Wordless Wednesday

Picture001William Charles Strait, Jr.
Co. L, 4th Regiment
Fort Dix, NJ


52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #30 – John Angle

Relationship: 6th Great-grandfather
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John Angle, my 6th great-grandfather, was soldier and my D.A.R. Revolutionary War patriot. Apparently, though, he did not go into the war willingly! I know this from a manuscript written by his great-granddaughter, Martha Frances Strait who is my 1st cousin 5x removed.

What prompted Martha F. Strait to write this story was a prior letter penned to the New Jersey Historical Society for Soldiers of the Revolution in the early 1900s requesting information about John Angle’s military service. After her initial contact with them, they requested further information. She sent the manuscript to them in November of 1909 when she was 73 years old.

The manuscript related to the personal recollections of her mother, Sarah (Card) Strait.[1]
(I intend to publish the whole of the manuscript in a later post. Stay tuned!)

The story begin’s with John’s wife, Martha, and reads as follows:

“Martha Burrel [Burwell], my Great-grandmother, was born in England in 1728. She came to America in 1740, when she was twelve years old, with her two aunts, Mrs. Hays and Mrs. Meeker, and their husbands. Her parents were dead. …

“About 1748, when Martha was twenty years old, she came across John Angle, who came from Germany, and married him. They must have come up around Snufftown (now called Stockholm) and settled near where Jephtha W. Dunn now lives. They had eight children:

angle children

1. Elizabeth born 1749 married Benjamin Price
2. Samuel born 1753 married Mary Wright
3. Abraham born 1757 went to Elmira, N.Y.
4. John, Jr. born 1761 went to Elmira, N.Y.
5. Edward born 1765 he took the horse that John sent to his mother
6. Hannah born 1769 married a Hand and then Anthony Zeke
7. Sally born 1773 married John Daniels
8. Phebe (my grandmother) born 1776 (May 10) married Peter Card, 12-Nov-1792

“In September, 1776, when his daughter Phebe was only four months old, John Angle, with his two brothers, Jacob and William Angle (also from Germany), enlisted in the Sussex County, New Jersey, Militia at Newton, N.J., and so became soldiers in the Revolutionary Army.”

I find it amusing that Martha Burwell “came across John Angle, who came from Germany, and married him.” Was he just hanging about? Lounging on a street corner? Did she meet him in the local market? Was he working somewhere she frequented? It makes me wonder how the principle of propinquity (you have to meet someone to marry them) worked on this set of 6x great-grandparents. She was English. He was German. How did the conversations between them go?

But the next paragraph in Martha’s story shows that John felt more like a farmer than a fighter.

“I suppose the three brothers must have enlisted at the same time, but John Angle did not go to the war as he ought, and so they came and took him while he was plowing in the field below Jephtha W. Dunn’s (which went by the name of Angle’s hill) and did not even let him go in and say good-bye to his family. It was such a shock to his wife that she went deranged and kept so all winter. In the spring she was all right in her mind, and this kept up all the rest of her life, she being deranged in winter and sane in summer. When she was herself she was a very pious woman.”

However, the above paragraph makes no mention of whether John Angle ever returned home to Sussex County. Was he killed in the war?

The D.A.R. website[2] lists John Angle’s service with the following details:

  • Service: New Jersey
  • Rank: Private
  • Death: Post 05-01-1784 in Sussex County, New Jersey
  • Service Source: Stryker, Reg of Officers and Men of NJ in the Rev, p. 489
  • Service Description: Sussex County Milita
  • Ancestor #002804

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It wasn’t long after the war that John Angle died. If the D.A.R. website is correct, he died post 01 May 1874 and was around 59 years of age.

The information is sparse on John Angel but I have to say the little bit I do know about him far outweighs the information on any of my other 6x great-grandparents!

Summary of John Angle:

  • Born around 1725 in Germany
  • He had two brothers named Jacob and William
  • All three brothers immigrated to America
  • Married Martha Burwell of Newark, New Jersey
  • Settled in Sussex County, New Jersey
  • Had eight children
  • Was a farmer
  • Served in the Revolutionary War
  • Died after 01 May 1784

[1] Martha F. Strait, “Angle-Card-Strait Family History: Recollections of my Mother, Sarah Card Strait” (14 January 1909); folder: “Strait Family File”, vertical files; Sussex County Historical Society, Newton, New Jersey.
[2] http://services.dar.org/members/DAR_Research/search_adb/?action=full&p_id=A002804

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #29 – Elizabeth (Card) Strait

Relationship: 3rd Great-grandmother
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Some tombstones[1] speak volumes:

STRAIT Ira W. and Sarah M.

Some tombstones [2] whisper:

STRAIT ElizabethElizabeth Strait is the subject of this post and as you can see her tombstone provides some very basic information that raises lots of questions. Whose mother was she? Is Strait her maiden name? Not likely, but not very obvious. Who was her husband and why is she not buried with him?

Maybe her obituary would help define Elizabeth a little more. I found her obituary[3] in the vertical files of the Sussex County Historical Society, Newton, New Jersey. Unfortunately, the clipping was not dated but it does provide some answers to whose mother was she and who she was married to.

STRAIT Mrs Elizabeth

“Mrs. Elizabeth Strait.” – Mrs. Elizabeth Card, widow of William Strait, died Wednesday morning at 7:45 at the home of her son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. J.S. Wilson, at Quarryville.  Mrs. Strait was born near Stockholm on August 10, 1835.  She was a lifelong member of the Hamburg Baptist Church.  She is survived by five children, Ira W. Strait, of Franklin; Mrs. J.S. Wilson, of Quarryville; Coursen and Warren Strait, both of Paterson and Mrs. Brice Bedell, of Newton; one sister, Miss Abby Card, of New Milford; fourteen grandchildren and twenty-five great-grandchildren.  Funeral services will be held Saturday afternoon at 1 o’clock, standard time, at the home where she died.  Rev. James Bristow, of Warwick, will officiate.  Burial will be in North Church Cemetery.”

Putting this together with the tombstone we know she died on a Wednesday morning in 1922 which makes her 85 years old at the time of her death.  We know her maiden name is Card. We know she was married to William Strait. We can pull out her sons’ names (surviving but not necessarily all) of Ira, Coursen and Warren. We know she had two surviving daughters who are married, Mrs. J.S. Wilson and Mrs. Brice Bedell but not their first names. Elizabeth had a surviving sister named Abby.

That is more than enough information to start building Elizabeth’s biography and researching her further!

Elizabeth Card was born on 10 August 1835 near Stockholm, Sussex County, New Jersey, to parents Henry Card, Jr. and Julia Card [4]. Yes, both her parents names were Card. I suspect, but have not proven, yet, that Henry and Julia were first cousins.

Elizabeth’s parents, Henry and Julia, had seven children:

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  1. Phebe Jane, born 17 June 1833
  2. Elizabeth, born 10 August 1835
  3. Mary, born 10 June 1838
  4. Martha, born 26 August 1841
  5. Abby S., 09 March 1845
  6. David S., 11 May 1847
  7. Ira R., 07 August 1849

Elizabeth met and married William Strait and they were found in the 1860 U.S. Census [6] living in the township of West Milford in Passaic County, New Jersey. William (35) and Elizabeth (25) were listed with their first three children, Ira W. (7), Mary (5) and Coursen (1). William was a farmer and had $600 worth of real estate and $180 in personal property. They had a farm hand living with them.Screen Shot 2015-08-02 at 2.47.41 PM

In 1870, Elizabeth (35) and William(45), a farmer, were now living in Hardyston Township, Sussex County, New Jersey.[7] Their household had expanded and now included Ira (17), Mary (12), Coursen (10), Martha (7) and George (1). There is an interesting gap in time between Martha’s age and George’s age. Perhaps more children were born but died prior to the census being taken?

STRAIT George E.

Elizabeth and William Strait’s son George’s headstone.

They settled down in Hardyston Township and were found in the 1880 census.[8] William (55) was still working as a farmer and Elizabeth (44) was keeping house. The children listed in the household were Coursen (21), Warren (19) and Mallie B. (4). Their son Ira had moved out by then to set up his own household. (See his story at:http://wp.me/p4WHi0-4Q) George was missing as he had passed away 29 August 1876[9] and was buried in the Canisteer Cemetery.

The 1890 census is non extant due to a fire that destroyed those records.

Looking back at the records that were generated for Elizabeth and William, it can be shown that they had the following children together:

  1. Ira W., born 30 May 1852
  2. Mary Ida (Ida M.), born 12 March 1855
  3. Coursen, born about 1859
  4. Warren, born about 1860
  5. Martha (Bertha), born about 1863
  6. George E., born 20 January 1869
  7. Mallie B., born October 1875

Elizabeth was next found in the 1900 U.S. Census living with her son Ira and his wife Sarah.[10] She was 64 years old at the time and was listed as Ira’s mother and her birth month and year were August 1835 which corroborates information found above. She was widowed which means William passed away between 1880 and 1900. Elizabeth was listed as being able to read and write. She was surrounded by six of her grandchildren (listed in census order): Mary (8), Ora (21), Orville (17), Asa (15), Adam (10) and Ward (2). I’m sure that daughter-in-law Sarah must have welcomed the extra pair of hand around the household!

Looking into the 1910 census, Elizabeth was hard to find. I suspect that in 1910 she was living with her daughter in Middletown, Wallkill Township, Orange County, New York. I found an Elizabeth Strait (74, which is the right age) as a mother-in-law to Evi Adams. The entire household consisted of head Evi Adams (48), mother Bertha (46), son Warren (13) and son Joseph (6).[11] Now, in prior records, Elizabeth didn’t have a daughter named Bertha but she did have a daughter name Martha (very close in spelling) who was born about 1863. Census Bertha is 46 which means she would have been born about 1864, the same time Martha was born. I suspect Bertha and Martha are the same daughter. I will have to track down the marriage records for Evi and Bertha to see if they yield any more information on Bertha’s parentage.

In 1920, Elizabeth had moved back to New Jersey and was living in Wantage, Sussex County, New Jersey, with her daughter Ida M. (Mary Ida) Wilson (64) and her husband Joseph S. Wilson (65). That would make the daughter in the census a Mrs. J.S. Wilson, same as listed in Elizabeth’s obituary, so I’m confident Mary Ida and Ida M. are one in the same.

Just two years after the census was taken in 1920, Elizabeth passed away in Quarryville, New Jersey, and was buried in the North Hardyston Cemetery with the simple but elegantly carved headstone pictured above.

[1] North Hardyston Cemetery (Rt. 94, Hamburg, New Jersey), Ira W. and Sarah M. Strait marker; photos taken by Jodi Lynn Strait, July 2006.
[2] North Hardyston Cemetery (Rt. 94, Hamburg, New Jersey), Elizabeth Strait marker; photos taken by Jodi Lynn Strait, July 2006.
[3] “Mrs. Elizabeth Strait.” Undated newspaper obituary. Folder: Strait Family.  Vertical files. Sussex County Historical Society, Newton, New Jersey.
[4] J. Percy Crayon, “The Crane Family,” Rockaway Records of Morris County, N.J. Families (Rockaway, NJ:  Rockaway Publishing Co., 1902), 208.
[5] Ibid.
[6] 1860 U. S. census, Passaic County, New Jersey, population schedule, West Milford, p. 9 (penned), dwelling 57, family 54, William Strait; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 November 2011); citing NARA microfilm publication M653, roll 706.
[7] 1870 U. S. census, Sussex County, New Jersey, population schedule, Hardyston Township, p. 37 (penned), dwelling 289, family 292, William Strait; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 November 2011); citing NARA microfilm publication M593, roll 889.
[8] 1880 U. S. census, Sussex County, New Jersey, population schedule, Hardyston, ED 178, p. 5 (penned), dwelling 38, family 39, William Strait; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 November 2011); citing NARA microfilm publication T9, roll 798.
[9] Canisteer Cemetery (Canisteer Rd, Sussex County, New Jersey), George E. Strait grave marker; From Route 23, follow Canisteer Road 2.7 miles where the cemetery is on the left side of the road. Photo taken by Jodi Lynn Strait, 27 December 2011.
[10] 1900 U. S. census, Sussex County, New Jersey, population schedule, Lafayette Township, ED 169, p. 1B (penned), dwelling 23, family 25, Ira W. Strait; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 01 October 2011); citing NARA microfilm publication T623, roll 995.
[11] 1910 U. S. census, Orange County, New Yort, population schedule, Middletown, ED 21, Ward 1, p. 3A (penned), dwelling 41, family 59, Evi Adams; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 02 August 2015); citing NARA microfilm publication T624, roll 1059.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #28 – Ludwig Karthaeuser

Relationship: 3rd Great-grandfather
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I’m now more than 1/2 way through the year with my “The 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks” for this blog. Yay for stick-to-it-ness!

I’ve discovered some good things about doing the blog each week:

  • I’m becoming very aware of the research I’ve already done.
  • It highlights the things I still need to look for.
  • I realize I have a plethora of information about my paternal line, not so much on the maternal side.
  • Each blog is like a little mini biography for each person. It’s forcing me to explore different storytelling styles in the hopes the readers will come back to see what’s next.
Ludwig Karthaeuser 089

Ludwig Karthaeuser, source: photo with Eleanor Freeman

The bad thing is that it’s making my research to-do list much longer!

One item (or more) I will be adding to that to-do list involves finding more about my 3rd great-grandfather, Ludwig Karthaeuser. If it weren’t for correspondence with Ely Freeman from Mays Landing, New Jersey, I wouldn’t even know what I do about him and I wouldn’t have his photo.

Some of the reason for not knowing much had to do with trajectory of his granddaughter Anna Marie Karthaeuser’s life. See her blog entry (http://wp.me/p4WHi0-31) for more detail on why there wasn’t much very much contact with the Karthaeuser family after Anna’s marriage to George Repsher.

I have a few facts about Ludwig Karthaeuser. He was born between 1828 – 1829 in Trier, Germany.[1] He married Catarina Adam and had some children together, all born in Germany. I believe there may be more children but the ones I have identified so far (mostly based on German birth certificates on film at the Family History Library) are:

  1. John Adam (or Adam John), born 07 April 1857 [2]
  2. Catarina, born 11 January 1860 [3]
  3. Karl, born 26 October 1861 [4]
  4. Anton, born 27 April 1864 [5]
  5. Elisabetha, born 25 July 1866 [6]
  6. Lorenzo [7]

The birth certificates for the children show that Ludwig was a cigar maker and worked in the manufacturing industry.

Ludwig’s son John Adam immigrated to the United States with his soon-to-be wife[8] but the rest of the family stayed in Germany.

Admittedly, the information on Ludwig in my files is sparse. Further research on Ludwig and his household could provide an excellent learning experience about digging into German records.

[1] Certificate #121 from FHL Intl. Film 1,258,132 titled “Births 1854-1869 Germany, Bayern, Oggersheim.”
[2] Anna (Karthaeuser) Repsher, compiler, “Family Record of J. J. Repsher Jr. and Caroline Repsher nee Bonser”; (Handwritten family group sheets, Netcong, New Jersey, 1911-1970), p. 81.
[3] Certificate #8 from FHL Intl. Film 1,258,132.
[4] Certificate #121 from FHL Intl. Film 1,258,132.
[5] Certificate #46 from FHL Intl. Film 1,258,132.
[6] Certificate #89 from FHL Intl. Film 1,258,132.
[7] Anna (Karthaeuser) Repsher, compiler, p. 197.
[8] “New York, Passenger Lists,1820-1857,” digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 14 December 2014), entry for A. Karthaueser,  Microfilm series M237, Roll 505, List 436, line 126-127, Image 1024.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #27 – Susanna (Williams) Repsher

Relationship: 3rd Great-grandmother
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Susanna’s story picks up as Jacob Henry Repsher’s story (http://wp.me/p4WHi0-54) ends….

Once Jacob H. Rephser passed away on 14 January 1907,[1] his military pension income ceased. That meant his wife Susanna really needed to file a widow’s claim in order to have an income to support herself. She filed a claim on 02 February 1907.[2]

While she had no children under 16 years of age to support, the small parcel of land that she was left in Jacob’s will couldn’t provide the income she needed to care for her own needs. The land was “about one acre with an old house and shoemaker shop on, located at Bartonsville PA.” The taxable property was worth about $350 as listed on the tax assessment books for the year of 1905.[3]

Unfortunately, in the years before Jacob died, the property became encumbered with a couple of liens. J.E. Everitt was awarded a lien against the property on 31 January 1905 for $35 in the Court of Common Pleas during the December term of 1904.[4] Another lien was awarded on 05 January 1907 during the December term of 1906 for $125 to cover a mortgage on the property taken out in 08 June 1898.[5]

Rental of the property was explored to see if that might be an option for Susanna. Nope, that would have only brought in $36 per year income. Selling the property was also considered. Nope, a public sale wouldn’t bring in enough to cover the liens and mortgages. Also, the property was likely to be foreclosed on at any moment.[6]Screen Shot 2015-06-28 at 12.28.57 PM

Eventually, Susanna was awarded an $8 a month pension retroactive to 05 February 1907.[7] It must have been a struggle for her to live on this sum after the $24 a month pension Jacob had been receiving. She would receive this small pension amount until her death 07 July 1908.[8]

Susanna Repsher was 71 years old when she passed away but she had a life filled with large families.

She started her life out in August 1836 in rural eastern Pennsylvania; born to parents Joseph F. Williams and Susanna [Bellesfelt] Belles. Like her husband, she came from a large family filled with many siblings. Joseph and Susanna Williams had 12 children:[9]

  1. David Williams, born about 1826
  2. Lucinda Williams, born about 1828
  3. Emmanuel Williams, born about 1831
  4. Rebecca Williams, born about 1832
  5. Mary Ann Williams, born about 1833
  6. Sarah Williams, born about 1835
  7. Susanna Williams, born about 1836
  8. Isabel Williams, born about 1839
  9. Christian Williams, born about 1841
  10. Joseph J. Williams, born about 1844
  11. Samuel Williams, born about 1847
  12. Margaret Williams, born about 1849

Susanna started her life with Jacob Henry Repsher (see his blog post) in 1851 and had her own large family. She spent her life as a housewife raising a family and being a partner to a shoemaker.

As with a lot of women in the day, schoolwork was not seen a priority. She wasn’t literate and couldn’t sign her name. On all the pension documents, she consistently signs her name with a mark. [10]

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Because Susanna could only sign with a mark, witnesses who could write their names had to be present for her. Her son, Samuel P. Repsher, and his wife Sallie A., served as her witnesses.[11]

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When she was asked to provide evidence in her widow’s pension claim, her affidavit provides a small semblance of her speaking style. She is recorded as saying, “I am unable to furnish any more evidence in my Claim for Pension for the reason that there haint any more people living around here…”[12]

Susanna was born late enough in American history to not be completely lost as a wife listed as only a first name in a will. Her parents and her maiden name were known. Susanna’s siblings and children can be identified. She was listed in census’ by name, not as just a tic mark in a column. She probably had a hard time making ends meet at the end of her life but she survived her child bearing years, saw most of her children grow up, and lived to be 71 years old.

[1] Tipton, Jim, compiler, “Stockholm Methodist Church Cemetery,” digital image, Find A Grave (http://www.findagrave.com : accessed 12 November 2011), entry for Jacob H. Repsher, memorial #17379662.
[2] Jacob Repsher (Pvt., Co. I, 147th Pa. Inf., Civil War), pension no. W.C. 632,252; Civil War and Later Pension Files; Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15; National Archives, Washington, D.C. Declaration for Original Pension of a Widow – Child or Children Under Sixteen Years of Surviving, dated 02 February 1907.
[3] Jacob Repsher (Pvt., Co. I, 147th Pa. Inf., Civil War), pension no. W.C. 632,252; Taxable Property schedule, dated 02 March 1907.
[4] Jacob Repsher (Pvt., Co. I, 147th Pa. Inf., Civil War), pension no. W.C. 632,252; Judgements and Liens vs. Jacob Repsher and Susanna, dated 25 February 1907.
[5] Jacob Repsher (Pvt., Co. I, 147th Pa. Inf., Civil War), pension no. W.C. 632,252; Certified examination of Grantor’s Index, County of Monroe, Pennsylvania, dated 18 February 1907.
[6] Jacob Repsher (Pvt., Co. I, 147th Pa. Inf., Civil War), pension no. W.C. 632,252; Affidavit of Samuel Musselman, dated o8 September 1907.
[7] Jacob Repsher (Pvt., Co. I, 147th Pa. Inf., Civil War), pension no. W.C. 632,252; Dropped pensioner form, dated o1 May 1909.
[8] Jacob Repsher (Pvt., Co. I, 147th Pa. Inf., Civil War), pension no. W.C. 632,252; Form 3-1081, dropped pensioner form, dated 26 March 1909.
[9] Donald R. Repsher, “First Generation in America” (Bath, Pennsylvania:  self-published, 2006), 34.
[10] Jacob Repsher (Pvt., Co. I, 147th Pa. Inf., Civil War), pension no. W.C. 632,252; Declaration for Original Pension of a Widow – Child or Children Under Sixteen Years of Surviving, dated 02 February 1907.
[11] Ibid.
[12] Jacob Repsher (Pvt., Co. I, 147th Pa. Inf., Civil War), pension no. W.C. 632,252; Affidavit of Susanna Repsher, dated 11 March 1907.