Notes from the past…


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The WOW! Category

My blog is organized on two levels, first by category, which describes what I am currently researching/blogging about, and then by tags, which are the specific surnames I am working with. Things run pretty smoothly this way, and I can usually find what I am looking for pretty quickly through the Search Box.

This morning, I found myself in need of a new category to describe my research activities: the WOW! category.

The WOW! category will be used to document the type of genealogical item that I stumble onto totally by accident, or when I find what I am looking for, but the actual find causes me to gasp, stare, or stop breathing altogether! This morning’s item certainly fits this category…

Isaac T (“Ike”) Turner was the 7th of 14 children of my great-great-grandparents, Isaac Turner and Sarah Sharpe Vance. Eleven of the children were born in Tennessee and the last 3, including my great-grandmother Mary Tennessee, were born in Hill County, Texas. Thanks to what’s left of the Turner family Bible, I have names and BMD dates on all 14. Pretty neat!

But like most Bibles I have seen, there are no details. Birthdates, marriages, dates of death, all faithfully recorded in the Bible.

But why did William Turner die at age 17? An accident, or maybe the Typhoid that killed his father? Or how about little Sallie Turner, who died just 1 month and 1 day after she was born? I can’t imagine losing a month-old child! Why did these people die so young?

Isaac T Turner died on Christmas Day, Dec 25, 1900. Amidst all the joy of the holiday, suddenly unfathomable loss. 32 years old and in what should be the prime of life…

This morning, I was searching for a cause of death for Isaac and decided to check out GenealogyBank. They have a wonderful collection of old newspapers, including the Dallas Morning News going back over 100 years. Hill County, Texas is very close to Dallas.

I put his name into the search box and look what popped up:

I just stopped and stared and read those few lines over and over and over. OMG! What a horrible death!

For years I have wondered what happened to Ike, enumerated in the 1900 Federal Census as a merchant dealing in confections. A man with a sweet tooth! Only a few months after that census was completed, Ike was dead. But how?

Now I know… and WOW!