52 Documents in 52 Weeks #32 – Jacob Newhart’s 1900 Census

Person of Interest: Jacob Newhart
Relationship: Husband of 2nd great grandaunt Ann Maria Bonser (sister to Caroline Bonser, my 2nd great-grandmother)

Source Citation: 1900 U. S. census, Carbon County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Lower Towamensing Township, ED 11, p. 14B (penned), dwelling 279, family 300, Jacob Newhart; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 16 July 2017); citing NARA microfilm publication T623, roll 1390.

Document Description: These documents are part of the Twelfth Census of the United States which was taken in 1900, at the turn of the century. It is the twelfth census taken since 1790. The U.S. census counts every resident in the United States. It is mandated by Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution and takes place every 10 years. The  U.S. Census Bureau is responsible for taking the censuses. After 72 years (and not before owing to privacy reasons), the records are released to the public by the National Archives and Records Administration. In accordance with the 72-Year Rule, the National Archives released the 1900 records to the public in 1972.  The U.S. Census Bureau provides the interested researcher a great overview of each census. In the 1900 overview, we find that “Hawaii, which had been annexed in 1898, was included in the census for the first time.” Census day for this census was 01 June 1900 and William McKinley (left, Photo Source: http://www.census.gov) was the president on that day.[1]

Per the 1900 overview:

“In the act authorizing the 1900 census, Congress limited census content to questions dealing with population, mortality, agriculture, and manufacturing. Reports on these topics, called “Census Reports,” were to be published by June 30, 1902. The act also authorized special census agents to collect statistics relating to incidents of deafness, blindness, insanity, juvenile delinquency, and the like; as well as on religious bodies; utilities; mining; and transportation, among others. These statistics were to be collected following the completion of the regular census. The preparation of the special reports developed from these statistics was to be accomplished in such a way so as to not interfere with the completion of the Census Reports.”

Both Ancestry.com (fee site) and FamilySearch.org (free) offers digitized copies of the census and are searchable by name.

Document Scan/Transcription: Numbers relate to columns on the population schedule.

Page 3 Header
State: Pennsylvania; County: Carbon; Name of Incorporated Place: Lower Towamensing Township; S.D. No.: 3; E.D. No.: 11; Enumerated by me on the 26th day of June, 1900; Enumerator: Ambrose E. Noll; Sheet No.: 14B.

Page 3B Detail
lines 52-58, Caroline, Robert and William Repsher, Lilian, Jennie and Elizabeth Cobb, and Harry Sharbaugh Jr. [respectively with ; between]

Place of Abode
Street Name: [blank]
House Number: [blank]
1. Dwelling number in order of visitation: 279
2. Family number in order of visitation: 300

3. Name: Newhart, Jacob; —-, Ann M; —-. Della,; —-. Emma; —-, Mary E.; —-, Harry R.; —-, George E.; —-, Beulah M; Bonser, Emmaline

4. Relation: Head; Wife; Daughter; Daughter; Daughter; Son; Son; Daughter; M-in-law

Physical Description
5. Color or race: W; W; W; W; W; W; W; W; W
6. Sex: M; F; F; F; F; M; M; F; F
7. Date of birth, month and year: Feb 1862; Oct 1860; May 1885; July 1891; Sept 1893; Apr 1895; Apr 1897; June 1899; Mar 1830
8. Age at last birthday: 38; 39; 15; 8; 6; 5; 3; 11/12; 70
9. Whether single, married, widowed, or divorced: M; M; S; S; S; S; S; S; Wd
10. Number of years married: 14; 14; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]
11. Mother of how many children: [blank]; 10; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]
12. Number of these children still living: [blank]; 7; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]

13. Place of birth of person: Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania
14. Place of birth of father of person: Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania
15. Place of birth of mother of person: Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania

16. Year of immigration to the United States: [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]
17. Number of years in the United States: [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]
18. Naturalization: [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]

Occupation, Trade, or Profession
19. Occupation: Carpenter; [blank]; [blank]; At school; At school; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]
20. Months not employed: 3; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]

21. Attended school:  [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; 6; 3;  [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]
22. Can read: Yes; Yes; Yes; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; Yes
23. Can write: Yes; Yes; Yes; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; No
24. Can speak English: Yes; Yes; Yes; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; Yes

Ownership of Home
25. Owned or rented: R; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]
26. Owned free or mortgaged: [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]
27. Farm or home: H; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]
28. Number of farm schedule:  [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]

Analysis: The above listings/transcriptions are a bit hard to read, I admit it. So why go through the pain of typing it all out? It forced me to look at every single box and tick mark and code and notation. So, let’s put the above in a more user-friendly, narrative format:

Jacob Newhart (38, born Feb 1862) and wife Ann M. (39, born Oct 1860) were living in Lower Towamensing Township, Carbon County, Pennsylvania, with daughters Della (15, born May 1885), Emma (8, born 1891), Mary E. (6, born 1893) and Beulah M. (11/12, born June 1899), sons Harry R. (5, born Apr 1895) and George E. ( 3, born Apr 1897), and Ann’s widowed mother Emmaline Bonser (70, born Mar 1830). Jacob was renting the home they were living in when enumerator Ambrose E. Noll visited the household on 26 June 1900 to record the family’s information. Mr. Noll was working in his Supervisor’s District of 3 which oversaw Enumeration District 11. In order of visitation, the family was labeled as living in dwelling #279 and as family #300.

Jacob and Ann had been married for 14 years which makes their marriage year around 1886. Ann had ten children by 1900 of which seven were still living. Widowed mother-in-law Emmaline had eleven children by 1900 of which six were still living. Everyone in the household was born in Pennsylvania as were all their parents. 

Jacob was working as a carpenter and reported that he hadn’t worked three months out of the last year. Two children, Emma and Mary, were at school. Emma went for six months and Mary for three months. Parents Jacob and Ann, along with Della and Emma can read, write and speak English. Mother-in-law Emmaline can read and speak English but was reported as not being able to read it. 

Jacob and Ann Newhart took Emmaline Bonser into their household sometime before 1900. Unless Emmaline was invalid, she must have been a great help to the household with six children under the age of 15. If she was invalid, Ann certainly would have had her hands full running the household.

I was familiar with Monroe County as many of the Repshers are there but had to take a look to see where Carbon County was located in Pennsylvania. Turns out, it abuts Monroe County on the left side:

Carbon County, Pennsylvania

Monroe County, Pennsylvania

Instructions to the enumerators are a good way to make sure you understand what each item on the census means. The instructions for the 1900 are found on a handy website called IPUMS which stands for the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series. From these instructions, we learn a bit about the way the states are divided up:

“74. Township or other division of county.-Every county is divided into parts, and the sum of these parts makes up the whole area of the county. But the names given to these county divisions differ widely. In the north central states, except Wisconsin, and also in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and California they are called townships. In New England, New York, and Wisconsin they are called towns. In the South and far West they are usually called districts or precincts; but in Mississippi they are called beats; in Louisiana wards; in Delaware hundreds.”

Further perusing the instructions for the 1900 census at IPUMS shows that:

  • Care was to be taken to get a person’s exact age. Enumerators were warned that, “Many a person who can tell the month and year of his birth will be careless or forgetful in stating the years of his age, and so an error will creep into the census. This danger can not be entirely avoided, but asking the question in two forms will prevent it in many cases.”
  • Women in the household were to provide the number of children they had and it does provide clarification about stillborn children. “This questions applies only to women, and its object is to get the number of children each woman has had, and whether the children are not living on the census day. Stillborn children are not to be counted.”
  • Some instructions around nativity were provided:
    • Write Ireland, England, Scotland, or Wales rather than Great Britain. Write Hungary or Bohemia rather than Austria for persons born in Hungary or Bohemia, respectively. Write Finland rather than Russia for persons born in Finland.
    • Note, also, that the language spoken is not always a safe guide to the birthplace. this is especially true of Germans, for over one-third of the Austrians and nearly three-fourths of the Swiss speak German. In case a person speaks German, therefore, inquire carefully whether the birthplace was Germany, Austria, or Switzerland.
    • In case the persons speaks Polish, as Poland is not now a country, inquire whether the birthplace was what is now known as German Poland or Austrian Poland, and enter the answer accordingly as Poland (Ger.), Poland (Aust..), or Poland (Russ.).
  • Occupation questions applied to persons 10 years and older. Special care was to be given to ascertain what exactly the person labored at. “Indicate in every case the kind of work done or character of service rendered. do not state merely the article made or worked upon, or the place where the work is done. For example, the reply “carriage builder,” or “works in carriage factory,” is unsatisfactory, because men of different trades, such as blacksmiths, joiners, wheelwrights, painters, upholsterers, work together in building carriages. Such an answer, therefore, does not show what kind of work the person performs.”
  • Space was at a premium in Column 19 (occupation), so some abbreviations were given to the enumerator to use:
  • Occupation instructions were quite extensive. They ran from #153 to #223 with instructions on how to distinguish fisherman, mechanics, peddlers, teamsters, salesman, etc.
  • Home was defined as “By the word “home” in the census is meant any place of abode inhabited by any person or person, whether it is a house, a tent, a boat, or whatever it may be. If any such place of abide is inhabited by more than one family, it is the home of each of them, and it may accordingly be counted as two or more homes instead of one.”

Sometimes, handwritten notations were added after the censuses were compiled. The only hand notation found on the page was a “0976” written at the top right in the header section. The page before this one has “0967,” the page after has “0981,” and the page after that has “0996.” It is unclear what these were being used for or if they were a running tally of some sort.


This was a good exercise in tracking down my 3rd greatgrandmother, Emmaline Bonser, in the 1900 United States census. I found her living with her daughter and son-in-law Ann and Jacob Newhart. While Jacob labored as a carpenter, Emmaline was most likely a significant help to Ann running the Newhart household. The Newhart family in Carbon County, Pennsylvania, was not too far from the rest of the Repshers located in Monroe County.

[1] https://www.census.gov/history/www/through_the_decades/overview/1900.html


Sepia Saturday #355: Seeing Double

The Sepia photo prompt for this week shows a pair of photos that have been double exposed. The first one is supposed to be paranormal in nature in that the “ghost” image in the back is supposedly the subject’s father. The second has a woman’s face superimposed on the gentleman’s left shoulder. Again, there’s supposed to be some supernatural explanation for this. Just plain double exposure though.

sepia355001sepia355002This week, I’m featuring cards from Aunt Sadie’s Shirley Temple Scrapbook that have duplicates; the same card sent by two different people. It’s a good jumping off point to highlight some twins found in my family tree.

The first card is lovely, flower-laden cottage and the card celebrates the birth of a baby. The poem inside reads:

A stranger’s come to your house, a baby, wee and new,
I’m very glad, for well I know what joy it brings to you.”

Falling even more into the double theme is the fact that both cards were sent by two women with the same first name (or nickname), one named Kitty Irwin and the other named Kit. Kit is most likely Kitty Smith, friend of Sadie’s mother Beatrice and wife-to-be of Sadie’s uncle Adam.  Kitty Irwin was most likely a friend or neighbor.

sepia355003sepia355004The second card was sent for Aunt Sadie’s 6th birthday in 1942. It features two children sliding down the banister while their dog chases them down the staircase. An embellishment on the card is a bit of lace attached as a frilly slip under the little girl’s dress. Here’s hoping that there’s not some big newel post waiting for them at the bottom of the steps! Either the selection of cards in 1942 was slim or Beatrice and her sister Helen think alike. Either way, they both sent the same card to Sadie. It was most likely the only one available that was 6th birthday specific. sepia355005

The poem inside reads, “School doors open now to you, Books and many joys quite new, Lots of playmates, games and tricks… Aren’t you glad that you are six?”

Looking into the family tree, I find a number of sets of twins. (I could’ve sworn that my Grandma Westra told me that she had triplets as siblings, but nothing I’ve found in my research has confirmed that.) The earliest set of twins I have right now occurred on 25 July 1743 when fraternal twins Phebe and Ezekiel Day were born to father Samuel Day.[1] They are not closely related to me in that they’re my 1st great uncle and aunt of the husband of a first cousin. It’s better not to think about that one too hard. Twins ran in this family because Samuel Day and his wife had another set of twins just 10 years later. Abraham and Samuel Day were born on 07 April 1753.[2] The source doesn’t say whether they were identical or fraternal twins.

Another set of 18th century twins occurred in my Repsher line. Johann Georg and Georg Wilhelm Rebscher were born on 25 January 1793 to parents Catharina Margaretha (Willenbucher) and Georg Niclaus Rebscher.[3] Johann and Georg are my 2nd cousins seven times removed. Unfortunately, these poor twins did not live very long. Johann died at two months old and Georg died at seven months old in 1793.

Moving into the 19th century turns up six sets of twins:

  1. 26 September 1824: Jacob and Abraham Pollison – sons of Elizabeth (Mowerson) and Isaac Pollison – They are uncles of the husband of my 1st cousin 5 times removed.[4]
  2. 17 August 1831: Phebe and William A. Kimble – children of Elizabeth (Vanderhoof) and Abraham Kimble – Phebe is the sister-in-law of the nephew of the husband of my 5th great aunt and William is the husband of the niece of the husband of my 5th great aunt.[5]
  3. 26 January 1847: Charles and David Henderson – sons of Charlotte (Pollison) and James M. Henderson – David is the husband of my 1st cousin five times removed and Charles is the brother-in-law of that same 1st cousin 5 times removed.[6]
  4. 25 February 1849: Phebe Ann and Charles Augustus Benjamin – children of Susan Breese (Day) and William Benjamin – They are the niece and nephew of the husband of my 1st cousin five times removed.[7] Phebe only lived to be seven years old.
  5. 28 May 1850: Sidney and Samuel Kimble – sons of Anna M. (Dunn) and John Nelson Kimble – They are the nephews of the husband of my 5th great aunt.[8]
  6. 24 November 1899: Lillian May and William Frederick Repsher – children of Caroline (Bonser) and John Joseph Repsher – They are my 2nd great aunt and uncle.[9] Lillian passed away in 1952 and William in 1970.

More contemporary sets of twins within the family were born in the 20th century and some are still living so their specific birth dates won’t be posted here.

  • Robert M. and Roberta Otto Predmore were fraternal twins born to Florence (Heller) and Luke Predmore.[10] Robert passed away in 2003.[11] Robert was the husband of my 1st cousin two times removed and Roberta is the sister-in-law of my 1st cousin two times removed.
  • Keith Edward and Kenneth Repsher were the sons of Agnes (Filan) and Carlton Thomas Repsher.[12] Keith passed away in 2013.[13] They are my 3rd cousins one time removed.

Now we move into twins that my father and I actually know within my family tree. Judy Lynn and Sharon Lynn Repsher are first cousins to my father Bill and his sister Sadie. They are the daughters of Bill and Sadie’s uncle Art and his wife Margaret. The twins are shown in this photo with their brother Ronald (Ronnie) and Mercedes and Bill. Ronnie was the boy on the right, Sadie was squatting and Billy was leaning over with his hands on his knees in the back. We still see Sharon (and her family) at the annual Repsher family reunions that take place each July.


Twins Sharon and Judy in white dresses

Bill and Sadie had another set of twins as first cousins, Timothy and Thomas Repsher, sons of Bill and Sadie’s uncle Hank and his wife Eleanor. While they were attending grammar school in Stanhope, a newspaper article ran showing all the twins going to school there in 1959.[14] Please excuse the quality of the photo, it’s a photo of the original article not a scan.


The caption reads:
Seeing Double… Stanhope – Teachers in the Stanhope Elementary School should certainly be having trouble this year telling students apart with nine sets of twins currently attending the school. Another problem for school officials to keep straight is that two sets of twins, the Chanda boys and girls are from the same family. They are the children of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Chanda, of Main street, Stanhope.
The pairs of twins are rather evenly distributed in school classes with three sets in kindergarten, one set each in the first and third grades and two sets in the fifth and eighth grades.
The children are, first row, left to right, Clark and Mary Best, age 5, Tom and Tim Repsher, 5, and Mickey and Bob Chanda, 5. Second row, left to right, Eric and Charles Kranz, 11; Jerry and Larry Lewis, 7, and Karen and Richard Chanda, 8. Third row, left to right, Barbara and Sandra Leavy, 13; Bob and Art Beckwith, 13, and Bill and Janet Tick, 10. (Poots Photo)”

The newest set of twins in the family come from the Westra (maternal) side of the family. My 1st cousin one times removed, Becky, has a set of twins that were featured in the newspaper as they were the 5th generation within their family.[15]


The caption reads:
Five generations of the Sutton family recently celebrated the birth of twin daughters to Michael and Rebecca (Sutton) Holt of Hampton. Standing, from left, is grandfather Richard Sutton and Rebecca Sutton Holt, mother. Seated are Arthur Sutton, great-grandfather, holding Maura Grace, and Florence Sutton great-grandmother, holding Bronagh Li.”

I suspect that Florence should be listed as the 2nd great-grandmother, as that would make her the fifth generation in the picture.

So, there you have it. No double exposure photos, just some sets of twins in the family tree for seeing double.

The concept behind these weekly Saturday posts can be found at Sepia Saturday Intro.
Theme taken from Sepia Saturday photo (originally #304, 07 Nov 2015): Seeing Double


[1] J. Percy Crayon, “The Day Family,” Rockaway Records of Morris County, N.J. Families (Rockaway, NJ:  Rockaway Publishing Co., 1902), 281-285.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Donald R. Repsher, Repsher Origins (Knoxville, Tennessee: Scribes Valley Publishing Company, 2004), 110.
[4] J. Percy Crayon, “The Pollison Family,” 152-153.
[5] 1850 U. S. census, Passaic County, New Jersey, population schedule, West Milford, p. 169 (stamped), dwelling 168, family 168, Abraham Kimble; digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 20 November 2011); citing NARA microfilm publication M432, roll 461.
[6] J. Percy Crayon, “The Pollison Family,” 152-153.
[7] J. Percy Crayon, “The Day Family,” 281-285.
[8] J. Percy Crayon, “The Kimble Family,” 139-140.
[9] 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. 114.
[10] Anna (Karthaeuser) Repsher, compiler, p. 132.
[11] “Robert M. Predmore,” obituary, Morning Call, 07 June 2003, online obituaries (www.legacy.com/NS/ : accessed 07 September 2013).
[12] “Keith E. Repsher,” obituary, Times Leader, 31 May 2013, online obituaries (www.legacy.com/NS/ : accessed 28 July 2013).
[13] Ibid.
[14] “Seeing Double,” article, Sussex County Independent, 02 April 1959.
[15] “Five generations,” article, New Jersey Herald, May 2005.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #38 – Daniel Bonser

Relationship: 3rd Great-grandfather
Screen Shot 2015-03-29 at 2.25.42 PM

This post begins with some of my great-grandmother Anna (Karthaeuser) Repsher’s family records.


According to this handwritten sheet, Daniel (I will discuss the fact that I have Daniel as his name where this has James a bit later) was the second husband of Emmaline whose first husband was John Heckman.

Emmaline and John had four children with Heckman as a surname:

  1. John
  2. Joseph
  3. Sally
  4. Lydia

Emmaline then married Daniel and they had four children with Bonser as a surname:

  1. Caroline (my 2nd great-grandmother: wp.me/p4WHi0-4Y)
  2. James
  3. Lewis
  4. Anna

Don’t be fooled by the handwriting (shown above), James Bonser’s middle name was not Bachelor, that just means he was never married!

I started my search for James by working backwards from my 2nd great-grandmother, Caroline. During previous research, I had found her in the 1860 U.S. Census[1] as a 2-year-old with parents Daniel (37) and Emmeline (35). Caroline’s siblings were Joseph (7) and Sally (5). The family is residing in Tunkhannock, Monroe County, Pennsylvania.

Screen Shot 2015-10-03 at 2.23.34 PM

Emmline’s children, John and Lydia, by her husband John are not listed. Perhaps her son John was old enough to be employed on someone else’s farm by this time or perhaps both John and Lydia were deceased before 1860.

There is a disconnect with her father’s name of James really being Daniel. However, all the other family members fit nicely with the handwritten sheet pictured above so I believe the name James was an error. Also, this particular handwritten sheet is not in the same format as the other family group sheets.

Searching for the family in the 1870 census finds them living in Jackson, Monroe County, Pennsylvania. In the household are Daniel (45) and Emmaline (40) along with children Caroline(12), Anne (9), Malinda (7), Lewis (4) and 1/2 sister Sally who is listed with the surname of Heckman (15).[2] That means Caroline, Anna and Lewis match the above information about the second marriage but Malinda does not. Also, James is not listed.

Screen Shot 2015-10-03 at 2.05.48 PM

The 1880 census finds the family living back in Tunkhannock. Daniel (54) and wife Emmaline (50) are listed with two sons, Lewis (14) and James (9). No other children are present.[3]

Screen Shot 2015-10-03 at 2.54.50 PM

As a recap, we now have the following children/stepchildren listed in census information associated with Daniel and Emmaline:

  1. Joseph
  2. Sally
  3. Caroline
  4. Anne
  5. Malinda
  6. Lewis
  7. James

Comparing the censuses with the handwritten list of eight yields the following discrepancies:

  • John Heckman was on the list but never found in a census
  • Lydia Heckman was on the list but never found in a census
  • Malinda Bonser was not on the list but found in a census

Since there are no population schedules (lost in a fire) for the 1890 census, Daniel is not found in the next census in 1900 but Emmaline (70) was found as a widowed mother-in-law. She is living with her daughter, Ann, in the Newhart household with plenty of children surrounding them.[4] This would mean the Daniel died between 1880 and 1900.

Interestingly, Emmaline has listed on the 1900 census that she has had eleven children, six of whom are still living in 1900. Since I have seven (Joseph, Sally, Caroline, Anna, Malinda, Lewis and James) identified from the census information and two (John and Lydia) more from the handwritten sheet, there are still two more children to discover.

Writing this particular post shows me that I have some significant research tasks to perform relating to Daniel. My research on him is limited to census information and some family records. There are other sources I need to explore to fill in some of the blanks for him, all along the hatched, matched, and dispatched line!

  • Find a birth record
  • Find Daniel’s parents
  • Find a marriage certificate for Daniel and Emmaline
  • Find an obituary
  • Find Daniel and Emmaline’s grave marker
  • Find a death certificate

[1] 1860 U. S. census, Monroe County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Tunkhannock Township, p. 147 (penned), dwelling 887, family 942, Daniel Bonser; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 25 June 2006); citing NARA microfilm publication M653, roll 1142.
[2] 1870 U. S. census, Monroe County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Jackson, p. 8 (penned), dwelling 49, family 55, Daniel Bonser; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 June 2015); citing NARA microfilm publication M593, roll 1376.
[3] 1880 U. S. census, Monroe County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Tunkhannock, ED 229, p. 421 (stamped), dwelling 39, family 45, Daniel Bonser; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 03 October 2015); citing NARA microfilm publication T9, roll 1157.
[4] 1900 U. S. census, Monroe County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Lower Towamensing, ED 11, p. 14B (penned), dwelling 279, family 300, Jacob Newhart; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 03 October 2015); citing NARA microfilm publication T623, roll 1390.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #23 – Caroline (Bonser) Repsher

Relationship: 2nd Great-grandmother
Screen Shot 2015-03-29 at 1.58.07 PM

Since I talked about John Joseph Repsher (http://wp.me/p4WHi0-4W) last week, it only seems fitting to talk about his wife Caroline Bonser this week. Like many of the woman who appear as early ancestors in my tree, the information about her is sparse as a fully developed person and she is defined quite a lot by her husband and family.

Like her husband, Caroline Bonser was born in the rural hills of eastern Pennsylvania. She was born on 23 April 1858 in Pocono Lake, Monroe County, Pennsylvania, to parents Daniel Bonser and his wife Emmaline.[1]

There are alternative birth dates for Caroline though. Working back from the death death on her death certificate, 69 years 6 months and 22 days puts her birthdate as 22 April 1857.  The death certificate lists the actual date as April 21, 1857.[2] Family records lists her birthdate as 23 April 1858.

According to family group sheet records prepared by Caroline’s daughter-in-law, Anna (Karthaeuser) Repsher, Caroline’s mother Emmaline was married twice.

  1. Emmaline’s first husband’s name was John Heckman and they had four children together. The children from the first marriage were John, Joseph, Sally and Lydia.
  2. Emmaline’s second husband was Daniel (note: the family records listed in the citation below have him as James) Bonser and they also had four children together. The children from the second marriage were Caroline, James (a bachelor who died in 1911), Lewis and Anna.[3]

There are some discrepancies when comparing this information to U.S. Census records.

Caroline was first found in the 1860 U.S. Census with parents Daniel and Emmaline Bonser.[4] She was 2 years old and her 1/2 brother Joseph (7) and 1/2 sister Sally (5) were listed before her. There was no listing for either John or Lydia.

Next, the Bonser family was found in the 1870 U.S. census. In the household are Daniel (45) and Emmaline (40) along with children Caroline(12), Anne (9), Malinda (7), Lewis (4) and 1/2 sister Sally Heckman (15).[5] That means Caroline, Anna and Lewis match the above information about the second marriage but Malinda does not. Could this be Lydia and she was incorrectly identified as a child of the first marriage? More information would be needed to make this assumption. Also, James was no where to be found.

About five years after the 1870 census, Caroline (now 17 or 18 years old) sets up her own household when she marries John Joseph Repsher around 1875/76. They have a large family, 14 children in all with twelve surviving to adulthood and two stillborn children. (A complete listing of the children is in her husband John’s biography, just click on the link above.) Having a large family means that Caroline was pregnant or nursing from February 1876 to late 1901, a span of 25 years!

She was a housewife and as far as I can tell never worked outside the home. Taking care of the family was more than enough to keep her busy, I’m sure.

Caroline’s death certificate showed that she died on 13 November 1926 of a cerebral hemorrhage.[6] She was laid to rest next to her husband, John Joseph Repsher, in the Analomink United Methodist Churchyard on 17 November 1926.[7]

REPSHER John J and Caroline - Find a Grave

John J. and Caroline B. Repsher’s grave marker, Find-A-Grave memorial #18041315


[1]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. 2; privately held by blog author, Tucson, AZ, 2015.
[2] Pennsylvania Department of Health, death certificate file no. 111239 (1926), Caroline Repsher; Division of Vital Statistics, New Castle.
[3] Anna (Karthaeuser) Repsher, compiler, p. 196.
[4] 1860 U. S. census, Monroe County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Tunkhannock Township, p. 147 (penned), dwelling 887, family 942, Daniel Bonser; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 25 June 2006); citing NARA microfilm publication M653, roll 1142.
[5] 1870 U. S. census, Monroe County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Jackson, p. 8 (penned), dwelling 49, family 55, Daniel Bonser; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 June 2015); citing NARA microfilm publication M593, roll 1376.
[6] Pennsylvania Department of Health, death certificate file no. 111239 (1926), Caroline Repsher; Division of Vital Statistics, New Castle.
[7] Tipton, Jim, compiler, “Analomink United Methodist Churchyard,” digital image, Find A Grave (http://www.findagrave.com : accessed 29 June 2013), entry for Caroline B. Repsher, memorial #18041315.