The surname, Oswald, takes up 7 pages in our German Family Tree. Today, you will read about the original couple to settle in Perry County with that surname. The patriarch of that Oswald clan happens to be today’s birthday boy.
Christian Oswald was born December 19, 1832, so today would be his 190th birthday. He was born in Ingolstadt, Germany, so that qualifies Christian to be called a Bavarian. The location of Ingolstadt in Germany is demonstrated on the map below.
I was able to only determine the name of Christian’s father. It was given on his later death certificate which says his father’s name was Jacob. However, the space for the mother’s name says, “don’t know”. At the age of 17, Christian, along with two female Oswald’s, came to America aboard the ship, Gallia. That ship arrived in 1851, which presents us with a math problem. If Christian came to this country at the age of 17 and he was born in 1832, then he would have arrived in 1849, not 1851. I do not have an answer to that math problem. The passenger list showing the Oswald’s is pictured here.
The first census in which I found Christian was the one taken in 1860. At that time, Christian was still single and living in St. Louis where he was a journeyman brewer. This is a fascinating census entry. The head of the household was George Hubert, who operated the Park Avenue Beer Garden. His family is included in this list, along with a barkeeper, a few musicians, a cigar maker/actor, Christian and another journeyman brewer, and 2 beer wagon drivers (one is on the next census page). I spent a short time looking for this beer garden on the internet, but failed. Perhaps one of our readers who has the time can find out more about this establishment. I did find a source that said there were 40 breweries in St. Louis in 1860.
Since Christian was married in 1865, let’s take a look at the woman who would become his bride. Her name was Margarethe Doege, who was born on August 10, 1846. She was the daughter of Carl and Sophia (Heitmann) Doege. The location for Margarethe’s birth is up for debate. He obituary says she was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, but several census entries state that she was born in Illinois. When Margarethe is found in her first census in 1850, her family was living in the Randolph County in Illinois near Chester. Already by that time, Margarethe’s mother had married Isaac Lehnherr. It looks like the 4 year-old Margarethe had the surname, Lehnherr.
There is additional confirmation that the above entry is for the correct Margaret Doege in an article published in the Chester Herald Tribune in 1895.
Next, we find Margarethe in the 1860 census. This time, her stepfather was a merchant.
Christian Oswald married Margarethe Doege on April 9, 1865. The marriage record for this couple is found in the books of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Chester.
A family tree on Ancestry that has several images for this Oswald family not only provided the image above, but also an an image of an Illinois marriage certificate for this couple.
The 1870 census shows the Oswald couple living in or near Chester, Illinois where Christian was a brewer. There were 3 children, all boys, listed in this entry.
Our German Family Tree lists 7 children in the Oswald family, but I know there were more. The child named Herman in the above census died during the same year the census was taken. Herman in not found in our GFT. The Oswald documentation listed for their 3rd child in the GFT says he was born in 1872 and baptized in Chester. The next child, born in 1875, was their first child to be baptized at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar. The Oswald’s must have moved to Perry County in the time period between those two births. The 1880 census shows this Oswald household with 5 children.
Two more Oswald children were born in the 1880’s, and we cannot view another census until 1900. Since the Oswald’s lived in the Salem Township, we have to attempt to read an entry like the one below. Only one child was in their household.
The photo of the Oswald family below was reportedly taken in 1903. It is yet another photo that was almost certainly taken by Paul Lueders. It was taken in front of the Lueders family home in Frohna. I am now thinking that Paul took this family photo there because his studio was not big enough for this group.
Christian, Margaretha, and just their children must have gone inside the studio to have this photograph taken on the same day. The outfits are the same.
The last census in which we find the Oswald’s is the one taken in 1910. This is the only census in which we find Christian and Margarethe living in the Union Township. After moving to Perry County, Christian was always called a farmer. However, I suspect he made his own beer.
Margarethe, despite being younger than Christian by about 14 years, was the first to die. She died in 1914 at the age of 68. Her death certificate says she died of a cerebral hemorrhage.
An obituary for Margaretha was published in the Perry County Sun. I have displayed this obituary in 3 images that may have to be clicked to enlarge.
Christian Oswald died in 1918 at the age of 85. We can also view his death certificate which says he died of cancer of the face.
We can also view Christian’s obituary that was published in the Perry County Sun.
Margaretha Oswald is buried in the Salem Lutheran Cemetery in Farrar. However, Christian Oswald is buried in the Concordia Lutheran Cemetery in Frohna.
Because the Oswald’s had so many sons, the Oswald surname was passed on to plenty of descendants. I know there are some Oswald’s still around, carrying on that family name.
Just a quick note of explanation. I have received a little blowback (which I don’t mind) on the punctuation I use in my blog posts. Perhaps you have noticed that I use a more possessive punctuation when indicating plurals with names. I know this is wrong. I have taught enough grammar lessons in my days as a teacher. However, I long ago decided to not follow proper punctuation rules. I made that decision to avoid confusion. Let me give you an example: If I properly spell the plural of the name, Louis, it would be Louises. I think you can see that this spelling could be the plural of Louise as well. I know my alternate approach to punctuation may offend the grammar police, but I am willing to take their slings and arrows to make sure my readers know exactly what I mean. So I would spell it Louis’s on this blog because I have to write the plurals of so many proper names. In other writing contexts, I follow the rule. I hope you understand.