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 

Jacob Goldsmith’s Will and His Legacy

The 20th century did not start well for the family of Jacob Goldsmith. As the new century dawned, the family lost its patriarch; Jacob Goldsmith died in Denver on January 31, 1901, at the age of 76. His body was returned to Philadelphia where he was buried alongside his wife Fannie at Mt. Sinai cemetery:

“Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-676K-YG?cc=1320976&wc=9F51-VZ9%3A1073329301 : 16 May 2014), 004050474 > image 633 of 1820; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Like his father Simon, Jacob Goldsmith had lived a rich and interesting life. He was born in Oberlistingen, Germany, and after his mother died in 1840 when he was just a teenager, he immigrated all alone to the United States. He was the first of the Goldschmidt clan to come to America. He settled in Washington, Pennsylvania and established himself as a clothing merchant there. He and his wife Fannie started their large family there in 1853.

After his stepmother Fradchen passed away, Jacob opened his home to his father Simon and his two half-siblings Henry and Hannah. Then in the 1860s, Jacob and Fannie and their many children moved to Philadelphia where Jacob was again a clothing merchant; he lived there until Fannie died in 1881. After her death Jacob joined his half-brother Henry back in western Pennsylvania where he established yet another clothing store in Connellsville. Jacob’s final move was to Denver, Colorado, when he was already in his sixties.

Jacob Goldsmith was survived by thirteen of his fourteen children and seventeen grandchildren, plus three more who were born after he died.  His love and care for them all was revealed in his will. Six of his daughters—Emma (47), Rachel (44), Celia (40), Florence (31), Gertrude (29), and Eva (29)—were unmarried when Jacob died, and they were the primary focus of his will.

Jacob had executed the will on March 2, 1899, in Denver:

 

Jacob Goldsmith will, Probate Records, 1900-1946; Author: Denver County (Colorado). Clerk of the County Court; Probate Place: Denver, Colorado
Ancestry.com. Colorado, Wills and Probate Records, 1875-1974, Case Number: 6521

I Jacob Goldsmith of the City of Denver County of Arapahoe State of Colorado being of sound mind, memory and understanding, do make this my last will and testament hereby revoking all former wills and testaments made by me. I give, devise and bequeath unto my executors hereinafter named all my estate, effects and proceeds of Life Insurance that I may die possessed of or be entitled to: upon trust to be invested according to their discretion and judgment and all interest and income arising therefrom to be applied for the maintenance of a home for my unmarried Daughters. And it is my express wish and desire that my unmarried Daughters remain together and the money derived in the way of interest or other [?] off the principal to be paid to them in regular installments as often as practicable quarterly if possible to defray the expenses of their home. In the event of marriage of any of my Daughters or other emergency arising when in the judgment of my executors it may be advisable to use any part of the principal he shall have the power to draw upon it for such an emergency.

Otherwise the Capital or principal shall remain intact until each and everyone of my unmarried children are provided for by marriage or otherwise and in the event it is found better to no longer keep up a home and any of the unmarried children may live with their Relations or otherwise provide themselves with a home then the Interest or income derived off the principal shall be divided between the unmarried children as long as any of them live and remain unmarried. After all of them have by marriage, death or otherwise so provided for that they do not any longer require that the income for their maintenance as herein provided for then the principal or Capital shall be divided share and share alike between all of my children or their heirs. I nominate and appoint my son at laws Robert Levy of Denver Colo and Sol Jaffa of Trinidad Colo as executors of this my will, and they shall not be required to give any bond or surety for the execution of this trust. In case of the death of either of them, the children shall chose [sic] another to act in his place and in case of the deaths of both, two others shall be chosen by the surviving children.

I the said Jacob Goldsmith to this which I declare to be my last will and testament set my hand and seal this the Second day of March 1899.

Signed by the said testator Jacob Goldsmith and acknowledged by him to be his last will and testament in the presence of us, present at the same time and subscribed to us in the presence of the said testator and of each of them.

                                             Jacob Goldsmith [seal]

Attest

Chas A Ferris

Helen F Jaffa

The will certainly reflects its times. The assumption was that a woman would have no means of support unless and until she married, and thus, Jacob’s will provided that the interest and income from the estate would be distributed to his unmarried daughters unless and until they married or died or found some other means of support. I also found it interesting that the will expressed his desire that these daughters would share a home together.  Finally, the will stipulated that once all his daughters were married or deceased or otherwise supported, then the principal of the estate would be distributed to all his children.

One thing that struck me as odd about this was that Jacob made no special provision for his widowed daughter Annie Goldsmith Frank or for the widow of his son George Goldsmith. Both had children, Jacob’s grandchildren, and no longer had a husband to support them. I would have thought that Jacob would have included them with his unmarried daughters in providing for distributions of the estate’s income.

The will was presented for probate on February 2, 1901, by the two executors Jacob had named in the will: his sons-in-law Robert Levy (Rebecca’s husband) and Solomon Jaffa (Leonora’s husband). At that time they reported that the estate was worth $7000.  According to an inflation calculator, $7000 in 1901 would be worth about $207,000 in 2018 dollars. In their probate petition, they also named Jacob’s thirteen living children as the heirs:

The executors later filed a request to amend the petition to include two heirs who had been omitted from the original petition, the children of Jacob’s deceased son George:

Notice, however, that the executors identified George’s children as Fanny and Esther, when in fact George’s children were Fanny and Lester. How could they have made that error? Had someone said “Lester” and Solomon Jaffa and Robert Levy heard “Esther”? I wonder whether that error resulted in any problems if and when the principal of the estate was distributed years later. And it was many years later before all of Jacob’s daughters were either married or deceased.

Sadly, however, it was not long after Jacob’s death that one of those daughters died. Emma Goldsmith died of “double croupous pneumonia” on January 8, 1902, in Philadelphia, where she was buried. She was only 48 years old.

“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.

Of the five remaining unmarried daughters, three married within the next few years. Eva Goldsmith married Sigmund Uhlfelder on October 25, 1905; she was 34, he 35.1 Sigmund was a recent German immigrant, born in 1870, and in 1900 he was living in Roswell, New Mexico and working as a cigar salesman.2 Eva’s sister Rebecca and her husband Robert Levy hosted the elaborate wedding:

Denver Post, October 29, 1905, p. 9

I also noticed that Joseph Langer was one of the invited guests. Joseph, the Denver Post photographer I wrote about here, was the grandson of Sarah Goldschmidt Mansbach, Jacob Goldsmith’s first cousin, Eva’Goldsmith Uhlfelder’s first cousin, once removed.

Eva and Sigmund had one child, a son named Sidney born on August 27, 1906, in Roswell.3

A year after Eva married Sigmund Uhfelder, two more of Jacob Goldsmith’s daughters married, and their husbands were brothers. They were married in a double wedding. On October 10, 1906, in Denver, Florence Goldsmith, then 37, married Jerry B. Emanuel, and her sister Gertrude, 35, married Jacob E. Emanuel.

Ancestry.com. Colorado, County Marriage Records and State Index, 1862-2006

Ancestry.com. Colorado, County Marriage Records and State Index, 1862-2006

Jacob and Jerry were the sons of Moses Emanuel and Dora Tannenbaum, both of whom were born in Hesse, Germany. Jacob and Jerry were born in Mobile, Alabama, in 1867 and 1869, respectively. Their father was a merchant in Mobile in 1870, but by 1880, the family had relocated to Denver.4 In 1900 Jacob was living with his mother and siblings and working as a salesman of men’s furnishings; Jerry, on the other hand was living in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1900, working as a shoe salesman.5

This double wedding was also written up in the paper and hosted by Rebecca and Robert Levy:

Denver Post, October 14, 1906, p. 32

Thus, as of October 10, 1906, only two of Jacob’s daughters remained unmarried: Rachel and Celia. They were now the only ones entitled to a distribution of the interest earned on Jacob’s estate.

In December 1907, Solomon Jaffa and Robert Levy filed this report of the assets of and distributions from Jacob’s account, covering the period from July 30, 1902, through December 3, 1907:

I am not sure what to make of the inconsistencies in the distributions. While Rachel had only received $33, Eva had received $1031. Emma, who had died in 1902, received more than Celia, who was still alive. My hunch is that Florence, Gertrude, and Eva received a bit more to help pay for their weddings, but that can’t be the only explanation. Jacob did leave it to the discretion of the executors to determine what each daughter would receive, to be determined based on their needs. Maybe the executors responded to requests made by the individual sisters.

The report for the following year—December 1907 through December 1908—showed distributions only to Celia. Although Rachel was also still unmarried, she was not included in the distributions. A note at the bottom of the last page of this report explained that Rachel preferred to leave the money in the hands of the executors for investment.

The last report included in Jacob’s probate file on Ancestry.com covered the period of 1909-1914. It shows that as of 1914, there was $10,789.09 in the estate. During this period, Rachel (Ray) had received $921.96 and Celia $1171.79.

But that was to be the last distribution to Rachel. A year later on October 7, 1915, Rachel Goldsmith died in Denver at the age of 58.6

Philadlephia Jewish Exponent, October 15, 1915

Celia was now the only remaining unmarried daughter of Jacob Goldsmith, and as we will see, she lived until 1933 and never married, meaning that the principal of Jacob’s estate could not be distributed until 1933. By then most of Jacob’s children had passed away, but some were still living, and there were many grandchildren living to inherit their parent’s share. Unfortunately, there are no later documents in the probate file, and I don’t know what was left in the estate at that point or how it was distributed.

 

 


  1. Ancestry.com. Colorado, County Marriage Records and State Index, 1862-2006 
  2. Sigmund Uhlfelder, 1900 US census, Census Place: Roswell, Chaves, New Mexico; Page: 32; Enumeration District: 0030; FHL microfilm: 1240999, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  3. Number: 525-01-6662; Issue State: New Mexico; Issue Date: Before 1951, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  4. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 (Jerry Emanuel); Emanuel family, 1870 US census, Census Place: Township 19 Range 1 2 3 and 4, Sumter, Alabama; Roll: M593_40; Page: 220A; Family History Library Film: 545539, Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census; Emanuel family, 1880 US census, Census Place: Denver, Arapahoe, Colorado; Roll: 88; Page: 137D; Enumeration District: 006, Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census 
  5. Jacob Emanuel, 1900 US census, Census Place: Denver, Arapahoe, Colorado; Page: 3; Enumeration District: 0034; FHL microfilm: 1240117, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census. Jerry Emanuel, 1900 US census, Census Place: Omaha Ward 4, Douglas, Nebraska; Page: 5; Enumeration District: 0040; FHL microfilm: 1240924, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  6. Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1669-2013. FindAGrave, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/142381902 

Jacob Goldsmith and His Family, 1881-1900: Years of Growth, Loss, and Change

When he died in 1883, my four-times great-uncle Simon Goldsmith was survived by four children: Jacob and Henry in Connellsville, Pennsylvania, Lena in Columbus, Ohio, and Hannah in Pittsburgh. They all had children and some even had grandchildren by then. The family had gotten so large by 1883 that it is no longer feasible for me to address them all in one post so I will divide the story into separate multiple post segments for each of Simon’s children. This segment will address his son Jacob and his fourteen children and the families of those children; this post tells their story during the last twenty years of the 19th century.

As seen in this earlier post, Jacob’s wife Fannie passed away on March 4, 1881. By August 12, 1881, Jacob had moved to Connellsville, Pennsylvania, as demonstrated by this ad:

The (Connellsville, PA) Weekly Courier, August 12, 1881, p. 3

It made sense that Jacob would have moved to Connellsville after Fannie died for that is where his younger brother Henry was living. Jacob’s three youngest daughters, Florence, Gertrude, and Eva, were quite young when their mother died in 1881 (Florence was twelve, the twins only ten).  Henry, who was more than twenty years younger than his half-brother Jacob, had a young wife and young children, and they would likely have been a source of support to Jacob and his children.

As we saw in earlier posts, three of Jacob’s daughters were already married with children of their own by the time Jacob moved to Connellsville in 1881.  Ellena was married to Samuel Feldstein and was living in Philadelphia with their three young children, Sylvester, Leon, and William. Their fourth child, Fanny, was born in 1883, and a fifth child, Gertrude, was born on May 31, 1889.1 In 1881, Jacob’s daughter Annie was married to Augustus Frank and living in San Francisco with their three children, Josephine, Harry, and Fanny. Jacob’s daughter Leonora and her husband Solomon Jaffa were living in Trinidad with their daughter Helen in 1881, and their son Arthur was born in 1883. Also, Jacob’s son Felix was not married, but had moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1881. But Jacob still had ten children living with him in 1881.

By 1885, Felix had moved from Santa Fe to Denver, where he was working as a bookkeeper; he married Fanny Rosenthal in Hamilton County, Ohio, on January 26, 1887. Fanny was the daughter of Herman and Theresa Rosenthal, German immigrants, and she was born in West Virginia in 1862.2  In 1870, she’d been living with her parents and siblings in Cincinnati where her father was a merchant.3

Ancestry.com. Ohio, County Marriage Records, 1774-1993

Jacob made the trip to Cincinnati for their wedding, as reported in the Connellsville newspaper, The Weekly Courier, on its front page on January 28, 1887:

Felix and Fanny had their first child, a son Clarence, on July 13, 1889 in Denver.4

Jacob’s son George moved to Pottsville, Pennsylvania in 1885; he was working as a cutter.5  By 1889, he had married Sarah Rohrheimer, also a daughter of German immigrants, Morris Rohrheimer and Mary Schloss. Sarah was born on July 13, 1866, in Pennsylvania, and in 1880, she was with her parents in Pottsville where her father was a clothing merchant.6 George was working for her father when they met.7 Their first child, Fanny, was born October 1, 1889, in Pennsylvania.8 Thus, Jacob had two more grandchildren born in 1889.

Not only were two more children born into Jacob’s extended family in 1889, there were also two more weddings. Jacob’s son Frank Goldsmith married Barbara Shanor on July 7 of that year.

Marriage record of Frank Goldsmith and Barbara Shanor, Ancestry.com. Ohio, County Marriage Records, 1774-1993

According to this news article, Barbara was a native of Connellsville and Frank was working there in his father’s store in Connellsville when they married. They married, however, in Hamilton County, Ohio, as had Frank’s brother George two years earlier.

The (Connellsville, PA) Daily Courier, August 11, 1919

The second wedding to take place in 1889 was that of Jacob’s daughter Rebecca to Robert Levy; they were married in Trinidad, Colorado, on August 27, 1989. Trinidad was, as noted in earlier posts, the home of the Jaffa brothers, Henry Goldsmith’s brothers-in-law, so perhaps Rebecca met her husband through the connection with her aunt Sarah Jaffa Goldsmith, Henry’s wife. Robert Levy was born in Ontario, Canada, on May 30, 1864, to Mandel and Rebecca Levy, who were German immigrants. The family was living in Milwaukee by 1870,9 and in 1885 Robert was living in Denver where he was practicing medicine.10

Rebecca Goldsmith and Robert Levy, marriage record, Ancestry.com. Colorado, County Marriage Records and State Index, 1862-2006

Once again, the Connellsville paper reported that Jacob as well as his brother Henry and sister-in-law Sarah (Jafffa) Goldsmith were traveling to attend a family wedding:

The Connellsville, PA, Weekly Courier, August 23, 1889, p. 5

As of 1888, Jacob’s youngest son Edward Goldsmith was living in Philadelphia and working as a salesman.11

Eight of Jacob’s fourteen children were now on their own, but in 1890, Jacob still had six daughters at home in Connellsville: Emma, Rachel, Celia, Florence, Gertrude, and Eva, ranging in age from 36 to nineteen.

In the early 1890s, Jacob was blessed with three more grandchildren: Rebecca’s daughter Leona in 1891,12 George’s son Lester in 1893,13 and Felix’s daughter Ethel in 1895.14

Then on March 29, 1897, there was another wedding. Edward Goldsmith married Hannah Wallenstein in Hamilton County, Ohio, making that the third time one of Jacob’s children had a wedding in that location. Hannah was born in Cincinnati on September 30, 1872, to Solomon Wallenstein, a German immigrant, and Sarah Cohen, also a Cincinnati native. Hannah’s father was a sewing machine agent in 1880.15

Marriage of Edward Goldsmith and Hannah Wallenstein, Ancestry.com. Ohio, County Marriage Records, 1774-1993

Just over a month after Edward’s wedding, Annie’s husband Augustus Frank died on November 13, 1897, in San Francisco. He was only fifty years old and left behind three children as well as Annie, who was only 42 when Augustus died.16

Then just a little over a year after losing Augustus, the family suffered another tragic loss when Jacob’s son George died suddenly from pneumonia on January 13, 1899, in Pottsville, Pennsylvania.17  George was only 36, and his two children Fanny and Lester (incorrectly named as Leslie in George’s obituary) were only nine and three when they lost their father. George’s widow Sarah was only 32.

The Pottsville newspaper, The Miners Journal, published this obituary on its front page on January 14, 1899:

 

“Another Merchant Dead,” Pottsville, PA Miners Journal, January 14, 1899, p. 1

How terrible this must have been for Sarah and the children. My favorite line in the obituary is the one saying that George was “a careful and enterprising business man and had a host of friends.”

By 1900 there was a big geographic shift in the family. Jacob and his six unmarried daughters—Emma, Rachel, Celia, Florence, Gertrude, and Eva—left Pennsylvania and moved to Denver where in 1900 they were all living with Jacob’s daughter Rebecca and her husband Robert Levy and their daughter Leona. Robert was practicing medicine, Rachel (Ray here) was working as a clerk, and Florence was working as a stenographer. The others did not have any occupation listed on the 1900 census. Jacob was 75 years old and had experienced another major relocation—-from Oberlistingen, Germany, to Washington, Pennsylvania, to Philadelphia, to Connellsville, Pennsylvania, and now to Denver. Rebecca Goldsmith Levy gave birth to a second daughter on June 19, 1900, in Denver, named Marion.18

Household of Robert Levy, 1900 US census, Census Place: Denver, Arapahoe, Colorado; Page: 8; Enumeration District: 0072; FHL microfilm: 1240119
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

Felix Goldsmith and his family were also living in Denver in 1900, and Felix was working as a mine superintendent.

Felix Goldsmith and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Denver, Arapahoe, Colorado; Page: 3; Enumeration District: 0064; FHL microfilm: 1240118
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

About two hundred miles south of Denver, Leonora Goldsmith Jaffa was still living in Trinidad, Colorado with her husband Solomon Jaffa and their two children Helen (18) and Arthur (16), and Solomon continued to be a merchant.

Solomon Jaffa and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Trinidad, Las Animas, Colorado; Page: 14; Enumeration District: 0064; FHL microfilm: 1240126
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

Annie Goldsmith Frank, who had been widowed three years earlier, was living with her three children in San Francisco in 1900. Her daughter Josephine, now 22, was a school teacher, and her son Harry, 19, was a shipping clerk.

Annie Frank, 1900 US census,Census Place: San Francisco, San Francisco, California; Page: 6; Enumeration District: 0207; FHL microfilm: 1240105
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

Back east, George Goldsmith’s widow Sarah and two children Fanny and Lester were living in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, with Sarah’s mother Mary Rohrheimer. Both Mary and Sarah listed their occupation on the 1900 census as “capitalists.” I wonder what that meant!

Sarah Rohrheimer Goldsmith and family, Census Place: Pottsville, Schuylkill, Pennsylvania; Page: 10; Enumeration District: 0187; FHL microfilm: 1241485
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

Jacob’s other three surviving children were all in Philadelphia in 1900. Frank Goldsmith was living with his wife Barbara and working as a clerk in the clothing business.19 Edward Goldsmith and his wife Hannah were living with Edward’s older sister Ellena and her husband Samuel Feldstein and their five children. Edward had no occupation listed, but in the 1901 Philadelphia directory, he is identified as a salesman. Samuel Feldstein’s occupation was reported as “manufacturer” on the 1900 census. Samuel and Ellena’s three oldest sons were working: Sylvester, 25, as an artist, William, 23, as a bookkeeper, and Leopold, 19, as a cigar maker. The other two children—Fanny, 17, and Gertrude, 12, did not have occupations listed.

Feldstein household, 1900 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 20, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 5; Enumeration District: 0439; FHL microfilm: 1241462
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

Thus, as of 1900, Jacob’s family was spread between Pennsylvania, Colorado, and California. What would the new century bring for him and his very large extended family?


  1. Fannie Neufeld death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1965; Certificate Number Range: 019051-021750, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966; Gertrude Lewin death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1965; Certificate Number Range: 094201-096650, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966 
  2. “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33SQ-GP2P-9VMD?cc=1307272&wc=MD9X-FNL%3A287599101%2C294427301 : 21 May 2014), 1937 > 29701-32800 > image 2781 of 3325. 
  3. Rosenthal family, 1870 US census, Census Place: Cincinnati Ward 15, Hamilton, Ohio; Roll: M593_1214; Page: 468B; Family History Library Film: 552713, Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census 
  4. “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-XCRQ-4PD?cc=1307272&wc=MD96-FWP%3A287602801%2C289221002 : 21 May 2014), 1946 > 03001-06100 > image 558 of 3479. 
  5. “Another Merchant Dead,” Pottsvile, Pennsylvania Miners Journal, January 14, 1899, p. 1; Pottsville, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1887, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  6. Sarah Rohrheimer Goldsmith death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1965; Certificate Number Range: 020001-023000, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966. Rohrheimer family, 1880 US census, Census Place: Pottsville, Schuylkill, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1193; Page: 373A; Enumeration District: 221,  Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census 
  7. “Another Merchant Dead,” Pottsvile, Pennsylvania Miners Journal, January 14, 1899, p. 1; Pottsville, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1887, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  8. Number: 188-36-5720; Issue State: Pennsylvania; Issue Date: 1962,
    Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  9. Robert Levy, 1908 passport application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 54; Volume #: Roll 0054 – Certificates: 46257-47289, 21 Feb 1908-10 Mar 1908, Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925. Levy family, 1870 US census, Census Place: Milwaukee Ward 5, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Roll: M593_1727; Page: 557A; Family History Library Film: 553226,  Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census 
  10. Denver, Colorado, City Directory, 1885, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  11. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1888, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  12. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, SSN: 524606840 
  13. Lester 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, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 
  14. Felix Goldsmith and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Denver, Arapahoe, Colorado; Page: 3; Enumeration District: 0064; FHL microfilm: 1240118, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  15. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, SSN: 225644424. Wallenstein family, 1880 US census, Census Place: Cincinnati, Hamilton, Ohio; Roll: 1026; Page: 447A; Enumeration District: 144, Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census 
  16. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/100371594 
  17.  Ancestry.com. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Death Certificates Index, 1803-1915 
  18.  SSN: 524607495, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  19. Frank and Barbara Goldsmith, 1900 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 32, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 3; Enumeration District: 0830; FHL microfilm: 1241474, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 

Jacob Goldsmith’s Family, 1872-1881: Reaching from Coast to Coast

1867 Map of the United States and territories, United States. General Land Office.
Gorlinski, Joseph. Library of Congress, http://www.loc.gov/

As of the end of 1871, Simon Goldsmith and his four surviving children—Jacob Goldsmith, Lena Basch, Henry Goldsmith, and Hannah Benedict—were all living in Pennsylvania, Jacob and his family in Philadelphia, Lena and Hannah and their families in Pittsburgh, and Henry in Connellsville. Simon was living with Hannah in Pittsburgh as well. All four children were married, and Simon had 24 grandchildren ranging in age from newborn Jacob W. Goldsmith, Henry’s son, to eighteen-year-old Ellena Goldsmith, Jacob’s daughter. Ten years later the family was no longer all living in Pennsylvania.

That movement out of Pennsylvania is best illustrated by the children of Simon’s oldest child, Jacob. Although Jacob and his wife Fannie remained in Philadelphia in the 1870s where Jacob continued to work as a clothing merchant, three of their children moved far away.

Their oldest daughter Ellena did not leave Philadelphia, but she did move out of the family home. Ellena married Samuel Feldstein on November 6, 1872, in Philadelphia.1 She was nineteen, and he was 25. Samuel was born in Prague in what was then Bohemia, now the Czech Republic, on January 12, 1847.2 By 1868 he was living in Philadelphia and was a naturalized citizen.3 In 1870 he was living with his parents and twin brother.4 In 1873 he is listed as being in the cigar business in Philadelphia.5

Ellena and Samuel Feldstein had three children in the 1870s, Simon’s first great-grandchildren: Arthur (1873),6 Sylvester (1875),7 and William (1877).8 Arthur, their first born, died on January 9, 1874, when he was just five months old. The death certificate stated that the cause of death was catarrh, which according to this website listing 19th century causes of death, is “An inflammatory affection of any mucous membrane, in which there are congestion, swelling, and an alteration in the quantity and quality of mucous secreted. In America, especially, a chronic inflammation of, and hypersecretion from the membranes of nose or air passages.”

Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JK32-B35 : 9 March 2018), Arthur Feldstein, 09 Jan 1874; citing , Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; FHL microfilm 2,022,093.

In 1880 Samuel Feldstein was still in the cigar business, and the family was living in Philadelphia. A fourth child, Leopold Feldstein, was born in Philadelphia on August 26, 1880.9

Feldstein family, 1880 US census, Year: 1880; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1176; Page: 137C; Enumeration District: 300
Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census

Ellena’s younger sister Annie was the first of Simon Goldsmith’s descendants to move out of Pennsylvania. She married Augustus Frank sometime in or before 1877 and moved all the way to San Francisco.10 Her husband Augustus was born on November 4, 1847, in New York; his parents were immigrants from Germany.11 But Augustus’ older brother Jacob Jesse Frank had moved to San Francisco by 1867,12 and Augustus must have joined him out there. Annie and Augustus’ first child Josephine was born on October 4, 1877, in California.13 In 1880, Annie and Augustus and their daughter Josephine were living in San Francisco with Augustus’ brother Jacob and his family. Augustus’ occupation was reported as “money broker” on the 1880 census. Annie and Augustus had a second child, Harry, on November 28, 1880, and a third, Fanny, on March 24, 1881, both born in California.14

Augustus Frank and family, 1880 US census, Census Place: San Francisco, San Francisco, California; Roll: 79; Page: 138D; Enumeration District: 206
Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census

The third daughter of Jacob Goldsmith and Fannie Silverman to marry in this time period was Leonora. In 1880 she married Solomon Jaffa, the older brother of Sarah Jaffa, who had married Leonora’s uncle Henry Goldsmith, making this the second marriage between a Goldschmidt and a Jaffa.15 Solomon was born in Heinebach, Germany, on August 6, 1840, and had immigrated to the US as a teenager.16 In 1870, he’d been living on his own in Mora, New Mexico, and working as a farmer.17

After marrying, Leonora and Solomon were living in Trinidad, Colorado, with Solomon’s brother Sam and his wife Amelia and their children, including their daughter Ida, who would later marry Meyer Mansbach, another Goldschmidt cousin. Sam and Solomon were both working as merchants in 1880. Leonora and Solomon had their first child Helen on April 4, 1881,18 and then a son Arthur Goldsmith Jaffa on July 10, 1883, both born in Colorado.19

Jaffa families, 1880 US census, Census Place: Trinidad, Las Animas, Colorado; Roll: 92; Page: 66A; Enumeration District: 066
Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census

The fourth of Jacob and Fannie’s children to leave home was their oldest son Felix. In 1880 he was living in Las Vegas, New Mexico, working as a bookkeeper in a dry goods store.20 This article from the October 16, 1881, issue of the Las Vegas (New Mexico) Gazette revealed more information about Felix’s whereabouts:

Las Vegas (NM) Gazette, October 16, 1881, p. 4

From this article it appears that Felix was then in Trinidad, Colorado, working for his brother-in-law’s company, Jaffa Brothers, but was moving in 1881 to Santa Fe to work for another merchant there.

Thus, by 1881, four of Jacob and Fannie’s children had spread their wings and moved out of the nest.

Meanwhile, back in Philadelphia, Jacob was still working as a clothing merchant and still had ten children at home plus his niece Ella Bohm, the daughter of his deceased sister Eva. Seven daughters were still home: Emma, Rachel, Celia, Rebecca, Florence, Eva, and Gertrude. None were employed, and the youngest four were still in school. Three sons were also still living at home: George, Frank, and Edward. George was working as a clerk in a clothing store and Frank as a clerk in a stationery store. Edward was still in school.

Jacob Goldsmith and family, 1880 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1173; Page: 158D; Enumeration District: 210
Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census

On March 4, 1881, Jacob’s wife Fannie Silverman Goldsmith, who had given birth to fourteen children between 1853 and 1871, died at age 53 from tuberculosis. She was survived by her husband Jacob, her fourteen children, and numerous grandchildren, some of whom were born after she passed away.

Fannie Silverman Goldsmith death certificate,”Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-66Y7-VGR?cc=1320976&wc=9FRQ-ZNL%3A1073342601 : 16 May 2014), 004058654 > image 1071 of 1222; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

In fact, Annie’s daughter Fanny Frank, who was born just a few weeks after Fannie’s death,21 was undoubtedly named for her grandmother Fannie as was Ellena’s daughter Fanny Feldstein, born April 17, 1883.22 I also think that the middle initial of Leonora’s daughter, Helen F. Jaffa, who was born a month to the day after her grandmother’s death, was in honor of Fannie Silverman Goldsmith.23

Fannie certainly deserved these honors, having given birth to and raised fourteen children.

 


  1. Pennsylvania Marriages, 1709-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V26R-2YL : 11 February 2018), Samuel Feldstein and Ellina Goldsmith, 06 Nov 1872; citing Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; FHL microfilm 1,765,164. 
  2. Samuel Feldstein death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1965; Certificate Number Range: 052001-055800, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966 
  3. Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission; Supreme Court Naturalization Papers 1794-1868; Archive Roll: RG-33:813, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Naturalization Records from Supreme and District Courts, 1794-1908, Naturalization papers, 1867-1868, petition nos. 9238-9768 
  4. Samuel Feldstein, 1870 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 12 Dist 36 (2nd Enum), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1424; Page: 554A; Family History Library Film: 552923, Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census 
  5. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1873, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  6. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Births, 1860-1906,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VBT8-63R : 10 March 2018), Arthur Feldstine, 15 Aug 1873; citing Birth, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, City of Philadelphia, Department of Records, Pennsylvania. 
  7. William Feldstein death certificate, 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. 
  8. Sylvester Feldstein, Registration State: New Jersey; Registration County: Atlantic; Roll: 1711901; Draft Board: 2, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 
  9. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Births, 1860-1906,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VBBB-GKM : 9 March 2018), Leopold Feldstein, 26 Aug 1880; citing Birth, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, City of Philadelphia, Department of Records, Pennsylvania. 
  10. I am inferring this from their daughter Josephine’s birth in October 1877. See below. 
  11. Headstone inscription at https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/100371594 
  12. California State Library, California History Section; Great Registers, 1866-1898; Collection Number: 4 – 2A; CSL Roll Number: 41; FHL Roll Number: 977097, Ancestry.com. California, Voter Registers, 1866-1898 
  13. The National Archives at Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C.; Manifests of Passengers Arriving at St. Albans, VT, District through Canadian Pacific and Atlantic Ports, 1895-1954; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787 – 2004; Record Group Number: 85; Series Number: M1464; Roll Number: 556, Ancestry.com. U.S., Border Crossings from Canada to U.S., 1895-1960 
  14. Harry Garfield Frank, World War I draft registration, Registration State: California; Registration County: San Francisco; Roll: 1544262; Draft Board: 12, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918; Fannie Frank, Ancestry.com. California, San Francisco Area Funeral Home Records, 1895-1985 
  15. Leonora and Sol Jaffa, 1900 US census, Census Place: Trinidad, Las Animas, Colorado; Page: 14; Enumeration District: 0064; FHL microfilm: 1240126, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  16. Solomon Jaffa, Passport application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 1312; Volume #: Roll 1312 – Certificates: 73250-73625, 29 Jul 1920-29 Jul 1920, Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 
  17. Solomon Jaffa, 1870 US census, Census Place: Mora, Mora, New Mexico Territory; Roll: M593_894; Page: 313A; Family History Library Film: 552393,
    Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census 
  18. JewishGen, comp. JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) 
  19. Arthur Jaffa, World War I draft registration, Registration State: New Mexico; Registration County: Chaves; Roll: 1711858, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 
  20. Felix Goldsmith, 1880 US census, Census Place: Las Vegas, San Miguel, New Mexico; Roll: 803; Page: 289B; Enumeration District: 032, Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census 
  21. Ancestry.com. California, San Francisco Area Funeral Home Records, 1895-1985. 
  22. Fannie Feldstein Neufeld death certificate,  Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1965; Certificate Number Range: 019051-021750, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966 
  23. JewishGen, comp. JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) 

Simon Goldsmith’s family 1860-1871: Two Dozen Grandchildren

In 1860, Simon Goldschmidt, now Simon Goldsmith, was a two-time widower living in Washington, Pennsylvania, with his oldest child from his first marriage, Jacob Goldsmith. Also living with them were Jacob’s wife Fannie Silverman and their six young daughters, Ellena, Emma, Annie, Rachel, Leonora, and Celia, and Simon’s two children, Henry and Hannah, from his second marriage to my three-times great-aunt Fradchen Schoenthal.  Jacob was a merchant with $4500 worth of real estate and $6000 in personal property. In 1863, Jacob registered for the Civil War draft in Washington, Pennsylvania, but I have no record showing that he served in the war.1

Simon Goldsmith and family 1860 US census
Year: 1860; Census Place: Washington, Washington, Pennsylvania; Roll: M653_1192; Page: 1188; Image: 627; Family History Library Film: 805192

Jacob and Fannie had many more children in the 1860s; Felix (about 1860)2 and George (1862)3 were likely born in Washington, Pennsylvania, but by the time Frank4 was born in 1863, the family may already have moved to Philadelphia. The next five children were all born in Philadelphia: Edward (born as Oscar, 1864),5 Rebecca (1866),6 Florence (1869),7 and finally a set of twins born early in the next decade, Gertrude and Eva (born January 18, 1871).8 That brought the grand total of Jacob and Fannie’s children to fourteen—four sons and ten daughters.  In 1870, Jacob and Fannie and their children were living in Philadelphia. Jacob was still a retail merchant and now had $20,000 in personal property.

Jacob Goldsmith and family, 1870 US census, Year: 1870; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 12 Dist 36 (2nd Enum), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1424; Page: 589B; Family History Library Film: 552923, Township: Philadelphia Ward 12 Dist 36 (2nd Enum), 
Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census

Jacob Goldsmith and family, 1870 US census, Year: 1870; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 12 District 36, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Ancestry.com

In 1860, Simon’s oldest daughter Lena was living about fifty miles away from her father in Connellsville, Pennsylvania, with her husband Gustavus Basch and their three young children, Frank, Jacob, and Hinda. Gustavus was a clothing merchant and had $3100 in personal property, according to the 1860 census.

Lena and Gustav Basch and family, 1860 census, Year: 1860; Census Place: Connellsville, Fayette, Pennsylvania; Roll: M653_1110; Page: 421; Family History Library Film: 805110 Source Information Ancestry.com. 1860 United States Federal Census

Like his brother-in-law Jacob, Gustavus registered for the Civil War draft in 1863, but I don’t know if he served.9 Lena and Gustavus’ family was also growing in the 1860s, but not as much as Jacob and Fannie’s. They added three more to their family in that decade: Joel (1863),10 Ella (1865),11 and Joseph (1867),12 all born in Connellsville.  In 1868, Gustavus was listed as a clothier in Connellsville in the Pennsylvania State directory, but sometime thereafter he changed occupations and the family relocated.13 By 1870, the family had moved to Pittsburgh, and Gustavus was now working for H. Bier & Company, a brass founders and steam pump manufacturing company.14

Gustavus Basch 1870 US census, Year: 1870; Census Place: Pittsburgh Ward 2, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1295; Page: 423A; Family History Library Film: 552794
Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census,

As for Simon’s second oldest daughter Eva, as reported here in detail, I cannot find her in 1860, but I believe that sometime around 1860 she married Marcus Bohm, a Polish immigrant who had a store in Washington, Pennsylvania, until 1860. It also appears that Marcus and Eva had a daughter Ella, born in February, 1862. Also, as I wrote about earlier, it seems that Eva died sometime before 1870. Her daughter Ella Bohm was then living with her uncle Jacob Goldsmith and his family in Philadelphia. Ella’s father’s whereabouts are not known, although he appears to have been in New Jersey.

Meanwhile, Simon’s two youngest children, my double cousins Henry and Hannah Goldsmith, were teenagers in the 1860s. In 1867, Hannah married Joseph Benedict.15 She was only nineteen, and he was 33. Joseph was born July 3, 1834, in Germany and had immigrated in 1857, according to the 1900 census.16 I cannot find any immigration record for Joseph or a marriage record for Hannah and Joseph.

In 1865 a Joseph Benedict was working as a clerk in Pittsburgh.17 In 1868 he is listed in the Pittsburgh directory as a used furniture dealer, but in 1869 he is listed as a second-hand clothing dealer. The 1870 Pittsburgh directory lists him as a junk dealer, so maybe it was both clothing and furniture.18 The 1870 census merely lists his occupation as “retail.” By that time Joseph and Hannah had a five-month-old son named Jacob, born January 24, 1870, in Pittsburgh.19 Also living with them in 1870 were Hannah’s father, Simon Goldsmith, now a retired tailor, and Amelia Schoenthal, who was Hannah’s first cousin, her mother Fradchen’s niece and the older sister of my great-grandfather Isidore Schoenthal. On June 6, 1871, Hannah Goldsmith Benedict gave birth to a second child, Herschel Newton Benedict, in Pittsburgh.20

Joseph and Hannah Benedict, 1870 US census, Census Place: Pittsburgh Ward 5, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1295; Page: 567A; Family History Library Film: 552794
Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census

Simon’s son Henry had moved out on his own by 1870. Now 23, he was living in Connellsville, Pennsylvania, working as a clothing dealer.21 My hunch is that Henry took over his brother-in-law Gustave’s business when Gustave and Lena moved to Pittsburgh. In 1871, Henry married Sarah Jaffa.22 She was the daughter of Aron Jaffa and Ella Hahn, and she was born in Heinebach, Germany, on October 19, 1851, and immigrated to the US in 1869.23 That marriage brought another twist to my family tree.

Sarah Jaffa had three older brothers who had already immigrated to the US when she arrived.  As I’ve written about previously, the Jaffa brothers would later become business and civic leaders in Trinidad, Colorado, and Albuquerque, New Mexico. And twenty-five years after Henry Goldsmith married Sarah Jaffa, Sarah’s niece Ida Jaffa married Meyer Mansbach, the son of Sarah Goldschmidt Mansbach. Sarah Goldschmidt Mansbach was Henry Goldsmith’s first cousin as their fathers, Seligmann Goldschmidt and Simon Goldschmidt/Goldsmith, were brothers.24

Sarah and Henry had their first child, Jacob W. Goldsmith, on December 24, 1871, in Connellsville, Pennsylvania.25 He was the 24th grandchild of Simon Goldsmith, all born in Pennsylvania. Interestingly, three of those grandchildren were named Jacob: Lena’s son Jacob Basch, Hannah’s son Jacob Benedict, and Henry’s son Jacob W. Goldsmith. Since Simon was still living, it appears that three of his children named their sons for Simon’s father, Jacob Falcke Goldschmidt.

Thus, by the end of 1871, all of Simon Goldsmith’s children had married. Simon, who had outlived two wives and three children, was 76 years old and had twenty-four grandchildren, ranging from newborns to eighteen-year-old Ellena, with more grandchildren to come in the next decade. In fact, he would live to be a great-grandfather. More on that in the next post.

 


  1.  National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Consolidated Lists of Civil War Draft Registration Records (Provost Marshal General’s Bureau; Consolidated Enrollment Lists, 1863-1865); Record Group: 110, Records of the Provost Marshal General’s Bureau (Civil War); Collection Name: Consolidated Enrollment Lists, 1863-1865 (Civil War Union Draft Records); NAI: 4213514; Archive Volume Number: 3 of 3, Ancestry.com. U.S., Civil War Draft Registrations Records, 1863-1865 
  2. Felix Goldsmith, 1870 US census, Year: 1870; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 12 Dist 36 (2nd Enum), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1424; Page: 589B; Family History Library Film: 552923, Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census. I am not certain of Felix’s birthdate. His death certificate says he was born September 25, 1859, and the 1900 census says he was born in September 1859, but he is not on the 1860 census with his family, and in his 1870 his age is reported as nine and in 1880 as nineteen. Thus, I am guessing he was born in about 1860. 
  3. Ancestry.com. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Death Certificates Index, 1803-1915. George Goldsmith, 1870 US census, Year: 1870; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 12 Dist 36 (2nd Enum), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1424; Page: 589B; Family History Library Film: 552923, Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census 
  4. Frank Goldsmith, 1870 US census, Year: 1870; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 12 District 36, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1396; Page: 179B; Family History Library Film: 552895, Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census [ 
  5. Pennsylvania Births and Christenings, 1709-1950,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V2FR-G9S : 11 February 2018), Oscar Goldsmith, 08 Nov 1864; Birth, citing Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; FHL microfilm 1,289,309. 
  6. Rebecca Goldsmith, 1870 US census, Year: 1870; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 12 District 36, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1396; Page: 179B; Family History Library Film: 552895, Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census. Rebecca Levy, ship manifest, 1926, Year: 1926; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 3784; Line: 1; Page Number: 197, Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 
  7.  Pennsylvania Births and Christenings, 1709-1950,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V2F1-KDR : 11 February 2018), Florence Goldsmith, 24 Feb 1869; Birth, citing Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; FHL microfilm 1,289,312 
  8. Pennsylvania Births and Christenings, 1709-1950,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V2FX-1MN : 11 February 2018), Eve Goldsmith, 18 Jan 1871; Birth, citing Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; FHL microfilm 1,289,313.  Pennsylvania Births and Christenings, 1709-1950,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V2FX-1M6 : 11 February 2018), Gertrude Goldsmith, 18 Jan 1871; Birth, citing Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; FHL microfilm 1,289,313 
  9. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Consolidated Lists of Civil War Draft Registration Records (Provost Marshal General’s Bureau; Consolidated Enrollment Lists, 1863-1865); Record Group: 110, Records of the Provost Marshal General’s Bureau (Civil War); Collection Name: Consolidated Enrollment Lists, 1863-1865 (Civil War Union Draft Records); NAI: 4213514; Archive Volume Number: 3 of 3. Ancestry.com. U.S., Civil War Draft Registrations Records, 1863-1865 
  10. “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6Q67-VC2?cc=1307272&wc=MD9N-9P8%3A287599801%2C294723701 : 21 May 2014), 1950 > 74601-76700 > image 303 of 2329. 
  11. “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-D4LQ-GG4?cc=1307272&wc=MD96-DN5%3A287601401%2C287598802 : 21 May 2014), 1930 > 00001-02900 > image 2674 of 3183. 
  12. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, SSN: 297323868. 
  13. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995, Reilly´s Pennsylvania State Business Directory, 1868-69 
  14. Pittsburgh city directory, 1870, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995. 
  15. Hannah and Joseph Benedict, 1900 US census, Census Place: Pittsburgh Ward 11, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Page: 6; Enumeration District: 0142; FHL microfilm: 1241359, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  16. Hannah and Joseph Benedict, 1900 US census, Census Place: Pittsburgh Ward 11, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Page: 6; Enumeration District: 0142; FHL microfilm: 1241359, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  17. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1865, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  18. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1868, 1869, 1870, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  19. Jacob Benedict, death certificate, Certificate No, 88, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1965;Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966 
  20. Herschel Benedict, marriage record, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania County Marriages, 1852-1973; County: Allegheny; Year Range: 1900; Roll Number: 549738, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, County Marriage Records, 1845-1963 
  21. Henry Goldsmith, 1870 US census, Census Place: Connellsville, Fayette, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1342; Page: 79A; Family History Library Film: 552841, Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census [ 
  22. Henry and Sarah Goldsmith, 1900 US census, Census Place: Connellsville, Fayette, Pennsylvania; Page: 7; Enumeration District: 0007; FHL microfilm: 1241409,
    Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  23. Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1965; Certificate Number Range: 093741-097660, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966; Henry and Sarah Goldsmith, 1900 US census, Census Place: Connellsville, Fayette, Pennsylvania; Page: 7; Enumeration District: 0007; FHL microfilm: 1241409,
    Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  24.  And another connection between the Jaffa and Goldschmidt families was made in 1880 when Solomon Jaffa married Leonora Goldsmith, Jacob Goldsmith’s daughter. But that is yet to come. 
  25. Jacob W. Goldsmith, marriage record, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania County Marriages, 1852-1973; County: Allegheny; Year Range: 1899; Roll Number: 549736, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, County Marriage Records, 1845-1963 

Cohen and Company Photograph: Is That My Grandfather?

Hello, everyone! I have returned from my break and am ready to dive back into my exploration of my Goldschmidt/Goldsmith relatives. But before I do, I want to share my second experience working with “Sherlock Cohn, the Photo Genealogist” aka Ava Cohn.

In the course of my genealogy research, many cousins have shared photographs with me, and fortunately almost all the time they can identify the people in the photographs. But occasionally I have received photographs with unidentified people in them, and sometimes those photographs just stay in my head and bother me. Who are those people? How can I figure out who they are?

This is one of those photographs, a photograph that belonged to my late cousin Marjorie Cohen, my father’s first cousin, the daughter of Stanley Cohen, my grandfather’s brother. The only person I was fairly confident I could identify in the photograph was Marjorie’s father Stanley, the man on the far left in the photograph.

Cohen & Company photograph

Here is a photograph on Stanley taken just a few years later when he was serving in World War I. You can see the resemblance to the man on the left.

Stanley Cohen World War I

The group photograph was taken in Philadelphia in front of the Cohen & Company Money Loan store, which was part of the pawnshop business started by my great-great-grandfather Jacob Cohen in Philadelphia in the 1850s and then carried on by many of his sons, including my great-grandfather Emanuel Cohen, who ran this particular store. I wondered whether these five men were also grandsons of Jacob Cohen. I was particularly curious about whether my grandfather John Cohen was one of the men standing in front of the store.

When I connected this summer with my second cousin Marcy, the granddaughter of my grandfather’s other brother, Maurice Cohen, she sent me some photographs of Maurice and of Maurice’s sons, Buddy and Maurice, Jr.

Emanuel (Buddy), Maurice Sr., and Maurice, Jr.

My great-uncle Maurice Cohen, Sr.

I also had photographs of my great-grandfather Emanuel Cohen, my great-uncle Stanley, and my grandfather John. Having had fabulous success with Ava Cohn, aka Sherlock Cohn, the Photo Genealogist, in the past, I decided to have Ava analyze these photographs to see if she could identify the people in the Cohen & Company photograph.

Emanuel Cohen, my great-grandfather

Eva Schoenthal and John Cohen, 1923

John and Eva Cohen
c. 1930

John Nusbaum Cohen c. 1894

Ava’s work is remarkable. Her attention to detail and the research she did to try and answer my questions is incredibly professional and thorough. Although she could not definitively identify all the people in the photograph, she certainly narrowed down the possibilities and made some very helpful and persuasive comments and suggestions. With her permission, I am going to summarize and excerpt from her report.

First, Ava analyzed whether the date that I’d been told was on the back of the photograph—April 1913—was accurate.  She based her analysis in part on the type and content of the photograph:

…the scan appears to me to be a brown color, indicating a platinum print (sepia color) used generally from 1880-1930. Platinum prints often fade and there is some fading of this photograph. However, after 1920 most photographs were gelatin silver prints that had crisper black and whites than the platinum prints, another indication that this photograph was taken before 1920. … The photograph was taken outside. Since one of the men is wearing a sweater, it is appropriate to say that the photograph was taken in a cooler month, but obviously not winter. This is consistent with the presumed date of April, 1913. 

Ava then analyzed the clothing worn by the people in the photograph, labeling them A through E from left to right:

  1. Person A is wearing a coat sweater with V-neckline, knit cuffs, two patch pockets and six buttons. This dates from the 1911-1912 period.
  2. All the men are wearing shirts with detached collars from around 1908 and skinny ties that were popular in 1912.
  3. Person B is wearing a high cut vest also with 6 buttons, a style found in ads from 1912.
  4. Persons C and E are wearing jackets that are slightly fitted at the waistline. Person D is wearing an older jacket that is less fitted.  The slightly fitted waist style of men’s jackets was popular from 1912-1915. Also in that time period men’s jackets had 1, 2 or 3 buttons as can be seen on the men’s jackets in the photograph.
  5. Person D is holding a soft felt Optimo shape Panama hat from about 1912.
  6. Persons A, B, D and E have their hair combed back in a pompadour style with no part. Men wore their hair in this manner in the 1912-1913 period. Person C has a variation of this style with a side part.

From these observations, Ava concluded that the date of April 1913 on the photograph was likely accurate.

Then using that date and her estimation of the age of the five individuals in the photograph, Ava deduced the likely birth year of each of the five:

A: 24 years old. Born circa 1889.

B: 15 years old. Born circa 1898.

C: 24-26 years old. Born circa 1887-1889.

D: 18-19 years old. Born circa 1894-1895

E: 25 years old. Born circa 1888.

As noted above, I was already reasonably certain based on other photographs that Person A was my great-uncle Stanley Cohen, Marjorie’s father, who was in fact born in 1889. Ava’s analysis further confirmed that conclusion by relying on the physical descriptions of Stanley in his draft registrations for World War I and World War II. The World War II registration indicated that Stanley was 5’9” tall, and from that fact Ava was able to compare him to the other men in the photograph to reach some conclusions about their heights.

Using this information as well as information from draft registrations, census records, directories, and other sources, Ava reached the following hypotheses about the other four people in the photograph:

B: Simon LB Cohen, born 1898.

C: Samuel S. Cohen, born 1887.

D: John Nusbaum Cohen, born 1895.

E: Morris N. Cohen, born 1887.

For person B, Ava noted that Simon LB Cohen was the only grandson of my great-great-grandfather Jacob Cohen who would have been that young (roughly 15) in 1913. I would love for that to be Simon because I know so much about what happened to him just a few years after this photograph was taken. Simon served valiantly in World War I, was seriously injured and presumed (mistakenly) killed in action, and was awarded the Croix de Guerre for his bravery. He died as a young man in 1934, perhaps as a consequence of his time in the war.

Croix de Guerre awarded to Simon LB Cohen in 1918

But we can’t be sure that this boy was even related to the Cohens (or that anyone in the photograph other than Stanley was). Perhaps they are just a bunch of friends. But if we assume that they are all Cohens and all grandsons of Jacob Cohen, then Simon LB Cohen is a likely candidate to be person B. Since there are no draft registration descriptions of Simon nor any photographs, it is impossible to know for sure whether this is Simon in the photograph.

I was also very intrigued by Ava’s hypothesis that persons C and E  could be the twin brothers, Morris and Samuel Cohen, sons of my great-grandfather’s older brother Joseph Cohen and grandsons of my great-great-grandfather Jacob Cohen. Morris and Samuel were born on August 22, 1887, in Cape May, New Jersey, but in 1910 they were living with their parents in Philadelphia, both working as salesmen in a department store, according to the 1910 census. Ava thought that although they were not identical, they did look like brothers and appeared to be about the same age—24 to 26 years old.

Ava’s analysis seemed very convincing, so I was motivated to search for descendants of Morris Cohen and Samuel Cohen to see if they had any photographs of the twin brothers. With the help of a good friend who knew one of Samuel’s grandchildren, I was able to make a connection. Unfortunately the grandchildren’s memory and photographs of their grandfather Samuel (displayed below) did not confirm that he was either Person C nor Person E in the photograph so I am back to square one in identifying those two men.

Samuel Cohen. Courtesy of his grandchildren

Samuel Cohen, courtesy of his grandchildren

But it was Person D I was most interested in, as I hoped he was my grandfather John Cohen, who would have been almost seventeen and a half in April 1913 and thus close to the age of Ava’s estimated age of Person D. Also, Ava pointed out that on his 1921 passport application, my grandfather’s height was reported to be 5’6” and that his World War I draft registration described him as short; certainly Person D is a shorter man than Persons A, C and E. Those two factors pointed to Person D being my grandfather.

John Cohen Sr. World War I draft registration

John N Cohen passport application page 2

But comparing Person D to the photographs of my grandfather created doubts for Ava (and myself) as to whether Person D was my grandfather. My grandfather had very distinctive eyes—very deep set and slanted down; Person D is squinting, making it hard to see his eyes, so it is hard to tell if they are the same as my grandfather’s eyes. Ava also pointed out that Person D has a widow’s peak whereas there does not appear to be a widow’s peak in the photographs of my grandfather.

Here is a closeup of Person D and then several of my grandfather—in 1921,1923 and 1930. In addition, Ava believes (and I agree) that the man holding a baby in the fifth photograph is probably my grandfather.  I know we see what we want to see, but the more I study these, the more I think Person D might be my grandfather. The loss of the widow’s peak could be from his obviously receding hairline. Look at the difference between 1921 and 1923. In 1930 he is wearing a hat—perhaps to hide his balding?

One other thing I noticed in the photographs of my grandfather—he had attached earlobes. Unfortunately when I zoom into the Cohen & Company photo, it’s hard to tell whether Person D also has attached earlobes.

 

 

John Cohen in 1921

John Cohen in 1923

John Cohen, 1930

Could this be my grandfather John Cohen? And who is the baby?

I now believe that Person D is my grandfather, but I know that that’s what I am hoping for so I don’t trust my judgement. Ava was not certain, but thought it was possible.

What do you think?

Although it was not possible for Ava to identify all of the people in the group photograph, she certainly narrowed the field and provided solid and convincing reasons for her conclusions. Thank you, Ava, for a wonderful job on this extremely difficult project!