Tuesday, September 23, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks = Week #38; John Franklin Wolf; Stone Mason

This prompt comes from Amy Johnson Crow at her blog, No Story Too Small. She suggests we write once a week about a specific ancestor. I began with my grandparents and am working my way back in time.


John Franklin Wolf
11 April 1809 PA – 10 March 1883 OH
My 3x Great Grandfather

John Wolf 1809 - 1883


John Franklin Wolf was the son of John Frederick Wolf & Esther Barbara Shaffer. His siblings were: John Adam, Louisa, Frederick, Jacob, John Jonas. Esther Barbara, Ninetta, Henry H. & William.[1] They grew up in Franklin Twp., York, PA.[2],[3] The Wolf family had been in PA since arriving from Germany in 1737.[4], [5]

John’s first wife was Elisabeth Burkholder. They had nine children. She died 22 June 1856, about a month after the birth of her last child. Less than five months later John married again. On 6 November 1856 he married Caroline Philips.[6] They had one daughter together.[7]

In 1850 John & his first wife, Elisabeth, were in Franklin Twp., York, PA. John was a stone mason. Next door was their daughter and her husband, Sarah & James Williamson. The children of John & Elisabeth were living with their sister rather than their parents.[8]

Ten years later John was in Wayne, OH. He was married to Caroline and working as a laborer.[9] In 1870 they were in Medina Co., OH. John was a brick and stone mason whose real estate was valued at $1,000.[10]

Two of John’s sons, John and Joseph, served in the Civil War. Both sons joined Company D in the 120th Regiment. Both returned home safely.[11] John W. S. Wolf served with the rank of private in the Ohio Volunteer Infantry.[12] John was transferred to the 114th OVI on 27 November 1864.[13] He was sometimes detached from his company and working with the Pioneer Corps.[14] This group of soldiers was detailed to carry out duties such as cutting roads, repairing bridges and works, and dismantling enemy artillery, fortifications, and railroads. John was mustered out 24 July 1865.[15]

Joseph Wolf was in the same company as his brother.[16] He was mustered into service 15 October 1862. The 120th O. V. I. was involved in the flowing battles: Chickasaw Bayou, Mississippi, 28 – 29 December 1862; Arkansas Post, Arkansas, 11 January 1863; Thompson’s Hill, Mississippi, 1 May 1863; The Siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi, 18 May to 4 July 1863; and Jackson, Mississippi, 9 – 16 July 1863.[17]

Joseph Wolf was aboard the City Belle, 153 ton side-wheel steamer that was used as both a transport and as a hospital boat. It was traveling up the Red River to Alexandria and was carrying the 120th Ohio Infantry Regiment. On 3 May 1864 the ship was near Snaggy Point when it was ambushed by the Confederates. Shots hit the boiler and the ship sank. One third of the Ohio regiment was killed, and about 200 soldiers escaped by jumping overboard and reaching land.[18] Joseph was captured.[19] His brother was with the Pioneer Corps at that time and not with him. Joseph remained a prisoner of war for 18 months. He was paroled at Red River, Louisiana 27 May 1865 and returned to his post on 18 June 1865.  He continued to serve and was discharged at Camp Chase on 7 July 1865.[20],[21]

John was fortunate to have both his sons survive the Civil War.

John Wolf died at the age of 75 years & his death certificate lists the cause as “old age”.[22]

The newspaper was succinct:
Mr. Wolf I spoke of in my last was buried on Saturday.[23]

Find A Grave shows his burial site as Maple Hill Cemetery, Hinckley, Medina, OH. Second wife, Caroline is there as well.

Related Posts:




[1] Wolfe, J. Arthur. Jonas Wolf of Berwick Township, York County, Pennsylvania: A History and Genealogy of a Colonial Ancestor and Some of His Descendants. Privately Published: 1987. Copy of book owned by York County Heritage Trust, 250 East Market Street, York, Pennsylvania.
[2] 1810 Franklin York Co PA; Franklin Wolf family.
[3] 1820 US Census, Franklin, York Co., PA. John Wolf family.
[4] A Collection of Thirty Thousand Names of German, Dutch, French and other Immigrants in Pennsylvania From 1727 - 1776' by I. Daniel Rupp. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company 1965
[5] Young, Henry James. Genealogical Reports for The Historical Society of York County: Evidences of the Wolf Families of York County before the Year 1850, 1938. From York County Heritage Trust, 250 East Market Street, York,
[6] Marriage record for John F. Wolf and Caroline Philips, 6 November 1856, Volume 5, page 25, Wayne County Probate Court, Court House, 107 W Liberty St., Wooster, Ohio.
[7] Interview with Clarence Mark; conducted by author, July 1993, in Greenville, Ohio.
[8] 1850 U. S. Census, Franklin Township, York, Pennsylvania; John Wolf & James Williamson families.
[9] 1860 US Census, Sugar Creek Twp., Wayne Co., OH; John Wolff family.
[10] 1870 US Census.  M593 Roll 1241, Page 40. Wadsworth Twp., Medina Co.; M593 Roll 1241, Page 40. John Wolf family.
[11] Ibid.
[12] Wolf family papers and charts from Christine Ann (Klessins) Zengler, Wisconsin.
[13] Official Roster of the Soldiers of the State of Ohio in the War of the Rebellion, 1861 - 1866, microfilm Volume 7 & 8, Page 254,  from Medina County Library, 210 S. Broadway St., Medina, Ohio.
[14] Compiled Service Record of John Wolf, Civil War, National Archives and Records Administration.
[15] U. S. Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, Ancestry.com
[16] Ancestry.com. 1890 Veterans Schedules [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. Original data: Special Schedules of the Eleventh Census (1890) Enumerating Union Veterans and Widows of Union Veterans of the Civil War; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M123, 118 rolls); Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15; National Archives, Washington, D.C. Joseph Wolf.
[17] Official Roster of the Soldiers of the State of Ohio in the War of the Rebellion, 1861 - 1866, microfilm Volume 7 & 8, Page 254,  from Medina County Library, 210 S. Broadway St., Medina, Ohio.
[18] Gaines, Craig. Encyclopedia of Civil War Shipwrecks. Louisiana State University Press, 2008.
[19] Official Roster of the Soldiers of the State of Ohio in the War of the Rebellion, 1861 - 1866, microfilm Volume 7 & 8, Page 254,  from Medina County Library, 210 S. Broadway St., Medina, Ohio.
[20] Compiled Service Record of Joseph Wolf, Civil War, National Archives.
865Ancestry.com. 1890 Veterans Schedules [database on-line]. Provo, UT: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. Original data: Special Schedules of the Eleventh Census (1890) Enumerating Union Veterans and Widows of Union Veterans of the Civil War; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M123, 118 rolls); Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15; National Archives, Washington, D.C. Joseph W olf.
[22] Record of Death for John Wholf, Probate Court in Medina County Ohio 1883, Medina death records #2819, Vol. 2.
[23] Medina County Gazette Friday, July 6, 1883.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Genealogy Fun

Last Saturday, Randy Seaver made a fun suggestion on his blog, Genea-Musings. He posts fun suggestions on Saturdays. 

Randy gave a link to Image Chef and he showed some of the fun genealogy graphics he was able to make at the web site. I decided to follow Randy's lead. Here are some of the graphics I came up with:


I used a photo of my great grandparents, Michael & Mary Jo Coyle for this wanted poster.


I'll have to use this newspaper graphic in a future post when I come with a great find.


A good reminder written in the sand.
 Hopefully our stories are recorded somewhere that is a little safer!


This taxi graphic is good for a 'Travel Tuesday' post.


This is a good reminder for all of us.

Be sure to check out Randy's creations & go to ImageChef
There are also animated messages & lots more graphics.
I think you'll have fun.






Tuesday, September 16, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks = Week #37; Christian Gruissy; Lived Close to a Century

This prompt comes from Amy Johnson Crow at her blog, No Story Too Small. She suggests we write once a week about a specific ancestor. I began with my grandparents and am working my way back in time.

Christian Gruissy
1811 Switzerland – 7 January 1907 OH
My 3x Great Grandfather



Christian Gruissy was the son of Christian Gruissy & Barbara Straum, both born in Switzerland.[1] John Gruissy & Rosanna Gruissy were his siblings. According to family stories and census records, Christian Gruissy, Jr. was born in Switzerland.  Viola (Mark) Nothstein told us Christian was a cheese maker. She said he settled in Gates Mills, which later became Beach City, Ohio.[2] 

In 1840 there were two Christian Gruissy families living in Sugar Creek, Stark County, Ohio.[3] The older Christian was employed in “manufacture or trade” and was between 40 and 50 years old. Five family members were shown, two men and three women. Next door, the younger Christian Gruissy was working on a farm. He was between 30 and 40 years old. A boy under the age of five was shown.  Two older children were also shown. Upon examining Stark County land records we discover a definite father and son relationship between the two Christian Gruissys. On 8 April 1837 Christian Greesey purchased sixty acres of land in Sugar Creek from Christian Haney for $700.[4] On 3 July 1840 he sold half of these same acres to his son, Christian Gruissy, Jr. for $1,000.[5] Therefore, we have the father and son living on adjacent farms.

At the time Christian Gruissy, Jr. settled in Stark County life was a little easier than it had been for the first settlers to the area. Farms had been cleared. There were both log hewed and framed houses. There were even some brick houses. Most farms had barns for their cattle, horses, sheep, hogs and poultry. Log schools and churches dotted the area.[6] 

Christian was married twice, to Mary Grorisclauss, with whom he had four children, & Mary Wise, with whom he had seven children.

On 2 May 1849 Christian Gruissy bought more land in Sugar Creek. He purchased 80 acres from Christian Bright for $1,000.[7]

In 1850 Christian Gruissy, Jr. had thirty acres of farm land and twenty nine acres of unimproved land. His livestock included: two horses, three milk cows, three other cattle, fourteen sheep and six swine. Besides caring for the livestock Christian also grew many things on his thirty acres of land. In 1850 he grew one hundred bushels of wheat, seventy bushels of Indian corn, fifty bushels of oats and twenty bushels of Irish potatoes. He grew four tons of hay. He made four hundred pounds of butter and thirty pounds of wool.[8]

Ten years later, in 1860 Christian Gruissy and family still in Sugar Creek.[9]  Now Christian and his son, Augustus, were coopers by occupation. A cooper is a craftsman who makes or repairs barrels or casks. These barrels held flour, gunpowder, tobacco, and other commodities. The barrels served as shipping containers. They were also used to store liquids such as wine or milk. There were eleven men involved in “cooperage” in Stark County that year.  There were 1,681 coopers in the state. 

Christian Gruissy, Jr. died in 1907. His obituary was printed on the front page of The Evening Independent newspaper in Massilon. The article was titled, Lived Close to a Century; Death of Christian Creassy [sic], Aged 95 Years; At Home Near Beach City. His longevity was headline news. The obituary read,

Christian Creassy, aged 95 years, a resident of Beach City for about seventy years, died at the home of his son–in–law, H. H. Kyle, Monday evening, from old age. He was one of the oldest residents and had lived in the county since coming to the United States from Switzerland at the age of 25 years. Mr. Creassy took up farm work as soon as he settled in the county and remained in that work until his age compelled him to give up active labor. For a number of years he lived on a small farm which he owned just outside Beach City. A few years ago he took up his residence with Mr. Kyle.
Mr. Creassy retained his faculties unimpaired to the last and only a few days before his death talked of the weather and farm work and recalled events in both his early and late life. During his long life Mr. Creassy never held public office, but remained steadfast to his early calling. When he came to the United States he did so at the solicitation of relatives who had settled in Stark County. Mr. Creassy was married twice, both wives preceding him in death. The funeral was held Wednesday afternoon from the late home at 1 o’clock. Interment was made in the Beach City cemetery. The deceased is survived by three daughters, Mrs. Caroline Boernger, of Massillon; Mrs. John Knobloch, of Beach City, and Mrs. Fred Liese, of Concordia, Mo., and four sons, A. C. Creassy of Medina; Reuben Creassy of Ballinger, Tex.; Aaron and Philip Creassy of Beach City. F. L. Boerngen of Massillon, is a grandson.[10]

          No tombstone can be seen for Christian Gruissy in South Lawn Cemetery, Beach City. However, some of his children and grandchildren are there.

Related Posts:





[1] Diary and papers of Ivy Mark Brown with birth and death dates of family members.
[2] “Interviews with Viola (Mark) Nothstein”.
[3] 1840 US Census, Sugar Creek, Stark County, Ohio.  Christian Grusey families.
[4] Deed, land purchase from Christian Haney to Christian Greesey, 8 April 1837, Volume T, page 445, General Index to Deeds Microfilm Volume T, pages 445 & 446, Stark Co. District Library, 715 Market St., Canton.
[5] Deed, land purchase from Christian Greasy to Christian Greasy, Jr., 3 July 1840, Volume X, page 148, Index to Deeds Microfilm, Volume X, page 148, Stark Co. District Library, 715 Market St., Canton.
[6] Blue, Herbert T. O. History of Stark County Ohio: from the Age of Prehistoric Man to the Present Day. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1928.
[7] Deed, land purchase from Christian Bright to Christian Greszy, Sr, 2 May 1849, Volume 44, page 390, Index to Deeds Microfilm, Volume 44, page 493, Stark Co. District Library, 715 Market St., Canton.
[8] 1850 United States Agricultural Schedule, Sugar Creek  Township, Stark County, Ohio, Microfilm #T1159, Roll 9, Line 18; National Archives and Records Administration, National Archives Building, Washington, D. C. Farmer, Chris Creesy.
[9] 1860 US Census, Sugar Creek, Stark, Ohio; Page 5.  Christian “Greelys” family.
[10] "Lived Close to a Century." Evening Independent January 9, 1907 :

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Census Sunday – Benjamin Hill Brumfield in MS

I have Christopher W Vinson from FL, my 4th cousin 1x removed, to thank for giving me some information on our joint Brumfield family. He gave me some basics on this branch of the family and from there I did some searching on Ancestry.com. I was able to find these two census reports:

1930 US Census; MS, Yazoo, Bentonia Precinct; ED 82-4, SD 6, Sheet 13 B; Benjamin H Brumfield Family; digital image, Ancestry.com.
Benjamin H Brumfield, 55 b MS (b c 1875) parents b MS; age at 1st marriage 47; farmer on general farm; not a veteran
Winnie, wife, 42 b MS; parents b MS
Children all b in MS: Thomas Riley, age 7; John Kayes, age 4; Margaret Winifred, age 3; Benjamin Hill, age 1

1940 US Census; MS; Yazoo; ED 82 – 4, SD 9, Sheet 4A; HB Brumfield Family; digital image, Ancestry.com.
HB Brumfield, 63 b MS (b c 1877) parents b MS; farmer; rented home; 8th grade education
Winnie, wife, 52 b MS
Children all b in MS: Tom, age 18; Kayes John, age 14; Margaret, age 13. [note: missing Benjamin Hill who would be 11]



Thursday, September 11, 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday - Tiny Tea Time


It has been a long time since I spent a day playing with tiny tea sets. But today I have been sorting, washing and photographing several sets of teapots, cups, saucers, etc. I didn't clean them up because I was expecting a young visitor. I am working on my New Year's resolution to inventory our family treasures.



These little things are not treasures because of any monetary value. Rather, they bring back memories of tea parties. I loved to dress my dolls in their best dresses and share imaginary pots of tea.


My daughters loved to play tea party time. While they dressed their dolls and gathered their teddy bears I checked the cabinets for tiny food like Cheerios, Fruit Loops, M&Ms, or Goldfish crackers. While my girls put the dolls in a circle, some on small chairs, I made lemonade to serve as our tea. I filled the tea pots and they filled the tiny cups. 


We had many hours of fun. My son never liked tea parties much. He would like the treats but get bored quickly and head off to build with Legos or race his Hot Wheels.


Our tea sets are all together now & it is hard to remember which sets were mine or my daughters'. I'll have to rely on their memories to help me out with that. 


There are a half a dozen more sets than I have posted here. They have all been cleaned, photographed & carefully wrapped in tissue paper. Who knows when party time will come again?