Monday, March 4, 2013

A Krantzel Cliff-Hanger

I guess it was about 4 years ago when I decided to make it my goal to fill in the names of all 32 of my great-great-great grandparents. Having started my genealogy research over 20 years ago, I had most of those individuals on the tree and well research for some time. But there were just some branches dangling out there. Branches that needed just a little more attention.

One of the last limbs on the tree for me to really pour some research time into was that of my most maternal line. Women are generally more difficult to research because they almost always give up their maiden names when they marry. You'll notice that I always hyphenate the names of the married women I write about on this blog; but they did not hyphenate their names. I just do it to keep them attached to their maiden names.

My great-great grandmother was Sabina Krantzel-Prince. I knew this from having spoken to my Great-Aunt Anne before her passing. Anne was the daughter of Mary Prince-Fay; Mary was the daughter of Sabina Krantzel-Prince; but Sabina's parents eluded me. In fact that is the one word I would use to describe my Krantzels in general; elusive.

I'd search the U.S. census using Ancestry.com with little success. I'd used the big search engines to do broad-sweeping, Hail Mary searches of the internet for any morsel of information I could find on them; and there wasn't much.

Ultimately, it was Ancestry.com, though, that lead me to a researching cousin on that line. He shared with me a collection of documentation he had gained about the Krantzels or Kranzels or Krantzleins as the case may be. Spelling is a very modern day convention.

This researching cousin found me was because I saved a record from Ancestry.com to my Ancestry.com tree. It was a record that I only thought could possibly be Sabina's father. It turned out to most definitely be my 3rd great-grandfather, Heinrich Daniel Krantzel or Daniel Heinrich Krantzel.

The record was from the New York Civil War Muster Rolls which listed H.D. Krantzel as a member of the 8th NY Infantry, company B. The record contained an unusual note. It read as follows:
Born Worms Germany; occupation painter; eyes blue; hair dark comp. fair; height 5 ft. 5 in.
It was this record and this cousin's confirmation of the connection that lead me to request the Civil War Pension record of H.D. Krantzel. His file only made me curiouser and curiouser. Before I dive into the questions there, I researched the 8th NY Infantry a bit.

I came across a website about the Battle of Cross Keys, VA. There I learned that shortly after noon on June 8, 1862 the 548-man-strong 8th New York Infantry suffered more than 250 casualties in the short span of about 15 minutes. 

Was that the fate of Daniel Krantzel? When next I write I will share with you what I learned from Daniel's pension file.

Oooo, a cliff-hanger...

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