Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Wives of the Two Henrys ...

Do I have any Canadian ancestors? Well, at the moment I do not know of any. I did have a couple of ancestors who lived in Canada before coming to the United States, if that counts. (And who knows, I might have still have cousins living in Canada. A few years ago, my grandma mentioned about some cousins who lived in Canada, and I think they were on my grandpa's side. I do not remember off hand the exact facts, but since I wrote it down, I'll have to check my notes.) Of course, I also have two of my ancestors' siblings who married women who were from Canada, which is not surprising since Michigan is so close to Canada.

The name of the men who married these women was Henry. In two different branches of my family, my ancestors had brothers named Henry who happened to marry a woman who came from Canada. (Hence, the title of my post.) And interestingly enough, these two Henry's also happened to live at about the same time as each other.

The first Henry who married a woman from Canada was Henry Oswalt. Henry was Adam Oswalt's second son, and he was born in November of 1862 (according to Adam's pension file). In 1887, he married Harriet A. Collacott (I've also seen her surname spelled Callacott, Collicott, and Collicut as well) in Kalamazoo, Michigan. At the time of his marriage, Henry was living in Decatur, Michigan. (An interesting fact, which I'll get into in a moment.) According to the marriage register, Harriet was born in New Castle, Canada, and that she was residing, in what appears to be from the record, in Indiana. When I looked at the listing for residence, I was surprised to see that Harriet listed her residence because I had found her (or at least believe I have found her family) living with her parents living in Decatur, Michigan in the 1870 and 1880 censuses. (Of course, I realize that she could have been living in Indiana after 1880. I just had not noticed where she listed her residence was when I looked at the record for the first time.) As for when Harriet and her family came to the United States, it had to be between the 1860 and 1870 U. S. censuses since the Collacotts are not listed in the 1860 census.

Between 1887 and the 1900 census, I do not know where Henry and Harriet lived, but in the 1900 census, I found both of them living in Rockford, Illinois. I have yet to find out why they chose to move there, but I think it is interesting to note that Henry's father resided in Rockford from the late-1880s to the late-1890s. (I can only speculate at the moment, but the reason either father or son choosing to live in Rockford might be due to that one of them moved there for a time.) Sometime between 1900 and 1910, Harriet must have died since Henry is listed as a widower in the 1910 census. I do not know where or when she died, but my first guess would be in Rockford only because Henry was still living there as of April 1910. (He would later on in the year move to Clinton, Iowa, as that was the residence listed for him in his father's probate record.) As for Henry, he would eventually return to Michigan by 1920, where he is listed in the 1920 census for Kalamazoo as Henry J. Oswold, and he would die in Three Rivers in August of 1927. At the moment, I am unsure as to where exactly he is buried, but a note card in the Three Rivers, Michigan Public Library suggested he was buried in Decatur. (I have yet to confirm this information.) As far as I have been able to determine, Henry and Harriet did not have any children.

The second Henry was Henry Klippel. He was the son of Friedrich Klippel and Emilia Kees, and he married Ida L. Ramsey in Bay City, Michigan in 1898. At the moment, I am unsure as to where exactly Ida was born since she only lists Canada as her birthplace in the marriage record, but I did find her living with her parents in Alleston, Ontario in the 1881 Canadian Census. Although I have not found out exactly when Ida and her family came to the United States, they had to have been living in Bay City, Michigan by 1891 when Ida's father, David Ramsey, died.

As for Henry and Ida, the 1900 census gives their residence as Bay City, Michigan. At that time, Ida and Henry did not have any children. On the other hand, family tradition states they had a daughter, and that she was taken away from her father after her parents divorced. I have not yet been able to confirm or disprove this family tradition. (Part of my problem is that I have been unable to find Henry in the 1910 census, and that birth records in Michigan that are 100 years old or less are closed to the public.) What I do know is that Ida died in Bay City, Michigan in 1905 from tuberculous, and that Henry moved to Cleveland, Ohio by the 1920 census. (Henry would also remarry in Cleveland, according to the 1920 census.)

Although I have done some research into the families of Harriet Collacott and Ida Ramsay, I still have holes in my research that I need to fill. I have not fulled traced back either family's ties in Canada, and I still do not know where in Canada Ida was born. Hopefully, I'll be able to do more research in the future.


(Again, this is mostly an abbreviated form of citations due to the fact that I do not have all of my sources with me at the moment.)
  • 1870 U. S. Census, Michigan, Van Buren County, Decatur Village, household of Thomas Collicutt.
  • 1880 U. S. Census, Michigan, Van Buren County, Decatur Village, household of Thomas Collacott.
  • Marriage registration of Henry J. Oswalt and Harriet A. Callacott, Michigan Marriages, 1868-1925, FamilySearch Lab's Record Search, accessed 21 May 2008,;t=searchable;c=1452395
  • 1900 U. S. Census, Illinois, Winnebago County, Rockford, household of Henry J. Oswalt.
  • 1910 U. S. Census, Illinois, Winnebago County, Rockford, (At the moment, I do not have with me the name of the family he was living with in that census listing.)
  • Civil War Pension File of Adam Oswalt.
  • Probate File of Adam Oswalt, Saint Joseph County, Michigan Probate Office, Centreville, Michigan.
  • Death registration of Henry J. Oswalt, Saint Joseph County Michigan deaths, Book 3, page 307, record number 49.
  • O Surnames, Michigan Room, Three Rivers Public Library, Three Rivers, Michigan.
  • Marriage of Henry W. Kleppel to Ida L. Ramsay, Michigan Marriages, 1868-1925, FamilySearch Lab's Record Search, accessed 21 May 2008,;t=searchable;c=1452395
  • 1881 Canadian Census, Ontario, South Simcoe, Alleston, household of David Ramsay,'s 1880s Censuses Indexes,
  • Death registration of David Ramsay, Michigan Deaths, 1867-1897, FamilySearch Lab's Record Search, accessed 21 May 2008,;t=searchable;c=1452402
  • Death registration of Ida Klippel, Bay County, Michigan deaths, Book ? (I do not have the complete citation for this source.)
  • 1920 U. S. census, Ohio, Cuyahoga County, Cleveland, household of Henry Klippel.


looking4ancestors said...

Jessica, thanks for sharing your two Henrys with us. I may have found a birth record for Ida Ramsey if you are interested. Let me know. I am glad you participated in the CGC.

Jessica's thoughts said...

Hi Kathryn,

I would definitely be interested in looking at a birth record for Ida Ramsey.