Manessa H. Sayman

Manessa Harry Sayman and Descendants

This material is excerpted from the History of the Benjamin Sayman and Manessa Sayman Families by Rosa Silverstrim Sayman. The manuscript was originally completed in 1961, then updated periodically by several family members through 1973. The pictures and supporting commentary were provided by Mary Sayman, daughter of Guy Mayo Sayman, or by Carol Brotzman. Portions of this material were transcribed by Tina Pastusic.

Homestead of Manessa Harry Sayman
Forks Township, PA
Built About 1871-2
Two Views
Lydia (Hunsinger) Sayman Appears in the Forefront of
the Second Photo Which Dates to About 1905
Photos contributed by Mary Sayman
Note: The man who lived on the family homestead in 2012 sent this photo to Mary. Notice all the broken windows and the bell on top of the summer kitchen. This summer kitchen was later moved and attached to the left side of the house. It was used as the 'mud room' where all the bibs, jackets, and hats were hung and boots were left before coming into the house. In later years, Ellen Sayman Reed and Howard Reed turned it into their bedroom.

MANESSA HARRY SAYMAN (BENJAMIN SAYMAN I) was born June 21, 1851, and died December 8, 1937. He married LYDIA HUNSINGER February 21, 1871, daughter of SAMUEL HUNSINGER and SARAH BROBST. She was born June 30, 1848 in Forks Twp, Sullivan County, PA, and died August 30, 1929 in Forks Twp, Sullivan County, PA.


After the death of his first wife, Kate Epler, Benjamin Sayman I, father of MANESSA, moved to Sullivan County in 1849 and settled in Forks Twp., PA. There he met and married Betsy Hosler. They had one son, Manessa Sayman. They lived on the farm where Manessa Sayman was born and grew up. Benjamin I died in 1850 and is buried on that farm. After Benjamin Sayman I died, his widow married Henry Neville. That couple subsequently lived on the Manessa Sayman farm until their deaths. Manessa Sayman was the half-brother of Benjamin Sayman II, son of Benjamin Sayman I and Kate Epler. Manessa served in several public capacities in Sullivan County: tax collector, road commissioner, overseer of the poor, and justice of the peace.

Burial: Peace Cemetery, Cherry Twp., Sullivan County, PA

Source: Gr-Grandaughter, Mary Aerie Sayman


Reference: Hunsinger Reunion Book, Page 48

Reference (2): Streby History of Forks Twp., Sullivan County, PA, page 74

Children of Manessa & Lydia Hunsinger Sayman:

  1. Emanuel Benjamin Sayman 1871-1948
  2. Levi Sylvester Sayman 1873-1946
  3. Luia Henry Sayman 1875-1949
  4. Phyannah L. Sayman 1880-1881
  5. Cleveland Hunsinger Sayman 1885-1954
  6. Martin Manessa Sayman 1888-1889


Emanuel Benjamin Sayman
Photo contributed by Carol Brotzman
Source: Collection of Ellen (Crawford) Shefler

1. EMANUEL BENJAMIN SAYMAN (Manessa, Benjamin Sayman) born December 10, 1871 in Cherry Township, PA; died January 6, 1948 in Cherry Township

More about EMANUEL BENJAMIN SAYMAN: Census, 1880, was living in Forks Township, PA

2. LEVI SYLVESTER SAYMAN (Manessa, Benjamin Sayman) born May 25, 1873, died September 24, 1946 at his home in Forks Township, PA

Married Maud Anna Crawford on November 4, 1908 She was born February 23, 1885, died April 21, 1962

Children of Levi & Maud Crawford Sayman:

  1. Marvin Crawford Sayman 04/28/1911-1973
  2. Ellen Geraldine Sayman 03/27/1920-1987

Here are the funeral cards for Levi and Maud:

Funeral Card for Levi Sylvester Sayman
September 1946
Photo contributed by Carol Hoose Brotzman
From Ellen Sayman Reed Collection

Funeral Card for Maud Anna (Crawford) Sayman
April 1962
Photo contributed by Carol Hoose Brotzman
From Ellen Sayman Reed Collection

Marvin Crawford Sayman (Levi, Manessa, Benjamin Sayman) born April 28, 1911, died January 28, 1973

Married Clara Sophia Neuber on November 22, 1945 She was born September 4, 1912.

No children

Ellen Geraldine Sayman (Levi, Manessa, Benjamin Sayman) born March 27, 1920, died January 5, 1987

Married Howard Curtis Reed on June 18, 1945 He was born July 16, 1915, died January 5, 1987

No Children

Ellen Geraldine Sayman and Raymond Saxer
Taken in 1920
Photo contributed by Carol Hoose Brotzman
From Ellen Sayman Reed Collection

3. LUIA HENRY SAYMAN (Manessa, Benjamin Sayman) born April 15, 1875 in Overton, PA; died September 26, 1949, in Endicott, NY

Married Alice Mayo in 1906 she was born January 27, 1890, died June 28, 1970

Alice’s second marriage was to Floyd Hilton

Children of Luia & Alice Mayo Sayman:

  1. Lowena "Laura" N. Sayman 1906-1960
  2. Ida M. Sayman 03/22/1908-1908
  3. Mamie Marie Sayman 04/08/1909-09/28/1977; died in Towanda, PA
  4. Guy Mayo Sayman 01/19/1912-08/26/1967; died in Spencer, NY
  5. Roy S. Sayman 02/18/1916-10/1977; died in Wyalusing, PA
  6. Manessa Ned Sayman 12/07/1919-10/10/1968; died in Cortland, NY
  7. Russell H. Sayman 06/18/1923-
  8. Maud Helena Sayman 03/11/1926-

i. Laura N. Sayman (Louis, Manessa, Benjamin Sayman) born September 30, 1906, died May 30, 1960

Married 1st Ralph Vargason he was born February 6, 1903, died May 11, 1936

Married 2nd Neil Thompson

Children of Laura & Ralph Vargason:

    1. Gertrude Alberta Vargason 1924-
    2. Carmeta Ilene Vargason 1925-
    3. Betty Jean Vargason 1927
    4. Ralph Wells "Bud" Vargason, Jr. 1929-2000; died in Vestal, NY
    5. Beverly Ann Vargason
    6. Marie M. Vargason 1935-; married _______ Woodmansee

Children of Laura & Neil Thompson:

    1. Neil A. Thompson Jr. 1944-
    2. Marjorie Thompson 1948-
    3. Robert Thompson 1949


1. Gertrude A. Vargason (Laura, Louis, Manessa, Benjamin Sayman) born February 12, 1924

Married Arnold Creeley

Children of Gertrude & Arnold Creeley:

      1. Arnold Durwood Creeley Jr. 1942-
      2. George Alfred Creeley 1943-
      3. Richard Francis Creeley 1946-
      4. Elizabeth Jane Creeley 1950-
      5. Judith Leigh Creeley 1952-
      6. Charles William Creeley 1954-
      7. Cathy Anne Creeley 1956-
      8. Rose Lorraine Creeley 1957-


2. Carmeta I. Vargason (Laura, Louis, Manessa, Benjamin Sayman) born August 31, 1925

Married Wallace Frederick Berlin

Children of Carmeta & Wallace Berlin:

    1. Barbara Jean Berlin born February 25, 1943
    2. Joyce Ilene Berlin born December 1, 1944
    3. Wallace Frederick Berlin Jr. born December 4, 1945
    4. Sandra Lee Berlin born May 25, 1947
    5. Douglas Gene Berlin born December 17, 1953
    6. Ralph Owen Berlin born December 13, 1955

3. Betty Jean Vargason (Laura, Louis, Manessa, Benjamin Sayman) born August 2, 1927

Married 1st Clarence Thompson (later divorced)

Married 2nd Wells Race

Children of Betty & Clarence Thompson:

    1. Clarence Leroy Thompson born December 21, 1950

4. Ralph Wells Vargason Jr. (Laura, Louis, Manessa, Benjamin Sayman) born September 18, 19??

Married Elaine Conklin

Children of Ralph & Elaine Conklin Vargason:

    1. Son born July 1960

  1. Beverly Jane Vargason (Laura, Louis, Manessa, Benjamin Sayman) born February 13, 19??

    Married Ralph Cordilione in 1950

    Children of Beverly & Ralph Cordilione:

      1. Ralph Cordilione born March 10, 1951 (twin)
      2. Nicholas Cordilione born March 10,1951 (twin)
      3. David Patrick Cordilione born March 17, 1955
      4. Diane Marie Cordilione born February 1, 1960
      5. Paula Rose Cordilione born February 22, 1965

      3. Mamie Marie Sayman (Louis, Manessa, Benjamin Sayman) born April 8, 1909, died

      Married Cecil Harold Smith he was born August 16, 1903, died September 28, 1977

      The Sullivan Review
      Dushore, PA
      October 6, 1977

      Mrs. Mamie S. Smith, 68 of Towanda, died Sept. 28, 1977 at the Memorial Hospital, Towanda. She was born April 8, 1909, in Sullivan County, a daughter of Luia and Alice Mayo Sayman. She was an employee of GTE Sylvania in Towanda for many years, having retired in 1974. Mrs. Smith was affiliated with the Independent Baptist Church in Towanda, and was a member of the Sylvania Women’s Club. Her husband, Cecil H. Smith, preceded her in death Oct. 19, 1969. A daughter, Mrs. Shirley Shaffer, died March 14, 1976. Her survivors include one son, Ronald Smith of Ulster, RD 2; eight grandchildren, a sister, Mrs. Theodore (Maud) Woodward of Endicott, NY; two brothers, Roy Sayman of Kirkwood, NY, and Russell Sayman of Johnson city, NY; and nieces and nephews. Funeral services were held Oct. 1 in Towanda. Burial was in the Bradford Co. Memorial Park, Luthers Mills.

      Children of Mamie & Cecil Smith:

        1. Shirley Marie Smith 1935-
        2. Ronald Cecil Smith 1942-

      Shirley Marie Smith (Mamie, Louis, Manessa, Benjamin Sayman) born February 6, 1935

      Married 1st Dean Phillips in 1953 (later divorced)

      Married 2nd Raymond Shaffer Jr.

      Children of Shirley & Dean Phillips:

      1. Toni Lynn Phillips born September 8, 1955 (twin)
      2. Terri Lee Phillips born September 8, 1955 (twin)
      3. Tami Lou Phillips born March 14, 1957

      Children of Shirley & Raymond Shaffer:

      1. Traci Sue Shaffer born July 3, 1960

      Ronald Cecil Smith (Mamie, Louis, Manessa, Benjamin Sayman) born August 1, 1942

      Married Freida Delphine Decker she was born February 6, 1940

      Children of Ronald & Freida Decker Smith:

      1. Ronald Cecil Smith Jr. born June 12, 1961
      2. Creig Brian Smith born April 2, 1963
      3. James Robert Smith born September 24, 1964

      4. Guy Mayo Sayman (Louis, Manessa, Benjamin, Benjamin Sayman) born January 19, 1914, died August 26, 1967

      Married Wilhelmina "Billie" Gable on September 26, 1935

      Guy M. and Levi Sylvester Sayman
      At the Sayman Homestead
      Forks Township, PA
      Taken After 1935
      Photo contributed by Mary Sayman

      Billie Gable and Guy M. Sayman
      About 1935
      Photo contributed by Mary Sayman

      Children of Guy & Wilhelmina (Gable) Stayman

      1. Mary Pearl Sayman born August 31, 1948; our photo contributor and a Sayman family historian

        5. Roy S. Sayman (Louis, Manessa, Benjamin Sayman) born February 18, 1916; died october 1977 in Wyalusing, Bradford County, PA.

        Married Agnes Casselbury on May 23, 1941 she was born April 17, 1919

        Children of Roy & Agnes Casselbury Sayman:

        1. Ruth Diane Sayman born April 1,1942
        2. Edward Roy Sayman born September 24, 1944; died July 11, 1997
        3. Linda Lou Sayman born March 5, 1950
        4. Lynn Edward Sayman born March 8, 1951
        5. Donna Lynn Sayman born November 20, 1956; died July 14, 2007 at home in Binghamton, NY [obits below]
        6. Cindy Lou Sayman born July 29, 1959 in New York City per Beaver Meadows Church records, Tuscarora Township, PA; joined that church on March 24, 1991

        Press & Sun-Bulletin
        Binghamton, NY
        July 18, 2007

        Donna Griswold
        , of Binghamton

        Donna Griswold, 50, of Binghamton, died Saturday, July 14, 2007, at her home surrounded by her loving family. She was predeceased by her father, Roy Sayman. She is survived by her husband of 32 years, Robert Griswold and her three children, Emmy Griswold, Dushore, Pa., Jason Griswold, Binghamton, Robert Griswold, Harpursville; and ten grandchildren; three sisters, Ruth Beavers, Windsor, Linda Davis, Kirkwood and Cindy Ryan, Beaver Meadows, Pa. Donna was a very strong, loving and devoted wife, mother and grandmother who always put everyone first before herself. Funeral services will be held 10:00 a.m. Wednesday (TODAY), July 18, 2007, at the Thomas J. Shea Funeral Home, Inc., 137 Robinson Street, Binghamton. The Reverend John Martinichio will officiate. Burial will be in Nineveh Presbyterian Cemetery. Friends are invited to call on Wednesday (TODAY) from 9 - 10:00 a.m. at the Shea Funeral Home. Friends wishing may make memorial donations to the American Cancer Society, 31 Adams Ave., Endicott, N.Y. 13760 in memory of Donna Griswold.

        Wyalusing Rocket-Courier
        Wyalusing, PA
        July 19, 2007

        Donna Lynn Sayman Griswold passed away on July 14, 2007 after a long, hard battle with cancer. She was a very courageous and brave woman, who never gave up until the end.
        She was born on Nov. 20, 1956, the daughter of Agnes and the late Roy Sayman. She was a loving daughter, wife, mother of three, grandmother of ten and an aunt to many.
        Her hobbies were collecting angels, collecting and watching horror movies, ghost and angel movies. A nature girl, she loved taking long walks and all animals, especially her dogs and cats. She loved to play games. Her favorites were Yahtzee and Canasta.
        Donna is survived by her mother, Agnes Ruth Sayman of Wyalusing; husband, Robert Griswold of Binghamton, NY; a daughter and son-in-law, Emmy Joe and Mike Shaffer of Dushore; two sons and daughters-in-law, Jason Allen and Dawn Griswold and Robert Roy and Heather Griswold; 10 grandchildren; three sisters, Ruth Beavers of Windsor, NY, Linda Davis and husband, Robert of Kirkwood, NY and Cindy Ryan and husband, Pete of Beaver Meadows; sisters-in-law, Mary Sayman Wayman and Dale Sayman Mills.
        She was preceded in death by her father, Roy Edward Sayman; brothers, Edward Roy Sayman and Lynn Edward Sayman.
        Donna’s whole life revolved around her family. She was a good and loving mother to her children.
        All who knew and loved her will deeply miss her and her smile. She was a compassionate woman who always put others first.
        Services were held on Wednesday, July 18 at Binghamton, with burial in Nineveh, NY.


      1. Ruth Diane Sayman (Roy, Louis Manessa, Benjamin Sayman) was born April 1, 1942

        Married David Beaver

        Children of Ruth & David Beaver:

        1. Timothy Allen Beaver born February 2, 1963

      2. 6. Ned Manessa Sayman (Louis, Manessa, Benjamin Sayman) born December 7, 1919 and died October 10, 1968 in Cortland, NY

        Married 1st Emma Lena Forker she was born December 28, 1920; died July 16, 1999

        Married 2nd ________ Cooper

        Children of Ned & Emma Lena Forker Sayman:

        1. Virginia Ann Sayman 1939-
        2. Richard David Sayman born June 6, 1943
        3. Sandra Mae Sayman born August 15, 1944
        4. Joan Charlene Sayman born November 5, 1949
        5. Gary Gene Sayman born July 16, 1951
        6. Paul Alan Sayman born April 4, 1956

      3. Virginia Ann Sayman (Ned, Louis, Manessa, Benjamin Sayman) was born April 27, 1939

        Married Steve DeMann

        Children of Virginia & Steve DeMann:

            1. Steve Leland DeMann Jr. born May 17, 1958
            2. Joseph Edward DeMann born November 24, 1959
            3. Jeffrey Allen DeMann born July 12, 1962

        7. Russell H. Sayman (Louis, Manessa, Benjamin, Benjamin Sayman) born June 18, 1923

        Married Audrey Kerstetter she was born October 9, 1924

        Children of Russell & Audrey Kerstetter Sayman:

        1. Nancy Sue Sayman born April 11, 1949

        8. Maud H. Sayman (Louis, Manessa, Benjamin Sayman) born March 11, 1926

        Married Theodore Woodward

        Children of Maud & Theodore Woodward:

          1. Theodore Thomas Woodward Jr. born November 7, 1943
          2. Edward Eugene Woodward born October 4, 1945
          3. Susan Jane Woodward born May 18, 1947
          4. Sarah Elaine Woodward born February 11, 1952

        4. PHYANNAH L. SAYMAN (Manessa, Benjamin Sayman) born September 19, 1880, died March 16, 1881

        5. CLEVELAND HUNSINGER SAYMAN (Manessa, Benjamin Sayman) born March 14, 1885, died June 13, 1954

        Married Agnes Bower she was born October 28, 1896, died February 10, 1969

        Children of Cleveland & Agnes Bower Sayman:

        1. Grover Bower Sayman 1917-1995
        2. Clara Lydia Sayman 1921
        3. Donna Margaret Sayman 1924
        4. Donald Leslie Sayman 1926-

        1. Grover Bower Sayman (Cleveland, Manessa, Benjamin Sayman) born July 7, 1917, died November 29, 1995

          Married Betty Benning on June 20, 1942 She was born March 27, 1921, died June 3, 1994

        2. Clara Lydia Sayman (Cleveland, Manessa, Benjamin Sayman) born July 6, 1944

          Married Rev. E. Parke Brown on July 6, 1944 he was born November 27, 1918, died January 21, 1966

          Children of Clara & Rev. Brown:

        3. Rozann Carol Brown born November 21, 1945
        4. Sandra Clara Brown born July 15, 1947
        5. Eugene Parke Brown, Jr. born July 2, 1952
        6. Suzanne Faith Brown born October 7, 1955
        7. Barbara LeVelle Brown born March 1, 1960

        8. Donna Margaret Sayman (Cleveland, Manessa, Benjamin Sayman) was born May 3, 1924

          Married Clinton Day on September 18, 1946 He was born January 6, 1926

          Children of Donna & Clinton Day:

        9. Linda Anne Day 1948-

        10. Daniel Clinton Day 1951-

        11. Linda Anne Day (Donna, Cleveland, Manessa, Benjamin Sayman) born October 30, 1948

          Married Ronnie Glen Bowen

          Daniel Clinton Day (Donna, Cleveland, Manessa, Benjamin Sayman) born May 12, 1951

          Married Sandra Lee Griess she was born September 1, 1951

        iv. Donald Leslie Sayman (Cleveland, Manessa, Benjamin Sayman) was born January 23, 1926

        Married Veronica O’Neil on August 14, 1948 she was born February 6, 1927, died July 13, 1989

        Children of Donald & Veronica O’Neil Sayman:

        1. Bernard Gale Sayman born January 31, 1952

        6. MARTIN MANESSA SAYMAN (Manessa, Benjamin Sayman) born November 15, 1888, died March 2, 1889

        Copyright © 2002 Robert E. Sweeney and individual Contributors. All Rights Reserved. Prior written permission is required from Robert E. Sweeney and individual Contributors before this material can be printed or otherwise copied, displayed or distributed in any form. This is a FREE genealogy site sponsored through PAGenWeb and can be reached directly at ~Sullivan County Genealogy Project (