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Tag Archives: Loss

Child mortality in history

We are fortunate in current times that child mortality in the United States and Europe is fairly low. Unfortunately, our ancestors weren’t so fortunate.

While indexing historic records for FamilySearch.org, I’ve noted so many infant deaths. Imagine a young mother carrying a child to term only to have that baby be still born or die before their first birthday. My grandmother, pictured below, had two babies who died before her four surviving children were born.

Ruth (Stearns) and Vincent Jordan with baby Vincent 1922

Ruth (Stearns) and Vincent Jordan with baby Vincent 1922

Grandma was very tender-hearted and I can imagine the overwhelming sadness she experienced when her first two children died shortly after birth. Mothers through history must have experienced the same soul-crushing sadness.

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2014 in History, Indexing/Transcribing

 

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Death, loss, and cancer

I’ve been invisible here since April 1st, and before that, I posted very little after my brother Tom’s death in February. 2011 was a tough year, so we were full of hope that 2012 would be so much better, but that was not to be. My dog Augie died, then brother Tom died, then a surviving brother and my husband began their battles with cancer that still continue. Except for my continuous escape into reading and reviewing books on my other blog, I’ve been nearly invisible here on the web.

Still, through all this, I continued to index records for Family Search. The thing that shakes me to the core with so many of the records I index, is so many young people, children, and babies who passed away. My grandmother, Ruth Jordan, had two babies who didn’t survive more than a few days after birth. How must it have felt to carry a child, bear that child, then lose them. Two children that my mother never had the opportunity to grow up with. Our ancestors suffered losses that would shake most of us to the core. At least I had the opportunity to grow up with my brother Tom, remembering his laughter and vitality, while our ancestors were left with empty arms due to departed children.

I’m back and hope to post, at least weekly, some of my discoveries along the way on my trip through the family tree.

Distant baby Stearns cousins who died early in life one just a few days old and the other 10 months old

 

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Another leaf has fallen from my tree…

Over the month that has passed since my brother Tom passed away, I have been going through the motions, able to forget for a few hours at work, then coming home and staring at the walls during those quiet hours between dinner and bedtime.

Tom was a just few years older than me when he died suddenly. On a business trip, he was in an unfamiliar city with no family around, he died an anonymous traveller in a hotel room alone. My brilliant brother Tom had the most creative scientific mind I’ve ever known. A brilliant flame has blown out, taking a piece of everyone’s heart with it.

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2012 in Loss

 

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