Years ago, I received a copy of Abram and Joseph Rosa’s pension files regarding their service in the Civil War. I distinctly remember a comment made by the gentleman taking depositions and accumulating evidence to prove service in order for either gentleman to receive any money. He said that, to paraphrase, “the Rosa’s in the past were not well regarded by the community, but in these later years had improved their behavior.”
My eyebrows had raised at reading the comment, but I was not terribly surprised. Jennie Rosa had left her husband, Abram, during the war, with their two daughters. Never to go back to Michigan again. My belief was that she left him because of possible abuse. Of course, it is doubtful we will ever truly know.
Now Joseph is Abram’s older brother, by about only a year or two. He never married dying a bachelor about 5 years before his brother. But apparently he spent a bit of his life more on the nefarious side, as can be seen from this little tidbit from the May 22, 1867 issue of the Kalamazoo paper:
|Found in the In Court section on page 5.|
Joseph would have been 35 when this occurred. The Wellington Cross mentioned in the article was his sister Sophia’s 22 year old son, his nephew. I have a hard time believing that Joseph had nothing to do with the larceny, he was much older than his nephew and was probably a very bad influence. Further investigation into Wellington shows him in court over the years for burglary and larceny at various times. It appears he had light fingers. I can find no evidence of Joseph in court again, but that could mean he just wasn’t caught or I don’t have access to all the newspapers.
So now we have a better idea to why the community was leery of the Rosa’s and their kin. Abram was possibly abusive and his nephew and brother were crooks.
Who says genealogy ain’t fun. Now I need to see those court records.