John Muster Genealogy
6/22/1830 - 10/16/1887

John Muster was a private in Company I of the 20th Indiana Volunteer Infantry. October 1, 1861, Confederate forces seized the steamer Fanny and those onboard in North Carolina. John Muster, who listed his nationality and residence as Switzerland, spent time in Confederate prisons until the end of the war. In 1866, he settled in Valparaiso, Indiana, and married his wife Barbara. John Muster died young, and his widow outlived him by forty-three years. The Musters had eleven children and thirteen grandchildren. The youngest grandchild, born in 1926, was Bill Muster, my father.

In the mid-2000s, I found the names of my ancestors John and Barbara Muster when a relative sent me Barbara Muster's obituaries. A little later, through Ancestry.com, I found out that John Muster fought in the Civil War. Finally, the story came alive when historical researcher Lee Oxford contacted me in about 2010. He told me of John Muster's capture on the Outer Banks, and that he was writing a book about it. Many men died in the Civil War, and the suffering of prisoners was notorious. However, I am grateful that John Muster lived through it and had all the children. If not for that, none of us Musters would be here.

Lee Oxford's book is now available on Amazon.com: The Civil War on Hatteras: The Chicamacomico Affair and the Capture of the US Gunboat Fanny, new in May 2013. After the South captured the Fanny, they used it to patrol that area for the rest of the war, so it was a big loss for the North.

Directly following the book's release, I met Daniel Swacina, whose wife is a descendant of John Muster, and Jean Renfro, another descendant. Jean is a genealogist who is gathering family information. Jean gave us this obituary for John Muster.

johnmusterobituary

Dan Swacina said: I recently received a copy of my wife's Great-Great Grandfather's obituary (John Muster) from another family member and discovered that he was a Private in Co. I 20th Ind. Vol. Inf., and was captured on the Fanny, and was later paroled. Just 91 days after his parole from Libby Prison he enlisted again on August 15, 1862 as a Corporal in Company I, 5th Cavalry, 90th Indiana Regiment. He was captured again when his unit failed in their attempt to rescue the prisoners being held at Andersonville, and ended up a prisoner there himself along with a number of other members of his unit and transferred a couple of times until the end of the war.

Editor's note: Jeanne Miller* sent me these obituaries and other clippings concerning the death of John Muster's wife, Barbara Muster, October 10, 1931.

barbaramuster-obit1

barbaramuster-obit2

barbaramuster-obit3

barbaramuster-cardofthanks

barbaramuster-legalnotice

barbaramuster-houseforrent

Also one concerning her son, George Howser:

barbaramuster-howser

Genealogical information:
Barbara (Murtin) Muster - b. 7/27/1848 in Baden, France, sometimes Germany, when she was born it was the Kingdom of France, came to America in 1852 (at 4 years old), d. 10/10/1931 Valparasio, Indiana.
John Muster - b. 6/22/1830 in Switzerland, d. 10/16/1887 in Valparasio, Indiana
John and Barbara were married in 1866, had eleven children and numerous grandchildren.

Children of John and Barbara Muster:
Albert R. Muster
William Muster
Alberta Muster, July 2, 1905
*still searching for the names of all the children

Grandchildren present at Barbara Muster's funeral:
Bruce Stansell
Mason Muster
DeForest Muster
George Howser, Jr.
John Muster
Emmett Muster
Helen Fitzgerald
Leota Daniels
Florence Martin
Alberta Harding*
Barbara Alice Muster
Margaret Muster
Grandson not present: Bill Muster, then five years old, living in Chicago with his mother Emma Moldenhauer Muster, and older half-brother, Ed Miller.*
*curious if there are any additional grandchildren

G-grand Children
Grandchildren of William Muster Sr.: Nori Muster (1956), Bill Muster (1958)
*curious if he had any children from is first marriage
Grandchildren of Albert Muster: John Scott Harding (1938), Robert Brooks Harding (1942) , and Paul (1944, lived only a few months)
*still searching for names of great-grandchildren

G-G-grandchildren:
Kathy Swacina
Audrey Jean Muster Renfro *still searching for full list of g-g-grandchildren

John and Barbara Muster had all their children in Valparasio, Indiana. If you are related to John Muster, please contact me, Nori (contact info. - click here), to share genealogy information.





Screen shot 2013-04-26 at 8.31.24 AM

The Civil War on Hatteras: The Chicamacomico Affair and the Capture of the US Gunboat Fanny, by Lee Thomas Oxford
Exciting new book about an early battle in the Civil War that took my great-grandfather, John Muster, as a prisoner of war(!) Click the book cover to buy it at Amazon, or click here to buy it directly from the publisher.





Alberta Muster Harding Branch

More about the Alberta Muster branch of the family, details supplied by Dan Swacina.

On May 31, 2013, at 4:58 PM, D.S. wrote:

Alberta Muster married Ross Harding 31 July 1926 in Valparaiso. Alberta was born 2 July 1905 in Valparaiso and died there on 20 Oct 1967. Her Husband, J.E. (as I knew him) was born in Fort Wayne, IN on 6 Nov 1899 and died in Valparaiso 7 Jan 1990. He went by several first names, Ross, Ross Errol, Roswell, J.E., and Jack and I have seen "official" documents with all of those names on them, but no birth certificate that would solve what his first name ACTUALLY was. Alberta Muster was the 3rd of 10 children born to Albert R. Muster (May 1873?) and Margaret A. Mason (May 1875?). They were married about 1892. Alberta & J.E. had three boys, John Scott Harding (Kathy's dad) born Sep 1938, Robert Brooks Harding born in 1942 , and Paul born in 1944 (who died within a few months of his birth).

John married Antonia DeGrazia (Toni) in Valparaiso 15 Jun 1957. Toni was also born in Valparaiso in 1938. Kathy was born in Cambridge, MA in Mar. 1958 while John was attending Harvard. He graduated from Harvard and attended medical school at Northwestern University in Chicago. He then served as a flight surgeon in the Air Force. His first assignment was in San Antonio, TX, where Kathy's brother Scott Anthony Harding was born.


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