Biographies, Blogging Prompts, Death Certificates, Montgomery Line, Research, Sweeney, Sympathy Saturday, Vital Statistics

Sympathy Saturday – Childbed Fever…Or Not

It’s interesting how setting out to write a simple blog post can result in confusion and/or changes to the information I already  have on file. I searched my family tree data for “childbirth” for today’s post; after all, what could be more suitable for Sympathy Saturday than a death in childbirth? However, after latching on to Emily Jane Sweeney Fogle, my second cousin 5 times removed, it appears that though sympathy is called for – it cannot be targeted at death in childbirth.

Emily was born in 1821 in Liberty, Casey County, Kentucky, the daughter of Joel and Obedience (Edwards) Sweeney and great-granddaughter of Moses Sweeney. The second of eight children, she married William McDowell Fogle on 17 February 1841 in Casey County. Emily died, still in Liberty, Kentucky, on 14 October 1852. This much does match the information I already had on file from the Descendants of Moses Sweeney CD compiled by Harvey J. Sweeney. From there, though, a few facts begin to differ.

The Sweeney compilation indicates that Emily Jane was born 4 January 1821 and probably died in childbirth, and lists a total of six children of the couple, including an unnamed daughter who was born and died in Liberty in October 1852. The 1896 Kentucky Biographical Dictionary, as well as the image of Emily’s grave in Liberty’s Napier Cemetery from the Find-a-Grave website, however, however, indicates a birthdate of 4 June 1821. The story of the infant who died also appears to have come originally from the Kentucky Biographical Dictionary, which indicates Emily “was the mother of six children: Marietta, Isabelle, Sarah Frances, Jesse Edwin, William McDowell, and a daughter who died in infancy, a few days preceding the death of its mother.”

However, Ancestry.com has now digitized Kentucky Death Records from 1852-1953 (which incidentally also provided the catalyst for my investigation into the murder of Emily’s second cousin three times removed). Here we find Emily’s death listed, but the cause of death appears not as “childbed fever” (unlike two others on the same page) but as asthmaI thought perhaps somehow this was still a complication from childbirth, but the Kentucky Death Records don’t indicate any other Fogle child who was born around October 1852 and died then or later. So it seems possible the Biographical Dictionary, written some forty years later, may have provided erroneous information. Two other interesting points are revealed by the Kentucky Death Records source – Emily’s occupation (after much scrutiny) appears to be listed as “Innstress,” and the Clerk of Casey County, whose name appears on the death notices, was none other than Emily’s own father, Joel Sweeney.

Blogging Prompts, Cemeteries, Hoffmann, Hoffmann Line, Research, Tombstone Tuesday

Tombstone Tuesday – Sophia Hoffmann Kuntz

My great-great-grand aunt, Sophia/Sophie Hoffmann, was born in June 1864 in France. The fifth child of Jacob Hoffmann and his first wife, Annette (Meyer) Hoffmann, she was the younger sister of my 2G-grandmother, Catherine, and the older half-sister of my great-grandfather Paul. At age 18, Sophie traveled with her family from France to America, arriving May 16, 1883.

A little over three years later Sophie married John W. Kuntz in Pontiac, Illinois, on July 26, 1886. John and Sophie were the parents of six children:  Samuel Henry, born June 15, 1888; William John, born about April 1, 1890; Walter Louis, born February 17, 1894; Frieda Ann, born about January 14, 1897; Raymond Napoleon, born about August 21, 1899; and Joseph, born about January 26, 1901. All of the children were born in Woodford County, Illinois, where the family was also enumerated in 1900, in Metamora Township:

June 14-15, 1900 Metamora Twp., Woodford, Illinois
Kuntz John W Head W[hite] M[ale] Nov 1858 41 M[arried] 14 Illinois Switzerland Switzerland Farmer
—Sophia Wife W F June 1864 36 M 14 5 5 France France France 1884 16
—Samuel H Son W M Jun 1888 11 S Illinois Illinois France At School 8 
—William J Son W M Apr 1890 10 S Illinois Illinois France At School 8 
Kuntz, Walter L Son W M Feb 1894 6 S Illinois Illinois France At School 6
—Frieda A Daughter W F Jan 1897 3 S Illinois Illinois France
—Raymond N Son W M Aug 1899 10/12 S Illinois Illinois France
Dargel, Wm H Boarder W M Apr 1883 17 S New Mexico Germany Germany Farm Laborer 0 yes yes yes

About six days after the birth of her son Joseph, Sophie died at age 36, presumably as a result of complications from childbirth. Baby Joseph lived only another week. Sophie was buried in the Roanoke Apostolic Christian Cemetery in Roanoke, Illinois.

Following Sophie’s death Raymond, the youngest surviving child, was raised by Sophie’s sister Lena (Hoffmann) Yost, who had no children of her own.  John and Sophie’s second child, William, died about February 7, 1907 at age 16. John himself lived to age 92, dying on June 7, 1951 in Bluffton, Indiana. He shares a tombstone in Uniontown Cemetery, Zanesville, Indiana, with his son Ordie Smith, who died in 1940 at age 15.

Blogging Prompts, Montgomery Line, Taylor, Wednesday's Child, Wilson

Wednesday’s Child – Thesta Tuttle of Louisville

As I’ve said before, I love names. Sometimes a name catches the imagination for no identifiable reason. Such is the case with today’s “Wednesday’s Child.”  Little Thesta Tuttle was born April 18, 1847 in Louisville, New York.  Her parents were Philo Judson Tuttle (another great name) and another Thesta: Thesta Taylor. Thesta Taylor‘s younger sister Lucy Bridges Taylor would marry Charles Wilson; they were my great-great-great-grandparents.

Back to the Thestas. Thesta Taylor could almost be a “Wednesday’s Child” herself.  Born March 1829 in Louisville to Loring and Caroline (Caryl) Taylor, she married Philo on September 6, 1846 and died less than two years later, on May 8, 1848, some three weeks after giving birth to baby Thesta. One suspects her death may have resulted from complications from the baby’s birth.

Baby Thesta would not outlive her mother by many years. She died February 21, 1850 in Lisbon, New York, and was buried by her mother in the Louisville Community Cemetery. For those who are unaware, the town name is pronounced “Lewisville.” I had carried on for years and years, fondly referring to “Loueyville,” but was quickly corrected when we visited in June 2010 and explored the museum and cemeteries.

I hope Thesta is pronounced “Thesta”….