Christian Reesor collection (1833-1915)

Classification scheme: 
Hist. Mss. 1.9

Title: Christian Reesor collection

Dates of creation: 1850s-1890s, 1939, 1969

Physical Desciption: 17 cm of textual records; 6 photographs; 2 objects

Biographical Sketch: Christian Reesor (16 April 1833-26 December 1915) became a minister and bishop in the Mennonite Church. He was ordained as a minister in 1863 and as bishop in 1867. At the time of the division in the Mennonite Church in 1889, he affiliated with the Old Order Mennonites. Christian's youngest child, Thomas (18 March 1867-20 March 1954) was also a minister in the Old Order Mennonite church; he was ordained in 1916.

Christian's parents were John Eby Reesor (24 June 1806-27 November 1864) and Mariah Burkholder Reesor (7 July 1803-12 October 1876). They had four sons and one daughter. John Eby Reesor was a Mennonite minister for the Reesor congregation; he was ordained in 1836.

Custodial history: Donated to the Mennonite Archives of Ontario by Amos Reesor in the 1960s. Additional items donated by George Reesor in 2010.

Scope and Content: The collection contains a variety of legal documents, diaries, books, almanacs, photographs and other miscellany related to the Reesor family in Markham, Ontario. They primarily relate to Christian Reesor. Also included are a few items related to other extended family members -- Christian's Grandfather Peter Reesor (25 December 1775-16 November 1854); Christian's brother Noah Reesor (27 July 1831-24 November 1909); Adeline Grove Reesor (31 August 1871-23 February 1943)(Thomas Reesor's wife); Joseph Grove (1 August 1846-26 December 1914)(Adeline Grove Reesor's father); Martha Ramer Reesor (d. 25 April 1900)(Adeline Grove Reesor's grandmother, married to John L. Reesor (1811-1882))

Not included in the manuscript collection are 28 books included in the Conrad Grebel University College Library; they can be found by a "Reesor Donor" keyword search in the University of Waterloo Library system. These books include a 1531 Froschauer Bible. Also not included here is a "nine heart" design fraktur attributed to Simeon Reesor that is archived with other art pieces, or the fragment of a fraktur birth record for Christian Reesor (1804-1826)(ca. 1820). ( See Michael S. Bird. Ontario Fraktur : a Pennsylvania-German folk).

Note: Original description created 19 Jan 2006 by Sam Steiner

File list:

There are series in the collection: 1) Diaries; 2) Bills of sale; 3) Deeds, Legal documents ; 4) Property Taxes; 5)Letters; 6) Broadsheets; 7) Recipes; 8) Miscellaneous documents; 9) Almanacs; 10) Pamphlets; 11) Books / Periodicals; 12) Photographs; 13) Artifacts

Series 1: Diaries

1854 -- John Eby Reesor travel diary to Pennsylvania (​typescript extracts)

1893 -- Christian Reesor travel diary to Pennsylvania; also includes 1901 trip to Pennsylvania and 1898 and 1906 trips to Waterloo County

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Series 2 : Bills of Sale, Receipts

Included here are numerous items dated 1857-1897, all related to purchases by, or work done for, Christian Reesor. Reesor did business with A. Armstrong (1891; harness); John Baer's Sons (1885, Subscription); G.F.Bambridge (1864-1866, 1867, 1871, 1874, blacksmith); Charles Beierl (1893, cabinet); John Boyd (1872, building materials); Mortimer Buell (1861, trees); L.J. Burkholder (1885); P. Callaghan (N.d., shoe repair); M. Corell?(bricks); George Digby (1870, harness); B.A. Ellison (1885, 1888, 1890, blacksmith); D. Forsyth (1893, shingles); S.L. Freel (1879, doctor); Manasse Fretz (1870); R. Alex Harding (1879, veterinarian); A. Harris, Son & Co. (1875, note); P.R. Hoover (1880-1895, mill, coal); T.C. Kirkham (1885, wool carding); H. Lane (1865, ?); Wm. Lapp (1867; construction); D. McCarty (n.d.; labor); John McGaw (1893, hardware); Wm McKay (1865); Wm. McMillan (1882, blacksmith); Thomas A. Milne (1863-1864; Carding wool); W. A. Milne (1878; lumber); J.R. Missemer (1886; newspaper); James Miller (1857, 1858, 1860-1861, blacksmith); John Monkhouse (1897, lumber); Joseph Monkhouse (1857, sugar); Patterson & Co. (1866, farm equipment); Cedar Grove Apiary (D. Ramer, 1890)); J.A. Reesor (1887, grain); J.W. Stofer & Son (1888, subscription); Geo. E. Tremaine (1860, map); Joshua Tripp (1878-1879, 1881, construction); G.R. Vanzant (1879, hardware); John Walkey (1861-1862, 1871, 1875, blacksmith); T.P. White (1881); Joesph Wilson (1871; buggy); Thomas Wood (1859, 1861-1862, 1864-1866; shoemaker); several unidentified

Markham Economist (1860-1892, subscription to local paper, incomplete)

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Series 3 : Deeds, Legal Documents

Affirmation of 12 acres land cleared and fenced, Peter Reesor (copy) at Lot 4, Concession 9 of Markham. Dated 11 (16?) Nov. 180?

Indenture, John Reesor, Junior to Christian Burkholder, 25 March 1843 (2 1/4 acres of land) 

Indenture, Christian Burkholder​ to Benjamin B. Reesor, 17 May 1872 (2 1/4 acres of land) 

Indenture, John Reesor to Christian Reesor, 9 February 1860 (80 acres of land)

Jury service certification, June, 1859 for C.B. Reesor

Military service exemption claim, 10 March 1865 for Joseph Grove

Receipt for mortgage payment, 26 April 1882, by Joseph Grove to Martha Reesor

Receipt for payment, 1887 "Received from Martha Reesor Three hundred Dollars being Fifth payment of my claim of Two Thousand Dollars on lot 16 con 8 Markham" No signed.

Will -- Adeline Reesor, 7 March 1939

Marriage certificate, Chrisitan Reesor and Rebecca Miller, 13 Oct 1885

Note: photocopy; original in posession of George Reesor.

Ordination certificate, 11 Jun 1867 

Note: photocopy; original in posession of George Reesor.

Lot that fell to Christian Reesor for the office of minister, 28 Jun 1863

Note: photocopy; original in posession of George Reesor.

Lot that fell to Christian Reesor for the office of bishop, 11 Jun 1867

Note: photocopy; original in posession of George Reesor.

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Series 4 : Property Taxes

1863, 1881, 1885, 1887-1888, 1890, 1894

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Series 5 : Letters

1870 A​pril 20 -- Dilman Moyer to Christian Reesor (German) 

1872 March 18 -- Abraham W. Martin (Woolwich Twp) to Christian Reesor (German)

1875 February 19 -- Isaac Good (Medina Cty, OH) to Christian Reesor (English) 

1877 May 24 -- John Hartman (Elkhart, IN) to Christian Reesor (English)

1878 November 25 -- Christian Lehman (Columbiana, OH) to Christian Reesor & Simeon Reesor (German)

1887 March 7 -- Adam B. Sherk (Caledonia, MI) to Martha Reesor (English) Included death notice for Elizabeth Sherk

1890 April 6 -- Joseph Shaum (Wakarusa, IN) to Christian Reesor (German & English)

1892 January 11 -- (?)(St. Jacobs, ON) to Christian Reesor? (German)

1914 May 25 -- O.C. Strickler (New Ulm, MN) to Joseph Grove (English)

There is also a folder of letters from Noah & Elizabeth Risser to Jacob Mensch in Pennsylvania; these are photocopies of the German-language originals, with translations provided by George Reesor. The letters date from 1877-1907.

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Series 6 : Broadsheets

1775 November 7 (Reprint?) "A Short and Sincere Declaration to Our Honorable Assembly, and All Others in High or Low Station...." written by Benjamin Hershey, minister of the Menonist Church, and signed by a number of Elders and Teachers of the Society of Menonists, and some of the German Baptists....

1856 "A Hymn for Young People" / presented by Elizabeth B. Ramer. Pickering, 1856. "A.H."

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Series 7: Recipes

1860s-1870s. This series contains one small 10 x 16 cm. booklet containing six recipes for various problems including dropsy, burns, jaundice, Burkholders recipe (rye whiskey & lilly flowers), sweeney cure for horses, yeast, felon, etc. In addition there are separate small sheets with individual recipes for Eckard Oil, rheumatism, consumptive syrup, Star laundry soap, dropsy and lockjaw.

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Series 8 : Miscellaneous

Clipping about death (1826 September 27) of Ester Rieser and death of son, Christian (6 October 1826) in Lewistown, NY. They were the wife and son of Peter Reesor (1775-1854) and died of typhoid on returning from a visit to relatives in Pennsylvania.

School prizes for Magdalena Ramer, 1833 & 1834, and Barbara Sharach (Sherk?)

1850 -- "Plan of Reesorville" drawn 1829 and registered 1850 (separate folder) 

1857(?) List of items purchased at John Reesor sale by C. Reesor

1865 Handwritten text of Matthew 18:1-7, plus additional comments by C. Reesor?

Christian Reesor account book (entries from 1895-1897)

Adeline Grove [Reesor] autograph book with poems and entries, 1887-1889 

1928 Newsclipping "The Mennonite Church in York County" by L. J. Burkholder. 

1969 "Biographical Notes on the Pioneer Rieser Farm" by Ada Reesor

Undated German poem

Undated prayers (2) by Christian Reesor?

Rough undated handwritten chart showing Esther Eby Ressor's descent from Theodorus Eby (1663-1737)

41.5 x 57 cm. color picture of threshing machine, n.d.

100,000 Mark Reichsbanknote, February 1923 (time of hyper-inflation in Germany; by June 1923 this was worth about $1 US)

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Series 9 : Almanacs

1832 Der Hoch-Deutsche Americanische Calender. Germantaun : M. Billmeyer

1833 Neuer Calender für die Bauern und Handwerker... Philadelphia: Georg W. Mentz & Sohn

1837 Der Hoch-Deutsche Germantaun Calender... Philadelphia : Wm. W. Walker

1838 Des Bauern und Hanwerksmannes Calender ... Philadelphia : Gerog W. Mentz und Sohn

1848 Der Vereinigten Staaten Calender... Philadelphia: R. Wilson Desilber

1849 The Cheap Family Almanac. Toronto: J. Swain & Co. 

1861 R. Stark's Canadian Almanac and Receipt Book. Woodstock, C.W. : Robert Stark

1865 Stadt- und Land Calender... New York: Wm Madde

1884 Title page missing; appears to be from Pennsylvania

1849 Canada Calender. Berlin : Heinrich Eby

1858 Canada Calender. Berlin : Bödecker und Stübing

1867, 1869, 1875, 1882, 1883, 1885, 1889, 1893-1896, 1902, 1915-1916 Canada Kalender. Berlin : Rittinger und Motz

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Series 10 : Pamphlets / Periodicals

The Sower: a dialogue. London : Religious Tract Society, [1840s?]. 8 p. 10.5 cm. "C. Reesors Book" stamp inside

The Ten Commandments. London : Religious Tract Society, [1840s?]. 16 p. 10 cm. "C. Reesors Book" stamp inside

John Huss. London : Religious Tract Society, [1860s?] The Little Library of Biography. 32 p. 12 cm.

George Whitefield. Religious Tract Society, [1860s?] The Little Library of Biography. 32 p. 12 cm.

Papa and Mamma's Easy Lessons for Their Little Ones : the Juvenile Reading and Picture Book. London : Dean & Son, [1840s?]. [8] p. 15.5 cm.

Calender für die Versammlungen der Mennoniten Gemeinde in Canada West und im Staat Neu-York auf das Jahr unsers Herrn 1867. Berlin : Rittlinger und Motz, 1867. 32 p. 14 cm.

Letters to the Mennonite Community in Upper Canada. With an addition. Stouffville, ON : Thomas Reesor, 1939.

Read's Illustrated Edition of the Modern Sights of London A B C. London : Read & Co., [1860s]

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Series 11 : Books (in separate container)

Das Neue Testament ... New York : Amerikanische Bibel-Gesellschaft, 1849. "John Reesor Markham Canada West Cedar Grove P.O." inside cover

The New Testament of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ... Oxford : University Press, 1869. Includes bookplate fraktur for Elizabeth Reesor inside cover.

First Book of Reading Lessons, Part II. Toronto : W. Warwick, 1871. Canadian Series of School Books. "Master Thomas Reesor, Scarborough, Ont." on front flyleaf.

Das Neue Testament unsers Herrn und Heilandes Jesu Christi. New York : Amerikanische Bibel-Gesellschft, 1849. "Jacob Groff" inside cover plus two pages of writing on following two pages.

Erstes Lesebuch für Kinder. Neu-York : Amerikanischen Tra... (title page torn). "Mary Reesor born 31 October In the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty two" "Christian Risser, Ihr Buch auf das Jahr Jesu Christi Ein tausand acht hundert und acht und fünfzig 1858"

Hymns for Sabbath Schools. Rochester : Genesee Sabbath School, 1832. "Christian Reesor 1844" "C Reesors Book" stamped on back of title page.

Biblisches Fragebuch für Kinder. Philadelphia : American Sunday-School Union, 1870? Purchased by Christian Reesor in 1897 from Jacob L. Men??

Of the Imitation of Christ... New edition. Waterloo Place, London: Rivingtons, 1883. Small fraktur-type paper laid in with "T.R." on the back.

Bible history... This is a "thumb" Bible book that is only 5 cm.(2 inches) high. The cover, title page and pages to p. 18 and after p. 178 are lacking. A number of books like this were published in the mid-19th century.

Book by the same author as Winter Evenings' Conversations on the Works of God Between a Father and His Children, ca. 1845. Previous book noted in preface by author. Title page lacking. Front matter includes names of Susannah Ressor, 1848 and Thomas Reesor, 1884

Words of Cheer: a monthly for children. Elkhart, IN, 1883 nos. 1-11American Agriculturist. New York August 1889 vol. 48.

The Berlin Chonicle Berlin, ON 1856 January 9 (Facsimile of front page of first issue, created in 1906))

An 18th century "book of knowledge"

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Series 12 : Photographs

  1. Froschauer Bible, 1531. Belonged to Reesor family; now at Mennonite Archives of Ontario
  2. Nine heart fraktur -- Birth record for Anna Maria Borckholderen (Christian Reesor's mother)
  3. Fraktur of "Haus Segen" (house blessing) from Markham, Ontario.
  4. Fraktur of birth certificate for Vernonica Risserin (Reesor) (1779-1826)
  5. Land grant to Peter Reesor, 4 February 1812
  6. Vorschrift (writing sample) by Christian Rieser (Reesor), 1762

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Series 13 : Artifacts

  1. String of amber donated by Thomas Diller of Markham, ON. The amber string came from his mother-in-law, Fannie Barkey, who received them from Mrs. Fannie Grove. It was widely believed these strings of amber had medicinal value. See the book by Blodwen Davies.
  2. Wood carving by Simeon Reesor (20 April 1896-21 May 1988).


Generally 9:00 am - 4:00 pm Monday to Friday. An appointment in advance is recommended.


Mennonite Archives of Ontario
Conrad Grebel University College
140 Westmount Road North
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G6

Phone: 519-885-0220 x24238