GUESMAN-L ArchivesArchiver > GUESMAN > 1999-02 > 0919193134
Subject: Geesaman Newsletter Vol.1 No. 2 Cont.
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 1999 14:25:34 EST
Who were the parents of Susannah Geesaman Bohner ?
One hundred years ago , in the 1870's my grandmother was a small girl named
Mary Jane Sommers, living on a farm in Michigan. Her grandmother, Susannah
Geesaman Bohner, would often come from Ohio to visit her daughter and
grandchildren. Susannah was blind the last twenty-eight years of her life. "
Take me out and let me feel the cowages, " she would say to Mary Jane and Mary
Jane thought her accent was funny. The small child would take her grandmother
by the hand and lead her up and down the row of cabbages, and Susannah would
handle each one, feeling it's firmness and size.
It was said by relatives that Susannah went blind because she cried so much.
When she was young her parents rejected the man that she loved and chose
another for her: Jacob Bohner. She cried right through the wedding day, and
after they were married she cried all the time. Her husband was mean to her,
but after she went blind he treated her with great kindness.
Their youngest daughter Lovina, fell in a wheat field full of stubble when she
was five years old and ran a straw in her eye. It became infected and the
infection spread to
her other eye, and she became blind also. She attended a school for the
blind, Lovina was very beautiful, they say. She was engaged to marry an
instructor at the school when she died of a sudden illness.
Susannah Geesaman was born 19 February, 1807 in Pennsylvania. Her husband,
Jacob Bohner, was born 2 August, 1807 in Northumberland Co., Pennsylvania to
Jacob Bohner and Catherine Diebler Bohner, Susannah and Jacob were married
16 Jan., 1828.
Jacob Bohner died 25 April, 1881 in West Unity, Williams Co., Ohio, and his
died 5 February, 1883, also in West Unity. Their children, as follows were
in West Unity:
Emanuel Bogner b. 17 June 1829
Catherine Bohner b. 31 Jan. 1831
John Bohner b. 17 Oct. 1832
George Washington Bohner b. 22 Feb. 1834
Elizabeth Bohner b. 18 May, 1836
Mary Polly Bohner b. 5 Mar., 1839
Jacob Jackson Bohner b. 5 Feb., 1841
William Bohner b. 2 oct. 1842
Susannah Bohner b. 1 July, 1844
Lovina Bohner b. 10 Aug. 1846
I am interested in finding Susannah's parentage. I do have one additional
She had a brother George , who lived at or near West Unity---- June Terry,
Densmore N., Seattle Wash, 98103
Abstract of the Will of Johannes D. Giesaman
(This abstract was made from a typed transcription which John E. Geesaman of
Quincy, PA made of a Xerox copy of the original will. Johannes D. Giesaman was
born 19 Nov., 1767 and died 11 Sept. 1826 )
" I, John Geesaman of the township of Guilford, County of Franklin, State of
Pennsylvania, do make and declare this , my last will and testament in manner
following, that is to say:
Wheras I aim to devise a way to provide for future substance, care and
convenience of my beloved wife Sabina, I give unto her during her life of
widowhood the use of the house in which my son Joseph now lives and which
adjoins my present dwelling. I will further that upon my death she shall be
allowed to take from the furnishings and stuff in my house and select such
things as in her opinion she may stand in need of."
The above paragraph is a near verbatim quote of the beginning of the will. He
then wills his widow a sorrel horse, a cow, use of the pasture for the
animals, half of the garden and " as many apples and as much cider ans she may
want and that my Joseph shall make it for her."
The will itemizes other services his son Joseph will be required to render for
Joseph is willed "ninety-four acres and one hundred thirty-seven perches with
allowance at the rate of $25.00 per acre, and after my widow's dower shall
have been deducted out of the amount of this part that my son Joseph shall
himself out of the remaining two-thirds $600.00 and that he shall pay the
residue to my executors in annual payments of $100.00 each until it shall be
Then followed the formula of directions designed to protect the interests of
the widow and the other eight children so that Joseph would not get a
dispoportionate share of the estate. In addition, Joseph was willed a 10 acre
tract of woodlands in Washington Twp., Franklin Co.
His son Jacob was willed a farm situated in Westmoreland County , PA., valued
at $1, 250.00. Provisions and restrictions designed to protect the interests
of the widow and other heirs were imposed on Jacob. These were very much the
same as those imposed on Joseph.
The will authorized the sale of the personal property remaining after the
widow had taken for her use such as she needed.
In addition to Joseph and Jacob, the will names seven other children:
Margaret and Sally, both unmarried: Elizabeth whose marital status is unclear,
Sabina married to John Shillan; Rachel, married to Samuel Mock, Catherine,
married to David Melaker ( or Metzker), and Samuel who must have been very
The final provision of John Geesaman's will stated "And to the interest that
equal justice may be done. I hereby empower my executors to amend any defect
in this my will which may have a tendency to defeat my intentions of doing
exact and equal justice to all my children and giving to each an equal share."
It concluded. " I, John Geesaman, the testator, have set my hand and seal
this fifteenth day of April, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-six."
Johannes D. Giesaman
Sealed and signed in the presence of
Jasper E. Brady
( This will can be found in Book C, page 820 in the courthouse of Franklin
Pa. The executors were not named in the will which seems rather unusual. The
Jacob mentioned in the will is the Jacob Giesaman who married Barbara Reichard
and moved to Stark County, Ohio.)
INSCRIPTIONS AT FAIRVIEW CEMETERY, NIOTAZE, KANSAS
(Information given by Mrs. Cleona ( Geesaman) Appleby, Peru, Kansas. More
information is given than was on the stones. )
GEORGE R. GEESAMAN
Born 28 Sept., 1828, Lebanon , Pa
Married 10 Nov., 1852 to Louisa May Rockhill, Indiana
Died August 2, 1898 Chatauqua Co., Kansas
LOUISA MAY ROCKHILL GEESAMAN
Born 23 Sept., 1833, Fort Wayne, Ind.
Died 27 Jan., 1913, Chatauqua Co., Kansas
HENRY O. HELVIE
( Husband of Lulu Geesaman)
Born 30 Jan., 1881, Wells Co., Indiana
Died 31 March, 1961, Cedarvale, Kansas
LULU ( GEESAMAN) HELVIE
Born 22 Feb., 1884, Marshall Co., Iowa
Died 16 June, 1969, Independence, Kansas
EARL MONROE HELVIE
Son of Henry O. and Lulu Geesaman Helvie
Born 17 March, 1906, Chautauqua Co., Kansas
Died 17 Dec., 1935, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Daughter of Bruce and Floe Geesaman Colean
Died at birth 9 Jan., 1920, Chautauqua County, Kansas
GEORGE O. GEESAMAN
Born 13 Dec., 1880, Gliman, Iowa
Died 30 Aug., 1963, near Peru, Kansas
WILLIAM H. GEESAMAN
Born 26 Oct., 1857, Tipton, Iowa
Died 23 May, 1927, Tulsa, Oklahoma
KATIE BAER GEESAMAN
( Wife of William H, Geesaman)
Born 6 Jan., 1861, Marshall Co., Iowa
Died 4, Jan., 1939, Chautauqua Co., Kansas
CLAUDE D. APPLEBY
( Husband of Cleona Geesaman Appleby)
Born 25 Jan., 1902,, Wauneta, Kansas
Died 5 April., 1967 , Kansas City