Different times but it makes me sad

+6 votes
My Maternal GrandMothers family has always been difficult to track down, One Ancestor was married three times, so different wives in nearly every census.

But decided to delve into another line I already had researched a bit on this line I knew George Marsden had married Jane Morris and they had a number of children, think three died young (still to input details) but decided to look into why the Whalley name occured in two of her Children's name I had a few theories, Her Mother had been married twice, She was illegitimate and that was her real Father's name, Or she had be married previously but at 27 that seemed unlikely.

BUT yes she was married and widowed by the age of 27 then I decided to look for Children of the previous marriage - just in case - I wasn't aware of any, but found a possible THREE! all dying young

I've found a John Morris on the census with a Father Ralph so one of the three looks a strong candidate.

It was a different time I know but it makes me so Sad, anyone else get emotional when tracing their family back?
WikiTree profile: Jane Marsden
in The Tree House by Heather Jenkinson G2G6 Mach 2 (29.3k points)
I've done a One Place Study on a parish in County Donegal and the level of infant mortality and the number of deaths to TB some distance into the 1900s can be difficult to fathom. Different times indeed, thankfully.
Thank you Jane for sharing your emotional response to ancestral tragedies. You have infused life... the human dimension into dry documents, records, dates, memorabilia etc. In researching our ancestors, this 'living' endeavor is far from being boring and unattached to reality.  

It has been my experience in these years spent working on my family tree, that this is very holy work that we do. When we honor and remember those who have gone before us - when we accept their stories as our stories, we open us all to healing and blessings.
I know this post is older, but it reminded me of the research my cousin did. He found letters and other documents his Great Great Great grandmother wrote. She had several children, but one died around two years old. The letters were full of heartbreak for years and years about the child she had lost and very little about the children she had. It gave my cousin the impression she spent more energy mourning her loss than appreciating the blessing she had. A conversation with another relative remembered this person being very melancholy all the time. Relatives have said how the early death of my father changed my mother into a different person. Sometimes lessons can be learned from ancestors we have never known.

3 Answers

+5 votes
Best answer
I too have experienced that same feeling. Researching my 2G grandparents, who escaped the potato famine to live in Glasgow's slums, I came across a record of her having given birth to twins. I was quite excited at the prospect of two new lines and all the 'new' relatives that would surely be the result. Sadly, further research revealed they only survived a week and perished at home in Cowcaddens. So many potential lives were simply gone. The entire family history of the 1800s is filled with similar stories and so much infant mortality and needlessly early death.

On that cheery note, have a great weekend.
by Anonymous McCormick G2G6 Mach 5 (55.9k points)
selected by Heather Jenkinson

Glad I'm not alone , When I used to go grave hunting (prior to internet) I was always sadden by the graves of numerous children, born and never lived.

Just found a distant relative that died in a workhouse too sad, but also found a few families that took in every waif and stray in seems, every census an aged Uncle or a Grand niece etc, so some families definitely had the family loyalty going on,

And you have a lovely weekend too

+5 votes
I think what makes me most sad is women who die in childbirth.
by Eva Ekeblad G2G6 Pilot (402k points)
Yes I  have two of them, or died shortly after and another that obtained milk fever and died in a mental hospital
I know of one case where since the 1880s there were three generations of a mother dying in childbirth. In the fourth generation, the mother abandoned her son. He ended up in care then committed horrific crimes. Eventually, he was freed from prison and successfully rehabilitated. As his death was in the 1970s and there are no records available, I wonder if he had children and what became of them.
I have some of those that died having my ancestor or shortly thereafter and then you think about that person growing up without their mother - it is sad and it really brings this whole family tree work to a halt for me as I look at the family and the loss - think of the older children and the father and he usually remarries quickly - out of necessity but they got through that tragedy and went on and here we are I guess
+1 vote
Some great comments here.   I think we have all had that moment of "I'm glad I live today when healthcare is pretty good.   It's a real eye opener to look at the wikipedia list of 19th century epidemics.   There were so many epidemics of cholera, typhus, yellow fever, influenza, etc. etc. from 1820 to 1860 that you wonder how anyone survived at all in North America.   The antebellum United States was truly a disease infested third world country at that time.  It was so bad that the U. S. issued a mortality census beginning in about 1850.  It's worth looking at for your state and county.  I have found some "interesting" deaths of family members.   To truly understand the Antebellum period you should be familiar with disease theory and history as well as real estate trends and issues.
by David Shaw G2G Crew (570 points)

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