A cousin sent an interesting newspaper article with the name “J.W. Frantz.” I began the search to identify the man and the answer materialized about six hours later. Just to prove that I “burn the midnight oil,” I’ll publish this blog message. Details will follow in the light of day.
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Perhaps I “read” more into a situation than original intent? My thoughtful, considerate cousin may have sent the information because of the “Frantz” name. I see the article in three ways: 1) A Bible–the word of God. 2) Abraham Lincoln. our first Republican President, and 3) a man with the “Frantz” surname. All three very important to me.
Conservatively, I spent six hours searching for documentation of this man. First: Military records revealed service at Fort Smith, Montana, (1867-1868) and later Fort Sanders in Wyoming Territory (1869-1871). At first, the records listed him as J.H. Frantz but a South Carolina record listed his name as “John” and he was at a military installation (1873-1875) known as “Columbia.” John can be found at Fort Preble and Scammel, Portland, Maine, in 1876-1878. Honestly, I did not “save” every available military record. When I stumbled on his death record in “U.S. Newspaper Extractions from the Northeast, 1704-1930” (and saved to my database), Ancestry suddenly gave me eighteen “hints.”
Ancestry “hints” and “sources” provided the name John Herr Frantz (1837-1882) and “Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Mennonite Vital Records, 1750-2014)” supplied the name of his parents. I was able to merge “John” with the existing family in my Ancestry database.
Too tiny to read? Click on the image to enlarge. This… and another newspaper article told of the hardships suffered during the winter of 1867.
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At midnight, I said it had been a “marathon.” For three days I researched my“Musselman” confusion. (Not my family but my confusion.)