My second great-grandmother, on my father’s side, Francis (Fannie) Woolfwas born on January 14, 1862 in New York to Barnett Woolf and the former Kate Cohen. Both her parents came to the United States from England.
In 1870, Fannie was living in Brooklyn with her parents and 6 siblings.
|1870 US Cenus|
I know nothing about Fannie except what I was able to glean from a few vital records. I don’t even have a picture of her. I spent a good part of my day today “traveling” to England hoping to at least learn more about her parents. What I learned was that there were are a lot of Woolfs in 19th century England! I may have confused a few families. I’m not even sure now that I have her siblings listed correctly. Guess that’s another item for the “to-do” list.
|Marriage Certificate for John and Fannie|
On May 11, 1879, Fannie married John Samuel. Their marriage certificate lists the Groom’s name as “Jacob”.
Perhaps this was his Hebrew name?
John apparently was illiterate, as noted by “his mark” on the signature line.
Witnesses to the marriage were an Emannuel Braham and Benjamin Woolf (bride’s uncle).
According to the certificate, Fannie and John began their married life on Woodhull Street.
Their first child, Lawrence, was born in August of 1879. Perhaps that explains why she was married at the young age of 17.
There’s only about 4 months between the marriage and the birth…hmmmm.
Their second child, Barnett, was born three years later in 1882. “Barney” would become my great-grandfather.
I have created a vision of John and Fannie’s life in my mind. It would have been a difficult life. He, an illiterate cigar maker from England. She, a young bride, living in her mother’s home (1880) with her new husband and baby along with eight of her siblings, their families an uncle and a boarder. I counted 18 people living in the residence. (87 Third Street Brooklyn, New York)
|1880 US Census|
In 1900, Fannie and John were living at 278 Court Street. On this census Fannie lists that she has borne 10 children, all living. Enumerated are:
Lawrence – aged 21
Barnett – aged 18
Godfrey – aged 15
Richard – aged 12
Edward – aged 11
Rebecca – aged 9
Katie- aged 8
Alfred – aged 6
Sarah – aged 2
Francis – aged 1
|1900 US Census|
Ten years later, we find the family still in Brooklyn, living at 384 Tenth Street. Sadly, on this census, Fannie notes that of her 10 children, only 9 are living. Using the process of elimination (and some leniency for spelling inconsistencies) it would seem that Edward has died. I have yet to get proof of that, however. By that time, Barnett had moved out of the home, married and had my grandfather, Edgar (1905) so I know he wasn’t the one who died!
|1910 US Census|
Also living in the home in 1910, was a cousin, Samuel Goldsmith, Barnett Wolf (listed as 384 324 Seventh“brother’, and an aunt, Ester Hollender (not sure of the last name – could be Holfender)
By 1915, they had moved to 324 Seventh Avenue. The household consisted of Fannie and her husband, John along with four of their children, her brother Barnett, and cousin, Samuel Goldsmith.
|1915 US Census|
The 1915 census was taken on June 1. By June 17, Fannie was dead. She was only 53 years old. Frances Woolf Samuel is buried at Washington Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York in the same plot as her husband, John.