Friday, July 29, 2016

How heartbroken must Kittie have been

As I was recently doing research on some families from Tioga County, Pennsylvania with the surname of English, I discovered this family group belonging to Lafayette and Kitty (Campbell) English. Notice that their six children were born in a period of 15 years, from 1881-1896. You can also see that by Dec 29, 1894, five of those six children were deceased. The last child, son Raymond survived to adulthood, dying at the age of 60.

I saw that Clara English only lived 12 days in 1893 so I assumed she died of something unrelated to the deaths of her siblings in December 1894. But I wondered what epidemic or disaster might have occurred causing the deaths of these children in December 1894. 

I was very lucky to find this information at the site "Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice. The History Center on Main Street, Mansfield, PA. Death Records of the Tri-Counties". The information below was only published last December, so I was really blessed to be searching for it this summer. 
 It shows that the infant Clara died from "Inflammation of bowels" but the other English children died from diphtheria.
I prepared this simple timeline so I could better understand the tragic events this family endured. Little Grace was born 1881 and Blanche followed in 1882. There were no more births in the family until Flossie was born in 1886. Again no births in 1887 and 1888, but then Nellie was born in 1889. No births in 1890, 1891, or 1892, and then Clara was born in 1893, but she died 12 days later. Death settled in and took the lives of 5-year-old Nellie on Dec 2, 1894, followed by the death of 6-year-old Flossie 8 days later, on Dec 10th. Three days later 13-year-old Grace, the oldest child of Lafayette and Kittie, passed away, and 16 days later 12-year-old Blanche died. 

After losing all five of their children after 15 years of marriage, Kittie gave birth to their only son Raymond in 1896. He lived to the age of 60. I find it amazing that Lafayette English lived to the age of 76 and Kittie lived to the age of 80. Those parents certainly endured more than their share of loss and grief in their adult life. 

I'm reminded, when I see family events like this, to try to understand and respect these families who endured so much and to always be grateful that my struggles wane in comparison.  


Randy n Carol said...

I can not even imagine the pain.

Becky Jamison said...

I think I'd have lost my mind, Carol!

Damaris Fish said...

Yes, perspective for our own lives.... <3

Janis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Janis said...

I agree, Becky. I would have been in such a state to have to go through what Kittie went through. There is so much to be admired when we study our ancestors. I, too, have been so sad when I have read some of the stories I have come across. You wish you could reach through the ages and hug and comfort them. Their struggles were real!

Jana Iverson Last said...

So very sad!