The volunteer transcribers of FamilySearch.org have been very busy. I am seeing many new records online, including not-seen-before death records and mortality schedules, for Massachusetts. This is very exciting and many a mariner is included in these records. On the other hand, the speed at which these records are being transcribed is starting to yield a disturbing number of errors.
Here is one 1850 record of deaths in Falmouth, Mass., including that of a certain mariner, Albert Baker, that was pretty humorous. (And a bit shocking.)
Here is the abstract: Click for closer reading.
|Cause of Death: Commotion|
Albert Baker, age at death 26, died in May of 1850. "Cause of Death: Commotion."
Hmm, was that a euphemism for someone who had lost their marbles? Or had he died of a heart attack amidst a particularly busy or chaotic day? Could this be the 1850 version of "Hypertension," a cause of death that is used currently? Naturally, I went straight to the original document.
Here is the original. Click on it for a closer view.
|Commotion or Consumption?|
Honestly? I can completely understand where this curious cause of death came from. At first glance, the penmanship reveals a word that looks much like Commotion. But, if you scan down the document, it appears that at least eight Falmouth citizen succumbed to Commotion, also. Hmmm, I would think that curiosity at the odd death, and a little knowledge of common causes of death in the 1850's might prompt the indexer to see that Commotion is in actual fact "Consumption."
Keep an eye out for errors. But, this one record of death gave me a good chuckle.
WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?
Remember that show? It was produced by Lisa Kudrow on the NBC network and was pretty popular for awhile, though it seemed to limp into the second season with a few too many contrived moments of "tears of emotion," perhaps. Anyway, I enjoyed it. At the end of the season, however, it was unclear if it was returning to air.
Well, "Who Do You Think You Are" is back! Yes, now aired on TLC, and still directed by Lisa Kudrow, the season began with Kelly Clarkson.
I have to say, it was a fun episode. She is a truly engaging, well-spoken young woman, and her ancestors had some really unexpected twists and turns. The format is the same, as she travels hither and yon, in search of her ancestor, consulting knowledgeable historians along the way. But there was none of the scripted "oh wow" and then the torturous wiping of tears stuff. Her surprises and yes some tears, seemed genuine.
Just my opinion - but the whole show just seemed less "Hollywood" and more authentic. I actually do not really care who the celebrities are, as long as they have an intriguing ancestral journey. I'm looking forward to the next episode. You can read more about it on the show's website: WDYTYA
Watch it Tuesday nights at 9:00pm.