Moser-2414, Franklin S. Moser, is somewhat of a black hole in my ancestry.
We know he existed because of mentions in wills, at children's baptisms, and in books collecting biographies of groups of individuals.
First, I cannot find a birth record for him. I can find records for some of his siblings, but not him. Some researchers claim to have found him in Cocalico, Lancaster County, PA, but their descriptions lead me nowhere. I believe he was born between 1823 and 1827, maybe as late as 1832.
Second, Franklin's name pops up in a marriage record at the Berks County Historical Society indicating that he married Elizabeth Bode on 12 Feb 1850 at First United Church of Christ in Reading, PA. Berks County Historical Society also has a baptism record for daughter Lydia, b. 24 Oct 1858, baptised by Rev. Charles Augustus Pauli on 28 Feb 1859. Lydia was an infant, was she left behind in Pennsylvania with her grandmother who had her baptised?
Third, although he died intestate, his will was probated. Hints in the documentation of this relates, ". . .the amount of three hundred dollars, collected by Andrew M Lallade, Esquire for the decedent from Geo. Dunkle on a promissory note, dated January 6, 1859." He was alive on January 6, 1859.
They paid expenses from the will, ". . . Oct 1 By sundry expenses in traveling and bringing home the wife and children of decedent from Fairmont, Marion County, Virginia," which tells us where the family was after Franklin's death. Although Franklin's children and, subsequently, grandchildren always said Franklin drowned in the Potomac, I can't see the Potomac running anywhere near Fairmont, Marion County, Virginia, just The Tygart Valley River and the West Fork River join in Fairmont to form the Monongahela River. Besides that, a few years later it was West Virginia, and Virginia records were largely burned up in Richmond during the Civil War.
Tragedy on tragedy. Elizabeth remarried and died soon after, I suspect from complications of childbirth. Elizabeth's tombstone at Epler's cemetery says, Here rests Elizabeth Friemann, a born Bode, and wife of Franklin Moser. She was born the 7 December 1830 and died on 5 August 1862 and her age was 34 years, 7 months and 28 days."
One other note: There is a Baptism recorded at the Historical Society for another child, Valentine, b. 25 Sep 1850 and baptised at First Reformed Church, Reading, PA, on 22 Oct 1850. This is the only notice that this child exists in any record I can find. I have to wonder if Valentine drowned with his father?
Any and all help would be so appreciated. I have been looking at this for 25 years!