Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: What Search/Research Did You Do Last Week?

It’s time for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun and I’m so pleased that Randy Seaver is home from the hospital and up for issuing a new challenge for us:

1)  What genealogy search/research did you do last week?  Did you have a research goal or plan?  Tell us about one or more search/research session.

With the hot desert summer having arrived – it’s 106 degrees today – I decided to work on cleaning up my genealogy software.

My current project is to work through all of my direct lines, making sure that I have census images for all possible years.

I knew that I’d be adding quite a few entries to my program because there are many families that haven’t been worked on by me for years.

The most interesting census find was for William Tarbox, my 4X great grandfather. William was born 21 March 1779 in New Gloucester, Cumberland, Maine and died on 22 May 1860.

Because I had found birth, marriage and death dates for William and he died in May 1860, which meant he might not be in the 1860 census, I don’t think I ever went looking for him.

His wife, Judith survived him by just over one year, dying on 6 July 1861.

They are buried in the New Gloucester Cemetery and their gravestone is still standing and legible.

However, the 1860 census brought a surprise:

William Tarbox appears on the 1860 Mortality Schedule, but not in New Gloucester. Instead, he died in Augusta, Kennebec, Maine and is included on a list that appears to be from the State Hospital.

Then entry, on Line 23, gives his age as 82, which is off by just a year. He died from erysipelas, which is a strep infection on the skin, resulting in what is said to be a ‘fiery red rash.’

The enumerator also added that he was insane, but I’d take that with a grain of salt because every person on the list is described as insane. He certainly might have had dementia at his age, but there is no way to verify it. The entry further states that he had been ill for one week.

It’s also not evident how long William had been in Augusta. Given that he lived in New Gloucester in 1850, it’s possible he might have been hospitalized for as long as ten years.

Augusta is about 40 miles north of New Gloucester, so it doesn’t seem reasonable that his family took him there because he had erysipelas.

Maine Genealogy Archives has a database of all the patients who died at the Augusta Mental Health Institute, 1841-1899. At the time, it was called the Maine Insane Hospital.

William Tarbox is in the database with the same date of death that is found on his gravestone – 22 May 1860.

Cumberland County, Maine is a burned county so there is no will or probate to be found and, unless the county placed him in the hospital, there wouldn’t be any local record about his well being.

The Maine State Archives has bound volumes of patient records from October 1840 to 1910. Hmm. I think I will be contacting the Archives on Monday morning!

Thanks, Randy, for this week’s challenge. It’s great that you are well on your way to recovery.


2 thoughts on “Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: What Search/Research Did You Do Last Week?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.