Saturday, December 19, 2015

By Digging Deeper I Learned of Triplet Cousins' Deaths

I recently got access to the new "Memories Gallery" feature on the Family Tree at Family Search. As I viewed the Gallery of photos I've submitted, I noticed many of them needed to be labeled. You can see in this example that some photos have titles, and some still need a title added. 
I came upon this photo that is actually a photocopy of a photo I received from a cousin many years ago. 
Pictured are some of the members of the John Mayers, Sr. family. John Mayers was married to Anna Maria Becker, the sister of my great-grandfather "Joe" Becker. I dutifully added the title to this photo in the Gallery and moved on, as I've been trying to get this project done quickly. As I advanced to the next picture, something grabbed my thoughts and I clicked back to this photo. I zoomed in so I could more easily read the captions at the bottom. And I took a few minutes to really study the individuals and the setting. For the first time I read the fine print! The second (tall) lady from the right in the black dress is identified in the caption as Dora Mayers. This is the writing under her picture: 
"Dora Mayers, wife of John Mayers, Jr. had triplets all died incl. Dora."

How had I missed that? This little girl at the far right is identified as Dora Mayers and would be the oldest daughter of this mother Dora. This chart shows my relationship to this family.  

Young Dora Mayer(s) is my second cousin
once removed.
This is the family group of John and Dora Mayer
I found this note on Find-A-Grave, submitted by Gerald Crotinger: 
It's hard to read, so this is what it says: Andrew Morril Mayer, John Cole Mayer, and Fred Long Mayer were born 19 Oct 1894 to parents John Matthias and Elizabeth (Henning) Mayer, and died age 4 days on 23 October 1894. John Matthias Mayer was born in Allegheny Co, Pennsylvania on 11 Jun 1868 and died in Barton Co, Kansas. Elizabeth Henning was born 1869 in Ellinwood, Barton Co, Kansas and died 11 Nov 1894 shortly after the triplets were born. She was the dau of August and Augusta Christina Henning. John Matthias and Elizabeth were married 28 Mar 1890 in Winfield, Cowley Co, Kansas. They were blessed with one other living child, Dora Marie Mayer, b. 25 Feb 1892, Ellinwood, Barton Co, Kansas and died 17 Jul 1973 in Bend, Oregon. She married Victor Lassere. John Matthias Mayer's parents were Johann Mayer, b. 5 Jan 1832 in Austria and died 25 Feb 1902 in Great Bend, Barton Co, Kansas, and Anna Marie (Becker) Mayer, b. 9 Nov 1844 in Trier, Germany, and died 14 Jul 1913 in Great Bend, Barton Co, Kansas. 
Andrew Morril, John Cole, and Fred Long Mayer are all buried in Section R, Row 4, Lot 61 of the Great Bend Cemetery, Great Bend, Barton Co, Kansas, along with their Parents, John Matthias and (Dora) Elizabeth (Henning) Mayer. There are no grave markers on the lot.

I love the Library of Congress' "Chronicling America" site. I found this article about the triplets there.
This story was printed in the Barton County Democrat, Oct. 24, 1894. I'm surprised that the story says the triplets were all healthy children, and ends saying "one died Tuesday". And I was surprised to see the birth weights of the three boys: 6 lbs + 6 lbs + 4 lbs = 16 lbs! We see from the story on Find-A-Grave that the mother Dora died 11 Nov 1894, just about 3 weeks after giving birth and losing her little triplet sons Andrew Morril, Fred Long, and John Cole Mayer(s). How sad. The 26 year-old father John, who'd been married only 4-1/2 years to Dora, was left a single parent to his little daughter Dora, age 2. 

I haven't known much about the Mayer(s) family except how they're related to me. But by "doing my duty" to identify photos in the new Family Tree Memories Gallery I stumbled upon a family photo that had a new story to tell me. A story that touches me and adds so much "heart" to what I know of my ancestors. Blessings come when we're doing the right thing! 

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