This post follows the family of Jacob Oswalt II and Sarah Huston Oswalt, my 4x great grandparents. They made their home in Rose Township, Carroll County, Ohio.[i] While researching, I would dive down into multitudes of data and then rush to the surface gasping for air attempting to get my bearings. How to explain so many eddies in an ocean of information, and do it in a way that makes sense? Finally, I adopted a plan. Provide a brief overview and then direct the detail-oriented reader to more in-depth information. As always, I welcome any input and/or questions from readers. Genealogical research is always a work in progress. Here goes…
The majority of Oswalt family members, including Jacob and Sarah, lived in Rose Township, Carroll County, Ohio up until 1830.[ii] Soon after 1830 Sarah died and, by 1840, everything had changed. She seemed to be the glue that held the family together. After Sarah’s death Jacob, her husband, left for Seneca County with his daughter Martha and her husband Daniel Wymer where, along with land, he invested in lots for a new town called Springville. DOC Ironically, as you will see, the new town never prospered. His son, Jacob Jr., moved on to Mosimo, Ohio and became a prominent citizen.[iii] In my next post, I share a brief biography of him. It provides insight into these peoples lives, including what they learned and experienced on the edge of settled America.
As Jacob Oswalt prepared to leave the county, his son, Samuel, was forming a partner with John Waggoner (two of John’s children married Oswalts.) They founded Morges, Ohio in 1831. The town would provide small lots for family homes, storefronts to sell products and produce from their land, and a place for small industries to flourish such as blacksmithing and weaving.
Most likely Andrew Croy, my 3X great grandfather, sold lumber from his sawmill and, maybe, ground corn from his gristmill in the town. He owned a lot there until 1838. His sons, Michael and Jacob Croy, (my great, great grandfather) briefly owned lots in the town, as well.
Canals were being planned, and perhaps they anticipated taking advantage of them. But the Eerie/Ohio Canal and a secondary canal, the Sandy-Beaver Canal bypassed the town by miles. Did they know that at the time? Were they betting that they would come nearer? Or did they simple put all their chips on hope?
By reading tax records from 1833 to 1838, a picture emerges of land lots owned briefly and then sold, with the inhabitants moving on to other places promising greater prosperity. Samuel’s gamble did not pay. By 1835 a list of delinquent lot taxes included Andrew Croy, Michael Croy, John Kimmel, Nicholas McGuire, Samuel Robertson, and Thomas Simonton (who had married Elizabeth Oswalt.) As an aside, neither Samuel Oswalt nor Andrew Croy allowed their major property holdings to go delinquent. Their acreage was too important.
Most significant of all was Samuel Oswalt, listed as delinquent on four lots (numbers 16, 33, 25, and 2.) By 1836, the tax recorder listed the owner of all Samuel’s lots as “unknown.” Perhaps his family, when asked about the lots, simply shrugged their collective shoulders, protecting him from ruin. Samuel continued to live in the area through 1838, but, so far as I know, no further record of him exists.
Morges never grew. It continues very much as it did then. Comparing a Google Map of Morges with the one at the beginning of this post, you can make out Samuel and John’s original lots. New people live in new(er) homes and the street names have changed. Richmond Street is now called Bachelor, and St. John Street is now called Bark. But they all look out on old St. Mary’s Church, sitting on land John Waggoner donated for the purpose long, long ago. [iv]
The majority of family members moved on to places in Iowa, Virginia, and Indiana, as well as the Ohio counties of Stark, Jefferson, and Coshocton.[v] Of these places, Andrew Croy and Susanna Oswalt Croy, along with sons Michael, Jacob, and David, choose Coshocton County. The Eerie-Ohio Canal dissected Coshocton County, bringing them and their family a small level of prosperity.
For more detailed information regarding Morges lot ownership, family migrations, and Rose Township in general consult my Morges Lots spreadsheet, Morges, Ohio Lot Ownership 1833-38, the new and updated family sheets for “Western PA,” Western PA family sheet and this information on Rose Township. http://www.carrollcountyohio.com/history/townships/Rose/Final%20Rose%20Tp.%20History.pdf