Saturday, September 28, 2019

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Your Most Frustrating Brick Wall Problem

From Randy over at Genea-Musings: 

it's Saturday Night 
time for more Genealogy Fun!!!

 Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1)  What is your most frustrating brick wall problem?  Tell us what you want to know and what you have found to date.

2)  Share your genealogy brick wall problem in your own blog post, on Facebook, and leave a link to it in the comments.

Here's mine:

Well, my brick wall has always been and continues to be my great-great grandfather, George W. Schwalls.  I wrote a lengthy blog post about the mystery that surrounds him in 2011 (please visit to read the full story), so I'm going to be much more concise here.

George W. Schwalls was born January 1, 1837 in Germany or Bavaria.  I only have this information thanks to his Civil War Pension application.  Nowhere did he ever list the town or village he was from in Germany or Bavaria.  It appears he came to the United States sometime during the 1850's.  He enlisted in the CSA in Johnson County, Georgia as a Private in Co. E, 48th Infantry on March 4, 1862.  

He lived in Johnson County, Georgia and married Lincelia E. Claxton in 1866 in Edgefield County, South Carolina.  I have no idea how they met.  I am descended from their daughter, Mattie Schwalls, born May 25, 1877.  They had 7 children together.  Lincelia (Celia) passed away January 18, 1882, and George remarried in 1883 to Mary J. Williams, born March 15, 1851.  They had 6 children.  

The family lived in the Minton's Chapel area of the county, and George was very involved in the church, Minton's Chapel Advent Christian Church.  He was a delegate from the church sent to the Second Advent Christian Conference of Southern Georgia in October 1895.  

According to George's Civil War Pension Application, dated August 27, 1902, he suffered from liver and heart disease, Asthma, a gunshot wound to the leg, and a gunshot wound to his head which left him partially deaf.  These wounds and conditions were all a result of his service in the war.  

George passed away on January 21, 1908 at the age of 71.  

So as you can see, I know quite a bit after he arrived in Georgia.  It's his life before him landing in Johnson County that I know nothing about.  Please read my original blog post (link above) to hear the speculation about his "former" life.  

Here is another post about the dead end I reached at the National Archives:

It was interesting to read over these old blog posts on this subject.  I saw several items I meant to research, and I never have gotten around to it.  

However, I am still frustrated standing at my brick wall, George W. Schwalls, Sr.

Does anyone have more suggestions for researching this elusive ancestor???

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