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?






Tuesday, September 9, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks = Week #36; Isabell Fisher; Two Different Death Records

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.


Isabell Fisher Ritter
5 April 1828 OH – 8 March 1870 OH
My 3x Great Grandmother


Isabell Fisher was the daughter of John & Catherine Fisher. She married Isaac Ritter on 16 November 1848 in Plain Twp, Wayne, OH. They lived in Wayne Co., OH where they had 12 children: Lovina, John William, Mary Catherine, Elidia Rebecca, Barbary Ann, Amos, Elizabeth, Eslie D., Anthony Casper, Matilda, Philip & an infant.

In 1860 they were in Wayne, OH where Isaac was a carpenter and Isabell was the mother of five children.[1] For the next ten years Isabell took care of her growing family.

Sadly, Isabell died in childbirth. When did she die? Several years ago I visited the Wayne County Probate Court House and found two records for her death: 8 March 1869[2] and 7 March 1870[3]. How do I resolve this? I don't have an obituary to help. She is buried with her husband in the Salem Lutheran Cemetery.[4] I visited the cemetery. She shares a tombstone with her husband. The stone tells us she died 8 March 1870 which is a combination of the two courthouse records. I have decided to use that date as her official death date.



Related Post:





[1] 1860  US Census, Wayne, Wayne Co., Ohio; Isaac Ritter family.
[2] Death Record for Isabella Ritter, 8 March 1869, Volume 1, page 15, Wayne County Probate Court, Court House, 107 W Liberty St., Wooster, Ohio.
[3] Death Record for Isabella Ritter, 7 March 1870, Volume, page 14, Wayne County Probate Court, Court House, 107 W Liberty St., Wooster, Ohio.
[4] Genealogical Section of the Wayne County Historical Society. Wayne County, Ohio Burial Records. Ohio: Privately printed, page 633.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Happy Blog Anniversary to Leaves & Branches!


On September 3, 2010 I sent out my first blog post. I wanted to reach out to others who might be related to my family tree and who would be willing to share & compare information. My daughter, Alyssa, helped me set up my blog. I was both nervous and excited as I made decisions about the layout, title & the first post.

One of the best things that has happened over the years has been the connection with GeneaBloggers! I have been entertained & educated & challenged to improve by Thomas MacEntee and fellow members of this great group.

An unexpected perk has been making blogging buddies like Charlie, Wendy & Cheri. They are always willing to encourage & give suggestions & just be friendly.

I have made some connections with distant family members. I hope to find even more. Maybe I'll discover that one person who just happens to have a trunk full of original family documents and a pile of ancient photo albums! ha!

Meanwhile, it is time for a slice of cake, a glass of wine and a look back at how far I've come.

Related Posts:





Tuesday, September 2, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks = Week #35; Isaac Ritter; Died in Debt

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.


Isaac Ritter
1823 – 5 Aug 1880 OH
My 3x Great Grandfather



Isaac Ritter was the son of Johannes & Anna Mariah Ritter. He was the youngest of 13 children. His siblings were: John, David, Jacob, Elizabeth, Henry, Anna Maria, Theobald, Barbary, Frederick, Margaretha and Philip. His siblings were all born in PA. The family moved to OH and it is uncertain if Isaac was born in PA or OH.

Isaac married Isabell Fisher, daughter of John & Catherine Fisher. They were married 13 November 1848 in Plain Twp., Wayne, OH.[1] They lived in Wayne Co., OH where they had 12 children: Lovina, John William, Mary Catherine, Elidia Rebecca, Barbary Ann, Amos, Elizabeth, Eslie D., Anthony Casper, Matilda, Philip & an infant.

The 1860 census tells us Isaac was a carpenter.[2]

"At his new home along Rice Hill Road, Isaac was growing enough food with a garden and peach orchard to feed everyone.  His carpentry skills were useful around the Cedar Valley area and helped create some extra income for the family.  Isaac was also an accomplished woodworker and built, with his own hands, some of the furniture owned by his children."[3]

On 8 March 1870 their last child was born and died. Isabell also died. The older daughters, Elidia, 16 & Barbary Ann, 14, must have stepped in to care for the younger children. The 1870 census, taken in July, shows Isaac with no wife but eight children at home in Chester Twp.[4] Isaac did not remarry.

Isaac died in August 1880 from consumption.[5]  He had been treated by C. J. Warner, M. D. since December 1868. Dr. Warner had visited Isaac many times, giving him medicine and once dressing a wound. Isaac died in August that year. The record of his death says he died on 5 August though his tombstone says tombstone says he died two days later.

The papers for the estate of Isaac Ritter include a list of his heirs:
John Ritter, son of Congress;
Mary C. (Ritter) Miller daughter, and Henry Miller of Cedar Valley;
Elidia Rebecca (Ritter) Mark, daughter, and William Marks of Cedar Valley;
Barbary A. (Ritter) Messmore, daughter, and Allen Messmore;
Amos Ritter, son of Cedar Valley;
 Elizabeth A. (Ritter) Hawk, daughter, and William Hawk;
Esly Ritter, son, a Minor (Henry Miller, his guardian);
Anthony C. Ritter, son, a Minor (A. H. Christie, his guardian);
 Matilda Ritter, daughter, a Minor;
 and Phillip Ritter, son, a Minor, (F. P. Harman, his guardian).

He left no widow. These heirs petitioned the court to sell their father’s land to pay the “valid debts” of the estate. Those debts included $567.00 due to various people and $100.00 to cover the administration of his estate. The total value of the” personal estate and effects of the said decedent is but $497.00. Being insufficient to pay the debt and costs aforesaid.”[6]

Estate debts included money owed to daughter, Elidia Rebecca (Ritter) Mark [my great great grandmother]. Isaac had borrowed $6.50 from her on 4 March 1876. Rebecca was repaid this money plus $2.05 in interest. The estate also owed money to her husband, William Mark. He was owed $28.50 for a variety of services he performed for his father–in–law including: $12.50 for chopping wood, at the rate of one dollar a day; $5.25 for making 1,584 shingles, at the rate of 33 1/3 cents per hundred shingles; $2.62 for roofing for 1 ¾ days; $1.50 for making hay for one day; and $1.00 for peeling bark for one day. William and Rebecca also billed the estate for boarding Elisabeth Ritter and child for three weeks in March 1880, at the rate of $1.50 per week.[7]

Isaac is buried in Salem Cemetery, Madisonburg, Wayne, OH with his wife.[8]




[1] Record of Marriage for Isaac Ritter and Isabella Fisher, 16 November 1848, Volume 4B, Page 383, Wayne County Probate Court, Court House, 107 West Liberty Street, Wooster, Ohio.
[2] 1860  US Census, Wayne, Wayne Co., Ohio; Isaac Ritter family.
[3] Knox, Larry. The Ritter Family . Privately Printed, 1999.
[4] 1870 U.S. Census, Wayne County, Ohio; 1870; Volume 60 (1-124); Page 14, Line 9; Family History Center, Loudonville, NY Microfilm #552779; NOTES: Township of Chester, Taken 14 July 1870, Isaac Ritter & Family.
[5] Record of Death for Isaac Ritter, 5 August 1880, Volume 1, Page 118, Wayne County Probate Court, Court House, 107 West Liberty Street, Wooster, Ohio.
[6] Isaac Ritter, Estate Papers, Letters of Administration, Estate Inventory, 1880, Wayne County Probate Court, Court House, 107 West Liberty Street, Wooster, Ohio.
[7] Ibid.
[8] Genealogical Section of the Wayne County Historical Society. Wayne County, Ohio Burial Records. Ohio: Privately printed.