Edgartown citizens beware! Live a pious and humble life, or have your bad temper or small crimes made public for all eternity at the time of your death.
Here are some examples encountered while researching mariners of the Cape and Islands: (click for larger image and ...fun)
|Edgartown Death records 1820|
Excerpt: "Oct. 15 Melatiah Davis He was a Baptist a mixed/ character unhappy in his Temper weak & / avaricious."
Handcuffs and chains?
|Edgartown Death records 1818|
Excerpt: "Nov 27 Dennis Davis son of Melatiah died distracted/ in chains & Hand Cufs He was a Baptist/ they sent for James Crosby a very ignorant / man to attend Fun"
Clearly the Meletiah Davis family had some issues. And though it looks like James Crosby arrived on the scene to have a good time at the expense of Dennis - in - chains, I believe "Fun" means "funeral."
Besides these very candid remarks, the actual details and causes of death are quite helpful in many cases, not to mention the additional family information. And the colorful prose is highly-addictive entertainment!