Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Berlin Family :: The Cast of Characters

This is a “brief introduction” to the people who wrote, received, or are mentioned in the Berlin Family Letters. I intend to write a more complete biographical sketch of each of the family members. Links to those posts will be added to this page as the posts are created.

Catherine Berlin Richmond :: The second child and first daughter of John D. and Susannah (Hoffman) Berlin, Kate was born on May 21, 1830 in Columbiana County, Ohio. She was married about 1854 to Frederick Daniel Richmond. They spent several years in Iowa then moved to Locke Township, Elkhart County, Indiana in 1858 where they lived for the remainder of their lives.

E. A. Coppes :: This could be Eliza Ann Coppes, sister of Sam Coppes who married Elizabeth Berlin.

Elizabeth Berlin Coppes :: Often referred to as Lizzie or Lib, she was the eighth child of John D. and Susannah (Hoffman) Berlin and was born on April 28, 1843 near Washingtonville, Columbiana County, Ohio. The family resided near Rootstown, Portage County, Ohio for about 18 years prior to moving to Locke Township, Elkhart County, Indiana in September 1864. Elizabeth was married to Samuel D. Coppes on March 12, 1867 and except for two or three years in Nodaway County, Missouri in the early 1870s they lived in Nappanee, Indiana and were the parents of nine children.

Francis Berlin :: Son of Solomon and Fianna (Slabaugh) Berlin, born May 15, 1858 in Locke Township, Elkhart County, Indiana.

Fred Richmond :: He was the husband of Catherine “Kate” Berlin. During the Civil War he served for three years in the 5th Indiana Cavalry.

George W. Greene :: He married Sarah Berlin on August 28, 1864 just two days before other members of the Berlin family moved to Elkhart County, Indiana. George and Sarah would remain in Portage County, Ohio where they became the parents of seven children, five who survived into adulthood.

Henry Woodruff :: He was the second husband of Lydia (Berlin) Collins. They were married September 18, 1874 in Rootstown, Portage County, Ohio and lived in Lacygne, Linn County, Kansas. Henry died on December 31, 1898 and the next year Lydia moved to Nappanee, Elkhart County, Indiana to be closer to her sisters.

Isaac Slabaugh :: He could be a brother to Fianna and Julia Slabaugh who married Solomon and Josiah Berlin, respectively.

Jacob Berlin :: Jacob was listed as living with his brother and sister-in-law, Solomon and Fianna Berlin, in the 1860 census for Locke township. Also listed with them was aunt Polly, their father’s sister. Born on September 30, 1836 Jacob was one of the first to answer the Union’s call to arms and enlisted in Company “C” Ninth Indiana Volunteer Infantry on September 5, 1861. Just seven months later, on April 7, 1862, Jacob met his death on the battlefield of Shiloh in western Tennessee during the second day’s fighting. He was 25 years old. When the G.A.R. post in Nappanee was established, it was named in his honor.

James M. Walker :: James Madison Walker was the son of Mary Hoffman and Thomas Walker. Mary was the sister of Susannah Hoffman Berlin. James was born on July 28, 1841 near Washingtonville, which lies on the border of Columbiana and Mahoning counties in Ohio. James enlisted on August 8, 1862 in Battery A of the 1st Ohio Light Artillery and served for three years. His autobiography is online.

James W. Rose :: One of the Randolph boys, James served in Company A, 1st Ohio Light Artillery during the Civil War.

John D. Berlin :: Born on December 8th, 1792 near Abbottstown in York (now Adams) County, Pennsylvania, he settled in Columbiana County, Ohio where he was married to Susannah Huffman on February 16th, 1826. A little over a year later their first child, Solomon, was born. They remained in Columbiana County, near Washingtonville, for nearly 20 years and had eight more children: Catherine, 1830; Lydia, 1832; Josiah, 1834; Jacob, 1836; Mary, 1838; Sarah, 1840; Elizabeth, 1843; and Lovina, 1845. In 1846 the family moved to Rootstown in Portage County and lived there for 18 years. Their youngest son, Joseph Milton was born in 1848 and was killed in the spring of 1856 in a wagon accident, he was seven years old.

In late August or early September of 1864, John and Susannah moved to Locke Township, Elkhart County, Indiana where several of their children and other relatives lived. With them they took their son Josiah (and his family) and their two youngest daughters, Elizabeth and Lovina. Three of the daughters remained in Ohio: Mary who was single and worked in the office of a print shop, Lydia who was married to Myron Collins, and Sarah who had just married George Greene on August 28, 1864. Mary and Lydia would eventually find their way to the family in Indiana, but Sarah would remain in Ohio all her life though she did make at least one visit to Indiana.

Joseph Miner :: Son of John and Mary (Hoffman) Miner. Mary was a sister of Susannah (Hoffman) Berlin. In the 1860 census for Elkhart County, Indiana, Joseph is listed in the dwelling just after Solomon Berlin, son of John D. and Susannah (Hoffman) Berlin.

Josiah Berlin :: Josiah was born on June 24, 1834 in Columbiana County, Ohio. He was the second son and fourth child of John D. and Susannah Berlin. On September 13, 1857, Josiah was married to Julia Slabaugh, sister of Fianna who had married Solomon Berlin. He died on March 27, 1869 in Elkhart County, Indiana at the age of 34, leaving his wife and two young sons, George and Charles Berlin.

Kate Berlin Richmond :: See Catherine Berlin Richmond

Lovina Berlin Yarian :: Sometimes referred to as “Vina” she was the ninth child of John D. and Susannah (Hoffman) Berlin. Born on May 8, 1845 near Washingtonville, Columbiana County, Ohio she married Eli Yarian on September 22, 1866 in Elkhart County, Indiana. They lived near the town of Locke in Elkhart County the remainder of their lives and were the parents of seven children. Eli and Lovina are my Great-Great-Grandparents; their daughter Susie married Henry Phend and they are the parents of my grandfather, Rolland Victor Phend.

Lydia Berlin Collins Woodruff :: Lydia was one of the three daughters of John D. and Susannah Berlin who remained in Portage County, Ohio when the family moved to Elkhart County, Indiana. She was the third child and was born February 22, 1832 in Columbiana County, Ohio. She had married Byron Collins on November 12, 1858 and was devastated when he died in a hospital in Nashville, Tennessee on April 26, 1865. Lydia would remain a widow for nearly 10 years, until September 18, 1874 when she married Henry Woodruff. They moved to Lacygne, Linn County, Kansas where Henry passed away on December 31, 1898. The following year, Lydia moved to Elkhart County, Indiana to be near her sisters. She passed away on May 17, 1913.

Mamie Taylor :: A friend of Lizzie and Lovina. Mamie lived in Portage County, Ohio.

Mary Berlin :: Mary was the sixth child of John D. and Susannah Berlin. She was born October 17, 1838 in Washingtonville, Columbiana County, Ohio. In 1864 she remained in Portage County, Ohio when her parents moved to Elkhart County, Indiana. I don't know when she moved to Indiana but she operated a millinery store in Goshen for several years prior to her marriage on October 4, 1875 to Lewis B. Winder. They lived in the Locke-Nappanee area. Mary and Lewis did not have any children although he had a daughter from a previous marriage. Mary was the last surviving child of John D. and Susannah, passing away on July 20, 1933 at the age of 94.

Mary J. Rose :: A friend of Lizzie's who lived in Portage County, Ohio. Probably the sister of James W. Rose.

Myron Collins :: The first husband of Lydia Berlin; they were married November 12, 1858 in Portage County, Ohio. He enlisted near the end of the Civil War and served in Company H, 184th Ohio Infantry. Myron died of illness on April 26, 1865 in a military hospital in Nashville, Tennessee. He was 31 years old. Lydia would remain a widow until September 1874 when she married Henry Woodruff and moved to Lacygne, Linn County, Kansas. After Henry died in 1898, Lydia moved to Elkhart County, Indiana to be near her sisters.

Sam Coppes :: Samuel D. Coppes was the husband of Elizabeth Berlin.

Sarah (Berlin) Greene :: Born on December 25, 1840 Sarah was the seventh child of John D. and Susannah (Hoffman) Berlin. Sarah was married on August 28, 1864 to George W. Greene. Several days later, John D. Berlin, with his wife Susannah, two daughters Elizabeth and Lavina, and their son Josiah, and his family, made the journey to Indiana where they settled in Locke township, Elkhart county about a mile north of present day Nappanee. Sarah would live in Portage County, Ohio her entire life. She and George would have seven children; five would survive to adulthood, three of whom would have children of their own. Sarah passed away at the age of 75 on April 22, 1916 in Ravenna, Portage County, Ohio.

Solomon Berlin :: Solomon was the first child of John D. and Susannah (Hoffman) Berlin. Born May 26, 1827 in Columbiana County, Ohio he was married in Portage County, Ohio on April 13, 1851 to Fianna Slabaugh. They “almost immediately” moved to Elkhart county and settled on a farm in Locke township. In addition to tending to his large farm, he was also a brickmaker. Solomon and Fianna were the parents of four children, two of whom survived to adulthood. Solomon died September 22, 1872 at the age of 45.

Susannah Hoffman Berlin :: Born March 9, 1804 in Columbiana County, Ohio Susannah was the daughter of John and Catharine (Coy) Hoffman, of Frederick County, Maryland and Columbiana County, Ohio. Susannah was married to John D. Berlin on February 16, 1826 and gave birth to ten children, nine of whom survived into adulthood. See the entry for John D. Berlin.

Virgil Young :: Wrote the letter dated March 8, 1871 to Sam Coppes in Missouri. Virgil apparently owned some land nearby and Sam may have found a buyer for the land.

Warren Jenkins :: Wrote the letter dated June 2, 1865 to “Frank” and signed it “Your affectionate uncle Warren Jenkins.” I haven't been able to determine who this Frank is and whether (or how) Warren Jenkins is related to the Berlin Family!

Other people mentioned in the letters that are probably friends or possibly relatives of the family (listed alphabetically by first name):
  • Alexander Rose, Aunt Betsy Stauffer, Barbra Goodyear, Belle Hinkly, Billy Williams, Captain Gardner, Caroline Staffer, Charlie Holden, Clarence Whitting, Deb Lumly, Ellen Beans, Ezra Spere.
  • Frankie Sanford, Fred Knapp, Gideon Seymour, Henry Stouffer, Jacob Stouffer, Jestin Rodgers, Jim Ray, Joe Bradshaw, John Heisler, John Jones, John Kissel, John Luly, Jonn Honeywell, Laurie Barlow, Layey Hallock, Lena Himes, Lydia Beans.
  • Maggie Engelhart, Martha Rose, Martin Miller, Mary Basel, Mary Jones, Mary Ray, Mary Walton, Mike Leach, Mime Austin, Minnie Austin, Mr Barasmer, Mr Bogue, Mrs. Bissell, Mrs. Heisler, Mrs. Horton, Mrs. Spellman, Mrs. Woodroof, Noah Beans.
  • Phebe Parsons, Poe Luly, Rastus Taylor, Rosa Ansfall, S. K. Kraver,Sam Sheick, Sarah Ann Slabaugh, Seymour Reed, Silvie Jones, Steve Parsons, Strong Parsons, Sylvia Jones, Track Stanfard, Troy Honeyrock.
  • Victor Stanford, Vira Beans, Virgil Young, Walace Steadman, Walter Chiltendon, Wash Frances, Wesley Wirt, William Ealmyer.

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