19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Sunday, May 24 – Thursday, May 28, 1914: Nothing much doing.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Sometimes posts just write themselves. This is one of those times.
This is the third of five days that Grandma lumped together into one diary entry. Her infant niece, the daughter of her sister Besse, died on May 23.
My readers are awesome. I owe Agnette a huge thank you for finding the death certificate for the baby. I’m still tingling with amazement that she took the time to search for it—and that she found it.
Sunday was a busy day—and I sat down to write the post for today at about 9 p.m. last night. I was unsure what to write—and then I glanced at the comments I’d recently received. There was Agnette’s comment and a link to the death certificate.
The death certificate affirms the information in the diary. I can’t quite make out the first listed cause of death—Does anyone have any ideas? –but was surprised that the second cause was Spina Bifida.
Grandma mentioned her sense of foreboding the day the infant was born—but did not indicate a serious congenial condition—and had seemed to think that the baby would be okay in the next diary entry. I’m surprised she didn’t mention something related to the Spina Bifida.
This makes me wonder if Besse’s first baby, who also died in infancy, had Spina Bifida. And, it makes me appreciate doctors’ recommendations today that women make sure that they get adequate amounts of folic acid prior to conception to help decrease the likelihood that the baby will have Spina Bifida.
The death certificate says that the baby was buried at River Church Cemetery. I wasn’t sure where it was—so I googled it. An Ancestry.com message board popped up. According the one of the comments on the message board:
The River Church is St. John’s Delaware Run Lutheran Church, located on Musser Lane, Watsontown. Because this is a rural area, it is actually closer to Dewart (about a mile) than Watsontown (about 2 1/2 miles).
I don’t know of any family connections to this church, but perhaps the Hesters’ attended it.
I’m still tingling—so many pieces of the puzzle are fitting together with this death certificate. Thanks again, Agnette!