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Ancestral Memories: John Stichler and Mary Danelly

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Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: [unknown]
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  • In December 2016 I recorded the following stories of John and Mary (Danelly) Stichler.
  • I discuss communicating with ancestors (the source for these stories) at this G2G thread: Communicating with ancestors.
  • Click here for the story of their son Henry Stickler.
  • [ Click here] for the stories of John Stichler's parents.
  • The stories of Mary's parents will be added eventually.
  • These people appear on this five-generation chart.


John Stichler is ready to talk to his descendant. John Stichler was the son of a man who died when John was very young. John knew that his father had been a good man, but John didn’t know anything about him. John just knew that his father had come from Germany with a brother. John knew the story that John’s father had stowed away as a boy and came to America with his brother. John didn’t know if the story was true, but John had no reason to doubt it. John was unable to learn much, because he had to work to support his mother. John knew, because he wasn’t able to learn much, that his opportunities would be limited. John learned how to make shoes, and John was able to do this in addition to farming, in order to supplement his income. This helped John advance further than he would have otherwise.

John knew, because he was poor, that he would never be able to own land in the county where he lived. John knew, because he was poor, that he wouldn’t have any opportunity to marry a woman from a good family. John knew, because he was poor, that he wouldn’t be able to provide well for his children unless he moved west and started anew. This is what he did. John brought his family to Ohio and settled near his elder brother. John knew that his brother was not successful, because John’ s brother wasn’t a good farmer.

John knew, if he wanted to be more successful than his brother, that he would have to be lucky and hard-working. Farming was always risky, because so many things could destroy the crops. John wanted to be able to have a good life, and John knew that he was a capable farmer, but John wasn’t able to be very successful. He simply didn’t have enough time. He was unfortunate to become sick and die at a young age. This meant that he was unable to save enough money to provide well for his sons. John was disappointed when he knew that he was close to dying. He had hoped to be able to work hard and provide well for his children. But this wasn’t the will of God, and John died with a prayer that his wife would be well cared for. This is all that John will say.

[An afterthought, about an old German Bible that has been passed down in the family] John Stichler will tell his grandson about the Bible. John Stichler was given a Bible when he was a young man. The minister knew that he was a good young man, and the minister wanted to make sure that he was a good member of the church. So the minister gave him the Bible to ensure that he had a way to study. John studied the Bible and learned what it said. John knew, in the Old Testament, there were many strange stories, and John was never sure what to think about them. But in the New Testament John found clear description of how to live, and John lived according to the teaching of Jesus Christ.


Mary Danelly Stichler will tell her grandson about her life. Mary knew that she would never be rich. Her father wasn’t a successful farmer. He had enough land to feed his family, but that was all. Mary knew that, if she was able to marry a man with ambition and talent, then she would have a chance to live better than her parents. Mary hoped that her parents would respect her if she married a man who wasn’t part of their church. Mary wanted to look for a husband outside her parents’ church, because Mary understood that her church was a church full of poor people. Mary knew that she wouldn’t be permitted to go to another church unless she was accompanied by a family member. So Mary persuaded her sister to go to the “Riskable” church. [Unsure about the sound of the name.]

Mary was able to meet a man who might be a good husband. He was capable, but he had no land or money. He thought that he would be able to provide well for his children, and he knew that he would be hard-working. Mary decided to marry this man, and they were married in the church of her husband. Mary knew, because of her parents’ disapproval, that she wouldn’t receive anything in her father’s will. But Mary had made her choice, and Mary decided to live as her husband’s wife instead of her father’s daughter. Mary knew, because she hadn’t received anything, that her sister and her three brothers would give her something. But Mary was disappointed with what they gave her. They needed to plan for their own future, and Mary understood that they wouldn’t give more unless she went to court. Mary decided not to do that, because she wanted to make sure that her family was happy with each other.

So Mary was able to preserve harmony, and occasionally her brother would give her something unexpected. Mary accepted this as acknowledgement that she hadn’t gotten what she deserved. Mary knew, after her marriage, that her father would eventually agree that she had married a good man. But he died before he had the opportunity to really understand that he had made a mistake. This is all that Mary wants to say. (In answer to my question: “Mary’s father was named James, and her mother’s name was Mary. Mary was Irish, but not Catholic. She didn’t know why her family wasn’t Catholic. She just knew that her family was Irish, and people commented that they weren’t Catholic.”)

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