Ancestral energy lives in the stars above us, the stones beneath us. Their memory gathers in oceans, rivers and seas. It hums its silent wisdom within the body of every tree.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Genealogy and Health Histories

Roy in uniform, Elmira NY.
One of the side benefits to genealogy work is discovering how your ancestors died, and what that might tell you about your family genes. Three years ago I had an accident. In the course of getting treated, my sugar was discovered to be startlingly high. The next day, when my dad and I were distracting me by going through some family stuff, he was talking about his Grandpa Roy, who was a prison guard at Auburn NY. My great-grandpa Roy was injured in a small prison riot. But his official death lists that he died from complications to his injuries due to his pre-existing condition of diabetes.
And it was like an unwanted lightbulb went off. I changed my diet. I changed my lifestyle, hoping to avoid a similar diagnosis, but just before Christmas, thanks to finally having health insurance, I found out that I am also diabetic. Thanks, also, to the concern Roy’s story prompted, I have/had already done the majority of lifestyle changes, and those changes saved me from being sicker than I was.
I know that my Grandpa Mark, Roy’s son, died of cancer that was so advanced when they discovered it, it had already spread to his bones and throughout his body. He was 67. My Grandma Ruth died of cervical cancer at the age of 43. My Grandpa Dick died at 72 of lung cancer caused by asbestos from his stint in the Navy.
I know my great-grandpa Harold Lafayette Riddle (1903-1975) had a heart attack at age 72 and his wife, my beloved Elsie Elizabeth Durant (1904-1994), died of old age at 90. My great-grandma Margaret Loretta Burke (1899-1938) died of renal cancer at 39 and her husband Robert George Art (1892-1974) died of bladder cancer at age 82.

I’ve discovered other stories along the way of my other various levels of great-grandparents that lend themselves to more research:
  • 3x Bailey Harrison Whitcher (1799-1865) had become deaf and was hit by a train crossing the railroad tracks when he was 66. His wife Ordelia deLozier (1810-1888) died tragically after falling down the stairs at age 78.
  • 4x Peter de Lozier (1786-1849), Ordelia’s father, died of cholera at age 39, after abandoning his family to return to the sea. He was a Prisoner of War at Tripoli.
  • 9x William Blackmore (1640-1676) was “attacked by Indians” in Scituate MA and killed at age 36.
  • 10x Sgt. William Pond (1622-1690) died “unexpectedly” at age 68.
  • 10x Robert Sallows (1626-1663) drowned at sea at age 41, while living in Salem.
  • 11x James Chilton (1562-1620) and his wife died the first winter aboard the Mayflower. He was 58 and the oldest man on board. Her age and name are unknown. Their 12 year old daughter Mary survived them.
  • 11x Thomas Rogers (1572-1621) died the first winter on the Mayflower at age 49.
  • 15x Sir Henry Norreys (1491-1536) was beheaded at the Tower of London for an alleged adultery with Anne of Boleyn. He was 45.
  • 23x Sir Edmund Fitzalan (1285-1326) was beheaded at age 41.
  • 25x Robert of Artois (1216-1250) died at age 34 “leading reckless attack on Al Mansurah.”
  • 28x Frederick Bararossa (1122-1190) drowned at age 68 while on crusade in Silifke, Turkey.

In my research, I pay homage to my ancestresses who are known to have died in childbirth, for their mortality and their sacrifice in birthing those who made me possible:
  • 2x Hattie Eva Dutcher (1857-1882) at age 25.
  • 10x Ruth Lee (1602-1642) at age 40.
  • 13x Anne Walgrave (1495-1530) at age 35.
  • 19x Agnes Daubeney (1307-1335) at age 28.
  • 19x Aubigny Creake (1335-1355) at age 20.

On a happier tone, I also made note of twenty-nine of my known ancestors who lived to me more than ninety years old:
  • 3x Ammi Smith (1824-1918) age 94. 
  • 5x Desire Tourgee (1752-1845) age 92. 
  • 6x Patience Thomas (1732-1822) age 90. 
  • 6x Thomas Boots (1761-1852) age 91. 
  • 7x Mary Smith (1701-1800) age 98. 
  • 7x Nicholas LaSueur/Lozier (1668-1761) age 93. 
  • 8x Lydia Starr (1652-1744) age 92. 
  • 8x Elizabeth Williams (1671-1771) age 100. 
  • 8x Hannah Latham (1651-1750) age 99. 
  • 9x John Bird (1641-1732) age 90. 
  • 9x Thomas Andrew Hovey (1648-1739) age 91. 
  • 10x Richard Sears (1590-1696) age 106. 
  • 10x Anna Reeve (1590-1685) age 95. 
  • 10x Mary Clark (1590-1681) age 91. 
  • 11x George Dyer, weaver, (1579-1672) age 93. 
  • 11x Sir Edward Bishop (1601-1695) age 94. 
  • 11x Capt. Richard Walker (1592-1687) age 95. 
  • 11x Jean Fafard (1598-1696) age 98. 
  • 11x Elizabeth Franklin (1570-1671) age 101. 
  • 12x William Jackson (1585-1688) age 103. 
  • 12x George Raymond (1538-1632) age 94. 
  • 12x Humphrey Pinney (1588-1683) age 95. 
  • 12x Maria Hatton (1573-1670) age 97. 
  • 13x John Whicker (1452-1556) age 104. 
  • 14x Richard Elwin (1555-1647) age 92. 
  • 16x Edward Morris (1455-1556) age 101. 
  • 17x Katherine Wallcott (1368-1460) age 92. 
  • 24x Eleanor/Alianore de Gorges (1270-1375) age 105. 
  • 25x Petronella de Gresley (1147-1249) age 102.

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