My family hid my Jewish heritage until I was about thirty. True, I never probed my parents as to our relatives. This wasn’t the way I grew up in the Great Depression and Fifties. Google was not available and my interests lied elsewhere. There was school, friends and unfortunately at times my family, friends and even myself made antisemitic commentaries. I often felt closer to my Jewish acquaintants than my other friends; we held common values, especially art, literature, social purpose and politics. My youthful days in Queens, New York, morphed into additional military service, (recalled to active duty) during the Korea War. I was sent to Europe, and then after discharge, I returned to graduate school at NYU. Work experience and lifes affairs set aside any thoughts and mental deliberation on my heritage.
My grandfather, Alexander Frankland Rosenberg; was born (1866) in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, U.S.; his mother Lucy Frankland was born 1843 in New York; her mother was born in England; her father, Jewish, was born in Germany. Solomon Rosenberg, my great grandfather was born 1839 in Niedermeiser, Hesse-Kassel, Germany, and immigrated to America in 1854. (Hesse-Kassel was annexed by the German state Prussia; capital Berlin; the Hessel-Kassel forms the most northern and eastern portions of today’s postwar capital of which is the eastern city of Wiesbaden, Nassau’s former capital. The Rosenberg family trace their ancestry to 1400. Solomon’s childhood home is still in existence in Germany. Alexander’s parents were Jewish. My Grandfather married a Presbyterian, Grandmother insisted that the children be brought up Christian; furthermore she insisted that he change his name to Rose; he never filed legal papers in New York. The 1910 Census showed the family name as Rosenberg, although the children’s birth certificates showed their family name as Rose.
During the Civil War Solomon Rosenberg served two years in the Union Army with Company B 23rd Calvary Regiment from New York and was honorably discharged a full sergeant. Solomon and Lucy were married in NYC in 1865, and settled in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. The Rosenberg’s had a very nice home in Pine Bluff, two live-in servants, as well as least two commercial buildings. (Solomon had one of his building’s constructed to his specifications, and when the building was later demolished, a bottle in the wall was found that had handwritten notes on Solomon’s family history in Germany.) Around 1910 his business interest in Pine Bluff failed, and the entire family moved to NYC. Solomon was 73 and Lucy 65. Lucy died in NY, in 1810 and Solomon in 1922; they are buried in Mount Carmel Cemetery, Queens, New York.