29 September 2012

What Some Families Go Through

A Family Sad Tale

All too  often in doing my professional research for clients I find sad disturbing evidence.  I always have to find a way to still be direct but to put it in the most delicate way possible.  Sometimes I am lucky and I am able to send them looking  to  where I found it with ease.

So I found the death of an unmarried 3rd great aunt of a clients.  The family is from the northern east coast. 

She did not die in her home town.  She died in a large city at a catholic hospital.  On her death cert. the cause of death is listed as Childbirth.   The cause of death had a contribution factor of Ether!!!  I wonder if she died because of a doctors screw up.  She may have been better off having the baby away from a hospital.  

This was at the turn of the 1900’s  How safe was medical care back then?  For all the childbearing women reading this it is daunting to think of losing your life due to an anesthetic given while trying to deliver your baby.  Eeh Gads .
Now back to the facts.  Her parents names are listed correctly.  But then the place of birth for them  is not so correct. 

 My Ma tra of Death Certs. Death Certs are Only as good as the one providing the family info.  Since the person is now dead no one can speak truth for them [meaning that they can no longer correct a mistake in their details] 

  Most likely their parents are not there to give the information.  The only true info is:  the date of death, the place of death, possibly the correct time of death.

Since she had died in child birth I decided to seek the child.  I quickly located the death cert going by her name.  The child was given a name, lived for about a month after the death of the mother.  I was shocked when I saw death was due to lifetime of syphilis.

So many questions began ringing in my ears.  First one was Syphilis killed a new born how so?  So I decided to digress and investigate the effects on newborns.

So sad a newborn does not have a great survival rate when born with syphilis.  It is common for it to be born stillborn so many internal issues etc… happens in vitro.  So it is amazing that the child lived once born at all.  I have included a link here to Wikipedia for you to look up ore info if you like:  


On the childs death cert.  only the mothers name is listed.  No father.  Agggh !!!   So the father gave the mother and child syphilis.  Thanks a lot guy.  Your child could of grown to a fine person and been a credit to your name. 

Good luck on how you digest information provided to you by death certs.   May you know that there is always a deeper story then first appears.  Someone likely had many tears over such sad ending, their sense of loss and grief was great and heartfelt.  

At the  time when I had first discovered Seeking Michigan . The death certs where still there, I was looking through them just of curiosity.  I hit on a bunch of children’s death certs.  It was too much.  I had to quit and walk away.

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