Ressler, Isaac Franklin Sr. 1 2 1a 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Birth Name Ressler, Isaac Franklin Sr.
Gender male


[Isaac Franklin Ressler Jr.:] A blacksmith in Manheim Twp., like his father [Sr. - this Isaac]. (O'er Stormy Seas book.)


There is a lot of confused information out on the web that mixes up this Isaac Franklin Ressler with an Isaac S. Ressler who was born in Lancaster Co., PA approximately 1847, but died in Bluffton, IN in 1905. To be fair, I don't know from my own family sources when or where Isaac Franklin was born or died though 1847 seems reasonable, and they were apparently both blacksmiths, although the Mart Zimmerman "O'er Stormy Seas" book strongly implies that Isaac Franklin (Sr.) was a blacksmith in Manheim Twp. PA, around the time Isaac Franklin Jr. was married in 1898. I had assumed that Isaac Franklin Ressler was the son of Isaac Ressler (hereafter "Isaac 1805") and Mary Schlott, but I'm realizing that I cannot prove that definitively, given the confusion. Isaac 1805 and Mary definitely did have a son named Isaac, but which of the many Isaacs noted here is not clear. Therefore, I have broken the chain between Isaac Franklin and Isaac 1805/Mary until I have further evidence.

What I know about Isaac Franklin Ressler, Sr. without ambiguity, either from the genealogy my uncle Martin Ressler researched (available at Bluffton University as well as my private copy I obtained from my father), conversations with older relatives that knew some of the children, my own visits to various gravesites, and a family Bible that I have in my possession:

Isaac Franklin Ressler (born unknown, died unknown, interred unknown) married Martha M. Sechrist (born 1843-02-01, died 1905-02-26, interred Trinity Lutheran Cemetery, New Holland, PA) on 1866-09-30. They had three children: Sara Jane (Sallie, 1870-06-01 to 1963-09-29), Isaac Franklin S. (1879-09-28 to 1943-07-07), and Charles Frances (1881-03-27 to 1951-04-17).

Martha is buried at Trinity Lutheran next to her sister Mary, Mary's husband (Henry Weiler), and her parents. There is no evidence from exploring the cemetery that Isaac Franklin (Sr.) is also buried there, though their son (Isaac Franklin Ressler, Jr., aka Frank Ressler) is buried there.

From Isaac Jr.'s death certificate, it is stated that both parents (Isaac Franklin and Martha) were born in Ironville, near the western edge of Lancaster Co. They must have moved northeast to Sporting Hill (near Manheim) where Isaac Jr. was born in 1879.

Further null evidence is that he was not known by his descendants (my ancestors) to have left Lancaster County, nor was there any discussion of him having served in the military. My father and several of my uncles were Civil War enthusiasts, and while several other of my/their ancestors were known to have served in the Civil War, there was never any mention of Isaac Franklin having done so (or served in the military shortly after the war).

Concerning Isaac S. Ressler, ignoring any family tree information from, which I find to be notoriously unreliable: says of Isaac S:
"Isaac S. Ressler, 16 Feb 1905, Bluffton, 58 Years, Male, White", which would have put his birth year at 1847.

A newspaper death notice at reads:

"Isaac Ressler, a blacksmith at Bluffton, died Thursday shortly after he had eaten a hearty dinner. Earlier in the day Ressler had swallowed a heavy dose of laudanum with suicidal intent, but he was believed to be safely recovering when he suddenly reeled and fell, and death ensued a few moments later. Ressler had been drinking for several days, and is believed to have taken the poison an account of a quarrel with his wife which ensued when she remonstrated with him for his bibulous habits. He was an old soldier, 58 years of age."

This is consistent with a Civil War pension registration card that describes an Isaac S. Ressler, of Pennsylvania who served in the US Army infantry, Regiment 53, Company I, after the War ("Conflict Period: Other Service"). The pension request was filed 1890-10-13, and notes that he died in Bluffton, IN, on Feb. 16, 1905.

A possibly identical Isaac S. Ressler applied to marry Barbara E. Wyatt on October 6, 1887. While the license was applied for on this date, there is a comment that "no marriage return [was] made". This was in Whitley Co., IN, one county (and a bit) over from Wells Co, IN, where the above Isaac S Ressler died in 1905.

Another Isaac S. Ressler, this one of Ephrata Twp., PA, rented property from
Samuel Heinicke, also of Ephrata Twp., on February 24, 1891.

It is unlikely that these two Isaacs are the same person given that the marriage license was in 1887 in Indiana, while the rental was in Pennsylvania in 1891.

A third (or fourth) Isaac S Ressler that we can definitely rule out was a union painter and married Margarette Wilson in 1902.

He defrauded a widow in Savannah, GA and deserted his wife Margaret in Wilmington, DE in 1904/05

and was later divorced from Margaret in 1909.

Clearly not a possibility for our already confused situation.

Comments on what I have seen at

The information at states:
"Born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania on Jan 1847 to Isaac Ressler and Mary Polly Schlott. Isaac S Ressler married Magdalena "Martha" Sechrist and had 5 children. He passed away on 16 Feb 1905 in Bluffton, Indiana."

However, the children listed there are something of a hodge-podge with respect to the children listed in my uncle Martin's family history that specifically details the descendants of this Isaac Franklin. They had 3 children: Sara Jane (Sallie), Isaac Franklin Jr., and Charles. Ancestry shows Sara Jane and Isaac Franklin Ressler (Jr.) with the correct dates, but they omit Charles, and they list three other "Resler" children. These three each has a name suspiciously like Isaac Franklin Sr.'s siblings, but are misspelled (Addisen vs Addison, Anne E vs Anna Elizabeth, and Caroline). Ancestry does list a second wife, Minerva "Minnie" Frank (1857-1929) who was the wife of the Isaac S. in Indiana and was born in Missouri or Illinois.

Perhaps I am putting too much faith in a middle initial, but my ancestor has always been Isaac Franklin; the family history assembled by my late uncle Martin Ressler starts with Isaac Franklin Ressler, and his research abilities were superb. The "other" Isaac has always been "S" (perhaps Strasburg, as noted by findagrave). The Civil War record is also clearly Isaac S (from a scan of the card). Unless I can find new information, I have to conclude that these are two (or more) different men, and that the linkage from Isaac Ressler and Mary Schlott to Isaac S given by is deeply suspect. However, I cannot prove that Isaac Franklin is the son of Isaac and Mary either. All I know is that the 1860 census shows that Isaac and Mary have a son Isaac who was 13 years old at the time. Whether this is my Isaac Franklin or some other Isaac S., I cannot yet say.



Event Date Place Description Sources
Birth   Ironville, Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania, United States of America    


Family of Ressler, Isaac Franklin Sr. and Sechrist, Martha (Magdalena)

Married Wife Sechrist, Martha (Magdalena) ( * 1 February 1843 + 26 February 1905 )
Event Date Place Description Sources
Marriage 30 September 1866      
Name Birth Date Death Date
Ressler, Sara Jane1 June 187029 September 1963
Ressler, Isaac Franklin Jr.28 September 18797 July 1943
Ressler, Charles Francis27 March 188117 April 1951

Family Map

Family Map