Sunday’s Obituary – Stella T. (Lencewicz) Repsher – Died 21-January-2012

Relationship to me: Wife of 1st cousin, 2x removed

Stella T. Repsher’s obituary appeared online January 23, 2012 in the Daily Record.

screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-5-43-31-pmStella T. Repsher

AGE: 92 • Netcong

Stella T. Repsher died Saturday, January 21, 2012 at St. Clare’s Hospital/Denville. She was 92. Born in Great Meadows, she lived in Stanhope for 40 years before moving to Netcong in 1989. Mrs. Repsher was a clerk at A&P in Netcong for 15 years before retiring in 1980. She was a parishioner of St. Michael’s Church in Netcong.

She was predeceased by her husband Bernard, and her daughter Gail. She is survived by two children: Rich of Stewartsville and Margaret Stromberg of Stanhope; & her granddaughter Dawn Marie Repsher.

Funeral services will be held from Morgan Funeral Home, 31Main St, Netcong ( on Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at 8:30 a.m. to a funeral Mass at St. Michael’s Church, Netcong at 9:30 a.m. Interment will follow at Stanhope Union Cemetery. Visiting hours will be held at the funeral home on Tuesday from 4:00 – 8:00 pm only.

52 Documents in 52 Weeks #9 – Jacob Repsher’s Children

Person of Interest: Jacol Henry Repsher
Relationship: 3rd great-grandfather

Source Citation: Jacob Repsher (Pvt., Co. I, 147th Pa. Inf., Civil War), pension no. W.C. 632,252, claimant’s statement, made by Jacob Repsher, undated document; Civil War and Later Pension Files; Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

Document Description: This is a hand-written 5″ by 8″ lined sheet of loose paper found in Jacob’s Civil War pension file which has 103 pages in total. This document has been copied onto a legal-sized paper. It looks to be written in pencil and lists his children in his own handwriting with a certification by him at the bottom. The children are listed in birth order and there are ten children listed in all.

jacob001Document Scan and Transcription: [original spelling (and misspellings) maintained]
Perhaps I Maid som Balk [?, not sure what this word is]
And I got mi first wife yet
and the childrens names and Births
Emanuel J. Repsher born Sep 8 1852
John J. Repsher born  July 3 1854
Aaron J. Repsher November 3 1877 [sic, should be 1857]
Samuel P. Repsher Sep 4 1859
Pherman J. Repsher July 21 1865
Jesiah K. Repsher July 8 1867
Arman S. Rephser July 27 1869
Mary E. Repsher August 24 1872
George A. Repsher March 12 1875
William H. Repsher Oct 2 1877
this is one After the other &
living – yours truly
Jacob Repsher
this is corect

Analysis: Jacob could write but spelled by ear for this document as evidenced by the “mi” for my, and “corect” for correct, and “maid” for made. He certified that he still had his first wife (either she wasn’t dead or they weren’t divorced) and that these were his living children at the time he wrote this list. What can’t be determined is if he’s listing the children from his own memory. I would, however, suspect that he was sitting down with wife, Susanna, to list them out rather than just relying on his memory. Not implying that men don’t remember children’s birthdays, but Jacob might have been more concerned about the support of his family and left all aspects of the children to wife, Susanna. Jacob’s listing is almost as good as Eliza’s affidavit from my first week’s post for 2017. He’s concerned specifically with all the living children at the time because the pension office was concerned with the possibility that minor children would qualify for a pension too.

Aaron was listed as being born in 1877 and I think this is a mistake and should be 1857. Also, there’s a significant gap between Samuel and Pherman which suggest some children that were either stillborn or died at a young age. Just from this list of living children, it’s impossible to tell. Other sources must be considered if one is trying to figure out all the children of Jacob and Susanna.

This is an original source in that it is Jacob’s listing of his living children, one after the other, complete with his own interpretations of how words are spelled. When I look at the original copied onto the legal-sized sheet sent to me it does not look to be tampered with or changed in any way. I have cropped it for this blog. It hasn’t been transcribed or changed in any way to be incorporated into another document.

The information seems to be primary information in that Jacob was the children’s father and, as far as I have determined to this date, always lived with the family. He wasn’t a traveling salesman or worker/captain on a ship or career military. He was a humble shoemaker and would have witnessed (or been extremely close) the births of his children at home.

The evidence is direct if the research question is, “Who were the living children of Jacob Repsher, of eastern Pennsylvania, and his wife at the time he was applying for his Civil War pension?” It would be indirect, meaning it would have to be combined with other sources, if I were trying to determine all the children that Jacob and Susanna had together. Additionally, while he says that “I got mi wife yet” other evidence must be combined with this in order to determine where and when the couple were married.


This is a great document in Jacob’s own handwriting with his signature at the bottom. When combine with the numerous other documents found in the Civil War pension file, some of Jacob and Susanna’s children’s birth dates can be determined. Some death dates can also be determined because the pension office took a while to determine the legitimacy of Jacob’s claim. Living children from one document might be deceased by the time another document was generated. All of this can be used to locate the family in census records and also to possibly track down birth records (certificates or registers), death records, and a possible marriage record for Jacob and Susanna. When weighing evidence, this weighs strongly towards being a reliable source despite Jacob’s spelling errors and one 1877 instead of 1857 as a birth year.

Sunday’s Obituary – Gary H. Westra – Died 02-November-2013

Relationship to me: Maternal 1st cousin

screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-2-36-21-pmGARY H. WESTRA – FREDON – Gary H. Westra, 63, of Fredon Township, died Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013, at home.

Born in Newton, Gary lived in Miami, Fla., and Washington, D.C., before moving to Fredon Township in 1996. He was a 1968 graduate of Newton High School, where he played varsity football. Gary was a United States Navy veteran, serving in Vietnam. While in the Navy, his training included UDT (underwater demolition training) and Navy Seal training. Gary was a self-employed contractor. He enjoyed sailing and was a crew member of the Pride of Baltimore. A member of ABATE and Rolling Thunder, Gary was a former Elder and member of the First Presbyterian Church in Newton.

Gary was predeceased by his father, John Westra, on Jan. 11, 1992. He is survived by his wife, Susan (Pitek), whom he married in 1996; his mother, Marjorie (Rude) Westra, of Penrose, N.C.; and his siblings, Sharon Sutton, of Stillwater, Kevin Westra, of Canton, Ga., and Susan Clouser, of Talbott, Tenn.; as well as his aunts, nieces and nephews.

A memorial viewing will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7, at Smith-McCracken Funeral Home, 63 High St., Newton.  In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital , 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105. Online condolences may be offered at

Published in the New Jersey Herald on Nov. 5, 2013; digital copy found on (

52 Documents in 52 Weeks #8 – John and Laura Repsher’s 50th Wedding Anniversary

Persons of Interest: John and Laura Repsher of Analomink, Pennsylvania
Relationship: Great grand uncle and wife

Source Citation: “Open House Marks Golden Anniversary,” The Daily Record (East Stroudsburg), 27 February 1956, p. 5, cols. 4-5; image copy, ( : accessed 02 December 2016), Historical Newspapers Collection.

Document Description: An announcement in a newspaper about the 50th wedding anniversary celebration. The entire newspaper page for this day has been digitized and these are the screen clippings.


screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-10-12-34-amDocument Scan and Transcription: Open House Marks Golden Anniversary
Analomink – The 50th wedding anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. John Repsher was on Monday, February 20 but the celebration in their honor was held this Saturday afternoon with an open house in the POS of a A Hall for about 100 guests.

Mr. and Mrs. Repsher were married February 20, 1906 at the East Stroudsburg parsonage by Rev. C. B. Johnson.

Mrs. Repsher, the former Laura Staples, was born in Analomink on December 9, 1887, daughter of the late John D. and Caroline Hallett Staples. Mr. Repsher was born in Pocono Lake on May 17, 1882, the son of the late John and Caroline Bonser Repsher.

They had five children of whom four are living: Mrs. Robert Van Vliet and Mrs. Russell Transue of Analomink, Ross Repsher of Quakertown and Lester Repsher, at home. They have 9 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren.

screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-10-12-13-amThe Repshers have always lived in Analomink and are members of the Analomink Methodist Church. Mr. Repsher worked for many years at the lumber dock owned by C. A. Coleman. When that was disbanded he went to work for Line Material Company and was retired about a year ago.

For the party, the hall had been decorated with festoons of gold crepe paper. Tables were decorated with gold table cloths and doilies and gold candlesticks. At the table for the guests of honor, bouquets of gold carnations and marigolds flanked the wedding cake decorated with figures of a bride and bridegroom.

Refreshments were served and the guests of honor received many gifts.

Analysis: This particular wedding anniversary announcement is a genealogist’s dream article. It is chock full of information related to the John and Laura Repsher family. Birth dates, birth places, maiden names, husbands, and parents abound! I did have a question on what the “POS of A Hall” was. Turns out I learned about a new organization when I went to find out what this meant. It stands for Patriotic Order Sons of America. According to their website:

“The Patriotic Order Sons of America was organized December 10, 1847 to preserve the Public School System, The Constitution of the United Sates and our American way of life. It was incorporated by an Act of the Pennsylvania State Legislature, February 27, 1867. The subordinate unit, Washington Camp #150 was chartered by the Parent Corporation in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, May 21, 1871.”

I consider the online copy of a page from the Daily Record to be an original document even though it’s been digitized. As long as the content does not appear to be changed during the process (whether that’s copying, scanning or digitizing), the digital copy can be considered as good as the original. This article looks to be completely untouched as part of the entire page that’s been digitized. I’ve clipped portions of that page so that I can insert it into this article and so that you could read the print.

The information in the article is mixed in nature with both primary (firsthand) and secondary (secondhand, hearsay) information found. Assuming Laura and John were the informants, they would know what children they had together and the listing of Mrs. Robert Van Vliet, Ross, Lester and Mrs. Rusell Transue would be primary. Both John and Laura’s birth dates are secondary as neither would remember being born but they are relying what other people have told them about their birth dates, places, and parents. Their wedding date is primary information; they were both there and remember quite distinctly where and when they were married and who performed the ceremony.

The evidence is direct (explicit) related to John and Laura’s marriage. It answers, quite succinctly, the question, “When were John Repsher and Laura Staples of Analomink, Pennsylvania, married?” There is also direct evidence related to their births but since that is secondary information, further evidence should be found to corroborate the dates.

From the information in the article, we can construct a basic family group.

John Repsher (son of John and Caroline (Bonser) Repsher, born 17 May 1882, Pocono Lake, Pennsylvania) married Laura Staples (daughter of John D. and Caroline (Hallett) Staples, born 09 December 1887) on 20 February 1906 at East Stroudsburg. They had the following children:

  1. ________, daughter, married Robert Van Vliet
  2. ________, daughter, married Russell Transue
  3. Ross, son
  4. Lester, son
  5. ________, child died before 27 February 1956


This is a robust 50th wedding anniversary announcement with lots of excellent genealogical information both of primary and secondary nature. It helps fill in some blanks in my family tree in that I didn’t have Laura Staples’ mother’s name. I’m treating the online, digital copy as an original, just like I’d inspected it at a historical society or at the publisher’s archives.

Sunday’s Obituary – Robert F. Kindrew – Died 02-June-2006

Relationship to me: 1st cousin, 2 times removed

Robert F. Kindrew’s obituary was posted online June, 4, 2006 in the Pocono Record.


Robert F. Kindrew 

Robert F. Kindrew, 85, of Stroudsburg died on Friday, June 2, at Pocono Medical Center, East Stroudsburg. He was the husband of Evelyn E. Ace Kindrew; they were married on July 13, 1946, and would have celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary next month.

Robert was born May 16, 1921, in East Stroudsburg, the son of the late Edward and Lillian Repsher Kindrew. He was a lifetime resident of Monroe County.

He was a veteran of the United States Army, having served during World War II and receiving the Bronze Star.

Robert is a member of the East Stroudsburg United Methodist Church, Veterans of Foreign Wars in East Stroudsburg, the Loyal Order of the Moose in Stroud Township, and the Timberwolf Association #356 Field Artillery.

He was a lifetime mechanic and owned and operated Kindrew’s Mobil Gas Station on the corners of Prospect and Ridgeway streets in East Stroudsburg for many years. After that he worked for D.G. Nicholas Auto Parts for several years. He also worked part-time at the Moose Lodge in Stroud Township for 20 years.

In addition to is wife, he is survived by his son, Randy R. and his wife, Rose, of Stroudsburg; his granddaughter, Mary Kindrew of Stroudsburg; his grandson, Robert Kindrew of Stroudsburg; two brothers, Ralph Kindrew of Lancaster and James Kindrew and his wife, Ruth, of Palmerton; and many nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his brother Charles and his sisters Elizabeth and Dorothy.

He loved his grandchildren and never missed their sporting events. He supported them in everything they did.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, June 7, at the Joseph J. Pula Funeral Home, 23 North Ninth St., Stroudsburg, with Rev Edward C. Kimes officiating.

Military interment will follow in the Prospect Cemetery, East Stroudsburg. There will be a viewing from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 6, at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the American Heart Association, 212 East Broad St., Bethlehem, PA 18018.