Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Krantzel Cliff-Hanger: Part 2

Yesterday I wrote about researching into one of my great-great grandmother's line; the Krantzels.

My great-great-grandmother, Sabina Krantzel-Prince, was the daughter of Heinrich Daniel Krantzel (sometimes known as H.D. Krantzel or Daniel Krantzel) who served in the Civil War with the 8th NY Infantry. 

According to the New York Civil War Muster Rolls that I found on Ancestry.com, H.D. Krantzel enlisted on September 5, 1862 for a period of 3 years. This was after the June 8, 1862 Battle of Cross Keys, VA where nearly 1/3 of that regiment was slaughtered. 

So, no, he did not die in that battle that I mentioned in yesterday's post.

The Muster Roll also states, however, that he last appears on the rolls on April 11, 1863. Mch 27/91 see letter attached. I read that to mean "March 27, 1891 see letter attached" but there is no letter following the image on Ancestry.com.

This prompted me to order Daniel Krantzel's Civil War Pension File. On October 19, 1889, an application for his pension was filed by his widow; Elizabeth. On the first page of the file it states that he "Died at Cincinnati - Ohio. Apl. 8 1877." This sheet is marked "ABANDONED."

In June of 1890 a new act governing the distribution of pensions was passed. On July 8, 1890, Elizabeth resubmitted her application for her husband's pension. Once again, it is indicated that he died on Apr. 8 1877. This file too though is stamped "ABANDONED."

After sorting through the 30+ pages of the Civil War Pension File, I found a type written note from the War Department dated June 1, 1894 which reads:
The military records furnish nothing additional to the report of May 2, 1890, in the case of Daniel Kreutzler, private, Company B, 8th New York Infantry.
No Medical record has been found. His name was dropped from the rolls by reason of his leaving the service without proper authority.
No amendment of his record can be made upon any evidence now before this Department.
The most curious thing in the pension file though, is a death certificate provided by Daniel's son Ernest Krantzel at a much later date in 1893. The certificate is from the City of New York for an unknown male who died on November 2, 1884. The corrected NY death certificate lists his date of burial at Lutheran Cemetery as Feb 12, 1891.

1891????  Huh?

And to make matters even stranger, I have an 1880 census record showing Daniel "Krancle" alive and well and living with Elizabeth and their children in the City of New York.

So what is all this business with his widow claiming Daniel died in Cincinnati, OH in 1877?

I am not sure but I get this terrible suspicion that Great-great-great Grandma Elizabeth Krantzel was trying to perpetrate a fraud against the Federal Government; attempting to claim a pension for a soldier who abandoned his unit.

It may be that Elizabeth believed Daniel finished his service honorable but she most certainly knew he did not die in Ohio in 1877. Unless, of course, she was suffering some sort of dementia or someone forced her into this fraudulent claim.

If Daniel is the unknown male who died on the streets on NYC in November of 1884, I wish I could find something more about those circumstances or some meer mention of the incident in a newspaper. The cause of death is listed as a cerebral hemorrhage in front of 186 Front St. in Manhattan.

This all may remain a mystery to me forever but it is one I continue to chip away at as more and more records become available.

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