Thursday, August 28, 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday - World War I Souvenirs for a Sweetheart


These delicate handkerchiefs were sent to my maternal grandmother, Helen F Coyle, in November 1918 by Private Herman L. Englander: HQrs Co. 358th Infantry: Amr. Exp. Forces, France. He wrote to my grandmother from France, asking to see her once he returned to New York City. I do not know if they did see each other but he was not the man she did marry in 1921. However, she did save these precious items all her life. They are now so fragile that you can almost see through the fabric.



Tuesday, August 26, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks = Week #34; Mary Isabella Heffelfinger; She ‘died’ Twice!

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.

Mary Isabella Heffelfinger Mark
29 April 1819 PA – 19 January 1904 OH
My 3x Great Grandmother

Mary Isabella Heffeflinger was the daughter of Philip Heffelfinger & Elizabeth Mowrey. She was born in Cumberland Co., Pennsylvania[1], [2], [3] but lived in Ohio when she married Abraham Mark on 21 February 1839.[4]

Mary Isabella was, according to the family, “a school teacher and well educated.”[5] The 1840 census supports this, showing one person involved in a learned profession.[6]

Mary and her husband lived in Wayne Co., OH and raised eight sons there. The 1860 census shows seven of their eight sons: Thomas, John, William, Marion, Abraham Martin, Franklin & David.[7] Youngest son, Edwin, was not born until the following year.[8]

Four sons served in the Civil War: Thomas Jefferson Mark, John Mark, William Mark & Marion Mark. Two did not return. John Mark died in December 1862 and Thomas Jefferson Mark died a month later, in January 1863.[9]

In 1870 Abraham and Mary Isabella had three sons still living at home and attending school: Franklin, David & Edwin. Their real estate was valued at $1,600 & personal estate at $500.[10]

In 1872 her husband died. He had been disabled for some time before his death. Mary Isabella applied to the government for a pension. In her statement she said she was the widow of Abraham Mark who died 7 April 1872 and the mother of John and Thomas Jefferson Mark who died as soldiers in the Civil War. Because her husband had been disabled and unable to support his family she was dependent on support from her two sons. She had not remarried since the death of her late husband. Several neighbors and doctors testified to fact that Abraham was disabled and unable to support the family and that sons John and Thomas sent money home. Mary Isabella was eventually paid $12 a month.[11]
In 1880 she lived next door to her son Abraham Martin Mark and his family.[12] In 1900 she was living with Abraham & family.[13]

My paternal grandmother told me the story of Mary Isabella’s ‘almost’ death. Mary Isabella was ill and fell into a coma. Her family thought she had died. They made arrangements for her burial. “She could understand and knew everything they said but she couldn't move a muscle.” The doctor came, saw sweat glistening on her forehead and told the shocked family that she was still alive. According to my grandmother Mary came out of the coma and lived another ten years.[14]

My 3rd great grandmother actually died 19 January 1904. She left her property to her son, Abraham Martin Mark and her money to her other sons. Her will said,

"I give, devise, and bequeath to my son Abraham M. Mark all my real estate consisting of a House and Lot in the Village of Reedsburg, O. and known as Lot No. 10 and all the Household goods, Furniture, Provisions and chattels being therein and in my possession at the time of my death.  Second, my will is that all my just debts and funeral expenses shall be paid out of all Notes or Bonds, Moneys, or any Army credits which I may have to my credit at the time of my death. After the above just debts and funeral expenses are paid out of my credits the money remaining shall be divided in equal shares among my children except my son Abraham M. Mark who shall not receive any share of the said remaining credits."[15]

Information at the Wooster Public Library in Ohio tells us that Mary Isabella Mark is buried at Reedsburg Cemetery. I visited the cemetery and found her husband’s tombstone but I did not find one for her.


Mary, Abraham & Family:

1 Mary Isabella Heffelfinger b: 29 Apr 1819  Cumberland, PA, d: 19 Jan 1904 OH
... + Abraham Mark b: 12 Nov 1812 Corliss, PA, m: 21 Feb 1839 Wooster, Wayne, OH, d: 7 Apr 1872 Congress, Wayne, OH

......2 Thomas Jefferson Mark b: 10 Aug 1840 Chester, Wayne, OH, d: 16 Jan 1863, Falmouth, Pendleton, Kentucky
......2 John Mark b: 18 Jun 1842 Chester, Wayne, OH, d: 28 Dec 1862 Chickasaw Bluff, MS
......2 William Mark b: 26 May 1844 Wooster, Wayne, OH, d: 21 Nov 1904 Chester, Wayne, OH
...... + Elidia Rebecca Ritter b: 30 Jul 1854 Chester, Wayne, OH, m: 20 Apr 1878 Cedar Valley, Wayne, OH, d: 28 Aug 1912 Chester, Wayne, OH
...... + Emma Abeline Flory b: 24 Oct 1852 Wayne, OH, m: 02 Jun 1870, d: 23 Jul 1877 Chester, Wayne, OH
......2 Marion Mark b: 12 Aug 1848 Chester, Wayne, Ohio, USA, d: Aft. 1930
...... + Jennie
......2 Abraham Martin Mark b: 18 Nov 1849 Chester, Wayne, OH, d: 4 Aug 1933 Chester, Wayne, OH
...... + Mary
......2 Franklin P. Mark b: 10 Apr 1853 Chester, Wayne, OH, d: Unknown
...... + Laura M. Miller b: Sep 1860 OH, m: 26 Jun 1877 in Wayne, OH
......2 David Mark b: 24 May 1856 Congress, Wayne, OH, d: 8 Feb 1951 in Creston, Wayne, OH
...... + Mary Ann Clason b: Dec 1867 OH, m: 17 Apr 1879, d: Bet. 1900–1910
...... + Mary Holderbaum
......2 Edwin Mark b: 6 Sep 1861 Congress, Wayne, OH, d: 5 Dec 1920 in Wayne, OH
...... + Delpha b: May 1873 OH, m: 28 May 1896 Wayne, OH, d: 1929




[1] Diary of Ivy Mark Brown gives birthdate of "Isabell Heffelfinger" as April 29, 1819. 
[2] Interview with Clarence Mark; Conducted by author, July 1993, in Greenville, Ohio.
[3] Genealogy of William Mark Family; 1844-1965; Compiled by Bertha Flickinger Mark.
[4] Ohio Marriage Record; 1839; Wayne County Probate Court, Ohio, Volume 4A; Page 253. Abraham Mark & Mary Isabella Heggelfinger.
[5] Genealogy of William Mark Family; 1844-1965; Compiled by Bertha Flickinger Mark.
[6] 1840 U.S. Census, Wayne County, Ohio; 1840; Vol.26; Page 8; Family History Center Microfilm #358211; NOTES: Abraham Marks family in Wooster Township.
[7] 1860 U. S. Census, Wayne County, Ohio; 1860; ; Page 150, Lines 14-22; Family History Center Microfilm #805051; NOTES: Abraham Marks Family in Congress Twp.
[8] Wayne County Probate Court Records 4792, Guardians Bond, 9 April 1886
[9] Pension Report of John Marks; 1861-1883; National Archives Civil War Pension Report, Ohio Volunteers, Co.C. 16th Regiment, filed by mother, Isabelle Marks, Box #35175, Bundle #7.
[10] 1870 Federal Census, Wayne County, Ohio; 1870; Volume 60 (1-244); Page 19, Line 1 ; Family History Center Microfilm #552779; Notes: A. Mark Family in Congress Township.
[11] Pension Report of John Marks; 1861-1883; National Archives Civil War Pension Report, Ohio Volunteers, Co.C. 16th Regiment, filed by mother, Isabelle Marks, Box #35175, Bundle #7.
[12] 1880 U. S. Census, Wayne County, Ohio; 1880; Compiled by Richard G. Smith, 1979, Published by Wayne Co. Historical Society Genealogical Section, Wooster, Ohio; Page 179; The State Library of Ohio, Columbus, Ohio. Isabell Mark in Plain twp.
[13] 1900 US Census.  Ohio, Wayne, Plain township, Roll T623 1332, SD 16, ED 156, Sheet 5B, Lines 79 - 80.
Abraham M. Mark.
[14] Interview with Ivy Regina Mark Brown; by author; 22 August 1994, Germantown, NY.
[15] Wayne County Probate Record 11014 Vol.; copy from the Wayne County Public Library; Last Will & Testament of Isabella Marks, Reedsburg, Wayne, Ohio.  April 7, 1899.

Friday, August 22, 2014

World War I Letter from a Soldier to His Sweetheart

My maternal grandmother, Helen Coyle, received a letter from a World War I soldier at the close of the war. The letter is dated ‘Somewhere in France, Nov. 15, 1918’, 96 years ago.



The soldier was Herman L. Englander, a private in the War; HQrs Co. 358th Infantry: Amr. Exp. Forces, France. He writes to his ‘dear Helen’:

I take pleasure in writing to you and to let you know that I have not forgotten you. I do hope you are well and enjoying yourself. I suppose everyone in New York is celebrating the great victory. It sure was great news when we heard of the news and the big guns ceased firing. I am feeling as fine as silk and am pretty happy now. We are still at the front but are expected to get released soon. Our division is about the first to start for home being that we were at the front at the time. I have a Hun helmet which you have so often asked for and I will explain it to you when I get back to the states. Please do not let my sister know that I am coming home. Would like to know where I could communicate with you when I arrive in N.Y. I hope in my last letter I have written to you on Oct 31, if there was anything I really did say anything that hurt your feelings which I might have said something which I do not recollect. I would like to send you my sincerest apologies. Now dear Helen let me know if I really have as I do not want to hurt your feeling for anything in the world. The weather over here is great for the last three or four days only that it is pretty cold over here. We are stopping at a town that was a German concentration camp once. They sure did leave an awful amount of refuge which we had to police up. They also left several barrels of sauerkraut and onions pickled also plenty of spuds. We have sauerkraut and spuds every day now. We now do drilling every day until we start back for the rear. I have written to you several times but I think my letters must of got lost on their way over. Let me know dear Helen if you have sent me those magazines and your picture? I hope you will enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner in peace. Will put my letter to a close now as I have nothing more to say that would be of interest to you at present and hoping to hear from you soon. I close and with my best and sincere wishes to you for good luck, health and happiness and may all three wishes be with you throughout your entire life. With my love and kisses to you. I remain as ever and may this letter reach you safe and find you in the best of health. I am as ever yours in remembrances forever.

 Lovingly, Herman: Private Herman L. Englander: HQrs Co. 358th Infantry: Amr. Exp. Forces, France.8


Herman also sent lace handkerchiefs to Helen. I have photographed them & will post the photos on Thursday, August 28.

There is no further information on the relationship between Helen and Herman. There is no way to know what kind of misunderstanding occurred between them or if Helen ever saw him after his return from the war. Although they did not marry my grandmother did carefully save his letter.



If anyone has a connection to Herman it would be great to hear from you.



Tuesday, August 19, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks = Week #33; Abraham Mark, Master Carpenter

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.


Abraham Mark
12 November 1812 PA – 7 April 1872 OH
My 3x Great Grandfather


My paternal grandmother[1] and her siblings[2], [3] all pointed to Abraham Mark as their paternal grandfather. They knew dates & places. However, no one knew his parents. I have strong sources leading me to Abraham but the Mark line stops there.

Abraham Mark married Mary Isabella Heffeflinger. Both were born in Pennsylvania but were living in Wayne Co., Ohio when they were married on 21 February 1839.[4], [5] My grand uncle Clarence Mark claimed Abraham had a log cabin where the Wooster Court House now stands.[6]

Abraham and Mary Isabella remained in Wayne Co., OH for the rest of their lives, raising eight sons. They can be found there in a long list of census reports as their family grows. In 1860 Abraham is shown as a ‘master carpenter’.[7]

 Four of their sons served in the Civil War: Thomas Jefferson Mark, John Mark, William Mark & Marion Mark. Two did not return. John Mark died in December 1862 and Thomas Jefferson Mark died a month later, in January 1863.[8]

In 1870 Abraham and Mary Isabella had three sons still living at home and attending school: Franklin, David & Edwin. Their real estate was valued at $1,600 & personal estate at $500.[9]

W. C. Moore, MD was the family’s physician for many years. He treated Abraham frequently for spinal trouble, trouble with his Kidneys, and rheumatism. His "frequent ailments were so severe as to finally disable him entirely."[10] Abraham died 7 April 1872 from ‘lung fever’.[11] He is buried in Reedsburg Cemetery.[12]



Related Posts:



[1] Diary of Ivy Mark Brown, copy in possession of author.
[2] Interview with Clarence Mark; July 1993, in Greenville, Ohio; Information on the Abraham Mark family.
[3] Mark, Bertha Flickinger. Genealogy of William Mark Family, 1844 – 1965, privately printed.
[4] Marriage Record for Abraham Mark and Mary Isabella Heffelfinger, 21 February 1839, Volume 4A, Page 253, Wayne County Marriage Records, Wayne County Public Library, Wooster, Ohio.
[5] Smith, Richard G.. Seventy-Five Years of Wayne County, Ohio Marriages 1813 - 1888. Wayne County Genealogical Society, 1979.  Page 58. Abraham Marks & Mary Isabella Heffelfinger 21 Feb 1839
From Wayne County Public Library.
[6] Interview with Clarence Mark; July 1993, in Greenville, Ohio; Information on the Abraham Mark family.
[7] 1860 U. S. Census, Wayne County, Ohio; 1860; ; Page 150, Lines 14-22; Family History Center Microfilm #805051; NOTES: Abraham Marks Family in Congress Twp., Taken 17 Aug 1860. Abraham "Marks".
[8] Pension Report of John Marks; 1861-1883; National Archives Civil War Pension Report, Ohio Volunteers, Co.C. 16th Regiment, filed by mother, Isabelle Marks, Box #35175, Bundle #7.
[9] 1870 Federal Census, Wayne County, Ohio; 1870; Volume 60 (1-244); Page 19, Line 1 ; Family History Center Microfilm #552779; Notes: A. Mark Family in Congress Township.
[10] Pension Report of John Marks; 1861-1883; National Archives Civil War Pension Report, Ohio Volunteers, Co.C. 16th Regiment, filed by mother, Isabelle Marks, Box #35175, Bundle #7.
[11] Death Record for Abraham Marks, 7 April 1872, Volume 1, page 38, Wayne County Probate Court, Court House, 107 W Liberty St., Wooster, Ohio.
[12] Genealogical Section of the Wayne County Historical Society. Wayne County, Ohio Burial Records. Ohio: Privately printed, Page 562; Plain Township, Reedsburg Cemetery. MARK: Abraham d. 4 - 7 - 1872, age 60 y 5 m 28 d.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday Obituary – Seletia Smith 1850 - 1902


Wife of William L Smith Dies

"Seletia E. Smith, wife of W. L. Smith, was born June 9th, 1850, united with the Baptist Church April, 1867, died January 16th, 1902. She leaves a husband, six children, four brothers, four sisters … She was a member of Centerville Baptist Church at the time of her death. Her funeral service was conducted by Eld. W. J. Fortinberry."


From: Williams, E. Russ. Abstracts of Obituaries from the Minutes of the Magee's Creek Baptist Association (Mississippi and Louisiana), 1882 - 1924. Monroe, Louisiana: Privately printed, 1978, page 57. From the Louisiana Archives, Baton Rouge, LA.



1 Seletia E b: 09 Jun 1852, d: 16 Jan 1902 MS
... + William L. Smith b: 06 Apr 1845 MS, d: 15 Apr 1928 MS
......2 Kelly Smith b: 22 Aug 1873, d: 21 Mar 1885 MS
......2 Emily O. Smith b: 19 May 1876, d: 23 Mar 1879 MS

Related Posts:




Saturday, August 16, 2014

Sepia Saturday: World War I Sweetheart Letter

This week's topic at Sepia Saturday is Letters Home. The photos shows soldiers diligently writing home. I just had to add to the collection not because I have a photo of a soldier to share but because I have a World War I letter written by a soldier.  This letter was not written to Mother & Father. It was written to a sweetheart.








This letter was written 
15 November 1918
by 
Private Herman L. Englander: HQrs Co. 358th Infantry: Amr. Exp. Forces, France.

It was written to my maternal grandmother, Helen F. Coyle.

I'd love to hear from someone related to the soldier.

I will share the full text of the letter in a future blog post.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Friday Funny - Take a Seat



I found the perfect garden bench for the genealogist! 
Sit & relax with a book of family history or gather the family around the bench for photos.

Recently my daughter & I went to the College of Dupage, Illinois to see an exhibit at the Cleve Carney Art Gallery. We saw this bench in the garden and I had to snap a photo to share with other genealogists.


Related Posts: