A few months ago, I stumbled upon a record for a Henry C. Holzgrafen who fought from 1863-1866 during the civil war in Company C of the 1st Cavalry California Volunteer Regiment. Immediately I thought this must be my third great-grandfather's brother, Henry Holzgrafe, who immigrated to the United States in 1845 and settled in Evansville, Indiana. Many questions arose from this hypothesis including, what was he doing enlisting in a California regiment when he had land and a family in Indiana? Does this period of enlistment even coincide with his timeline? Is there any other more suitable candidate who this veteran may be?
After doing a lot more research and going back and forth in who I believed he was, I finally determined that this individual is unique from the Holzgrafe family. Thus far he does not fit in the family tree and may be related to other Holzgraefe families of Northern Germany (there were at least four).
The spelling of his surname, Holzgrafen, is distinct from any other group which came out of Schweicheln to the United States. Yet having an "n" at the end of the name was not abnormal in the older German records. Sometimes surnames in the region would have the final "n" and others would omit it. I understand it as being much like the pluralizing "s" in English. For instance we have two surnames Wood and Woods. They may have originated from the same family, but after being separated for some time, the spellings diverged. So, Henry could still be related.
Cowboys and Indians
|Col. Kit Carson in leading his men in the First Battle of Adobe Walls|
|Blake Street looking towards 15th street, Denver, CO 1866|
|Deadwood, SD 1870's|
Finally, Henry appeared in the special census of 1890 for veterans. He was correctly identified in a tiny community called Elliston near Deer Lodge, Montana. No further information has been discovered yet about this man. I would love to find out specifically where he came from and if he fits into the family tree. It would be pretty neat to be related to a real Cowboy and man of the Wild, Wild West!