Fascinating bit of history

+5 votes
180 views

I was just filling in some family members of my 2x great grandfather's second wife and came across an interesting suicide reported in the newspapers. Evidently this Sydney postal clerk came home from work, went to his room and drank carbolic acid. Bleuch.

He was my 2x great grandmother's half brother.

WikiTree profile: Thomas Balderstone
in The Tree House by Rob Judd G2G6 Mach 8 (89.2k points)
That reminds me of Futurama: "You have chosen slow and horrible."
Suicide or too drunk to pick up the right bottle?

WARNING: this post contains facts that some may find extremely distressing.

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Not very long ago I was working on a profile where the information was that the man had shot himself in front of his fiancĂ©e.  I thought "surely it means he did the deed on her verandah and not right in front of her".  (The report said on her verandah.)

Nope.  He actually did, or said, something to get her to come outside onto the verandah, at which moment .. .. ..

I know there are many and varied thoughts on suicide .. especially for folk who have Christian beliefs .. but, dagnabbit .. that was one of the most SELFISH acts I can imagine.  My heart went out to that now dead girl, for what she must have suffered by being witness, then reliving it for the inquest.

Totally went postal. (Sorry, I had to do it before someone else did.)

4 Answers

+5 votes

What a way to go. I did a post awhile back about suicides found in the New York Coroner's report: https://www.wikitree.com/g2g/491567/suicide-cases-from-the-nyc-coroners-reports-1823-1842?show=496805#a496805

Especially with the ones labeled 'suicide by laudanum' I wonder how many were actually suicides and how many were accidental overdoses. Someone suffering chronic pain might resort to an extra teaspoon of laudanum -- enough to kill an adult. There were also people listed as dying in falls without any mention of suicide. But what else was Benjamin Bartlett doing on 14 September 1831, dying in a fall from the third story of a house on 94 Broadway in New York City? Stuck himself out a window to wave to passersby and fell?

by Jessica Key G2G6 Pilot (174k points)
My favo(u)rite from that list was "suicide by drowning in the cistern."

I know. Was there no other way out?!

+4 votes
The exact same thing happened to my great grandmother's cousin. She killed herself by drinking carbolic acid at the age of 21. My grandmother told me that when they had her funeral she had to have gloves on because in the process of doing it she burnt her hands.  

On the subject of suicide, I was doing some research for a friend of mine and discovered that her gg grandfathers, father, brother and nephew all committed suicide.  3  straight Generations. My friend had no idea this it happened
by Craig Albrechtson G2G6 Mach 8 (84.8k points)
Eek! That's horrible.
+1 vote

Good God, I've found another one. 3x great grandfather hanged himself at his paper mill on the Isle of Man.

Thomas Toplis

by Rob Judd G2G6 Mach 8 (89.2k points)

Two brothers (of my gr-gr-grandmother) commit suicide within a few years of each other-- one in Chicago; the other in Buffalo:

Jacob Betz (1812-1873)

Heinrich Betz (1824-1876)

0 votes
I found a couple ancestors that death certificate had self inflicted gun shot. One was just a young girl in her early 20's that shot herself over a failed relationship. That's just sad. I have a nephew that shot himself in 2001.
by Dallace Moore G2G6 Mach 8 (80.4k points)
Not sure that I understand the fascination of discussing this subject. It happens. It is sad. And it causes on-going grief and sadness to those who are left behind.

I know.

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