Yesterday I read a blog post on Grave Mistakes called In less than 2 weeks Margaret Hughes lost quads, twins and her husband.
It got me thinking about the tragedies in my own ancestors' lives. One of the first sad events I uncovered as a genealogist many years ago was the story of great grand uncle Thomas William King.
Thomas was born in 1841 in what was the wilderness of Puslinch Township in Wellington County Ontario. At the age of 25 he married Mary Ann Kemble. Two daughters were soon born to the young couple. The first born was Catherine born April 1865. Next came her little sister Mary Ann born October 11, 1869.
Tragedy struck when a few days after Mary Ann's birth, 25 year old Mary Ann Kemble died. One year later, the widower Thomas faced yet another blow when 5 year old Catherine died on December 9, 1870. Just 4 days later her little 1 year old sister Mary Ann also died. In the space of one year Thomas lost his wife and both children.
Mary Ann died Dec. 13, 1870 age 1 year, 2 months, 2 days
Catherine died Dec. 9, 1870 age 5 years 7 months 16 days
Children of Thomas W. and Mary A. King
Their death registrations showed both young girls died of Diptheria.
Baby Joseph's tombstone in Arkell Cemetery reads
Joseph, son of Thomas W. and Mary A. King died Oct. 2, 1873 age 11 months, 9 days
Death was not yet finished with Thomas. Three years after Joseph died a daughter Mary was born. There may have been other children in between but if so they died young. Little Mary was born in March 1876 but did not live long. In October of that year at the age of 7 months she too passed away.
Her tombstone reads "Our Darling Mary died Oct. 12, 1876 age 7 months, daughter of Thomas W and Mary A. King. Sleep on my Mary in calm repose, though parted for awhile, To _ _ _ _ _ on _ _ _ will join praise And grace your happy smile"
In the space of 7 years Thomas lost his wife and four children. Thomas had more children and went on to marry for a third time in 1904 after Mary Ann Ramsey died. Only 2 daughters survived to adulthood.