Sunday, July 01, 2007

Charles Wiseman Immigrant Ancestor 1833

Charles Wiseman, my 2nd Great Grandfather and the last of my ancestors to arrive in the United States, was born November 30, 1815 in Berne, Switzerland. His naturalization record states that he came to this country in 1833 and went to Switzerland County, Indiana about 1837:

Civil Order Book L, Switzerland County, Indiana. page 392. April 25, 1845. "Charles Wiseman was born in the Canton of Berne in Switzerland in the year 1815. He migrated from Havre de Grace in the year 1833, arrived in the City of New York the summer of 1833 while a minor. He removed from New York to Ohio and from thence to the County of Switzerland, Indiana about eight years ago. Has resided there since that time. Signed Charles Wiseman (his x mark)."

Nothing is known of Charles' parents or the time between 1833 and 1837. Where was he? There are a lot of Wiseman households in Ohio during that time, does he belong to one of them? If so, which one? Perhaps he was serving as an indentured servant?

An entry in "New York Arrivals 1820-46" for June 21, 1824 shows Elizabeth Weisman, 47; accompanied by Jacob, 53, teacher; John, 18; Jacob, 15; Elizabeth, 7; Samuel, 5; and John G., 3y 6m. Last permanent residence: Switzerland, Destination: U.S., Port of Entry: NY, Vessell: Aurora. [Note: a cousin found this entry but didn't fully cite her source and I've not been able to relocate it.]

There is a Jacob and Elizabeth Wiseman in the 1830 census for Switzerland County, Indiana (page 74/145, the third listed from the bottom of the page). Jacob Wiseman: one male 5-10, one male 10-15, one male 60-70, one female 5-10, one female 15-20, one female 50-60. Is this the same family that arrived on the Aurora?

Naturalization records for Christopher (shown in other records as Christian) and John Wiseman were also found in the record books of Switzerland County. It's not been proven that Charles, Christian and John are related but my "gut feeling" is that they are siblings or at least cousins.

  • Civil Order Book L page 296. October 22, 1844. "Christopher Wiseman was born in Canton Berne in 1812, embarked at Havre de Grace in France in May 1833 and arrived at New York in July 1833. He removed to Switzerland County in 1836 and has resided there ever since. Signed Christopher Wiseman."
  • Civil Order Book L page 391. April 25, 1845. "John Wiseman, 24 years of age; he was born in Switzerland in the County of Berne, he migrated from the port of Havre de Grace in the year 1833 and landed in the summer of 1833, in the city of New York. While a minor, he removed from New York to the state of Ohio, and from thence to the County of Switzerland about eight years ago and has continued to reside there ever since. Signed John Wiseman."

There are land records showing Charles and John buying and selling land together. The last record I've found thus far for John is that he was "of Tipton county" in November 1859 when he conveyed some land in Switzerland County to Charles.

Charles and Chris both lived in Craig Township, Switzerland County for the remainder of their lives.

The obituary for Christopher/Christian, published in The Vevay Reville on August 16, 1888 did not provide any new clues to a possible relationship:

"Died - Wiseman - in Craig township on Friday, Aug. 10, 1888 Christopher Wiseman in the 77th year of his age. Mr. Wiseman was a native of Switzerland, but came to this country when a young man. He was one of the pioneer settlers of Craig township. He was an industrious, honorable man and a useful citizen. He was a consistent member of the Baptist church. The funeral took place last Sunday at 10 o'clock a.m. and was attended by a large number of relatives and sympathizing friends."

Chris was married twice and had twelve children by his first wife, Elizabeth Brown. More information on Chris and his family can be found at my WorldConnect database.

On Thursday, August 15, 1895 The Vevay Reveille published the following announcement:

"Mr. Charles Wiseman, of Craig township, has been very sick since last Thursday. He is afflicted with bowel trouble which has made him very weak. He is in his 80th year and has not been well for some time. Last Friday Mr. James M. Scott telegraphed Henry and Samuel Wiseman, Pierceton, Kosciusko county, Indiana that their father was seriously sick, and in less than an hour after receiving the telegram, they were on their way to Vevay, and are now with their father. Yesterday we learned that Mr. Wiseman continues very feeble."

His obituary, published in the The Vevay Reveille on Thursday, August 29, 1895 didn't provide any additional clues either, but did provide some information on his character. It also contains errors regarding when he came to Switzerland County:

"Charles Wiseman, Sr. Died at his home in Craig township, Wednesday, August 14,
1895. He was born near Berne, Switzerland, November 8, 1815.

"Mr. Wiseman removed with his parents to Switzerland county in 1833, then about 16 years of age. August 9, 1849 he was united in marriage to Miss Naomi Bray. They resided on the same farm since their marriage until his death. His widow and the following children survive him: Susan (wife of J.M. Scott), Charles, Jr. Vevay; Samuel and Henry, Pierceton, Indiana. All of his children were with him in his last sickness and death.

"Mr. Wiseman united with the Vevay Presbyterian church March 28, 1846 and remained a faithful member until death. For several years, on account of age, poor health and long distance to travel, it was not his privilege to attend the services of his Church.

"While he was a very modest man, he was well informed on current affairs and possessed good judgement. He was practical rather than brilliant. He was instinctively a gentleman, and was incapable of doing a dishonorable act. Honest, truthful, hospitable and charitable, he was indeed a model citizen.

"Rev. J.D. Griffith, a neighbor and friend of the family, conducted the funeral services at the family residence, Friday August 16th, after which the remains were interred in the McKay cemetery."

More information on Charles, Naomi and their children can also be found at my WorldConnect database.

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