Sunday, March 14, 2010

So different now.

I've always loved researching my family history.  I'm a Mormon, it's just a thing we do.  But more than that, I truly love doing it.  It gives me a great sense of self.

Unfortunately, as you go back in time, child death becomes much more common.  Before, it always made me very sad to see that list.  But now...when I see the death of a just hurts.  Sometimes it's physically painful.

I was writing out a family group sheet for one particular family the other day (the pedigree chart is the one that looks like a tree, a central person and then it branching out for the parents of each individual for four or 5 generations, the family group sheet lists the parents with all their children).  I thought there was a mistake because they had two daughters named Evelyn.  Records tend to get a little fuzzy when you're earlier than 1800.  As I looked closer I realized that the first daughter died at 9 months old.  The second daughter was born 6 months later, so she was already pregnant when the first daughter died.  It brought tears to my eyes.  It was a shock because I wasn't really expecting that at first.  This particular woman went on to lose two more before the age of 5.  Out of 10 children, 7 survived to adulthood.

My heart just aches for this woman, more than it would have before I lost my own.  When you know, when you really's just so different.


  1. The women had to be so strong back then. They still do, don't get me wrong but that is so sad.

  2. Reading that sucked the breath out of my lungs, and brought tears to my eyes. I get that physical hurt you're talking about. I may not have lost any babies of my own, but I can empathize with those brothers and sisters. Naming a new baby after a lost sibling was such a common practice then. I don't know if I could do that. That poor sweet woman... ugh, ouch.