Charles Hartwell was my husband’s GGGrandfather. Tracing his life has been fascinating to say the least. Not only because there are lots of records relating to him but because those records provide significant insights into Charles Hartwell’s person including some unflattering information. You’ll see this as his story unfolds. We used Civil War Service and Pension applications, Homestead papers, and Vital records as well as maps and historical information about the times to put this all together and begin to “know” Charles Hartwell. Even the handwriting analysis provides clues to his personality. Here then, as we know it is his story:
Charles Warren Hartwell was the first child of Nelson Hartwell and Electa Walter. He was born February 1, 1835 in Linden (Lyndon) Caledonia County, Vermont, mailing address East Haven, Essex County Vermont. The 1840 U.S. census shows the Nelson Hartwell family members as: one free white male under the age of 5, one free white male between the ages of 5 thru 9, one free white male 20 thru 29, one free white female under the age of 5 one free white female 20 thru 29. Total persons = 5. The census also shows that one person (presumably Nelson) is engaged in agriculture. So to line these totals up to people, the one male under 5 would be Harlow, Charles’ younger brother, 5 thru 9 would be Charles, female under the age of 5, his sister Isabella, and of course the two adults would be Nelson and Electa. In 1850 Charles was still part of the family and was age 15.
Jump ahead to December 30, 1857. That’s the date Charles married Calista A. Langs in Branch County Michigan. The Langs family lived in Gilead, Branch County. Why Charles happened to be there is anybody’s guess… although his childhood playmate, Clifton Walter had gone out to that area of Michigan as well. Perhaps he was simply a young man seeking an adventure. The 1860 US Census shows Calista, Charles and Isabella (or Esabella) Hartwell had returned to Vermont and were living in Caledonia, Charles’ home town. Baby Isabella was two years old.
By 1870 the Hartwell’s had moved back out to Michigan with their two children, and in 1870 were enumerated in Noble, Branch County, Michigan not far from the Langs family home. The data: Charles, age 35, Calista age 30 and George, age 8. Also listed are Eva K Cass, age 6 and Thomas Winters, a Stone Mason age 22 years. Isabella is not listed.
On October 16, 1871 Charles filed a Homestead Application for 160 acres of land in section 26 of Township 31, Range 7W, Antrim County Michigan.
Charles and Calista’s story continues in Part II, focusing on acquisition of the Homestead and Charles departure from the family.
FHL microfilm, source batch #M518282, film #930796, Branch County Marriages, 1833-1867
Department of the Interior request for pension, document #25, Hartwell file
Book: Grace Hooper’s Pioneer Notes, By Trek and Sail to Grand Traverse Bay. Text written in 1993 by Beulah Hooper King. Published by Fen’s Rim Publications, Inc. Elk Rapids, Michigan
U.S. Census, East Haven, Essex County Vermont, 1840-1870; Newark, Caledonia County Vermont, 1860
U.S. Census, State of Michigan, Noble County 1870; Antrim County 1880
Susan J. Edminster, Granite Falls Washington, February 9, 2011. All Rights Reserved