This week’s challenge is about Change. What ancestor went through a lot of changes. George H. Bostwick is the older half brother of my 2x great grandfather, John Day Bostwick. He is the only child of Jabez Bostwick Jr and Laura Montfort and was born November 24, 1840 in Hamden, NY. When George was 6 years old, his mother died in January 1847. His father remarried in 1848 to Jane Chase. They lived on a farm near Jabez’s father, Jabez, and his older brother Marcus. They raised sheep for wool, produced butter and grew a variety of crops. More can be read about the farms here. By 1860, Jabez and Jane had 3 more children, John, Florence and Hattie. Unfortunately, Jabez died in 1860, leaving George without biologic parents. The 1860 census shows him living with Jane, his half siblings, and Jane’s mom, running a boarding house in Walton, NY.
So now George is listed as 18 living with his step family, old enough to go out on his own. What is happening in history in this time period? He enlisted in the army on June 3, 1861, 6 weeks after the start of the Civil War. He was in Co I, 72nd regiment, NY, volunteer infantry, Sickle’s Excelsior Brigade. They were engaged in 13 battles some being in Williamsburg, VA, Fredericksburg, MD and Gettysburg, PA. George was discharged on June 3, 1864. He did receive a pension and on the paper he is listed as being an Army Invalid. I still need to find out what happened to him.
After he was discharged, he married Laura Beers July 7, 1864 in Hamden, NY. They married 1 month after he was discharged so I wonder if they exchanged letters during the war? The 1865 New York census shows him living on a farm with Laura and 2 men that worked on the farm. For some reason, they left New York and by 1870, he was living in Towanda, PA working as a liveryman in a stable. They had 2 children, Charles Jabez, 2 and Lelah Belle, 1 month. Since Charles was born in New York, they moved between 1868 and 1870. Tragedy occurred in 1871 as both Charles and Lelah died. Charles died May 18th and Lelah died April 24th. It must have been one of the epidemics occurring during this time period that claimed their lives. Then only a month passed and they were welcoming a baby boy, Fred Jerome, into the world on June 20, 1871. They had one more child, Hattie, May 1874. They moved again because the 1880 census indicated they were in Union, PA and he was working as a laborer. I lost them for 30 years then George and Laura were found in the 1910 census living with Hattie, her husband Wallace Gage, and grandchild Hazel Gage. They were also listed in the 1920 census, this time with Laura’s sister Amy Beers.
George went through many changes in his life. First, losing his mom when he was 6, then his dad when he was 18. He entered the Army during the Civil War and was somehow injured. He married, fathered 4 children, 2 that died young within 3 weeks of each other. His daughter Hattie died at the age of 43 in 1917. He left his hometown in New York and the farming life to live in Pennsylvania. According to his obituary, he had been suffering and wheel chair bound for many years. On November 21, 1920 at the age of 78, George H Bostwick passed away.