Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Mini-Mystery at the Moment ...

Several weeks ago, I decided to browse through the Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania newspapers that are online again, and this time, I happened to notice an article that I had missed in past searches. Of course, I did not mention this discovery at the time because I was extremely busy with schoolwork, but as you can imagine, this brief article has generated some questions in my mind.

So, what was this article? Well, the article happened to be on court cases that had reached verdicts by the point of the article's printing, and it listed whether or not the defendants in the cases had been found guilty or not. Well, in that list, my ancestor's brother, John Oswalt, happened to be found guilty along with another man of assault and battery of a woman. Unfortunately, the article does not mention any of the facts of the case, but it does list the punishment the men received:

"Com'th vs. Henry Harker and John Oswalt. Indictment for assault and battery on Elizabeth Kyler. Verdict, guilty. Sentence of the Court, that Henry Harker pay a fine of $1.00 and be imprisoned in jail 24 hours - John Oswalt pay a fine of $1.00 and be imprisoned in jail one week, pay costs, &c. ... August 23, 1845."
- Taken from "Proceedings of the Courts of Quarter Sessions and Common Pleas," in the Huntingdon Journal, 27 August 1845, page 2.

To be honest, I wasn't expecting to find this article, but either way, I'm curious as to what the circumstances of the case were. Obviously, I want to obtain the transcript of the case so that I can answer that question, but I also want to obtain that file to see if it might shed any light on the daily life of my Oswalt ancestors. For all I know, there might be some important details on my ancestors and their families, and since I know that some of my Oswalt ancestors were illiterate, this might be one of the few sources that I'll find on my ancestors. Since I'm still up at school, I won't have time to get this court case right away, but I hope to get the file as soon as I get a chance.

And just when I was beginning to think my ancestors were getting boring, I'm thrown another curve ball ...

1 comment:

Apple said...

What a great find! I hope you can track down the court records. You would think something would have been mentioned in the paper at the time of the arrest. Perhaps that will get scanned in later.