On this day, 10 March 1906, Mathias Noel passed away. He was my 3rd great-grandfather.
On 8 May 1824, Mathias Noel was baptized at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Conewago Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania.
Sister Mary Amelia Noel arrived two years after that on 2 August 1826.
On 8 May 1829, sister Anna Marie Noel was born in Adams County, Pennsylvania.
In 1830, the Noel family resided in Hamilton Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania. Their household consisted of one male age 5 to 10 (Mathias), one male age 30 to 40 (Samuel), two females under the age of 5 (Mary Amelia and Anna Marie), one female age 5 to 10 (Matilda), and one female age 30 to 40 (Margaret).
In 1840, the Noel family was enumerated in Mount Pleasant Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania. Living in the household were one free white male age five to 10 (Stephen), one free white male age 15 to 20 (Mathias), one free white male age 40 to 50 (Samuel), two free white females age five to 10 (Anna Marie and Cecilia), one free white female age 15 to 20 (Mary Amelia), one free white female age 15 to 20 (Matilda), and one free white female age 40 to 50 (Margaret).
Circa 1847, Mathias Noel married Elizabeth Mayer, daughter of Joseph Mayer and Teresa Kuhn, in Adams County, Pennsylvania.
Less than a year later, the couple joyfully celebrated their first child, Francis Elias Noel, who was born on 6 February 1848, Adams County, Pennsylvania. He was baptized on 4 March 1848:
1848 Martii 4, Franciscus Elias Noel, filius legitimus Mathias Noel et Elisabeth, natus 6 die Februarii 1848. E sacro fonte levante, Anna Noel, R.J. Dietz, S.J. (Conewago Chapel Baptismal Register, pg.108)
Sadly, just four days later, on 8 March 1848, baby Francis died. He was only one-month-old.
Francis Elias Noel Martii 8 & sepultus die 9  parvulus unius mensis J Villigen (Conewago Chapel Burial Register page 220)
A year later, on 28 January 1849, after such sadness, joy came again when daughter Anna Margaret Noel was welcomed to the couple’s Mount Pleasant Township home.
On 27 August 1850, the Noel family was enumerated in Mount Pleasant Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania. Residing in the home, valued at $200, were Mathias (age 26), Eliza (age 25), and Anna M. (age 1). At the time, Mathias worked as a day laborer to support his family.
About eight months later, the couple’s second daughter, Mary Katherine Noel, was born on 15 April 1851.
Son Daniel Noel arrived two years later on 2 October 1853
Another boy, David Henry Noel (my 2nd great-grandfather), was born on 4 February 1857, in Reading Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania.
Circa 1860, a third son, Willie Noel, joined the family.
On 14 June 1860, the U.S. Census shows the Noel family farming in Reading Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania. Living in the household were Mathias (age 37) and Eliza (age 36), along with their children Ann (age 10), Catherine (age 8), Daniel (age 6), David (age 3), and Willie (age three months). A farm laborer named Jason Tombier (possibly Tourbier) was residing with the family. Mathias’ farm was valued at $500 and their personal property was worth $800.
On 12 April 1861, the first shots of the Civil War were fired in the Charleston Harbor, South Carolina. As a Pennsylvania farmer, Mathias probably had other things on his mind besides war. However, about a year and a half later on 16 October 1862, Mathias Noel, age 40, decided to enlist in the Union Army, mustering in with Capt. Miller. A few weeks later on 5 November 1862, he mustered in with Capt. Sailer and was assigned to Company G, 165th Pennsylvania under the command of Col. Charles H. Buehler.
On 8-17 December 1862, the 165th Pennsylvania Regiment traveled to Washington, D.C. before departing for Newport News and Suffolk, Virginia. From that point until April/May 1863, the regiment was attached to 2nd Brigade under the command of Col. Robert S. Foster. That brigade then aligned with 1st Division, 7th Corps, Department of Virginia under the command of Brig. Gen. Michael Corcoran.
From 8-10 January 1863, the 165th Pennsylvania Regiment was part of an expedition of Blackwater, Virginia. They were in Leesville, Virginia on April 4, 1863. From 11 April until 4 May 1863, the regiment took part in the Siege of Suffolk.
After the Siege of Suffolk, the regiment was part of operations on Seaboard and Roanoke Railroads from 12-26 May 1863. The regiment then fought in the Peninsula Campaign from 27 June until 7 July 1863. During that time, they went on an expedition from the White House to the South Anna River (a principal tributary of the Pamunkey River in Virginia) from 1-7 July, where they burnt the South Anna Bridge on 4 July 1863. After the Peninsula Campaign and the South Anna expedition were completed, the 165th Pennsylvania Regiment returned to the District of Columbia on 8 July 1963. The entire company was mustered out on 28 July 1863. Mathias Noel then returned home to Pennsylvania.
Nearly nine months later, sometime in early 1864, son Syvery Noel was born in Adams County, Pennsylvania.
Daughter Jennie Noel was born about four years later on 10 March 1868.
Sometime before the 1870 U.S. Census, daughter Mary Katherine Noel wed John Otto Brown. We know that it was before this time because on 12 August 1870, the Mathias Noel family was enumerated in Mount Pleasant Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania. Residing in the household were Mathias (age 50) and Elizabeth Noel (age 48), along with their children David (age 19), Syvery (age 7), and Jennie (age 2). Mathias Noel was a day laborer, and Elizabeth was keeping house. The property was valued at $600, and their personal property worth was estimated at $1,000.
Unfortunately, the 1870s was not a good decade for Mathias Noel. On 13 November 1871, father Samuel Noel died Mount Pleasant Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania.
Four years later, on 7 October 1875, mother Margaret Felix passed away.
Then a greater heartache came to the Noel home when, on 8 June 1879, daughter Jennie Noel died. She was only 11 years old.
On 10 June 1880, the Mathias Noel family was living in Mount Pleasant, Adams County, Pennsylvania. Residing in the household were Mathias and Elizabeth Noel, along with their children Anna, David, and Syvery. Granddaughter Mary, daughter of Anna, was also living there. Mathias Noel was a post fencemaker, and Eliza was keeping house. Syvery was a laborer, and David was also working as a post fencemaker.
In 1881, son David Henry Noel (age 23) married Elizabeth “Lizzie” E. Fogle (my 2nd great-grandmother) in Adams County, Pennsylvania.
On 18 July 1899, The Gettysburg Compiler newspaper reported that Mathias Noel of New Oxford received an increase in his Civil War service pension.
More than a decade passed without incident. Then, on 15 December 1899, The New Oxford Item newspaper reported:
Mr. Mathias Noel, an aged citizen and veteran of the Civil War, residing at Kohler’s schoolhouse, Mountpleasant township, is critically ill but with slight hopes of his recovery.
A week later on 22 December 1899, The New Oxford Item newspaper provided this follow-up:
The condition of Mr. Mathias Noel, of Mountpleasant township, remains unchanged.
As if this were not bad enough, that same day, tragedy struck when daughter Mary Katherine (Noel) Brown, who was only 48 years old, died. Had she been ill like her father, or perhaps she died in childbirth? Her heartbroken family buried her near her siblings in Immaculate Conception Catholic Church Cemetery.
The following year, on 8 June 1900, the U.S. Census shows that Mathias’ wife Elizabeth Noel (age 71) is living in Mount Pleasant Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania with her daughter (possibly granddaughter) Mary Noel (age 18). So where was Mathias? According to the census, Elizabeth claimed to be a widow, although we know that Mathias was still alive. Had his illness been so severe that Elizabeth could not care for him? As they were not well-to-do, perhaps Mathias was sent to live at the nearby Adams County Almshouse, a complex consisting of three buildings: the infirmary, the poorhouse, and the insane asylum, to be treated.
(Incidentally, another sad fact captured by the census taker was the Elizabeth, although bearing nine children, only had two children still living in 1900. So, it looks as if the only two children still living at the turn of the century, one of whom was David Henry Noel. Who was the second? Was it, in fact, Mary who could have been a late-in-life child?)
Wherever Mathias Noel might have been in 1900, we know that on 10 March 1906, he died at the age of 80 years, 10 months, 6 days and was buried near his children at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church Cemetery in New Oxford, Adams County County, Pennsylvania.