Friday, October 4, 2013

Friday Find - Unnamed Batchelder Comes Home

A few years ago I traded a friend of mine some maple syrup for a box of Walton's Vermont Register books from the late 1800s. The original owner of the registers kept daily notes in the front of them. It was obvious that he was a farmer, and that he lived near where I grew up, based on some of his entries. There were mentions of "Went to S. Derry", "Went to Weston", "Went to Landgrove". I always thought it would be neat if he had been from Peru (where I grew up), but I never really thought much more about it.

Tonight, I started reading through the entries of the 1898 edition. In addition to place names, the names "S. Stiles" and "Simmonds" were frequently mentioned. Stiles and Simmonds were families in Peru way back when. I kept looking through the entries, till I got to October 31st. The entry was "Edmond Batchelder died." Edmund Batchelder was my great-grandfather's name, though he didn't die until the 1930s. I flipped the page. November 2nd, "Edmond Batchelder buried." November 3rd, "Fannie Cross buried."

Fannie Cross was my great-grandfather's first wife. I'd never found a death date for her. I checked FamilySearch for the date and place, and sure enough, there she was. Fannie Cross, wife of Edmund Batchelder died from "Shock after child birth" on 1 November, 1898. I checked my database. I had an unnamed baby girl, stillborn to Edmund and Fannie on 1 November, 1898. It appears that the unnamed baby girl may actually have been a boy, named after his father, and born late on October 31st or early on November 1st. Unfortunately mother and child didn't survive.

I've heard of ancestors finding us instead of us finding them, but I've never had it happen before. Not only did the writer of the daily entries live in Peru, he knew my great-grandfather's family. Weird how a penciled entry by someone who knew my great-grandfather found it's way out of Vermont, down to Connecticut to a friend of mine, then to me, taking 100+ years to travel.

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