Jona Schellekens and James Bennett

March 2002

For comments please write to: Dr. J. Jona Schellekens, Department of Population Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mount Scopus, Jerusalem 91905, Israel (e-mail:

Goldschmidt/Goldsmid from Kassel

Goldschmidt is an old variant form of Goldschmied, which means goldsmith in German (Menk forthcoming). There are several Jewish (and non-Jewish) families which carry the name. This genealogy starts with Benedict Goldschmidt, a Court Jew who died in Kassel in 1642. He became the ancestor of a huge family of Levim, the exact number of which is difficult to estimate. Benedict had several sons, most of them each fathering a separate branch of the Goldschmidt family. We will only describe the descendants of one son: Simon. Simon has been some kind of genealogical stepchild, in spite of the fact that he fathered what may be considered as the senior branch of the family. Other sons have already received some attention and we will only refer the reader to publications on these branches. One son of Simon moved to Amsterdam. In the Netherlands the name became Goldsmid, whence it spread to England.

     This is probably one of the better-known families by the name of Goldschmidt, in particular thanks to the memoires of Glückel of Hameln, who was married to Heine (Chajim) Goldschmidt (died 1689), a grandson of Benedict. Oddly enough, the name Goldschmidt does not occur anywhere in her memoires, which were written in Yiddish. To understand this, we need to take a closer look at the kind of lives Jews led in the past.


Dietz (1988, p. 144) already noted that “in the sixteenth century the name Goldschmidt only appears in Christian tax lists and never in any Jewish document or on any Jewish gravestone.” To a large extent, this is also true for later periods. The reason for this is that Jews used to live in two worlds, each with its own language. Among gentiles they spoke the local language and presented themselves using names adapted to the local environment, or so-called civil names. Among family and their Jewish neighbours they spoke Yiddish and were known by their Jewish names, which could be completely different from their civil names. Thus, Herz Goldschmidt, a grandson of Benedict, is usually referred to as Herz Kassel in Jewish sources, after the town where he lived. This is not only true for family names, but also for first names. Thus, Benedict was known as Baruch among his fellow Jews. To make things even more complicated, Jews could have as many as two Jewish first names: a ‘popular’ one in Yiddish, known in Hebrew as a kinnui, and a ‘ceremonial’ one in Hebrew. Thus, Herz Kassel was also known as Naphtali ben Moshe Shimon ha-Levi.

     The belief that changing the name of a sick person could save his life has led to the creation of multiple first names (Kaganoff 1977, pp. 100-104). A good example is the Hebrew name of Simon, Moshe Shimon. An extreme example is the full Hebrew first name of Benedict: Baruch Daniel Shmuel. Apparently, Benedict went through two serious illnesses, at least. We suspect that Benedict even went through a third serious illness, because he is called Moshe Baruch on his tombstone, if our identification is correct. This custom should not be confused with the use of patronymics. Thus, Benedict is not the son of a fictitious Daniel Shmuel. Sometimes, the popular Yiddish and ceremonial Hebrew first names are mentioned together. A good example is Lewin Goldschmidt (died 1706), a son of Benedict. In Jewish sources he is called Leib Hannover. Leib means lion in Yiddish and is the usual Yiddish name for people who are called Yehuda. In Hebrew sources he is called Yehuda Loeb ben Baruch Bendit Halevi. Yehuda Loeb is not a multiple first name, but a combination of the Hebrew and Yiddish names.

     Civil names and Jewish names, whether ‘popular’ Yiddish or ‘ceremonial’ Hebrew names, will be separated by a slash. They have been rendered as pronounced in Modern Hebrew. Most of them have been taken from tombstones, Jewish community records and a few from the publications of the banns in Amsterdam.


We have used primary as well as secondary sources for this study. The secondary sources include published as well as unpublished genealogical and historical studies. Copies of most of the publications and unpublished manuscripts that we consulted can be found in the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People, the National Library and Mount Scopus Library, all three at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. James Bennett received additional information through correspondence with German archives.

     Quite a few Goldschmidt genealogies have been published in the last hundred years or so. To these should be added manuscripts of genealogies that lie hidden in several archives. The oldest genealogy, a Hebrew manuscript by Simon von Geldern (1720-74), which starts with Shmuel Stuckert and was published by Kaufmann (1896a), does not mention the family name at all. It does not contain much beyond what is known already from the memoires of Glückel of Hameln. Dietz (1988) published several genealogies from Frankfurt in Main in 1907. Because of the size of his genealogical enterprise - a reconstruction of all Jewish families in Frankfurt am Main - Dietz could not provide detailed evidence for each link. Hence, his work is of limited value. Gronemann’s (1913) genealogy of Jewish families in Hannover, which includes a chapter on Goldschmidt, stands in stark contrast to the work of Dietz, citing some of the original sources. But the number of persons covered by him is limited. Of even better quality is the genealogy of the Anglo-Dutch Goldsmids published by Prijs (1936). Prijs included transcripts of all the sources he used. Hyamson (1953) published a larger second family tree. Before Duckesz (1938) no one seems to have known how to link all these genealogies. He suggested that Shmuel Stuckert, the Yiddish name of the ancestor of the Goldschmidt branches from Stadthagen and Hameln, is identical with a Court Jew known from the civil records by the name of Benedict Goldschmidt, the ancestor of the Goldschmidt branch from Kassel. Prijs nor Hyamson knew how the ancestor of the Anglo-Dutch Goldsmids, Wolf Goldsmid (IIIb), is related to Benedict Goldschmidt. James Bennett discovered that he is his grandson. The evidence for this will be presented below.

     Unfortunately, most genealogies are little more than lists of people with some dates attached. To learn more about individuals, we have collected as many biographies as possible from historical studies. One of the most comprehensive is the study of Schnee (1954) on the Court Jew. Other sources include histories of local Jewish communities such as those in Kassel and Groningen.

     Primary sources are the most difficult to get hold of. Fortunately, some have been published. Grunwald (1904) published the inscriptions on gravestones in Hamburg. Those of Kassel are available in manuscript form, a copy of which was kindly provided by Sigismund von Dobschütz. Another important source is the list of visitors to the fair in Leipzig, which was published by Freudenthal (1928).

Circumstantial evidence

Proving a link is not always easy in the period before the civil registration of births, deaths and marriages. Only rarely is there explicit evidence for a family relationship before the period of civil registration. We have used at least three kinds of circumstantial evidence to link people: (1) father’s name and family name; (2) the naming of children after relatives; (3) the transfer of property; and (4) the proximity of graves.

     Before the nineteenth century the names of both parents are rarely mentioned. Only the father’s name is usually given, while that of the mother needs to be inferred indirectly. Unfortunately, it is not always safe to induce a family relationship from the father’s name and family name alone, because there may be a relative of the same name. Thus, Schnee (1954, p. 319) mistook Buna for a daughter of the first Simon (died 1658) instead of his grandson of the same name! We introduced a point system to indicate the strength of the evidence for a link. When only the first name and family name of the father are known, we gave two points. This is the minimum requirement for inclusion in the familytree, unless additional evidence is available. For each additional name we added another point. Thus, Abraham (I-1) received four points because his father’s triple Hebrew name is mentioned in the sources. We did not add an extra point for Jewish family names, such as Kassel or Stadthagen, or the designation Segal. Often, the inclusion of someone in the familytree is justified by additional evidence. This is indicated by the addition of a ‘+’.

     Dietz (1988) uses the transfer of property between generations as evidence. We have used this kind of evidence only rarely. For example, we used it to show that Elias Ruben Goldschmidt (c. 1775-1847); the joint owner of a company founded by Hesse Goldschmidt is his grandson.

     Husbands and wives are often buried next to each other (Horwitz 1918, p. 136). Sometimes, children lie next to their parents. Thus, the proximity of graves also counts as evidence. For example, Jehuda Loeb ben Naftali ha-Levi is buried next to Naftali ben Moses Simon ha-Levi in Bettenhausen. Hence, we may assume that Jehuda Loeb is a grandson of Simon Goldschmidt (IIb), whose Hebrew name is Moshe Simon ben Baruch ha-Levi.

  Legends about the origin of the family

Hyamson (1953) records an early family tradition among the Goldsmids in England claiming “descent from Moses Uri haLevi (1544-1622) who had come to Emden from Poland, the first recognized Ashkenazi rabbi of Amsterdam, brought there by the earliest of the ex-Marrano settlers. But there is a far more distinguished ancestry to which the family more or less lays claim – one however which the Heralds are not as yet prepared to accept – and that is the princely Hasmonean family of Judaea and the Maccabee hero-sons of Mattathias the priest. Rabbi Uri claimed this illustrious ancestry and the Goldsmid family, inheriting the claim, took as its motto Mi Camocha Baelim Adonai, “who is like unto Thee, O Lord, among the Gods”, the basis of the name of Maccabi if an acrostic is accepted. The descendants of Rabbi Uri haLevi formed several branches, known severally as Moses, Levi, Letteris, as well as Goldsmid. ... The name Goldsmid is supposed to be a kinnui or civil name, the equivalent of Uri. According to Exodus XXXI, 4, Bezalel ben Uri was the goldsmith employed in the decoration of the Tabernacle” (Hyamson 1953, p. 2). The truth behind this tradition is that Sara Aron, Wolf’s wife (see IIIb), is a great-granddaughter of Uri Halevi (Caran 2000, p. 24). Uri Halevi was born in Braunschweig, Germany, not in Poland. The tradition about the descent from Uri Halevi must predate 1841, when Sir Isaac Lyon Goldsmid (1778-1859), a son of Asher Goldsmid (Vb-4) became a baronet. Most of the stories we know about Uri Halevi come from Sara Aron’s uncle, the printer Philip Aron Levie, a grandson of Uri Halevi.

Modern theories about the origins of the family

According to Dietz, the family of Benedict Goldschmidt moved to Kassel from Frankfurt am Main. This is supported by the fact that descendents of Benedict later lived in houses in Frankfurt am Main owned by a family Goldschmidt in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. On the other hand, Glückel of Hameln mentions Witzenhausen as the place of residence of Shmuel Stuckert, while his son was known as Abraham Witzenhausen. The earliest Goldschmidts found in Witzenhausen by Horwitz (1924/25) are Abraham and Mosche Goldschmidt who payed protection money in 1625. Probably, this Abraham is not identical with the son of Benedict Goldschmidt, although they both seem to have died in the same year, because a list from 1671 mentions two (different?) people by the name of Abrahamb Goldschmidt, one in Kassel and one in Witzenhausen, who payed protection money (Staats-Archiv Marburg Best. 5 Nr. 2329). Perhaps they are cousins. Horwitz thinks that Abraham and Mosche Goldschmidt are sons of Schmoll Mosche, who is mentioned in Witzenhausen in the period 1604-1622, but does not provide any evidence (see also Eckhardt 1975, pp. 43-54). Finally, the name Stuckert hints at Stuttgart as a place of origin. Thus, the Goldschmidts or some of their ancestors probably lived in Stuttgart in the fifteenth century before moving to Frankfurt am Main or Witzenhausen.


Generations are indicated by Roman numbers. Dates are in continental style (day-month-year).


I. Benedict Goldtschmidt / Shmuel Stuckert / probably Moshe Baruch ben Moshe Yehuda Segal, first mentioned Kassel 1620, died there 1642 (Horwitz 1909), probably married to Röschen, died Kassel 8-10-1647 (Bettenhausen B120).


Probably, Rabbi Duckesz (1938) of Altona was the first to identify Benedict Goldschmidt, the ancestor of the Goldschmidts of Kassel, with Shmuel Stuckert, the ancestor of the Goldschmidts of Stadthagen. “In all editions of Glückel of Hameln her [husband’s] grandfather is always called Samuel Stuckert ... Prof. Kaufmann mentions him as Samuel Stuttgart on page 59, ... Groneman calls him in his “Genealogischen Studien über jüdische Fam. Hannovers” Baruch Daniel Samuel Stuckart. It is not indicated clearly anywhere, what his name actually was. Glückel of Hameln only writes, that he was Vorsteher in Witzenhausen for all of Hessen. From the tomb inscription of the son it is clear, that his principal name was Baruch Benditt (German Benedix), who the authorities call Goldschmidt from Cassel.” Duckesz found that a grandson of Meier (I-3) by the name of Meier Benedict Kassel (died Frankfurt 1755, married 1707 or 1708 Prive, daughter of Joel Schuh from Altona), is also known as Meier Stuckart, parnas in Franfurt, in the Jewish sources (Emden 1896, p. 143). Further evidence is supplied by Daniel Cohen (1996, pp. 440-42). Shmuel Stuckert had a son Abraham in Witzenhausen. After the death of Simon Goldschmidt of Kassel in 1658, his brother Abraham Goldschmidt became Vorsteher of the Jewish community in Hessen. In 1664 local Jewish sources mention him as Abraham ben Baruch Daniel Shmuel Segal. This shows that (Baruch Daniel) Shmuel Stuckert and Benedict Goldschmidt are one and the same person.


Benedikt is mentioned for the first time in Kassel in a tax list of 1620. He paid 500 Reichstalern. Three out of ten heads of households paid more than he did (Hallo 1930). Benedikt is not the first Court Banker of the landgraves of Hessen by the name of Goldschmidt. He was preceded by Joseph of the goldener Schwan of Frankfurt am Main, who is mentioned in 1562 with his son Hirsch. Probably he is identical with Joseph Goldschmidt of the Goldener Schwan who is mentioned by Dietz (1988, pp. 145-48). Schnee (1954, p. 318) thinks that Benedikt belongs to the same family as Joseph. “Benedikt Goldschmidt became the founder of the institution of Court Agent in Hessen and the ancestor of the Goldschmidt family which lived in Kassel and which held a leading position among the Court Jews of Kassel before the rise of the House of Rothschild. Benedikt Goldschmidt was banker to the court of the landgraves Moritz (1592-1627), Wilhelm V (1627-1637) and Wilhelm VI (1637-1663). They used him to take care of their financial business in Frankfurt am Main. His financial strength is shown by the fact that he paid 2000 Dollars (Talern) in Gold in advance, which Hessian Jewry had to contribute during the Thirty Years War. At the first general Jewish diet (Judenlandtag) of 1626 Goldschmidt divided this sum among his coreligionists in Oberhessen and Niederhessen. The Court Banker was also the Obervorsteher of the Jews [of Hessen]. As a court official he enjoyed the very important privilege of being released of the burden of having to quarter troops. Benedikt Goldschmidt complained immediately, when the city council of Kassel imposed to quarter troops in his home in spite of his privilege, by appealing to his privilege of 1625 and 1636, for which he had paid 600 Reichsthaler in advance. The landgrave supported his Court Jew and the soldiers were quartered somewhere else. Soon the court agent attracted other coreligionists to Kassel. The town was opposed to this and in 1635 even achieved that all Jews had to leave Kassel. Only Benedikt and his dependents were allowed to stay. ... In 1631 he pleaded his right of ritual slaughter against the butchers’ guild in Kassel and won. ... He died in 1642” (Schnee 1954, pp. 318-19).


Hallo writes about the relationship between Benedict and the local Jewish community. “Only Jews who were in the service of the Court were living, barely visible, in Kassel itself. First among these was Hayum, since 1602 authorized supplier of silver to the mint, and soon after him his rival and the one to replace him later, Benedikt Goldschmidt, a Court Jew in the strict sense. On the other hand, Isaak, Hayum’s son-in-law, the Rabbi, lived in Bettenhausen, perhaps also from 1602. He would come to the town for prayer services or – as Benedikt called it in 1622 – “to our Shul”, which as far as known for these years, was located in the house of Jost Riemers in the important Marktgasse” (Hallo 1931, p. 12). “The documents which have been preserved show clearly how serious friction developed between the two groups, the party of Rabbi Isaak in Bettenhausen and the Rabbi of Friedberg who sometimes cooperated with him, on the one hand, and the government-supported party of Benedikt the Jew, known as Goldschmidt, on the other hand. The friction was not in the least caused by the fact that Isaak used his sermons in the synagogue ... for angry attacks on Goldschmidt. He accused him of being a “traitor” of the Jews to the government. While the outcome of the many insulting quarrels is not known anymore, two results are clear: first the undisputed victory of the Goldschmidts, which was crowned by the expulsion of all other Jews from Kassel in 1635, because the State cared more about the economic power of its Jews than their religious discipline; and second, although almost useless, the order of 1625, to appoint an officially recognized Hessian Rabbi. This order probably took into consideration the for the State irritating interference of the Rabbis of Fulda and Friedberg with Hessian Jewish affairs. One can guess that the role of Rabbi in Bettenhausen was finished after this. It is unknown, whether it was considered to have the official Rabbi reside in Kassel. Anyhow, in 1656 he resided in Witzenhausen. Because of the isolation of the Goldschmidts, there was no chance of having a synagogue in Kassel. Numerically, these Jews at the Court were just not strong enough to gather the ten adults necessary for the service. Moreover, the possibility that they would voluntarily subordinate themselves to a Rabbi in Kassel can be ruled out in the case of this family of “self-made regents”, as Isaak called Benedikt in 1622” (Hallo 1931, pp. 12-13).


There is an early tombstone in Bettenhausen (B119) of a Moshe Baruch ben Moshe Jehuda Segal. The date cannot be read anymore. Next to him lies Röschen, housewife of ... who died in 1647. The name of her husband is illegible now, but the proximity strongly suggests that she is Moshe Baruch’s wife. The early date suggests that Moshe Baruch is no one else but Benedict Goldschmidt. Moreover, on the tombstone of his son Abraham (Bettenhausen B442b) Benedict is also called Moses Baruch. Apparently, he went through another change of name after a serious illness. Most probably, his father’s name is Jehuda, to which Moses was appended after an illness.


According to an eighteenth-century genealogy published by Kaufmann (1896a, p. 297) “Samuel Stuckert from Witzenhausen had three sons and two daughters.” However, we found at least six sons. The descendents of Simon and Meyer were known as Kassel, those of Jobst as Hameln, those of Moses as Stadthagen, and those of Lewin as Hannover. Children (birth order unknown):

1. Abraham Goldschmidt / Morenu Harav Avraham Witzenhausen / Avraham ben Baruch Daniel Shmuel Segal / Avraham ben Moshe Baruch [4], died Kassel 31-7-1676 (Bettenhausen B442b, parnas), married Hinla, died Kassel 3-8-1675 (Bettenhausen B442a, wife of  parnas), daughter of David Katz.


According to an eighteenth-century genealogy Abraham Witzenhausen was an ordained rabbi (Kaufmann 1896a, p. 297). He signed a document on 9-1-1664 with Abraham b. R. B[aru]ch Daniel Samuel [Sg”]l (Cohen 1996, pp. 440-441). This shows that he is a son of Shmuel Stuckert and that Shmuel Stuckert and Benedikt Goldschmidt are identical. “According to a rescript of 13 XII 1647 the brothers Abraham and Simon Goldschmidt were not subordinate to the town of Kassel ... After the death of  Simon (1658), Abraham functioned as Obervorsteher of the Jewish community in Hessen until his death on 28 VIII 1676 (Cohen 1996, p. 442). “Hirtz, ... ,  is one of three Jews, besides Abraham Goldschmidt and one Salomon, who had ‘letters of protection’ in Kassel in 1664” (Hallo 1930). “Abraham, ‘the Jew who lived on the Pferdemarkt’, died in 1675 according to the Arnoldschen Chronik in the Landesbibliothek” (Hallo 1930). However, his tombstone calls him ‘parnas Avraham ben Moshe Baruch Segal.’


2. Simon, see II.

3. Jobst Goldschmidt / Joseph Hameln / Morenu Harav Joseph bar Baruch Daniel Shmuel Halevi [4+], born 1597 (Groneman 1913, p. 14), mentioned Stadthagen 1618-1637, Hameln 1639-1650, died Hannover 30-1-1677,  married Freude Spanier, born 1599, died 25-9-1681 (Groneman 1913, p. 16), daughter of Nathan.


Joseph told his daughter-in-law Glückel: “My father, Samuel Stuttgart, was parnas of all Hessia, and my Freudchen was Nathan Spanier’s daughter. She brought a dowry of two thousand Reichsthalers and my blessed father had promised me fifteen hundred Reichsthalers, a fine portion in those days. Well, time come for the wedding, my father hired a porter, a fellow known thereabouts as the Fish. We slung the dowry over his shoulders to carry it to Stadthagen. Loeb Hildesheim was living there at the time, for he too was a son-in-law of Nathan Spanier” (Hameln 1977, pp. 24-25). Jobst Goldschmidt (Joseph Hameln) is first mentioned in Stadthagen in 1618. “Around 1600 the Jew Nathan Spanier and his mother lived in the town [of Stadthagen]. Together they payed 12 Thaler each year. From 1618 his son-in-law, Jobst Goldschmidt payed 6 Thaler. In 1621 the family of Nathan consisted of 10 people, while that of Jobst of six people, and it is even mentioned explicitly: “They both have a schoolteacher living in.” ... On 27-7-1624 Jobst Goldschmidt of Stadthagen wrote a letter to the sheriff (Landdrost) and councillors in Bückeburg to ask for the confiscation of the money of Abraham Levi which was in the hands of the sheriff of Pinneberg, because of his refusal to pay a fine of 100 Reichstalern for the annulment of the engagement between Abraham Goldschmidt and the daughter of Jacob Simon (Marwedel 1976, pp. 82-83, note 226). In 1635 ... there were two Jews with letters of protection: Jobst Goldschmidt and the Jew Jacob, who both married daughters of Nathan. ... In the same year we notice also, that the Jews already had some kind of synagogue in the town in those days, that is a room were they gathered for times of prayer and services ... in the house of Jobst Goldschmidt” (Wehling 1955, p. 1). Between 1637 and 1639 Jobst moved to Hameln (letter from Archives of Stadthagen to James Bennett, 10-7-1989; Groneman 1913, p.15). Glückel writes: “... I delighted in the piety of my father-in-law. At three in the morning he arose, and in his Sabbath coat seated himself close to my bedroom and sing-songed his prayers” (Hameln 1977, p. 25). When news arrived about the Messianic pretender Sabbatai Zevi, Joseph Hamel “left his home in Hameln, abandoned his house and lands and all his goodly furniture, and moved to Hildesheim. he sent on to us in Hamburg two enormous casks packed with linens and with peas, beans, dried meats, shredded prunes and like stuff, every manner of food that would keep. For the old man expected to sail any moment from Hamburg to the Holy Land. More tha a year the casks lay in my house. At length the old folks feared the meat and other edibles would rot; and they wrote us, we should open the casks and remove the foodstuffs, to save the linens from ruin. For three years the casks stood ready, and all this while my father-in-law awaited the signal to depart” (Hameln 1977, pp. 46-47). For their children see Hameln (1977, 26-32).


4. Moyses Goltschmidt / Moshe Kramer / Moshe bar Baruch Daniel Shmuel Halevi [4+], mentioned Stadthagen 1635-1653, died 1-3-1670, married before or in 1644 Gitele, daughter of Rabbi Meir from Minden.

In 1635 Moyses Goltschmied is mentioned for the first time in Stadthagen. He is called a Jew from Bückeburg. In 1637 he is mentioned in Stadthagen together with his brother Jobst Goldtschmied. In 1644 Moyses Goltschmidt is called the son-in-law of Meyer from Minden. His nickname Kramer probably refers to his principal occupation: merchant. Moshe Kramer and Gittele are mentioned in the Memorbuch of Fulda (Kaufmann, 1896b, p. XXXIX). In the Memorbuch he carries the title chaveer. They donated 50 Reichsthaler to the poor of Fulda. For their descendants in Hamburg see Duckesz (ca. 1925).


5. Gelle of Metz.

6. Hanna of Fulda.

7. Meyer Goldtschmidt [1+], died Frankfurt am Main 1667, married there 27-12-1634 Bele, died Frankfurt 1686, daughter of Amschel Buchsbaum and Treinle Oppenheim.


“Meyer Goldschmidt was a money changer from Kassel. He lived at the Buchsbaum and the Birnbaum (next door to the Einhorn). Jewish records show him as Buchsbaum-Kassel and the son of Benedict (Baruch). He was given right of residence on 27 December 1634 when he married Bölgen Buchsbaum (daughter of Anselm at the Buchsbaum). In 1658 Meyer was the business partner of Moses at the Armbrust and Johann at the Schwert. In 1660 his capital was estimated at 10,000 guilders. He died in 1667 and was then a respected leading businessman. He was the forefather of the Goldschmidt-Kassel family which was extent in the nineteenth century” (Dietz 1988, p. 149). Dietz did not know the father of Meyer. A document of 1655 mentions “Meyer Goldschmidt’s brother Simon Goldschmidt in Kassel” (CAHJP, notes of Daniel Cohen). Further evidence for him being a son of Benedict Goldschmidt of Kassel is supplied by Duckesz (1938, p 936): “Meier Goldschmidt Cassel in Frankfurt am Main is mentioned as Meier Bendit Cassel in the local Chewra-Buch and is given the additional name of Stuckart, like his daughter.” For their descendants see Dietz (1988) and Cibella and Baron (1998).


8. Lewin Goldschmidt / Yehuda Loeb ben Baruch Bendit Halevi / Leib Hannover [2], died Hannover 24-1-1706 (“at an old age”), married (1) his cousin Esther Goldschmidt / Esther bat Yosef Segal, died Hannover 31-3-1675, daughter of Jobst and Freude Spanier (see I-3); (2) Merle, born c. 1646, died Hannover 31-3-1747 (at the age of 100!), daughter of Jakob.


Duckesz  (1938, p. 936) thinks that Lewin was a son of Benedikt of Kassel, because “Baruch Bendit Goldschmidt a son of Levin Goldschmidt from Hannover living in Hamburg had children and grandchildren in Altona who carry the name Stuckart or Stuckert in the Chewrabuch.” Lewin “erected a synagogue in his house in 1688, in which he served as cantor, as told in the Memorbuch, and ... he also helped convince the Duke issue an edict to protect the cemetery. The picture of Esther drawn by Glückel is of a very pious and Godfearing woman. She died young on March 31, 1675. Her tombstone is the second oldest in the cemetery” (Gronemann 1913, p. 19). Glückel writes: “The sixth child [of Joseph Hameln] was his daughter Esther, the pattern of piety and womanly virtues. She underwent more than her share of troubles, yet her patience never flagged, to the moment she breathed her pure soul away” (Hameln 1977, p. 32). For Lewin and some of his descendants see Gronemann (1913).


II. Simon Goldtschmidt / Moshe Shimon ben Baruch Levi [2+], died Kassel 14-10-1658 (Bettenhausen B442c, parnas), married Gütel / Yittele, born after 1608, died/buried Kassel/Bettenhausen 1658 (1 nissan 5418; CAHJP, notes Daniel Cohen), daughter of Wolf.


Simon is mentioned for the first time in the 1625 list of Jews in Kassel (CAHJP, HM 2553). “Simon Goldschmidt succeded his father as Court Jew. He also held the position of Obervorsteher of the Jews of [Hessen-]Kassel. His position at the court in Kassel is characterized by the fact, that he presented two crystal lights to Wilhelm VI as a New Year’s gift in 1656. In return he received money. This is one of the few cases in the history of the court agents in which the ruler of a country and a Court Jew exchanged gifts. Simon Goldschmidt was a Court Banker like his father. From a complaint by the Goldschmidts in the year 1652 it is clear that Simon also held the position of Court Jeweller. ... As a mint entrepeneur he supplied silver for the coins of the landgrave. Simon Goldschmidt and his servants were exempted from paying the personal toll and could pass freely. The court agent payed two guilders for this right every year. On May 8, 1651, landgrave Wilhelm VI confirmed this privilege which had been granted to the Court Jew by his mother Amalie Elisabeth. ... Simon died in 1658. His son Hertz Goldschmidt received his father’s letter of protection on October 12, 1658, but not his privilege of supplying silver to the mint. Benedikt Goldschmidt’s grandson had become a simple ‘protected Jew’ (Schutzjude). However, in the community of his coreligionists in [Hessen-]Kassel he became Obervorsteher” (Schnee 1954, p. 319).


“In 1645 Simon Goldschmidt asks the landcountess to evict the competition from Amsterdam in Kassel” (Hallo 1931, p. 103).  “... the ever more strongly rooted and growing family Goldschmidt expanded its own private religious services. With its own inflexible energy it even dared  to ask for their official recognition! In 1649 a fine was imposed, because a few Jews had held public synagoge services several times in a house of their landlord. Some of these had stayed overnight in the fortress Kassel, although they did not live there. But in spite of the detention of 16 pious men in the house of Simon and the resulting expulsion of the Rabbi from the country ... Simon Goldschmidt was already able to ask for a written confirmation for his ‘private conventicle’ in 1651. ...The Goldschmidt house, “am Judenbrunnen 10” became a center for the cultural life in Kassel ... (Hallo 1931, p. 13). “In 1652 Simon Goldschmidt and his housewife Gütel exchanged their garden outside the Annabergertor with the citizen Matthias Hüser and his wife Gertrud. Instead they received a meadow in the Unterneustadt, which Goldschmidt had acquired from Johann Heinrich Hund (source collection from the municipal archives H 366)” (Horwitz c. 1930, p. 70). “Around 1660 the Hessian leader (Landvorsteher) Mos. Sim. b. Baruch levi” is mentioned in the Memorbuch of Fulda (Weinberg 1924, p. 261).


Hallo (1931, plate XXI) shows a tombstone from Bettenhausen of Yittele bat Wolf, the wife of Simon Segal, who died shortly before 1700. He thinks that Yittele is a daughter of Wolff Traube (p. 79).  However, he does not provide any evidence for her being a daughter of Rabbi Wolff Traube (died 1712) other than the first name of her father. Moreover, she belongs to the same generation as Wolf Traub, if not an earlier one. Daniel Cohen reads the Hebrew year 5418 instead of 5458. Closer inspection of the photograph of the tombstone shows Cohen to be right. Hallo read a nun instead of a yod. Apparently, the tombstone has disappeared, because it does not occur on the list of the Jewish cemetery of Kassel in Bettenhausen. Hallo (1931, plate XX) also shows the tombstone of a Hendel, the wife of Simon Kassel z”l, who was burried in Bettenhausen in 1685. He identifies her as a wife of Simon Goldschmidt. However, it is difficult to believe that Simon remarried in 1658. In fact, the name of Hendel’s husband reads Zalman Kassel and she died on 5-7-1686 (Bettenhausen B116).


Tombstone of Yittele bat Wolf in Bettenhausen (Photo: Schaumlöffel)


Schnee (1954, p. 319) mentions a daughter, Buna, wife of Alexander Michael David. This is highly unlikely, because Buna would have been at least 98 (=1756-1658) years old at her death. Children (from Yittele?):

1. Herz, see IIIa.

2. Wolf, see IIIb.


IIIa. Herz Goldschmidt / Naphtali Hirtz Segal / Herz Kassel / Naftali ben Moshe Shimon ha-Levi [2+] (Cohen 1996, pp. 469 and 485), died Kassel 3-8-1705 or 1707 (Bettenhausen B442e, morenu), married Bunla, died Kassel 6-3-1694 (Bettenhausen B442f, wife of parnas), daughter of Jehuda ha-Levi.


In 1659, soon after the death of his father, Herz probably became leader of the Jews of Hessen-Kassel and was to remain in office until his death. This may be inferred from the statutes of the Jewish community of Hessen-Kassel of 1690: “Every three years ... Vorsteher will be elected, except for the Vorsteher who were elected in the year [5]419 (=1659) – they will remain in office for life. ... And now on 21 siwan [5]450 (=29-5-1690) according to our customes we ... the undersigned were elected ... Hirz Kassel ...” (Cohen 1996, p. 481). This is also clear from the election procedures of 1694: “Those who received most votes will become Vorsteher, with the exception that each of the fifteen electors must write down the name of the shtadlan Herz Segal [=Kassel in copy of 1793]” (Cohen 1996, p. 492). During the elections of 17-6-1704 his post remains vacant. According to Cohen he was back in office in 1706. He reads 1707 and not  1705 on his tombstone, which calls him an ordained rabbi or morenu (1996, pp. 485 and 497). In February 1663, “Herz Goldschmidt, protected Jew in Kassel and official leader of the Jewish community in the principality of Hessen, acknowledged  and testified for himself and as guardian for his brothers and sisters, that he has sold to Heinrich Jacob van Dooren, citizen and pharmacist, and his housewife Anna Elisabeth his garden outside the Annaberger Gate ..., which was owned by his father Simon Goldschmidt and after his death is owned by him and his siblings, for 250 Thaler. The document is signed by Herz Goldschmidt, Wolrath Huxholtz, personal physician of the Prince of Hessen in Kassel, and Moses Abraham, rabbi in Witzenhausen, as guardians of the minor brothers and sisters ([municipal archives H 366], 19 and 23-2-1663)” (Horwitz c. 1930, p. 70). “Hirtz, ... ,  is one of three Jews, besides Abraham Goldschmidt and one Salomon, who had letters of protection (Schutzbriefe) in Kassel in 1664” (Hallo 1930). His tombstone mentions his father’s full Hebrew name: Moses Simon ha-Levi.



1. Simon, see IVb.

2. Bendix, see IVc.

3. Jehuda Loeb ben Naftali ha-Levi, died Kassel 19-2-1704 (Bettenhausen B442d).


IVb. Simon Goldschmidt / Shimon Kassel [1+], probably born in or after 1658, probably died Kassel 17-4-1714 (Bettenhausen B432c), probably married Motche, died Kassel 12-12-1725 (Bettenhausen B432b), daughter of Reuben Segal.


Simon is definitely part of the family, because his sons are cousins (Vetter) of Benedikt senior. But his father’s name is not mentioned anywhere. Cohen (1996, p. 489) thinks that he is a son of Herz Kassel (IIIa). This hypothesis is supported by the name of Simon’s daughter, Buna, who was probably named after her paternal grandmother Bunla. If this is correct then Simon was named after his grandfather and born after 1658. However, there is one difficulty: his son Benedict junior is mentioned as a cousin of Benedikt senior instead of his nephew. However, in the past ‘Vetter’ could also be a distant relative. 


In 1680 Simon Goldschmidt was Obervorsteher. In 1690, when Herz was appointed (again) as leader of the Jews in Hessen-Kassel, Simon was appointed as collector (goveh). In 1711/14 he is again mentioned as a collector (CAHJP, notes of Daniel Cohen). In 1694 Simon Kassel was appointed colector of charity for the Holy Land in all of Hessen (Cohen 1996, p. 487-89). In 1706 Simon was in Amsterdam for his son’s wedding (Prijs 1936). In 1722 Simon Goldschmidt’s widow had a private teacher living in (Schnee 1954, p. 326). Simon probably died in 1714. Today his tombstone only mentions his first name and the date of death, but next to him lie the wife of Shimon Segal and Jecheskiyahu (=Hesse) ben Shimon ha-Levi.



1. Benediktus Goldsmit junior / Baruch or Bendit ben Shimon Segal or Kassel [2], born Kassel c. 1685, died there 31-5-1737 (Bettenhausen B353), married (publication of the banns Amsterdam 2-7-1706; GAA 705, fol. 105b; assisted by his father Simon Goltsmit and the bride’s father Juda Prins; signature: Benedix Goltsmit de Jonge) Ester Prins / Ester bat Yuda, born Amsterdam c. 1690, died Kassel 23-7-1747 (Bettenhausen B354), daughter of Juda Prins.


In 1706 Benediktus Goltsmit junior was living on the Antoniebreestraat in Amsterdam. Perhaps, he was staying with Wolf (IIIb). His Hebrew name is known from the books of immatriculation of the Jewish community in Amsterdam, who were seen by Prijs (1936, p. 20). A few months before 9-3-1716 Benedikt left Amsterdam for Kassel, where he was known as the Dutch Jew (der holländische Jude). The same document reveals that he is a brother of Hesse and a cousin (Vetter) of Benedikt Goldschmidt senior (IVc). In 1720 Bendit ben Shimon Kassel is mentioned as money collector (geld innehmer). In 1715, the “landgrave wanted that following official regulations services would be held in an outlying building of one of the Jews except for  (i. e. not in that of ) the Jew Benedix [Goldschmidt] ... A small green silk curtain ... [was] donated by the son of Simon, Bendix Goldschmidt in 1722 and renewed by his nephew Baer [the son of Hesse] in 1784 ...” (Hallo 1931, pp. 14-15).


2. Hesse, see Va.

3. Buna bat Shimon Kassel [2+], born in or after 1694, died Hannover 23-5-1756, married (1) (Moses) Alexander Michael David / Alexander ben Yechiel Michael Halevi, died Hannover 27-4-1741, son of Michael David and Hindchen Düsseldorf; (2) Meyer Wolfenbüttel (Gronemann 1913, part I, pp. 94-95, and part II, pp. 72-73).


Schnee (1954, p. 319) mentions a Buna, daughter of Simon Goldschmidt. However, a document from 1731 mentions Alexander Michael, the brother-in-law of Benedikt and Hesse Goldschmidt (Cohen 1931, p. 184). Alexander Michael David “ was already Vorsteher of the community during his farther’s life ... From his marriage with Bune, daughter of Simon Goldschmidt in Kassel, who after his death remarried Meyer Wolfenbüttel and died on May 23, 1756, he had a daughter, Hindchen, and three sons, Hiskia, Samson, and Simon” (Gronemann, p. 95). Buna was probably named after her paternal grandmother. In that case she was born in 1694, at the earliest.


Va. Hesse or Hesekiel Goldschmidt / Hiskia ben Shimon Segal [2], born Kassel ca. 1690, probably died Kassel 24-4-1733 (Bettenhausen B432d), married Sara, born ca. 1695, died Kassel 29-8-1760 (Bettenhausen B309), daughter of Herz Oppenheim.


In 1710 and 1728 Hanns (Hesse) Goldschmidt from Kassel visited the fair at Leipzig (Freudenthal 1928, p. 146). In 1716 Hesse was put in a religious ban or herem (CAHJP, notes of Daniel Cohen). “In 1727 Hesse Goldschmidt was accepted [as a resident of Kassel]. He is the founder of the once world famous indigo firm of the Goldschmidt brothers” (Horwitz c. 1930, p. 43). The household of Hesse Goldschmidt is one of 16 households mentioned in a list from May 1729 published by Horwitz (1926). His household consisted of him, his wife, three children, a 54-year old nurse maid, two servants, 23 and 24 years old, a 24-year old maid, and ‘Peßchen’, 24 years old. “Benedix and Heßen Goldschmit” of Cassel had business contacts with the grandson of Moshe Kramer, Moses Goldsmit (GAA, NA 6106, 17-8-1717). “On December 7, 1731, the merchants from Kassel, Benedix and Hesse Goldschmidt, obtained a special trade privilege for Waldeck; one may assume that they also supplied to the court” (Schnee 1955, p. 88). “Hiskia b. Simon Sg”l (=Hesekiel Goldschmidt) and Sarle, daughter of Herz Oppenheim, donated a curtain for the Holy Ark in Kassel in 1729 (Hallo, ...). He died before 1736 X 23” (Cohen 1996, p. 520).


Children (Cohen 1996, p. 520):

1. Bula, born Kassel ca. 1717.

2. Hanna, born Kassel ca. 1720.

3. Ruben, see VIa.

4. Baer, see VIb.


VIa. Ruben Hesse Goldschmidt / Reuben G”sh [2], born Kassel ca. 1726, died there 15-12-1790 (Bettenhausen B199), married Hanna Gumpel, born after c. 1725, daughter of Samson Gumpel, died Kassel 23-12-1790 (Bettenhausen B198).


“Ruben Hesse Goldschmidt, banker, son-in-law of the Court Jew Samson Gumpel of Wolfenbüttel (died 1767, ...), in 1753 [mentioned as] Obereinnehmer (=chief tax collector) and still [mentioned as such] in 1768 (...), died 1790. His tax assessment was 7000, later 6000 Reichsthaler, his estate, on the other hand, net 60-70,000 Reichsthaler” (Cohen 1996, p. 574).



1. Bula Goldschmidt [1+], born Kassel c. 1758, died there 8-10-1829, married Seelig Feist Maas, born c. 1755, in the Westphalian period he adopts family name Philippstein, listed as banker and trader (Horwitz 1914, p. 122).


“About 1800 the old Goldschmidt family of Kassel obtained a position at the Court for one last time. Ruben Hesse Goldschmidt had an impressive banking firm, which was carried on by his sons. In 1804 his son Samson Ruben Goldschmidt and son-in-law Selig Feist Maas asked the electoral prince to give them an official position for the benefit of their bill of exchange business. They promised to use everything in their power whenever they could contribute to further the interests of the ruler. In accordance with their wishes the petitioners received the position of Court and War Bankers (Hof- und Kriegsbankiers); for this each one had to contribute 100 Reichsthaler for the contruction of the church in the Unterneustadt. In this case the courtly title was sold for a relatively smal sum. A few years later we meet a financial advisor by the name of Selig Goldschmidt in the records; it is impossible to determine whether he was a son of Ruben Hesse Goldschmidt or whether he is the same person as Selig Feist Maas, who is also called Selig Goldschmidt once. Probably, it was the son-in-law of Goldschmidt, who became Court and War Banker together with his brother-in-law. In 1820 the Jews of

Kassel proposed to appoint the financial advisor Goldschmidt as the presiding member of the Jewish deputation. However, the request was turned down. The banking house of Ruben Hesse Goldschmidt was used by the elector Wilhelm for his well-known loan transactions. Above all, it received the task of collecting the interest owed by the debtors of the elector. ... The Court and War Bankers also remained in touch with the landlord after the escape of the elector, handled money business for them and drew bills of exchange. They were in particular active on the money markets of Frankfurt am Main, Amsterdam and Berlin, where the well-known banking firm of  S. M. Levy’s heirs acted as their middlemen. In Frankfurt they cooperated with Rothschild to saveguard the elector’s loans to them. The money business of the Court and War bankers with the electors during their period of exile must have been very considerable, because when the account was settled after the elector’s return, Goldschmidt’s sons still had to collect the half-yearly interest of 500,000 guilders and a commission fee of ½ %. The Banking house of Ruben Hesse Goldschmidt rose to particular prominence in the Westphalian period under King Jérôme. While Israel Jacobson just became a Court Banker, the house of Goldschmidt rose to the position of State Banker of the Kingdom. The loans they provided were barely lower than the sums which Jacobson gave to the King and the state” (Schnee 1954, pp. 333-34).


2. Samson Ruben Goldschmidt, born c. 1768, died Kassel 14-4-1841 (Bettenhausen B7), married Jette Feidel, born 22-4-1782, died Kassel 15-7-1824 (Bettenhausen B6).


In the Westphalian period, Samson is listed as a banker and trader (Horwitz 1914, p. 122).


3. Aryeh, also known as Leib, ben Reuben G”sh, born c. 1770, died Kassel 15-6-1801 (Bettenhausen B200).

4. Elias Ruben Goldschmidt, born c. 1775, merchant, died Kassel 1847, married Giedel Herz, born c. 1777, died 1838 (Von Dobschütz 2000).


“Elias Goldschmidt was a merchant and is mentioned as the joint owner of a company. Possibly, this is already a reference to the company later known as Gebr. Goldschmidt Indigo- und Farbwarenhandlung. In 1811 he owns house no. 1152 in the Unteren Königstraße in Kassel. Later the new synagogue would be built there and consecrated on 8-8-1839, to which he contributed financially. About 1800 he married Giedel Herz, who probably comes from the family of the Court Jew and Agent Sussman Herz, who is already mentioned in Kassel in 1771” (Von Dobschütz 2000). In the Westphalian period Elias Ruben Goldschmidt is listed as a trader (Horwitz 1914, p. 122).


VIb. Baer Hesse Goldschmidt / Per G”sh [2], probably married Brendel, died Kassel 20-7-1771 (wife of Baer Segal Goldschmidt, Bettenhausen B228), daughter of Samuel Levi from Amsterdam.


“In 1768 Bär Hesse Goldschmidt was appointed as Oberkassierer (=chief treasurer) of the money for the Talmud Tora, a function which he was still holding in 1775 (...). In 1788 [he is mentioned as] Vorsteher ...” (Cohen 1996, p. 594). “When Landgrave Friedrich II opened a bourse in Kassel on 16-2-1776 to promote trade, a great number of Jews from Kassel were ready to support the undertaking. Only Samuel and Michel Wallach and Bär Hesse Goldschmidt need to be named” (Horwitz c. 1930, p. 53).



1. Hesse Beer Goldschmidt / Yecheskel ben Yissachar Baer Goldschmidt [2+], died Kassel 27-12-1819 (Bettenhausen B17).


The name Hesse is relatively rare. This constitutes further support for the identification of Hesse Beer Goldschmidt as a grandson of Hesse Goldschmidt (Va). In the Westphalian period Hesse Beer Goldschmidt is listed as having “no specific trade” (Horwitz 1914, p. 122).


IVc. Bendix Goldschmidt senior / Bendit Kassel / Baruch ben Naphtali Halevi [2], born Kassel c. 1671, died Kassel 23-1-1744 (Bettenhausen B351, parnas), married Brenna / Brendelchen, born c. 1685, died Kassel 7-1-1742 (Bettenhausen B352, wife of  parnas), daughter of Mordechai, Vorsteher of the charity society.


The Eschweger Memorbuch mentions Baruch ben Naphtali Halevi (Cohen 1996, p. 495). On 18-12-1708 a Bendix Goldschmidt is mentioned as Obervorsteher. Probably, Bendix senior is meant. But “it is difficult to distinguish between Benedikt G. sen. and Benedikt G. jun. (b. Simon) = ‘the Dutch Jew’”. (Cohen 1996, p. 495) and Horwitz (1910, p. 517) think that the Obervorsteher Bendix Goldschmidt mentioned in 1716 is actually Bendix junior. The household of Bendix Goldschmidt senior is one of 16 households mentioned in a list from May 1729 published by Horwitz (1926). His household consisted of him, his wife, two children and a 23-year-old maid. In 1738 he is (again) mentioned as Obervorsteher and not Bendix junior who had died (CAHJP, notes of Daniel Cohen).



1. Bunia, born Kassel c. 1704.

2. Hebe, born Kassel c. 1709.


IIIb. Wolf Goldsmid  / Yehuda Benyamin Wolf Kassel Halevi ben Moshe Shimon Halevi [3+], born Kassel between 28-2-1658 and 28-2-1659, merchant, died Amsterdam 29-5-1717,  married (publication of the banns Amsterdam 28-2-1678; VS 691-100; assisted by Salomon Arend and the bride’s father) Sara Aron / Sarah bat Aharon, born Amsterdam c. 1657, died Amsterdam 5-11-1735, daughter of Aron Abraham and Wendel Aron.


Wolf Goldsmid’s full Hebrew name appears on his tombstone: Yehuda Benyamin Wolf Kassel Halevi ben Moshe Shimon Halevi. Usually, Jews in those days did not have more than one first name. Wolf is the Yiddish equivalent of the Hebrew name Benyamin, while the name Yehuda was probably added during a serious illness. Similarly, the name Moshe was almost certainly added during an illness of his father Simon. Thus, Wolf is a son of a Simon Goldschmidt in Kassel. Simon is called an aluf, rosh and katsin on Wolf’s tombstone, a reference to the position of  Simon as one of the leaders of the local Jewish community. Since, there were no other Jewish families allowed to live in Kassel at the time, this all points to Wolf being a son of the Court Banker Simon Goldschmidt. Moreover, Simon’s Hebrew name is known from the Memorbuch of Fulda to have been Moshe Shimon ben Baruch levi (Weinberg 1924, p. 261). At the time of the publication of the banns, Wolf declared to be 19 years old. Thus, he was born between  28-2-1658 and 28-2-1659. His first name suggests, that he is a son of Yitle bat Wolf. Apparently, he was named after his maternal grandfather.


Bills of exchange show that Wolf’s business contacts include Benedict Goldsmit of Frankfurt (GAA, NA 4111, 24-7-1684), Leefman Behrens of Hannover (GAA, NA 5991 B, 7-9-1693; NA 5993, 27-8-1694; NA 6017, 28-7-1702), and Jost Liebman’s widow (GAA, NA 6022, 10-9-1703). Benedict Goldsmit of Frankfurt is probably Wolf’s cousin and the son of Meyer, about whom Dietz writes the following: “Benedict Mayer (Meyer) was at the Black Buchsbaum in 1680 and later at the Waage. He dealt in cloth and calico and in 1700 was in the highest tax group. He died in 1704 and his gravestone paid tribute to his distinction and wealth” (1988, p. 150). Leffman Behrens Cohen was Court Jew in Hannover and married to his cousin Jente, a daughter of Jobst  (I-3). Jente’s niece Malka was the first wife of Jost Liebmann, the well-known Court Jew from Berlin (Gronemann 1913, p. 17-18).


“The tombstone for Wolf Goldsmit (1659-1717), at the Ashkenazi cemetery of Muiderberg in the Netherlands, contains a Hebrew epitaph in raised letters and a lunette at the top with a scene of three standing figures, carved in relief. The scene depicts one of the duties of the Levite in the Temple, according to Ps. 26:6, and it refers to the name and ancestry of the deceased, whose full name on the stone reads: Judah Benjamin Wolf ha-Levy Cassel. ... The native Dutch stone is grey-pink, with a granite-like texture, and although slightly weathered, the sculpted details of the faces, clothing, and gestures of the figures in the lunette clearly identify the action and meaning of the scene. At the right, a bearded Levite in large soft cap and long belted robe, with a mantle fastened over his left shoulder, faces the viewer. His right arm extends full-length to pour water from a pitcher over the hands of a bearded Cohen at left, who leans toward him in profile with mitred headdress and fringed gown. In the center, behind them, a third person, bareheaded, but also bearded and in a collared robe, holds the basin to catch the water” (Weinstein 1974, pp. 66-67). Translation: [1] Of Benjamin he said: the beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by Him [2] In this grave (is buried) a righteous and proper man [3] His spirit is fit to dwell in the garden of Balsam [4] His hands are open to the needy with food and money [5] His repose beneath the Throne of Glory (has been assured) from aforetime [6] Generous of heart, he was a faithful support and guide [7] Behold the leader, the head, the foremost of Parnas [8] And President, of honored memory, Reb Judah Benjamin Wolf [9] Cassel ha-Levy, may the pious one be remembered with blessings, son of the leader and head [10] And standard-bearer of honored memory Moses Simon ha-Levy [11] May the pious one be remembered with blessings – who died with a good name on the night of Holy Sabbath [12] And was buried on the morrow, first day of the week, the 20th day of the month [13] Sivan in the year 477 of the small reckoning. “The lunette depicting the Levite, the symbolic representation of Wolf ha-Levy, is derived from the 1553 wood engraving by the French Mannerist Bernard Salomon (d. c. 1561-2), which depicts the encounter between Abraham and Melchizedek the king of Salem (Genesis 14)” (Weinstein 1974, p. 70).


Tombstone of Wolf Goldsmid at Muiderberg (Photo: James Bennett)


“A garden in the Plantagie with buildings (...) was publicly sold on March 12, 1736, to the highest bidder mr. Johan Nantista Carlij for 4500 guilders. The house on the Anthonis Breestraat was sold to Hertog Levij on March 12, 1736, for 6600 guilders. A woman’s seat in the High German Synagogue was publicly sold to Hijman Joseph Levy for 1270 guilders” (GAA 9756, act 79, notary M. van Son, 12-9-1736).



1. Judith Goldsmit [2+], born Amsterdam c. 1681, died there 27-4-1721, married (publication of the banns Amsterdam 29-8-1698; assisted by Judith’s father Wolf Goldsmit and Meyer Jacob representing the groom’s father Joost Goldsmit; signature: Yudik Goultsmick) her second cousin Moses Goldsmit / Moshe ben Yoseph Stadthagen Segal / Moshe Kassel, born Hamburg c. 1681, merchant, drowned Amsterdam 1738, son of Joost Goldtschmidt and Elkele, grandson of Moshe Kramer (see I-4).


For proof that Moses is the son of Joost see Bennett (1988).


“Mozes Goldsmid married Judith Goldsmid Cassel, daughter of Wolf Goldsmid Cassel and Sara Arents  at the age of seventeen. His father-in-law belonged to the rich upper layer of the High German community of Amsterdam. In addition, he was governor or parnas of the community. Like his father, Mozes probably traded in precious metal and jewels. It is known that he traded in textiles and ‘colonial’ wares. We still know very little about his business activities in detail. What we do know is that his business contacts were intimately tied up with the trade routes of those days, as is proven by a deed of 1722. In this year he and Mozes Traub from Hamburg set up a trading company. Its purpose was the trade with and in London. Traub contributed 2000 guilders and Goldsmit 12,000 guilders. The contract, which would last for twenty years, further stipulated that Traub would settle in London and would report every year on profits and losses” (Schut 1995, pp. 51-2, which is partly based on Bennett 1988).


“In 1731 the dean of  the Reformed Church Jacobus Aelders became the new leaseholder [of the pawnshop of Groningen] for the amount of 1300 guilders. ... Aelders was not the only leaseholder. In 1731 he had signed a contract in Amsterdam with Mozes Goldsmid to lease the pawnshop together. It is unknown whether Aelders and Goldsmid knew each other or had done any business before. In the contract which was drawn up in Amsterdam it was stipulated that Aelders would be in charge of the daily management, although he was probably not suited for this job, because in the following year they agreed about several additional clauses, such as the location of the pawnshop. It would be located in a house in the Poelstraat, where the movietheater Concerthuis is located today. Mozes Goldsmid or his deputy would from now on live in the house. The ‘salesroom’ of the pawnshop would be in the smaller house at the back. This house would also serve as the home of Philip Abrahams, who was appointed as cashier and was to receive a salary of 400 guilders per year . Aelders himself would be housed in two smaller houses on the east side of the bank. The leasing of the pawnshop was a very important event in the genesis of the Jewish community of Groningen. A few months before the additional agreement with Aelders in 1732, Mozes Goldsmid petitioned the town’s administration. He reminded the City Fathers, that they had given him (as leaseholder of the pawnshop) and his family and other Jews the liberty to practice their religion. For this purpose he had arranged part of his house as a synagogue and he asked the magistrate of Groningen to keep their promise in the lease offer. They did and services were allowed. A second request for the construction of a cemetery would be taken into consideration” (Schut 1995, pp. 49-51).

Tombstone of Mozes Goldsmid at Muiderberg (Photo: James Bennett)


“The balance of the inheritance left by [Mozes] Goldsmid in Groningen was a little over 56,000 guilders” (Schut 1995, p. 77).


2. Benedictus, see IVd.

3. Isabel / Belitje Goltsmit [2+], born Amsterdam c. 1687, married (1) (publication of the banns Amsterdam 6-11-1705; VS 705-56; assisted by father Wolf Goldsmit and groom’s father; signature: Izabele Goldtsmedts) Israel Libman, born Berlin c. 1688, son of Abram Libman; divorced and (2) (publication of the banns Amsterdam 1710; VS 707-286; assisted by the groom’s father) Godschalk Jacob, born Amsterdam 1692, son of Jacob Mozes.


Isabel “or her descendants, are not mentioned in the testament of her father of April 22, 1716 (GAA NA 4228), or in the testament of her mother of November 10, 1734 (GAA NA 7564 no. 113), or in the division of property of September 12, 1736 (GAA NA 9756 no. 79). Hence, she must have died childless before April 22, 1716” (Prijs 1936, p. 15).


4. Simon Goltsmit / Shimon ben Wolf Kassel [2+], born Amsterdam c. 1690, married (publication of the banns Amsterdam 2-8-1708; VS 706-266; assisted by father Wolf Goltsmit and bride’s brother Zacharias Ryteling; signatures: Simon Goldtsmit, Judik Reutlingen) Judith Ryteling, born Swabagh c. 1693.

5. Aron, see IVe.

6. Meijer / Meir ben Wolf Kassel, still a minor in 1717 (GAA NA 6108), died Amsterdam 1727, bachelor.


Meyer “is mentioned as the youngest and unmarried son of Wolf Goldsmit in the testament of his father of April 22, 1716 (GAA NA 4258).   ... The deed of the division of property of September 12, 1736 (GAA NA 9756 no. 79) shows that Meyer Goldsmit was unmarried and in any case died childless and as an adult” (Prijs 1936, p. 14).


IVd. Benedictus Goltsmit / Baruch Bendit ben Wolf Segal [2+], born Amsterdam c. 1686, died 1736/37, married (publication of the banns Amsterdam 22-8-1704; VS 704-173; assisted by father  Wolf Goltsmit and bride’s father Mozes Nathan; signature: Benndix Goltsmit) Ester Moses Nathan / Zilpa Ester bat Moshe ben Nathan, born Hamburg c. 1688, died 1735 (23 Tishre 5496; Grunwald 1904, p. 268), daughter of Mozes Nathan.


“On October 1, 1717, Benedictus or Bendix Goltsmit of Amsterdam became leaseholder of the pawnshop of the town of Doesburg. He deposited two thousand guilders as a guarantee and one fifth of premises “in the city of Amsterdam, on the Joodse Breestraat, near the St. Anthony Sluys, with the sign of Cassel hanging outside, where my father Wolf Goltsmit has recently died.” Bendix had all the details written down by a notary in Amsterdam. The most important stipulations in the charter were: he did not have to open the pawnshop on the sabbath. He could charge an interest of one duit [= about a farthing] per week for every rijksdaalder, and could charge a fee for writing. Twice a year, Bendix had to hold a public sale of securities which had not been redeemed, with advance knowledge of the magistrates and the town’s secretary. During the years of the charter, he was to enjoy citizen’s rights and the town’s privileges. ... Bendix was married to Ester Moses Nathan and would handle the banking business in Doesburg until 1728, when he ‘absconded’, as noted by the town’s scribe. Mayor J. Rasch had started legal procedures against him for not paying loans and the interest between 1724 and 1728. It concerned a sum of more than 3000 guilders. Bendix’ goods were confiscated. Probably, these goods included the ones he had bought at the last sale in 1727, ...” (Kooger 1981, p. 20).


 “In 1719 ... [the town’s scribe] mentions that Bendix Goltsmit (pawnshopkeeper 1717-1730) was the only one allowed to open a synagogue in his house” (Kooger 1981, p. 40).


“On March 31, 1724, Bendix Goltsmit, Levy Simons, Isaac Jacobs, Isaac Isaacs and Gesselik Moises sent a request to the city council of Doesburg to take measures which would allow them to travel unimpeded to Elten. What had happened? On March 19, this group of Doesburg Jews had been attacked and pelted on the way with stones by a large crowd of adolescents and adults. Bendix Goltsmit and Isaac Jacobs had sought refuge in the house of a Jew in Elten, while the others had fled into the tavern De Rode Leeuw. Bendix had been hit by stones and Isaac Jacobs, an elderly man, had been beaten up with his own cane. The group of Jews had barely managed to escape the crowd. For their business they had to take the road through and to Elten all the time. No doubt, the case of the Jewish robbers in Doesburg in 1723 had contributed to the violent behaviour of the people from Elten” (Kooger 1981, p. 31).


“... her son Benedictus Goldsmit, living in Altona near Hamburgh” (Testament of Sara Arents, widow of Wolff Goldsmith,  November 10,  1734, GAA NA 7564 no. 113).


“Benedikt Goldsmit was still alive at the time of the division of the property of his mother Sara (GAA NA 9756 no. 79), i. e. on September 12, 1736. However, on the day of the publication of the banns on the marriage of his son Mozes, i. e. on October 31, 1738, he is noted as having been deceased. Therefore, he must have died between September 12, 1736 and November 1737, assuming that the marriage of the son did not take place in the year of his father’s death, as customary” (Prijs 1936, p. 12).



Signatures of Benndix Goltsmid and his brother Simon Goldsmit in 1736.



1. Moses Goudsmit Junior / Moshe ben Bendet Kassel Segal, born Amsterdam c. 1712, married (publication of the banns Amsterdam 31-10-1738; assisted by Jochem Rubens and the bride’s father Benjamin Jakobs) Judith Benjamins / Gitche bat Benyamin, born Amsterdam c. 1720, daughter of Benjamin Jakobs.

2. Aron, see Vb.


Vb. Aron or Aaron Goldsmit / Aharon bar Bendet Kassel Segal [2+], born Amsterdam c. 1715, died London 3-6-1782, married (marriage contract 5-2-1739; publication of the banns Amsterdam 19-2-1740; VS 724-366; assisted by Jochem Rubens and the bride’s father Abraham de Vries) Keetje or Catharine de Vries, born Amsterdam c. 1718, daughter of Abraham de Vries, Medicinae Doctor, and Anna Fles (Prijs 1936) and cousin of Frouke Jacobs Flesch, who in 1758 married a son of Aron’s cousin Elkele Goldsmit (see IVf-4).


“...Aaron Goldsmid was a prominent merchant carrying on business in Holland towards the middle of the eighteenth century. ... He was a son of Benedict Levi Goldschmidt of Hamburg,... established himself in Amsterdam and then came to London. ... Aaron settled in London in 1765, residing first in Gun Square, Houndsditch, and then at Leman Street, Goodmans Fields, where he founded the firm of Aaron Goldsmid and Sons. He died in 1782, leaving eight sons (sic!), of whom the eldest, George, was his partner and, joining Mr. Mocatta of Mansell Street, founded the eminent firm of Mocatta and Goldsmid, the bullion brokers” (Adler 1930, p. 147).


“One year after his arrival in London, Aaron Goldsmid was already a Gabbay (treasurer) in the Great Synagogue of the city. His preoccupation with the Jewish community finally produced a legend about his death. He was one of the followers of Rabbi Haim Samuel de Falk, known as the Baal Shem of London, whose achievements in the realm of the supernatural were widely discussed. When de Falk died (1782), Aaron Goldsmid and his son George were made executives of the will. Legend has it that Aaron Goldsmid was left a special small packet, accompanied by strict injunctions that it was not to be opened, lest the culprit and his descendants be cursed. Goldsmid, it is said, resisted temptation for some time, but finally gave way. He broke the seals of the packet, disclosing cabalistic figures and hieroglyphics. The same day he was found dead” (The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia).


Four daughters and four sons:

1. George /Gershon Goldsmid, born 1743, died 1812, married 1763 Rebecca Cohen, born Amersfoort 1738, died 1808, daughter of Jonas Ezechiel Cohen and Sara Italiaander (and younger sister of Caatje who married George’s Dutch second cousin Joseph Meyer Goldsmit).


“... a sister of Benjamin Cohen, Rebecca, married the London banker George Goldschmid (whose family came from Kassel). The house of Goldschmid became prosperous within a short period of time; in the period 1792-1810 it could be compared with the famous bankers of Rothschild” (Adelberg 1977, pp. 50-51).


2. Perle (Pearl, Goley or Margala) Aron Goldsmit, born c. 1747, moved “from London” to Amsterdam, died 1821, married (publication of the banns Amsterdam 1767; VS 743-6; assisted by father Aron Goldsmit and the groom’s mother Kaatje Elias) Magnus Jochem Mozes, born Amsterdam c. 1745, son of Kaatje Elias Salomon.

Pearl was living in Amsterdam in 1802 when she was a witness at the publication of the banns on the marriage of her daughter Roosje (VS 650-19).

3. Ester Aron Goldsmit, born c. 1750, “from London”, died 1811, married (1) Amsterdam 1766 (VS 742-31; assisted by father Aron Goldsmit and the groom’s mother) Elias Jochem Mozes, born Amsterdam c. 1750, son of Kaatje Elias Salomon; (2)1802  Nathan Salomons, born 1748, died 1825.

4. Asher Goldsmid, born Amsterdam 1751, died London 1822, married 1770 Rachel Keyser, born 1752, died 1815, daughter of Alexander Isaks Keyser.

5. Polly, born 1753, died 1841, married 1781 Lyon de Symons, born 1743, died 1814.

6. Benjamin Goldsmid, born Amsterdam 1755, died Roehampton 15-4-1808, married 1787 Jessie Salomons Prager, born 1767, died 1836, daughter of Israel Levien Salomons Prager.

Benjamin and Abraham were the “First members of the Stock Exchange who competed with the bankers for the favours of the Chancellor, and diverted from their purses those profits which were scarcely a legitimate portion of banking business. The combination of that interest being thus broken, the bargains for public loans became more open, there was no confederation to limit and lower the prices; and the Ministry and country reaped the benefit in improved terms” (Francis 1885 quoted from Hyamson 1953, p. 4). Benjamin and his brother Abraham “carried on a separate business in partnership and, after 1792, grew rich through their dealings with the British Government. Benjamin had a fine country house and park of two hundred acres at Roehampton, near Kew so magnificent that it was compared to Windsor Castle. As Levy Alexander writes in his amusing but somewhat scandalous biography: “ Everything is here on a scale of magnificence and beauty equal to any Nobleman’s country seat. Drawing, Music and Dancing Rooms, furnished with the highest taste and latest fashions, with a profusion of ornamental as well as useful articles. Ice houses, hot houses, the whole forming an accommodation fit for the reception of a Prince. In this house he has been visited by Mr. Dundas and also the Royal family, unexpected, when he entertained them in a manner highly to their satisfaction.” He was the founder of the Naval Asylum, Greenwich, and, in 1797, of the Jews’ Hospital, Mile End. A favorite of both Pitt and the Duke of Kent, he did not allow his worldly success to damp his communal activities. He liberally supported the Synagogue and the Chief Rabbi and was a generous patron of poor David Levi. In 1808, in a fit of despondency, Benjamin Goldsmid committed suicide” (Adler 1930, pp. 147-48). “Lord Nelson was among their closest friends. He spent his last night in England in Benjamin’s house at Roehampton” (Hyamson 1953, p. 5). “The brothers were not only pillars of the City but also pillars of the Synagogue. In his home at Roehampton Benjamin had not only a private synagogue, but in its grounds he reserved a plot for the rabbi of the Great Synagogue – the equivalent of the Chief Rabbi of today – on which wheat from which his matzos were made was grown” (Hyamson 1953, p. 5). Benjamin and Abraham’s “familiarity with the sons of George III did much to break down social prejudice against Jews in England and to pave the way for emancipation. They were considered by Lord Nelson among his closest friends. ... This activity marked the displacement of the Sephardi element in London from their former hegemony” (Encyclopedia Judaica).

7. Abraham Goldsmid, born Amsterdam 1756, died Morden, near London, 28-9-1810, married 1783 Anne Eliason, died 1834, daughter of Benjamin Elias Daniel.

Engraving of Abraham Goldsmid by F. Bartolozzi, R. A.., after Medley


After his brother Benjamin’s death, “Abraham continued the business and, two years later, joined with Sir Francis Baring in the issue of an English Government loan for £1,400,000. But Sir Francis died suddenly, which started a panic in the City; the stock fell and Abraham also committed suicide” (Adler 1930, p. 148). “The relations between Abraham and the royal Duke of Sussex were those of genuine friendship. It was under Abraham’s escort that the Royal princes attended service at the Great Synagogue one Friday evening in 1809. He once actually entertained at luncheon, informally, King George III and his Queen, who being in the neighbourhood had visited Abraham’s country house at Morden almost unannounced. Lord Nelson was among their closest friends. ... After the great admiral’s death Abraham befriended Lady Hamilton, when beset by financial anxieties, and since her home, Merton Place, had to be sold, another brother Asher bought it” (Hyamson 1953, p. 5).


8. Sarah, died 1833, married Daniel Eliason, died 1824, son of Benjamin Elias Daniel.


IVe.  Aron Goldsmit / Aharon ben Benyamin Wolf Kassel Segal, born Amsterdam about 1693, murdered Paris 1720, married (publication of the banns Amsterdam 9-2-1714; 709-270; witnesses: father Wolf Goldsmit and bride’s father; signature: Aron Goldsmit) Maria Alkan / Miryam bat Moshe Rotschild, born Metz about 1695, murdered Paris 1720, daughter of Mozes Alkan.


“Aron Goldsmit went on a business trip to Paris with his wife in the preceding year 1720 ... was murdered there and his wife was so badly wounded by the murderers, that she died within a few days” (CAHJP HM 9699, Amsterdam 4-3-1721).



1. Judith Goldsmit, born 1714-20, married Abraham Weijll, lived in Nancy, France, in 1736 (GAA NA 79, 12-9-1736).



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CAHJP – Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People, Jerusalem.

GAA – Gemeentearchief Amsterdam (Municipal Archives of Amsterdam).

GAG – Gemeentearchief Groningen (Municipal Archives of Amsterdam).

VS – Verdooner and Snel (1992).