12 December 2011

Annie, Grace, Rubie and Big Papa

Genealogy research is one of my favorite hobbies. It is a passion. I have been researching my family history since I was about fourteen years old, about thirty-two years now. I have found records and lost them through various means along the way, some that could not be recovered due to the fact that the person that provided me with the information was no longer alive. All of my grandparents and most of their siblings are gone now. It is paper trails that I'm left to chase now.

I can work with that and work with it is just what I've been doing. I visited a website over the weekend as I was searching for information on writing my life story. I found much more than I was looking for. I found the site FamilySearch.org. Thanks to this site, I have uncovered something that has been a mystery to me since I started delving into my family history. My daddy's grandma, the one he called "Big Mama" - also the Annie that this blog is named after - had ten children. Only six of them made it to adulthood. I knew and loved each of them. The four little ones that didn't make it, the ones that I never had the privilege of knowing, they left me with lots of wondering.

Now, some of that wondering is over. I now have the names of two of the dead children. One was named Grace and I now have a digital copy of her death certificate. The other was named Rubie. She was two years old in the 1910 census. I am now on a quest to find her death certificate. The cause of death is on Grace's death certificate, but I can't read the doctor's handwriting. Want to take a stab at it? What do you think he wrote? The part beside where it says (8 months) makes me think he was writing "premature", but I may be way off base. It is the two words under there, the secondary cause, that I cannot decipher at all. If you can make out what he has written, please, by all means, let me know. Thanks!

I have also found information showing the marriage date of Big Mama and her husband. I don't know what my daddy would have called him. He died long before my daddy was ever born, so I call him "Big Papa". My Papa Gunter, his youngest son, was just a little boy when Big Papa died just before the Great Depression. Big Mama was left with a houseful of children to raise on her own. She did the best that she could and was there for my daddy when he needed her, too.

These finds, no matter how little they may seem to most folks, get my heart to pumping with excitement. What I once thought lost to me forever is proving not to be. I'm just finding it in a different way, a different format. However it comes to me, I am thankful for it!


  1. That definitely says "Premature"--the second line looks like "General Inition" but I don't know what that would mean. Maybe that her little system just didn't get started?

  2. @Jean

    Thanks, Jean. I spent forever last night trying to find out what "general inition" could possibly mean, but no luck so far. It is probably an obsolete medical term, so it will be a new adventure trying to figure it out. Thanks for your help and comment. Have a wonderful day!


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