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.


Sunday’s Obituary – Donald G. Repsher – Died 07-May-2010

Relationship to me: 2nd cousin, 1x removed

I found this obituary online at It was also published in the Orlando Sentinel on May 12, 2010. It’s a very short obituary but it does have a picture of him. I randomly picked the people for each week but this one happens to be on May 7th for a death on May 7th, 7 years ago.


REPSHER, DONALD G., 80, of Orlando passed away Friday, May 7, 2010. Born in Pennsylvania, he moved to Orlando from New Jersey in 1977. Don retired from Disney after 17 years. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Alice and daughter, Sandy (Joe) Lyons. A celebration of life will be held May 21, from 6-8 p.m. at Pine Castle Womens Club, 6901 S. Orange Ave., Orlando, FL 32809. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Kindness for Cats, P.O. Box 533632, Orlando, FL 32853.

52 Documents in 52 Weeks #18 – John Joseph Repsher’s 1880 Census

Person of Interest: John Joseph Repsher
Relationship: Paternal 2nd great grandfather

Source Citation: 1880 U. S. census, Monroe County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Jackson Corner, ED 220, p. 5 (penned), p. 290 (stamped) dwelling 36, family 40, John Repsher; digital image, ( : accessed 25 April 2017); citing NARA microfilm publication T9, roll 1157.

Document Description: These documents are part of the Tenth Census of the United States which was taken in 1880. It is the tenth 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.  The U.S. Census Bureau provides the interested researcher a great overview of each census. In the 1880 overview, we find that Rutherford B. Hayes was president, that the act authorizing the 1880 census gave supervision of the enumeration to a body of officers, known as supervisors of the census, who were specifically chosen for work on the census, that the superintendent of the census and all supervisors were to be presidential appointees and were subject to Senate confirmation and that the terms of both were to expire when the census results were compiled and published.

According to the 1880 overview site, the details of the enumeration were this:

“Each supervisor was responsible for recommending the organization of his district for enumeration, choosing enumerators for the district and supervising their work, reviewing and transmitting the returns from the enumerators to the central census office, and overseeing the compensation for enumerators in each district.

“The census act required each enumerator ‘to visit personally each dwelling house in his sub-division, and each family therein, and each individual living out of a family in any place of abode, and by inquiry made of the head of such family, or of the member there of deemed most credible and worthy of trust, or of such individual living out of a family, to obtain each and every item of information and all the particulars.’ In case no one was available at a family’s usual place of abode, the enumerator was directed by the law ‘to obtain the required information, as nearly as may be practicable, from the family or families, or person or persons, living nearest to such place of abode.’

“The census act also provided for the collection of detailed data on the condition and operation of railroad corporations, incorporated express companies, and telegraph companies, and of life, fire, and marine insurance companies (using Schedule No.4 – Social Statistics). Fines were to be imposed on officials of ‘every corporation…who shall…willfully neglect or refuse to give true and complete answers to any inquiries authorized by this act.’

“In addition, the superintendent of census was required to collect and publish statistics of the population, industries, and resources of Alaska, with as much detail as was practical. An enumeration was also made of all untaxed Indians within the jurisdiction of the United States.

“The 1880 decennial census was taken on five schedules: Population, Mortality, Agriculture, Social Statistics, and Manufacturing.”

Both (fee site) and (free) offers digitized copies of the census and are searchable by name. The History and Growth of the United States Census: 1790 – 1890 was a document prepared for the Senate Committee on the Census in 1900 and as written by Carroll D. Wright, the Commissioner of Labor, and William C. Hunt, Chief Statistician of the 12th census. If you’re into statistics or reading up on the historical background of the censuses, this is a great document to dig into.

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

Notes found either at the top or the bottom of the schedule
Note A. – The Census Year  begins June 1, 1879 and ends May 31, 1880
Note B. – All persons will be included in the Enumeration who were living on the 1st day of June, 1880. No others will. children BORN SINCE June 1, 1880, will be OMITTED. Members of Families who have DIED SINCE June 1, 1880, will be INCLUDED
Note C. – Questions Nos. 13, 14, 22 and 23 are not to be asked in respect to persons under 10 years of age.
Note D. – In making entries in columns 9, 10, 11, 12, 16 to 23, an affirmative mark only will be used-thus /., except in the case of divorced persons, column 11, when the letter “D” is to be used.
Note E. – Question No. 12 will only be asked in cases where an affirmative answer has been given to either question 10 or to question 11.
Note F. – Question No. 14 will only be asked in cases when a gainful occupation has been reported in column 13.
Note G. – In column 7 an abbreviation in the name of the month may be used, as Jan., Apr., Dec.

Page 5 Header
State: Pennsylvania; County: Monroe; Inhabitants in: Jackson Corners; S.D. No.: 5; E.D. No.: 220; Enumerated by me on the 10th day of June 1880; Enumerator: Thomas D. Metzgar; penned Page No.: 5; stamped Page No.: 290.

Page 5 Detail
lines 24-27, John, Caroline, Emma and Mary E. [respectively with ; between]

Place of Abode
Street Name: [blank]
House Number: [blank]
1. Dwelling number in order of visitation: 36
2. Family number in order of visitation: 40

Household Data
3. Name: Repsher John; —- Caroline; —- Emma; —- Mary E.
4. Color: W; W; W; W
5. Sex: M; F; F; F
6. Age at last birthday prior to 01 June 1880: 25; 23; 3; 1
7. If born within census year, month of birth: [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]
8. Relationship to head of household: [blank]; wife, daughter, daughter

Civil Condition
9. Single: [blank]; [blank]; /; /
10. Married: /; /; [blank]; [blank]
11. Widowed, Divorced d.: [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]
12. Married during census year:  [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]

13. Profession, occupation or trade: Laborer; keeping house; [blank]; [blank]
14. Number of month unemployed during census year: [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]

15. Is person sick or incapacitated on the day of the enumeration: [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]
16. Blind: [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]
17. Deaf and Dumb: [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]
18. Idiotic: [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]
19: Insane: [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]
20. Maimed, crippled, bedridden or otherwise disabled: [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]

21. Attend school within the census year:  [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]
22. Cannot read: [blank]; [blank]; /; /
23. Cannot write: [blank]; [blank]; /; /

24. Place of birth: Pa; ‘”; “; ”
25. Place of birth of father: Pa; ‘”; “; ”
26. Place of birth of mother: Pa; ‘”; “; “

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:

On 01 June 1880, John Repsher (25) was living with his wife Caroline (23) and two young daughters, Emma (3) and Mary E. (1). The family was living in Jackson Corners, Monroe County, Pennsyvlania, when Thomas D. Metzgar arrived to enumerator them on 10 June 1880. Mr. Metzgar was working in his Supervisor’s District of 5 which oversaw Enumeration District 220. In order of visitation, the family was labeled as living in dwelling #37 and as family #40.

John was working as a laborer and Caroline was keeping house. John and Caroline were listed as married and their two daughters as single. All were listed as being born in Pennsylvania as were each of the individuals’ parents. The family was healthy in that none of the columns for blindness, deaf and dumbness, idiocy, insanity, or disability were checked. The census indicated that both John and Caroline could read and write.

This is a fairly straightforward census with John and Caroline just beginning what would evenutally turn out to be 14-child family. The 1880 census tells the reader the specific relationships within the family group, so no guessing is necessary. Nothing pops out as being odd with this family. However, it doesn’t hurt to go look at the enumerator instructions to see how things were to be reported. The IPUMS, which stands for the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series, website has a handy place to look up all enumerator instructions for the 1880 census. Some of the instructions found there include:

  • The word family, for the purposes of the census, includes persons living alone, as previously described, equally with families in the ordinary sense of that term, and also all larger aggregations of people having only the tie of a common roof and table. A hotel, with all its inmates, constitutes but one family within the meaning of this term. A hospital, a prison, an asylum is equally a family for the purposes of the census. On the other hand, the solitary inmate of a cabin, a loft, or a room finished off above a store constitutes a family in the meaning of the census act. In the case, however, of tenement houses and of the so-called “fiats” of the great cities, as many families are to be recorded as there are separate tables.
  • It is desirable that the children of the family proper should follow in the order of their ages, as will naturally be the case.
  • Color.-It must not be assumed that, where nothing is written in this column, “white” is to be understood. The column is always to be filled. Be particularly careful in reporting the class mulatto. The word is here generic, and includes quadroons, octoroons, and all persons having any perceptible trace of African blood. Important scientific results depend upon the correct determination of this class in schedules 1 and 5.
  • The term “housekeeper” will be reserved for such persons as receive distinct wages or salary for the service. Women keeping house for their own families or for themselves, without any other gainful occupation, will be entered as “keeping house.” Grown daughters assisting them will be reported without occupation.
  • The organization of domestic service has not proceeded so far in this country as to render it worth while to make distinctions in the character of work. Report all as “domestic servants.”
  • Regarding occupation, use the word “huckster” in all cases where it applies. [Huckster is defined as a person who sells small items, either door-to-door or from a stall or small store and of which the goods may be of questionable value.]


Nothing unusual or questionable popped out at me in the analysis of this 1880 census for John and Caroline Repsher. I did find them with their two eldest daughters, Emma and Mary E., and this corroborates other family history information. It is interesting that all the health questions were included but the family seems to be healthy. I think the enumerator instructions were more entertaining this time than the analysis!

52 Documents in 52 Weeks #16 – Henry Allen Repsher’s Gravemarker

Person of Interest: Henry “Hank” Allen Repsher and Eleanore (Purvis) Repsher
Relationship: Paternal grand uncle and wife (Hank and my grandmother Bea were brother and sister)

Source Citation: Phoenix Memorial Park and Mortuary (200 W Beardsley Rd, Phoenix, Arizona), Henry A. and Eleanore B. Repsher grave marker; photographs taken by Jodi Lynn Strait, 24 April 2017.

Hank and Eleanore are located in Section 30B of the cemetery.

Document Description: Okay, this really isn’t a document; I’m using document here in the loose sense of the word. This is an artifact that marks the grave location of Henry Allen Repsher and his wife Eleanore Betty Purvis. Find A Grave does have a photo of the grave marker but I decided to go take a look myself and I was so glad that I did. Henry and Eleanore’s marker consists of an 24 x 24 inch slab of marble with a slightly smaller bronze plaque attached to it. The Repsher family name and given names are cast into the plaque but then dates are screwed onto the plaque to allow appropriate dates, if need be, to be attached. What you don’t get from Find A Grave is that their son Thomas Repsher is buried right next to them! That was a nice surprise to find Tommy there with his parents. Or that they are buried in section 30B in one of the Garden of Rests. Or that they are all buried under a nice evergreen tree when the rest of the cemetery is fairly open with little foliage.

Hank, Eleanore, and Tommy are all under this tree. The marker in the foreground on the left (grave markers are facing towards the base of the tree) belongs to Hank and Eleanore and the Tommy’s is the second from the left in the foreground. They are all cremated based on the information provided by a nice young man named Spencer who was the cemetery employee who showed me to their grave sites.

Thomas Repsher’s grave marker next to his parents.

Background information on the cemetery: This is a fairly young cemetery with the first interment occurring in 1964. It is laid out in a grid pattern and the cemetery has an additional 30 acres to expand into. According to Spencer (the employee mentioned above who was nice enough to chat with me about the cemetery), there is no way to know who is buried vs cremated based solely on the size of the plots. In other words, some regular sized plots may have a casket, may have an urn with cremations, or may have both. It is a park cemetery meaning that most of the grave markers are flush to the ground. However, there is a an eclectic mix of ground-level markers (many with upright 1-foot tall flower holders), upright headstones, full-length grave covers, some homemade memorials, family burial plots, free-standing community (meaning they aren’t dedicated to just one particular family) mausoleums, benches, fountains, and sculptures. I’ve included some of the more interesting ones here for you to get a sense of the cemetery.

A larger upright headstone for the Skornik family.

An upright headstone, full-length marble grave cover with a long, poignent letter to the deceased engraved on it, and decorations.

From ashes, arises the phoenix….

A wooden marker…

One outside wall of one of the mausoleums.

James Stephen DeWit got some pretty descriptive stuff written on his full-length grave marker. Apparently, he was born on the dining room table and eventually died at his own dining room table.

The full-length grave cover for James Stephen DeWit

And since he loved to fly, the family placed an airplane shaped bench at the foot of his marker so that visitors could sit and chat with him.

The airplane-shaped DeWit bench

And perhaps the most heart-wrenching gravesite in the whole cemetery was this one:

The Montez family

All four individuals perished on the very same day ranging in age from 36 to 14 to 7 to 3 years old. Some sort of awful tragedy befell this family on 26 July 2014.

Document Scan/Transcription:
Henry A.
1920 – 1995
Eleanore B.
1917 – 1987

Analysis: Analysis surrounding this grave marker is sparse. There are no symbols to interpret since the bronze plaques on the graves around Hank and Eleanore also have the same ivy pattern. There are no embellishments to give us clues to their religious affiliations, hobbies, exact birth or death dates, or marriage date. In fact, it shouldn’t be inferred from Henry and Eleanore being on the same plaque, that they were married. More evidence is needed before that can be concluded. Other sources have told me that Tommy was their son but no such inference can be made based solely on the grave markers contiguous location to each other.

The grave marker is an original source. The death years should be considered primary (firsthand) since the cemetery is the one who buried them and they would know what death year to attach to the plaque. The birth years are secondary (hearsay) in nature since neither Hank nor Eleanore would remember their own births but they would know based on what others told them. The evidence is direct (explicit) if the research question is, “What was Hank Repsher’s birth year and death year?” but indirect (not explicit) if the research question is, “What is Hank Repsher’s birth date and death date?”


While online sites like Find A Grave and BillionGraves are certainly handy for supplementing your family history while sitting at home, there is nothing like a trip to the actual cemetery. I unexpectedly found Tommy next to his parents, got a feel for where they are all buried, learned what section they’re buried in, and some useful information about the cemetery itself.

52 Documents in 52 Weeks #15 – Susanna Repsher’s Affidavit

Person of Interest: Susanna (Williams) Repsher
Relationship: 3rd great-grandmother

Source Citation:  Widow’s affidavit, 21 February 1907, Susanna Repsher, widow’s pension certificate no. 632, 252; service of Jacob Repsher (Pvt., Co. I, 147th Pa. Inf., Civil War); Case Files of Approved Pension Applications…, 1861-1934; Civil War and Later Pension Files; Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

courtroom_1_smDocument Description: This affidavit (a written statement confirmed by oath or affirmation, for use as evidence in court) is one of many different documents found in Jacob’s Civil War pension file. It is on legal size paper and has a mixture of pre-printed, typed, and handwritten items on it. Susanna made her affidavit on 21 February 1907 at Bartsonville, Monroe County, Pennsylvania. The pension office dated it as received on 25 February 1907. It also has the signatures of two persons as witnesses. It does have one area that is covered by another piece of paper but that does not seem to be obscuring any wording.

susannaaffidavit001Document Scan and Transcription: CLAIMANT’S AFFIDAVIT
Filed by Taber & Whitman Co., Attorneys, Washington, D.C.
Act of June 27, 1890
Widow No. 862970
Jacob Repsher
Co. I 147 Pa
State of Pennsylvania
County of Monroe } s. s.

In the matter of the above described claim for pension, personally appeared before me a Justice of the Peace in and for the said County and State, Susanna Repsher age 70 years, whose P.O. address is Bartonsville, County of Monroe, State of Pa, who being by me first duly sworn according to law declares that she is the claimant in the said claim and that neither she nor the said Jacob Repsher were married prior to their intermarriage in 1851, that no person is legally bound for her support, that all the property she has consists of nothing more than her legal rights in her husband’s estate which consists of a lot of land about one acre with an old house & staple thereon and the same is covered with Judgement and mortgage for all that it is worth, there are a few old household goods, she says that she has nothing in her right, and no life insurance but a will was found and all the property was bequeathed to her but after payment of all the debts and expenses there won’t be anything left for her and she has no income of any kind and is unable to do any work.

That as to any will or life insurance.

Susanna X Repsher, her mark. (Signature of claimant.)

  1. Samuel P. Repsher
  2. Sallie A. Repsher    (Signature of two persons who can write if claimant signs by X mark)

Sworn and subscribed to before me this 21 day of Feb 1907 and I hereby certify that the contents of this affidavit were fully made known to affiant before swearing thereto, and that I have no interest, direct, or indirect, in the prosecution of this claim.

Amandus Possinger (Signature of magistrate)
Justice of the Peace (Official character of officer.)

If you have and official Seal impress it here. [Nothing here]

Analysis: This is a statement about the financial status of Susanna Repsher, widow of Jacob Repsher who served in Co. I of the 147th Pennsylvania regiment. She was trying to stress to the pension office the necessity of receiving the pension. She swears that she had no one legally obligated to care for her, that the little real property that she owned was not worth anything because there was a judgement and a mortgage held against it, that there were no household goods that could be sold to contribute to her upkeep, and that there was no life insurance for her to fall back on. In other words, she’s poor, broke and in need of a pension.

Susanna was not a literate woman. She had to sign the affidavit with an “X.” Her mark was not distinctive; it was just a simple x with no embellishments or curlicues. Because she signed the affidavit this way, she was required to have two persons who could write witness her statement. Those two witnesses were Samuel P. and Sallie A. Repsher. Although I know these to be two of her children from other evidence, their relationship to Susanna was not delineated in this affidavit.

There are a few genealogical tidbits to be found in this affidavit.

  • Susanna was 70 years old on 21 February 1907 which puts her estimated birth year around 1837
  • She was married to Jacob Repsher in 1851
  • Neither she nor Jacob were previously married
  • She had a bit of real property, one acre with an old house
  • In 1907, she was living in Bartonsville, Monroe County, Pennsylvania
  • Jacob passed away before 21 February 1907
  • Jacob died testate

screen-shot-2016-11-18-at-6-10-01-pmWhat can I do with these tidbits? Dig some more! This affidavit provides plenty of clues or direction on what to look for next. First, I would comb through the rest of the file to glean what I could from it. But let’s say this is the only document I had to work from. I would start looking for a marriage record between Jacob Repsher and Susanna in 1851 in Pennsylvania, I would look at the probate records at the Monroe County, Pennsylvania, since Jacob died with a will, and I would look for legal notices about judgements/mortgages on Jacob’s property. Looking for a birth record for Susanna would have to wait a bit since I’ve only got an approximate year, no maiden name, and no indication that she was born in Pennsylvania. One thing I love about genealogy is that it’s never-ending. There’s always some where else to look, a new stone to overturn.

This is an original source record since it’s a straight copy of the document found in the pension file. The affidavit was created for the Civil War pension board at the time of Susanna’s claim. The affidavit has lots of good primary information and we know that Susanna is the informant because it’s her sworn statement. First-hand information would be Susanna’s marriage to Jacob in 1851 (she was present), her age (she’s aware of the passing of years for herself), her address (she knows where she lives), the existence of Jacob’s will (she knows it was found and that she was the beneficiary), and her financial status (she knows how much she’s struggling).

The evidence is either direct or indirect based on the format of the research questions take. For example, it is direct if the question is “What year was Susanna married to Jacob Repsher, Civil War veteran from Pennsylvania?” That would be 1851 which explicitly answers that question. It is indirect if the question is “What is the marriage date for Susanna married to Jacob Repsher, Civil War veteran from Pennsylvania?” That would be unknown except for the year. We would need to combine it with other evidence in order to find the full marriage date for this couple.


Susanna Repsher was in some financial distress in early 1907 when she applied for a Civil War pension based on her deceased husband’s military service. She sat down with Amandus* Possinger, a Justice of the Peace, who verified that Susanna swore to the statements she made in the affidavit, in order to make some statements about her age, address, and financial status. Her children accompanied her to office in order to witness her statement since she wasn’t literate enough to sign her own name.

* I’d never heard of this name for a man before so I looked it up. It is derived from Latin amanda meaning “lovable, worthy of love”. Saint Amandus was a 5th-century bishop of Bordeaux. It was also borne by a 7th-century French saint who evangelized in Flanders.

Sunday’s Obituary – Anna Marie (Karthaeuser) Repsher – Died 23-September-1970

Relationship to me: paternal great-grandmother

I have a couple of undated, unsourced obituaries for Anna K. Repsher, one is most likely from the Newark Star-Ledger and the other from the New Jersey Herald. Both were clippings in Beatrice’s collection which I inherited.


“Mrs. G.A. Repsher Of Stanhope, 81” – Stanhope – Mrs. Anna M. Repsher of 19 Hill Road, widow of George A. Repsher, died Wednesday in Dover General Hospital. She was 81.

Mrs. Repsher was born in Port Richmond, N.Y., and had lived her 58 years.

She had retired as an employee [sic] of Dover General Handbag Co., Netcong. Mrs. Repsher was a life member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Musconetcong Post American Legion of Stanhope, the Ladies Auxiliary of the Stanhope Fire Department and the Ladies Auxiliary of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Lakeland Post of Netcong. She was also a member of the Legion of Mary of St. Michael’s Church, Netcong.  She leaves four sons, G. Arthur of Morristown, and Adam O., Robert W. and Henry A., of Stanhope; two daughters, Mrs. Beatrice Strait of Newton and Mrs. Helen Struss of Stanhope; a brother, Charles Karthaeuser of Stirling, and 21 grandchildren and 11 great great-grandchildren.

The funeral will be tomorrow from the Pichi Funeral Home, Main Street, with a Mass at the church.


“Mrs. George A. Repsher” – Mrs. Anna M. Repsher of 19 Hill Road, Stanhope, died yesterday at Dover General Hospital.  Born in Port Richmond, Staten Island, N.Y., she was 81.

The widow of George A. Repsher, she was a retired operator for the Dover Handbag Co., Stanhope. She had lived in Stanhope for the past 58 years.

She was a lifetime member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the American Legion, Musconetcong Post 278, a member of the ladies auxiliary of the Stanhope Fire Department, the Ladies Auxiliary of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Lakeland Post 2347, Netcong, and the Legion of Mary, St. Michael Roman Catholic Church, Netcong.

Mrs. Repsher is survived by four sons, G. Arthur of Morristown, Adam O., Robert W. and Harry A., all of Stanhope; two daughters, Mrs. Beatrice Strait of Newton and Mrs. Helen Struss of Stanhope; one brother, Charles Karthaeuser of Sterling, 21 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

Services will be 9:15 a.m. Saturday from the Pichi Funeral Home, Stanhope, to the St. Michael Roman Catholic Church fo [sic] a 10 a.m. requiem mass.

For an interesting story on the “brother” Charles Karthaeuser please see me post here.

52 Documents in 52 Weeks #14 – Samuel Stanley Repsher’s Obituary

Person of Interest: Samuel Stanley Repsher Sr.
Relationship: 1st cousin 4x removed (grandson of John J. Repsher, my paternal 4th great grandfather)

Source Citation: “Samuel Repsher, contractor, dies,” obituary, Morning Call (Allentown, Pennsylvania), 27 March 1938, p. 18, col. 6; image copy, ( : accessed 09 April 2017), Historical Newspapers Collection.

Document Description: This is the obituary for Samuel Stanley Repsher that originally ran in the Morning Call (an Allentown, Pennsylvania, newspaper) on 27 March 1938. While this is a digital copy and clipped from the page that it appeared on, it has not been altered. The entire page has been digitized and resides at, a pay website, that specializes in old historical newspapers.

Document Scan/Transcription: 

Samuel Repsher, Contractor, Dies

Samuel Repsher, 75, Bethlehem businessman, contractor and builder, died at 7:40 p.m. Saturday at the late home, 112 W. Fairview St., Bethlehem. He had been ailing for the past 15 years.

He was born Sept. 21, 1862, in Freemansburg, Pa., a son of the late Joseph Repsher and Matilda Buss Repsher. His father served in the Civil War and was killed in the battle of Cedar Creek.

During his active career as a contractor he built 75 houses and 22 garages in Bethlehem and vicinity. He resided in Bethlehem for the past 60 years and was engaged in addition to being a contractor, in the real estate, coal, meat and hauling business.

In addition to erecting many dwelling throughout the city, Mr. Repsher also razed many buildings in the city during the building boom.

A brother, William H. Repsher, also a contractor and one sister Matilda Kratzer and three children preceded him in death, Elizabeth, Herbert Henry and Paul George.

Survivors are his wife, Caroline Bartlieb, Kunkletown, whom he married 55 years ago and the following 13 children:

Samuel Stanley Jr., Honesdale; Raymond Robert, Arthur Layton, Chicago; Roy Russell, Chapman’s Quarries; Mrs. Clarence Dieter, Bethlehem; Charles Roland, at home; Mrs. Walter Fink, Bethlehem; Joseph Peter, Baltimore; Mrs. Harry Bader, Earl Edward, Bethlehem; Mrs. Carl Robinson, Mrs. George Grube, Calvin Repsher, Bethlehem.

Funeral services will be held on Wednesday at 2 p.m. Entombment will take place in Memorial Park mausoleum.

Analysis: I picked this recently found obituary for a few reasons.

First, highlights how prolific the Repshers truly are with a listing of 16 children for Samuel and Caroline (Bartlieb) Repsher. Samuel wasn’t the only one with a large family. Samuel’s grandfather John Joseph had 11 children, his uncle Jacob Henry had 14 children, his first cousin John Joseph had 14 children, and his first cousin Emanuel James had 10 children.

Second, it a great example of all the different types of information found within an obituary. All of these bits of information provide opportunities to research and order more records related to the family.

  • Military: Samuel’s father, Joseph Repsher, fought in the Civil War and was killed in the battle of Cedar Creek.
  • Occupation: Samuel’s occupation was a contractor and builder but he also had his fingers in real estate, coal, meat and hauling businesses.
  • Medical: Samuel had been ailing for 15 years.
  • Economic: Bethlehem experienced a building boom.
  • Sibling’s occupation: Samuel’s brother William H. Repsher was also a contractor.
  • Residence: Samuel lived at 112 Fairview Street in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
  • Parentage: Samuel’s parents names were Joseph and Matilda (Buss) Repsher.
  • Birth date and place: Samuel was born 21 September 1862 in Freemansburg, Pennsylvania.
  • Marriage date: Samuel was married in 1883 to Caroline Bartlieb.
  • Residence of children: Arthur Layton lived in Chicago, Joseph Peter had moved to Baltimore, Samuel Jr. lived in Honesdale, etc.
  • Burial: Samuel was interred in the Memorial Park mausoleum.

Third, it provides a good lesson in analyzing the names found within an obituary. Based on the information on the obituary, some basic family groups can be constructed:

Joseph Repsher and Matilda Buss had the following children:

  1. William H. (died before 1938)
  2. Matilda (died before 1938 and was married to someone named Kratzer)
  3. Samuel

Joseph and Matilda’s son Samuel married Caroline Bartlieb and had the following children:

  1. Elizabeth (died before 1938)
  2. Herbert Henry (died before 1938)
  3. Paul George (died before 1938)
  4. Samuel Stanley
  5. Raymond Robert
  6. Arthur Layton
  7. Roy Russell
  8. _________ (daughter who married Clarence Dieter)
  9. Charles Roland
  10. _________ (daughter who married Walter Fink)
  11. Joseph Peter
  12. _________ (daughter who married Harry Bader)
  13. Earl Edward
  14. _________ (daughter who married Carl Robinson)
  15. _________ (daughter who married Charles Grube)
  16. Calvin

A good researcher would not assume, however, that Joseph and Matilda only had three children. Samuel may have had other brothers and/or sisters, they just weren’t listed as survivors in this obituary. Most likely Samuel’s daughter Elizabeth died young and was not married as she is not listed under a husband’s name like her four surviving sisters. It is unfortunate that the common custom of listing a daughter under the husband’s full name was followed in this obituary; we don’t even get their first names. However, the full name of each husband does allow for some solid stepping stones for locating the names of the daughters and their marriage information.

This is an original source in that it’s just a straight scan of a newspaper page hosted on a pay website. Since it doesn’t look to be altered, it can be considered the same as if I had examined the newspaper in person.

The information found in this source is mostly secondary. The small pieces of primary information are Samuel’s death date, his funeral service and his burial place in that it was reported to the newspaper very close to the time it happened. Everything else is secondary in that it is hearsay and the newspaper is relying on what was provided to them about marriages, names, residences, etc.

The evidence is a mixed bag of direct and indirect depending on the research question asked. For example, direct evidence is found when asking “When and where was Samuel Repsher, of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, born?” The direct answer is “21 September 1862 in Freemansburg, Pa.” No other evidence is needed to answer the question. Now, don’t get that confused with correctness. This evidence could be totally wrong. Other sources must be consulted before it can be conclusively stated that there is enough proof that Samuel was born on this day. Another example of direct evidence is found when asking “What was Samuel Repsher, of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, wife’s maiden name?” The question can be directly answered as “Caroline Bartlieb.” An example of indirect evidences is found when asking the question, “What was the first name of the daughter, married to Walter Fink, of Samuel Repsher of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania?” This obituary cannot answer this question directly. Some other source (marriage certificate, marriage announcement, etc.) must be found related to her first name.


This is a particularly robust obituary in that it tells the reader exactly when Samuel was born, the names of his parents including his mother’s maiden name, details about his father’s military service, children, wife’s maiden name and residences of many of the people listed. It was well worth digging up in order to flesh out Samuel’s family group.