Sunday’s Obituary – Warren Repsher – Died 12-February-1984

Relationship to me: 1st cousin, 3x removed

Warren Repsher’s obituary was published in the New Jersey Herald, 14 February 1984.

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Warren Repsher – Warren Repsher , 64, of New Hampshire Street, Newton, died suddenly on Sunday at Newton Memorial Hospital.

Born in Branchville, Mr. Repsher was a lifelong resident of Sussex County.

He had been an employee of Sussex Borough, but was in disability retirement at the time of his death.

Surviving are six daughters, Mary Van Orden, Betty Kent, Harriet Guest, Connie and Patty Repsher, all of Sussex, and Edna Gould of Hamburg: two sisters, Elsie Wright of Newton and Mabel Benson of Sussex, and 15 grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday at 11 a.m. at the Pinkel Funeral Home, 31 Bank St., Sussex. The Rev. Ray Friedley, former pastor of the Sussex Baptist Church, will officiate. Private burial services will be held.

Visting hours at the funeral home will be today from 7-9 p.m.

Donations would be appreciated by the family.

52 Documents in 52 Weeks #29 – Dennis B. Strait’s Biography

Person of Interest: Dennis B. Strait
Relationship: 1st cousin 5x removed (his grandparents are Abraham Strait married to Charlotte Comer, who are my 5th great-grandparents)


Source Citation: The History of Franklin and Pickaway Counties, Ohio, with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of the Some of the Prominent Men and Pioneers (n.p.: Williams Bros, 1880), 585.


Document Description: This is a biographical sketch within a larger body of work. Dennis B. Strait has a short biography on page 585 and he also has a lovely line drawing featured in the book along with his signature underneath. He is featured under the section titled “Biographical Sketches” starting on page 584.


Background on county histories: In the late nineteenth century, the writing of county histories blossomed as the country experienced a desire to celebrate the centennial of the country in 1876 along with a a surge in popularity of genealogy. These large tomes were published all over the country and are a wealth of information. The bi-centennial celebrated in 1976 also caused another increase in the publishing of county histories.

They contain detailed coverage of various topics including things like local histories, schools, churches, oral traditions of an area, associations, cemeteries, participants in the Civil War (or even Revolutionary), government and its structure, biographical sketches and illustrations of noted individuals, listings of public officials, descriptions/histories of long gone villages or towns, bodies of waters, business and industry data, geology of the area, lists of long-lived residents, weather, maps, roads and transportation, and much more.

Sometimes called brag or mug books, almost anyone could contribute their biography if they had the dollars to get it included. If the person was writing the biography he was contributing (or relaying the facts to a ghost writer), it was most likely favorable. No sense in publishing the dirty laundry when you could portray yourself as a fine, upstanding, industrious, and/or pious person.


Document Scan/Transcription:
Dennis B. Strait.
county commissioner, was born in the State of New Jersey, on May 20, 1824. He is the second of a family of eleven, the children of Abraham and Dulcena Strait, who removed to Franklin county in 1839. They located in Plain township, and here the mother died, not long after. The father died in June, 1862.

The education of the gentleman who is the subject of this sketch, was acquired at common schools, and was quite limited, owing to the fact that his parents were in indigent circumstances, and his being obliged, at an early age, to seek his own living. At the age of twenty years he struck out to battle with fortune, having rough but strong hands, and a brave heart to aid him. Accoumulating some means be sought and obtained the hand of Miss Ann, daughter of Caleb and Eliza Farmer, to whom he was married on November 20, 1851. Soon after he purchased one hundred acres of land in Plain township, this county; this, by industry and economy on the part of Mr. Strait, aided by his good wife, has been added to, until he now owns six hundred and twenty-five acres,

the greater part of which is under a profitable state of cultivation. His life work has been that of a farmer and stock raiser. Of the public life of Mr. Strait, the writer learns that he was first elected county commissioner in the fall of 1860, and served two terms of three years each. Upon the expiration of the second term he was appointed auditor of Franklin county, and it this capacity he served two years. In the fall of 1876 he was a third time elected to the office of commissioner, his term expiring in the fall of 1879. Politically, Mr. Strait is a firm adherent to the teachings of the Democratic Party. For the past twenty years he has been a member of the society of Free and Accepted masons.

His children are: Whitney, Cordelia (Mrs. B. Ranney), Ann Eliza, and Dulcena, and Edward L., who are deceased.


Analysis: This biographical sketch found in the Franklin county section of the book is a great source of genealogical information. We learn the following genealogy information from this sketch:

  • Dennis was born in New Jersey on 20 May 1824
  • Dennis’ parents were Abraham Strait and Dulcena whose maiden name is not revealed.
  • Dennis was one of eleven children
  • The family emigrated to Ohio in 1839
  • His mother Dulcena died shortly after 1839
  • His father Abraham died June 1862
  • Dennis married Ann Farber, the daughter of Caleb Farber and Eliza, on 20 November 1851
  • He purchased land Plain township, Franklin County, Ohio (100 acres which grew into 625 acres)
  • He was a farmer and stock raiser most of his life
  • Dennis was county commissioner from 1869 to 1874
  • Dennis was auditor of Franklin county 1874 to 1876
  • He was elected as commissioner again for a term that ran from 1876 until Fall of 1879
  • Dennis was in the order of the Free and Accepted Masons
  • Dennis and Ann had five children: Whitney, Cordelia, Ann Eliza, Dulcena, and Edward L.
  • Daughter Cordelia married a man named B. Ranney

Now that’s a pretty good start on the family of Dennis B. Strait if this happens to be the first document you ever come across. It gives you a place to look for his birth record (New Jersey), the clue that he had a number of siblings (10), an emigration to Ohio, a place to look for his mother’s death record and when (Ohio, sometime around 1839), a place to look for his father’s death record (Ohio, 1862), a place and date to locate a marriage record for him (Ohio, 1851) and the names of his children to explore further including birth and marriage records for them. Additionally, he was land owner so some deeds might provide useful information.

The source type is an authored work. As we look through the entire book, it most likely had multiple writers putting each of the sections together. The information in the book is undetermined as we can’t be sure if it is primary, secondary, or even tertiary or worse. There is a combination of direct (explicit), indirect (not explicit) and negative (not explicit or missing when it should be there) depending on the research question(s) asked.

CONCLUSION

The residence of Theo. Leonard, Sr. in Columbus, Ohio.

I’ve picked out a few of the illustrations from the book for you to peruse.

County histories are a great way to immerse yourself in life and times of your ancestors. They give a good overview of what it was like to live in the county at the time of its publication. Even if you’re lucky enough to have an ancestor that has a biographical sketch, don’t ignore the rest of the book. There may be maps with details or people pointed out that relate to your family. There may be business ads that relate to your relative’s business activities. The ancestor may be listed as a school teacher, military participant, or one of the oldest people still residing in the county. The oral traditions and geology of the county might explain why your relative got married in the county next door. It’s interesting to look at the clothing and hairstyles found in the line drawings.

Explore and don’t be afraid to learn some history!

Sunday’s Obituary – Herbert David Freeman – Died 17-August-2005

Relationship to me: father-in-law of 1/2 2nd cousin (how’s that for convoluted?)

This obituary was published in Star-Ledger on August 19, 2005 and can be found online (for a fee, since it’s now archived, thus the truncated image) at Legacy.com.

screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-4-34-39-pm“Herbert David Freeman” – FREEMAN – Entered into rest on Aug. 17, 2005, Herbert David, of Mays Landing, loving husband of Eleanor “Elly” (nee Gordon), devoted father of Herbert Freeman (Kristine) and Claire Karthaeuser (Paul), brother of Barbara Ferris, also survived by his adored granddaughters, Katie and Anna Freeman. Relatives and friends may call at The WILFRED ARMITAGE & WIGGINS FUNERAL HOME, 596 Belgrove Dr., Kearny, on Friday 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Masonic Service at 7 p.m. with a funeral service to follow. Private Cremation. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, 1332 N. Halstead St., Suite 201, Chicago, Il. 60622 or Livada Orphan Care, P.O. Box 1771, Windsor, Ca. 95492.

I also have another item, but no image, about him published in Star-Ledger on August 19, 2005:

“Herbert David Freeman,” 66, Pru analyst, Guardsman for 22 years, a Masonic service for Herbert David Freeman, 66, of Mays Landing will be at 7 o’clock this evening in the Wilfred Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Dr., Kearny.  Mr. Freeman, who died Wednesday in Atlantic Care Regional Medical Center, Pomona, was a systems analyst for Prudential in Newark, where he worked for 40 years before retiring in 1997.  He served in the National Guard from 1957 to 1979. He was a past master of the North Arlington F&AM Lodge 271. Born in Newark, he lived in Mays Landing for several years.  Surviving are his wife, Eleanor; a son, Herbert; a daughter, Claire Karthaeuser; a sister, Barbara Ferris, and two grandchildren.

Sunday’s Obituary – Catherine (Smith) Repsher – Died 30-August-2007

Relationship to me: wife of paternal grand-uncle

This obituary was published the New Jersey Herald, 31 August, 2007, page A-8.

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Catherine Repsher” – HACKETTSTOWN – Catherine Repsher, 87, died peacefully Thursday, Aug. 30, 2007 at House of Good Shepherd, where she had been a resident since May.

Born July 15, 1920 in Netcong, she was the daughter of Arthur and Ellen Riedinger Smith. Her husband of 61 years, Adam, died in 2004. She was a lifelong resident of the Netcong-Stanhope area.

Mrs. Repsher was a parishioner of St. Michael’s Church in Netcong. She was a past president and life member of the American Legion Auxiliary, Unit 278, past president of Sussex County American Legion Auxiliary, a member of Stanhope Hose Co. No. 1 Auxiliary, a life member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Firemen of the State of New Jersey and a life member of the Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary.

She is survived by three sons; Jeffrey of Mt. Bethel, Pa., Michael of Charlestown, N.H., and John of Bradford, Vt.; a daughter, Ann Moyer of Mt. Bethel; four grandchildren, Leah Repsher of San Francisco, Calif., Jason Repsher of Reno, Nev., and Adam Moyer and Carrie Moyer of Mt. Bethel.

Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 4, at 8:30 a.m. from the Morgan Funeral Home Inc., 31-33 Main Street, Netcong, to St. Michael’s Church for a 9:30 a.m. Liturgy of Christian Burial. Interment will follow at Stanhope Union Cemetery. Visiting hours are Monday from 4 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home, with American Legion services at 7 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Mrs. Repsher’s memory to the American Legion Auxiliary Education & Scholarship, c/o 67 Whitebirch Court, Lumberton, N.J. 08048.

 

52 Documents in 52 Weeks #27 – David Curtain’s Social Visit

Person of Interest: David Curtin
Relationship: Absolutely none!


Source Citation: “A Pleasant Little Social Visit,” news, the Pittsburg Press (Pennsylvania), 27 August 1890, p. 7, col. 3; image copy, Newspapers.com (https://www.newspapers.com/image/141342906/ : accessed 30 June 2017), Historical Newspapers Collection.


Document Description: A digital clipping from a Pennsylvania newspaper found online at Newspapers.com.


Document Scan/Transcription: A Pleasant Little Social Visit.
Charles Munday and his wife were charged before Alderman Ayer with assaulting David Curtin. Curtin alleges that he went to pay the Mundays a social visit, when the whole family attacked him. Mrs. Munday got in several hard knocks on Curtin’s eye and then pulled his hair until he cried for mercy. She was arrested and in default of bail was sent to jail to await a trial. Her husband was released.


Analysis: It’s a holiday week and I’m also at the mid-way point of this 52 Documents in 52 Weeks (52D52W) project. So, this one is not family related and on a much lighter note. I was looking for a newspaper article about one Repsher (or relations) who visited another. What I was finding was a lot of little snippets, with no Repshers, which didn’t inspire a blog post, for example…[1]

or this…[2]

Interesting but not exactly what I had in mind. Then I came across the subject of this week’s post! It made me laugh out loud. There has to be a wonderful, untold story in this “pleasant little social visit” that turned out not so pleasant for one Mr. David Curtain and landed Mrs. Munday a trip to the pokey.

For me, so many questions pop out from reading this one paragraph:

  • How did David Curtain know the Mundays?
  • What was the motivation for David’s visit?
  • What time of day did this occur? What was the weather like?
  • How old were all the parties involved?
  • What are the nationalities of the parties involved?
  • What was everyone wearing?
  • What sort of house or apartment did the Mundays live in? Who were their neighbors?
  • What was said that caused made the WHOLE family attack him? Who did the whole family consist of?
    • Was there a daughter involved that perhaps David Curtain was seeing?
    • Perhaps David had a crush on Mrs. Munday and was professing his love?
    • Was there alcohol involved and a bit of liquid courage or belligerence going on?
  • What was the fight like?
    • What sort of punches was Mrs. Munday throwing? Jabs? Left hooks? All-out roundhouses?
      • Is pulling hair allowed in a fight?
      • What did David say when he was crying for mercy? “Uncle!” or “Mercy” or some other colorful phrase?
      • What was a good cuss phrase in 1890?
    • How loud was the ruckus?
      • Did any furniture get broken?
      • Did a physician attend to anyone’s wounds?
      • Who ultimately broke up the fight? Neighbors? The police?
  • Why did they not put up bail for Mrs. Munday to get out? Was the family in financial straits?
  • Why did they release Charles Munday? Was Mrs. Munday the only one doing the punching?

Giving this little snippet to a creative writing class as an assignment to write the background story would yield a bunch of wildly variant stories!

Genealogically, though, what is the value of this entertaining newspaper snippet? Well, it does serve a couple of purposes. It tells us that David Curtin knew a Mr. and Mrs. Charles Munday. Thorough research involves exploring all aspects of family unit, including friends, associates, and neighbors a.k.a the F.A.N. network. This vignette adds to the tapestry of the Munday’s story. Also, it tells us that there’s most likely court documents that we could pursue to dig up some information on the Mundays and possibly David Curtain. An exploration of their neighborhood in 1890 could provide some insight into the way they were living and/or stress they were under as they led their day-to-day lives.

CONCLUSION

Despite the headline, David Curtain’s visit to the Munday’s house could not have been pleasant for him. He ended up being attacked and, as a result, Mrs. Munday was thrown in jail to await trail on assault charges. The newspaper clipping provides a good jumping off point to dig up court documents and motivation to ferret out the “rest of the story!”


[1] “Society in Braddock,” news, the Pittsburg Press (Pennsylvania), 24 July 1898, p. 12, col. 5; image copy, Newspapers.com (https://www.newspapers.com/image/141935126/ : accessed 30 June 2017), Historical Newspapers Collection.
[2] “Gloucester City,” news, the Philadelphia Inquirer (Pennsylvania), 16 December 1894, p. 22, col. 5; image copy, Newspapers.com (https://www.newspapers.com/image/168073484/ : accessed 30 June 2017), Historical Newspapers Collection.