Saturday, November 13, 2010

Surname Saturday - Can I Conclude That These Oswalts Are Related? - Part Two

In my previous post, I started to write about who I believe Adam's siblings were and why, but I ended the post before finishing because I realized that the post had become too long. Therefore, I decided to split up this Surname Saturday on the Oswalt Family to make it more readable. (This Surname Saturday will probably end up as multiple posts due to the length of the analysis needed to explain everything.) But before I go any further, I think I should list how many people were living in the household of Benjamin and Mary Oswalt (Adam's parents, according to his death certificate) during the 1830 and 1840 censuses.

Although Benjamin Oswalt isn't listed in Ancestry's index for the 1830 census, I did find him listed in the census living in Hopewell Township, Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania. (Correction: At least that was true prior to June 5, when I happened to look through the index again.) According to the census, 6 people were living in Benjamin's household at that time: 1 white male under 5, 1 white male between 5 and 10 years old, a white male between 30 and 40 years old, a white female under 5, a white female between 5 and 10 years old, and a white female between 30 and 40 years old. (1)

So, who might the people be living in Benjamin's household? Well, the 30-something year old man is Benjamin and the 30-something year old woman is Benjamin's wife, Mary. The male between the ages of 5 and 10 is more than likely, Benjamin and Mary's son, John. (Other census records indicate that John was born in either 1820 or 1821.) The male under 5 is probably Benjamin and Mary's son, Solomon (of whom, you may remember, I wrote about in the previous post). As for the two young females in the same age group as the boys, I can only guess although I believe the two to be Benjamin and Mary's daughters. One of females might be the Eliza Oswalt, who is listed in a 1848 marriage announcement as marrying a Thomas King. (I strongly believe Eliza is a sister of Adam for two reasons: In the 1870 census, Adam is listed as living in Three Rivers, Michigan and in addition to his wife and children being listed, a 20 year old Clara King is also listed as living in his household. In 1876, this Clara King married a George P. Mosher, and when she died in 1886, her parents are listed as Thomas King and Eliza King. From the marriage announcement, I know that Eliza's maiden name was Oswalt. Of course, my suspicion could be wrong, but that is how I have interpreted the records so far.) I later found Eliza and Thomas in the 1850 census living in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania with two young children: a two-year old Mary and a 4-month old Clara. (2) As for the younger female, I'm uncertain as to who she might be.

In 1840, Benjamin Oswalt is residing in Walker Township, Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania. According to the census, 9 people lived in Benjamin's household: 2 white males under 5, 1 white male between 5 and 10 years old, 1 white male between 10 and 15 years old, 1 male between 20 and 30 years old, 1 male between 30 and 40 years old, 1 white female under 5, 1 female between 10 and 15 years old, and 1 female between 30 and 40 years old. (3)

So, who might have been living in Benjamin's household in 1840? Well, the 30-something year old man and woman are most likely Benjamin and Mary Oswalt, even though they were listed as the same age in the 1830 census. The two males under 5 are probably Adam and Benjamin. The male between 5 and 10 is probably William. The male between the ages of 10 and 15 is most likely Solomon. As for the male between the ages of 20 and 30, I'm not sure who it is. Benjamin and Mary's son, John, had married earlier that year in March, and his household is listed separately from Benjamin's. (4) Although it is still possible that it is John, it is probably either a relative or a farm hand. I will have to do more research to determine who he is. The female under 5 is probably Margaret, and the female between the ages of 10 and 15 is most likely Eliza. (This list of possible names for the two censuses comes from the 1850 census I mentioned in the previous post and the sources I list for Eliza. The 1850 census for Benjamin Oswalt's household listed the names and ages of him and his family: Benjamin Oswalt, age 52; Mary Oswalt, age 50; Solomon Oswalt, age 24; William Oswalt, age 18; Margaret Oswalt, age 13; Benjamin Oswalt, age 11; and Nancy Oswalt, age 8. (5) )

In my next post in this series, I will continue my analysis, and explain why I believe William is Adam's brother. I will also include proof on how I know that Margaret is Adam's sister. Until then, have I made a good enough case to say that Eliza (Oswalt) King is a sister to my ancestor, Adam Oswalt? Please let me know what you think. Thanks, and enjoy!

  1. 1830 U. S. Federal Census, Pennsylvania, Huntingdon County, Hopewell Township, household of Benjamin Oswalt.
  2. "Married," Huntingdon Journal, 21 November 1848, 3,; 1870 U. S. Federal Census, Michigan, Three Rivers, household of Adam Oswalt; Marriage of Clara King to George P. Mosher, Saint Joseph County, Michigan marriages, FamilySearch Record Search; Death of Clara Mosher, Barry County, Michigan Deaths, FamilySearch Record Search.
  3. 1840 U. S. Federal Census, Pennsylvania, Huntingdon County, Walker Township, household of Benjamin Oswald.
  4. 1840 U. S. Federal Census, Pennsylvania, Huntingdon County, Walker Township, household of John Oswald; "Married," Huntingdon Journal, 1 April 1840, 3,
  5. 1850 U. S. Federal Census, Pennsylvania, Huntingdon County, Walker Township, household of Benjamin Oswalt.

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Belated Acknowledgement - The Ancestor Approved Award

Back in early April, Miriam awarded me the Ancestor Approved Award, but I wasn't able to acknowledge the award at the time because I was extremely busy with school work. Thank you, Miriam, for the award! (I am really sorry and embarrassed for the delay!)

The requirements for this award are that I list ten surprising, humbling or enlightening things that I've learned about my ancestors and that I then give this award to ten other people.

Here are ten things I have learned about my ancestors so far:
  1. Surprising - Family tradition stated that my great-grandfather (the one who served in World War One) lost both of his parents at a young age; however, the tradition did not mention the names of his parents or how they died. Until I discovered the names of his parents in his birth record and the name of his father in his marriage record, I did not know anything about them other than what was passed down in the family, and with the information that I obtained, I discovered that someone had posted some information on my great-great-grandparents on the Family Search website. (Obviously, I've been confirming the information I found.) Once I had the death dates for my great-grandfather's parents, I was able to get someone to look up the records for me, and later I was able to view the documents for myself on Scotland's People. From the death record, I learned that my great-great-grandfather had died in a freak accident. Of course, that was quite shocking to me, especially since the death record gave some details as how my ancestor had died. (I haven't looked yet, but I think I should look and see if there was an inquest on his death as the death record was updated a year after the original entry. Does anyone know if inquest records from the 1890s in Scotland still exist?)
  2. Surprising - Discovering that one of great-great-grandfathers had been married at least three times. When I first started my research, I learned that this ancestor had been married twice, but until I actually did research at the St. Joseph County, Michigan's Clerk office, neither my grandpa or I knew that he had been married to another woman prior to our female ancestor. Additionally, the discovery of that first wife's death after two months of marriage and the cause of death was a bit of shock as well. (Of course, I still haven't found the marriage record for the third marriage, although census records and family stories point to my ancestor's remarriage after his second wife's death.)
  3. Surprising - Discovering that my ancestor, Christoph Friedrich Cotta (Jr.), participated in the French Revolution. The family tree that had been done on the Cotta line did not mention anything about the French Revolution, from what I can remember. Of course, the tree is in German, so I could have missed something, but I am still slowly confirming everything on that family tree.
  4. Surprising - Learning from secondary sources, the names of Christoph Cotta's maternal grandparents, and that his maternal grandmother had been a famous opera singer in her time. Even more surprising, that she was thrown in jail for eight years by the Duke of Würrtemberg.
  5. Surprising - Finding the World War One military records for another one of my great-grandfathers. Well, what was surprising was the information in the records, but I'll leave the findings for another post.
  6. Humbling - Uncovering and learning about the hardships that some of my ancestors experienced in their lives.
  7. Enlightening - Discovering that Gelnhausen, Germany's church records are online, and being able to find and confirm information that I have on my Kees ancestors.
  8. Surprising and Enlightening - Ordering Benjamin Oswalt's Civil War Pension file, and reading some of the information in the testimonies.
  9. Surprising - Finding a deed for a piece land in St. Joseph County, Michigan that my ancestor, Peter Stout, had bought while in California.
  10. Surprising and Enlightening - Finding the naturalization records for one of my ancestor's brothers, and then finding the declaration of intention for his father, my ancestor. I wrote about those discoveries here.
Well, those are my ten surprising, humbling and enlightening things that I have learned about my ancestors over the course of my research. At this point, I am supposed to nominate ten other genealogy bloggers for this award, but since it has been several months since I was given this award, I've decided not to do that. Here is what I will do instead: If you haven't received this award before and are reading this post, I am awarding this award to you. Enjoy!

My Apologies ....

As everyone has noticed by now, I haven't posted anything on my blog for months, and I just want to apologize for the lack of activity on my blog. The reason why I haven't posted in so long is that I have so been busy (and am still busy) with school work that I haven't had the time to post or read any updates on genealogy news in months. What has been happening in the past several months?

I also want to apologize for not keeping up with the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy. I still want to keep the carnival going, but since I have been so busy, I've forgotten to contact those who were supposed to host the carnivals for the past several months. I am extremely sorry for that, and I would like to eventually resume the posting of carnival editions. Unless, someone else wants to host the edition in December, I might post that edition. I will also accept requests for hosting next year's editions, if anyone is interested. You can contact me about hosting at jess_history at yahoo dot com.

I don't know how often I will be able to post on my blog in the upcoming months due to the fact that I will be busy with school work, but I hope to be able to do so. Therefore, posting on this blog may be light until May or June of next year.

I also want to give my thanks to those who have served, and I apologize for the belated Veteran's Day thank you. Enjoy!