ancestryink fisherman

Monday, June 27, 2011

French and Jewish in St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery, Dover NH

While waiting for my car appointment at the Toyota dealer across the street, I finally ventured into St. Mary's Cemetery on Dover Point Road, Dover NH.  The entrance to this large, neatly attended Catholic graveyard is flanked by two huge white statues of the Virgin Mary. The Parish of the Assumption, in downtown Dover, oversees the care of the cemetery.

Within, I found that the back section of the cemetery, gravestones spanning from the mid-1800's to present day, contained a long linear section of humble stones marking burials of French, possibly French Canadian citizens.  Directly to the right of this section, were stones etched with Hebrew, apparently the Jewish section of this Catholic graveyard.  The back of this long narrow section of graves was flanked by thick woods, marking the back border of this vast cemetery.  There is a sense that these graves were set apart from the others, purposely.

French /French Canadian headstones.

Headstone in Jewish burial section of

I have found no history of this cemetery on the website of the Parish of the Assumption, therefore will call them to learn of the origins of these headstones and why they are set at the back of the cemetery, separated by a lane, from the rest of the cemetery.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Cause of Death: Dentition

Teeth??  This morning as I was examining death records in PA for the Corrigan family of mid-1800's, I came across a cause of death in a 6-month old infant as "morbid dentition."   This seemed odd.  Did it mean the child died while cutting teeth?   A little web surfing brought me to other blog posts of genealogists querying about the same issue - age of death from dentition seemed to range from infancy to as old as 20.  Perhaps infected wisdom teeth?

Cause of death in old records can yield mystifying terms.  Great fun to read - and imagine!

Finally, I came upon this post from the blog at Ptak Science Books, which I thought was worthy of sharing.  Though it does not answer the "dentition" question fully, it has an entertaining list of the top 40 (or so) causes of death in London's 1600's.  Milk leg?  Eel thing?  Headmouldshot?    Read on...

Image courtesy of Ptak Science Books LLC; Post 464

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Excessive Use of Opium

Original death records are the order of the day, today.   Here is one I enjoyed while researching the Small family of Hancock County,  Maine.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Cyndi's List

New website - easier to navigate.  Visit now.  (In the right hand menu bar: "Genealogy News Feeds"...)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Marriage, separation, divorce laws in 1800's

The laws for terminating a marriage during the 1800's was particular to each state.  Death rates among child-bearing couples were much higher, for one thing, and multiple marriages were not abnormal.  However, other than the U.S. Federal Census records reports of "years married" and at times whether these marriages were "first" or "second," it can be difficult to determine exactly when one marriage ended, and why - especially if any of these changes took place within the 10 year period between census reports.

I have been entirely unsuccessful in locating divorce documents.  For a great grandfather who married three times between 1882 and 1925, I've only found one definite indication of legal divorce. Particularly in rural areas (such as island communities off the coast of Maine) these records are even sketchier.

History tells us that divorce rates began to climb steadily, after the woman's rights movements fought for a wife's right to attach her husband's property as her own, during the dissolution of a marriage.  Whether this is wholly true or not, I am not sure. There were other accompanying factors - such as women beginning to earn their own living outside the home, which would increase the ending of unhappy marriages.

At any rate, it seems true in the 1800's that sometimes "separation" for a period of time, in some places,  constituted dissolution of a marriage - enough so that one or both parties could then remarry.  If anyone else finds this to be true, in their own research, please let me know!