Sunday’s Obituary – Gwendolyn Charmion (Strait) Wirdel – Died 07-January-2013

Relationship to me: 1st cousin, 2x removed

Gwendolyn Charmion (Strait) Wirdel’s obituary was published online at and in the New Jersey Herald from Jan. 17 to Jan. 19, 2013.


Gwendolyn Charmion Wirdel 

BEL AIR, Md. – On Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, Gwendolyn Charmion Wirdel, 82, of Bel Air, Md., died peacefully in her sleep. Mrs. Wirdel was the daughter of Ward B. Strait and Katherine E. Strait (Current).

She is survived by her husband of 60 years, Ernst O. Wirdel; son, Duane Robert Wirdel, and his wife, Lori Susanne White-Wirdel, of Newark, Del.; nephew, Dennis Degroat, and his wife, Linda Degroat, of Stillwater; and great-nephews, Kyle and Brian Degroat, also of Stillwater.

Mrs. Wirdel was a proud member of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants and was able to trace her lineage back to the 102 passengers who arrived in 1620.

A graveside service will be held Friday, June 7 (her 83rd birthday), 11 a.m., at North Church Cemetery, in her hometown of Hardyston.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Mrs. Wirdel’s name to the American Cancer Society , P.O. Box 22718, Oklahoma City, OK 73123-1718.

52 Documents in 52 Weeks #20 – Florence Ervey’s DAR Application

Person of Interest: Jacob Angell
Relationship: 6th great grand uncle (brother to my DAR patriot John Angle #A002804 who was my 6th great grandfather)

Source Citation: Membership application, Florence May Linaberry Ervey, National no. 512696, on Jacob Angle (1720-1786, New Jersey), approved 16 July 1965; National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, Office of the Registrar General, Washington, D.C.

Document Description: This is the application of Florence for admittance to the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) or just DAR for short.

Logo of the DAR

Background on the DAR: The DAR was founded in 1890 and incorporated by an Act of Congress in 1896. The membership organization is a “non-profit, non-political volunteer women’s service organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and securing America’s future through better education for children.” There are currently 185,000 members with 3,000 chapters in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. and international chapters in Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, France, Germany, Guam, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Spain, United Kingdom. As of 2017, more than 950,000 members have joined the organization since its inception. [1]

The DAR ancestor/patriot may not necessarily have been a soldier. Applications are accepted if proof can be found that the ancestor provided support to the American revolutionary cause in some way. For example, if your ancestor provided supplies or lodging for troops, they could qualify as a patriot.

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the National organization owns a top-notch genealogical library and archive, a Genealogical Research System (GRS), a museum, and Constitution Hall, a convention venue. They provide grants to non-profits and numerous scholarships to qualifying applicants. Each year, the national society invites members to attend an event called the Continental Congress. Their 126th Continental Congress will begin on June 28, 2017 and be held in Washington, D.C.

Jill and Jodi at the DAR Van Bunschooten Museum, 19 July 2008

Local chapters own and manage any number of historical sites, libraries, and archives. For example, my Chinkchewunska Chapter owns and operates the Van Bunschooten Museum in the highlands of northwestern New Jersey. This Dutch Colonial 2-story house was built around 1797 and originally served as the home of the Reverend Elias Van Bunschooten. The house is now a museum and research library and maintained by the chapter. They are very active in finding grave sites of Revolutionary soldiers, replacing stones (if needed), and documenting where the grave is located.

Document Scan/Transcription: I had intended to show you a DAR application but, as a good genealogist, I thought first to check on the rules of posting applications online. Turns out, I’m not allowed to show you them. Glad I checked. Per the DAR, on the most recent application I ordered, in big red lettering:


“Purchase of a record copy of a DAR application paper or supplemental application paper does not transfer any intellectual property rights or ownership to the purchaser. The DAR asserts copyright protection on record copies and prohibits the posting of images of DAR application papers and supplemental application papers online in any form by anyone. By ordering a record copy either electronically, by mail, or by fax, the purchaser acknowledges awareness of this policy and agrees not to post images online.

“Supporting documentation files are comprised of documents from a variety of sources and repositories. DAR makes no assertion of ownership or copyright. Copies are provided for personal research purposes only. Researchers should contact the original owning repository for permission to publish.”

Copies are provided for the sole use of the person ordering the copy but not if the sole use is to post them online!

So, since I can’t show you the images or provide the transcription, which violates the privacy of the member, let me talk to you about the general sections you will find in a DAR application.

  • The cover page provides the personal information of the applicant. For privacy reasons, when ordering records, this page just has the member’s name, her NSDAR number, and the associated ancestor information and service description. In this case, Jacob Angell furnished supplies to the cause.
  • The second page is the lineage page. It provides birth, death and marriage information linking the DAR member back to the ancestor, regardless of the number of generations.
  • The third page provides the descriptions of the references or sources used to prove lineage from one generation to another. This is especially useful to point you in the direction of sources or references you may not have known about previously. The newer applications require that the applicant show which sources belong to which generations. Older applications may or may not break out the sources into generations.
  • The fourth page provides details on the patriot ancestor’s service, marriage and children.

Some notes about markings that the proofing genealogists may put on the application as they check it. A tick mark shows that the fact has been proved. Parentheses placed around information, by the genealogist not the applicant, means that the proofing genealogist does not feel this fact was supported by the sources provided. Additional handwritten notes may also be present.

Analysis: While this is an original record, given the complicated nature of a DAR application, it would not be beneficial to discuss here all of the different types of information (primary, secondary, and undetermined) and evidence (direct, indirect and negative) you would find on the application.


DAR applications can be a useful resource if you discover that there is a Revolutionary War ancestor lurking about in your family tree. They are worth ordering if you have a Revolutionary ancestor (or suspected one) and are a great resource for finding descendants and filling out branches on your family tree. Additionally, becoming a member of a local chapter opens your world up to a plethora of opportunities to volunteer in your community.


Sunday’s Obituary – William Joseph Hines III – Died 18-December-2007

Relationship to me: 2nd cousin, 1x removed

This obituary was published in the Morning Call on December 21, 2007 and can also be found online at


William Joseph Bill Hines III, died Tuesday, December 18, 2007. He was born, October 19, 1927, in Mt. Pocono, the eldest son of the late William J. Hines Jr. and late Helen E. (Roche) Hines. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, the former Margaret Davis. As a youth, Bill was active in the Boy Scouts of America and was an altar boy at St. Mary of the Mount Church in Mt. Pocono. He worked with his father at the post office delivering and sorting mail during the early war years. Bill and some of his classmates graduated in early 1945 from Stroudsburg High School, so they could enlist in the service at the tail end of World War II. Bill entered the Navy at age 17 and completed his basic training in Sampson, N.Y. He completed training to be a radar operator and was then stationed aboard the U.S.S. Boxer CV-21 in the South Pacific Fleet. Following his honorable discharge from active duty in August of 1946, he remained with the U.S.N.R. until 1958.Bill also attended the Radio Television Institute in 1947-48 in N.Y.C. and then began 41 years of employment with Radio Corporation of America in Allentown (later purchased by General Electic). In 1947, Bill met the love of his life, Margaret Marge Davis, of Scranton, and the couple was married on February 19th, 1949 at St. Marys in Mt. Pocono. Initially living in Allentown, the couple purchased their home in Bethlehem in 1954 and have remained ever since where the family belonged to Notre Dame of Bethlehem Church. Survivors: Bill was the loving father to three children, William B. of Myerstown, Mary Beth, Sherri M. of Bethlehem. He was also the grandfather to Kaitlin E. of N.Y.C.; a sister-in-law, Mrs. Iris Hines of Johnston, R.I.; a nephew, Thomas Hines and his wife Melony, a grand-niece, Tia, of Greenville, R.I.; a sister-in-law, Mrs. Clara Gross of Cresco. He was predeceased by a brother, Thomas A. Hines of Esmond, Rhode Island in 1987.Bill was a baseball coach for Northwest Little League in the mid-1960s. Bill and his wife, Marge, were avid bowlers and were members of the Wednesday Night Boulevard Mixed League for over forty years. Additionally, Bill bowled on Thursday nights with the men’s Notre Dame Holy Name League. He was a member of the V.F.W. Post 2124 in Allentown. He also enjoyed attending annual mini-reunions of the U.S.S. Boxer each summer for the last few years of his life. Bill was a loving and devoted husband, father and grandfather. He was a good friend to many who knew him and always a kind and gentle man. He will be deeply missed by his family and friends. Services: 11 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial on Thursday, December 27, in the Notre Dame of Bethlehem Catholic Church, 1861 Catasauqua Road, Bethlehem, PA 18018. Viewing will be held 10-11 a.m. Thursday, December 27, in the church. Burial will be at Holy Saviour Cemetery, Bethlehem. Send online condolences to Contributions: In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made in Bills name to the U.S.S. Boxer Veterans Association Scholarship Fund, c/o Jerry Aukland, Treasurer, 1870 Mary Rose Lane, Lincoln, CA 95648, or to the charity of ones choice to support veterans and their families.


52 Documents in 52 Weeks #19 – David and Sarah Strait’s Bible Pages

Person of Interest: David A. and Sarah (Card) Strait
Relationship: 4th great grand aunt and husband (David’s grandfather, Abraham Strait, is my 6th great-grandfather and Sarah’s grandfather, John Angle, is my 6th great grandfather)

Source Citation: David Strait Family Bible Records, 1790-1909, The Holy Bible (Cooperstown, N.Y.: H. & E. Phinney, 1824), births, deaths, and marriage pages; original is privately held by Beth [Jane Elizabeth] Willis, Lockport, New York, 2017.

Document Description: This is a photocopy (possibly a copy of a copy) of the David Strait family record pages and was sent to me by Ernst Wirdel (husband of Gwendolyn Charmion Strait] on 08 November 2008. The copy quality is serviceable. Among the pages, there is a copy of the the Bible’s title page with a handwritten note “Printed 1824” at the bottom. I love the full title of the book which is quite long. The Holy Bible, Containing the Old and New Testaments: Together with the Apocrypha: Translated out of the Original Tongues, and with the Former Translations Diligently Compared and Revised. Whew! It’s good peace of mind to know that the translations in this bible were diligently compared and not just haphazardly compared. Various handwritings are noted over the span of years that these records cover.

There are two lined sheets, listing other family members’ births and deaths, that were sent to me along with the Bible pages. They may or not have been kept with the Bible. Since I don’t know for sure, I have not included them in this post.

The publisher is H. & E. Phinney  which was a publishing firm that was founded by Elihu Phinney and picked up by his sons, Henry and Elihu Jr., in 1813 when he passed away. They were known for numerous Bible editions produced from 1822 to 1848. [1] Stereotype printing is a type of relief printing using a metal plate cast in a mold made from composed type or an original plate.

Document Scan/Transcription:
Title Page

H. & E. Phinney’s Stereotype Edition.
Holy Bible,
Containing the
Old and New Testaments:
Together with
the Apocrypha:
Translated out of the Original Tongues,
and with
the Former Translations Diligently Compared and Revised.
Canne’s Marginal Notes and References
To which are added,
An Index;
An Alphabetical Table
of All the Names in the Old and New Testaments, with Their Significations:
Tables of Scripture Weights, Measures, and Coins, &c.
Printed 1824 [penned in]
Cooperstown, (N.Y.)
[Bottom line is cut off but ends with] by H. & E. Phinney

Possible inside front cover page or blank page at beginning of Bible
David Strait
Preached by the late Rev’d [name illegible]
on Romans 16 & 17-18 verses
July 17 184[copy cuts off here]

David Strait’s
book January
14th 1841

David Strait

Property of Jane Elizabeth Willis,
7 Wausau St,
Ogdensburg, NJ 07439 [This is an old address for Beth. She currently resides in Lockport, NY.]
[There is other scribbling/notes on this page. Nothing conclusive comes from it and poor copy quality hinders transcribing it.]

Marriages Page
David Strait and Sarah Strait, late Sarah Card, were married Dec. 14th, 1816. The births of their children are recorded on the other side of this leaf.
James Crane & Mary Strait were married June 23, 1838
David Bailey & Nancy Strait were married October 5th, 1839
Anthony L. Day & Elizabeth Strait was married May 3rd, 1841
George Walther & Phebe Strait were married July 2nd, 1853
Jacob R. Strait & Francis Brown Thomas were married July 9th, 183[copy is cut off here]
Amos B. Crain & Lydia S. Post married Sept. 3, 1883
Aaron Willis and Malinda Blanch Crain married Christmas, Dec. 25, 1909

Births Page
Nancy Strait was born on Wednesday Sept 3rd 1817
Mary Strait was born on Wednesday May 19th 1819
Abigail Strait was born on Friday January 25th 1822
Elizabeth Strait was born on Wednesday January 19th 1825
Jacob R. Strait was born on Friday April 6th 1827
Phebe Jane Strait was born on Sunday December 14th 1828
Hiram H. Strait was born on Tuesday June 14th 1831
Martha F. Strait was born on Friday August 19th 1836

David Strait was born on January 11th 1790
Sarah Strait was born on July 4th 1799

George Walther born March 25 1801

Deaths Page
Phebe Card [Sarah’s mother] died Wednesday March 22 1854
Peter Card [Sarah’s father] died February 12th 1818
Nancy [Strait] Bailey died Wednesday June 16th 1869
Mary [Strait] Crane died Sunday December 29th 1872
David Strait died Thursday morning at half past five o’clock May 7th 1874
Sarah Card Strait died Nov. 24, 1879
Jacob R. Strait died Dec. 18, 1881
Hiram Heally Strait died Sunday January 13th 1901
Geo. A Walther died December 19th 1856
Albert Walther died Tuesday a 12 o’clock am October 6th 1874
George Walther died Jan 21, 1887
Abby S. Strait died Feb. 19, 1899
William Arthur Crain died Nov. 3, 1909
Anthony Ludlow Day died Dec 28, 1898
Edgar Arthur Day died May 15, 1906

Analysis: Given that New Jersey did not start collecting vital records until May 1848, family bibles are a great source for births, marriages, and deaths. It was considered a great honor by many pious ancestors to receive a bible in which to record their family history. Many times, a Bible is the only record of a family’s genealogy. A careful analysis of the entries will help determine how reliable you feel the information may be.

When I compare the handwriting and the inks, I see at least four different people making entries. I feel that Sarah is the original recorder of her, David’s, and their children’s information in 1841 based on the following reasoning:

  • The handwriting is consistent for all the entries throughout most of Sarah’s married life (1816 to 1879)
  • The ink is consistent for her, David’s and their children’s information
  • Sarah made careful, double lines after her original entries on each page
  • Sarah had a unique way of writing “Strait” using a single line to cross both of her “T”s

Sample 1 of Sarah’s “Strait”

Sample 2 of Sarah’s “Strait”

  • David’s death (May 7th 1874) is recorded in a different handwriting, and, by virtue of his death, rules him out as the person making the entry
  • Sarah’s death (Nov 24, 1879) is recorded in a different handwriting than even David’s death, which indicates that someone else has taken up the duty of making entries
  • Sarah made careful, double lines after her original entries on each page

David Strait’s name appears a couple of times on the possible inside front cover page or blank page at beginning of Bible. A comparison of the letter S shows a possible signature, or at least a handwriting sample, for David.

David’s “S”

Sarah’s “S”

David’s S is a more closed off one compared to Sarah’s, which is a more loopy open style and continues throughout the rest of her entries within the Bible.

Based on a careful analysis of all the S’s found in the pages, I see four different people have contributed to the Bible records:

Sample 1: Sarah’s writing

Sample 2: closed off and curlicued

Sample 3: closed off but no curlicues

Sample 4: Not closed off

For this example, since I have not examined the original Bible, I assumed that the photocopies I have of it are a true representation of what the records are. This is an original record.

The Bible publication date of 1824 means that Sarah entered the information about the children’s birthdates (the earliest is 1817) all at once and probably in 1841 when the family received the Bible.

The information found within the Bible pages is a mixture of both primary (firsthand) and secondary (hearsay or secondhand). Primary would be Sarah’s marriage date to David (she was there) and their children’s birthdates. I would classify the listings of marriages as secondary since there’s no way to determine if Sarah (or the others recording it) was actually present when the events took place.

The listings on these pages fall into the the direct evidence category. Evidence like “Mary Crane died Sunday December 29th 1872” answers, quite directly, the question of when did “Mary Crane of New Jersey, wife of James Crane and daughter of David and Sarah Strait, die?”


These Bible pages are a great source of information about the David and Sarah (Card) Strait family especially since New Jersey didn’t start collecting vital records until May of 1848. The pages also provide a basic lesson on comparison of handwriting. I don’t claim to be a handwriting expert but careful analysis shows that a number of people all had their turn at recording information for posterity. Bibles can be tough to locate, possibly missing, owned by non-family members, libraries, archives, or societies but are well worth the effort of trying to track down. Get talking to your cousins. You never know what they might have in their possessions. I didn’t know about this gem until Ernst contacted me!