Milton Goldsmith’s Family Album, Part X: A Son’s Loving Tribute to His Mother

This is Part X of an ongoing series of posts based on the family album of Milton Goldsmith, so generously shared with me by his granddaughter Sue. See Part I, Part II, Part IIIPart IVPart VPart VI, Part VII , Part VIII,  and Part IX at the links.

This is by far the sweetest and saddest page in Milton Goldsmith’s album, a page dedicated to his beloved mother, Cecelia Adler Goldsmith, who died in 1874 when Milton was thirteen years old:

It reads:

Our beloved Mother, who alas, passed away too early and whose death brought not only sorrow, but all kinds of misfortune.

She was the only child of Samuel and Sarah Adler, was born in Germany, but arrived in Philadelphia at the age of one year.  She grew to womanhood, a very beautiful girl;- rather short in stature, round in figure, a head of brown ringlets, – a belle among the Jewesses of her day and circle. She had many admirers.  Father proposed to her over a plate of ice-cream on “Simchas Torah”, a Jewish holiday.  It was in every way a “Love-match” which was only terminated at her death.  She died of peritonitis, which to-day would be called Apendicitis [sic]. A perfect wife, – a wonderful mother, – A woman whose children call her blessed.

She died Nov. 8th 1874, at the age of 35 years. I was 13 at the time of her death, the oldest of six children.

It’s interesting to read what Milton thought was the cause of his mother’s death, which conflicts with her death certificate. According to the death certificate, she died from apoplexia nervosa:

“Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-69HW-K75?cc=1320976&wc=9F52-L29%3A1073307201 : 16 May 2014), 004010206 > image 874 of 1214; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

In the upper left corner, Milton inserted a piece of Cecelia’s wedding veil:

In the lower right corner, he inserted a piece of fabric from one of her ball gowns.

What a sweet and sentimental thing for a son to do. How devastated he and his father and siblings must have been when Cecelia died.

 

Milton Goldsmith’s Family Album, Part IX: The Missing Babies

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

After reading last week’s post about the birth records found in her grandfather’s family album and the speculation as to why only five of Abraham Goldsmith’s ten children were listed, my cousin Sue went back to the album and realized that she could remove the page with the birth records. On the back were not only birth records for Abraham’s other five children; there was also a sad entry for the death of his first wife Cecelia:

All of the birth entries again confirmed what I’d found in the official records, and once again Abraham entered not only the dates, but the times the babies were born.

For Estella, who often was referred to in records as Estelle, he introduced her as “our sixth baby.”

Then there is the heartbreaking entry for Cecelia:

My beloved wife Cecelia Goldsmith died on Sunday the 8th day of November 1874 at 6 o’clock PM after an illness of 6 days. Hebrew date [inserted in Hebrew]

May she rest in peace.

Abr.Goldsmith

Abraham’s signature here confirmed my hunch that he was the one who wrote all these entries (except the dates of death that occurred after his own death).

The next entry is for Alfred, who was Abraham’s first child with his second wife, Frances Spanier, But there is no break in the record to reflect that Alfred had a different mother from the first six children. He is introduced as “Our seventh boy” [emphasis added], despite the fact that he is the first child of Frances. You may notice that Alfred is the only one on this page who has a date of death.  That’s because those dates were entered by Milton, and the other four on this page—Estella, Bertha, Alice, and Louis—all outlived Milton.

Similarly Bertha is introduced as “Our Baby Bertha.” Then Abraham records the birth of “Baby Alice,” and finally the last child, Louis Seligman. At the end of the entry for Louis, Abraham wrote, “Louis Spanier his [?].”

Can anyone decipher what that says? From a later page in the album I learned who Louis Spanier was—Frances Spanier’s uncle—so Louis Goldsmith’s great-uncle. But that does not say “great-uncle” or “namesake” as far as I can tell.

And I got quite a kick out of the last word on this page: Finished. I don’t know whether Abraham wrote that to indicate the records were now completed or to emphasize that he was ready to be done having children after Number 10!

 

Milton Goldsmith’s Family Album, Part VIII: Birth Records

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

This record of the births of five of the children of Abraham Goldsmith and Cecelia Adler touched my heart.

I love the florid old script.  Who wrote these entries? Was it Abraham or Cecelia? I wasn’t sure at first, but I was reassured by this record that all the dates I had for the births (and deaths) of these five children were correct.  I loved that the writer added the time of birth, giving a personal touch to the facts.

For the first two entries, there are also Hebrew inscriptions. Thank you to Tracing the Tribe for helping me with these.  For Milton, it says “Mendel Goldsmith born 12 Sivan  5621.” Milton had mentioned on an earlier page that Mendel was his Hebrew name given to him in memory of his maternal grandfather.

The second entry is for Hildegard or Hilda, as she was called on the records I found. How sweet to see the formal name her parents gave her. Hilda died two months before her fourteenth birthday, as I wrote here and as noted on this record. Looking at this entry more carefully, I noted that whoever wrote the entry for her death had also written the entry for her birth.  It is the same handwriting.  And since her mother Cecelia had died in 1874, two years before Hilda died on June 7, 1876, that means that Abraham wrote this entry and all the other birth entries on this record.

No one on Tracing the Tribe was able to translate the Hebrew inscription for Hildegard except to say that it also states her birth date. Her Hebrew name was not legible. I guess Abraham’s Hebrew writing had deteriorated between Milton’s birth and Hilda’s. And the fact that he did not include any Hebrew for the next three children’s birth records may be a sign of his assimilation into secular American society.

It’s also interesting to see how Abraham introduced these entries.  Milton was “our boy.”  Hildegard was “our daughter.” Edwin has no descriptive introduction, nor does Emily, but Rosalinda is “our fourth baby.” (I also never knew that Rose was formally named Rosalinda—what a beautiful name!) I wonder whether Abraham wrote each of these at the time the baby was born or all at once. Since some of these have introductions and others do not, I think each was done separately when each baby was born.

For the last three entries—for Edwin, Rosalinda, and Emily—someone other than Abraham inscribed the information about their deaths. I assume Milton added this information as he outlived all three of those siblings. And there is no death date added to the entry made for Milton.

What is perhaps most perplexing about this page from Milton’s album is the absence of an entry for Abraham and Cecelia’s sixth child, Estelle. Estelle was born on January 20, 1870. Had Abraham lost interest in recording his children’s births by the time his sixth child was born? Or was there a second page that included Estelle (and perhaps Abraham’s four children with his second wife Frances Spanier) that somehow was lost and thus not included in Milton’s album?

 

Milton Goldsmith’s Family Album, Part VII: Abraham Goldsmith and Cecelia Adler Get Married

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

On the page following the photographs of his parents Abraham and Cecelia, Milton included a letter written by his mother on November 5, 1857, which, according to Milton, was shortly before their engagement.

Reading this reminded me of what it was like before cheap phone calls and email made handwritten letters obsolete. When my husband and I were dating the year before our engagement, we also wrote letters back and forth. Of course, we were living several hundred miles apart (but still tried to see each other every weekend) whereas Abraham and Cecelia both were living in Philadelphia. But perhaps letters were the only places they had any ability to communicate privately.

Here is Cecelia’s letter:

Some words were cut off on the right margin and at the bottom, but I have tried to transcribe it as best I can and added some punctuation and capitalization for purposes of clarity. Cecelia was a few weeks short of her nineteenth birthday when she wrote this letter, and Abraham was twenty-five.

 

                                                                                                         Phil. Nov. 5th

Dear Ab,

The few lines you have written to me give me a great deal of pleasure, for informing me of your health & good night’s rest. I passed an excellent night as[?] my cold is a great deal better though I am rather hoarse yet.  My Dear, I forgot to give you Henrietta’s [?] shawl last night, but it will and[?] as well tonight. I would send over the boy with it, but I am afraid he can not find the place. I am obliged for sending me the book & will look through it as soon as possible. Come early this evening, if you can.

I remain yours forever,

                                                                                                         Cely

If you hear of any thing important & have time, write me a note this [?].

 

If anyone can read it any better than I did, please let me know.

Appropriately, Milton placed the invitation to his parents’ wedding on the page that followed:

Note that the invitation is dated January 1, 1858, for a wedding to take place on January 27, 1858—less than four weeks later. Today it seems that wedding invitations arrive at least two months in advance (often preceded by Save the Date cards). Also, the wedding was to take place at Cecelia’s parents’ home at 440 North Second Street in Philadelphia, not in a fancy catering hall or hotel or resort, as many are these days. Life was so much simpler back then.

But life was also so much harder. Cecelia died less than seventeen years later on November 8, 1874, from apoplexia nervosa, or a stroke. She was only 35 and left behind her husband Abraham and six children ranging in age from Estelle, who was four, to Milton, who was thirteen.

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

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

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

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

Abraham Goldsmith, courtesy of Julian Reinheimer

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

Cecelia Adler, courtesy of Julian Reinheimer

Could the two framed photographs be their wedding photographs?

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

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

Cecelia Adler Goldsmith, courtesy of Sue Jacobson

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hinka Alexander Goldschmidt. Courtesy of David Baron and Roger Cibella

Jacob Goldsmith, The final chapter: What happened to his son Frank?

As of 1930, only six of Jacob Goldsmith’s fourteen children were still living: Annie, Celia, Frank, Rebecca, Florence, and Gertrude. As seen in my prior posts, Eva died in 1928. In addition, I have written about the deaths of Gertrude in 1937 and Rebecca in 1940. There remain therefore just four siblings to discuss, and by 1945, they were all deceased.

Annie and Celia, the two oldest remaining siblings, both died in 1933. Celia, who’d been living with her sister Florence and her family in 1930, died on January 15, 1933, in Denver, and was buried in Philadelphia on January 18, 1933. She was 73 years old.  Celia never married and has no living descendants.1

Her sister Annie died four months later, on May 29, 1933, in San Francisco.2 She was 77 and was survived by her three children, Josephine, Harry, and Fanny. Sadly, Harry did not outlive his mother by much more than a year. He died at 53 on August 4, 1934, in San Francisco.3 He was survived by his wife Rose, who died in 1969, and his two sisters, Josephine and Fanny. But Josephine also was not destined for a long life. She died less than three years after her brother Harry on April 23, 1937; she was 59. Like their father Augustus who’d died when he was fifty, Josephine and Harry were not blessed with longevity.

Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 05 March 2019), memorial page for Fannie Mendelsohn Frank (unknown–1 Sep 1974), Find A Grave Memorial no. 100371723, citing Home of Peace Cemetery and Emanu-El Mausoleum, Colma, San Mateo County, California, USA ; Maintained by Diane Reich (contributor 40197331) .

Of Augustus and Annie’s children, only Fanny lived a good long life. She was 93 when she died on September 1, 1974.4 According to her death notice in the San Francisco Chronicle, she had been a dealer in Oriental art objects.5 Like Josephine, Fanny had never married and had no children, nor did their brother Harry. Thus, there are no living descendants of Annie Goldsmith Frank.

Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 05 March 2019), memorial page for Fannie Mendelsohn Frank (unknown–1 Sep 1974), Find A Grave Memorial no. 100371723, citing Home of Peace Cemetery and Emanu-El Mausoleum, Colma, San Mateo County, California, USA ; Maintained by Diane Reich (contributor 40197331) .

The third remaining child of Jacob Goldsmith was Florence Goldsmith Emanuel. In 1930, Florence was living with her husband Jerry Emanuel in Denver as well as their nephew Bernard, the son of Gertrude Goldsmith and Jacob Emanuel, and Florence’s sister Celia. Jerry was working as a clerk in a wholesale tobacco business. In 1940, they were still living in Denver, now with Jerry’s sister Grace in their home, and Jerry was working as a salesman for a wholesale liquor business.6

Emanuel family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Denver, Denver, Colorado; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0137; FHL microfilm: 2339973
Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census

Florence Goldsmith Emanuel died on August 4, 1942, at the age of 73. Her husband Jerry survived her by another seventeen years. He died on June 16, 1959, and is buried with Florence in Denver. He was 89. Florence and Jerry did not have children, so like so many of Florence’s siblings, there are no living descendants.7

That brings me to the last remaining child of Jacob Goldsmith and Fannie Silverman, their son Frank. In 1930, Frank and his wife Barbara were living in Atlantic City, and Frank was retired.8 On July 25, 1937, Barbara died in Philadelphia; she was 67. Like Frank’s parents and many of his siblings, she was buried at Mt Sinai cemetery in Philadelphia; in fact, she was buried in the same lot as Celia and Rachel Goldsmith and one lot over from her in-laws Jacob and Fannie Goldsmith.9

I mention this because for the longest time I was having no luck finding out when or where Frank Goldsmith died or was buried. In 1940, he was living as a widower in the Albemarle Hotel in Atlantic City, and the 1941 Atlantic City directory lists Frank as a resident.9 But after that he disappeared. I couldn’t find any obituaries or death records, but what really mystified me was that there was no record of his burial with his wife Barbara and his other family members at Mt Sinai cemetery.

I contacted Mt Sinai and learned that the plot that had been reserved for Frank is still unused. Barbara is buried with Frank’s sisters Celia and Rachel and one lot over from Frank’s parents. But Frank is not there. Here are two of the Mt Sinai burial records showing that Barbara and Celia are buried right near each other in lots owned by Frank.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records,  Mt· Sinai Cemetery, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1669-2013

I also hired a researcher to search the New Jersey death certificates in Trenton (since they are not available online). She came up empty. So what had happened to Frank?

Well, once again Tracing the Tribe, the Jewish genealogy Facebook group, came to the rescue. I posted a question there and received many responses, most of them suggestions for things I’d already done. But one member,  Katherine Dailey Block, found a 1920 newspaper article that mentioned Frank that I had never seen:

“To Leave for Florida,” Harrisburg Telegraph, December 30, 1920, p. 4.

That raised the possibility that Frank might have spent time in Florida more than this one time. I had made the mistake of assuming that, having lived his whole life in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, he must have died in one of those two states. Now I broadened the search to Florida. (Doing a fifty-state search was not helpful since the name Frank Goldsmith is quite common, and I had no way to figure out whether any of them was my Frank.) And this result came up:

Florida Death Index, 1877-1998,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VV91-P84 : 25 December 2014), Frank F. Goldsmith, 1945; from “Florida Death Index, 1877-1998,” index, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : 2004); citing vol. 1148, certificate number 9912, Florida Department of Health, Office of Vital Records, Jacksonville.

A Frank F. Goldsmith had died in Tampa, Florida in 1945. Could this be my Frank? Tampa is on the opposite coast from Jacksonville as well as much further south. That made me doubt whether this was the same Frank F. Goldsmith. But then I found this record from the 1945 Florida census; notice the second to last entry on the page:

Census Year: 1945, Locality: Precinct 2, County: Hillsborough, Page: 43, Line: 32
Archive Series #: S1371, Roll 20, Frank F. Goldsmith 65
Ancestry.com. Florida, State Census, 1867-1945

There was Frank F. Goldsmith, and when I saw that he was born in Pennsylvania, I was delighted, figuring that this could be my Frank. On the other hand, the census reported that this Frank was 65 years old in 1945 whereas my Frank would have been 82. But it seemed worth ordering a copy of the death certificate from the Florida vital records office to see if it contained information that would either confirm or disprove my hope that this was my cousin Frank.

Unfortunately, here is the death certificate:

As you can see, it has no information about this Frank F. Goldsmith’s wife, parents, birth place, occupation, or much of anything that would help me tie him to my Frank F. Goldsmith. In fact, the age and birth date on the certificate are inconsistent with my Frank Goldsmith, who was born in June 1863, according to the 1900 census, not June of 1878.

Despite these blanks and inconsistencies, my hunch is that this is my Frank. Why? Both Franks have a birth date in June. And on later census records, Frank’s estimated birth year based on his reported age moved later than 1863—1868 in 1910, 1876 in 1920, and 1870 in 1930 and 1940. He seemed to be getting younger as time went on. Maybe by 1945, he was giving a birth year of 1878. And by 1945 there was no one left to inform the hospital of his family’s names or his birth date or age so perhaps whoever completed the death certificate (looks like someone from the funeral home) was just guessing at his age and birth date.

In addition, there is no other Frank F. Goldsmith who fits the parameters of the Frank on the death certificate. Finally, this Frank was to be buried in the “Jew cemetery,” so we know that he was Jewish.

So what do you think? Is this enough to tie the Frank F. Goldsmith who died in Florida to my Frank F. Goldsmith? I know these are thin reeds upon which to make a case, but I think they may have to be enough.

In any event, like his sisters Rachel, Celia, Annie, Emma, Eva and Florence, and his brother Felix, Frank Goldsmith has no living descendants. In fact, it is quite remarkable how few living descendants Jacob Goldsmith and Fannie Silverman have, considering that they had had fourteen children. Five of those fourteen children did not have children of their own: Emma, Rachel, Celia, Frank, and Florence. Four of Jacob and Fannie’s children had no grandchildren: Annie had three children, but none of them had children. Eva had one son, Sidney, who did not have any children, and the same was true of Gertrude’s son Bernard and Felix’s two children Ethel and Clarence. From fourteen children, Jacob and Fannie had twenty grandchildren and only twelve great-grandchildren, and a number of those great-grandchildren also did not have children. From my count, there were only ten great-great-grandchildren. With each generation, instead of growing, the family became smaller.

But that is not the legacy of Jacob and Fannie Goldsmith. Rather, theirs is the remarkable story of two young German immigrants settling in western Pennsylvania and then Philadelphia, raising fourteen children who eventually spanned the continent. From all appearances, many of those fourteen children stayed close, both geographically and presumably emotionally. Many of them lived together, especially the daughters who spent years in Denver together. Like so many first-generation Americans, these fourteen children provided evidence to their parents that the risks they took leaving their home country behind and crossing the ocean were worthwhile. Yes, there was plenty of heartbreak along the way, but overall Jacob, Fannie, and their fourteen children lived comfortably and free from oppression.

 


  1. Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1669-2013 
  2. Ancestry.com. California, Death Index, 1905-1939 
  3. Ancestry.com. California, Death Index, 1905-1939 
  4.  Number: 562-66-4663; Issue State: California; Issue Date: 1962, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  5. San Francisco Chronicle, September 4, 1974, p. 35 
  6. Florence Emanuel, 1940 US census, Census Place: Denver, Denver, Colorado; Roll: m-t0627-00490; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 16-221B, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  7. JewishGen, comp. JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) 
  8. Frank Goldsmith, 1930 US census, Census Place: Atlantic City, Atlantic, New Jersey; Page: 19B; Enumeration District: 0011; FHL microfilm: 2341043, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  9. Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records,  Mt· Sinai Cemetery, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1669-2013 

Ellena Goldsmith Feldstein and Her Family: Not Blessed with Longevity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Isidor Neufeld, World War II draft registration, he National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; World War II draft cards (Fourth Registration) for the State of Pennsylvania; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975; Record Group Number: 147; Series Number: M1951, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

A Life Well Lived

I am slowly emerging from the initial period of mourning and trying to re-enter the world. My father and my concern for my mother continue to fill almost all the spaces of my brain and heart. But Jewish tradition encourages one to return to a regular routine—to work, to school, to ordinary life—once the initial period of mourning is over. So I am going to try.  And that means returning to my family history work and to my blog. It also means picking up where I left off in reading the blogs I follow.

For today, let me just share a bit more biographical information about my father. I described his personality and interests a bit in my last post, but I’d like to tell a little more about his life, especially his early life.  Next time I will return to the Goldsmiths, my father’s cousins through his maternal great-grandmother Eva Goldschmidt Katzenstein.

My father was born on November 15, 1926, in Philadelphia, to Eva Schoenthal and John Nusbaum Cohen. He was named John Nusbaum Cohen, Junior, which is an unusual thing to do in Ashkenazi Jewish families where the tradition is to name a child for a deceased relative. But that break with tradition was consistent with the assimilation of his family. Although my father was confirmed in a Reform Jewish temple, his family was not religious or traditional in any way.

When he was just a young boy, both of his parents became ill and were unable to care for him. His father had multiple sclerosis and eventually was institutionalized; my father had no memory of him walking unassisted. His mother suffered a breakdown and also was hospitalized and then cared for by her parents. My father and his sister Eva were taken care of by their paternal grandmother Eva Seligman Cohen, whose kindness and generosity I’ve written about before.

Eva and John Cohen, Jr. (my father and his sister)

My father was an excellent student; he also loved music and art. One of his favorite childhood memories was playing the role of Buttercup in Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore when he was at an all-boys summer camp. He often sang his parts from that show to us when we were children. He also enjoyed summer trips to Atlantic City with his grandmother and sister.

Just weeks before his thirteenth birthday, his beloved grandmother died in Philadelphia. The doctor who came to attend to her at home had to tell my father and aunt that their grandmother had died. There was no one obvious to take care of the two children, and for quite a while they were shuttled back and forth among various cousins for a week or so at a time. Eventually their mother was healthy enough to come back and take care of them.

My father graduated from high school and started college, but on February 14, 1945, when he was eighteen, he was drafted into the US Navy to serve during World War II. He was based in Chicago and then in Newport News, Virginia, doing intelligence work, until he was honorably discharged on August 1, 1946. He returned to Philadelphia and to Temple University to continue his education, but later transferred to Columbia University’s School of Architecture to complete his degree. He was encouraged and inspired by his uncle, Harold Schoenthal, to pursue a career in architecture, a decision he never regretted.

In the Navy

During the summer of 1950 when he was still a student at Columbia, my father worked as a waiter at Camp Log Tavern, a resort in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania.  One weekend he spotted a young red-headed woman across the room and said to a fellow waiter, “That’s the girl I am going to marry.” Although she was more interested in another waiter during her stay, my father asked her for her number before she departed. She gave him the wrong number and a shortened version of her last name, which was Goldschlager. According to family lore, he searched the Bronx phone book until he found her. She was so impressed that she agreed to go out with him, and after that, they became inseparable.

They were married one year later on September 9, 1951. I came along eleven months later, just two months after my father’s graduation from Columbia.

My father and my grandmother at his college graduation in 1952

In the years that followed, my parents had two more children, moved to the suburbs, and lived a good life. Theirs was a true love match, and they adored each other through 67 years of marriage. Yes, there were hard times and harsh words at times, but I never once doubted that they were devoted to each other.

My father worked first for an architectural firm in New York City, commuting with all the other fathers. But not many years later he left the firm and established his own practice, a practice he maintained into his 90s, working with people and developers on houses, office buildings, additions, and other work.

Although my father had a hard childhood, his adult life was happy and fulfilling. He loved his family, and he loved his work. He was active in his local community, working as a volunteer fireman and as a member of the planning board.  When he died at age 92 on February 16, 2019, he was a well-loved and much respected member of his community and an adored husband, father, grandfather, uncle, and great-grandfather. His was truly a life well lived.

 

 

My Father

With much love and sadness, I share that my father passed away this weekend after 92 years of a life well lived. He was a man of great intellect, incredible curiosity, a passion for art, architecture, and music, and a lifelong commitment to progressive values—peace, justice, and human rights. He loved cats and dogs and the beaches of Cape Cod. But above all else, he was a man who passionately loved his family, especially my mother, whom he adored for 67 years of marriage.

Those of you who follow my blog may have seen the occasional comments my dad left on the blog. He was a devoted reader of the blog and supportive of and fascinated in the family history I was uncovering. He also was a constant source of information about his family and, most importantly, the inspiration for all the research I have done about all my paternal lines (which is probably 80-90% of what I’ve done since I have had much more luck finding information about my father’s side than my mother’s side). I will miss him deeply and will undoubtedly share more about him as time goes on.

For now I am taking a short break from blogging, but I will return soon because I know he would have wanted me to continue telling the stories of his many relatives.

Here are just a few photos.

My father at 9 months old

John Nusbaum Cohen, Jr.

In the Navy

Florence and John Cohen 1951

My father with Nate June 2010

 

Jacob Goldsmith’s Children and Grandchildren: 1901-1910, Celebrations and Mourning

In the first decade after Jacob Goldsmith died in 1901, there were occasions for celebration as well as times of mourning and loss.

As we saw in the last post, three of Jacob Goldsmith’s daughters married in the first decade of the 20th century: Eva, Gertrude, and Florence. Eva had a son Sidney, born in 1906.1 Sadly, another daughter died in that decade; Emma died on January 6, 1902. She was 48 and died of double croupous pneumonia:

Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-665P-M?cc=1320976&wc=9FR3-YWL%3A1073330701 : 16 May 2014), 004056150 > image 1230 of 1777; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

What about Jacob’s other ten children and their families?

First, one of Jacob’s grandchildren married and had children of her own in this decade. Ellena Goldsmith Feldstein’s daughter Fannie married Isadore Neufeld on September 21, 1904, in Philadelphia.2 Isadore was also a Philadelphia native, born on July 5, 1881.3 His parents Gustav Neufeld and Ida Hauff were German immigrants. Isadore was employed as an apprentice shirt cutter and living with his parents in 1900.4 Fannie and Isadore’s first child Hortense was born on August 25, 1905.5 A second child Sylvia Wilma Neufeld was born three years later on August 7, 1908. Both were born in Philadelphia.

Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Box Number: 178; Certificate Number: 131357, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Birth Certificates, 1906-1910

Some of Jacob’s children relocated in the first ten years of the 20th century. By 1907, Edward Harrison Goldsmith and his wife Hannah had moved to Greensboro, Alabama, where their daughter and only child Miriam Frances Goldsmith was born on December 15, 1907.6 Frank Goldsmith and his wife Barbara relocated from Philadelphia to Harrisburg by 1907. 7

1908 was a very hard year for some members of the extended family of Jacob Goldsmith. William Feldstein, the 31-year-old son of Ellena Goldsmith and Samuel Feldstein, died in Denver on February 8, 1908, from tuberculosis; his body was returned to Philadelphia for burial.

Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JJ94-FFV : 8 March 2018), William Feldstein, 03 Feb 1908; citing cn 4003, Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; FHL microfilm 1,402,930.

Less than four months later, William’s father Samuel died in Philadelphia on May 29, 1908, from cerebral apoplexy, or a stroke. He was 61. Ellena had lost a son and husband in the space of just a few months.

Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1965; Certificate Number Range: 052001-055800
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates

In 1910, after William and Samuel died, Ellena was living in Philadelphia with her daughter Fanny and son-in-law Isadore Neufeld; living with them in addition to the Neufeld’s two young children Hortense and Sylvia were two of Ellena’s other adult children, Sylvester and Gertrude. Isadore continued to work in a factory as a shirt cutter. Sylvester was a cigar maker, and Gertrude a stenographer. Ellena’s other son Leopold,  listed as Lee on the 1910 census, was living in Atlantic City, working like his brother Sylvester as a cigar maker.8

Neufeld and Feldsteins, 1910 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 29, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1399; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 0692; FHL microfilm: 1375412
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

The struggles of Felix Goldsmith in this decade will be discussed in a separate post to follow.

Annie Goldsmith Frank was still living in San Francisco in 1910 with her three children. Josephine continued to work as a teacher, and Harry was a traveling salesman for a liquor house. Annie’s third child, Fanny, was not employed outside the home. According to the 1910 census, Harry had married a year before. Unfortunately, I could not find any information about Harry’s wife except what was on the 1910 census: that her name was Mildred, that she was born in about 1889 in California, that her father was also born in California and her mother in New York. Since, as we will see, Harry was remarried by the next census, finding more information about Mildred was extremely difficult.

[There are several errors on this census report. First, Annie’s name is Annie, not Fannie. Second, Mildred was her daughter-in-law, not her daughter, and, third, Fannie was her daughter, not her daughter-in-law. Note that Mildred is recorded as married, Fannie is not.]

Annie Frank and family, 1910 US census, Census Place: San Francisco Assembly District 41, San Francisco, California; Roll: T624_101; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 0268; FHL microfilm: 1374114, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

Leonora Goldsmith Jaffa and her husband Solomon and their children were all living together in Trinidad, Colorado, in 1910. Solomon was a grocery store merchant, and their son Arthur was a civil engineer.  Their daughter Helen was not employed outside the home.9

Sara Rohrheimer Goldsmith, George Goldsmith’s widow, was living with her mother Mary Rohrheimer in Philadelphia in 1910; Sara’s two children Fanny and Lester were both at home. No one was working outside the home; Sara’s mother was living on “income.”10

Frank Goldsmith and his wife Barbara were living in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in 1910, where Frank was working as a department store manager. Frank and Barbara did not have any children.11 Frank’s younger brother Edward was living in Greensboro, Alabama, with his wife Hannah and daughter Miriam (Marion here); Edward was working as a bookkeeper in a dry goods store.12

Eva Goldsmith Uhfelder and her husband Sigmund and son Sidney were living in Albuquerque in 1910. Sigmund was a bookkeeper in a dry goods store.13

Jacob’s other daughters were all living in Denver in 1910. Rebecca and her husband Robert Levy, the doctor, were providing a home not only for their two young daughters Leona and Marion but also for Rebecca’s two remaining unmarried sisters, Rachel and Celia.

Robert Levy household, 1910 US census, Census Place: Denver Ward 9, Denver, Colorado; Roll: T624_116; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 0113; FHL microfilm: 1374129
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

Gertrude and Florence, who were married to the Emanuel brothers, Jacob and Jerry, in 1906, were all living in the same household in Denver; Jacob and Jerry were clothing merchants.

The Emanuel-Goldsmith couples, 1910 US census, Census Place: Denver Ward 10, Denver, Colorado; Roll: T624_116; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 0130; FHL microfilm: 1374129
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

Thus, the extended family of Jacob Goldsmith experienced some losses in the first decade of the 20th century. It started with Jacob’s death in 1901 and his daughter Emma’s death the following year. Ellena lost a son and her husband in 1908. But on the positive side, three of Jacob’s daughters married in this decade as did two of his grandchildren, and several babies—Jacob’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren—were born.

 


  1. Sidney Uhfelder, World War II draft registration, The National Archives in St. Louis, Missouri; St. Louis, Missouri; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 126, Ancestry.com. U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 
  2.  Marriage License Number: 177918, Ancestry.com. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Marriage Index, 1885-1951 
  3. Isadore Neufeld, death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1965; Certificate Number Range: 005401-008100, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966 
  4. Gustav Neufeld and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 29, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 10; Enumeration District: 0737; FHL microfilm: 1241471, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census; death certificate of Frida Neufeld Steel, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1965; Certificate Number Range: 027601-030150, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966 
  5.  Number: 182-30-5349; Issue State: Pennsylvania; Issue Date: 1954-1955, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  6. Edward Goldsmith and family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Greensboro, Hale, Alabama; Roll: T624_15; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0042; FHL microfilm: 1374028, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census; Number: 228-46-8303; Issue State: Virginia; Issue Date: 1953-1954, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  7. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1907, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  8. Lee Feldstein, 1910 US census, Census Place: Atlantic City Ward 3, Atlantic, New Jersey; Roll: T624_867; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 0018; FHL microfilm: 1374880, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  9. Solomon Jaffa and family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Trinidad Ward 2, Las Animas, Colorado; Roll: T624_122; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 0115; FHL microfilm: 1374135, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  10. Mary Rohrheimer and family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 32, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1403; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 0750; FHL microfilm: 1375416, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  11. Frank Goldsmith, 1910 US census, Census Place: Harrisburg Ward 4, Dauphin, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1336; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 0061; FHL microfilm: 1375349, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  12. Edward Goldsmith, 1910 US census, Census Place: Greensboro, Hale, Alabama; Roll: T624_15; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0042; FHL microfilm: 1374028, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  13. Uhlfelder family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Albuquerque Ward 4, Bernalillo, New Mexico; Roll: T624_913; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 0015; FHL microfilm: 1374926, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census