This is a tale of History – “Her“-story. (My mom had a book that was rightly called “Herstory” and as we were both history fanatics, I have never forgotten.)
This week’s theme is “Valentine.” To be honest, I was going to skip it. I’m not a very “Valentine” -ish person and I don’t like to be pigeon-holed into being predictable and telling the token love story. But, I changed my mind at 9:06pm this evening while researching and landed upon a “Valentine-ish” story anyway.
So, my maternal side, from my grandfather William Sutherland, goes back to Oil City, Pennsylvania (where he was born), to his father Anthony, who was also born in Oil City, Pa. Several of Anthony’s older siblings (Anthony was #9 of 12) were born in Canada and one possibly in Ohio. (Here’s what I have so far, just for full disclosure: Older siblings William Sutherland Jr (abt 1858), Wilbur (abt 1866), Cora (abt 1868) were possibly born in Canada. John H (Oct 1870) born in Cleveland, OH. The rest of the family is Alec (abt 1873 PA), Katherine (May 1875, Oil City), Thomas (abt 1877 PA), Anythony (1 Aug 1878 Oil City, PA), Charlotte (1 Jan 1880), Elsie J (31 Mar 1880 PA) and Georgina. I am not sure if Georgina is actually the youngest, or if she has a birth date between William and Wilbur as there are quite a few years between them.
I haven’t ventured to Canada yet, I’m trying to focus in US and logically work back. As names go, William Sutherland is one you check, double check and recheck. Thank goodness the witness is listed on legal documents usually helps since it’s a family member so you know it’s the right one.
As in a previous story, when I came across William’s wife’s death certificate, Elsie J was the witness. For her employment description, she was listed as a companion, which to me is very heartwarming. As previously told, she took in her nieces and nephew when her brother died. She is listed as a witness on several death certificates, which must have been tough to be the one always reporting them. Can you imagine? She is the witness on the death certificate for Margaret, her mother. So, I had found Margaret: maiden name Connors, born 25 July 1838 in Kingston, Ontario Canada. Daughter of Jeremiah (William?) Connors and Mary (Margaret) Fowler. Margaret (Connors) Sutherland died 17 Apr 1922 in Oil City, PA. I had settled in to spend some time finding William J Sutherland. Luckily, there weren’t many in PA. Then, I found William’s death certificate. I was floored.
They died on the same day.
What is sad is that his status was listed as “widowed” – but in the doctor’s notes, he was listed as having problems with being “senile” for a number of years. Daughter Kathrine McQuown is the witness.
Next, I went to the newspapers. I figured that something like this would be described in more detail in the papers, and I was right. The copy is not very legible, but on 18 Apr 1922, the papers in Oil City list that this couple, who had been separated and living (??) with family or being cared for somewhere, were not aware of the other’s passing. Margaret died in the morning. William died later that same day. He was 80 years old, she was 83.
Truly a valentine’s story, when your other half is gone and you follow them to Heaven on the same day.
I’m hoping to get a better copy of the Oil City Derrick article and when I do, I will post it here.