Leo Sigmund: Loss of A Life, Loss of a Business

The extended Sigmund family suffered one more loss between 1910 and 1920 when Leo Sigmund, Ella and Albert’s son, died at age 54 on July 31, 1913. According to his obituary, he had suffered from a nervous condition for two years. Leo’s children were only thirteen (Tracy Edna) and eleven (Albert Lloyd) when their father died. As the obituary points out, Leo was the only remaining family member carrying on the hat and fur business started by Albert Sigmund in 1846, A. Sigmund & Son.

“Well-known Merchant Who Died Yesterday,” The Baltimore Sun, August 1, 1913, p. 12

The obituary is as much a tribute to Leo’s wife Claudia as it is to Leo; it describes how she took over and even improved the business while Leo was ill as well as nursing Leo and taking care of the household.

Unfortunately, Claudia found herself in a struggle to keep the business after Leo’s death. According to a complaint she filed in 1916 to have receivers appointed to the business, her own brother Michael Hirsch fraudulently induced her to sell him the business for far less than its value in the aftermath of Leo’s death. She claimed that the business was worth at least $45,000 (if valued at more than $60,000 in assets with $14,800 in liabilities) and that she sold it to Michael for only $8,000, leaving her with only $1,600 after paying off the debts.

“Receivers for Furriers,” The Baltimore Evening Sun, December 13, 1916, p. 9

“Receivers for Sigmund & Son,” The Baltimore Sun, December 14, 1916, p. 13

I don’t know whether Claudia ever received any compensation for the alleged fraud committed by her brother as I could find no story that reported on that question. As for Michael Hirsch, he and his wife started another business, and it also ended up in bankruptcy.1

In 1920 Claudia Hirsch Sigmund and her two children, now 20 and 18, were living in Baltimore with her mother and sister. Claudia was not employed outside the home, but her daughter T. Edna was working as a stenographer for a soil improvement company and her son A. Lloyd was an office helper in a straw hat factory.

And the business started by Albert Sigmund in 1846 and that supported his family for so many years was gone.

Claudia Hirsch Sigmund and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Baltimore Ward 13, Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland; Roll: T625_658; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 203
Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census

Fortunately, the 1910s were better years for the rest of Ella Goldschmidt Sigmund’s children and grandchildren, as the next post will reveal.


  1. The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore, Maryland, 02 Apr 1918, Tue • Page 15 

Joseph Sigmund’s Daughters: A Double Tragedy

It’s hard to imagine the nightmare that the 1910s brought to Joseph Sigmund’s daughters, Lenore and Celeste. Both had married in the prior decade. As we saw, Lenore married a doctor, Henry Isaacs, and had moved with him to the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. Celeste married Abe Diamond, a cigar salesman from Chicago who had relocated to Denver, where Celeste and her family were living. Celeste and Abe had a daughter Marjorie who was born December 27, 1909, in Denver.

Then tragedy ended both of these young marriages. On February 19, 1912, Lenore’s husband Henry Isaacs was killed in a collision in Denver between a firetruck and the streetcar in which he was riding. Henry and Lenore were in Denver for the winter because Lenore was in poor health. Henry was only 32 years old.

 

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 21, 1912, p. 11.

Lenore remained in Denver and was at the same address as her parents in the 1913 Denver directory.1

Just four years later, fate dealt the family another cruel blow. Joseph Sigmund’s other son-in-law, Celeste’s husband Abe Diamond, was killed in a car accident in Denver on July 12, 1916. He was driving a car he had purchased just the week before. The car was traveling at a high rate of speed up a steep hill when it skidded and went over an embankment, falling 25 feet below. Abe was pinned under the car and crushed by its weight, dying instantly. A passenger in the car was thrown from the car and escaped serious injury. Abe Diamond was 37 years old when he died, and he was survived by his wife Celeste and their six-year-old daughter Marjorie.

“Abe Diamond Killed in Killed in Auto Wreck,” The Denver Post, July 10, 1916, p. 1

The Denver Rocky Mountain News also wrote about the accident:

“Abe Diamond Dies in Crash of Auto in Mountain Road,” Denver Rocky Mountain News, July 11, 1916, p. 7

Both Denver newspapers noted the terrible fact that both of Joseph Sigmund’s sons-in-law had been killed in automotive accidents in Denver. It is hard for me to fathom how the family responded to the cruelty of these events. How could two sisters both lose their young husbands in accidents like this within five years of each other?

Somehow the family survived and persisted. Both sisters eventually remarried. On September 23, 1919, Lenore married Edwin Weinberg in Denver.2 Edwin was a native of Chicago, born there on February 27, 1892, the son of Moses Weinberg and Emily Moore.3 In 1900, Edwin’s father was a bookkeeper for a wholesale meat business, and Edwin was a clerk in a wholesale hat business.4  Edwin was still living in Chicago in 1917 when he registered for the World War I draft; he was working as a salesman at that time.5 I’ve no idea how Edwin and Lenore met, but after marrying they settled in Denver, where in 1920 Edwin was working as a clerk in a clothing store. Lenore and Edwin would have one child born in the 1920s.6

Meanwhile, in 1920 Celeste was still living with her parents Joseph and Emma in Denver along with her daughter Marjorie. Joseph continued to work as an advertising writer and was supporting his wife, daughter, and granddaughter.

Joseph Sigmund and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Denver, Denver, Colorado; Roll: T625_162; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 276
Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census

But Celeste remarried later that year. On December 12, 1920, she married Hugo Rothenberg in Denver.7  Hugo was born in Hamburg, Germany, on June 7, 1878, to Isaac Rothenburg and Rebecka Heymann, and immigrated to the US in 1896.8 In 1905, he was living in Denver, working as a clerk for Simon Frank & Company, a wholesale notions business.9 He was apparently quite friendly with Abe and Celeste Diamond.

Denver Jewish Outlook, April 26, 1907. p. 10

Denvery Jewish Outlook, June 12, 1908, p. 8

In 1910 he was working as the secretary of a mercantile business, Stern-Prince Importing, in Denver,10 but by 1918 Hugo had relocated to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he was a manager for Paris Fashions Co.

Hugo Rothenburg, World War I draft registration, Registration State: Wisconsin; Roll: 1674778; Draft Board: 01, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918

He was still living there in 1920, and after he and Celeste married in December 1920, they lived in Milwaukee for at least the next four years.11  They would return to Denver by 1925 and remain there for many years, as we will see.

Thus, both Lenore and Celeste remarried after losing their first husbands to tragic accidents. The will to go on and to find love again is remarkable.

 


  1. Publication Title: Denver, Colorado, City Directory, 1913, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  2. Name: Lenore Isaacs, Gender: Female, Marriage Date: 23 Sep 1919, Marriage Place: Colorado, USA, Spouse: Edwin Weinberg, Film Number: 001690147,
    Ancestry.com. Colorado, County Marriage Records and State Index, 1862-2006 
  3. Name: Edward Jacob Weinberg, Birth Date: 27 Feb 1892, Birth Place: Chicago, Cook, Illinois, Ethnicity: American. Gender: Male, Race: White, Father: Moses A Weinberg, Mother: Emily Moore Weinberg, FHL Film Number: 1287929, Ancestry.com. Cook County, Illinois, Birth Certificates Index, 1871-1922 
  4. Moses Weinberg and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Chicago Ward 32, Cook, Illinois; Page: 11; Enumeration District: 1030; FHL microfilm: 1240286, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  5. Edwin Weinberg, World War I draft registration, Registration State: Illinois; Registration County: Cook; Roll: 1439759; Draft Board: 13, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 
  6. Edwin Weinberg and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Denver, Denver, Colorado; Roll: T625_162; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 237, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  7. Name: Celeste Diamond, Gender: Female, Marriage Date: 12 Dec 1920, Marriage Place: Denver, Denver, Colorado, USA, Spouse: Hugo Rothenburg, Film Number: 001690129, Ancestry.com. Colorado, County Marriage Records and State Index, 1862-2006 
  8. Name: Hugo Rothenburg, Gender: männlich (Male), Birth Date: 7 Jun 1878, Birth Place: Hamburg, Hamburg, Deutschland (Germany), Civil Registration Office: Hamburg 02, Father: Isaac Rothenburg, Mother: Rebecka Heymann Rothenburg, Certificate Number: 2720, Reference Number: 332-5_1932, Ancestry.com. Hamburg, Germany, Births, 1874-1901. Staatsarchiv Hamburg; Hamburg, Deutschland; Hamburger Passagierlisten; Volume: 373-7 I, VIII A 1 Band 092 A; Page: 125; Microfilm No.: K_1754, Staatsarchiv Hamburg. Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934 
  9. Denver, Colorado, City Directory, 1905, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  10. Hugo Rothenburg, 1910 US census, Census Place: Denver Ward 9, Denver, Colorado; Roll: T624_116; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 0113; FHL microfilm: 1374129, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census; Publication Title: Denver, Colorado, City Directory, 1911, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  11. Hugo Rothenburg, 1920 US census, Census Place: Milwaukee Ward 3, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Roll: T625_1998; Page: 15B; Enumeration District: 45, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census; The Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 11 Jan 1924, Fri • Page 2 

Ella Goldschmidt Sigmund’s Grandchildren: Eight Weddings between 1901 and 1910

Last time we saw that Ella Goldschmidt Sigmund died in 1904 after losing her daughter/granddaughter May the day prior to her own death. Ella was survived by five of her children: Henrietta in Washington, Pennsylvania; Joseph in Denver; and Simon, Leo, and Mollie in Baltimore. She also was survived by numerous grandchildren.

By the time Ella died, some of those grandchildren were adults and beginning to marry and have families of their own. For example, Henrietta’s daughter Moynelle had married Bert Spanye on October 19, 1900, and had given birth to Ella’s first great-grandchild, Edward Spanye, on September 19, 1902, in Cleveland, Ohio.

And all five of William Sigmund’s children married between 1901 and 1910. Albert married Mae J. Kaufman on January 15, 1901, in Washington, DC.1 Mae was the daughter of Charles Kaufman, a German immigrant, and Elizabeth Wetzler, a Maryland native. Mae was born in January 1877, in DC. Her father was a clothier there.2 In 1910 Albert and Mae were living in DC where Albert was the manager of a jewelry store known as The Ashley. They had no children.3

The next of William’s children to marry was his daughter Jeanette. She married Sydney C. Kaufman on January 28, 1903, in DC.4  Their wedding got a big write-up in the DC Evening Star, including pictures of both the bride and groom:

Sydney was the younger brother of Mae Kaufman, the wife of Jeannette’s brother Albert. Sydney was born on February 18, 1881, in DC,5 and in 1900 was living with his parents and siblings and working as a clerk in a clothing store, presumably his father’s.6 In 1910 Sydney and Jeannette were living in DC, and Jeannette’s mother Addie was living with them; Sydney was working as a clothing merchant on his own account. Sadly, it appears that Sydney and Jeannette had lost two children in the seven years they’d been married.

Sydney Kaufman and family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Precinct 10, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: T624_155; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 0215; FHL microfilm: 1374168
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

Albert and Jeanette’s brother Abraham Sigmund was next to marry, and he did not marry another Kaufman sibling. On January 14, 1907, he married Helene Eiseman,7 a native of DC, born on November 26, 1881, to Moses Eiseman and Bertha Kann8. Moses was also a clothing merchant and was German born; Bertha was born in Maryland. In 1910, Abraham and Helene were living in DC where Abraham was a dry goods merchant; Helene’s father, now a widower, was also living with them. They did not yet have any children.9

Washington DC Evening Star, January 15, 1907, p. 5

One year after Abraham married Helene, his younger brother Goldsmith married Sadye Breslau on January 18, 1908.10 Sadye was a native of DC, born there in about 1890 to Ferdinand Breslau and Clara Gross. Sadye’s father Ferdinand had died in 1905, but had been a milk dealer before his death.11 In 1910, Goldie was a clothing merchant in business with his brothers Abraham and Howard.12 Goldie and Sadye’s son William Ferdinand Sigmund, obviously named for his two grandfathers, was born on June 26, 1910, in Washington, DC.13

The Washington Times, January 20, 1908, p. 4

The youngest of William and Addie Sigmund’s children, Howard, was the last to marry. He married Lesley Wilhoite on April 18, 1909, in DC.14 Her parents were Jeremiah McRae Wilhoite and Frances E. Stith. Her mother was a widow by 1900, and in 1909, Lesley had been living with her mother in DC and working as a stenographer.15 In 1910, Lesley and Howard were lodgers in the household of others, and Howard was working with his brothers Abraham and Goldsmith in their store.16

Thus, all of William and Adelaide Sigmund’s children were married by 1910, though only one of those children yet had a child of his or her own.

Ella Goldschmidt Sigmund’s four other children also saw their families growing between 1901 and 1910. Simon Sigmund’s son Harold became a teenager in that decade. In 1910 he was eighteen and still living at home with his parents and not employed outside the home; Simon continued to work as a fur merchant in Baltimore.17 Leo Sigmund’s children were still quite young in this decade as Tracy Edna was born in 1900 and Albert Lloyd in 1902. In 1910, Leo was also a fur merchant in Baltimore in what had been their father Albert’s business, A. Sigmund & Son.18

Mollie and her husband Harry Goldman were also still living in Baltimore where Harry was no longer a police constable, but in the insurance business. Their children were also adults by the end of the decade. Leman Edwin was still living at home, but practicing law. He had graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 1905 and from the University of Maryland Law School in 1907.

His sister Marguerite was a clerk in an insurance office, presumably her father’s. The youngest sibling Adele was still at home, not working. Also living with the family was Felix Albert Cahn, the orphaned son of Mollie’s sister/niece May, who had died in 1904 just months after her husband Gerson died, leaving three-year-old Felix Albert behind. I was glad to see that Felix was being taken care of by May’s sister/aunt Mollie.

Harry Goldman and family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Baltimore Ward 15, Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland; Roll: T624_558; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 0250; FHL microfilm: 1374571, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

Joseph, the only son who was no longer living in Baltimore, continued to live in Denver in the first decade of the twentieth century and work in the advertising business.19 His daughters both married during those years. Lenore married Henry Isaacs on January 21, 1905, in Denver; Henry was a doctor and was born in Pennsylvania to Isaac E. Isaacs and Elizabeth Sampson in September 1880. He grew up in Pittsburgh and went to college and medical school in western Pennsylvania.20 It would be interesting to know how he met Lenore, who was living in Denver. After they married, they settled in the Pittsburgh area where in 1910 Henry was a doctor at Braddock Hospital in Braddock, Pennsylvania.21

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

Lenore’s younger sister Celeste married two years after her sister on November 28, 1907 in Denver. She married Abe Diamond, who was born in Chicago in 1879 to Solomon A. Diamond, a Dutch immigrant, and Henrietta Kuhn, a French immigrant. In 1900 Abe was still living in Chicago with his parents and working as a salesman, but by the early 1900s he had relocated to Denver where he was a cigar salesman.22 In 1910, Celeste and Abe and their three-month-old daughter Marjorie were living in Denver where Abe continued to work as a cigar merchant.23

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

Unfortunately, the marriages of both Celeste and her sister Lenore were cut short by painfully similar events in the next decade. More on that in my next post.

 


  1. Albert Sigmund and Mae Kaufman marriage record, FHL Film Number: 2108220
    Reference ID: Itm 1 p 1-2 cn 13295, Ancestry.com. District of Columbia, Compiled Marriage Index, 1830-1921 
  2. Charles Kaufman and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Washington, Washington, District of Columbia; Page: 18; Enumeration District: 0071; FHL microfilm: 1240161, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  3. Albert Sigmund, 1910 US census, Census Place: Precinct 7, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: T624_152; Page: 18A; Enumeration District: 0135; FHL microfilm: 1374165, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census; Washington, District of Columbia, City Directory, 1909, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  4. Marriage of Jeannette Sigmund and Sydney Kaufman, FHL Film Number: 2108264
    Reference ID: item 1 p 466 cn 20466, Ancestry.com. District of Columbia, Compiled Marriage Index, 1830-1921 
  5. Sydney Kaufman, passport application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 1931; Volume #: Roll 1931 – Certificates: 155476-155849, 27 Apr 1922-27 Apr 1922, Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 
  6. Charles Kaufman and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Washington, Washington, District of Columbia; Page: 18; Enumeration District: 0071; FHL microfilm: 1240161, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  7. Marriage of Helene K, Eiseman and Abraham Sigmund, FHL Film Number: 2108440, Reference ID: Pg276 CN 35876 Fr475, Ancestry.com. District of Columbia, Compiled Marriage Index, 1830-1921 
  8. Birth record of Helene Eiseman, FHL Film Number: 2114651, Reference ID: cn 28339, Ancestry.com. District of Columbia, Select Births and Christenings, 1830-1955 
  9. Abraham Sigmund and family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Precinct 10, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: T624_155; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 0215; FHL microfilm: 1374168, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  10. Marriage record of Goldsmith Sigmund and Sadye Breslau. FHL Film Number: 2108443, Refence ID: cn 40018, Ancestry.com. District of Columbia, Compiled Marriage Index, 1830-1921 
  11. Ferdinand Breslau family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Washington, Washington, District of Columbia; Page: 4; Enumeration District: 0096; FHL microfilm: 1240162, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census; https://www.findagrave.com/mem Ancestry.com. U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current 
  12. Goldie Sigmund and family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Precinct 8, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: T624_153; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 0142; FHL microfilm: 1374166, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  13.  Number: 578-07-5877; Issue State: District of Columbia; Issue Date: Before 1951,
    Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  14. Washington Evening Star, January 22, 1909, p. 7. 
  15. Lesley Wilhoite, 1900 US census, Census Place: Washington, Washington, District of Columbia; Page: 15; Enumeration District: 0036; FHL microfilm: 1240159, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  16. Howard Sigmund, 1910 US census, Census Place: Precinct 10, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: T624_155; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 0215; FHL microfilm: 1374168, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census. Title: Washington, District of Columbia, City Directory, 1909, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  17. Simon Sigmund and family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Baltimore Ward 14, Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland; Roll: T624_557; Page: 14B; Enumeration District: 0236; FHL microfilm: 1374570, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  18. Leo Sigmund and family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Baltimore Ward 15, Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland; Roll: T624_558; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0250; FHL microfilm: 1374571, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  19. Joseph Sigmund, 1910 US census, Census Place: Denver Ward 9, Denver, Colorado; Roll: T624_116; Page: 14B; Enumeration District: 0113; FHL microfilm: 1374129, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  20. “Dr. H. S. Isaacs,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Feb 21, 1912, p.11. 
  21. Ibid.; Henry Isaacs, 1910 US census, Census Place: Braddock Ward 1, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1293; Page: 19A; Enumeration District: 0019; FHL microfilm: 1375306, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  22. Sol A. Diamond and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Chicago Ward 11, Cook, Illinois; Page: 6; Enumeration District: 0325; FHL microfilm: 1240258, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census; Denver, Colorado, City Directory, 1906, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  23. Abe Diamond, 1910 census, Census Place: Denver Ward 10, Denver, Colorado; Roll: T624_116; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0130; FHL microfilm: 1374129, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 

Ella Goldschmidt Sigmund’s Family in the 1890s: Years of Transition

Although the 1880s were mostly happy years for Ella and her family, William’s death in 1887 brought heartbreak to the family.

The next decade started off well for the family of Ella Goldschmidt Sigmund. On January 16, 1891, Simon Sigmund married Helen Hirshberg, daughter of Henry and Mary Hirshberg, both of whom were German immigrants. Helen was born in Maryland in 1866. Her father owned a paint store in Baltimore.1 Simon and Helen had one child, a son Harold born in Baltimore one year after their marriage on January 4, 1892.2

Marriage record for Simon Sigmund and Helen Hirshberg, Maryland State Archives, http://guide.msa.maryland.gov/pages/viewer.aspx?page=marriage#goToPage

Ella and Albert celebrated the birth of another grandchild in 1892 when Henrietta Sigmund Katzenstein gave birth to her sixth and final child a month later in Washington, Pennsylvania. Their son Vernon was born on February 8, 1892.

On December 2, 1893, Stella Sigmund married Samuel L. Goldman in Baltimore.  Does that name sound familiar? It should because Samuel Goldman was the brother of Emma Goldman, the wife of Joseph Sigmund, and of Harry Goldman, the husband of Molly Sigmund. So three Sigmund siblings married three Goldman siblings. And Samuel also was the father of Leman Poppi Goldman, husband of Flora Wolfe, my Schoenthal cousin.  Samuel was a widower when he married Stella; his first wife Amanda Kann had died on March 30, 1892, leaving him with six children ranging in age from seven to eighteen.3

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

But sadly Samuel was to become a widower again just a year and half after marrying Stella. She died on July 24, 1895, after being ill for several months. She was only 35 years old. Ella and Albert had outlived yet another child.  Stella was the fourth child to predecease them.

Obituary for Stella Sigmund Goldman, The Baltimore Sun,  Baltimore, Maryland
26 Jul 1895, Fri • Page 8

Meanwhile, Joseph Sigmund and his family left Baltimore in the 1890s for Pittsburgh. Joseph had run into financial problems with his business in Baltimore and had made an assignment for the benefit of creditors to a trustee in December 1891. He apparently had debts exceeding $40,000. According to the newspaper, a particularly warm winter had contributed to a drop in fur and hat sales.

The Baltimore Sun, December 30, 1891, p. 4

In 1893, lawsuits that had been filed by numerous creditors against Joseph Sigmund were settled:

Baltimore Sun, May 23, 1893, p. 8

In the aftermath of these losses and lawsuits, Joseph must have decided to leave Baltimore and get a fresh start in Pittsburgh. By 1896 he was working in the advertising business in Pittsburgh for the advertising firm Solomon & Ruben.4

Ella and her family suffered another loss on January 26, 1896 when her husband Albert died at age 77. The Baltimore Sun published this obituary the following day:

Obituary, Albert Sigmund, The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore, Maryland
27 Jan 1896, Mon • Page 7

But the end of the decade brought some better news as there were two more weddings. May Sigmund married Gerson Cahn in Baltimore on April 24, 1898.

Marriage record of Gerson Cahn and May Sigmund, http://guide.msa.maryland.gov/pages/viewer.aspx?page=marriage#goToPage

Gerson was the son of Felix Cahn and Jenny Newmyer. His father was a German immigrant and was in the wholesale millinery business; his mother was born in either Maryland or DC and died when Felix was a young boy.5 Gerson and May had one child, a son born on November 6, 1899, named Felix Albert Cahn,6 who was obviously named for both of his grandfathers (though Gerson’s father was still living). In 1900, Gerson and May and their son Felix Albert (listed as Albert on the census) were living with May’s mother, Ella Goldschmidt Sigmund, and two servants. Gerson was working as a fur salesman.

Gerson Cahn and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Baltimore Ward 16, Baltimore City (Independent City), Maryland; Page: 13; Enumeration District: 0209; FHL microfilm: 1240615
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

The last of Ella and Albert Sigmund’s children to marry was their son Leo. He married Claudia Hirsch in Philadelphia in 1899.7 They would have two children born in the 1900s, Tracy Edna born in May 19008 and Albert Lloyd Sigmund, born September 17, 1902,9 the last-born grandchild of Ella and Albert, bringing the total number of grandchildren to 22.

As the 1890s drew to a close, there was one more transition in the family. Joseph Sigmund moved with his wife and daughters from Pittsburgh to Denver on the advice of his doctors:

“Joseph Sigmund Goes to Denver,” The Pittsburgh Daily Post, October 1, 1899, p. 23

Thus, as of 1900, Ella Goldschmidt was a widow and had outlived four of her ten children: Jacob, Lena, William, and Stella. The 1900 census record says she had five living children, but I count six: Henrietta, Simon, Joseph, Leo, Mollie, and May. Soon, however, there would only be five. Perhaps Ella foresaw the doom of one more of her children.

 


  1. Henry Hirshberg and family, 1870 US census, Census Place: Baltimore Ward 4, Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland; Roll: M593_573; Page: 72A; Family History Library Film: 552072, Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census 
  2. Harold Sigmund, World War I draft registration, Registration State: New York; Registration County: New York; Roll: 1766139; Draft Board: 120, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918  
  3. Amanda Goldman death notice, The Baltimore Sun, April 1, 1892, p. 2. 
  4. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1896, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995. “Advertising Man Taken by Death,” The Denver Post, October 28, 1930, p, 8. 
  5. Death certificate of Gerson Cahn. Marriage record of Felix Cahn and Jenny Newmyer, 1864, Film Number: 002079252, Ancestry.com. District of Columbia, Marriage Records, 1810-1953. What I have not yet been able to determine is whether Jenny Newmyer was somehow related to Adelaide Newmyer, wife of William Sigmund. I am awaiting receipt of Jenny’s death certifcate. 
  6. Maryland State Archives, Baltimore Birth Index, Certificate B5470, http://guide.msa.maryland.gov/pages/series.aspx?action=viewseries&id=cm1134 
  7. Marriage Place: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, Marriage Year: 1899
    Marriage License Number: 115918, Digital GSU Number: 4141922, Ancestry.com. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Marriage Index, 1885-1951 
  8. Leo Sigmund and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Baltimore Ward 16, Baltimore City (Independent City), Maryland; Page: 15; Enumeration District: 0209; FHL microfilm: 1240615, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census 
  9. New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2W23-G4M : 10 February 2018), Claudia Hirsch in entry for Albert Lloyd Sigmund, 24 Oct 1938; citing Death, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 2,108,250. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

William Sigmund, 1887 death certificate 99566, Maryland State Archives

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

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

 


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

Ella Goldschmidt Sigmund, Part I: Success in Baltimore

This is the first post about Ella Goldschmidt in the US. Please read first—I posted out of order.

Ella Goldschmidt was the first child of Meyer Goldschmidt and Lea Katzenstein. She was born in about 1823 in Grebenstein, Germany, and as described by her brother Selig, she had run a millinery business in her father’s home in the years after her mother died in 1839. Selig also wrote that after several years, Ella decided to seek better opportunities elsewhere and left the family to immigrate to the United States. Although I have not located a definite ship manifest for Ella, there is a manifest showing a 21-year-old woman named “Eliza” Goldschmidt who arrived in Philadelphia on June 2, 1845, on the ship Louise, sailing from Bremen, Germany.

Eliz Goldschmidt, passenger manifest, Departure Place: Bremen, Germany
Arrival Date: 2 Jun 1845, Arrival Place: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, 
Ship: Louise, The National Archives at Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C.; Series Title: Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Record Group Title: Records of the United States Customs Service, 1745-1997; Record Group Number: 36; Series: M425
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1800-1962

That may have been Ella, though I can’t be sure. At any rate, I know that Ella had arrived by April 25, 1846, because on that date she married Albert Sigmund in Baltimore, Maryland. (Ella appears to have used numerous variations on Ella in the US, sometimes Helen, sometimes Elena, sometimes as here Helena.) Albert was also a German immigrant; he was born in Bavaria in 1819. According to one source, he came to Baltimore in 1841.

Marriage record of Albert Sigmund and “Helena Goldsmith.” Maryland County Marriages, 1658-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F4JC-GYH : 16 March 2018), Albert Sigmond and Helena Goldsmith, 25 Apr 1846; citing Baltimore, , Maryland, United States, clerk of the circuit court from various counties; FHL microfilm 13,694.

Ella and Albert’s first child, William, was born in about 1847 as he was reported to be three years old on the 1850 census. His sister Lena was born the following year, and in 1850 the family was living in Baltimore where Albert was a customs house officer. His brother Philip was living with them, working as a cap maker. 1

Albert Sigmund and family, 1850 US census, Census Place: Baltimore Ward 3, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: M432_282; Page: 339B; Image: 109, Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census

Between 1851 and 1860, Ella and Albert had six more children, all born in Baltimore: Henrietta (1851),2 Simon (sometimes identified as Samuel or Solomon (1852), Jacob (about 1854), Joseph (1856), Leo(pold) (1858), and Stella (also identified as Hester and Estella) (1860).3

Also living with Ella and Albert in 1860 was Ella’s youngest sibling, Falk Goldschmidt. Falk had arrived on July 8, 1852 when he was only sixteen.

Falk Goldschmidt, passenger manifest, Source Citation
Year: 1852; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 116; Line: 24; List Number: 912, Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957

Thus, Ella and Albert had a large household by 1860: eight children plus Albert’s father Herman and brother Philip and Ella’s brother Falk. Albert was working as a merchant, and he must have been doing quite well to house twelve people plus three servants.4

This advertisement from the November 23, 1858, Baltimore Daily Exchange (p.3) is for Albert’s fur business:

The Daily Exchange, Baltimore, Maryland, 23 Nov 1858, Tue • Page 3

In 1862, Ella gave birth to a ninth child, Mollie.5 Although the 1870 census lists Mollie’s (Mary here) birthplace as Maryland, every later census record reports her birthplace as New York. I’ve not found a birth record from either place to reach a conclusion as to which is right. One theory I’ve seen mentioned is that the family had moved to New York during the Civil War.

Albert and Ella thus continued to have a large household in 1870, but there were a few things on the 1870 census that confused me. This is how the census listed the children with their ages and occupations:

William (24, clerk in store),

Lena (22, at home),

Henrietta (19, at home),

Simon (10, clerk in store),

Joseph (14, at school),

Leo (12, at school),

Estella (10, at school),

Mary (presumably Mollie) (8, at school).

There were also two servants living in the household plus Albert’s father Herman and another Sigmund:

Solomon, listed as eighteen years old and working as a clerk in a store.

Albert Sigmund and family, 1870 US census, Census Place: Baltimore Ward 12, Baltimore, Maryland; Page: 248A; Family History Library Film: 552075
Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census

So what is confusing here? First of all, Simon should have been eighteen in 1870, not ten. Plus would a ten year old be working as a clerk when his older brothers Joseph and Leo were both in school? I chalked this up to a scrivener’s error—it should have been an 18, not a ten for his age.

But then I noticed Solomon Sigmund—eighteen years old and a clerk. Had the enumerator listed Simon twice, once as a ten year old and then as Solomon, the eighteen year old? Or was Solomon yet another member of the family? Since the 1870 census did not include relationship to the head of household as a reported fact, it’s hard to know.

UPDATE: Thanks to David Baron, I now know that Solomon Sigmund married Lena Sigmund in 1873 and thus was not one of Ella and Albert’s children, but more likely a nephew or cousin of Albert Sigmund who was living with the family.

The other troubling thing about this 1870 census record is that Ella and Albert’s son Jacob, who would have been about sixteen in 1870, is not listed at all. The 1870 Baltimore directory is consistent with this census; William and Simon are listed as clerks, living at the same address as their father, Albert, the furrier. There is no listing for Jacob, the next oldest son.

Title: Baltimore, Maryland, City Directory, 1870, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [

So where was Jacob? Had he died? Moved away? I could not find one other record for Jacob aside from the 1860 census. I will keep digging to see if I can learn more about him, but since there do not appear to be any death records in Maryland before 1870, I am instead hoping to find a cemetery record somewhere in Baltimore.

UPDATE: Again, thank you to David Baron, who located a record of circumcisions that listed the following:

Family Name     Father     Infant       Date              No.
Siegmund          Asher      Uriel       2/4/1847         270
    ”                     Asher       Hayyim  3/8/1854         593
                                           (Henry Clay)
    ”                      Asher       Simon    7/4/1852        507
    ”                      Asher       Joseph   2/6/1856        685
David suggested that Asher was Albert Sigmund’s Hebrew name and that Uriel was William Sigmund’s Hebrew name. Simon and Joseph are obviously the sons with those names. And Hayyim (Henry Clay) could be Jacob, as the birth year lines up with Jacob’s age on the 1860 census. So now I need to search again for a child with that name.

 

Ella’s brother Falk was also no longer living with her family in 1870. In fact, Falk had returned to Germany where he had married Babette Carlebach on October 18, 1868, in Mannheim; they had their first child Meier on August 8, 1870 in Grabenhein, Germany.

Meier Falk Goldschmidt birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 903_8845, Year Range: 1870, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Matthias Steinke of the German Genealogy group kindly translated this record as follows:

Goldschmidt, Meier
Legitimate son and first child of the salesman Falk Goldschmidt from Gräbenhein in the district Cassel (Kassel) and his wife Babette born Carlebach, married 18th October 1868 in Mannheim, was born here Bleichstreet Nr. 40, Monday the 8th August 1870 in the morning at 5:45 o’clock.
Reason for this entry was the declaration of the father.
Entered the 16th November 1870.
In fidem
Signature

Thus, much of the information about Ella’s first 25 years in the United States is based wholly on the census records. From those records, we can see that she and her husband Albert were the parents of nine children, eight of whom were still living with them in 1870. The next decade would bring many changes to the family: births, deaths, and several marriages.

 


  1. These birth years are based almost exclusively on census records; I could not locate birth records online and learned that Maryland did not require registration of births from 1800 through 1864 and that even after 1864, most births in Maryland were not recorded. Thus, I have had to rely on the census and a few death records or obituaries to infer the birth years for the children of Ella and Albert. 
  2. “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9PK5-9WV8?cc=1307272&wc=MD9X-G6D%3A287599701%2C294514201 : 21 May 2014), 1936 > 34601-37500 > image 2425 of 3212. 
  3. Other than for Henrietta, for whom a birth date appeared on her death record, I have no records of precise birth dates for these other children. These dates are based on census records, as discussed also on Note 1. 
  4. The 1860 census record for Albert and his family is not easy to read as the writing is very faint, but the transcription and indices are FamilySearch and Ancestry are consistent. United States Census, 1860″, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M69Z-5QX : 12 December 2017), Albert Sigman, 1860. Census Place: Baltimore Ward 13, Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland; Roll: M653_464; Page: 101; Family History Library Film: 803464, Ancestry.com. 1860 United States Federal Census 
  5. Her gravestone says February 8, 1862. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/7890080