How Newspaper Articles Helped Solve the Mysteries of Howard Sigmund’s Sons-in-Law

When my cousin Howard Sigmund and his wife Leslie had a second child, Nancy Lee Sigmund, on February 12, 1922,1 he was the first of the children of William and Adelaide Sigmund to have more than one child.  Nancy Sigmund was born over ten years after the birth of her older sister, Audrey, who was born in 1910.

In 1930 Howard was still in the women’s clothing business in DC, like his brother’s Abe and Goldsmith.2 His daughter Audrey Sigmund married Leonard Casillo sometime between August and October, 1938. Oddly, despite numerous social news items posted about Audrey in the Washington DC newspapers, I could not find a wedding article, just a story referring to her as “Audrey Sigmund” in August 1938 and then a story referring to her as “Mrs. Leonard Casillo, formerly Audrey Sigmund,” in October 1938.

Washington DC Evening Star, October 23, 1938, p. 54

Leonard was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut on December 10, 1910,3 to Pasquale and Jennie Casillo, who were born in Italy and immigrated to the US in 1898. In 1930 Leonard was living with his parents, sister, and uncle in Bridgeport where his father was working as the manager of a grocery store.4

I wondered how Audrey, a Jewish girl from Washington, DC, had met an Italian boy from Bridgeport, Connecticut, until I found an article about Georgetown University’s 1938 graduation ceremonies that included this list of dental school graduates:

Washington DC Evening Star, June 14, 1938, p. 5

Leonard, the son of two Italian immigrants, had graduated from dental school  at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, in June 1938.

After marrying, Audrey and Leonard settled in Bridgeport and had a child. I was a bit perplexed by the 1940 census, which shows Leonard living with his parents, sister, and uncle in Bridgeport, but not with Audrey or their child.

Leonard Casillo 1940 US census, Census Place: Bridgeport, Fairfield, Connecticut; Roll: m-t0627-00531; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 9-61, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census

But Leonard’s World War II draft registration, which is dated October 16, 1940, six months after the census enumeration, lists Audrey as his wife at the same address and as the person who will always know Leonard’s address. So perhaps Audrey had taken the baby to visit her family when the enumeration was done.

Leonard Casillo, World War II draft registration, Page 1 – Selective Service Registration Cards, World War II: Multiple Registrations 16 Oct 1940, Draft Registration Cards for Connecticut, 1940 – 1947, Roll: 44002_05_00009

Meanwhile, back in DC in the 1940s, Howard Sigmund was still the owner of a women’s clothing store and was living with his wife Leslie and younger daughter Nancy.5

Nancy married Julian Savage on May 31, 1948, in Washington.

Washington DC Evening Star, June 1, 1948, p. 24

Learning about Julian led me down quite a rabbit hole. Julian was born in Washington, DC, on February 25, 1919;6 his parents appeared from the census records and other documents to be Samuel and Lena Savage, immigrants from either Lithuania, Russia, Germany, or Poland, depending on the record.7 But were Samuel and Lena Julian’s birth parents?

Although Julian was born in 1919 according to his military records, he did not appear on the 1920 census with Samuel, Lena, and their much older children, Rosa (born in 1900) and Benjamin (born in 1905). Since Lena would have been 43 in 1919 when Julian was born, I started to wonder whether Julian was adopted or just a later-in-life (for those days) baby.8

I found this legal notice from 1943 that also made me wonder:

Washington DC Evening Star, January 27, 1943, p. 35

Was Julian Savage born Julian Margolius? If so, who were his biological parents? I figured I’d never know. But in searching for information about Julian Savage in newspapers, I noticed that the best man at his wedding was Bernard Margolius. In addition, Bernard’s obituary listed Julian Savage as his brother.9 Searching for Bernard’s parents, I learned of Wolf Margolius and Jennie Cohen, Russian immigrants, who had five children: Edna, Emanuel, Albert, Bernard, and finally Julian.

Wolf Margolius and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Washington, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: T625_209; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 142
Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census

And where were they living in 1920? In Washington, DC, at 501 Massachusetts Avenue. And who lived at 503 Massachusetts Avenue in 1920? Samuel and Lena Savage and their two children, Rosa and Benjamin.10

So how did Julian end up living with the Savages in 1930? His birth mother Jennie Cohen Margolius died on July 31, 1922, when Julian was only three.11 The other Margolius children were older when their mother died; Bernard, the second youngest, was nine and in school, and the other children were teenagers or beyond. My guess is that Wolf Margolius could not care for the youngest boy and so entrusted him with his friends and neighbors, the Savages. And so Julian Margolius became Julian Savage, the son of Samuel and Lena. But obviously he remained very close to his biological brother, Bernard Margolius, naming him as the best man at his wedding.

In 1940, Julian was the only child left in the Savage household.12 He graduated from Benjamin Franklin University with a degree in accounting and was a CPA by 1940 when he was 21, the youngest CPA in the country at that time. He enlisted in the US Army on March 6, 1941, and achieved the rank of major, serving four years overseas during World War II. When he came home, he attended George Washington University in 1948, hoping to become a lawyer, but he could not afford to continue at school so he “read for the law” by working in an attorney’s office and then passed the Virginia bar. Julian and Nancy had two children.13

Julian became an early investor and developer of Holiday Inn hotels in the Washington, DC, area, and beyond, starting in 1959 and eventually building fifty different hotels, as detailed in a 1968 article from the Washington Evening Star14 and in his obituary.

Howard Sigmund lived to see his daughters living comfortably with their respective husbands. He died at the age of 92 in Washington, DC, in July, 1982.15 He was survived by his daughters, their husbands, and grandchildren. His wife Lesley had predeceased him in April 1977 when she was 89.16

Audrey and Leonard Casillo remained in Bridgeport for the rest of their lives. Audrey died on June 5, 1983,17 when she was 73, just a year after her father Howard died; her husband Leonard outlived her by ten years. He was 83 when he died in Newtown, Connecticut, on November 19, 1983.18 They were survived by their children and grandchildren.

Julian Savage died at the age of 92 on February 17, 2012.19 His wife Nancy Sigmund Savage died almost seven years later on December 15, 2018. They were survived by their children and grandchildren.20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


  1.  Name: Nancy L Savage, Birth Date: 12 Feb 1922, Ancestry.com. U.S. Public Records Index, 1950-1993, Volume 1 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Original data: Voter Registration Lists, Public Record Filings, Historical Residential Records, and Other Household Database Listings. 
  2. Howard Sigmund 1930 US census, Census Place: Washington, District of Columbia; Page: 24A; Enumeration District: 0191; FHL microfilm: 2340032, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  3. SSN: 040326854, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  4. Peter (Pasquale) Casillo and family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Bridgeport, Fairfield, Connecticut; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 0035; FHL microfilm: 2339990,
    Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  5. Howard Sigmund, 1940 US census, Census Place: Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia; Roll: m-t0627-00571; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 1-533, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  6. Julian Savage, World War II draft registration, The National Archives in St. Louis, Missouri; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Registration Cards for District of Columbia, 10/16/1940-03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 201, Ancestry.com. U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 
  7. See, e.g., Julian Savage, 1940 US census, Census Place: Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia; Roll: m-t0627-00567; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 1-413, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  8. Samuel Savage and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Washington, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: T625_209; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 142, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  9. See wedding article above. See obituary at https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/washingtonpost/obituary.aspx?n=bernard-margolius&pid=144450864 
  10. Samuel Savage and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Washington, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: T625_209; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 142, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  11. District of Columbia Deaths, 1874-1961,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F7BW-QCZ : accessed 13 November 2019), Wolf Margolius in entry for Jennie Margolius, 31 Jul 1922, District of Columbia, United States; citing reference ID 767, District Records Center, Washington D.C.; FHL microfilm 2,115,943. 
  12. Samuel Savage and family, 1940 US census, Census Place: Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia; Roll: m-t0627-00567; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 1-413, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  13. “Man Behind the Sign at 30 Holiday Inns,” Washington DC Evening Star, October 5, 1972, p. 68 
  14. “Man Behind the Sign at 30 Holiday Inns,” Washington DC Evening Star, October 5, 1972, p. 68 
  15. Social Security Number: 579-05-1276, Death Date: Jul 1982, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  16. Social Security Number: 577-30-6420, Death Date: Apr 1977,
    Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  17. State File #: 13133, Connecticut Department of Health. Connecticut Death Index, 1949-2012. 
  18. SSN: 040326854, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  19. https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/washingtonpost/obituary.aspx?fhid=2167&n=julian-savage&pid=156038507 
  20. https://www.lastingtributesfuneralcare.com/obituaries/Nancy-Savage/#!/Obituary 

William Sigmund’s Children: What Pattern Do You See?

See if you detect a pattern among the children of William Sigmund and Adelaide Newmeyer.

As we move forward from 1920, it makes sense to look at each of Ella and Albert’s children separately since their own children, Ella and Albert’s grandchildren, were now adults and having families of their own. I will start with Ella and Albert’s oldest child William Sigmund, who had died in 1887, and whose widow Adelaide and their five surviving children were all living in Washington, DC, in 1920, as we saw here.

William’s widow Adelaide died on July 7, 1922, in DC. She was 71 and had been a widow for twenty-five years. She had never remarried after William died, and she had raised her five children on her own thereafter. Since her children had ranged in age when William died from thirteen-year-old Albert down to one-year old Howard, that was no small task for Adelaide. She must have been a very strong woman. And her children appeared to remain close many years after she died, as seen in numerous social items in the Washington papers over the years detailing the many events and trips the family members attended together.

Evening Star, Washington, District of Columbia. 09 Jan 1922, Mon • Page 7

Albert, the oldest child, continued to work as a jeweler in the 1920s, and in 1930 was living with his wife Mae and Mae’s mother in Washington.1 Mae died two years later on June 3, 1932; she was 55 years old.2

Albert remarried seven years later. His second wife was Helen Schiff. She was 40 when she married Albert on October 21, 1939; he was 65. Helen was born January 23, 1899, in Charlotte, North Carolina, to Louis Schiff and Carrie Rosenthal. She grew up there and was still living there with her parents in 1930; her father was an electrical supplies salesman.3 In 1940, she and Albert were living in DC, where Albert continued to run his jewelry store.4

Virginia Department of Health; Richmond, Virginia; Virginia, Marriages, 1936-2014; Roll: 101167826, Description Certificate Range: 35284-35654, Ancestry.com. Virginia, Marriage Records, 1936-2014

Unfortunately, Helen’s marriage to Albert only lasted three years as Albert died on May 3, 1942.

The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore, Maryland, 05 May 1942, Tue • Page 13

Helen survived him for fourteen years; she died on March 31, 1966.5

Albert’s brother Abe, William and Adelaide’s second child, continued to work in the women’s clothing business in the 1920s. In 1930 he and his wife Helene and their daughter Marjorie were living together in DC.6

Marjorie married Abner Bernard Levin on March 29, 1937.7 He was born in Fitzgerald, Georgia, on June 23, 1910, the son of Israel Levin and Sarah Line, and had grown up in Roanoke, Virginia, where his father was the manager of a leather company. 8 Bernard, as he was known, graduated from Washington & Lee University and the University of Georgia Law School.

“Miss Marjorie Sigmund Wed to Mr. Levin Sunday,” Washington DC Evening Star, March 30, 1937, p. 27

After marrying, Bernard and Marjorie settled in Roanoke, where in 1940 Bernard was working for the Shoemakers Supply Company. They would have two children.9

Marjorie’s parents Abe and Helene were still living in DC in 1940 where Abe continued to own his store,10 but not long afterwards they must have moved to Roanoke to be near their only child Marjorie and her family. Abe died from pneumonia in Virginia on September 25, 1944; he was 68 years old. According to his death certificate, he was residing in Roanoke at that time and had been there for eighteen months.

Abraham Sigmund, death certificate, Virginia Department of Health; Richmond, Virginia; Virginia Deaths, 1912-2014, Certificate Range: 19413-19832, Ancestry.com. Virginia, Death Records, 1912-2014

Abe’s widow Helen survived him for only a year. She died at age 65 on October 14, 1945 from a coronary occlusion, arteriosclerosis, and hypertension.11

Abe and Helen were survived by their daughter Marjorie and her children. Bernard Levin died in Roanoke, Virginia, on December 20, 1994, at the age of 84.12 Marjorie died on May 31, 2000; she was 89 years old.13 They were survived by their children and grandchildren.

Jeannette Sigmund Kaufman, William and Adelaide’s only daughter and third child, also continued to live in Washington, DC, during the 1920s and 1930s, where her husband Sydney Kaufman was a clothing merchant.14

Their daughter Virginia married Edward Furman in Washington on June 10, 1931.15 He was born in Philadelphia on January 1, 1908.16  In 1930 he was living with his parents Samuel and Esther Furman in Philadelphia; Edward was not employed.17 After marrying, Edward and Virginia were living in DC where Edward was an insurance salesman.18 They would have one child born in the 1930s and one born in the 1940s.

Then Edward’s life was cut short. He was only 32 when he died on January 21, 1944. I could not locate any explanation of his death, just a short death notice and his grave on FindAGrave. His children were only seven and two years old when they lost their father.19

I could not find much more about Jeannette, Sydney or Virginia. I couldn’t even find Sydney and Jeannette on the 1940 census. Jeanette died on January 21, 1961, in Bethesda, Maryland,20 and Sydney died eleven years later in December 1972.21 I could not locate any information as to Virginia’s death.

That brings us to William and Adelaide’s fourth child, Goldsmith Sigmund.  He and his wife Sadye and their son William continued to live in DC, where Goldie was a merchant. In 1930 he and his son were both working in his department store.22 Eventually Goldie closed his business and went to work for other stores, as seen in this ad. As we will see, the Mr. Casillo mentioned in the ad was married to Goldie’s niece, Audrey Sigmund, daughter of Howard Sigmund.

Washington DC Evening Star, December 6, 1934, p. 45

Goldie’s son William married Marjorie Hertzberg on February 2, 1934.23 She was the daughter of Julius Hertzberg and Caroline Hollander and was born in DC on March 24, 1912. Her mother was also a DC native, and her father was born in Germany and was a buyer of dry goods, according to the 1930 census.24 William and Marjorie would have two children.

In 1940, Goldie and Sadye were still living in DC, and Goldie continued to work in the clothing business.25 His son William and his family also lived in DC, and William was now the vice-president of an advertising agency there.26

Sadye Breslau Sigmund died on January 24, 1952, in DC; she was 61.27

Goldsmith Sigmund remarried; his second wife was Dorothy Daniels.28 Goldsmith died in February 1958 when he was 85. He was survived by Dorothy, his son William,  and two grandchildren.

Washington, DC Evening Star, February 26, 1968, p. 26

 

William F. Sigmund died from a stroke on November 7, 1982; he was 72. The Washington Times reported on his death. The obituary reported that he had been the managing partner of Henry J. Kaufman & Associates, a Washingon advertising firm, for 26 years and that he had previously been in the advertising department of The Washington Post. In addition, he was reported to be active in civic affairs, a devoted sports fan, and a prolific artist. He was survived by his children and grandchildren. 29

Have you noticed the strange pattern so far among the four oldest children of William and Adelaide Sigmund? Albert had no children, and Abe, Jeannette, and Goldsmith each had only one child. I wonder why so many of them had just one child. Could it be because they lost their own father at such a young age? Certainly it was unusual for those times when so many people had such large families.

Howard, William and Adelaide’s youngest child, broke the pattern, but not by much.  His story and that of his children merit a separate post.


  1. Albert Sigmund, 1930 US census, Census Place: Washington, District of Columbia; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0403; FHL microfilm: 2340039, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  2. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/197737863 
  3. Ancestry.com. Web: Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, Birth Index, 1865-2012, Original data: Birth Index. The Register of Deeds Office, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. http://meckrod.manatron.com/Birth/SearchEntry.aspx: accessed 3 April 2012. Louis Schiff and family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Charlotte, Mecklenburg, North Carolina; Page: 27A; Enumeration District: 0012; FHL microfilm: 2341439, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  4. Albert and Helen Sigmund, 1940 US census, Census Place: Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia; Roll: m-t0627-00562; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 1-285, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  5. Helen Schiff Sigmund, death notice, Evening Star, Sunday, Apr 03, 1966 Washington (DC),p. 59 
  6. Abraham Sigmund and family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Washington, District of Columbia; Page: 32A; Enumeration District: 0202; FHL microfilm: 2340032, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  7. Film Number: 002293340, Ancestry.com. District of Columbia, Marriage Records, 1810-1953 
  8. SSN: 231240699, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007. Sarah Line Levin death certificate, Virginia Department of Health; Richmond, Virginia; Virginia Deaths, 1912-2014, Ancestry.com. Virginia, Death Records, 1912-2014. Israel Levin and family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Roanoke, Roanoke (Independent City), Virginia; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 0018; FHL microfilm: 2342216, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  9. Bernard Levin and family, 1940 US census, Census Place: Roanoke, Roanoke City, Virginia; Roll: m-t0627-04328; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 119-44, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  10. Abraham and Helen Sigmund, 1940 US census, Census Place: Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia; Roll: m-t0627-00572; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 1-554, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  11. Helen Sigmund death certificate, Virginia Department of Health; Richmond, Virginia; Virginia Deaths, 1912-2014, Ancestry.com. Virginia, Death Records, 1912-2014 
  12. SSN: 231240699, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  13. SSN: 229809484, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  14. Sydney Kaufman and family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0403; FHL microfilm: 2340039, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census. Title: Washington, District of Columbia, City Directory, 1939, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  15. Film Number: 002399058, Ancestry.com. District of Columbia, Marriage Records, 1810-1953 
  16. Edward Colin Furman, World War II draft registration, The National Archives in St. Louis, Missouri; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Registration Cards for District of Columbia, 10/16/1940-03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 80, Ancestry.com. U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 
  17. Samuel Furman and family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 15A; Enumeration District: 0301; FHL microfilm: 2341830, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  18. Edward Furman and family, 1940 US census, Census Place: Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia; Roll: m-t0627-00559; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 1-213A, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  19. Death notice, Washington DC Evening Star, January 25, 1944, p. 8.  https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/41654741 
  20. Jeanette Sigmund Kaufman, death notice, Washington DC Evening Star, Jan 23, 1961, Page: 21. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/41654740 
  21. Social Security Number: 577-07-5637, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  22. Goldsmith Sigmund and family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia; Page: 30B; Enumeration District: 0319; FHL microfilm: 2340036, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  23. Marriage record of William F. Sigmund and Marjorie Herzberg, Film Number: 002293329, Ancestry.com. District of Columbia, Marriage Records, 1810-1953 
  24. SSN: 578623607, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  25. Goldsmith and Sadye Sigmund, 1940 US census, Census Place: Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia; Roll: m-t0627-00572; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 1-554, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  26. William F. Sigmund and family, 1940 US census, Census Place: Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia; Roll: m-t0627-00562; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 1-272A, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  27. “Mrs. G.M. Sigmund, Lifelong D.C. Resident,” Washington DC Evening Star, January 25, 1952, p. 14 
  28. Marriage license application, Goldsmith Sigmund and Dorothy Daniels, Washington DC Evening Star, September 27, 1953, p. 34. 
  29. “William F. Sigmund, 72, partner in D.C. ad firm,” The Washington Times, November 8, 1982, p. 20 

Ella Goldschmidt Sigmund’s Family in the 1910s: For Most, A Quiet Decade

With Leo’s death in 1913, only four of Ella Goldschmidt Sigmund’s children were still living: Henrietta, Simon, Joseph, and Mollie. In addition, there were numerous surviving grandchildren: William’s five children, Henrietta’s six children, Simon’s son Harold, Joseph’s two daughters Lenore and Celeste, Leo’s two children Edna and Lloyd, Mollie’s three children, and May’s son, Felix Albert Cahn. I’ve already written about Joseph’s daughters and their tragic losses in the 1910s and about Leo’s death and his family’s status in the aftermath. For Ella’s other descendants, the 1910s were not as difficult.

For the most part, William and Adelaide Sigmund’s five children continued to live in Washington, DC, with their spouses and children in this decade.  Albert continued to live with his wife Mae and work in the jewelry business.1

Abe and his wife Helene had a baby girl Marjorie born on April 16, 1911, in Washington.2 They were living in DC in 1920 where Abe was in the women’s apparel business.3

Jeanette and her husband Sydney Kaufman also were living in DC and had a daughter, Virginia Adelaide (in honor of her grandmother Adelaide, who was still living at that time) on August 22, 1913;4 in 1920 they were living in DC where Sydney was in the men’s clothing business.5

Goldsmith Sigmund and his wife Sadye and son William also were living in DC, and like his brothers Albert and Abe and his brother-in-law Sydney, Goldsmith was a merchant; the 1920 census reported that his business was a sports store.6

Howard Sigmund’s wife Lesley gave birth to their daughter Audrey Frances on May 21, 1910.7 Howard, who did leave Washington for short stints in Boston, Baltimore, and Amsterdam, New York, between 1912 and 1914, had returned to Washington by 1914. In 1920, he and his family were living in DC where he was in the women’s clothing business, seemingly with his brother Abe.8

Evening Star, Washington, District of Columbia, 29 Sep 1912, Sun • Page 66

Evening Star, Washington, District of Columbia, 16 Feb 1913, Sun • Page 65

Evening Star, Washington, District of Columbia, 11 Oct 1914, Sun • Page 70

Ella’s daughter Henrietta Sigmund Katzenstein was now a widow living in Cleveland with her daughter Moynelle. Her family’s story during the 1910s can be found here at the blog.

Ella’s son Simon Sigmund was living in Baltimore during this decade and working in the fur business (separately from his father’s business had been run by Simon’s brother Leo.)9

Simon and Helen’s son Harold was now an adult. In 1917 he was working in the advertising department of The New York Times.10 On April 4, 1918, he was inducted into the US Army to serve in World War I. He was stationed overseas from May 1, 1918, until July 12, 1919; his responsibilities included being in the infantry and then working on Stars & Stripes in their advertising department.11

After the war Harold returned to New York City, and in 1920 he was working as an agent for a publishing company, Butterick Quarterlies.12 Meanwhile, his parents remained in Baltimore, and in 1920 Simon was still working in his furrier’s business.13

Mollie and Harry Goldman’s three children were also adults in the 1910s. All three had been living at home in 1910, and L. Edwin was practicing law and Marguerite had been working as a clerk in an insurance office, presumably her father’s office.

The youngest child Adele was also still living at home in 1910, but she was the first of Mollie and Harry’s children to marry. She married Raymond Weil on December 24, 1911, when she was 24 years old.

Raymond was born in Wichita, Kansas, on June 1, 1885, to Jacob Weil and Henrietta Wolf.  Raymond’s father died in 1898 when Raymond was only thirteen, and in 1900 he was living with his mother and siblings in Cleveland, working as a clerk for an insurance company.13 By 1910 he was an insurance agent still living in Cleveland with his mother and siblings.14

After marrying Raymond, Adele moved to Cleveland where they had three children in the 1910s. Twins Robert and Marjorie were born October 7, 1912, in Cleveland,15 and Donald was born on August 25, 1916.16 Raymond continued to work in the insurance business as shown on his World War I draft registration and the 1920 Cleveland directory.17

Adele’s brother Leman Edwin Goldman married Rita Strauss on June 24, 1913 in Baltimore.

Rita was born in Baltimore on July 6, 1887, to Abraham Strauss and Hannah Selz. Her parents were both German-born, and her father was a dry goods merchant. Her father died in 1905, and in 1910 Rita was living with her mother and siblings in Baltimore, not employed.18

L. Edwin and Rita had three children born between 1915 and 1920. Nancy was born on March 7, 1915,19 Robert on January 9, 1917,20 and Sue on September 7, 1920,21 all born in Baltimore. In 1920, L. Edwin Goldman was living with his mother-in-law Hannah and brother-in-law Henry as well as his wife and two older children (Rita being pregnant with Sue), and he was engaged in the general practice of law.22

Adele and L. Edwin’s sister Marguerite was living with their parents Mollie and Harry in Baltimore in 1920, working as bookkeeper for an automobile company. Judge Harry Goldman was the financial secretary of a fraternal order.23

Finally, I was most concerned about the fate of Felix Albert Cahn, the orphaned son of May Sigmund and Gerson Cahn. He had lost both of his parents before his fifth birthday. In 1910 he’d been living with his aunt/cousin Mollie and her family. In 1913, when he was just thirteen years old, F. Albert made the Baltimore newspaper for his charitable efforts raising money to help save sick babies.

The Baltimore Sun. Baltimore, Maryland, 25 May 1913, Sun • Page 12

Did the tragic losses of his parents as a young boy give Albert a special empathy for sick babies? One would think so.

In May 1914, he was confirmed at the Har Sinai synagogue in Baltimore, along with his cousin T. Edna Sigmund, who had also lost a parent when her father Leo Sigmund died in 1913. Albert, as he was known, appeared to be on the path to a good life.

The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore, Maryland, 27 May 1914, Wed • Page 4

In 1917 Albert entered the US Army to serve in World War I. According to a record found on Ancestry in their Maryland Military Men 1917-1919 database, Albert’s history in the Army was checkered at best. I have sent away for his military records to see if I can get more information, so I will wait until I receive them before reporting more on Albert’s life.

 

 


  1. Albert Sigmund, 1920 US census, Census Place: Washington, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: T625_210; Page: 24B; Enumeration District: 166, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  2. SSN: 229809484, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  3. Abraham Sigmund and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Washington, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: T625_212; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 271,
    Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  4. Virginia Kaufman Furman, passenger manifest, Year: 1931; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 5019; Line: 21; Page Number: 9, Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 
  5. Sydney Kaufman and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Washington, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: T625_212; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 282, Enumeration District: 0282; Description: DC Precinct 10, bounded by Ontario Road, Lanier Place, Adams Mill Road NW, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  6. Goldsmith Sigmund and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Washington, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: T625_210; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 188,
    Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  7.  Social Security Number: 579-07-0855, Birth Date: 21 May 1910,Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  8. Howard Sigmund and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Washington, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: T625_212; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 282,
    Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  9. Baltimore, Maryland, City Directory, 1907, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  10. New York, New York, City Directory, 1917, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 
  11. Ancestry.com. New York, Abstracts of World War I Military Service, 1917-1919.
    Original data: New York State Abstracts of World War I Military Service, 1917–1919. Adjutant General’s Office. Series B0808. New York State Archives, Albany, New York. A Brief History of the Stars and Stripes, Official Newspaper of the American Expeditionary Forces in France, From February 8, 1918, to June 13, 1919 (Columbia Publishing Company, Washington, DC), p. 34 
  12. Printers’ Ink, Volume 109 (Decker Communications, Inc., 1919), P. 28; Harold Sigmund, 1920 US census, Census Place: Manhattan Assembly District 5, New York, New York; Roll: T625_1194; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 445, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  13. Raymond Weil, World War II draft registration, The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; World War II Draft Cards (4th Registration) for the State of Ohio; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System; Record Group Number: 147, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942. Henrietta Weil and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Cleveland Ward 13, Cuyahoga, Ohio; Page: 3; Enumeration District: 0051; FHL microfilm: 1241253, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census. Marriage record of Jacob Weil and Henrietta Wolf, Film Number: 000877918, Ancestry.com. Ohio, County Marriage Records, 1774-1993. 
  14. Weil family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Cleveland Ward 21, Cuyahoga, Ohio; Roll: T624_1174; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 0319; FHL microfilm: 1375187,
    Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  15. State File Numbers: 1912064139, 1912064140, Additional Information: Raymont, Ancestry.com. Ohio, Birth Index, 1908-1964. 
  16. State File Number: 1916067870, Additional Information: Raymont, Ancestry.com. Ohio, Birth Index, 1908-1964 
  17. Raymond Weil, World War I draft registration, Registration State: Ohio; Registration County: Cuyahoga; Roll: 1831942; Draft Board: 17, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Cleveland, Ohio, City Directory, 1920,
    Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995. I coulld not find the Weil family on the 1920 US census despite searching their address on stevemorse.org. Somehow it seems the enumerator missed their address. I even searched the neighboring enumeration districts thinking that perhaps stevemorse.org had mixed up the ED since Edgehill Road didn’t come up at all in the designated ED. But still nothing. 
  18. Birth certificate number A95750, https://msa.maryland.gov/megafile/msa/coagserm/cm1100/cm1134/000000/000005/pdf/msa_cm1134_000005.pdf. Abraham Strauss and family, 1900 US census, Census Place: Baltimore Ward 21, Baltimore City (Independent City), Maryland; Page: 3; Enumeration District: 0274; FHL microfilm: 1240617, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census. Name: Abraham Strauss, Death Date: 12 Apr 1905, Burial Place: Baltimore, Maryland, USA, JewishGen, comp. JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR). Hannah Strauss and family, 1910 US census, Census Place: Baltimore Ward 13, Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland; Roll: T624_557; Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 0199; FHL microfilm: 1374570, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  19. SSN: 220050059, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  20. Robert Goldman, World War II draft registration, The National Archives in St. Louis, Missouri; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Registration Cards for Maryland, 10/16/1940-03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 191, Ancestry.com. U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 
  21. SSN: 220127765, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  22. Hannah Strauss and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Baltimore Ward 13, Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland; Roll: T625_658; Page: 17A; Enumeration District: 203, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  23. Harry Goldman and family, 1920 US census, Census Place: Baltimore Ward 13, Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland; Roll: T625_658; Page: 13B; Enumeration District: 203, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 

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 

Hannah Goldsmith, Final Chapter: My Cousins the Scientists

This final post about the family of Hannah Goldsmith Benedict is about Hannah’s youngest son, C. Harry Benedict, and his two sons, Manson and William, and their lives after 1940. In an earlier post, we saw how both Manson and William went to Cornell and then on to MIT to get a Ph.D. in chemistry.

In the 1940 census, C. Harry Benedict was enumerated not in his longtime home, Lake Linden, Michigan, but in New York City, where he was, at least at the time of the census enumeration, living at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Since his occupation was listed as a metallurgist for a copper mining company and since I know he continued to work at Calumet and Hecla Mining Company for many years after 1940, I assume this was just a temporary residence while doing some work for the company in New York.1

Or perhaps he was just there visiting his sons, both of whom were working as research chemists in the New York City area in 1940, Manson for M.W. Kellogg Company2 and William for General Chemical Company.3

Both Manson and William changed jobs during World War II. In 1942 William moved to Washington, DC, to work for the Carnegie Institution as a theoretical spectroscopist. Spectroscopy is “the study of the interaction between matter and electromagnetic radiation.” After the war William worked for the National Bureau of Standards for six years and then joined the faculty of Johns Hopkins University as part of the “infrared group.” (I’ve no idea what that means.) He remained at Johns Hopkins for fifteen years. In 1967 he became a research professor at the Institute for Physical Science and Technology at the University of Maryland where he remained until his retirement in 1979.4

Meanwhile, his brother Manson left M.W. Kellogg in 1943 to work for Hydrocarbon Research, Inc. According to his obituary, “Dr. Benedict was well known for his pioneering role in nuclear engineering. He developed the gaseous diffusion method for separating the isotopes of uranium and supervised the engineering and process development of the K-25 plant in Oak Ridge, TN, where fissionable material for the atomic bomb was produced. He received many awards for his work on the Manhattan Project during WW II and for his later career as a scientist, educator and public servant, which focused on nuclear power and other peaceful uses of atomic energy.”5

After the war Manson stayed with Hydrocarbon Research until 1951 when he served for a year as the chief of the Operational Analysis Staff at the Atomic Energy Commission. Soon thereafter he returned to Massachusetts and joined the faculty of MIT as a professor of nuclear engineering. In 1972 he received the Enrico Fermi Award, which was described as follows on the Los Alamos website:

The Fermi Award is a Presidential award and is one of the oldest and most prestigious science and technology honors bestowed by the U.S. Government. The Enrico Fermi Award is given to encourage excellence in research in energy science and technology benefiting mankind; to recognize scientists, engineers, and science policymakers who have given unstintingly over their careers to advance energy science and technology; and to inspire people of all ages through the examples of Enrico Fermi, and the Fermi Award laureates who followed in his footsteps, to explore new scientific and technological horizons.

Manson remained at MIT until his retirement in 1973.6

Both Manson and William must have inherited or developed their love for science from their father C. Harry, who, like his sons, had gone to Cornell for his undergraduate training and then had spent his career devoted to science, in his case to metallurgy. Harry even wrote a book about his long-term employer, Calamet and Hecla, entitled Red Metal. It was published in 1952 by the University of Michigan Press.

After fifty years or so in Michigan, Harry and his wife Lena relocated to Brookline, Massachusetts, in 1961, presumably to be closer to their son Manson and his family.7 C. Harry died at the age of 86 in Brookline on April 3, 1963;8 his wife Lena followed just two years later on October 2, 1965.9 She and Harry are buried in Syracuse, New York, where Lena was born and raised and where she and Harry were married in 1902.10 They were survived by their two sons and three grandchildren.

William Benedict died suddenly at the age of seventy on January 10, 1980, in Washington, DC. He had had a serious heart attack a few years earlier.11 His wife Ruth died on October 2, 1993, in Washington. She was eighty years old. They were survived by their son and grandchildren.

Manson Benedict outlived his younger brother and his wife Marjorie. She died in Naples, Florida, on May 17, 1995; she was 85.12 Manson survived her by over ten years. He died on September 18, 2006, at the age of 98.13 Manson and Marjorie were survived by their two daughters and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

I must admit that I have no real understanding of the work that C. Harry, Manson, and William did in their long and distinguished careers. Science has never been my strong suit, to say the least. But obviously each of these men left their marks on those with and for whom they worked and on the world.

That completes my research and writing about not only the children of Hannah Goldsmith Benedict, but also the entire family of Hannah’s father, Simon Goldschmidt/Goldsmith. Could Simon have ever imagined that after spending time in prison in Oberlistingen, Germany, and immigrating to America to start over in a new country, he would have grandchildren and great-grandchildren who would go to some of the most elite educational institutions in the country and become lawyers, doctors, dentists, teachers, musicians, business leaders, and scientists?  He may have had hopes that his descendants would rise above his own humble beginnings, but I doubt he could ever have imagined just how high above those humble beginnings his American-born descendants would go.

Next—a number of updates on other matters before I turn to Meyer Goldschmidt, another brother of my three-times great-grandfather Seligmann Goldschmidt.

 


  1. C Harry Benedict, 1940 US census, Census Place: New York, New York, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02657; Page: 84B; Enumeration District: 31-1406,
    Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census. I don’t know where Harry’s wife Lena was as she was not listed with Harry in New York nor was she enumerated back in Michigan, but I know that she and Harry remained married for the rest of their lives, so perhaps Harry just forgot to tell the enumerator that she was with him in New York. 
  2. Oral History interview of Manson Benedict by James J. Bohning, January 24, 1991, for the Science History Institute, found at https://oh.sciencehistory.org/oral-histories/benedict-manson 
  3. J.-M. Flaud, C. Camy-Peyret, R. A. Toth, Water Vapour Line Parameters from Microwave to Medium Infrared: An Atlas of H216O, H217O and H218O Line Positions and Intensities between 0 and 4350 cm-1, Pergamon, 1981 (dedication). 
  4. J.-M. Flaud, C. Camy-Peyret, R. A. Toth, Water Vapour Line Parameters from Microwave to Medium Infrared: An Atlas of H216O, H217O and H218O Line Positions and Intensities between 0 and 4350 cm-1, Pergamon, 1981 (dedication). 
  5. Naples Daily News, obit for Manson Benedict, GenealogyBank.com (https://www.genealogybank.com/doc/obituaries/obit/1143FE1BF2CFFAF8-1143FE1BF2CFFAF8 : accessed 5 May 2019). For more information about Manson’s work on the Manhattan Project as well as the rest of his life and career, please see the wonderful oral history interview of Manson Benedict by James J. Bohning, January 24, 1991, for the Science History Institute, found at https://oh.sciencehistory.org/oral-histories/benedict-manson 
  6. Oral History interview of Manson Benedict by James J. Bohning, January 24, 1991, for the Science History Institute, found at https://oh.sciencehistory.org/oral-histories/benedict-manson 
  7. “Harry Benedict of C & H Dead,” Ironwood (MI) Daily Globe, 04 Apr 1963, p. 15 
  8. Number: 369-03-5832; Issue State: Michigan; Issue Date: Before 1951, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  9. Obituary, The (Syracuse, NY) Post-Standard, 04 Oct 1965, p. 23 
  10. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/107277978 
  11.  Number: 143-01-8383; Issue State: New Jersey; Issue Date: Before 1951, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014. J.-M. Flaud, C. Camy-Peyret, R. A. Toth, Water Vapour Line Parameters from Microwave to Medium Infrared: An Atlas of H216O, H217O and H218O Line Positions and Intensities between 0 and 4350 cm-1, Pergamon, 1981 (dedication). 
  12. Ancestry.com. Florida Death Index, 1877-1998 
  13. SSN: 122057823, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007. 

Hannah Goldsmith Part III: Her Grandsons

We saw that as of 1920, Hannah Goldsmith Benedict was a widow, having lost her husband Joseph in 1917. She was living with her son C. Harry Benedict and his wife Lena and two sons, Manson (13) and William (11), in Lake Linden, Michigan. Harry was a metallurgist for a copper mining corporation.

Hannah’s other two sons were living in Pittsburgh, and both had been affected by Prohibition. Herschel, who’d owned a liquor distribution business, was without an occupation at the time of the 1920 census; he was living with his wife, Mary. Jacob, who had worked in the liquor industry in Kentucky and then in Pittsburgh, was now working in the food business, and he was a widower after losing his wife Clara in 1917. In 1920 Jacob was living with his two daughters, Helen (13) and Marian (12).

The 1920s saw Hannah’s four grandchildren become young adults and pursue higher education. Her two grandsons, Manson and William, achieved academic success in chemistry. Manson Benedict attended the Shady Side Academy, where the 1924 yearbook included this portrayal of him at sixteen:

Manson Benedict, Shady Side Academy, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, “U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012”; Year: 1924,Ancestry.com. U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1990

After graduating from Shady Side, Manson attended Cornell University where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry in 1928. He was listed a faculty member there the following year.1 In 1930, he was working as a chemist for National Aniline and Chemical Company in Buffalo, New York.2

“U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012”; Yearbook Title: Cornellian; Year: 1928, Ancestry.com. U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1990

Meanwhile, his brother William was following a similar path. He also attended Shady Side Academy:

William Benedict, Shady Side Academy, 1925, “U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012”; Year: 1925
Ancestry.com. U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1990

As noted in that yearbook biography, he was planning to attend Cornell like his older brother and their father, and in fact he graduated from Cornell a year after his brother and was also elected to Phi Beta Kappa. And like his brother Manson, William was also a chemist.

“U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012”; Yearbook Title: Cornellian; Year: 1929
Ancestry.com. U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1990

In 1930 William was back in Michigan, living with his parents and grandmother Hannah, and had no occupation listed. His father continued to work as a metallurgist.3

Both Manson and William continued their studies in the 1930s at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where both received Ph.Ds. William actually received his first—in 1933—and wrote his dissertation on the structure of nitrogen dioxide, a paper that became the basis of a “landmark paper.”4 Manson completed his Ph.D. two years after his younger brother, having spent some time working and then studying philosophy at the University of Chicago. His area of specialization was physical chemistry.5

The brothers then went in different geographic directions. Manson stayed in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he became a National Research Council Fellow and a research associate in geophysics. While studying at MIT, he met a fellow Ph.D. student, Marjorie Oliver Allen, whom he married in 1935.6 Marjorie, the daughter of Ivan J Allen and Lucy M Oliver, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on July 24, 1909.7 She graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 1931 and then, like her husband Manson, received a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from MIT.8 Manson and Marjorie had two children in the 1930s.

Manson’s brother William headed south to Princeton University after completing his doctorate at MIT and became a research fellow there from 1933 until 1935 when he then left academia to become a research chemist at the General Chemical Company in New York.9 He married Ruth Boschwitz on December 24, 1936, in New York City.10 Ruth was born in Berlin, Germany, on July 15, 1913,11 and immigrated to the US on November 24, 1920.12 She and her parents, Carl Boschwitz and Sophie Philipp, settled in New York City, where in 1930, her father was a bank executive.13 Ruth was a student at NYU Medical School when she married William Benedict.14 In 1940, Ruth and William were living with Ruth’s mother in New York City where William continued to work as a chemist in the chemical industry and Ruth was a doctor at a hospital.15 They would have one child born in the 1940s.

Manson Benedict also left academia in the late 1930s. In 1937, he returned to National Aniline and Chemical Company in Buffalo, New York, and worked there as a research chemist until 1938 when he joined the M.W. Kellogg Company in Jersey City, New Jersey, as a research chemist. He remained there for five years.16 Unfortunately, I could not find Manson and Marjorie on the 1940 census despite having their exact address in Radburn, New Jersey.

Manson and William both went on to have distinguished careers in their fields. More on that in a post to come.

 


  1. “U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012”; Yearbook Title: Cornellian; Year: 1929,
    Ancestry.com. U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1990 
  2. Manson Benedict, 1930 US census, Census Place: Buffalo, Erie, New York; Page: 37B; Enumeration District: 0025; FHL microfilm: 2341158, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census. Oral History interview of Manson Benedict by James J. Bohning, January 24, 1991, for the Science History Institute, found at https://oh.sciencehistory.org/oral-histories/benedict-manson 
  3. C.Harry Benedict and family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Torch Lake, Houghton, Michigan; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0040; FHL microfilm: 2340729, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  4. J.-M. Flaud, C. Camy-Peyret, R. A. Toth, Water Vapour Line Parameters from Microwave to Medium Infrared: An Atlas of H216O, H217O and H218O Line Positions and Intensities between 0 and 4350 cm-1, Pergamon, 1981 (dedication). 
  5. Oral History interview of Manson Benedict by James J. Bohning, January 24, 1991, for the Science History Institute, found at https://oh.sciencehistory.org/oral-histories/benedict-manson 
  6. Oral History interview of Manson Benedict by James J. Bohning, January 24, 1991, for the Science History Institute, found at https://oh.sciencehistory.org/oral-histories/benedict-manson 
  7. SSN: 017369908, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  8. Marjorie Allen, 1934 Mt Holyoke College yearbook, “U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012”; Yearbook Title: Llamarada_Yearbook; Year: 1934, Ancestry.com. U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1990 
  9. J.-M. Flaud, C. Camy-Peyret, R. A. Toth, Water Vapour Line Parameters from Microwave to Medium Infrared: An Atlas of H216O, H217O and H218O Line Positions and Intensities between 0 and 4350 cm-1, Pergamon, 1981 (dedication). 
  10. License Number: 30940, New York City Municipal Archives; New York, New York; Borough: Manhattan; Volume Number: 13, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Marriage License Indexes, 1907-2018 
  11. SSN: 578387103, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  12.  Year: 1920; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 2879; Line: 4; Page Number: 126, Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 
  13. Carl Boschwitz and family, 1930 US census, Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York; Page: 29A; Enumeration District: 0542; FHL microfilm: 2341301,
    Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  14. Ruth Boschwitz, 1936 NYU Medical School yearbook, “U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012”; Yearbook Title: Medical Violet; Year: 1936, Ancestry.com. U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1990 
  15. William Benedict, 1940 US census, Census Place: New York, New York, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02655; Page: 61B; Enumeration District: 31-1337, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  16. Oral History interview of Manson Benedict by James J. Bohning, January 24, 1991, for the Science History Institute, found at https://oh.sciencehistory.org/oral-histories/benedict-manson 

Always Something New for Me to Learn: The “Hidden” Databases on FamilySearch

After writing about the two oldest sons of Abraham Goldsmith and Cecilia Adler, I am glad to be able to turn to their daughter Rose. Rose was born on October 19, 1866, in Philadelphia, and as I wrote here, she married Sidney Morris Stern on May 25, 1892, when she was 26. Sidney was born January 14, 1861, in Philadelphia, and was the son of Morris Stern and Matilda Bamberger, who were German-born immigrants. His father was in the retail clothing business.  Sidney was a jeweler.

(Am I the only one who finds it amusing that Sidney the jeweler married someone whose surname was Goldsmith?)

UPDATE: Thanks to a question asked by my cousin Jennifer about Sidney’s mother Matilda Bamberger, I discovered another twist in my crazy family tree. In looking to answer Jennifer’s question, I realized that I had two women named Matilda Bamberger on my tree, both married to Morris Stern. They were obviously duplicates.  Looking more closely, I realized that Matilda and Morris Stern’s daughter Clara Stern was the mother of Julian Simsohn, who married Edwin Goldsmith’s daughter Cecile. In another words, Cecile married the nephew of her Aunt Rose’s husband Sidney.

That earlier post also reported that Rose and Sidney’s first child, Sylvan Goldsmith Stern, was born on March 2, 1893. Two years later Rose gave birth to twin boys, Allan Goldsmith Stern and Howard Eugene Stern, on August 6, 1895. I could not find Rose and her family on the 1900 census despite having their address in 1899, 1900, and 1901, but based on listings in the Philadelphia directories for those years,1 I know that she was living in Philadelphia with her husband Sidney and their two younger sons, Allan and Howard. Sidney was in the jewelry business with his brother Eugene.

However, their oldest son Sylvan, who was seven at the time, was not living with them in 1900. He was living at the Pennsylvania Institution for the Deaf and Dumb in Philadelphia; according to the census record, he could not read, write or speak English at that time. From later records I learned that Sylvan was completely deaf.

Sylvan Stern, 1900 US Census
Pennsylvania Institution for Deaf and Dumb, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 1; Enumeration District: 1043
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

By 1910, however, Sylvan was living at home and could now read and write and was in school. The family continued to live in Philadelphia and was joined by Rose’s younger sister Estelle, who was working as a schoolteacher. Sidney listed his occupation as wholesale jeweler. They also had two servants living in the home, one doing “chamber work” and the other a cook:

Sidney and Rose Goldsmith Stern and family, 1910 US census
Philadelphia Ward 47, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1413; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 1193; FHL microfilm: 1375426
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

In 1915, when he was 22, Sylvan was living in Riverton, New Jersey, in a household with four other men: two men from Holland whom I presume were brothers, Peter and Anthony Hooydonk, a German immigrant named Ferdinand Frohlich, and a Pennsylvania native named John Peguesse.  All five men were in their early twenties and all were working in the florist business. Riverton is a small residential community about fifteen miles from Philadelphia across the Delaware River.

Sylvan Stern 1915 New Jersey census
New Jersey State Archive; Trenton, NJ, USA; State Census of New Jersey, 1915; Reference Number: L-06; Film Number: 8
Ancestry.com. New Jersey, State Census, 1915

While Sylvan was working in Riverton in 1915, his two younger brothers were in college: Allan was a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania,2 and his twin Howard was a student at Cornell University.3

In 1917-1918, all three of Rose and Sidney’s sons registered for the World War I draft. Sylvan reported that he was living at 1613 Poplar Street in Philadelphia, but working as a nurseryman in Riverton, New Jersey, for Henry A. Dreer, Inc. He also reported that he was totally deaf.

Sylvan Stern, World War I draft registration Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Philadelphia; Roll: 1907959; Draft Board: 50 Description Draft Card: S Source Information Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918

Allan was living at the same address and reported that he was a college student, and Howard, also living at the same address, was employed as a farm laborer by Florex Gardens in North Wales, Pennsylvania, which is about 25 miles from Philadelphia. Allan served in the Army’s Bureau of Standards in Washington, DC, from March 15, 1918, until January 8, 1919, when he was honorably discharged.4  I did not find any record of military service for Sylvan or Howard.

Allan Stern World War I draft registration
Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Philadelphia; Roll: 1907959; Draft Board: 50. Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918

Howard Stern, World War I draft registration
Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Philadelphia; Roll: 1907959; Draft Board: 50.  Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918

In 1920, the whole family was still living at 1613 Poplar Street in Philadelphia. Sidney was retired at age 59, but his three sons were all employed. Sylvan and Howard were both working as florists in their own business, and Allan was employed as an electrical engineer. Rose’s sister Estelle was still living with them, now working as the director of a girls’ camp. 5

All three Stern brothers were married in the 1920s. First, on May 26, 1921, Sylvan Goldsmith Stern married Beatrice A. Osserman, the daughter of Simon E. Osserman and Dora Kessner in New York City. According to a source I found, Beatrice was, like Sylvan, deaf; she was born in New York City on October 30, 1899.  Her parents were immigrants from Russia/Latvia, and her father was in the real estate business in 1920.6  This news item from the Philadelphia Evening Ledger reported that one of the bridesmaids was Dorothy G. Gerson, Sylvan’s first cousin and the daughter of his mother’s sister, Emily Goldsmith Gerson.

Philadelphia Evening Ledger, May 23, 1921, p. 11

Sylvan and Beatrice had two children during the 1920s.

Howard Stern was the second son of Rose Goldsmith and Sidney Stern to marry; in 1926 he married Madeline Kind Kohn,7 another Philadelphia native; she was born on June 3, 1898, the daughter of Joseph Kohn and Clara Kind.8 Madeline’s father was a shirt manufacturer. Here is Madeline’s high school yearbook picture from 1916:

Madeline Kind Kohn,
U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012″; Yearbook Title: Record Book of William Penn High School for Girls June Class, 1916; Year: 1916
Ancestry.com. U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1990

Howard and Madeline would have two children.

The last son to marry was Allan Stern, and his wife’s story is quite tragic. The Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Marriage Index on Ancestry reports that Allan married Gladys Fliegelman,9 daughter of Harry Fliegelman and Gussye Fridenberg, in 1928, but I learned an important lesson about that index while researching their marriage. More below.

Gladys was born on April 23, 1904, in Philadelphia.10  Two years later on June 30, 1906, her mother Gussye suffered complications after giving birth to a second child and died six weeks later on July 17, 1906, from parenchymatous nephritis or kidney disease.

Gussye Fliegeman death certificate
Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Certificate Number Range: 065461-068420
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966

Thus, Gladys lost her mother when she was just a toddler. Harry Fliegelman remarried in 1910, and in 1920, they were all living together in Philadelphia, where Harry was a furniture merchant.11

In 1924, Gladys graduated from the Philadelphia School of Design for Women; her photograph appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer with some of her classmates. She is in the middle of the photograph on the right.

Gladys Fliegelman School of Design graduation,
The Philadelphia Inquirer, June 6, 1924, p, 17

And then I thought that Allan and Gladys were married in 1928, as the Ancestry.com database indicated. But I was confused when I found this will that she wrote on January 30, 1929:

Gladys Fliegelman Stern will
Probate Records (District of Columbia), 1801-1930; Author: District of Columbia. Register of Wills; Probate Place: District of Columbia, Washington, D.C.

Gladys refers to herself as “a single woman, at present, and entering into a marriage with Allan G. Stern of Washington, District of Columbia, on January 31, 1929.” Since the Ancestry database of Philadelphia marriages indicated that they were married in 1928, why did she describe herself as single on January 30, 1929?

And this is where I learned something new. In discussing something completely different on the Tracing the Tribe Facebook page, a member there named Sharon Roth pointed out that FamilySearch has images of the Philadelphia marriage licenses and certificates.  They are not indexed for searching, but once you know the marriage license number from the index on Ancestry or FamilySearch, you can find the underlying documents by searching through the database of images by date and number.

This was a database that I could not find when I searched the FamilySearch records listings, so I am not sure how I would have found it without Sharon’s help. You can find the two databases here and here. Thank you to Sharon and to Amberly of The Genealogy Girl for showing me how to find these databases through the catalog on FamilySearch so that I now can find all these “hidden” databases. Amberly had actually blogged about this over a year ago, but I’d forgotten about her tips.  You can learn more from her blog here.

With this new information, I was able to find the license and the rabbi’s certificate of marriage for Allan and Gladys.  Now I know that although their marriage license was issued on December 31, 1928, they were not in fact married until January 31, 1929, the day after Gladys drew up her will.

Marriage record of Allan G. Stern and Gladys Fliegelmen, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, marriage records, Marriages, 568600-568799, 1928, pp. 358-359. FamilySearch.org

Returning to the will, its contents strike me as somewhat odd. Gladys bequeathed all her property and income to any issue she might have at the time of her death; that is, whereas one might assume that her husband would inherit before her children, Gladys wanted her estate to go directly to her children. Moreover, her will provides that if she died without issue, her sister would inherit all her personal possessions. Allan would only inherit 25% of her income and only for as long as he did not remarry. Gladys’ sister and brother would receive the other 75% of her income and the principal when Allan died.

Now call me a romantic, but this seems like a rather unromantic way to start a marriage—leaving your husband such a limited part of your estate.

Tragically, this will took on far more significance not long after Allan and Gladys married.  On February 6, 1930, a week after their first anniversary, Gladys took her own life by jumping from the seventh floor of Emergency Hospital in Washington; she had been a patient in the hospital for six months after an earlier suicide attempt when she had jumped from the fourth floor of the apartment building where she and Allan had been living. In its article about this tragedy, the Philadelphia Inquirer described her as a poetess.12  An article from a different paper reported that she had been “despondent because of poor health.”13

Thus, the new decade began on a heartbreaking note for the family of Rose Goldsmith and Sidney Stern and their sons, especially for their son Allan.

I was not surprised that I could not find Allan on the 1930 census, although he is listed in the 1930 Washington, D.C., directory as an engineer for Fred S. Gichner, residing at 3100 Connecticut Avenue; in the 1931 directory he was still working at Fred S. Gichner, but now residing at 3405 Woodley Road.  On the 1930 census, I found a Gichner family living at 3405 Woodley Road so it would appear that Allan may have moved in with his employer’s family after his wife’s death, although he was not listed at either address on the 1930 census.14

The rest of the family of Rose Goldsmith and Sidney Stern all continued to live in Philadelphia in 1930.  Sidney was retired,15 Sylvan was now working as a packer in a sporting goods business,16 and Howard was practicing law.17

Sadly, my cousin Rose Goldsmith Stern died less than a year after her daughter-in-law Gladys. Rose was 64 when she died on January 24, 1931, from heart disease: hypertension and arteriosclerosis leading to myocarditis and angina pectoris. Her obituary reported that she died from a heart attack. It also stated that Rose had been the manager of the Beth Israel Association for the Deaf and the national chairwoman of the Council of Jewish Women.18

Rose Goldsmith Stern death certificate,
Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Certificate Number Range: 001001-004000.  Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966

Rose was survived by her husband Sidney and her three sons and four grandchildren as well as seven of her siblings. Her husband Sidney continued to live in Philadelphia. In 1940 he was living in the Majestic Hotel where his sister-in-law Estelle Goldsmith and brother-in-law Edwin M. Goldsmith were also living.19 Sidney died on October 19, 1942, also of heart disease.20

Sylvan Stern and his family continued to live in Philadelphia in 1940, and Sylvan was still working as a packer in a sporting goods store at that time.21 According to his 1942 draft registration, his employer was Edward K. Tryon Company.22 Sylvan died on December 21, 1960.  He was 67 years old. He was survived by his wife and children and his two brothers.

Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966

Allan Goldsmith Stern remarried several years after the death of his first wife Gladys.  In 1940 he and his second wife Margaret were living in Washington, D.C., where Allan was an engineer for an ornamental iron company, which his draft registration revealed was still Fred S. Gichner Iron Works.23  I could not find any other information about Margaret, but in 1956 Allan married for a third time; his third wife was Alma Hollander.24

Allan Stern died on June 9, 1964, from cancer, according to his obituary in the Washington Evening Star. The obituary reported that in addition to his long career at Fred S. Gichner, Allan had been a founding member of the Beth El Congregation of Maryland and had helped establish the Kaufman Camp for Underprivileged Children on Chesapeake Bay. He was survived by his wife Alma and his brother Howard.25

Howard Stern was the only of Rose Goldsmith’s sons to live beyond his 60s. In 1940 he was living with his family in Philadelphia and practicing law, which his draft registration in 1942 revealed was his own practice.26 Howard died on July 10, 1989, just a few weeks short of his 94th birthday. He was survived by his children.27

The family of Rose Goldsmith Stern certainly faced a number of challenges. But overall, they appear to have been a family that overcame those challenges, found professional success, and gave back to society in many ways.

Thank you once again to Sharon and to Amberly for their help!

 

 

 

 

 

 


  1. Philadelphia city directories, 1899, 1900, 1901, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995. 
  2. University of Pennsylvania Yearbook, U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012″; Yearbook Title: The Record; Year: 1915. Ancestry.com. U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1990 
  3. Cornell Yearbook, U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012″; Yearbook Title: Cornellian; Year: 1916. Ancestry.com. U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1990 
  4.  Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, WWI Veterans Service and Compensation Files, 1917-1919, 1934-1948. Original data: World War I Veterans Service and Compensation File, 1934–1948. RG 19, Series 19.91. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg Pennsylvania. “Allan G. Stern, Official of Gichner Iron Works,” Philadelphia Evening Star, June 10, 1964, p. 37. 
  5.   Family of Sidney Stern, 1920 US census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 47, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1646; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 1791. Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  6. Simon Osserman and family, 1920 US Census, Year: 1920; Census Place: Manhattan Assembly District 21, New York, New York; Roll: T625_1224; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 1445. Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  7. Marriage of Howard Stern and Madeline Kind Kohn, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Marriages, 1852-1968. Original data: Marriage Records. Pennsylvania Marriages. Various County Register of Wills Offices, Pennsylvania. Film Number: 004141829 
  8. Madeline Kind Kuhn Passport Application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 1494; Volume #: Roll 1494 – Certificates: 141500-141875, 12 Feb 1921-15 Feb 1921. 
  9. Marriage of Allan Stern and Gladys Fliegelman, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Marriages, 1852-1968. Original data: Marriage Records. Pennsylvania Marriages. Various County Register of Wills Offices, Pennsylvania. Film Number: 004141829 
  10.  District of Columbia Deaths, 1874-1961,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F7TK-SXY : accessed 1 May 2018), Gladys Stern, 06 Feb 1930, District of Columbia, United States; citing reference ID 325790, District Records Center, Washington D.C.; FHL microfilm 2,116,108. 
  11. Harry Fliegelman and family, 1920 US Census, Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 32, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1633; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 1065. Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  12. “Poetess Dies in Plunge,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, February 7, 1930, p. 7. 
  13. “Woman Ends Life Because of Illness,” The Dayton Herald,” February 6, 1930, p. 33. 
  14. Washington, DC, City Directories, 1930, 1931, 1929, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995. 
  15. Sidney and Rose Goldsmith Stern, 1930 US Census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 0397. Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  16. Sylvan Stern and family, 1930 US Census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 1077. Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census. 
  17. Howard Stern and family, 1930 US Census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 20A; Enumeration District: 1029.
    Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census. 
  18. “Mrs. Rose Goldsmith Stern,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, January 25, 1931, p. 17. 
  19. Sidney Stern, 1940 US Census,  Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: m-t0627-03698; Page: 81A; Enumeration District: 51-384. Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  20. Sidney Stern, death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Certificate Number Range: 085451-088100. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966. Certificate Number: 86311 
  21. Sylvan Stern and family, 1940 US Census, Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: m-t0627-03752; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 51-2119. Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  22. Sidney Stern, 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. Source Information
    Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 
  23. Allan and Margaret Stern, 1940 US Census, Census Place: Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia; Roll: m-t0627-00563; Page: 66B; Enumeration District: 1-307, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census.  Allan Stern, 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 Maryland; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975; Record Group Number: 147; Series Number: M1939. Source Information Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 
  24. “Alma Stern,” Washington (D.C.) Evening Star, September 23, 1979, p. 49. 
  25.  “Allan G. Stern, Official of Gichner Iron Works,” Philadelphia Evening Star, June 10, 1964, p. 37. 
  26. Howard Stern, 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. Source Information
    Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 
  27. Number: 167-32-5823; Issue State: Pennsylvania; Issue Date: 1956-1958. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014.  

Update on the Death of Norman Schoenthal and Why I Love Libraries and Librarians

I never really realized all the things that librarians do until I starting doing genealogy research.  I’ve loved libraries ever since my mother first took us to the local public library as small children on her first driving experience after she received her driver’s license. Those trips became a weekly adventure, and I remember the long, winding road that brought us to the library and the smell of the new books on display in the children’s room, which was on the lower level.  And I remember how we each could pick a few books to check out and take home for the week to be returned the following week.

In my professional career, I also encountered amazing help from law libraries and librarians.  They seemed able to find resources and books I’d never be able to find on my own.  The librarians where I worked could find something in a few keystrokes that might take me hours to find, if I found it at all.

My latest experience with a librarian has reinforced my appreciation and gratitude for all that librarians do. In my last post, I wrote about the sad death of Norman Schoenthal at age 41 as recorded on his death certificate.

Delaware Death Records, 1855-1961," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KX3F-P3J : accessed 14 January 2016), Norman C Schoenthal, 15 Sep 1955; citing Wilmington, New Castle, Delaware, United States, Hall of Records, Dover; FHL microfilm .

Delaware Death Records, 1855-1961,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KX3F-P3J : accessed 14 January 2016), Norman C Schoenthal, 15 Sep 1955; citing Wilmington, New Castle, Delaware, United States, Hall of Records, Dover; FHL microfilm .

I had wondered what Norman was doing in Delaware, why he was residing in Washington, DC, and whether or not his death was accidental, as originally reported, or a suicide, as the amended certificate indicates.  I had written to the Wilmington Public Library to see if there was a news article about the incident, and a reference librarian there responded in less than 24 hours and sent me an article that addressed my question.  For free! I am very grateful to Ben, that librarian, for helping me to solve the mystery of Norman Schoenthal.

Here is the article he sent, which is from the September 16, 1955, issue of the Wilmington Morning News (p.4):

NOrman Schoenthal death story part 1

Wilmington (DE) Morning News, September 16, 1955

Wilmington (DE) Morning News, September 16, 1955, p.4

 

 

Man Dies Under Truck Wheels

Norman C. Schoenthal, 41-year old Washington, D.C., hotel man, became Delaware’s 74th highway fatality victim yesterday, when he was killed instantly by a truck on Fairview Avenue, just off the DuPont Highway at Farnhurst.

State troopers said the victim either slipped, fell or dived from the side of the road and was run over by the four tandem wheels of a 20-ton tractor trailer operated by George R. Lammy, 32, of near West Chester.  The vehicle is owned by Trans Materials Company, Berwyn, Pa.

Troopers said Schoenthal was standing on the south side of Fairview Avenue near the Farnhurst Post Office, about 60 feet west of the DuPont Parkway.  The driver told police he saw the man at the edge of the road as he drove past and declared the latter seemed to jump under the four wheels of the trailer.

Investigation showed that Schoenthal was engaged in the hotel business and had spent Wednesday night at the Twin Willows Tourist Home, just in the rear of the post office.  His car was found at the tourist home.  Police said he apparently was traveling alone.

Lammy was driving the gravel-filled truck into the Petrillo Brothers gravel pit, where hot mix asphaltic road surfacing material was being prepared.

The truck driver was arrested on a charge of manslaughter and held in $2000 bail by Magistrate Samuel J. Hatton of New Castle.

Troopers are continuing their investigation. [The remainder of the article is about an unrelated matter.]

The article answered some of my questions.  It does not appear that Norman was a patient at the nearby state hospital.  It does confirm that he was living in Washington, contrary to the burial card from Mt. Sinai cemetery where Norman was buried, which said he was residing in Atlantic City at the time of his death.  The news article also suggests that Norman was still in the hotel business and was perhaps in Wilmington on business.

I also was able to find where the accident occurred, assuming that the post office is still in the same general location in Farnhurst.  Du Pont Parkway still exists and runs north-south in Delaware (also known as Route 13), and the post office is located right off the parkway south of where the parkway now intersects with Interstate 295.  Interestate 295 runs east-west and crosses into Delaware from New Jersey over the Delaware Memorial Bridge and runs west to connect with Interstate 95.  According to Wikipedia, construction of the Farnhurst interchange on Interstate 295 was not completed until 1961; my guess is that the road that was Fairview Avenue in Farnhurst disappeared at some point after Norman’s death as part of the construction of this interchange.  Probably the Two Willows Motel disappeared around that time as well.

 

But there are so many unanswered questions.  Did Norman jump in front of the truck as the driver asserted and as the coroner apparently concluded? He had been recently divorced, had lost his father, and had sold his business in Florida. He could certainly have been depressed.

What happened to the driver, who had been arrested on manslaughter charges? Certainly if the death was ruled a suicide, the charges should have been dismissed, I would think.  I asked  Ben, the reference librarian in Wilmington,  whether there were any follow-up stories about the investigation that had still been pending at the time this article was published, but he wrote back to say he’d been unable to find any.  I guess the legal niceties were not as important to report as the gruesome death itself.

What a terribly sad way to die, whether it was accidental or intentional.

Thank you again, Ben and the Wilmington, Delaware, public library for your kind and generous assistance.  And thank you to all librarians everywhere.

 

 

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

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

Sylvester Schoenthal

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

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

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

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

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

The Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac Rail...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bessie Rose Schoenthal memorial notice

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

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

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

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

 

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

Bessie Schoenthal memorial notice 1945

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

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

Moretta Schoenthal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then I found a death notice for Moretta:

Moretta Schoenthal death notice 1940

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

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

Moretto Schoenthal memorial notice by siblings

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

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

Moretto Schoenthal obit in MD 1940

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Arthur L Schoenthal to Wage Board 1937-page-002

Arthur L Schoenthal to Wage Board 1937-page-003

Arthur L Schoenthal to Wage Board 1937-page-004

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Washington Evening Star, November 1, 1942, p 21

Washington Evening Star, November 1, 1942, p 21

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

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

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

Arthur Leo Schoenthal death notice 1974

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

The Goat, the Photographer, and the Daughter: The Children of Julius Schoenthal, Part I

Although I have written about Julius Schoenthal up to his death in 1919, I ended that post saying that I would return later to write about his children and other descendants.  So here I am.  Just to recap, Julius was the Schoenthal sibling who spent most of his years in the US in Washington, DC, as opposed to western Pennsylvania.  He had served both in the German army and the US army, had worked as a shoemaker like his father Levi, and had had four children with his wife Minnie Dahl: Leo, Rosalia, Sylvester, and Moretta, all born between 1875 and 1879.

His wife Minnie died in 1899.  All of their children were married by 1905, and although the three sons remained in Washington, DC, Rosalia (called Rose) and her husband Joseph Pach settled in Uniontown, Alabama, where Julius died, presumably while visiting them, in 1919.

I will discuss each child and his family separately beginning with 1920.  Today I will discuss Leo and Rose; the next post will cover Sylvester and Moretta.

Leo Schoenthal

In 1920, Leo Schoenthal was working as the chief inspector for the DC Division of Weights and Measures, where he had been working for many years.  He and his wife Fannie (nee Pach, sister of Joseph Pach, Rose’s husband) were living on Westminster Street in DC with their daughter Minnie (17) and five boarders.

Leo’s long and distinguished career with the Division of Weights and Measures came to an unfortunate end in May 1922.  According to the two news articles reprinted below, Leo had been disappointed when the Commissioner of the Division, James F. Oyster, had passed him over for a promotion to superintendent of the division.  Leo himself admitted that he was dissatisfied with that decision.  It then seems that Leo, who was planning to start a publication called The Goat allegedly to discuss suffrage issues, wrote a series of notes that made serious accusations regarding Commissioner Oyster; the content of those notes was not revealed in either of the news articles although apparently they included attacks on his “integrity, morals, and personality” as well as charges of irregularities in the operations of the office.  The notes were found torn into pieces in Leo’s trash basket in his office, and although he claimed that he never intended to publish them, he was dismissed from his position.  Leo also said that he had planned to resign his position anyway after he had been passed over for the superintendent’s position.

Leo Schoenthal fired 1922 pt 1

 

 

Washington Evening Star, May 3, 1922, p. 18

Washington Evening Star, May 3, 1922, p. 18

 

Headline Leo Schoenthal fired

Leo Schoenthal fired Washington Times 1922

Washington Times, May 3, 1922, pp. 1,2

Washington Times, May 3, 1922, pp. 1,2

Thus, after 29 years with the Division, Leo was fired seemingly without much opportunity to defend himself.  The article from the Washington Times ended with these words: “The discharged chief was declared to be one of the most capable men in the weights and measures office.” What a sad way for Leo to end such a distinguished tenure in that office.

But Leo apparently bounced back.  In the 1923 directory for Washington, DC, Leo listed his occupation as “Westminster Press.”  Although I cannot find any specific information about this business, I assume it was a printing business owned and managed by Leo, based on information from the obituaries of both Leo and his wife Fannie (see below).  I also assume they named it for the street where many of the Schoenthals had once lived in Washington, including Hilda, their cousin, daughter of Henry Schoenthal.

1914 directory for Washington, DC Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

1914 directory for Washington, DC
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

Five years later on September 13, 1928, when he was just 53 years old, Leo Schoenthal died suddenly while on vacation at a resort in Atlantic City.  He was buried at Washington Hebrew Cemetery.

Washington Evening Star, September 14, 1928, p. 9

Washington Evening Star, September 14, 1928, p. 9

In his will, Leo left his estate to his wife Fannie.

Ancestry.com. Washington, D.C., Wills and Probate Records, 1737-1952 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.

Ancestry.com. Washington, D.C., Wills and Probate Records, 1737-1952 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.

He wrote:

I give, devise, and bequest to my wife, Fannie Pach Schoenthal, all my property, real and personal, of whatever nature possessed.

I am not forgetful of the best interests of my daughter, Minnie Pauline Schoenthal, but feel confident that my wife will always be mindful of the best interests of my daughter, and I leave it to my wife’s judgment and discretion to give to my daughter any part of my estate she sees fit and able to give.

Three months later on December 2, 1928, the Washington Evening Star announced Minnie’s engagement to Myron Hess, the son of Fred and Marcianna Hess of Atlantic City.  According to the 1920 census, Myron was then working in his father’s photography business in Atlantic City.

Washington Star, December 2, 1928 p. 64

Washington Star, December 2, 1928 p. 64

Minnie Pauline Schoenthal married Myron Samuel Hess on January 6, 1929, at her mother’s home in Washington, DC, on Garfield Street.  The article below describes it as a small but elegant wedding attended only by the relatives of the bride and groom.

Washington Evening Star, January 13, 1929, p.46

Washington Evening Star, January 13, 1929, p.46

So who were those out of towners named as guests at the wedding?

Gus Oestreicher, who gave away the bride, was the husband of Sarah Stern, Hannah Schoenthal’s oldest child.  Sarah was Minnie’s first cousin, once removed.

Mr. and Mrs. Lehman Goldman were Flora Wolfe and her husband.  Flora was the daughter of Amalie Schoenthal and also Minnie’s first cousin, once removed.

Mrs. Jennie Arnold was also the daughter of Hannah Schoenthal and thus also Minnie’s first cousin, once removed.

Mrs. Julius Afferbacker was, I believe, Mrs. Julius Averbach or Bernice Arnold, Jennie Arnold’s daughter, and thus Minnie’s second cousin.

The others must either have been the groom’s relatives or  Fannie Pach’s relatives or people I have not yet found.  But even this small list gave me a sense of how connected the overall Schoenthal clan continued to be as of 1929.  Jennie, Flora, and Sarah were my grandmother Eva Schoenthal’s first cousins as was Leo Schoenthal.  Minnie was her first cousin, once removed.  But it does not appear that my grandmother attended this wedding.  Of course, by 1929 my grandmother had two young children and was living in Philadelphia and also had spent her childhood far away from the Schoenthal clan on the East Coast.  Nevertheless, it is a bit sad that she and her parents were not at this wedding (or at least not included on the list reported in the newspaper).

Minnie moved to Margate, New Jersey, near Atlantic City, after marrying Myron where he continued to work in the family photography business.  They would have two daughters during the 1930s, and in 1940 they were still living in Margate and Myron was still in the photography business.  Here is a photograph taken by Fred Hess & Son Photographers.

8904309974_6d80a1024e_n

Strolling the Boardwalk at Atlantic City by Fred Hess & Son. Date unknown, but looks like the 1920s. https://www.flickr.com/photos/28025169@N08/

Leo’s widow Fannie Pach Schoenthal took over Westminster Press after Leo died.  On the 1930 census she was living alone in Washington, DC, and listed her occupation as president of a printing business.  By 1940 she appears to have left Westminster Press; she was still living on Garfield Street, but now with five lodgers in her home.  Her occupation was listed as a lodging house keeper.  On October 19, 1946,   Fannie died unexpectedly from a heart attack while she was at the Wardman Park Hotel in DC (a place I have stayed in Washington); she was seventy years old.

Washington Evening Star, October 21, 1946, p, 8

Washington Evening Star, October 21, 1946, p, 8

Minnie Schoenthal Hess’s husband Myron died four years later on November 6, 1950, a month before his 52nd birthday.  His daughters were just teenagers when he died. In 1955, five years after Myron died, Minnie remarried; her second husband was A. Jay Trilling, who owned a paint company.  He died in 1983. Minnie lived to age 95, passing away on August 15, 1998. According to her obituary, she took over Myron’s photography business after he died.

TRILLING, HESS, SCHOENTHAL, MINNIE, who came to Margate as a bride in 1929 and lived in the same house in Marven Gardens for sixty-five years, died at Manor Care Nursing Home in Potomac, Maryland, on August 15, after a long illness. She was 95.

Mrs. Trilling was born in Washington, D.C. and moved to Atlantic City when she married Myron Hess. She took over as head of Fred Hess & Son Photography Studio following the death of Mr. Hess in 1950. In 1955 she married A. Jay Trilling, president of Trilling Paint Co. and former president of the Greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce as well as president of Temple Beth Israel. He died in 1983.

Mrs. Trilling served as president of the Women’s Division of the Chamber of Commerce, president of the Exchangettes, and she was a member of Soroptomist International, Beth Israel Sisterhood, Betty Bacharach Auxiliary, and the Ladies’ Auxiliary of the Children’s Seashore Home. She was a member for 77 years of the Order of the Eastern Star. Mrs. Trilling was especially proud that she was responsible for the beautification and restoration of Marven Gardens in the late 70’s.

(“Press of Atlantic City, The”, New Jersey, GenealogyBank.com (http://www.genealogybank.com/doc/obituaries/obit/0FB5351CB13A6EA1-0FB5351CB13A6EA1 : accessed 14 December 2015) TRILLING, HESS, SCHOENTHAL, MINNIE)

Thus, both Minnie and her mother Fannie became widows at a young age, and both took over their husbands’ business after their husbands died.   They were not only survivors; they were women who took on the responsibility of running a business to support their families.

Rosalia or Rose Schoenthal Pach

As noted above, in 1920 Rose and her husband Joseph Pach lived in Uniontown, Alabama.  Joseph was a dry goods merchant there. By 1930, however, they had returned to Washington, DC.  Joseph was now a commercial traveler selling ginger ale.  I wonder if they returned after Leo died to be closer to the rest of the family.  Rose and Joseph did not have any children, and perhaps they were lonely with no family close by in Uniontown; or maybe Joseph’s store wasn’t doing well.  In 1940, they were still living in DC, and Joseph was now a wholesale wine dealer.  On June 13, 1941, Joseph Pach died suddenly at home; he was sixty years old. (His sister Fannie Pach Schoenthal, Leo’s wife, also died unexpectedly in 1946.)

Rose died almost ten years later on January 23, 1951. She was 74.  Rose and Joseph had not had any children, so there were no descendants.  When Rose died, she had already lost not only her parents and her husband, but also all three of her brothers and at least two of her sisters-in-law.  There seemed to be a fair number of “sudden” or “unexpected” deaths in the family.

More on the younger two brothers in my next post.