|Mary Margaret Athya|
One of the items we found in my mother-in-law Mary Athya Murphy’s belongings after she died was an autograph book. Now one wouldn’t necessarily think of an autograph book as a genealogy source, but I did in fact learn a few things about Mary in this unusual source.
The first thing I learned has to do with the spelling of Mary’s first name. From what I can tell, in early 1944 Mary’s family moved from Armstrong or Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania to Warren, Trumbull County, Ohio. Prior to the move, all school and church papers recorded the spelling of her first name as “Mary.” After the move to Warren, Mary was enrolled in Warren G. Harding High School and it appears they (or someone) added an “e” to her name which was then spelled “Marye.” Her name was spelled “Marye” all through high school, including in yearbooks, her graduation card, and diploma when she graduated in 1949. I thought maybe it was a typo that just kept going, but Mary herself spelled her name “Marye” when she wrote her name in the front of the autograph book on June 21, 1944. I found this interesting because in the 27 years I knew her, she always spelled her name “Mary” with no “e.” But for some reason in the 1940s, the “e” was added, and she carried that through her high school years. By the time she married my father-in-law Earl Murphy in January 1951, she was back to spelling her name “Mary.”
|Mary's autograph book|
|Mary wrote her name and address in the front of the|
And since Mary wrote the date in the front of her autograph book, the third thing I learned was when Mary and her family lived in the house on Prier Place—June 1944. She was born in 1929 so would have been 15 years old at the time.
That’s really all the genealogical information provided from this source. Nothing earth-shattering, but when you’re putting a timeline of someone’s life together, every piece of information helps. You never know when that piece might be a missing link!
The rest is just interesting and fun to read. Thanks to a stack of senior photos and her Harding yearbook, I’m able to put a face to some of the inscriptions. The first entry was by Helen Astrosky (with photo added from the yearbook) on December 7, 1944.
|Dec. 7, 1944 / Dear Mary / When you get married and live upstairs /|
Don't come down to borrow my chairs. / Your classmate, Helen Astrosky
Mary must have liked someone named Johnny in 1948 – two people referenced him.
|May 3, 1945 / Dear Marye / The only little sayings are stale so I'll just|
wish you the best of luck and joy forever. / A "pal" always, /
Kathy Totinos / P.S. remember me through Johnny.
|May 1948 / Dear Mary, / Now I lay me down to sleep / With my ford parked out|
in the street. / If it should start before I wake. / I pray the Lord put on the brake! /
The one and only (a hem) Mary / Look at Johnny and think of me Ha-Ha.
I wonder if this is the famous Johnny?
|5/3/48 / Dear Marye: / Upon this page I write my name / And when you think|
of me, don't have a pain. / You fried "always" Johnnie
Friend Anne Larson signed her name with “Your summer school friend.” Does that mean Mary
attended summer school in 1944?
|June 21, 1944 / Dear Mary, When you get married and have twins, /|
Don't come to my house to borrow safety pins. / Your summer school
friend, Anne Larson
Louise Kensy was a teacher who taught typing and shorthand.
|May 2, 1948 / To Marye, / Edward Bok once wisely said, / "Make you the world|
a bit more beautiful and better because you have been
in it." May your life bring you fulfillment of this goal. / Louise Kensy
|Dear Mary, / As long as the vine grows around the stump, /|
You will always be my darling sugar lump. / Alice
|May 3, 1948 / Best wishes always from me to you. / Your clothing|
classmate / Betty Del Oecchin
|Warren / 6/12/44 / Dear Marye, / Can't write / Too dumb /|
Inspiration won't come. / No pencil / Strange pen / Best of luck / Amen /
|Dear Mary / What a Life / Without a Wife / And me with 10 kids. / |
Your loving friend, / Mark Adams
|Orange grow in Calif. / Apples grow there too / but it take a place like|
Warren / to grow a peach like you. / from Roger Angonelli /
Dec. 13, 1944
|5/3/48 / Dear Marye, / I wish I were a bunny, / All white and full of fluff. /|
I'd jump upon your dresser / And be your powder puff. / Love as
Always / Janie Strommer / P.S. I bet all the fools in town will
turn this page upside down / Janie
And finally one with a secret message.
|July 15, 1950 / Dear Mary / UR 2 sweet / 2 / 4 get / The best|
of luck always / Mary Louise