Mr Martin Rothschild was born in Manhattan, New York on 12 December 1865.
He was the son of Sampson Jacob Rothschild (1818-1899), a merchant, and Mary Greissman (b. 1824), both Prussian-born Jewish immigrants. His father had come to the USA around 1846, settling in Monroe, Alabama and was married to his wife sometime after 1850.
Martin was the youngest of five known children, his siblings being: Jacob Henry (1851-1913), Simon (1854-1908), Samuel (b. 1857) and Hannah (1860-1911, later Mrs William Henry Theobald). Through his brother Jacob he was the uncle of the poet and satirist Dorothy Parker, née Rothschild (1893-1967).
The Rothschild family had moved to Manhattan, New York around 1858 and Martin first appears on the 1870 census living with his family, his father being described as the operator of a fancy goods store and with his two elder sons in his employ. By the time of the 1880 census Martin was described as a stock clerk; he later operated his own clothing manufacturing company and amassed his fortune.
He was married on 6 February 1895 to Elizabeth Jane Anne Barrett (b. 1858). The pair were an unlikely couple; he was a wealthy Jewish man and she was his employee, a slightly older seamstress of devout Irish Roman Catholic background.
The couple, who were childless, lived at 753 West End Avenue, New York but travelled extensively and were away for up to six months at a time.
Rothschild's 1900 passport describes him as standing at 5' 8", bald with brown eyes, a high forehead, a round face, small mouth, average nose and fair complexion.
Following a trip to Europe Mr and Mrs Rothschild boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg as first class passengers (ticket number PC 17603 which cost £59, 8s) and apparently occupied a cabin on C-deck.
After the collision steward Frederick Dent Ray saw Mr Rothschild coming out of his stateroom on C deck. "I spoke to him and asked him where his wife was. He said she had gone off in a boat. I said, 'This is rather serious.' He said, 'I don't think there's any occasion for it.'" Then the two men casually walked up to A deck where Ray went to a lifeboat.
Martin Rothschild perished in the disaster and his body, if recovered, was never identified. His wife and her pet dog were among the rescued.
Rothschild is commemorated in the Barrett family mausoleum in St Mary's Cemetery in Watkins Glen, New York.
Memorial to Martin Rothschild inside the Barrett mausoleum, St Mary's Cemetery, Watkins Glen, NY
(Courtesy of John Pulos, USA)
I find it surprising that there is so little mention of Martin and Elizabeth Rothschild in any Titanic literature or for that matter here on ET forums. Depending on which book you read, most of the other rich people like the Astors, Thayers, Wideners, Ryersons, Carters, Guggenheim etc are covered in some detail but there is very little mention about the Rothschilds. About the only thing that finds a mention is that Elizabeth Rothschild managed to smuggle her pet dog on board Lifeboat #6. Was it because of the Jewish (him) and Catholic (her) union that both groups ignored them or something?...
I'd strongly doubt it was due to anti-Semitism. Ben Guggenheim and the Strauses were both Jewish, and there's no shortage of literature, mythologizing or otherwise, about either Guggenheim or the Strauses. It may simply have been due to class differences between the two (Elizabeth Rothschild being from a working-class Irish family and marrying her employer). As for who they may have socialized with, I believe people from either the Rochester or Binghamton area would have been likely candidates, considering Martin was buried in Watkins Glen. Further south may have been a stretch but Scranton...
I was also thinking on the same lines. Majority of the really rich people on the Titanic were Americans and in those times there was a strong Jewish representation among them, as you...
Pretty sure Mrs. Weisz was Catholic. I don't know when Notre Dame des Neiges opened for non-Catholic burials but I'm assuming it was some time before her death in October of '53. There wasn't as much of an age or social difference though outside of the interfaith marriage.
The Rothschilds travelled a lot and their steward Frederick Dent Ray reportedly knew them from the Olympic. Ray, who survived, reportedly met Martin Rothschild near the latter's cabin after he had safely seen his wife off in Lifeboat #6. Ray and Rothschild went up to the boat deck, the steward going to help with starboard lifeboats #9 and #11 and in the process presumably getting separated form Rothschild. I don't think any survivor recalled seeing Martin Rothschild on deck during the last 50 minutes of sinking.
Now that is interesting, especially (unless I am mistaken) the Frauenthals were also Jewish. Dr Henry Frauenthal and his wife - possibly also the brother Isaac Frauenthal - had travelled on...
I find it surprising that there is so little mention of Martin and Elizabeth Rothschild in any Titanic literature or for that matter here on ET forums. Depending on which book you read, most of the other rich people like the Astors, Thayers, Wideners, Ryersons, Carters, Guggenheim etc are covered in some detail but there is very little mention about the Rothschilds. About the only thing that finds a mention is that Elizabeth Rothschild managed to smuggle her pet dog on board Lifeboat #6. Was it because of the Jewish (him) and Catholic (her)...
Could be. Perhaps they were too self-conscious themselves of Elizabeth Rothschild's working class background and avoided the Astors, Thayers, Carters etc in case someone passed a derogatory remark? Mind you, I'd rather socilaise with Elizabeth Rothschild any day rather than Madeline Astor. BTW, I doubt if Martin Rothschild attended any church. ;)
I have no way of knowing of course but I get the feeling Elizabeth Rothschilds would probably have had no problem hanging out with Molly Brown. Both coming up thru the ranks so to speak. But when Titanic sunk she had been married to Martin R. for 17 years so maybe she fully integrated into that part of society and was comfortable with it. I don't know.
You could be right. Mind you, there were plenty of unconventional alliances on the Titanic: JJ Astor with a wife younger than one of his sons, Guggenheim's mistress and of course, the Rothschilds. By 1912 Elizabeth Rothschild was...
Last I checked, only Vincent counted unless COL Astor had a patent for an ultrasound machine that we don't know about. As far as New York City is concerned, though, and yes, I know it's impolitic, you really can't get anywhere worthwhile in NYC if you're an anti-Semite, or at the very least quite damn good at hiding it. That's true now, and it was no less true in mid-April of 1912.
Is there any reliable record of how much the Rothschilds were worth at the time of the Titanic disaster? Also, how did they rank in terms of social status with the Astors, Wideners, Thayers, Ryersons, Carters etc?
I've never seen any numbers provided regarding their worth. They ranked far below the other families you mentioned, I think largely for the reasons you put forward earlier in this thread. The others you mention were all more or less born into 'Society'; the Rothschilds were not. I've never seen them listed in any social...
Thanks. But as the 20th century progressed, the name Rothschild became one of those associated with great wealth. Certainly by the 1960s it was so.
It already was by 1912. Rothschild branches in multiple European countries had received noble titles. But Martin and Elizabeth Rothschild were no relation to that family. A biography of Dorothy Parker that discusses the couple mentions that they enjoyed being mistaken for two of those Rothschilds. I don't know if this is true (some other details of them were got wrong in the bio), but if...