Tuesday, June 4, 2013

And Another Update on the Research Into My Oswalt Ancestors ...

A few days ago, I promised that I would post another update on the progress I made on my Oswalt ancestors. Instead  of posting more information on Adam Oswalt (died 1837-1838), the father of Benjamin Oswalt (died 1861), I will write about the findings I made on a few of the grandchildren of Adam Oswalt (died 1837-1838) which includes my Civil War ancestor, Adam Oswalt.

As you may remember, I wrote a series of articles a few years ago that explored whether or not the Civil War veterans, Adam Oswalt, Benjamin Oswalt and William Oswalt, were brothers. At that time, I only had indirect evidence to conclude that the three men were brothers; however, I can now definitely state that they are brothers. How? Well, I ordered two additional Civil War Pension files earlier this year.

Previously, I had only ordered Adam and Benjamin Oswalt's Pension files, and those files did not indicate whether or not the two men had a connection. (I should quickly note that Benjamin's Pension file was actually a Widow's Pension as his widow filed for a pension file after his death.) So, when I decided to order additional Pension files this year, I chose to order William's Pension file (or Widow's Pension, to be more accurate) and the Widow's Pension file for one of Adam's Detwiler brother-in-laws. (I will discuss the Detwiler Pension file in a future post.)

From the testimony of William's widow, Eliza, I learned that William, Benjamin and Adam were indeed brothers as I suspected, and confirmed that the men had a sister named Margaret who lived in Michigan. Besides confirming relationships, the file also listed the names of William and Eliza's children and Eliza's children of a later marriage, gave the date and location of William and Eliza's marriage, and provided an explanation of why I could not find a record of that marriage. Apparently, William and Eliza's marriage was not recorded in the county. Although Michigan law required that marriage notices be placed in two newspapers in the county where the marriage occurred, I haven't yet found a notice. I will need to do a more in-depth search of the newspaper records of Saint Joseph County, Michigan.

So, as one can see from the above information, Civil War Pension files could contain a great amount of detail on the lives and families of Civil War Veterans. Unfortunately, the file does not answer all the questions I have about these Oswalts, especially when it comes to the maiden name of William, Benjamin and Adam's mother. In a future post, I will discuss my efforts so far to answer additional questions on my Oswalt ancestors. Enjoy!