|We now have a local history museum in Mansfield
representing the area in and near Mansfield including Richmond, Sullivan,
Rutland, Covington, Tioga and more
Visit the History Center
on Main Street at 83 North Main Street where our library
resources are housed. We also have a museum location
at 61 North Main Street.
Regular hours are noon to 3 T, W Th or by appointment. Extended Summer
Also visit us on Facebook -- Museum established 2012 - Memberships
available, Donations welcome
If you have ancestors in our area, the History Center would like to meet you
and show you what we know about your family and learn what you know that we
don't. Mansfield area people are the core of what we value.
Our genealogy database of nearly 100,000 individuals with local connections may include your ancestors.
We also have filing cabinets full of resources and a thorough knowledge of our
past residents, schools, and businesses. It's worth a visit.
Donations to The History Center will help keep this website available.
Tri-Counties Genealogy &
History by Joyce M. Tice
Diaries & Letters of Tri-Counties
All of the people pictured here,
and more, can tell you about their life and times on these pages.
Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA
|Table of Contents - Diary and
||Diary & Letter Collection of Joyce M. Tice
With additional contributions from site guests
Joyce's Search Tip - December 2010
||Do You Know that you can search just the
pages of our
Diaries and Letters on this site by using the Diaries
button in the Partitioned search engine at the bottom of the Current
What's New Page? But diaries and letters are wonderful sources
to understand the culture of time and place. Read them and enjoy them slowly.
The following table lists the diaries and letters presently in the
collection of the Sullivan-Rutland Genealogy Project. As time goes on more
of these will be presented online. They tell of the lifestyle of our predecessors
in Sullivan and Rutland Townships. Once in a while they give us some important
genealogical information. Rarely, they give an opinion, but most of these
people were more involved in doing than thinking, or at least of writing
about what they thought. The collection runs the full range of ages and
gender. The lives were fairly similar one to another. Over time modes of
transportation were the major changes. while the basic life style and community
interactions remained much the same over the century represented here from
the mid 1800s to the mid 1900s.
Any additional contributions to this collection are very welcome. Photocopies
are the preferred method of transmitting the data, unless you have already
About the Diarists and Letter Writers
The unifying elements of Tri-Counties Genealogy & History
by Joyce M .Tice are TIME, PLACE and CULTURE. The best qualified persons
to tell us about all three are the diarists whose work is included here.
following collection includes letters and diaries from the residents of
Sullivan and Rutland Townships in Tioga County, Pennsylvania. Rutland is
north of Sullivan and both are on the border of Bradford County, PA. The
writers were located near or on the Sullivan-Rutland border. My original
collection has been supplemented extensively by submissions from other
locales in the Tri-County area represented by my web site.
One of the elements the diaries share is that the writers
express few opinions. Mainly they serve as logs of work done, people who
visited and places they went. Farm life was about work and that is the
central focus in the diaries. The most extreme expression of emotion or
feeling is an occasional reference to feeling “blue.” They didn’t
focus on their feelings, only their work, and occasional social,
activities. Rarely do any of the writers express an opinion about
another person. They simply record events. As farmers, they are very
focussed on the weather as it was, and is, such a controlling factor in
their farming success. They also frequently use the diary as a log of expenses
and revenues, debts owed, debts paid and so on. The Eugene Crippen diaries
are refreshing in that they do offer opinions about events of the day.
Together, these diaries record the changing lifestyles of rural
Americans. Tractors and cars replace horses. The phone comes as a novel
invention and then is forgotten as it becomes too common to notice. Electricity
and new furnaces are installed.The roads are maintained. New kitchen equipment
and television comes into households. Genealogists will find many birth,
death and funeral dates of note. Many burial datres are noted in the Eugene
Crippen diaries as he was caretaker of Watson Cemetery in Roseville in
the 1930s. The Burt Strange diaries also are full of burial dates as he
Most of these people lived in what we would think of as very small
worlds. They did not travel far from home and did not see or know as many
people as we are accustomed to. With the exception of Lois ZIMMERMAN McConnell
and Jim McCONNELL who traveled more than most in the 1930s and 40s, Joe
HOLLY’s 1880 trip to Wisconsin to see his brother is one of the most distant
journeys. For the most part, they went to Roseville or Elk Run (Chandlersburg,
Bungy) or Mainesburg for horseshoing or church or Grange. They went to
Troy or Mansfield for more extensive shopping. In later years, they went
to Canton, Towanda, and elsewhere. A big shopping trip meant a trip to
Elmira, New York either by train in the earlier days, or by auto in the
more recent era.
I have transcribed the spelling as it was written. We have to
remember that many of these people, particularly in the earliest
dates, may have had no more than 6 weeks of education a year. They
were not stupid people, and we must keep their environment in mind as we
read what they write. We may be amused by their grammar and spelling, but
keep in mind that they reflected the standards of their time and place.
In later years many did not attend schooling past the eighth grade. Herman
TEARS graduated form high school and Carrie McCONNELL Beardslee graduated
from Mansfield Normal School. Jim McCONNELL and Lois ZIMMERMAN McConnell,
whose diaries are here represented only in excerpt, were both Cornell University
The few letters we have show much more personality and opinion
than the diaries. Through these we can really get to know our Sullivan
Township neighbors we missed in time. Through the sequence of these writings
we can watch the changing times, the changing lifestyles, babies born and
dying of old age, the flow of time in Sullivan and Rutland Township. It’s
a quiet journey. Enjoy yourself.
Since the original introduction was written several years
ago, many diaries from other areas in our three counties have been submitted
by guests. These are the voices of the diarists and give them a prolonged
opportunity to tell us about the world they lived in. It is with the utmost
respect and admiration that we present these here and give the writers
the opprtunity to extend their world views.
|Twentieth Century Diaries
Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA
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