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Old 02-01-2014, 10:36 AM
 
Location: League City, Texas
2,813 posts, read 4,315,108 times
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This only goes back about a hundred years. My grandmother had always said that she had a brother who had died when she was very young. Everyone else in the family denied this--she was mistaken, imagined it, etc. She died about 30 years ago.

Last year, I was researching the family, & found documents, including a death certificate, that proved that she had indeed had a brother who died as an infant. And get this--it said he had died from "POISON"!

Anyone who would've had any further info or knowledge of this is long gone. Did they routinely record a death of a ten month old as a poisoning?
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Old 02-02-2014, 01:28 PM
bjh
 
Location: Memphis - home of the king
26,105 posts, read 22,790,774 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellpaso View Post
This only goes back about a hundred years. My grandmother had always said that she had a brother who had died when she was very young. Everyone else in the family denied this--she was mistaken, imagined it, etc. She died about 30 years ago.

Last year, I was researching the family, & found documents, including a death certificate, that proved that she had indeed had a brother who died as an infant. And get this--it said he had died from "POISON"!

Anyone who would've had any further info or knowledge of this is long gone. Did they routinely record a death of a ten month old as a poisoning?
No, that is definitely not routine! What you've uncovered is a fact that was so unpleasant for the family they denied its occurrence.
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Old 02-02-2014, 09:03 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
21,501 posts, read 26,116,900 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellpaso View Post
This only goes back about a hundred years. My grandmother had always said that she had a brother who had died when she was very young. Everyone else in the family denied this--she was mistaken, imagined it, etc. She died about 30 years ago.

Last year, I was researching the family, & found documents, including a death certificate, that proved that she had indeed had a brother who died as an infant. And get this--it said he had died from "POISON"!

Anyone who would've had any further info or knowledge of this is long gone. Did they routinely record a death of a ten month old as a poisoning?
Did you see if you could find a newspaper article abut the death? It could have been accidental or deliberate. Also, there may have been a finding by the coroner as to which of those it was. You might want to check the local court records.
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Old 02-03-2014, 12:07 PM
 
Location: League City, Texas
2,813 posts, read 4,315,108 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suzy_q2010 View Post
Did you see if you could find a newspaper article abut the death? It could have been accidental or deliberate. Also, there may have been a finding by the coroner as to which of those it was. You might want to check the local court records.
Thanks for your insight. I just reviewed the death cert, and the little guy was only seven months old. (Kind of unsettling as I have a seven month old granddaughter). It definitely lists "poisoning" as the cause of death, and he died at home in 1910.

I'll see if I can find anything further. I do know that the parents divorced a few years later, a not particularly common occurrence back then, but both remarried & lived to an old age.

Strangely enough, back to the original purpose of this thread, this GGM never spoke of the divorce, although my father was aware of it. I found her in the 1920 city directory listed as "widowed". She did remarry in the mid 1920s & remained married until her death in 1970.

She was a school teacher all her life--I wonder if this was a "moral" situation (re the divorce)?

I can only imagine how mortified these people would be if they could know their business was being discussed amongst strangers--they wouldn't even discuss it with family!
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Old 02-03-2014, 03:04 PM
 
Location: Spokane, WA
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Everyone has lies in their family trees. Everyone. If you are saying there are no lies in your family tree, then you are a liar.
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Old 02-03-2014, 04:03 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
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Okay, I have a sneaky one. In Victorian England. Husband dies at age 27, wife takes the three young boys home to her parents after having them all baptized on the day of their father's funeral.
Years pass......

When she is about 45 she remarries--to someone the same age as her youngest son who never married. The three of them live together, happily ever after.

AND she has the new husband write a note since she cannot write. It gives the names of two of the sons and their exact minute and second of birth. She leaves the third son off the note. The note was passed down through my family and it only mentions James and Richard, not Samuel. The name of her new husband was Samuel. There is no date but there is a fancy signature by the husband who appears to be a lawyer or something.

Maybe she is purposely trying to confuse people? My expert genealogist cousin in the UK couldn't figure this one out, what it was for.
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Old 02-03-2014, 07:14 PM
bjh
 
Location: Memphis - home of the king
26,105 posts, read 22,790,774 times
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o
Quote:
Originally Posted by hellpaso View Post
Thanks for your insight. I just reviewed the death cert, and the little guy was only seven months old. (Kind of unsettling as I have a seven month old granddaughter). It definitely lists "poisoning" as the cause of death, and he died at home in 1910.

I'll see if I can find anything further. I do know that the parents divorced a few years later, a not particularly common occurrence back then, but both remarried & lived to an old age.

Strangely enough, back to the original purpose of this thread, this GGM never spoke of the divorce, although my father was aware of it. I found her in the 1920 city directory listed as "widowed". She did remarry in the mid 1920s & remained married until her death in 1970.

She was a school teacher all her life--I wonder if this was a "moral" situation (re the divorce)?

I can only imagine how mortified these people would be if they could know their business was being discussed amongst strangers--they wouldn't even discuss it with family!
The death of a child can damage a marriage. Most children who die of poisoning do so because they got into something an adult left out or left unsecured. There could have been even more difficult circumstances like feelings of guilt or blame that ended the marriage.

As for "widowed" for someone divorced, the scandal of divorce back then often meant calling oneself a widow or widower.

Hey, you're right. Here we are discussing their personal business on this thing called the Internet - we've all done it - and there's no way they could have foreseen that.
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Old 02-04-2014, 04:41 PM
 
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My grandmother had an illegitimate child in 1905 in New York. Father's name is known, but no information about him. And I can't seem to dig up any info on him either. Never knew my aunt was only a half-sister to my dad until I started my genealogy work (after my dad and his sister had both passed). When I found out, I thought giving birth unmarried must have had quite a stigma attached to it in 1905. Delving deeper into the family, I discovered that my grandmother's parents had three illegitimate children in the 1880's in Austria, then they married and had two more children. Guess the stigma wasn't too great?!?
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Old 02-04-2014, 06:49 PM
 
973 posts, read 1,192,400 times
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About gravestones not being reliable, my great grandmother and father on my mom's mom's side are buried ontop of his dead first wife. My ggm died, they put up a headstone with just her name and info. I'm pretty sure ggf's info might not even be on there. They were very cheap. He wasn't legally married to either of them (or anyone).
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Old 02-05-2014, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
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Not a complete "lie", but sort of similar to some of the posts in this thread...my grandmother had a half-sister that no one in the family ever knew about until I discovered the details fairly recently. She was the daughter of my great grandmother and her first husband. They quickly divorced after the child was born (there were accusations going both ways in the divorce documents). Great grandmother remarried soon after to another man (my great grandfather). The daughter appears in the 1920 census along with the names of the other children the couple went on to have. However, I have a photo of the siblings that were taken together, probably around 1923 or 1924. The step-daughter isn't in the photo. She only would have been 13 or 14 at the time. I always wondered if her step father didn't want her around, or what the situation was.

She married in 1927 and lived with her husband in a town in Illinois, and then died in 1945 of various ailments. Her obituary mentions the names of all her "siblings". My grandmother never mentioned her and none of my aunts and uncles had ever heard of her.
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