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Old 09-14-2017, 11:08 PM
 
Location: Boston
277 posts, read 222,655 times
Reputation: 772

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In one of the records I found for my mothers side of the family there is a very young child who arrived in America from Ireland. I think she was 10. No other family, just her.

Considering the horrid death rate of passengers on these ' Coffin Ships ' to America I wondered if the rest of her family died on the voyage over.

Its bothered me a long time.
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Old 09-17-2017, 06:41 PM
 
Location: Location: Happy Place
3,903 posts, read 2,138,684 times
Reputation: 12123
My grandmother was at Eastern Oklahoma Hospital, which was a mental institution, now closed. Hopefully I can get some records on why she was there. Everyone has passed...she is not on the 1940 census.

Her husband, my grandfather, lived 185 miles away.

No one every talked about her, my mother and father (her son) never talked about it.

Very curious. Was she mentally ill, just sick, had a stroke, etc...

Pretty upsetting thinking that my grandmother was just packed off to a home and forgotten.
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Old 09-17-2017, 10:01 PM
 
Location: Columbus, Indiana
969 posts, read 2,002,130 times
Reputation: 1396
Quote:
Originally Posted by mschrief View Post
My grandmother was at Eastern Oklahoma Hospital, which was a mental institution, now closed. Hopefully I can get some records on why she was there. Everyone has passed...she is not on the 1940 census.

Her husband, my grandfather, lived 185 miles away.

No one every talked about her, my mother and father (her son) never talked about it.

Very curious. Was she mentally ill, just sick, had a stroke, etc...

Pretty upsetting thinking that my grandmother was just packed off to a home and forgotten.
My grandmother also died in a mental hospital. I was able to obtain her hospital records by requesting them from the state archives, there was a small fee. The records didn't give me a whole lot of information, but it was more than I had. A husband used to be able to have his wife committed for many reasons. He may have wanted to leave her, but didn't want a divorce. My grandmother died less than 2 weeks after she was committed. Based on what I read in her records, I believe she had brain cancer.
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Old 09-18-2017, 07:30 PM
 
Location: NC
4,534 posts, read 7,537,566 times
Reputation: 4743
Yep, I had a family member who was a chief of nursing at a mental hospital in the 40's and later. She told me that it was not uncommon for a man to put his wife in there if she had post partum depression, drank too much, had a hormone imbalance, or he wanted her out of the way. Women stayed in these hospitals sometimes for years.
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Old 09-19-2017, 11:28 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
50,616 posts, read 40,059,298 times
Reputation: 71616
Wow, what an interesting thread so full of unique stories, from so many different perspectives!

I know a lot of our family history but here are a few things that actually made me feel very emotional.

The first was about 30 years ago, when I walked in on my dad reading some old family history documents that someone had emailed him. My dad was a great guy, and oh how he loved The Old South. Our family tree is chock full of Confederate soldiers, as well as plantation owners. Of course, my dad always clung to the idealized version of plantation life, where the slaves were treated with affection and generosity by the slave owners, sort of like in Gone With the Wind. Personally, I never fell for that stuff because I have always been horrified by the very concept of slavery. So what if the slaves were well treated - did they want to be slaves, did they want their freedoms curtailed legally, did they want to be considered less than a whole person in the eyes of the law? I doubted that seriously, so my dad and I really were never on the same page when it came to the whole Confederate thing.

So anyway, I walked into my dad's office and caught him actually crying. In front of him were slave records from our family tree. It was a sort of census or inventory of slaves at a particular plantation, and the entry that had brought him to tears was something like this: "Matthew - mulatto - age four - status: slave for life."

See, some of the slaves had notations next to their names that gave a set amount of years that they would be a slave (that was news to me - that even slaves of color could be indentured or only enslaved for a certain amount of time). But many of the slaves had "slave for life" written after their names.

What could little Matthew have ever done to deserve being a slave for life? It was like the reality of all of it really hit my dad. And I'm glad it did. I was glad it broke my dad's heart even though it hurt me to see him crying.

Another time I felt a rush of emotion was when I was visiting Yorktown. I knew that my ancestors had founded Yorktown. I knew their names. I knew that one of them was Nicholas Martiau, and that he was a French Huguenot who had moved to England and then subsequently moved to Virginia, and that he was the main City Planner for Yorktown. But I had no idea where he was buried. And to be honest, I wasn't looking for him. I mean, I knew about him and that was all that seemed important to me.

So anyway, it was a hot day and we'd been walking around a lot, and the ancient graveyard up on a hill in the Old Town was full of big trees and shade and some benches, so I said to my family, "Whew, let's take a break and sit down in there." We walked through the gate, and suddenly it was like there was a magnet in that graveyard. I walked straight through the graveyard, past crypts and monuments, to a crypt that was off to the side. I walked straight up to it and looked at the names carved into the top of it. It was the entire Martiau family. This is where Nicholas Martiau and his wife and children were all buried!

I think it was because I had felt so immediately drawn to that one particular crypt that it really hit me. I felt like I was meeting someone at the train station or something! It was a good feeling. He was a cool guy.

Finally - after my dad died, I found a lot of family documents in all of his stuff. I still haven't finished going through all of them so there's no telling what I will still find, but I found something funny regarding my great grandfather. It was a letter, apparently written to him by a VERY irate nephew or some sort of more distant relative (whose name I didn't recognize). OMG, it was scathing - and actually very, very descriptive in a very "O Brother Where Art Thou" sort of way.

I laughed and laughed when I read this, but it also struck me as funny that my great grandfather, and then my grandfather his son (who was a grown man when this letter was written to his father) would have even KEPT such an insulting letter! It reminded me that my grandfather, and apparently his father before him had a keen sense of self deprecating humor and sarcasm, and that they both loved a well turned word. So apparently they got a kick out of this letter!

I've attached a copy of the letter - hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Attached Thumbnails
What is the most emotional you have got over learning about your family history?-letter-cn-houck-larger.jpg  
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Old 09-28-2017, 03:26 PM
 
Location: CA--> NEK VT--> Pitt Co, NC
379 posts, read 313,944 times
Reputation: 418
Quote:
Originally Posted by RaleighLass View Post
Yep, I had a family member who was a chief of nursing at a mental hospital in the 40's and later. She told me that it was not uncommon for a man to put his wife in there if she had post partum depression, drank too much, had a hormone imbalance, or he wanted her out of the way. Women stayed in these hospitals sometimes for years.

Yes quite common.

I have a great-aunt who was committed for some 23 years (unto her death) by her ex-husband, for what appears to be simply dating and sleeping with men she didn't care to marry. She didn't seem to be hurting anyone and the family (my uncles) were raising her two sons so not sure, beyond morality judgements, what the problem was, but her records at the state hospital don't indicate any mental illness or disorder, and she was healthy. She had a stroke and passed away in her sleep.

Stories like those (and indoor plumbing) remind me why I appreciate being born into the decade I was.
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Old 09-28-2017, 03:35 PM
 
Location: CA--> NEK VT--> Pitt Co, NC
379 posts, read 313,944 times
Reputation: 418
Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
I laughed and laughed when I read this, but it also struck me as funny that my great grandfather, and then my grandfather his son (who was a grown man when this letter was written to his father) would have even KEPT such an insulting letter! It reminded me that my grandfather, and apparently his father before him had a keen sense of self deprecating humor and sarcasm, and that they both loved a well turned word. So apparently they got a kick out of this letter!

I've attached a copy of the letter - hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
"With all due respect (IF ANY AT ALL BE DUE)"

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAA!!! He was past done with his uncle. :-D
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Old 09-29-2017, 07:23 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
50,616 posts, read 40,059,298 times
Reputation: 71616
Quote:
Originally Posted by naadarien View Post
"With all due respect (IF ANY AT ALL BE DUE)"

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAA!!! He was past done with his uncle. :-D
I laughed so hard when I read that letter! And I have the original! My husband thought it was hilarious too and finally we decided it deserved to be framed! So we put it in a very nice frame and it's sitting in our office!

It totally reminds me of O Brother Where Art Thou sort of stuff!
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Old 09-29-2017, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Glasgow Scotland
15,429 posts, read 13,400,902 times
Reputation: 22702
Quote:
Originally Posted by RaleighLass View Post
Yep, I had a family member who was a chief of nursing at a mental hospital in the 40's and later. She told me that it was not uncommon for a man to put his wife in there if she had post partum depression, drank too much, had a hormone imbalance, or he wanted her out of the way. Women stayed in these hospitals sometimes for years.
I had a neighbour in the early 80s who was put in the house next to me when the local asylum closed its doors.. she told me her husband had committed her twenty years before for being forgetful and imagining things.......I asked her what kind of things...she said Well I saw him many times meeting a woman who he kissed and cuddled, but when I told him Id seen him he said I imagined the whole thing and took me to see a doctor......... after all those years in care she still thought she might have made up the whole thing.... why doctors listened to such men is beyond me.. men could have wives committed so easily for any reason..mostly because they had a new girl in town.. a bit like Cary Grants father ... who had his mother committed and told Archie his son.. "Cary" that his mother had died.... it took years before the famous actor was told where his mother was being kept after his father died.... Cary knew nothing about it or that he had a half brother too.. sad and so unfair..
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Old 10-02-2017, 07:36 AM
 
16,218 posts, read 8,510,344 times
Reputation: 8348
Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
Wow, what an interesting thread so full of unique stories, from so many different perspectives!

I know a lot of our family history but here are a few things that actually made me feel very emotional.

The first was about 30 years ago, when I walked in on my dad reading some old family history documents that someone had emailed him. My dad was a great guy, and oh how he loved The Old South. Our family tree is chock full of Confederate soldiers, as well as plantation owners. Of course, my dad always clung to the idealized version of plantation life, where the slaves were treated with affection and generosity by the slave owners, sort of like in Gone With the Wind. Personally, I never fell for that stuff because I have always been horrified by the very concept of slavery. So what if the slaves were well treated - did they want to be slaves, did they want their freedoms curtailed legally, did they want to be considered less than a whole person in the eyes of the law? I doubted that seriously, so my dad and I really were never on the same page when it came to the whole Confederate thing.

So anyway, I walked into my dad's office and caught him actually crying. In front of him were slave records from our family tree. It was a sort of census or inventory of slaves at a particular plantation, and the entry that had brought him to tears was something like this: "Matthew - mulatto - age four - status: slave for life."

See, some of the slaves had notations next to their names that gave a set amount of years that they would be a slave (that was news to me - that even slaves of color could be indentured or only enslaved for a certain amount of time). But many of the slaves had "slave for life" written after their names.

What could little Matthew have ever done to deserve being a slave for life? It was like the reality of all of it really hit my dad. And I'm glad it did. I was glad it broke my dad's heart even though it hurt me to see him crying.

Another time I felt a rush of emotion was when I was visiting Yorktown. I knew that my ancestors had founded Yorktown. I knew their names. I knew that one of them was Nicholas Martiau, and that he was a French Huguenot who had moved to England and then subsequently moved to Virginia, and that he was the main City Planner for Yorktown. But I had no idea where he was buried. And to be honest, I wasn't looking for him. I mean, I knew about him and that was all that seemed important to me.

So anyway, it was a hot day and we'd been walking around a lot, and the ancient graveyard up on a hill in the Old Town was full of big trees and shade and some benches, so I said to my family, "Whew, let's take a break and sit down in there." We walked through the gate, and suddenly it was like there was a magnet in that graveyard. I walked straight through the graveyard, past crypts and monuments, to a crypt that was off to the side. I walked straight up to it and looked at the names carved into the top of it. It was the entire Martiau family. This is where Nicholas Martiau and his wife and children were all buried!

I think it was because I had felt so immediately drawn to that one particular crypt that it really hit me. I felt like I was meeting someone at the train station or something! It was a good feeling. He was a cool guy.

Finally - after my dad died, I found a lot of family documents in all of his stuff. I still haven't finished going through all of them so there's no telling what I will still find, but I found something funny regarding my great grandfather. It was a letter, apparently written to him by a VERY irate nephew or some sort of more distant relative (whose name I didn't recognize). OMG, it was scathing - and actually very, very descriptive in a very "O Brother Where Art Thou" sort of way.

I laughed and laughed when I read this, but it also struck me as funny that my great grandfather, and then my grandfather his son (who was a grown man when this letter was written to his father) would have even KEPT such an insulting letter! It reminded me that my grandfather, and apparently his father before him had a keen sense of self deprecating humor and sarcasm, and that they both loved a well turned word. So apparently they got a kick out of this letter!

I've attached a copy of the letter - hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
That letter is HILARIOUS!!

I would have framed it too.

My family had some characters like this but nothing written down to memorialize their tifts and sarcasm and threats lol.

I do have a love letter that my great grandmother wrote to my great grandfather during WW2 that my mom recently found in a box of stuff she took from great grandma's house after she died. It is a very sweet, beautiful letter and made me tear up.

Wish I had some that showed her sharpness like yours because she was kind of a trip lol. I speak to old ladies who are still alive who went to the same church they did and none of them liked her. She used to tell me how many of the old ladies always wanted to steal my grandpa from her so she treated them like they deserved - like sh*t lol. All of them spoke of how nice grandpa was and how she was kind of a b**ch. She really was but she loved grandpa. They were married for almost 64 years when he passed away.
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