Susanna (Wasdyke) Mann

January 12, 1874 - October 10, 1941

NOVEMBER 18, 2015

I want to share a crazy story about my 2G Grandfather's sister, Annie Wasdyke Mann:

In 1915, there was an article published in a Scranton, PA newspaper regarding a letter that Annie (Wasdyke) Mann, my 2G Grandfather’s sister, had sent to the newspaper. That letter from Annie claimed that a well-known Judge, John Handley, was her biological father and not Tunis Wasdyke, the man whom her mother married and who was the father of my 2G Grandfather, John, as well as his brother and sister. The article states that while Annie’s mother (My 3G Grandmother) was dying from an “accidental” overdose of Laudanum, she called Annie to her bedside and stated that Judge Handley was her daughter’s biological father and that he had abandoned the family shortly after Annie was born in 1874. An inquisition was made and all signs seemed to point to the story being false, which my documentation also supports. It seemed that Annie was trying to collect money from the very large Estate of Judge Handley and by claiming to be his illegitimate daughter, she probably thought she would have a better chance of collecting a substantial part of his estate, which was worth millions of dollars. 

The attached articles state that Tunis Wasdyke (My 3G Grandfather) would make comments about Handley when yelling Annie, but because both Tunis and Ellen were deceased at the time that the article was written, as was Handley, there was no way to prove (or dis-prove) Annie's claim that Handley was her father. 

Through my research, I found that Tunis married Ellen (nee Delaney) on April 17, 1873 and 9 months later, Annie was born in January. The article claims that Ellen was married to Handley before being married to Tunis and that Handley left them, after which point Ellen met and married Tunis. The marriage documentation I have for Tunis and Ellen does not mention a previous marriage for either party and givens Ellen's name as Delaney, not Handley, so it seems to prove that Annie's claim was completely false and driven by deceit and greed.

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Michael D. Scozzari