Saturday, March 21, 2015

1840s Autograph Album of Miss Elizabeth Gross of Pennsylvania; Several Autographs of her Future Husband John A. Pechin of Chester County

Autograph album given to Miss Elizabeth Gross of Pennsylvania by her brother in August of 1841.  At least six of the autographs in the album were inscribed by Elizabeth's future husband John A. Pechin.

It was presumably Elizabeth who inscribed the first page in the album, as a welcome to those would be leaving sentiments.

If there ever was a title page in the album, it's missing now.  The album measures approximately 7-3/4" by 6" and contains the sentiments of perhaps 9 individuals, some of whom inscribed multiple pages, and five engravings of women, such as the one below.  An alphabetical list of the inscribers, together with any personal information they offered, appears at the end of this post.

I haven't been able to identify Elizabeth's parents or her brother.  Perhaps a reader will supply this information in the comments section.  As noted above, Elizabeth married farmer John A. Pechin of Chester County, Pennsylvania, probably in the late 1840s.  Below, one of the several pages that John inscribed throughout the album.

Elizabeth and John would have at least four children:
  1. Robert W. Pechin, born January 25, 1851; married Ella C. Hartzel
  2. Almira Elizabeth Pechin, born about 1853; married John Shepherd Jr. 
  3. John Penrose Pechin, born May 2, 1856; married Carolyne Kelly
  4. Newton H. Pechin, born December 6, 1858  
A biography of Almira's husband John Shepherd, Jr., mentioned that Elizabeth and John were farming at Chester Valley at the time of Almira's marriage in 1886; Chester Valley is also known as Great Valley.

John A. Pechin died June 11, 1897, and Elizabeth died August 26, 1901.  They're buried in the Grove Methodist Church Cemetery at West Chester, Pennsylvania, along with their sons.

If you have corrections and/or additions to the information above, or information on any of the inscribers in the album, please leave a comment or contact me directly.

Two pages contain faint sketches.

Inscribers in the album
  • Unsigned, inscribed on January 31, 1844
  • Susannah
  • Sentiment of H. Bright, inscribed at Lewisburg, Union County, presumably Pennsylvania, on August 30, 1843; covers facing pages.
  • J. D. C., or P. D. C., inscribed at Lower Merion, Pennsylvania, in 1842; possibly the J. D. Croll, or P. D. Croll, who inscribed the right facing page.
  • Miss Elizabeth Gross of Pennsylvania; album owner.  She inscribed a page of welcome.
  • Brother of Miss Elizabeth Gross, who gave her the album in 1841
  • D. J. Lyons, or D. I. Lyons, inscribed on December 14, 1842 at ?, in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. Perhaps Radnor, Pennsylvania. Perhaps David J. Lyons of Delaware County.
  • E. Euphrasia M., inscribed at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on June 26, 1843.  Could she be the Lizzie who inscribed a page and also noted E. E. M.
  • Lizzy; E. E. M. Could she be the E. Euphrasia M. who inscribed another page?
  • John A. Pechin of Pennsylvania, inscribed on January 31, 1844; future husband of Elizabeth Gross.  He inscribed at least six pages in the album.
Chester County, Pennsylvania

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