Personal Research

Obituary for Ira Dyson Briner, 1935

In an effort to write more regularly for this blog, I decided to go through the awesome list of daily prompts at the GeneaBloggers Tribe website.

The prompt I picked for today is:
“Amanuensis Monday – this daily prompt, developed by John Newmark at Transylvanian Dutch, encourages bloggers to transcribe family letters, journals, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts. (An amanuensis is someone employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.).”

I actually really enjoy transcribing data, especially if it’s something unique like a family document. For today’s post, I decided to transcribe an obituary I found in my grandmother’s family photo collection. There is no date or source information, unfortunately, but it’s most like from a Pennsylvania newspaper, circa 1935. I did try looking up the obit on, but had no luck.

Here’s the original document:

I will add a citation later if I ever find out the source of this obituary.

And the transcription:

Ira B. Briner
Ira B. Briner, aged 45 years 6 days, who resided on Green Avenue Extended, died at the Lewistown Hospital Friday night at 11 o’clock after a protracted illness.

He leaves his widow, whose maiden name was Miss Grace Mitchell, and three daughters and one son: Mrs. William (Olive) Morgan, Bannerville; Mrs. Samuel (Ruth) Robinson, 203 Terrace Boulevard, Granville Township; Mrs. Henry (Dorothy) Mackneer, 122 West Water Street; John R. Briner, aged 8 years, at home.

These two sisters and one brother are also living: Mrs. Edith Kline, Walnut Street, Burnham; Mrs. Clare Teenie, 203 Terrace Boulevard; Lewis Briner, 11 Park Place, Lewistown.

He attended the services in Full Gospel Tabernacle, Logan Street. Burial will be in Vira Methodist Cemetery after the services are conducted at the funeral home of J. H. Fretz Monday afternoon at 2 o’clock with Rev. H. A. Christopher of Gospel Tabernacle officiating.

Some things to note:
1. Ira’s middle initial was actually “D,” as his middle name was “Dyson.”
2. The “protracted illness” was “nephritis,” as noted on Ira’s death certificate. Nephritis, aka diabetic kidney disease, can be brought on by Type 1 Diabetes, which Ira also had.
3. Son John’s middle initial should be “I,” as it is actually “Ira.”
4. Brother Lewis was a minister, one of many in the Briner-Vespa family tree.

This obituary was very exciting for me to find as it helped confirm research I had done, particularly on the married names of the siblings/children. I also find it funny that both Ira and his son John have the incorrect middle initials. Not sure what was going on there.

What kind of documents have you found hiding in a relative’s collection of “stuff?”


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