Martin Dorwart

I was starting to go batty with the East Galway/Irish genetic genealogy search and had to completely take my mind off of that and focus on other genealogical things. I know there are connections to that area, but the connections are most likely so far back and will take so much time to figure out, I just don’t want to focus on that right now. Instead, I began to work on the Dorwart side of my family, who are from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. This has been easier because of records on Ancestry and Family Search websites. Today I will focus on Martin Dorwart.

Martin Dorwart was born in 1735 (supposedly in Alsace, France), to Martin and Elizabeth Dorwart, and is my maternal fifth great grandfather!  I am fortunate that I was able to verify my connection to him through my DNA matches and then records. His great-great grandson is Charles Conner, who married Anna Schadel, I’ve mentioned them before. Alsace is in northeastern France and borders Germany and Switzerland. It’s so close to the border that it has alternated between German and French control over the centuries.

Here is a current photo of Alsace, pretty!

According to records from the Latter Day Saints, Martin emigrated to America and landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on the ship Banister in October 1754, and took the oath of allegiance in the State House of Philadelphia the same day he landed. At some point he settled in Lancaster. Lancaster is one of the oldest inland cities in our country and is 71 miles west of Philadelphia. German immigrants first settled the area, when it was known as “Hickory Town”. The city took the name of Lancaster and symbol, the red rose, from Lancashire, England. It was the capital of the US for a day in 1777, and during the Revolutionary War, was home to military stables and barracks where British and Hessian soldiers were imprisoned.

According to records from the First Reformed Church of Lancaster and the Latter Day Saints, Martin’s occupation was a shoemaker. He first married Elizabeth Grim on May 21, 1759, and they had one child, John Martin, born in 1765. After she died in 1771, Martin married Maria Joanetta Spitzfaden on April 30, 1768. They had nine children: Martin, born 1769/1770; Jonas, born 1771; Johannes (John), born 1772; Adam, born 1775; George, born 1781; Jacob, born 1783; Philip, born 1786; and Michael, born 1789. Not one girl in the bunch!!!

At some point, Martin joined the Revolutionary War. He is listed as a private in the 4th Company, 8th Battalion in Capt. William Wirtz’s Company during 1781. I have visions of the movie The Patriot, hahaha.

His name is incorrectly spelled as Darewart. On the Ancestry website, Dorwart is said to be a German occupational name which means doorkeeper, or gatekeeper. I have seen a resource that states his father is from Baden, Germany and the name is Dorwarth, so maybe Martin was actually born in Germany. I did see a short biography of his grandson, and it is mentioned that Martin is of German descent.

Martin died on May 2, 1797 at the age of 62. According to his will, he lived on Prince Street in Lancaster, and left behind his wife and eight sons.

One source says Martin is buried in the Lancaster Cemetery. According to Find a Grave, 42% of the tombstones have been photographed – there are 160 graves in the name of Dorwart alone. However, on the webpage for Revolutionary War Patriot Graves for the Sons of the American Revolution Pennsylvania Society, he is listed as buried in the 1st Reformed Church of Lancaster cemetery plot, which would be in here:

Dorwart seems to be a common name in Lancaster. There are two streets named Dorwart – Old Dorwart and New Dorwart, and they are, coincidentally, not far from Prince Street (an area known as “Cabbage Hill”), named in the 1880s I believe. There is also a park named after a recently deceased Dorwart. I’m hoping to find if my Martin or anyone in the family line is connected to these Dorwart-named places, odds are there is probably a connection.

Thanks for reading!!

Arthur Conners

I did not know that brothers Harry and Arthur Conner were in contact with their sister, Bertha (Conner) Bass, as adults until recently when talking to my father. As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, the siblings (including youngest brother Edward) were split up and sent to different families after their mother, Anna, died in 1903 and their father, Charles, went who knows where. This was quite an exciting revelation!

Although I have Arthur’s death certificate, I’ve had some trouble identifying other records of him until talking with my father. A couple of tidbits: “Art” as he was known, was married to a woman by the name of Lillian, lived in Roseland for awhile, and was missing a couple of fingers. I started looking at some of the records on Ancestry and found some interesting records, one a marriage record, and the other a WWII draft registration card.

The first is a marriage record between Arthur Conners and Lillian K. Morman – they were married in Chicago on July 14, 1942.

On his death certificate, Arthur was identified with the last name of “Conners” instead of “Conner”, and even though there is no birth date or other identifying information in the marriage record, I am going to assume that this is my Arthur and Lillian. There are no other marriage records anywhere that I can find for people with these names. There are also marriage records to a Hazel, but at the present time I believe they may not be connected because the birth dates do not match, but will be looking at those further.

The next record is a WWII draft registration card. There are a couple of draft registration cards floating around on Ancestry that are connected with my Arthur but I believe this is the correct one as the other ones have his birth date as seven years earlier, yet this Arthur’s birth date is exactly the same as my Arthur’s birth date.

The most intriguing thing that makes me believe this is my family’s Arthur besides the birth date is where he identifies obvious physical characteristics on the back of the card:

This Arthur mentioned that he is missing a finger on his left hand. My father and I debated about this, because he thought Art was missing fingers on his right hand, but it is too coincidental. My father also remembers Art as being tall and thin, and this card lists his height as 6’1-1/2″, which is quite tall, and 145 pounds – that weight and height would make this man quite thin. The other draft registration cards list the  height as 5’6″, and well that is not very tall. As height goes, we would know about this — my father is 6’2″ and I am 5’11”, we know tall people when we see them. As it was a few short months before his marriage date, Lillian would most likely not have been mentioned.

I believe based on the birth date and identifying physical characteristics of the hand that this is my Arthur Conners.

Thanks for reading!!

William Bass – Draft cards

Today’s post is about the WWI and WWII draft cards for my maternal great-grandfather William Bass. He never served in the military, but draft cards can be interesting and have some good family history information in them.

WWI Draft Card

At the time he filled out his WWI draft card in 1917, Bill listed his birth date as February 8, 1889, so he was 28 years old. He worked as a Switchman for the New York & Chicago St Louis Railroad in Stoney Island, was married and had a wife and three children to support. They were living at 11020 State Street in Roseland – unfortunately with all of the changes and desecration that occurred there, that property is now vacant land and I’d rather not show the picture. On his card, Bill described himself as tall and slender, with grey eyes and blond hair. Here is a photo of him when he was older:

Thanks for the photo Mom!

In 1942, at the time he filled out his draft card for WWII, Bill was 53 years old and working for the Chicago West Pullman Southern Railroad. 

WWII Draft Card

At that time, he was living at 11832 Stewart Avenue in Roseland with his wife, Bertha and kids.

Thanks for the photo Dad!

Bill died at the age of 70 on October 24, 1959 of a perforated duodenal stomach ulcer and peritonitis, which really sounds agonizing. He is buried in Cedar Park Cemetery in Calumet Park, Illinois.

Thanks for reading!

Private Roger Allen Kros

My father recently told me about a family member who died in Vietnam, so on this Memorial Day, we are celebrating him:  Private Roger Allen Kros.

Roger is the son of Cornelius and Hilda (Boersema) Kros. Cornelius and my paternal great-grandfather, John, are brothers.

Source:  Thomas Clark

On the website Honor States, it says that Roger was a private in the U.S. Army and killed in action during Operation MacArthur/Binh Tay at Dak To on November 19, 1967, while serving as a Light Vehicle Driver with the HHC of the 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Division. He enlisted in the Army on September 20, 1966 and started his tour on March 3, 1967. He was only 19 years old.

Roger was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and is honored on the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in Washington DC.

No matter how anyone feels about the Vietnam War, we thank Roger for serving and giving his life on behalf of our country on this Memorial Day.

Military Monday — Jacob Munster

Today we will focus on another military man in my family, this time a Civil War veteran, Jacob Munster — and I have always had a real interest in the Civil War. Last week one of my posts was about Jacob and his history as a founder of Munster, Indiana. Today I will do a short dive into his military background in the Civil War.

Cindy Watson Badten has written a fascinating history of Jacob Munster’s participation in the Civil War for the Munster Historical Society, and even included a photo of Jacob as a soldier.

Jacob Munster was born on February 28, 1845 in the Netherlands near Strijen. The name Monster was anglicized to Munster but Jacob used the original name when he enlisted. Jacob was recruited as a private into the northern army on October 18, 1864 in the 30th Illinois Infantry, Company K as a substitute. “Substitute” means that someone paid him to take his place and serve for him. At that time, Generals Grant and Sherman were pursuing Confederate General Hood into Alabama. Eventually Jacob was a part of General Sherman’s “March to the Sea”.

In February of 1865, the troops moved north into the Carolinas. Sherman and his men burned the City of Columbia and continued north into North Carolina. Late in March of 1865, they faced Joe Johnston and the confederate troops at the Battle of Bentonville, North Carolina. On April 9, 1865, Lee surrendered to Grant in Virginia. Then on April 26, 1865, Jacob was there during the historic moment when Johnston surrendered the southern Confederate troops. He was mustered out on July 17, 1865 in Louisville, Kentucky and discharged in Chicago on July 24, 1865.

Photo: Lawrence Varkalis

After the war, Jacob returned to his village to marry and raise thirteen children. He opened the Munster General Store in 1870 and became the first postmaster. Besides doing this and being a farmer, he was Road Supervisor, Town Trustee and School Board member. In 1907, the town was incorporated and named after him.

Jacob died on February 8, 1924 and was buried in the First Reformed Church of Lansing Cemetery.

Military Monday — Edward “Red” Schoudel

Here’s our military man this week!!  Edward “Red” Schoudel, he was very funny and sweet. What an important part in helping us win World War II, and we all so appreciate that. This is from an original news clipping I found in my grandmother’s things – in mint shape as if it was just clipped yesterday. He was the brother of my grandmother, Madeline Schoudel Bass.

Uncle Eddie was born on July 28, 1918 in Waterloo, Indiana to Edward Ambrose Schoudel and Victoria Margaretha Winarski. According to this clipping (date unknown), he enlisted in the Army on July 14, 1941 and was somewhere in Northern Ireland at that time.

My cousin told me her father landed on Utah Beach. He was injured in France and had shrapnel in his back for the rest of his life and doctors could not remove it because it was too close to the spine – something I never ever knew!

I did some further digging on Ancestry and found his draft card – he registered for the draft on October 16, 1940 when he was only 22 years old. At that time he was single and living in Chicago, working as a salesman at the Art Cream Whip Company, Inc. 

After the war, my Uncle Eddie married my Aunt Eileen (Eileen Veronica Thullen), who was born on April 21, 1923. They were married until he passed away on May 11, 1993.

Thank you so much Uncle Eddie for your very brave service to our country!!