Encyclopedia Titanica

George B. Goldschmidt

Mr George B. Goldschmidt was born in New York on 16 October 1840.

He was the son of John Meyer Goldschmidt (1801-1877) and Celestine Judah (1813-1898). His father was German by birth whilst his mother was born in New York. He had four known siblings: John (1838-1891), Meyer (1842-1920), Samuel Anthony (1848-1933) and Edward (1855-1936).

He first appears on the 1850 census living in Manhattan. During the American Civil War he is recorded as having served in the 22nd New York National Guard as Corporal then Sergeant and he served at Harper's Ferry and in the Gettysburg Campaign. Afterwards, he was a Major in the 55th New York National Guard.

By the time of the 1880 census George was described as a lawyer and still living with his by-then widowed mother. He was reportedly one of the oldest members of the Bar Association, having become a member in 1870, and he was admitted to practice in 1862 and was a well-known conveyancer in New York. He was in partnership with his brother Edward and they had offices at 34 Pine Street in that city, where George also lived. 

By 1892 Goldschmidt, who was never married, was shown living in Brooklyn and was well-known in social circles, being an active member of various organisations, including those of the Museums of Art and Natural History. He was a regular visitor to Hackensack, New Jersey where he had numerous acquaintances. 

Reportedly fond of globetrotting, Goldschmidt was a frequent traveller across the Atlantic and appears on passenger lists for ships including Teutonic, Carmania, Campania, Columbia, and Minnetonka. His 1910 passport describes him having a light complexion with blonde/grey hair, blue eyes, a pointed chin, small mouth, an oval face and an aquiline (hook) nose. He stood at 5’ 7”.

 Goldschmidt Signature
George’s signature from his 1891 passport

Contemporary media reports that he was friendly with Captain Edward John Smith, choosing to travel on ships he commanded whenever possible:

Among his best seafaring friends was Capt. Smith of the Titanic. When Mr. Goldschmidt heard that Capt. Smith was to bring over the big liner on her maiden trip he engaged passage on her, crossing to the other side with Capt. Smith on the Olympic. To him the first sail on the new ocean liner was like attending the initial performance to a first nighter. - The Sun, 19 April, Crossed Sea to Meet Death

He boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg as a first-class passenger (ticket number PC 17754 which cost £34, 13s, 1d) and he occupied cabin A-5. His shipboard activities remain largely unknown.

George Goldschmidt died in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified.

GOLDSCHMIDT—Lost at sea April 15, 1912. GEORGE B. GOLDSCHMIDT, of New York city, in the 72d year of his age. - New York Herald, 20 April 1912

His will, executed in 1909, saw that his $10,000 estate was divided between his brothers Edward and Samuel, with the exception of $250 which was left to a servant.

Samuel Goldschmidt Edward Goldschmidt Merer Goldschmidt
George’s brothers Samuel (1923), Edward (1920) and (1917)

George B. Goldschmidt is remembered on a Cenotaph in the family plot in Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, New York (section 14, lot 2250).

BORN DEC. 16TH 1840

References and Sources

Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279])
The Sun, 19 April, Crossed Sea to Meet Death
The Sun, 5 May 1912, Guggenheim Will Filed

Newspaper Articles

New York Times (20 April 1912) George B. Goldschmidt
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Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mr George B. Goldschmidt
Age: 71 years 5 months and 29 days (Male)
Nationality: American
Marital Status: Single
Occupation: Lawyer
Embarked: Cherbourg on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 17754, £34 13s 1d
Cabin No. A5
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body Not Recovered

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