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Letters

While researching your family, have you ever stumbled across something very precious — but not for your ancestor? That was my experience today when I made a truly wonderful find.

As mentioned in my post, Evaluating ThruLines, I am researching descendants to verify the ‘Evaluation’ line suggested by ThruLines, Today, I’m working on a ThruLines suggestion for Phillip Andrew Mentzer that goes thru his daughter, Sarah A. Mentzer.

According to FamilySearch, Sarah was married three times. Her first marriage was to Henry Oman. In 1860, Sarah and Henry are living in Kewanee, Henry County, Illinois. By 1870, Sarah is back in Massachusetts and is listed in the census as Sarah Stiles. Sarah’s second husband was Henry Stiles. Also listed in the 1870 census were two Oman children: Alice and Henry. In 1880, Sarah is again living in Massachusetts, but this time she is listed as Sarah Green, wife of Edward Green. The Oman children are not listed with Sarah and Edward on the 1880 census.

Thanks to Ancestry’s collection of marriage records for Massachusetts, I was able to find all three of Sarah’s marriage records. My next step was to learn more about Sarah’s husbands.

Thus, I turned to FamilySearch to see what it would tell me about Henry Oman. According to the record for Henry Oman (LZP4-NZC) on FamilySearch, he died on 1 Aug 1863 at Vicksburg, Mississippi. FamilySearch also indicated that he was buried in the National Cemetery at Vicksburg. Thinking I would be able to use a record on Find a Grave to document Henry Oman’s death and burial, I searched for the record on that site.

When I couldn’t find Henry Oman’s burial on Find a Grave I decided to do a quick Google search to see what I could find. And that’s when I hit the jackpot!

Not only did I have links to the sites with the Vicksburg National Cemetery burial information but I had a link to Henry Oman‘s papers. These ‘papers’ turned out to be 10 letters written by Henry Oman to his wife, Sarah, between 1862 and his death in 1863.

Knowing that I would want to be told about such a find for one of my great-grandfathers, I shared this information with my DNA match. I’m praying that she is active enough on Ancestry to read my message!

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