Phelps & Servin Phelps Family in America reprints now available
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Descendants of Rev. William Toy Bartle of Illinois and Pennsylvania, 1822 - Present

The Mysterious Standard Daily Journal

One of the treasures we have come into is a diary, found among the papers of Anne "Betty" Phelps, my grandmother. It had apparently been among her husband's, Harold Bartle Phelps, papers when he died. It has no journal type entries, but the unnamed author or authors records in fine penmanship the births, deaths, and marriages of a large number of Harold Bartle Phelps' family members.

The name of the writer remained a mystery for quite some time until we were able to piece together the following information.

  1. The deaths of these previously unknown individuals are listed (as illustrated below):

    1834 August My mother
    1890 August 5 Geo Bartle
    1892 September 1 E. G. Bartle

  2. These and other entries on the frontleaf of this diary give us some clues about William Bartle's family.
    On the page for November 3, the same hand has written:
  3. 1824 My Brother Geo Born.

  4. On the frontleaf, the same hand recorded the names and birthdates of "grandchildren."

So if the owner has a brother named "Geo. Bartle," then the owner's given surname must also be "Bartle". Then if the individual is a grandparent to all of the children listed, only one of those eight grandparents would have the birth surname of Bartle.

This leads us to conclude, given the time period in which the writing changed from one individual to another, that the initial owner appears to be the Rev. William Toy Bartle himself. Based on the evidence in the diary his mother died when he was twelve years old. Along with William's father, she was an immigrant from Prussia.