Unexpected Finds

Being a family historian/genealogist, you are able to record many wonderful things that have happened to your family. On the flipside, you also find out things that you might  find unsettling at best.

One of those things is the death of a child and especially how that child dies. In the past, I have spoken about the loss of a child.

Recently , I found out about the circumstances of the death of little Dorothy Ellen McCormack. Dorothy was the first daughter of Henry Davis and Dorothy Ellen (Wade) McCormack.

Tragic is about the best way I could explain it. This isn’t her death certificate, but a Coroner’s Register.


As you can read in the “History of Case” section, her death was rapid and very unexpected. In the space of less than 8 hours, little Dorothy went from perfectly healthy little girl to being dead. I can only imagine that her parents were nothing short of distraught and a total mess.

In my mother’s family, her brother died around same time period of polio. His death was never spoken of. I’m sure the same happened with Dorothy’s parents.

I can only guess the situation was pretty much the same with Minnie (McCormack) Barnes and her husband, Charles when their son, Charles (H.) Barnes died. Minnie or Maria (her given name) was the second youngest child and daughter of Michael and Catherine (Payne) McCormack.


Charles H. Barnes [2]

As you hopefully read in the “Medical Certificate of Cause of Death” section, the attending physician was there for almost 2 days. In that time or perhaps a short time before that, little Charles went from being a healthy infant to dying. As with Dorothy’s parents above, Charles’s parents of Minnie (McCormack) and Charles Barnes were probably were a total mess. In this case, there is some added distress to the situation. The attending physician was Minnie’s brother-in-law, Leon R. Ingleright. He was married to Minnie’s younger sister, Katherine Fidelia (McCormack) Ingleright.

I don’t think that I need to say it, but the tragedy here is that these two toddlers died way before they should have. The two deaths devastated two families for long time.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you learned something!

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  1. “California, San Francisco County Records, 1824-1997,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-22123-19280-86?cc=1402856 : 16 May 2016), Coroner’s Records > Coroner’s register, Mar, 1943 > image 173 of 683; San Francisco Public Library.

  2. Otter Lake, Lapeer County, Michigan Department of State – Division of Vital Statistics, 407 (Stamped), 5 Oct 1900, Charles H. Barnes, http://cdm16317.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/p129401coll7/id/782204/rec/8.

One thought on “Unexpected Finds

  1. Pingback: March dates for the Clan McCormack – The Otter Lake Express

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