JOHN NICHOLAS GARST III
Dear Garst Cousins,
I have received much needed research results from the Montgomery County, Ohio, Deed Books which establishes without doubt that there was indeed a John Nicholas Garst III.
Having said this, John Nicholas Garst III was not the John Nicholas Garst III who is described in the original Our Garst Family in America book of 1950 compiled by William Tell Garst, nor was he the John Nicholas Garst III described in the recent 2005 version of Our Garst Family in American book compiled by the Masons. The John Nicholas Garst III as described in those books was a younger John Garst who was son of Jacob Garst and nephew of the real John Nicholas Garst III.
What I have been able to find is that the real John Nicholas Garst III was buying and selling land in Montgomery County in the period from 1816 to 1836. Seven of his nine land dealings were in Section 17, Township 4, Range 4 east of the meridian line drawn from the mouth of the Great Miami River. Four of these seven land dealings were with his brothers-in-law Christian Zehring and William Zehring. Interestingly, in all five of the deeds of sale over the entire period there was no wife listed.
In my search for a possible wife and family, I looked in the 1820 census for Montgomery County, Ohio. The only Garst spelling I could find was that for Jacob Garst (son of John Nicholas II). Looking further, there was no Gerst spelling in the census. However, I finally found a Nicholas Gersh (sic) living in Jackson Township, Montgomery County, Ohio. He was listed with no wife, no children, no family. His age in 1820 was between 26 and 45 years. Jackson Township was Township 4, Range 4, so there is no mistake about the identity of this Nicholas. He was the real John Nicholas Garst III.
Perhaps the absence of a wife, children, and descendants is one of the reasons why it has taken so long to confirm his existence. I was lucky enough to have a friend who found the deeds for me, otherwise, who knows how long it would have taken to set the record straight.
Dwayne Wrightsman Lee, NH
Draft of Nov. 1, 2004, revised Dec. 6, 2005 (© 2006) Dwayne Wrightsman, used by permission.