Volume #: Roll 0933 – Certificates: 122000-122249, 27 Sep 1919-28 Sep 1919 
  6. Berthold Mansbach, 1920 US Census, Year: 1920; Census Place: Albuquerque Ward 3, Bernalillo, New Mexico; Roll: T625_1074; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 18 
  7. Abraham Mansbach, Naturalization, National Archives at Denver; Broomfield, Colorado; Naturalization Records, Colorado, 1876-1990; ARC Title: Naturalization Cards, 1880 – 1906; NAI Number: 1307044; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787 – 2004 
  8. Hannah Mansbach on the 1900-1930 US Census records: Year: 1900; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 20, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1463; Page: 9; Enumeration District: 0425;FHL microfilm: 1241462; Year: 1910; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 29, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1399; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0692; FHL microfilm: 1375412; Year: 1920; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 29, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1633; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 969; Year: 1930; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 2125; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 0778; FHL microfilm: 2341859 
  9. Meyer Mansbach on 1900-1930 US Census records: Year: 1900; Census Place: Trinidad, Las Animas, Colorado; Roll: 126; Page: 13B; Enumeration District: 0064; FHL microfilm: 1240126; Year: 1910; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 29, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1399; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0692; FHL microfilm: 1375412; Year: 1930; Census Place: Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California; Roll: 136; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0108; FHL microfilm: 2339871 
  10. As Bette married her first cousin Jakob Goldschmidt (yes, another one), the son of her father’s brother Lehmann, I will return to her story when I discuss the Goldschmidt family members who stayed in Germany, including Lehmann and many of his descendants. 

More Goldschmidts Become Goldsmiths in Philadelphia

In my last post we saw how my three-times great-uncle Jacob Goldsmith came to the United States and settled in Philadelphia by 1850, then married and had seven children in the 1850s and 1860s.  He also established a retail clothing business on Market Street.

But Jacob was not the only child of Seligmann and Hincka to come to the US as early as the 1850s. His younger brother Abraham was the second of Seligmann and Hincka’s children to come to the US. Abraham was born in March 13, 1832:

Birth record of Abraham Goldschmidt
Geburtsregister der Juden von Oberlistingen (Breuna) 1826-1852 (HHStAW Abt. 365 Nr. 668)AutorHessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, Wiesbaden, p. 4

Abraham arrived in the US on August 21, 1850, listing his occupation as a merchant:

Abraham Goldschmidt passenger manifest 1850
Year: 1850; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 091; Line: 1; List Number: 951

 

On January 17, 1858, he married Cecelia Adler in Philadelphia.  Cecelia was the daughter of Samuel Adler and Sarah Kargau, and she was born on November 26, 1838, in Würzberg, Germany. She and her parents had immigrated to the US by 1850 and settled in Philadelphia where her father was a merchant.

Marriage record of Abraham Goldschmidt and Cecelia Adler
Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records; Reel: 792
Organization Name: Congregation Rodeph Shalom
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1669-2013

In 1860, Abraham and Cecelia were living in Philadelphia, where Abraham was a clothier with $15,000 worth of personal property. That he amassed that much money so quickly indicates to me that he must have been either a very successful business person, or either his parents or his in-laws provided a substantial financial cushion. Note that Abraham, like his brother Jacob, had Americanized his name from Goldschmidt to Goldsmith.

Abraham and Cecelia (Adler) Goldsmith 1860 census
Year: 1860; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 13, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M653_1163; Page: 914; Family History Library Film: 805163

Abraham and Cecelia had six children between 1861 and 1870: Milton (1861), Hildegard (1862), Edwin (1864), Rose (1866), Emily (1868), and Estelle (1870).  In 1870, Abraham now claimed he had $25,000 worth of real estate and $20,000 worth of personal property.  He continued to be in the clothing business. Cecelia’s parents were also living with Abraham and Cecelia and their six children in 1870, as well as three domestic servants [shown on the next page of the census].

Abraham Goldsmith and family 1870 census
Year: 1870; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 12 District 35, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1396; Page: 133B; Family History Library Film: 552895

Thus, like his older brother Jacob, Abraham was quite well-settled in Philadelphia by 1870.

The youngest son of Seligmann and Hincka, Meyer, was the third brother to immigrate. He was born October 25, 1834, apparently registered with the name Rafael. I still believe that this was the same child later known as Meyer, based on his age on several US records and the fact that the 1900 census says that he was born in October 1834, and there is no other birth registered to Seligmann Goldschmidt and Hincka Alexander for that month and year.

Birth record of Rafael/Meyer Goldschmidt 1834
Geburtsregister der Juden von Oberlistingen (Breuna) 1826-1852 (HHStAW Abt. 365 Nr. 668)AutorHessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, Wiesbaden, p. 5

Meyer arrived in the US on July 8, 1852. He was seventeen years old.

Meier Goldschmidt passenger manifest
Year: 1852; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 116; Line: 1; List Number: 895

According to the 1900 census, in 1859, Meyer married Helene Hohenfels, daughter of Jordan and Adelaide Hohenfels, all of whom had emigrated from Germany to the US by 1850. Meyer and Helene’s first child Eugene was born on October 6, 1859, in Newton, New Jersey, which is about 100 miles north of Philadelphia and sixty miles west of New York City.

In 1860 Meyer, Helene, and Eugene were living in Newton; Meyer was working as a “merchant tailor” and had $4000 worth of personal property. Also living with them were a servant and a thirteen year old boy named George Stone from the Hesse region, whose relationship to the family I’ve not determined. Like Jacob and Abraham, Meyer had changed the spelling of his surname to Goldsmith.

Meyer Goldsmith and Helene Hohenfels 1860 census
Year: 1860; Census Place: Newton, Sussex, New Jersey; Roll: M653_709; Page: 605; Family History Library Film: 803709

 

By 1863 or so, Meyer and his family had relocated to Philadelphia where his siblings were living. On the 1870 census, you can see that while his first two children were born in New Jersey, the third, who was seven in 1870, was born in Pennsylvania.  By 1870 Meyer and Helene had five children: Eugene (1859), Heloise (1860), Maurice (1863), Samuel (1867), and Rosa (1869). Meyer was working as a wholesale clothier and claimed $2000 in personal property. (I guess all those children ate into the $4000 worth of savings they’d had in 1860!) A sixth child, Florence, would be born in 1872.

Meyer Goldsmith 1870 census
Year: 1870; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 13 District 39, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1397; Page: 465A; Family History Library Film: 552896

 

Levy, the second oldest son of Seligmann and Hincka, was the next to come to the US. He was born November 10, 1824. He arrived in the US on September 20, 1853, and also settled in Philadelphia.

Levy Goldschmidt passenger manifest
Year: 1853; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 132; Line: 1; List Number: 991

Two years after arriving he married Henryetta Lebenbach in Philadelphia on March 21, 1855.

Marriage record of Levy Goldschmidt and Henryette Lebenbach
Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records; Reel: 792

In 1860, they were living in Philadelphia with two daughters, Eva (1856) and Estella (1859). He claimed $7,000 worth of personal property, and like his brothers, was now using the surname Goldsmith. Interestingly, he also seems to have changed the spelling of his first name from Levy to Levi. It looks like Henryette had also adopted a new spelling of her name—Henrietta.

Levi Goldsmith and family 1860 census

Levi was, like his three brothers, in the clothing business. A search of the Philadelphia directories for these years revealed that at least Abraham and Levi were in business together.

Title: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1862
Source Information
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

Goldsmiths in the 1866 Philadelphia directory
Title: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1866
Source Information
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

I say “at least” Abraham and Levi were in business together because I think it’s possible that Jacob was also in the same business.  If you compare these two directory listings, one in 1862, one on 1866, you can see that whereas in 1862 Jacob was at 335 Market Street and Levi and Abraham at 532 Market Street, in 1866 they’d reversed—Jacob was at 532 and Levi and Abraham at 335.

By 1870, Levi (here spelled Levy) and Henrietta had seven children. After Eva and Estella came George (1861), Felix (1862), Helen (1865), Blanche (1868), and Sylvester (1869). Levy reported that he was in the wholesale clothing business and that he had $25,000 in real estate and $50,000 in personal property. He obviously was doing quite well.

Levy Goldsmith and family 1870 census
Year: 1870; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 20 District 64, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1406; Page: 293B; Family History Library Film: 552905

 

Although by 1853, all four sons of Seligmann Goldschmidt and Hincka Alexander had thus left Germany for the United States, their four sisters—Sarah, Bette, Eva, and Rose—were still in Germany at that point. But soon enough two of them also would come to the US.

In 1856 my great-great-grandmother Eva Goldschmidt arrived with her husband Gerson Katzenstein, and they, too, settled in Philadelphia, as I’ve written about previously. They came with their three oldest children: Scholum (1848), Jacob (1851), and Brendina (1853). And as noted before, traveling with them were some of the children of Gerson’s sister Hannchen Katzenstein Mansbach, who were also cousins to the children of Eva Goldschmidt’s sister Sarah Goldschmidt Mansbach. As already described, Eva and Gerson would have three more children in the US: Perry (1856), Hannah (1859), and my great-grandmother Hilda (1863).

Seligmann and Hincka’s youngest child, Roschen or Rosa, was born on October 27, 1837.

Birth record of Roschen Goldschmidt
Geburtsregister der Juden von Oberlistingen (Breuna) 1826-1852 (HHStAW Abt. 365 Nr. 668)AutorHessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, Wiesbaden, p. 9

She arrived in the US 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: 1; List Number: 597

 

On January 20, 1864 she married Bernhardt Metz, another German immigrant. They would have four children between 1865 and 1870: Hattie (1865), Paul (1867), Emily (1869), and Bertha (1870). In 1870, they were living in Philadelphia where Bernhardt was a cloak manufacturer. He claimed $10,000 of real estate and $2000 of personal property:

Bernhardt and Rosa (Goldschmidt) Metz 1870 census
Year: 1870; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 20 District 66, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1407; Page: 438B; Family History Library Film: 552906

Thus, by 1860, all but two of  Seligmann and Hincka’s children had emigrated to the US, and by 1870, those in the US were all living in Philadelphia and married with children; all the sons were working in the clothing industry.

Only two siblings were still in Germany: Sarah, the oldest daughter, and Bette/Biele.  After 1870,  the children of Sarah Goldschmidt and her husband Abraham Mansbach II would also begin to emigrate, followed by Sarah and Abraham themselves in 1882, as discussed in my next post.

Another Jakob Goldschmidt Comes to America

As I wrote in my last post, the earliest Goldschmidts to leave Germany and come to the US were the family of Simon Falcke Goldschmidt, brother of my three-times great-grandfather Seligmann Goldschmidt. Simon had arrived in 1845 with his second wife, my three-times great-aunt Fradchen Schoenthal, and by 1860 he and all his children including those from his first wife Eveline were living in western Pennsylvania, most of them in Washington, Pennsylvania.

During this same period, almost all the children of my three-times great-grandparents Seligmann Goldschmidt and Hincka Alexander were also emigrating, though they chose to settle in Philadelphia, about 300 miles east of their relatives in the western part of the state.

The first of Seligmann and Hincka’s children to arrive was their oldest son Jakob. Jakob was born on October 22, 1822, making him about three years older than his first cousin, Simon’s son, also named Jakob Goldschmidt; both cousins changed their names to Jacob Goldsmith once in the US. To make matters even more confusing, both Jacobs married women named Fannie.  Maybe Seligmann’s Jacob chose to settle in Philadelphia and Simon’s across the state to minimize confusion for some not-yet-born family historian?[1]

To distinguish the two Jacob Goldsmiths I will refer to Seligmann’s son as Uncle Jacob as he was my three-times great-uncle, and I will refer to Simon’s Jacob as Cousin Jacob, as he was my first cousin, four times removed.

Uncle Jacob must have arrived in the US before 1849 because by that time he had married Fannie, and they had had their first child, a daughter named Caroline born on May 7, 1849, in Pennsylvania. In 1850 Uncle Jacob was working as a merchant:

Jacob Goldsmith (Seligmann’s son) and family 1850 census

I could not find Uncle Jacob on the 1860 census at all, but he and Fannie must have been living in Philadelphia in the 1850s and 1860s because they had several more children born there between 1850 and 1860: Emma (1851), Hannah (1855), Philip (1856), and Harry (1858). Their sixth child, Huldah, was born in 1861. (Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Births, 1860-1906,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V1M9-7GF : 8 December 2014), Hulda Goldsmith, 18 Jan 1861; citing bk 1 p 252, Department of Records; FHL microfilm 1,289,306.)

One more child was born to Jacob and Fannie in March 1864, a boy named Eli.  Sadly, he died when he was four months old of hydrocephalus internus,

Eli Goldsmith death record “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-DHR6-H?cc=1320976&wc=9F5Z-T3D%3A1073282601 : 16 May 2014), 004010010 > image 197 of 1250; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Searching the Philadelphia newspapers for 1860-1870, I found this little news item about a donation made by Jacob Goldsmith to support the soldiers fighting in the Civil War; based on Jacob’s business address in the 1862 Philadelphia Directory (338 Market Street, which is at the corner of 4th Street), I am reasonably certain that this refers to my uncle Jacob Goldsmith.

“Soldiers Mittens, ” Philadelphia Public Ledger, November 26, 1861.

 

I also found an 1868 advertisement for Jacob’s clothing store, which had moved by then to 624 Market Street:

Ad for Jacob Goldsmith’s store
Philadelphia Public Ledger, October 28, 1868

On the 1870 census, Jacob and Fannie were living with their five younger children. Jacob was working as a merchant and claimed he owned $8000 worth of real property and $2000 worth of personal property.

Jacob Goldsmith (Seligmann’s son) and family 1870 census
Year: 1870; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 12 District 34, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1396; Page: 114A; Family History Library Film: 552895

Their oldest daughter Caroline was no longer living at home in 1870, having married Nathan Rice in 1869; Nathan was born in Philadelphia in 1842 to German immigrant parents, Joseph Reiss and Elizabeth/Betsy Kohn (the spelling was later changed to Rice). In 1870 Nathan and Caroline were living in Dubuque, Iowa, with Nathan’s parents, and Nathan was working as an agent for a wholesale clothing company. His father’s occupation was “retired clothing dealer,” so perhaps Nathan was working in his father’s former business. Caroline and Nathan’s first child, Rena, was born in Iowa in the spring of 1870 and was one month old on June 1 when the census was taken.

Caroline Goldschmidt and Nathan Rice on 1870 census
Year: 1870; Census Place: Dubuque Ward 1, Dubuque, Iowa; Roll: M593_389; Page: 61A; Family History Library Film: 545888

Thus, Uncle Jacob was well established in Philadelphia by 1870 with a large and growing family. He also was joined by several of his siblings during this time, as we will see in my next post.

 

 

 

 

[1] That separation did not last, however. By 1870 Cousin Jacob had moved from Washington to Philadelphia. I spent an entire day trying to decipher which Jacob was which on the 1870 and 1880 census records since both were living in Philadelphia, both had wives named Fannie, both were in the clothing business, and both had many children, including several with the same names. It was a long day!

Walking in Their Footsteps

About two months ago we did a crazy thing.  We drove five and a half hours from western Massachusetts to Philadelphia and spent just 24 hours in the City of Brotherly Love before turning around and returning home.

So how did this crazy thing happen? I had received an email from my third cousin Jan Sluizer. Her great-grandmother Elizabeth Cohen was the sister of my great-grandfather Emanuel Cohen.  We are both the great-great-granddaughters of Jacob Cohen and the three-time great-granddaughters of Hart Levy Cohen.  Jan lives now in California, but she grew up in Philadelphia and was coming east for a high school reunion.  She wanted to know if we could get together.

For several years I have wanted to visit Philadelphia—the place where my earliest American ancestors came in the 1840s, the place where my father was born and raised. Of course, I’d been to Philadelphia many times growing up to visit my grandmother and my aunt.  But I’d never seen where my ancestors lived or were buried. I’d never even seen the places where my father had lived. In fact, I’d never seen Independence Hall or the other historic sights in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia, City Hall

I knew that to do everything I wanted to do, I’d need more than 24 hours. But it has been a hectic fall with far too many weekends away from home.  The most we could do was get there on Saturday and leave on Sunday. And to top it off, a major storm was predicted for Sunday, meaning we’d have to hit the road even earlier than we had once hoped.

It was indeed crazy. But I am so glad we did it.

In the hours we had on Saturday, I managed to accomplish a few of the things I’d wanted to do. First, we took a tour of all the places where my Philadelphia ancestors had lived, starting with my great-great-grandparents Jacob Cohen and Sarah Jacobs and my three-times great-grandparents John Nusbaum and Jeanette Dreyfuss all the way to the last place my father lived in Philadelphia before moving to New York and marrying my mother in 1951.  Here in the order in which my family occupied these places (though not in the order we saw them) are my photographs from that day.

Jacob Cohen lived for many years at 136 South Street. His pawnshop was nearby. And this is where he and my great-great-grandmother Sarah Jacobs raised their thirteen children, including my great-grandfather Emanuel.  I do not think these are the same buildings that were there in the in the mid=19th century, but this is the street where they lived.

136 South Street, where Jacob Cohen and Sarah Jacobs raised their children

South Street, looking towards the river

For decades the Cohens lived in this neighborhood where many of the German Jewish immigrants lived.

But my other early-arriving ancestor John Nusbaum lived on the north side of Philadelphia during this same period at 433 Vine Street and 455 York Street. We drove down these streets, but again the buildings that were there in the era are long gone, and I didn’t take any photographs here. It was mostly warehouse buildings and abandoned or run-down buildings.

Since my Nusbaum ancestor was a successful merchant, I imagine that in his time this area was quite desirable, in fact more desirable than area south of the city where the Cohens lived.  Today, however, the South Street neighborhood is quite chic and inhabited by young professionals and clearly more desirable than the neighborhood where the Nusbaums lived.

Although my great-great-grandparents Bernard Seligman and Frances Nusbaum lived almost their whole married life in Santa Fe, their last years were spent in Philadelphia at 1606 Diamond Street. Bernard died in 1903, and Frances in 1905.  During that same period Bernard’s daughter Eva Seligman Cohen, my great-grandmother, and my great-grandfather Emanuel Cohen were also living on Diamond Street. That neighborhood is also in North Philadelphia.  Here is a Google Streetview of that street today. I don’t think these were the buildings that were there in the early 1900s, but I am not sure.

I had better luck as I moved further into the 20th century.  In 1920 Emanuel Cohen and Eva Seligman Cohen, my great-grandparents, were living on Green Street close to what is now the downtown district of Philadelphia.  It is a lovely tree-lined street with cafes and historic brick townhouses in what is clearly a gentrified neighborhood. I wonder what it was like when my great-grandparents and my grandfather John Cohen lived there in 1920.

2116 Green Street—where in 1920 my great-grandparents Emanuel and Eva Seligman Cohen lived as well as my grandfather John Nusbaum Cohen

We did not have time to get to the West Oak Lane neighborhood in North Philadelphia where my father lived with his parents in 1930 at 6625 North 17th Street, so that’s on my list for when we return.But here is a Google Streetview shot of that street:

6600 block of North 17th Street, Philadelphia

I did find the apartment building where my father and aunt were living with their grandmother Eva Seligman Cohen in 1939 when she died. It is in the downtown area of Philadelphia and still called the Westbury Apartments.

Westbury Apartments on 15th Street where my great-grandmother Eva Seligman Cohen lived with my father and aunt in 1939

In 1940, my father, aunt, and grandmother were living in North Philadelphia at 106 Venango Street.  That building is no longer there unfortunately.  It is now a commercial area with warehouses and factory-like buildings.

But In 1950 they were living on North 21st Street in this building—another lovely tree-lined street not far from the center of the city.

North 21 Street in Philadelphia where my father, aunt, and grandmother lived in 1950

136 North 21st Street, my father’s home in 1950

Touring the city this way was enlightening because it provided some insights into the patterns of gentrification and how they have changed since 1850.  My ancestors for the most part started in the southern part of the city and as they moved up the economic ladder, they moved north of the city to an area that was newer, less crowded, and more “gentrified.” But today that pattern has reversed. Young professionals want to live close to downtown and have returned to the neighborhoods closest to the center of the city like Green Street and South Street.  The neighborhoods around Venango Street and Diamond Street were long ago abandoned by those moving out to the suburbs in the post-World War II period and are now depressed sections of the city.

After a visit to the National Museum of American Jewish History and the Liberty Bell and a walk along Market Street, we met Jan for dinner in the area known as Rittenhouse Square, another gentrified neighborhood with lots of boutiques, bars, and restaurants. Meeting Jan was a delight. We had long ago connected by email when Jan shared all the stories about her father Mervyn Sluizer, Jr., and her grandfather Mervyn, Sr., and the rest of her family. Now we were able to meet face to face, share a meal together, and connect on a deeper level than email allows.

Independence Hall

The Liberty Bell

The following day the rain began, but I was determined to try and see where my ancestors were buried. Our first stop was Mikveh Israel synagogue, where we met Rabbi Albert Gabbai, who took us to the second oldest Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia. Mikveh Israel has been in Philadelphia since before the American Revolution and was where my earliest Cohen ancestors belonged. It was then located about a mile from 136 South Street where Jacob Cohen lived. Although the original building is long, long gone, the synagogue still is in that same neighborhood, now on North 4th Street.  According to the rabbi, it now attracts empty nesters who have moved into downtown Philadelphia. Another example of urban gentrification. Jews who long ago left downtown are now returning in their later years.

Rabbi Gabbai drove us to the Federal Street cemetery, the second oldest Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia, where he patiently and generously guided us with a map to see the gravestones of Jacob and Sarah Cohen as well as the location of Hart Levy Cohen’s grave (his stone has either sunk into the ground or otherwise disappeared).

Federal Street cemetery of Congregation Mikveh Israel

Location of Hart Levy Cohen’s grave. My 3x-great-grandfather

Jacob and Sarah’s grave is marked by one of the largest monuments in the cemetery:

While we walked through the cemetery, I also spotted the stones for Jan’s other great-great-grandparents, Bernard and Margaret Sluizer, and her three-times great-grandmother Jeanette Sluizer. I was very touched when I realized that Bernard and Margaret Sluizer are buried in the plots that abut Jacob and Sarah’s plots.

Grave of Meyer and Margaret Sluizer

I also found a stone for Joseph Jacobs, my 3-times great uncle, brother of Sarah Jacobs Cohen.

Joseph Jacobs, brother of Sarah Jacobs Cohen

Unfortunately, it was pouring by this time, and I could not find any small stones to put on the gravestones to mark my visit, which left me feeling as if I’d let my ancestors down.

After leaving Rabbi Gabbai, we drove north to the two other Philadelphia cemeteries where my ancestors are buried: Mount Sinai and Adath Jeshurun.  Fortunately they are located right next to each other, and I had carefully written down the location of the graves I wanted to visit at Mount Sinai from the records I found on Ancestry. (I did not have that information for Adath Jeshurun, but only a few ancestors are buried there as compared to Mount Sinai.)

Unfortunately, despite my good planning, I had no luck. There was no office and no one at the cemetery; there was no map posted of the cemetery. And there were no obvious markings in the cemetery identifying sections or plots. And it was pouring.

My ever-patient husband sat in the car and drove slowly around as I walked up and down the drives and walkways with an umbrella and in my orthopedic boot,[1] looking for Cohens, Nusbaums, Katzensteins, Schoenthals, and Seligmans.  This was the only one I could find for any of my known relatives:

Simon Schoenthal and family at Mt Sinai cemetery in Philadelphia

This is the stone for Simon Schoenthal, my great-grandfather’s brother, and his wife Rose Mansbach, who was also related to me by the marriage of her cousin Marum Mansbach to my great-great-grandfather Gerson Katzenstein’s sister Hannchen. It also marks the burial place of two of their children, Martin and Harry, as well as Harry’s wife Esther, and their son Norman. I was delighted that I had found this marker, but nevertheless disappointed that I could not find the place where my grandfather John Cohen is buried along with his parents, Emanuel Cohen and Eva Seligman. Nor did I find any of the others I had been hoping to visit.

From there we headed home, leaving Philadelphia exactly 24 hours after we’d arrived. It was a wet and long trip home, but I still was glad we had made this whirlwind visit. I was able to meet Jan, I saw places where my ancestors lived and are buried, and we were introduced to the city where so many of my relatives have lived. It was not enough, so we will have to return. Next time we will need to spend at least 48 hours!

 

[1] I had broken my ankle a few weeks before the trip. It’s better now.

Rebekka and Regina: Sisters with Intertwined Lives

The last two children of Mina Katzenstein and Wolf Katzenstein were Rebekka and Regina, and because their fates are intertwined in several ways, I will discuss both in this post.

Rebekka was born on August 28, 1865, in Frankenau. Regina was born two years later on September 24, 1867.

Rebekka Katzenstein birth record Arcinsys
HHStAW Fonds 365 No 174

Regina Katzenstein birth record arcinsys
HHStAW Fonds 365 No 174, p. 8

Rebekka married her cousin Salomon Schalom Kneibel Katz (apparently known as Kneibel) on April 30, 1889, as discussed previously.

Marriage of Rebekka Katzenstein and Salomon Kneibel Katz
Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Collection: Personenstandsregister Heiratsregister; Signatur: 920; Laufende Nummer: 3844

Two and a half years later, on November 25, 1891, Regina Katzenstein married Selig(mann) Alexander in Frankenau. He was born on September 20, 1861, in Momberg, the son of Joseph Alexander and Fradchen Frank.

Marriage of Regina Katzenstein to Selig Alexander
Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Standesamt Frankenau Heiratsnebenregister 1891 (Hstamr Best. 922 Nr. 3226); Collection: Personenstandsregister Heiratsregister; Signatur: 922

Rebekka and Salomon Kneibel Katz had four children, three sons and one daughter. Their first child was Berthold; he was born on May 15, 1890, in Jesberg.

Berthold Katz birth record
HStAMR Best. 920 Nr. 3821 Standesamt Jesberg Geburtsnebenregister 1890, S. 36

Then came Rebekka and Salomon’s only daughter, Therese. She was born November 11, 1891, in Jesberg.

Therese Katz birth record
Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Collection: Personenstandsregister Geburtsregister; Signatur: 920; Laufende Nummer: 3822

Two sons followed Therese. Julius was born May 30, 1893, in Jesberg.

Julius Katz birth record
Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Collection: Personenstandsregister Geburtsregister; Signatur: 920; Laufende Nummer: 3824

And Jakob Katz was born April 14, 1895, in Jesberg.

Jakob Katz birth record
Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Collection: Personenstandsregister Geburtsregister; Signatur: 920; Laufende Nummer: 3826

Meanwhile, Regina and her husband Selig Alexander were also having children in the 1890s. Regina gave birth to seven children, but only four survived infancy. The first child, a girl, was stillborn on January 9, 1893.

Stillborn daughter of Regina Katzenstein and Selig Alexander
Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 6560

Less than a year later, Regina gave birth to Bertha on December 28, 1893, in Momberg.

Bertha Alexander birth record
Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Collection: Personenstandsregister Geburtsregister; Signatur: 915; Laufende Nummer: 6476

Regina and Selig’s third child was Rosa. She was born in Momberg on January 18, 1896.

Rosa Alexander birth record
Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Collection: Personenstandsregister Geburtsregister; Signatur: 915; Laufende Nummer: 6479

Almost two years after Rosa’s birth, on December 22, 1897, Regina gave birth to her fourth child, Mina, named for Regina’s mother Mina Katzenstein, who had died on September 5, 1896.

Mina Alexander birth record
Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Collection: Personenstandsregister Geburtsregister; Signatur: 915; Laufende Nummer: 6480

After giving birth to Mina, Regina and Selig lost two sons in infancy. Little Joseph Alexander lived only thirteen days, dying on January 24, 1902. His brother Manus lived for two months, dying on March 23, 1903.

Joseph Alexander death record
Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 6569

Manus Alexander death record
Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 6570

The seventh and last child I have for Regina Katzenstein and Selig Alexander was a son named Samuel, born January 1, 1906, according to a source provided by Barbara Greve, Barbara Haendler-Lachmann’s Schicksale der Juden im alten Landkreis Marburg 1933-1945, Hitzeroth, Marburg 1992, p. 125. Without Barbara Greve’s help, I never would have known about this seventh child as there was no available birth record for him online.

Thus, of the seven children born to Regina and Selig Alexander, only Bertha, Rosa, Mina, and Samuel lived to adulthood.

In many ways the two Katzenstein sisters were following similar paths at the same time, Rebekka in Jesberg, Regina in Momberg, fifteen miles apart. Their lives became even more intertwined on August 21, 1923, when Rebekka’s son Jakob married Regina’s daughter Rosa.

Marriage record of Rosa Alexander and Jakob Katz
Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Collection: Personenstandsregister Heiratsregister; Signatur: 915; Laufende Nummer: 6208

That is, Rosa Alexander married her first cousin, Jakob Katz. They had three daughters who were not only sisters but also second cousins to each other. Rebekka and Regina shared granddaughters who were also their great-nieces. Remember also that Rebekka and her husband Salomon Kneibel were also cousins to each other, so Salomon Kneibel was not only his children’s father but also their cousin and the same for Rebekka.

As for Rebekka and Regina’s other children, they made my life easier by marrying outside of the family.

The first to marry was Rebekka’s daughter Therese. On June 16, 1919, she married Hermann Blum, who was born in Kuelsheim on July 7, 1883, son of Abraham and Sophie Blum. I have not been able to identify any children born to Therese and Hermann.

Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Collection: Personenstandsregister Heiratsregister; Signatur: 920; Laufende Nummer: 3872

Rebekka’s oldest son Berthold married Ida Blumenstiel on January 20, 1920. Ida was the daughter of Hugo Blumenstiel and Bertha Weinberg of Mansbach, Germany. She was born July 9, 1893.

Marriage record of Berthold Katz and Ida Blumenstiel
Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Standesamt Hersfeld, Bad Heiratsnebenregister 1920, Eintrags-Nr. 1 – 78; Collection: Personenstandsregister Heiratsregister; Signatur: 907

Berthold and Ida would have two children born in the 1920s, Senta (1921) and Ludwig (1924).

I have not found any marriage record for Rebekka’s son Julius, and, as discussed above, her son Jakob married his cousin Rosa on August 21, 1923, and they had three daughters.

As for Regina’s children, Bertha Alexander married Julius Simon on June 26, 1922, in Momberg. He was the son of Moses Simon and Fanni Katz and was born in Pohl-Goens on May 29, 1891.

Marriage record of Bertha Alexander and Julius Simon
Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Collection: Personenstandsregister Heiratsregister; Signatur: 915; Laufende Nummer: 6207

I have not been able to locate any record of children born to Bertha and Julius, nor do I have any records for them after their marriage, but I am still looking. Thank you to Aaron Knappstein for finding this photograph of Julius Simon on the Vor dem Holocaust – Fotos zum jüdischen Alltagsleben in Hessen website. According to the website, this was taken in 1916 when Julius was a soldier in the Germany army during World War I.

I am still hoping to locate some records that will reveal what happened to Julius Simon and Bertha Alexander.

Bertha’s younger sister Rosa Alexander married Jakob Katz, as discussed above. The third sister Mina Alexander married Leo Wachenheimer in Momberg on December 25, 1927. Leo was the son of Meier Wachenheimer and Klara Rothschild; he was born on March 23, 1897, in Biebesheim, Germany. Mina and Leo would have two children.

Marriage record of Mina Alexander and Leo Wacheneimer
Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Collection: Personenstandsregister Heiratsregister; Signatur: 915; Laufende Nummer: 6212

According to Barbara Greve, Regina and Seligmann’s only surviving son, Samuel, married Lottie Weiler in July 1933; Lottie was born in Marburg on January 10, 1913, according to the JOWBR. I do not have names for her parents. Samuel and Lottie had one son, Hans-Joseph Alexander, according to Barbara Greve.

Rebekka Katzenstein Katz died in Jesberg on March 2, 1927; she was only 61 years old. Her husband Salomon Scholum Kneibel Katz died two years later on May 2, 1929.  He was 69.

Death record of Rebekka Katzenstein Katz
Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 920; Laufende Nummer: 3918

Here is the photograph I took in the Jesberg cemetery of Rebekka’s grave long before I knew the whole story of their family; sadly, I do not have a photograph of her husband’s gravestone:

The rest of the families of Rebekka and Regina Katzenstein survived into the Nazi era, and it appears that every single one of them left Germany in time—all of Rebekka and Salomon Kneibel’s children and spouses and grandchildren as well as Regina Katzenstein and Selig Alexander and at least three of their four children and spouses and grandchildren. The only couple I’ve been unable to find in any later record or index are Regina’s daughter Bertha and her husband Julius Simon.

Almost all the rest of the families of Rebekka Katzenstein and her sister Regina Katzenstein ended up in Johannesburg, South Africa. Unfortunately, I don’t have any actual records or documents that reveal when the family arrived there or any other information aside from their deaths and burials.

But I was fortunate to connect with John Leach, a relative by marriage of Leo Wachenheimer, husband of Mina Alexander. From John I learned that Leo had been a cattle dealer in Germany and had also worked in his father’s kosher butcher business. Leo was arrested by the Nazis in 1935 for doing business with a non-Jew; when he was released, he escaped from Germany to South Africa, where he opened a kosher butcher shop. Soon many family members followed him, including his wife Mina and their children, his in-laws Regina and Selig Alexander, his sister-in-law Rosa Alexander Katz and her husband Jakob Katz and their three children, and Jakob Katz’s sister Therese Katz and her husband Hermann Blum and Jakob’s brother Julius Katz. They all appear to have spent the rest of their lives in Johannesburg.

The only descendants of Rebekka or Regina who did not go to South Africa were Rebekka’s son Berthold and his wife Ida and their children, Senta and Ludwig. Instead, they went to the United States. Their daughter Senta arrived first on October 8, 1938, and Berthold, Ida, Ludwig, and Ida’s mother Bertha Blumenstiel arrived on November 25, 1938; they were all going to a cousin, Leo Katzmann in the Bronx:

Senta Katz 1938 passenger manifest
Year: 1938; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 6238; Line: 1; Page Number: 176
Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957

Berthold Katz and family passenger manifest
Year: 1938; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 6254; Line: 1; Page Number: 68
Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957

By 1940, they had settled in Philadelphia where Berthold was working as a salesman for a paper bag company and Senta was working as a packer for a children’s dress company. Bertha’s mother-in-law Bertha Blumenstiel was also living with them.

Berthold Katz and family 1940 US census
Year: 1940; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T627_3733; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 51-1446

That same year Senta married Julius Idstein, who was also a refugee from Germany. (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Marriage Index, 1885-1951)  Julius was born on August 6, 1906, in Bad Homburg, and came to the United States on October 20, 1938. On his World War II draft registration, he reported that he was a partner in business with Berthold Katz, his father-in-law. On Berthold’s registration, he reported that he owned a paper products business. So between his arrival in 1938 and 1942, Berthold had become a business owner in partnership with his son-in-law Julius.

Julius Idstein World War II draft registration
Selective Service Registration Cards, World War II: Multiple Registrations

World War II draft registration for Berthold Katz
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

Sadly, Berthold’s wife Ida died at age 48 of liver cancer on December 29, 1941.

Ida Blumenstiel Katz death certificate
Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Certificate Number Range: 109451-112000

Their son Ludwig was in college at Temple College (now Temple University) in Philadelphia in 1942:

Ludwig Katz World War II draft registration
Selective Service Registration Cards, World War II: Multiple Registrations

In 1943, Berthold remarried; his second wife was Betty Nussbaum, and she also was a German native, born in Mansbach on February 4, 1893. She had come to the US in 1925 on her own; her parents stayed behind where her mother died in 1939 and her father died in the Theriesenstadt concentration camp in 1942. (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Marriage Index, 1885-1951)

Berthold died from stomach cancer on March 5, 1959; he was 68 years old; his second wife Betty died in 1977:

Berthold Katz death certificate
Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Certificate Number Range: 026551-029250

Meanwhile, Berthold’s siblings and first cousins and aunt and uncle were all living in South Africa.  His aunt Regina Katzenstein Alexander died on October 14, 1942, and her husband Selig Alexander died on May 5, 1949; they are buried at West Park Cemetery in Johannesburg. (JewishGen Online World Burial Registry (JOWBR)). Charmaine Rosenberg of the Johannesburg Chevra Kadisha kindly sent me the following photograph of Regina’s headstone:

Headstone of Regina Katzenstein Alexander

Berthold’s daughter Senta and her husband Julius Idstein had five children. Julius died in 1981, and Senta lived until 2003. She was 82 when she died.

Berthold’s son Ludwig became a nuclear physicist and was a senior scientist for Visidyne, Inc. in Burlington, Massachusetts, when he was killed in a car accident on March 18, 1981. He was 57 years old and was survived by his wife and two children. “Ludwig Katz, Swampscott,” Boston Herald (March 25, 1981), p. 40.

As for the family in South Africa, I have no information other than their dates of death and burial place. All those named below are, like Regina Katzenstein and Selig Alexander, buried at the West Park Cemetery in Johannesburg, and all this information comes from the JOWBR on Jewishgen.org and from Charmaine Rosenberg of the Chevra Kadisha in Johannesburg. I am very grateful to Charmaine for providing me with these photographs of the headstones.

Julius Katz died on November 11, 1958, when he was 65. As far as I know, he never married or had children.

Headstone of Julius Katz

Therese Katz died on September 28, 1964, eight years after her husband Hermann Blum, who died on December 23, 1956. She was 73, he was also 73 when he died. As far as I have been able to determine, they did not have children.

Headstone of Therese Katz Blum and Hermann Blum

Jakob Katz died on August 24, 1974; he was 79. His wife and first cousin Rosa Alexander Katz outlived him by 23 years. She was almost 101 when she died on June 14, 1997.

Headstone of Jakob Katz

Rosa’s sister Mina Alexander Wachenheimer also outlived her husband by many years. Leo Wachenheimer died on January 23, 1969, when he was 72. Mina survived him by over twenty years, dying on December 23, 1989, when she was 92.

Headstone of Mina (Minna) Alexander Wachenheimer

Headstone of Leo Wachenheimer

Samuel Alexander died on June 21, 1989; he was 83. He had outlived his wife Lotte by seventeen years; she died on January 11, 1972, when she was 59.

Overall, the children of both Rebekka and Regina Katzenstein, daughters of Mina Katzenstein and Wolf Katzenstein, were fortunate to escape from Nazi Germany when they did. Perhaps Leo Wachenheimer’s arrest in 1935 was the key that opened the door to the survival of all of them.

 

 

 

 

 

My Crazy Twisted Tree and My Hessian Cousins

A detour from my Katzenstein relatives this week to discuss two other interesting discoveries.  First, this one for Women’s History Month:

A year ago in March, 2016, during Women’s History Month, I wrote a post about Rose Mansbach Schoenthal, wife of my great-grandfather’s brother, Simon Schoenthal, and the mother of ten children, nine of whom survived to adulthood.  She came to the US from Germany in 1867 when she was sixteen, apparently alone, as far as I can tell from the ship manifest. She married Simon in 1872 and lived in Philadelphia, Atlantic City, and Tucson during her life. Simon died when he was only 54, and Rose was left to raise the three children who were still teenagers on her own.

Rose Mansbach Schoenthal

Rose Mansbach Schoenthal

But what I didn’t know when I first posted about Rose was anything about her life before she came to the US or the first five years she was in the US. I didn’t know her background, where she was born, her parents, anything.  One family tree on Ancestry said she was born in Gudensberg in 1850, but cited no records to support that assertion.

Then a month or so ago when I was reviewing the family of Marum Mansbach and Hannchen Katzenstein, David Baron told me about a report of the extended Mansbach family that appears on Hans-Peter Klein’s website, Juden in Nordhessen.  David said that he believed that Roeschen Mansbach, who was listed in this report as the daughter of Lippmann Mansbach and Frederike Kaufman, was the same woman who married Simon Schoenthal.  I was intrigued and wrote to Hans-Peter to see what else he could tell me about Roeschen.

Hans-Peter wrote that Roeschen had had a brother Isaac who had immigrated to the US and settled in Philadelphia, where he became well-known for his glass and bottles. With that additional bit of information, I decided to see what I could learn about Isaac and whether I could tie him to Rose Mansbach Schoenthal.

First, I should explain how Roeschen Mansbach is related to my family.  Her great-grandfather was Abraham Mansbach I, who was the grandfather of Marum Mansbach, husband of my great-great-grandfather Gerson’s half-sister Hannchen Katzenstein. So Roeschen was a second cousin to the three Mansbach children who were Gerson Katzenstein’s nephews and niece: Henrietta Mansbach Gump, Abraham Mansbach, and H.H. Mansbach.  She was not a blood relative of mine, but related only through marriage.

Here is Roeschen’s birth record.  She was born on May 24, 1851 in Maden:

Roeschen Mansbach birth record

Roeschen Mansbach birth record

I decided to start my research into the question of whether Lippmann’s daughter Roeschen was the same woman as the Rose Mansbach who married Simon Schoenthal by reviewing the documents I’d already found for Rose.  None mentioned her father’s name or place of birth (except the one family tree for which there were no sources), but there was one census record from the 1870 census that I had saved long ago because it listed a Rosa Mansbach.  When I’d saved it, I had not been sure it was the same Rose Mansbach so had not included it in my post about Rose back in March, 2016.

The reason I had not been sure it was for the same Rose in my initial search was that this Rosa Mansbach was living in Chicago in 1870.  Although she was the right age (19) and born in Hesse Kassel, as was my Rose, I couldn’t figure out what she was doing in Chicago and why she was living with a family whose name meant nothing to me.  Then.

But now, in January, 2017, when I re-examined it, the name was very familiar.

Rose Mansbach on 1870 census Year: 1870; Census Place: Chicago Ward 10, Cook, Illinois

Rosa Mansbach on 1870 census
Year: 1870; Census Place: Chicago Ward 10, Cook, Illinois

This Rosa Mansbach was living with the family of David Gump, a “merchant tailor” born in Germany, 33 years old. His wife Caroline had been born in Hesse Kassel, and their four children—Ida, Martin, Harry, and Mary—were all born in Pennsylvania. Looking at this census report with fresh eyes, I knew immediately that this Gump family had to be related to the family of Gabriel Gump, who married Henrietta Mansbach, and Eliza Gump, who married Abraham Mansbach.  In fact, as I checked further, I learned that David Gump was the brother of Gabriel and Eliza Gump.

I knew then that this could not be coincidence, that the Rosa Mansbach living with David Gump had to be related to Abraham and Henrietta and H.H. Mansbach, the niece and nephews of my great-great-grandfather Gerson Katzenstein.  Further research revealed that David Gump’s wife’s birth name was Caroline Mansbach.  Although I’ve yet to figure out how she was related to Rose and the other Mansbachs, I have to believe that she also was part of the Mansbach from Maden family.

relationship-rose-to-david-gump-p-1

rose-to-david-p-2

 

Thus, it seemed quite likely that the Rose Mansbach living with David Gump in Chicago in 1870 was somehow connected to the Mansbachs who were related to Gerson Katzenstein. But was this Rose Mansbach the same woman who two years later in 1872 married Simon Schoenthal? That remained the big question.

In 1870, Simon Schoenthal was living in Washington, Pennsylvania.  After marrying Rose, he remained in western Pennsylvania for several years and then they relocated to Philadelphia and eventually to Atlantic City.  Was there any way to tie Simon’s wife Rose Mansbach to the Rose Mansbach who’d been living in Chicago with David Gump? I wasn’t sure.

So I decided to take a different approach.  Hans-Peter believed that Roeschen Mansbach’s brother Isaac had also immigrated to the US and settled in Philadelphia.  Perhaps I could find a way to connect him to the Schoenthals and strengthen the inference that his sister Roeschen married my great-grandfather’s brother Simon.

The earliest document I found for Isaac Mansbach was an 1868 passenger ship manifest for an Isac Mansbach, a merchant from Germany, twenty years old.

Isac Mansbach 1868 ship manifest Year: 1868; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 291; Line: 1; List Number: 155

Isac Mansbach 1868 ship manifest
Year: 1868; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 291; Line: 1; List Number: 155

Then, on the 1870 census I found a twenty year-old Isaac Mansbach, a clothing merchant born in “German Prussia,” living in a hotel in Newport, Pennsylvania. Newport is about 25 miles northwest of Harrisburg, about 120 miles west of Philadelphia.

1870-us-census-isaac-and-lewis-mansbach

Living with him in the hotel was a 45 year old “Lewis Mansbach,” a peddler born in Prussia.  Could this be Lippmann Mansbach, father of Isaac and Roeschen?  Hans-Peter’s research indicated that Lippmann died in Maden, Germany in 1877.  Could he have come to the US for some years and then returned? According to Hans-Peter’s research, Lippmann was born in 1813, so he would have been closer to 55 than 45 in 1870.  And I’ve found no other US record for a Lewis/Louis Mansbach of that age, so I didn’t know with any certainty who this man was. But the fact that Isaac Mansbach named his first child Louis in 1875 made me think that the 45 year old “Lewis” Mansbach living with him in 1870 was his father Lippmann.

So I wrote to Hans-Peter to see if he had any other information about Lippmann Mansbach and specifically about whether he had ever emigrated from Germany.  I was particularly interested in whether he had a death record for Lippmann.  I was delighted when I received a reply that included that death record.  It in fact showed that Lippman (really Liebmann) had died not in 1877, but on October 5, 1874.  That explained why Isaac named his first son Louis in 1875.  It also left open the possibility that although Liebmann died in Maden, he very well could have been living with his son Isaac in Newport, Pennsylvania, in 1870, and then returned to Germany before he died.

liebmann-mansbach-death-1874

Liebmann Mansbach death record

As for Isaac, he married Bertha Schwartz on March 23, 1873, according to the Pennsylvania Marriages 1709-1940 database on familysearch.org. Bertha was born on April 25, 1853, in Germany, but I have not yet been able to find out much more about her background.  However, in 1876, Isaac was in the liquor business with a man named Marks Schwartz; the business was called Schwartz & Mansbach and is listed in several Philadelphia directories. Marks has so far proven to be as elusive as Bertha, but I have to believe they were either father and daughter or brother and sister.

liquor-license-applications-1892-philad

The Philadelphia Inquirer, February 18, 1892, p. 7

The Philadelphia Inquirer, February 18, 1892, p. 7

According to a website devoted to cataloging the names of all pre-Prohibition era liquor dealers in the United States, Isaac Mansbach was in business with Marks Schwartz for about twenty years (1876-1896). At that point Isaac went out on his own with his son Louis.  In 1910, he and his wife Bertha were running the business.

isaac-mansbach-ad-in-dc-paper

I found the above advertisement for Isaac’s business in the November 14, 1901, Washington (DC) Evening Times; even more exciting was this invoice for a sale his business made on June 11, 1907, to a J.J. Walsh of Springfield, Massachusetts! (FYI—I live just a few miles outside of Springfield, known today primarily as being the birthplace of basketball).  Obviously Isaac had a successful business as he was engaged in transactions far from Philadelphia.

Hans-Peter had mentioned that he thought that Isaac was in the glass and bottle business, and I think I know why. As a distributor of liquor, the business had bottles made that were marked with the distributor’s name, as depicted below.

They also sold shot glasses embossed with the company’s name:

The pre-Prohibition website went on to report that sometime before 1918, Isaac Mansbach dissolved his own business and in 1919 went into business with a new partner.

That new partner was Harry Schoenthal.  Yes, Harry Schoenthal, the son of Simon Schoenthal and Rose Mansbach. I knew this was the same Harry Schoenthal because I knew that Harry had been in the liquor business in Philadelphia.  As I wrote just about a year ago, in 1910 Harry was living in Philadelphia and listed his occupation as the owner of a “retail saloon,” His sister Hettie’s family shared with me this photograph of “Uncle Harry” and his liquor business. I wonder if one of those other men was Isaac Mansbach.

Uncle Harry's Beer Business Courtesy of the family of Hettie Schoenthal Stein

Uncle Harry’s liquor Business
Courtesy of the family of Hettie Schoenthal Stein

So in 1919, my cousin Harry Schoenthal, the son of Rose Mansbach and Simon Schoenthal, went into business with Isaac Mansbach, his mother’s brother.

I had thus found the missing link that tied Roeschen Mansbach, Isaac’s sister and the cousin of Henrietta, Abraham, and H.H. Mansbach (children of Hannchen Katzenstein), to the Rose Mansbach who married my great-grandfather’s brother Simon Schoenthal.  There was yet another connection between the Schoenthals and the Katzensteins in addition, of course, to that between my great-grandparents, Isidore Schoenthal and Hilda Katzenstein.

I was hoping that finding Rose’s family would somehow lead me to more clues about the mystery of her namesake and granddaughter Rose Mansbach Schoenthal, the child who appeared on the 1930 census and then disappeared.  But alas, I’ve not yet found anything new to help me solve that mystery.