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Van Buren Christy Diaries

Identifier: MS-235

Scope and Content

Although the dates of the Van Buren Christy diaries range from 1864 to 1926, the years 1865-1868 are not included. It is not clear whether the diaries for 1865-1868 were never written or if they are missing. Also, from the later part of 1923 to 1926, the writing is that of one of Van Buren Christy's children, Blanche. This section of the diary has no entries for the year 1924.

The diaries can possibly be divided into three parts, with the diary for year 1864 being the first, 1869-June 8, 1923 being the second, and June 9, 1923 - September 5, 1926 being the last.

The 1864 diary primarily deals with Van Buren Christy's time in the service. This diary starts with some information about Christy prior to his enlistment into the 100 day service, such as where he was born, when he was born, etc. However, the aforementioned poor legibility of the diaries makes determining the definite spelling of the information difficult. The 1864 diary continues with entries pertaining to Christy's daily duties within the service, as well as his activities when off duty.

The 1869-June 8, 1923 diaries essentially consist of Christy's day to day account of his activities, such as preparing for sermons, reading, visiting, working in garden, writing letters, receiving visitors, etc. Some of the diaries contain sections for recording cash accounts of prices paid for items such as butter, oil, shoes, etc. Also, it should be noted that Christy began most of his diary entries with a comment on the day's weather conditions (cold, hot, snowy, rainy, etc.). Inserted into some of the diaries are old newspaper clippings, portions of letters, receipt tickets, and clerical tickets which allowed for reduced train fair rates for the clergy.

The June 9, 1923-September 5, 1926 diary appears to have been written by one of Van Buren Christy's children; his daughter, Blanche Christy. The writing in this diary is comparatively quite legible and offers an assessment of Van Buren Christy's failing health up to the time of his death. Mentioned in the 1923 diary are the names of some relatives such as aunts, uncles, and children who visited Van Buren Christy during his last moments. In addition, various locations such as Brookville and Miamisburg are indicated. Blanche ends this diary with some 1925 and 1926 entries which speak of her mother's, Susan M. Christy's, last days.

This collection would be beneficial to any descendents of the Van Buren Christy family for the purpose of genealogical research. In addition, it could be helpful to those wanting information regarding life in the 1800's (food prices, transportation modes, daily activities, weather conditions, etc.).


  • Creation: 1864-1926


Restrictions on Access

There are no restrictions on accessing materials in this collection.

Restrictions on Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Biography of Van Buren Christy

Van Buren Christy was born on January 23, 1841 in Pickaway County, Ohio. At the age of 23, he enlisted in the 100 day service at Fairfield, Iowa, in 1864. His diaries after 1864 indicate that he was a preacher.

Van Buren Christy died on July 7, 1923 at the age of 82 in his parsonage home of 33 years. Although the place of his death is not made certain by the portion of the 1923 diary written by his daughter, an approximate vicinity may be established. References are made to surrounding locations, such as his having attended church at St. Johns in Dayton, his attending to errands in Miamisburg, and his medical doctors Doan and West being of Dayton.


1 linear feet

Language of Materials



Van Buren Cristy served in an Iowa regiment during the Civil War, then lived in Montgomery County, Ohio where he was a minister. The diaries give an account of his time in the service, and a day to day account of his activities preparing sermons, making his rounds, gardening, and reading. From June 1923 until 1926, the diary entries are made by Cristy's daughter and chronicle Cristy's failing health and death as well as the final years and death of his wife, Susan.

Statement of Arrangement

The diaries are arranged chronologically.

Acquisition Information

The diaries of Van Buren Christy were accessioned into the Wright State University Department of Archives and Special Collections in December of 1991. The collection was donated by the Montgomery County Historical Society.

Guide to the Van Buren Christy Diaries (MS-235)
Finding aid prepared by John J. Freeman, 1992
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Wright State University Libraries
Special Collections and Archives
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton OH 45435-0001 USA