You may be wondering why our logo says we were established in 1873, when clearly we weren’t around back then. Well, 1873 is the year that this ”Life of Angst” began.
My great grandfather, Charles Franklin Angst, was born in 1873 in Iowa. It’s from him that I inherited my homesteading and wandering proclivities. He’s also the reason I took up traditional and genetic genealogy.
Charlie was adopted by Conrad and Mary Angst sometime before 1880. Charlie spent his life wondering where he came from, and he tried to find out who his parents were, but there were no records he could find that connected him to anyone. Those who knew of his origins never said a word. He left this world to greet his savior on November 5th, 1955, without ever knowing who his parents were. His grandchildren took up the cause and spent many years searching for any evidence of Charlie’s origins. Then, I got involved.
Fortunately for me, commercial DNA testing had exploded by 2020 and after asking every relative I could find to take a test, I was able to make progress. I won’t go through the whole story, suffice it to say that after a dozen or more DNA tests and over a year of research, I was able to find Charlie’s biological parents – Oliver Elswick and Mary Cummings. Oliver likely never knew he had a son – he had moved to Oregon to work as a woodcutter about the time Charlie was born. And Oliver wasn’t married to Charlie’s mother. She was married to someone else and, shortly after Charlie was born, she was committed to a mental institution where she died in 1903.
Oliver Elswick actually moved from Oregon back to Iowa, then to Kansas and eventually to Laclede County, Missouri by 1893. It was a super odd coincidence to discover. Oliver also had a son he named Charlie, but that son did not survive to adulthood.
By 1902, Charlie and his wife, Rose Anna Hamilton, moved to Laclede County. They had met and married in Appanoose County, Iowa. They would move to Oklahoma for a time, but would retain their property in Missouri and eventually come back to settle in Laclede County, where several generations of their descendants still reside. Rose Anna’s father also came down from Iowa to live in Laclede County, so I am a 5th generation resident of the county.
The whole experience of finding Charlie’s family changed me. I’m actually writing a book about it. If I can stop distracting myself with all of my various other projects long enough to finish writing it, that is.
That is why Life of Angst was established in 1873. This life, this line of Angsts, started with my great grandfather, Charles Franklin Angst.