Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Secrets, Pt. 6: The Rest of the Story...

Joseph Marschall and Emma Rosin
Last, but not least is Joseph Marschall.  So, what happened to him?  Who was he?  I believe that Joseph Marschall married Emma Rosin in 1917 when they both were 24 years old.  He was a medic in the U.S. Army [1918-1919] during World War I and was awarded the Victory Medal.  In 1920, he was living with Emma in San Antonio and was a tree surgeon according to the 1920 Federal Population Census Schedule.  According to early land transactions that I found of my grandfather's, he and Emma [she was included in the transactions and was listed as his wife] bought, improved, and sold land - all in the same area of town that Otto and Jane Rosin [Joseph's sister] lived and also completed land transactions.  [Additionally, Joseph and Emma lived in the same part of town as Otto and Jane.]  However, the transactions ended abruptly with Emma, and I've not been able to trace her after that.

Did Joseph Have Another Wife?
After the transactions that included Emma, Joseph had many more by himself until 1927.  This is where I found a public affidavit that he had filed.  In it he claims that the land [that John and Josephine end up buying from him later] was his before his marriage to an Oveta Marshall, and that Oveta had abandoned him 6 months prior.  I verified when he first purchased this land, and he did purchase it after the land transactions that had included Emma, which indicates possibly that he had another wife.  Two scenarios exist.  Either Emma and Oveta are one in the same, or he married Emma and something happened to her [passed away or they divorced] and then he married an Oveta...I lean a little towards the possiblity that Emma and Oveta are not the same person.  First, the wording and the time line suggested in the public affidavit indicates that he had another wife [if he was telling the truth].  Plus, Emma stops appearing in the land transactions.  Interestingly, Oveta never appears in any transactions - possibly meaning that they weren't married for very long?  Basically, I don't know what happened exactly, but there is sufficient evidence to suggest that he was married twice before marrying my grandmother.  Unfortunately, both Emma and Oveta have proven to be elusive for me and I've not been able to find a marriage record for Joseph and Oveta..Do remember, though that John and Josephine of Galveston, Texas bought the land in dispute from Joseph and immediately mortgaged it plus 26 shares in some stock in order to pay Oveta Marshall $350 per a divorce decree, and they did it for a Joseph Marshall.  They then sell the same land in 1932 to Otto Rosin of San Antonio.  It's possible that Emma and Oveta are the same person, but the name Oveta is not listed as a possible nickname for Emma nor does the name Oveta have germanic origins.  However, anything's possible and without evidence I don't have enough proof at this point.  If they are the same person though, it might explain Joseph's separation from the family, and the land sale to Otto Rosin later, but that could be because Otto lived in San Antonio and John & Josephine didn't, and it would make sense to sell it to him.   After these transactions, my grandfather had many more land transactions - all in San Antonio - that he executed by himself until 1942 when my grandmother - "Paw-Paw" - appears in the land transactions until my grandfather's, "Big Paw-Paw's" death.  My father appears in several transactions as well.

So are Joseph Marshall and Joseph Marschall the Same Person?
I'm pretty convinced they are the same person.  What are the chances that a John and Josephine Marschall of Galveston, Tx. would complete transactions with a Joseph Marshall and Otto Rosin who were not the same ones that they were related to?  Considering that I checked for other Joseph Marshall's [either spelling] that fit the criteria in one way or another and was unable to find one other than this one, I don't think the chances are very high.  [Other Otto Rosin's were checked for as well.]  Also, all the land transactions led back to my grandfather.  The name spelling change from Marschall to Marshall may have been simply my grandfather "American-izing" his name [which was common], or it could represent the separation with the family.  As far as the landscaper angle, I don't know if it was him, but he was a tree surgeon at one time, and remember the landscaping ad was for the 1st high rise in San Antonio in the Laurel Heights area...a possible connection to real estate development [a small one, I know].  It's not any stranger than his brother's occupations [mentioned in my last post], and San Antonio was experiencing economic growth at the time.

Other Avenues to Search
There are many things that I need to find.  To name a few:
  • A marriage record between Joseph and Oveta;
  • Joseph's and Oveta's divorce records;
  • My grandfather's will;
  • His appearance in the 1930 Census; and
  • Emma...

So, What Gets a Catholic Excommunicated?
Well, the Canon Law of 1917 is written in Latin and is here.  However, I don't know Latin, so I surfed around on forums and websites looking for a simple answer.  [Can you hear me laughing?  Apparently, there are no simple answers when talking about Canon Law in the Catholic Church.]  However, from what I could tell - basically - a marriage after a divorce would get a Catholic excommunicated from the Church because the Church doesn't recognize the divorce...I'm pretty sure my grandfather had been divorced at least once before marrying my grandmother.  Now whether or not he was actually excommunicated and to what level [yes, there are levels or degrees] I don't know.  This is another follow-up that I need to do, but this could also explain a separation between my grandfather and his family...

Joseph Was a Carpenter...
Growing up my dad [Joseph, Jr.] was able to build anything without drawing it up first.  It simply [for him] went from his imagination to creation...[Remember the deck I mentioned in Runaway Bunny?  He built that.]  I once asked him where he had learned to build, and he said that his father [Joseph, Sr.] had taught him.  You see, he'd helped his dad tear-down and build houses in San Antonio...

Where's My Sign?
I still felt that I needed to do something other than what I had already done or listed.  I could have used a sign that had a picture of everyone on it and that read "Hey, Caroline!  Look no further, we're your family".  Too much to ask for?  Probably, but there was something I hadn't done yet that I needed to do...
My Dad's Sister...My Aunt
My dad had a sister, and I hadn't called her yet  for a number of reasons.  First, growing up I wasn't really close to her.  Plus, I thought my mom knew everything that my dad had known, and I'd already exchanged info with her.  I also didn't know how sensitive an issue it would be for her to learn that her father had had another marriage [& possibly 2].  It was time though for the call that should have come first in my quest for answers.  I ended up having a good conversation with her for about an hour & half.  She took everything in stride, and it turned out she knew something more.  While I was listing my grandfather's probable siblings...she stopped me and said, "Wait.  I remember when I was young your dad and I travelling to Galveston to visit our Aunt Ella...her first name was Laura.  I think I remember that her first husband's last name was "Breen" and that he died when their children were young and she remarried.  Also I remember that Roman had died while he was young."  She went on to say that she hadn't thought about that "in years" and probably wouldn't have remembered it if I hadn't mentioned their names...[Oh yeah...]

One Final Twist to the Rest of the Story...
In looking at Rootsweb/Ancestry.com Surname Message Boards and Genforum's Surname Boards under the names "Marshall" and "Marschall", I found a woman looking for a Joseph Marschall...a Joseph Marschall whose parents were John and Emma Marschall of Galveston, Texas.  She provided enough information that I was able to determine that this was the same family.  I posted a response, but didn't get a return response.  In looking at her various posts/requests however, I noticed 2 things: that over time her posts became increasingly urgent, and then one day, they stopped abruptly.  So, on a hunch I decided to "Google" her name which she had provided in her posts, and I found her obituary.  Ironically, she had died the same year as my dad.  According to her posts, she was a descendant of my grandfather's brother, John Marschall, Jr.  She'd indicated that there were no more male Marschall's to carry on the name, but that she'd remembered her father telling her about John's younger brother - Joseph Marschall - who'd been "separated" from the family and had lived in San Antonio, and she was wondering if he'd had a family...Well, he did.  He had a daughter and son...a son who had another son, who had 3 more sons...While the spelling of the name is a little different, it still carries on.  All of them...all of us...descendants of John Marschall from Posen, Prussia who had been..."just a farmer".

So, for your family's sake, go find your farmers!


1 comment:

  1. I'm so sorry your ...cousin(?) died before you found her queries but, did you get in touch with her descendants??? I hope so and congrats on finding those elusive family members.


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