Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Watt Family Record Book, 1863-1885

Finding aid created by
Shannon Wait, June 2010

Summary Information
Title: Watt family record book
Creator: Watt family
Inclusive dates: 1863-1885
Extent: 1 volume
The volume contains diary entries and copied letters, obituaries, and recipes relating to the Watt family and the military service of several of its members.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

2002. M-4241.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the "We the People" project.

Preferred Citation:

Watt Family Record Book, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Thomas Watt and Nancy Pawley had at least 11 children, including John K. (b. 1834), Thomas T. (b. 1841), Gertrude (b. 1843), and Charles D. (b. 1845). By 1864, Gertrude worked as a teacher in Orange Township, Ohio, and her brothers had enlisted in the Civil War; John in Company A, 4th Iowa Infantry, Thomas in Company H, 66th Illinois Infantry, and Charles in Company D, 34th Ohio Infantry, which was consolidated into the 36th Ohio Infantry on February 22, 1865. In 1867, Gertrude married Hamilton Welker in Hassan, Hancock County, Ohio. Charles married Susan Houpt in 1877 in White Pigeon, Michigan.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The 58-page Watt family record book contains diary entries from several family members; genealogical information; a tintype photograph laid into the volume; and copied poems, recipes, and letters. The writings date to 1863-1865, with the exception of one 1885 entry.

Gertrude Watt appears to have written or copied most of the record book's content. The volume begins with four pages of diary entries concerning teaching and visits from family members in January 1864 (pp. 1-4); recipes for pickled cherries and peaches (p. 12); and several undated obituaries and memorials copied from newspapers, concerning the death of her cousins, James Brisbane (Company A, 7th Ohio Infantry) and Joseph Applegate (Company A, 105th Ohio Infantry) in the Civil War (pp. 18-25). Further diary entries covering November and December 1864 discuss teaching, health, and daily life (pp. 27-30), followed by a copied letter to "Miss Watt" by J.W. Alexander of the 34th Ohio Infantry, in which he informed her that her brother Charles had been captured, and that many of the prisoners lacked hats, shoes, and coats (p. 31). On page 33, Gertrude wrote an 1885 entry describing how she had suffered and whom she had lost since 1864. This is followed by a copied poem entitled "Sympathy," a recipe for jelly cake, four pages tracing Gertrude's ancestry (pp. 42-45), and three pages of diary entries, likely written by Gertrude's brother, John K. Watt(s) of the 4th Iowa Infantry, for June 15th, 16th, and 27th, 1863. In these entries, the writer described camping near Vicksburg and the threat of a Confederate attack (pp. 57-59).

Subject Terms

    • Orange Township (Ohio)
    • United States. Army. Iowa Infantry Regiment, 4th (1861-1865)
    • United States. Army. Ohio Infantry Regiment, 7th (1861-1864)
    • United States. Army. Ohio Infantry Regiment, 34th (1861-1865)
    • United States. Army. Ohio Infantry Regiment, 105th (1862-1865)
    • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Prisoners and prisons.
    • Vicksburg (Miss.)
    • Women teachers.
    • Watt, Gertrude, b. 1843.
    • Watt, John K., b. 1834.
    Genre Terms:
    • Diaries.
    • Letters (correspondence)
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Volume   1  
    Watt family record book,  1863-1885 [series]
    Additional Descriptive Data

    The Clements Library has several books on the 7th Ohio Infantry: