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Grandmother's Oral History

Written by

Margaret Elizabeth Jane (Pearson) Reck

Submitted by her Grandson

Michael O. Reck

(Note: v denotes Michael's comments)

The following is an account of the family history told by my grandmother, Margaret Elizabeth Jane (Pearson) Reck on 20 April 1979. This information was sent to Julie Love of Crown Point, Indiana, when Julie requested information on the family. Julie was a grand niece to my grandmother. Since this information was written, many updates and corrections have been made to the family history. This is the entire account in my grandmotherís hand. No corrections or updates have been made in order to keep the entire context as original.


This is just about all I can recall about my motherís family.
My mother was born November 4, 1880 in Chickasaw, Ohio, Mercer County. She, her sisters and brothers went to school there but the older ones did not go very far in school. There were no English speaking schools for the children, so they went to school where they were taught in German. They learned to read and write German before they learned English. English was spoke in the home and my grandmother never spoke German. The children often spoke German to her, but she answered in English. Florence was the youngest child. When she was a small child, the family moved to Osgood, where grandma lived until she died in 1937. Grandpa died in 1907 or 1908, I am not sure which. He had diabetes and had been in the V.A. Hospital here in Dayton, but went home before he died.

v      I found Nellie Boydís birth recorded in Darke County, Ohio. She was born in Pikeville, York Township, Darke Co., Ohio.  I have never heard the account of German being spoken in the family. I have no proof of this. This is the only account of this in any oral family history to date. Jacob W. Boyd was born: 27 May 1843, Buffalo Twp., Perry County, Pa. He died on 1st. Feb. 1909 in Osgood, Darke County, Ohio.

Aunt Ida, the oldest child, never married either, lived at home, or worked out as a domestic. Oh, yes, before moving to Osgood, Ohio, they lived in Paulding, Ohio, but I donít know how long. I think Aunt Florence was born there. Perhaps others. Aunt Norah married Elmer Kite, lived in Kalamazoo, Michigan and had 7 children. Uncle Harry never married, was a crippled, always living at home. My mother, Nellie was married at 17 to James Edward Pearson in 1898. had 5 children by this marriage; Asa, Gladys, Margaret, May, Grace, and Wilbur. May died the day she was born. James Pearson died in May 1910 and later Nellie married Ross Clanin in 1917. Myrtilla and Catherine were born of this union.

v      Other members have mentioned to me that Ida was a domestic that lived in other towns to make money. She was never married, and in later years lived with her sister, Florence Geiger in Brookville, Ohio. Florence (Boyd) Geigerís record of birth is located at the county seat of Paulding County, Ohio. She was born in Payne, Ohio where her family lived a short time.

v      Norah Boyd married Elmer Kite at Payne, Ohio on 6 June 1891. She later moved to Kalamazoo, Mi. and died young there.

v      Harry Boyd died unmarried at the Darke County Home on the 12 December 1937.

v      May Pearson may have died in Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio. An un-named child was buried at Woodland Cemetery, In Dayton, of James Pearson.

v      James E. Pearson was employed at the Barney & Smith Car Works, Dayton, Ohio as a steam fitter.  On 16 May 1910, while working at Barney & Smith Car Works, he suffered fatal burns while engaging in making repairs on a boiler.  Heavy pressure from the inside of the boiler caused displacement of a gasket and James was enveloped in a cloud of steam and boiling water. He died on 29 May 1910 from injuries he sustained from the accident. He was buried at Mendenhall Cemetery, Yorkshire, Darke Co. Ohio. He lived 13 days after the accident.

v      After the accident, Barney & Smith Car Co. gave Nellie $600.00 for accidental death for James. She used the money to buy a house in Osgood, Darke Co., Ohio. She moved on Washington St. where both her in-laws and parents lived. The house was located next to her in-laws. She then married on June 17, 1917 to Ross Clanin, a railroad worker who worked on and off at Osgood. After the marriage, they moved shortly afterwards to Hammond, Indiana where Ross obtained work at an Oil Co. My grandmother (Margaret Pearson Reck) remained living at her grandmother's, Maggie Boyd in Osgood. My grandmother continued to live there until she could obtain work in Dayton, Ohio, with two other Pearson cousins; Orpha & Florence Pearson, children of John Pearson & Catherine (BOYD) Pearson. My grandmother's other siblings went to Hammond, Indiana to live with their mother and new stepfather.

Catherine Boyd married John Knox Pearson, brother of James and bore 18 children. Charles Boyd married late in life to a girl named Pansy, in Terra Haute, Indiana. I donít know her maiden name. They had one child, a girl. Pansy was burned to death, along with the unborn child she was carrying.

v      The only reference I can find to Johnís middle name being Knox is by my grandmother. Other members of the family have mentioned that his middle name may have been Kenneth. He did have a son named, Kenneth. He always went by the name of John K. Pearson. He and Catherine (Boyd) Pearson are buried at Mendenhall Cemetery.

v      I have only found 17 children. There may be more or less children for Catherine & John Pearson.

v      I have not pursued the line of Charles & Pansy Boyd at this time.

Florence Boyd married Alois Geiger in Dayton, Ohio in 1912. They had 8 children.

v      Florence & Al Geiger were married in Dayton, Ohio on 26 August 1913.

My grandfather, Jacob Washington Boyd was born at Brock, Ohio on May 27, 1843. His parents lived on a large prosperous farm, originally lived in a log cabin. When later they built a large farmhouse, they kept the cabin, and it was in that log cabin my grandmother and grandfather set up housekeeping, in the spring of 1868. There were six children in the family, David, Samuel, Wesley, Hibbard, Jacob and Susannah. Four of the boys and their father fought in the Civil War. I do not know the names of my grandfatherís parents, but I assumed they are buried at Brock. Grandmaís oldest child is buried there.

v      Jacob Washington Boyd was born in Buffalo Township, Perry County, Pa. The 1850 census of Perry County states he was born in PA. His death certificate, and war records indicated that he was born in Perry County, Pa.

v      Jacobís parents were Joseph Wesley Boyd, Sr. and Catherine (Bair) Boyd. They had 10 children, with the last two children being born in Darke County, Ohio. Jacob is listed in the 1850 Perry County, Pa., as a son of Joseph & Catherine Boyd.

v      Later research shows that Jacob married his first cousin, Margaret E. Shaffer. Margaretís mother was Delilah Boyd, daughter of Thomas Boyd and Susannah Howe. Thomas and Susannah Boyd was the parents of Joseph W. Boyd, Sr., father to Jacob W. Boyd.

Grandma, Margaret Elizabeth Shaffer was born at Webster, Ohio, Darke County in August 1851. She had a brother Lewis, 2 or 3 years younger than she, who was an old time Methodist circuit rider. She had 2 daughters. After the death of his first wife, he was married again. They traveled by horse and buggy to the end of his life. I do not know when he died. He and his second wife came to visit us when I was 17 years old (1921). He died before grandma did in 1937. (She was 86 years old.) Lew lived in Greenville.

Grandmotherís mother came from somewhere in Pennsylvania, of Pennsylvania Dutch people. She and her husband lived in Webster, Ohio. Shortly after Lew was born, the father died and great grandmother went back to Pennsylvania. She was married again and had another daughter, Jayne, who married a man named Clarke and they lived in Toledo, Ohio, raising a family there. Great grandmother was married 6 times. She lived with Jayne who cared for her when she became senile. She died short of 90 years old. The last man she married was named Anson.

v      In several censuses show Margaret and brother, Louis being born in either PA. Or Ohio. According to Louisís death record, he was born Pa. In Margaretís death record, shows Pa. My grandmother always maintained that the two were born in Ohio.

v      Have no proof that Lewis was a Circuit rider. I believed he lived in Darke County all his life. I believe that Lewis was only married once to Fidella HOLSAPPLE on 27-December-1888, Darke County, Ohio. I have found no other marriages for Lewis.

v      Delilah Boyd, who married unknown Shaffer, lived for a time in Webster, Darke County, Ohio. I found only 4 marriages for Delilah.

v      Other marriages for Delilah are: Elias Shaffer ca. 1850, James C. Edinger on 7 June 1855 ,Jacob Lear on 12 Sept. 1876, and last, Sidney Anson about 1892.

v      Delilahís second marriage to James C. EDINGER, produced a daughter, Hannah Jane ďJennyĒ Edinger.

v      Hannah Jane ďJennyĒ Edinger, married on 1 March 1877, Darke County, Ohio to Samuel Paul Clark. Eight (8) children born to this union. They lived in Toledo, Ohio.

Grandma was a woman of few words, a devout Christian, hard worker and generous to all. After grandpa died, she had a pension of $30.00 per month to live on and supported her son, me from 1910 to 1920 and helped my mother to raise her children until she and Ross were married.

v      My grandmother stated this fact to me several times. Her grandmother was very dependant of this money.



Michael O. Reck, April 24, 2001. Reck Family Website


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