I am finally returning to the family of Meyer Goldschmidt, brother of my three-times great-grandfather Seligmann Goldschmidt. As I’ve already written, Meyer Goldschmidt was born in about 1787 in Oberlistingen, Germany. He married Lea Katzenstein with whom he had seven children: Ella (1822?), Sarah (1823), Malchen (about 1827), Selig (1828), Joseph (1830?), and Falk (1836). Joseph died a month before his sixth birthday on November 27, 1836, five months after Falk was born, but the other children all lived to adulthood. They lost their mother Lea when she was 45 in 1839 when those children ranged in age from three to seventeen.
All the children but the oldest, Ella, remained in Germany, although Falk did spend some years in the United States before returning for good to Germany. They took care of their much beloved father until his death in 1858, by which time they were all adults living their own lives. I’ve already blogged extensively about Ella. In the posts to come I will report on the four children who lived their lives in Germany: Sarah, Malchen, Selig, and Falk. I will start with Sarah, the second oldest child of Meyer and Lea.
Sarah Goldschmidt was born on December 26, 1823, in Grebenstein, Germany. After her mother died when Sarah was 16, Sarah helped to care for her younger siblings. Her younger brother Selig talked about her cooking for the family and described her as “our good and noble sister.” Sarah, or Sarchen, whom Selig also described as “our angel of a sister,” married Salomon Stern on August 1, 1849. Salomon was born on May 24, 1815, in Ziegenhain, Germany, to Abraham Stern and Keile Maier.
Sarah and Salomon had four children. Their daughter Lina was born on January 11, 1851, in Ziegenhain. She presumably was named for Sarah’s mother, Lea.
A second daughter Keile, named for Salomon’s mother and sometimes known as Caroline, was born on July 11, 1853, in Ziegenhain.
Then came Abraham, also born in Ziegenhain, on May 17, 1858. I assume he was named for Salomon’s father Abraham.
Finally, a fourth child was born on January 7, 1861, named Mayer. He was born in Frankfurt, so the family must have relocated between 1858 and 1861.
Unfortunately, Sarah and her children suffered a great loss when Salomon Stern died on February 9, 1870, in Frankfurt. He was only 54, and his children were still quite young. Mayer was nine, Abraham, not yet twelve, Keile seventeen, and Lina was nineteen.
Lina was already married when her father died. She had married Levi Brinkmann on November 20, 1868, in Frankfurt, when she was only seventeen years old. Levi was the son of Suschen Brinkmann and Goldchen Plock and was born on October 29, 1841, in Wanfried, Germany. Thus, Levi was ten years older than Lina and 27 when they married. As far as I can tell, they had no children.
Sarah’s second child Keile married Abraham Loewenthal on March 8, 1872, in Frankfurt. She was eighteen years old. Abraham was the son of Isaac Loewenthal and Sarah Maier, born in Schierstein, Germany, on February 17, 1842. He was thirty when he married Keile.
They had five children. Selma was born on February 6, 1873, in Wiesbaden, Germany.1Their second child was Julius, born August 24, 1874, also in Wiesbaden.2 A third child Helene was born February 20, 1877, but in Frankfurt, so Keile and Abraham must have relocated by that time.
Siegfried came next; he was born on May 12, 1879, in Frankfurt.
And finally, Martha was born to Keile Stern and Abraham Loewenthal in Frankfurt on August 15, 1882.
Abraham Stern, Sarah Goldschmidt and Salomon Stern’s third child, married his first cousin Johanna Goldschmidt on June 24, 1887, in Bornheim, Germany. Johanna was the daughter of Selig Goldschmidt, Sarah Goldschmidt’s younger brother, and Clementine Fuld. She was born in Frankfurt on December 18, 1867, making her nine years younger than her husband and cousin Abraham and not quite twenty years old when she married.
Abraham and Johanna had four children. These children were not just siblings to each other, but also second cousins since their parents were first cousins.
Siegfried Salomon Stern (named for his paternal grandfather) was born on September 17, 1888, in Frankfurt.
Two years later, Johanna and Abraham had a third child, Sittah Sarah, born July 12, 1891, in Frankfurt.5
Sittah Sarah must have been named for her paternal grandmother Sarah Goldschmidt Stern, who died on February 1, 1889, in Frankfurt, at the age of 65. At her death Sarah was survived by her four children and eight grandchildren as well as all but two of her siblings. She had outlived her husband Abraham by nineteen years.
But Sarah’s family continued to grow. On June 5, 1894, Sarah’s ninth grandchild Alice Lea Stern was born to her son Abraham Stern and his wife (and Sarah’s niece) Johanna Goldschmidt.
Sarah Goldschmidt and Salomon Stern’s youngest child Mayer had married Gella Hirsch on March 5, 1886, in Bornheim, Germany. Gella was the daughter of Marcus Hirsch and Hannchen Schwabacher, and she was born on February 17, 1864, in Frankfurt.
Mayer and Gella had two children. Elsa Sara Stern was born January 4, 1891, in Frankfurt. She was presumably named in part for her paternal grandmother Sarah Goldschmidt Stern.
Four years later Mayer and Gella’s son Marcus (named for his maternal grandfather) was born in Frankfurt on January 28, 1895. He was Sarah Goldschmidt Stern’s eleventh grandchild.
As you may have noticed, Sarah Goldschmidt Stern and all of her children were living in Frankfurt, Germany, by the late 19th century. That is not surprising because Frankfurt had at that time the second largest Jewish community in Germany. In fact, Jewish life in Frankfurt had a long history, not all of it very pleasant.
According to one source:
The history of Frankfurt’s Jewish population dates back to approximately 1150. …. Sadly, even Emperor Frederick II’s official charter could not stop the first Frankfurt pogrom from occurring in 1241.
The next major conflict occurred in 1349, when Frankfurt’s Jewish population was blamed for an outbreak of the plague. When a fire broke out in the cathedral, a rumour was started that it had been laid by Jews, which once more brought upon them the people’s wrath. More than 200 Frankfurt Jews were murdered in the civil unrest that followed.
In 1462, Frankfurt’s Jews were forced to move into a ghetto at the edge of town. For the next 350 years, approximately 2,200 Jews resided there, crammed into some 160 houses situated along a 330-metre stretch of the city wall. The lives of the ghetto’s inhabitants were further hamstrung by a variety of restrictive city ordinances. …
This former compulsion [to live in the ghetto] was officially annulled in 1811.
In 1804, a general-education school named the “Philanthropin” was founded in Frankfurt, becoming a prominent centre of liberal Judaism. In 1850, Orthodox Jews established what later became known as the Jewish Religious Community. Despite these achievements, Frankfurt’s Jews still did not enjoy the same basic civil rights as the city’s Christian population. Only in 1864 did they achieve full equality, which enabled the Jewish community to grow and prosper.
In 1882, the Börneplatz Synagogue was consecrated, followed by the consecration of the Synagogue Friedberger Anlage in 1907 and the Westend Synagogue in 1910. Consisting of approximately 30,000 members, Frankfurt’s Jewish community was at the time the second largest in Germany. …
Frankfurt would therefore have been a good place for Jews to relocate during the 1880s and 1890s, and Sarah’s family took advantage of that opportunity. These photographs show the bustling and beautiful city it was at that time.
Sarah Goldschmidt Stern, the “good and noble” “angel of a sister,” was survived by her four children, Lina, Keile, Abraham, and Mayer, and by eleven grandchildren. What would become of those children and grandchildren in the 20th century? That is the subject for my next series of posts.
- Certificate Number: 1044, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Signatur: 9490, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930 ↩
- Certificate Number: 83, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 923, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930 ↩
- Certificate Number: 295, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930 ↩
- Certificate Number: 628, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 10411, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958 ↩
Certificate Number: 721, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland,
Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930 ↩