Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Letters from the Past – March 1903 Mark brothers Letter

This letter was written between two brothers. It sounds like William, the oldest of 12 children, was making changes in his life. His later life is a mystery to me. I have not been able to pin down his death date or place. In this letter he does say he plans to move.


This letter was written to my great grandfather

Thomas Kenneth Mark

19 Jul 1879 Wooster, Wayne, OH - 12 Feb 1975 Wadsworth, Medina, OH

Son of William Mark & Elidia Rebecca Ritter

Husband of Nancy Regina Victoria Gruissy


This letter was written by

William M. Mark

12 Feb 1877 Cedar Valley, Wayne. OH – after 1920

Oldest brother of Thomas Kenneth Mark

Husband of Alice Leota Heacock


To: Thomas K. Mark, Medina, Ohio

From: Wm. M. Marks, Box 46, Rows, Ohio

Postmarked: 1903 Rows, Ohio

Letter dated: 3/18 1903


Dear brother,


Your letter received last Eve. we [sic] are all well at Present. I am cutting wood and Building fence if the weather stays warm I can turn my pasture By the 10 of next month. will [sic] move in two weeks. I sold my driving Mare Monday for $150 and Bought one last week that is with foal Tom I will send you an order for the Money on that Note Please send Me the Note The Interest amounts to $6.36 if I made no mistake. I will only charge you $5.00 for the key The balance $40.36 you will find order enclosed I thank you for kindness This leave me a small amount to go in and out of Debt I am feeling good.


Love from all good bye

Write soon


Wm M Marks

Box 6 Rows O

Notice: William used "Marks" and Thomas used "Mark."



Monday, July 1, 2024

Henry Keck, 1786 PA Last Will & Testament

 I am recently learning about Henry Keck. I have seen many places on ancestry and on Find A Grave where his death is recorded as 8 May 1786. This Last Will & Testament was written on that date. Did he dictate this on the day he died? How likely is that? I have seen no primary source, no family Bible or church record of his death.  He certainly died between 8 May and 15 August 1786. If you have a source please share. 

Henry / Heinrich Keck

my 6x great grandfather

1786 Last Will & Testament of Henry Keck 


In the Name of God Amen. Be it remembered that I Henry Keck Senior of Salisbury Township in the County of Northampton in the State of Pennsylvania. - - Being Sick in Body but of sound mind & memory and understanding Do this Eighth Day of may [sic] in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty Six make and publish this my Last Will and Testament as Follows; First it is my Will that my funeral Expenses and Just Debts be duly paid by my Executors as soon as may be after my Decease. Then to my Son, George I give and Bequeath Seventy pounds Lawfull [sic] Money of Pennsylvania. Then to each of my true Sons Henry and Frederick I give and Bequeath one hundred and fifty pounds Like Lawfull [sic] money to be paid unto them as soon after my Decease as may be. All the rest and Residue of my Estate whatever I may have at the time of my Decease it is my Will that it Shall be Equally Divided to and among my five herein named Children to wit my Sons, JohnGeorge, Henry and Frederick and my Daughter Elizabeth who is Intermarried with John Ritter (my son Andrew being fully Provided for lands in my Lifetime.) And I Do nominate and appoint my loveing [sic] son John Keck and my son in law John Ritter my Sole Executors of my Last Will and Testament. In Witness thereof the said Henry Keck have here unto Set my hand and Seal the day and Year first within written. …


Signed Sealed Published and Declared by Henry Keck the testator as and for is Last Will and Testament in the presence of us who in his presents and at his request subscribed the same witnesses thereto Peter Rhoads, John - - , Northampton County on the fifteenth day of August 1786 Before me John Arnett Esq. Register for the Probate of Wills and Granted Letters of Administration in and for the county of Northampton personally came to Peter Rhoads Esquire and Peter - -  the witnesses to the Execution of the will in written Will and Testament of Henry Keck deceased who on their solemn affirmation according to Law did respectfully dispense and lay that  - - present did see and hear the said Testator sign seal publish pronounce and Declare the same as and for his last Will and Testament and that at the Doing these of the said Testator was of sound mind memory and Understanding to the best of their knowledge and Belief and - - that they these - - subscribed their names as Witnesses to the same in the presence and at the request of the said Testator and in the presence of each other which is certified under my name John Arnold (?) Register



Source Citation

Will Books, 1752-1907; With Register's Index, 1752-1966; Author: Northampton County (Pennsylvania). Register of Wills; Probate Place: Northampton, Pennsylvania


Notes: Will Book, Vol 1-3, 1752-1800

Source Information

Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, U.S., Wills and Probate Records, 1683-1993 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.

Original data:Pennsylvania County, District and Probate Courts 

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Letters from the Past – Dec. 1902 Gruissy – Mark Letter

This letter was written by my great grandmother 

Nancy Regina Victoria (Gruissy) Mark 

31 Jan 1879 Medina, OH - 24 May 1959 Medina, OH

Youngest daughter of Augustus Ceaser Gruissy & Esther Barbara Wolf


This letter was written to my great grandfather

Thomas Kenneth Mark

19 Jul 1879 Wooster, Wayne, OH - 12 Feb 1975 Wadsworth, Medina, OH

Son of William Mark & Elidia Rebecca Ritter


To: Mr. T. K. Mark, RFD No 5, Medina, Medina Co., Ohio

From: Regina Gruissy

Postmarked: AM Dec 24, 1902, Medina Ohio

Letter dated: 23 Dec. 1902

Written in ink on pink paper


My dearest I’ll just write to you this afternoon to tell you I am well and happy. I hope you are the same. I hope your cold is better. 


I have been quite busy all day cleaning and sweeping and making dooll [sic] baby clothes for Odett’s and Marion’s Christmas dolls and I have been popping corn and stringing pop corn to decorate their Christmas tree with. I have a little more work to do before supper but I thought I would begin you letter first. 


Tell Mrs. Sears and the girls I wish them a Merry Christmas. I wish the same I’ll tell you when I see you Thursday what your Christmas present is or I’ll tell you over the telephone. well I must go now I’ll finish this later.


Well supper is over and my work all done and I am here all alone. I wish you were here with me. Mrs. Hastings just telephoned to me a few minutes ago to come up to the store she has a letter for me. so [sic] I’ll not seal this letter and I’ll tell you who it is from. I am all ready to go but my coat and hat. i [sic] am a going over to Marys [sic] to [sic]. I think I’ll stay there till Hastings come home I get lonesome I am alone all day and evening.

I suppose your [sic] writing to your best betrothed the same as I am. well [sic] Dear I must close with my love and best wishes I remain your own pet. (kisses)  Regina


Forever your own R. V. G. M. come up Thur [sic] eve if you can


My letter was from home


 This chart begins with my paternal grandmother & shows her parents, Regina & Thomas, the people in the letter.


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Saturday, June 15, 2024

My Aunt’s 1942 Autograph Book

My first cousin kindly shared his mother’s 1942 Autograph Book with me. The book belonged to Genevieve Audry (Brown) Wieland Schaperjahn. It was given to her by her aunt and uncle, Roy Edward & Isabell Esther Mark Nee. 

                Genevieve Audry (Brown) Wieland Schaperjahn

3 Oct 1932 OH - 18 Jan 2015 NY

Daughter of Roy Jessie & Ivy Regina Mark Brown

Genevieve, her parents and her siblings had lived in Wayne County, Ohio but moved to Columbia County, New York circa 1940/41. 

The book was signed by many of her Ohio relatives as well as her family and friends in New York. It is wonderful to see the handwriting, messages & signatures of many family members.


·      “Grandma” N. Regina Victoria Gruissy Mark, 1879 – 1959. Wrote: Roses are red. Violets are blue. I can’t think of Another To Write to you.

·      “Your Grand Dad” Thomas Kenneth Mark, 1879 – 1975. Wrote: Roses is Red and carrot is Sweet and so are you.

·      “Your aunt Isabell Esther” Isabell Esther Mark Nee, 1903 – 1984. Wrote: Dear Genevieve; I hope you enjoy filling out this book with names of your new friends. 

·      “Roy E. Nee” her uncle, 1878 – 1963. Wrote: Nov 16 – 42  Hello Blondie. How’s the girl?

·      “Paul” cousin, Paul Kenneth Nee, b 1934. Wrote: I love you little. I love you big. I love you like a little pig. 

·      “Your Aunt Blanche & Uncle Owen” Owen Andrew & Blanche Bowers Mark. Wrote: 1942 Dear Genevieve: - We think of you quite often, You think of us we know, And we just thought ‘twould be kinder nice to write & tell you so. 

      "Uncle Clarence" Clarence William Mark, 1917 - 2006. Wrote: Genevieve Autry Brown took her hat and went to town, the wind blew strong and hard, her hat flew up and landed in the yard.

·      “Jeanette Brown” Genevieve’s sister, Jeanette Rose Brown Sparks Wager, 1934 – 1986. Wrote: Dec. 26, 1942 The valley is green. The hills are bare. I love you and I hope you care.

·      “Leo Brown” her brother, Leo Dwight Brown, 1930 – 2017. Wrote: I love coffee. I love tea. I love the girls and they love me.

·      “Dad”  Roy Jessie Brown, 1902 – 1956. Wrote: To my little fat stuff. Genevieve, The sea is wide and you can’t step it. I love you and you can’t help it.

Thanks to my cousin, Mike, who shared this wonderful time capsule with me!



Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Letters from the Past – Dec. 1902 Gruissy – Mark Letter

This letter was written by my 2 x great grandmother to her youngest daughter. She wrote about “our boy,” her future son – in – law, Thomas K. Mark. Esther wrote that Regina and Thomas should not get married in February because it is a “Bad month.”

She wrote about having a fat goose for Thanksgiving. 


This letter was written to my great grandmother 

Nancy Regina Victoria (Gruissy) Mark 

31 Jan 1879 Medina, OH - 24 May 1959 Medina, OH

Youngest daughter of Augustus Ceaser Gruissy & Esther Barbara Wolf

Wife of Thomas Kenneth Mark


This letter was written by my 2x great grandmother

Esther Barbara Wolf Gruissy

Daughter of John Franklin Wolf & Elisabeth Burkholder

Second wife of Augustus Ceaser Gruissy


To: Miss Regina V. Gruissy, Medina, Medina, Ohio

From: Esther B. Gruissy, Marshallville, Ohio

Postmarked: 23 Dec. 1902, Marshallville, Ohio, 2 – cent stamp

Letter dated: 22 Dec. 1902


There is no punctuation in the original letter. I have added punctuation to make it easier to read. Spelling and capitols are as written.

A couple leaves and small flowers were pressed into the note.


Dear Dauter [sic] We ware [sic] glad to here [sic] froum [sic] youns that you was well and Our Boy two [sic]. Well we ware [sic] glad to here [sic] from youns. i [sic] am tired for i [sic] washed a Big wush [sic] and papa worked hard to Day [sic] Chopping wood and he ant [sic] well. i [sic] am not well. Well Bejie [?] Monr came to see me and told me you was [sic] well. Will you have the words said Bee fore [sic] you come home? [I believe she is referring to the upcoming wedding.] Will you bring Our Boy[i] alonge [sic] home with you? We will Doo [sic] the Best we can for him and you too. Well Bige [?] man little shene [?] has a nice fat horse for sale. She is safe and sound. The white and other that ant [sic] Borak [sic] yet. Papa[ii] nose [sic] whare [sic] tha [sic] are check young – ons [sic] too.


Well tell Albert and mary[iii] [sic] papa and me wishes them a happy new nen [?] Christmas and we wish Both a mery [sic] Christmas and a happy new year. 


Papa said you should not have the words said in February for that is a Bad month. January is good. i [sic] will send a Boket [?] for you and Thomas too.


Well plese [sic] and tell Thomas i [sic] have som [sic] sour crout [sic] and som [sic] caned [sic] fruit for him. you ot [sic] to see the presents you have here from papa. i will giv you one can of sour cherries for you. that is all for now. i [sic] will finish my scrathen [sic] too Day [sic] 23. Well papa got a fall and hirt [sic] himself so he can hardly work. Papa said youns [sic] should get words said and come home soon pleas [sic] and Don’t get them said in February for it is on lucky month. E. B. Gruissy


Mr nolt has a horse for sale. Cming [sic]  years this spring is Broak [sic] to work for 50 Doolars [sic] and will work eny [sic] plase [sic]. Big man wants 75 for his horse and stinson [?] 40 Dooars [sic] fors his horse and is Broak [sic] ro work Dooble [sic] and single or any plase you can put him.


We had a goose for hanks giving [Thanksgiving] fat on [one] too. it was good. nothing for Christmas yet

[i] Thomas Kenneth Mark, Regina’s future husband.

[ii] Augustus Ceaser Gruissy. He was 62 when this was written.

[iii] Albert Lutz and Mary Magdalene Gruissy Lutz. Mary was Esther’s step – daughter.

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Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Forget Me Not: Pauline Morrison Maurer, 1979 OH

Pauline Ann Morrison Maurer 

6 Dec 1899 OH - 12 Jun 1979 OH

Daughter of Seth Banner Morrison & Margaret Jane Gruissy

Twin sister of Paul Allen Morrison

Wife of Elmer Maurer


Doylestown – Pauline Maurer (nee Morrison), 79, of 928 Eastern Rd., died June 12 in Norwalk, after a lengthy illness. Mrs. Maurer was born in Sullivan, and was a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.


Preceded in death by her husband, Elmer and seven brothers and sisters, she is survived by daughter, Mrs. Delbert (Joanne) Leber, of Norwalk; sons, Roy, of Frankfort, Ky., Dale of Versailles, Ky. And Jack, of Doylestown; 22 grandchildren; 17 great – grandchildren.


The family will receive friends at the Hillard – Cox Funeral Home, 174 N. Lyman St., Wadsworth today 2 to 4 and 6 to 9 p. m., where services will be held Friday 3 p. m., Mr. John Donnenwirth officiating. Interment Greenlawn Memorial Park. 

The Akron Journal, Akron, OH

14 June 1979

Page 32


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Saturday, June 1, 2024

Graduation 1951 Hudson, NY

Graduation Time

May & June is time for graduations. It seems like a good time to share these mementoes of my aunt's graduation. She was the third of her siblings to graduate from the high school. I wonder how my grandparents celebrated her graduation. After high school she attended the New York State University at Utica where she studied to be a teacher. 

Genevieve Audry Brown Wieland Schaperjahn

3 Oct 1932 OH - 18 Jan 2015 NY

Daughter of Roy Jessie & Ivy Regina Mark Brown

Class of  1951
Hudson High School
Hudson, Columbia County, New York

Genevieve is in the lower right of the class photo, taken with the high school in the background. 
This is her yearbook photograph.