Maggie Carter Smith feels like one of those little wind up ducks you find in an import store, the ones that skitter along, turning and circling with no clear direction. So many things tug at her: the books stacked for reading, the list of research possibilities, the garden. Her to-do list fills her head; the ideas buzz there, near to bursting. She slugs down her handful of vitamins and minerals, an attempt to extend a meaningful life, and looks up at the multicolored India-ink drawing of Yama, the Lord of Death, hanging on the wall. His mouth opens wide, regurgitating the world, an endless wheel of compassion and suffering. Maggie stares at it, envious. Right now she wishes–almost, ‘wishes to hell’ but she won’t go that far, not with old Yama looking down on her–still, she wishes she could cough up the rumblings inside her, fling them out once and for all, a magnificent mouthful. The older she gets, the more urgent all this ‘doing’ becomes.
(From my next book chronicling 17th century New Haven, fictionalizing a kernel from family history. But that’s another story.)
This quote expresses my feeling precisely–overwhelmed! Andrew Croy and Susannah Oswalt (3x great-grandparents) married by 1800. They were first cousins…yep, first cousins. Their fathers married daughters of Alexander Huston. Those fathers, Jacob Croy (see last post) and Jacob Oswalt, came to the part of Ohio now encompassing northeast Carroll County and southwest Stark County. This week I review Jacob Oswalt and Sarah Huston Oswalt and their thirteen children. Consequently, overwhelmed!
I delved into the land purchases in Carroll County in some depth because of my interest in the little town of Morges. The first evidence of Jacob Oswalt is when he registered for S12 T16 R7 on September 24, 1805. Using the Bureau of Land Management records, I discovered that, in 1810, Michael Oswalt (Jacob’s brother) purchased the SE ¼ of that section. The other quarters went to other purchasers. Jacob continued living in Stark/Carroll County, and in 1819 he purchased the NE ¼ of T16 R7 S17, what would one day contain a portion of Morges, Ohio.
By 1820 the Oswalt family was ubiquitous in Stark County. By 1830 the family still lived in Stark County but Jacob Sr. had moved with his son Jacob Jr. to Lexington Township, near Maximo. Jacob Jr. would live his life out there. Son Samuel acquired his father’s property in Rose Township.
Between 1830 and 1840, the Oswalt family dispersed. After his wife’s death, Jacob Sr. headed to Seneca where he purchased land in Big Springs Township and town lots in Springville, and then died in 1836. Back in Rose Township, Carroll County, Samuel worked with neighbor John Waggoner to establish little Morges. Family relations, including Croy, Simonton, Waggoner, and McClish all paid taxes on lots there (as an aside, in correction of an earlier error, Jacob Oswalt who paid Morges taxes was not the patriarch but a son of likely John, possibly Samuel.) But by 1838, most of the family had moved on and Andrew Croy and Samuel Oswalt were delinquent on taxes for their lots.
Was the death of Sarah Huston Oswalt in 1832 a catylst, unraveling family connections, or was it the natural realignment of family connections over time? Was it the lure of land farther west; the Panic of 1837 precipitated by the end of the National Bank and rampant land speculation? We can’t know. The timeline of documentation found below helps tell the story.
While I have all documentation for the narrative that follows, I did not source it here…too much…to long. One thing though, I’ve discovered my grasp of the comings and goings of the Oswalt family (thanks to a helpful cousin much removed) is pretty darn good! So I’m ready for Ohio if Ohio’s ready for me. Before I go, however, the family of Andrew and Susannah Oswalt Croy deserves one more look.