My blog has been changed to make it more appealing for those who have New England ancestors and want to see the area through photos. Things I’ll include are typical white New England churches, libraries showing their genealogical collection, historical societies, cemeteries, war memorials, in general, anything to do with history.

For four years I’ve blogged mostly about my personal genealogy in New England (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire), New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Wyoming, and the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. I still will, can’t forget my own roots.

Please check out the labels on the right side for articles. The header tabs at the top are a work in progress.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Not The Railroad Tracks!

My great-grandmother died a terrible death. At age 69 she should have been living the good life, and enjoying her three great-grandchildren. But with her mother's death the year before and her husband's death three years prior, Mira Kilborn Bishop slipped into depression. She had one child, my grandfather, and I can only assume he tried to cheer her up. But, he was married with three children under ten, commuted to New York City from Connecticut, to work as an architect, so I doubt he was around much to help his mother.

I ordered her death certificate March 1991, as I needed this proof for my DAR papers. So I've known a long time about her death. But it wasn't until this past week that I decided to see about getting an obituary, only 19 years later. Then I thought of Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness (RAOGK), something I've never used, but have heard great things about. So, I wrote and requested an obituary on November 11th. On the third day, there it was, an email with a copy attached from a wonderful volunteer. Not quite an obituary, but the write-up about the "accident." Mona Rhone was super, I couldn't believe how fast she was in getting to to me, I didn't even have the chance to be impatient. Thank you Mona, and she already knows she will hear from me again.


Below are the copies of the newspaper article and death certificate.

From: Meriden Record-Journal

Front and back of death certificate. Click to enlarge.
Mira and Earl Kilborn

12 comments:

Carol said...

That is so sad, what a trauma for the family.

Cynthia Shenette said...

Oh how sad. This is the kind of story that touches me. When I look through old newspapers I see stories like this all the time. I think about the lack of knowledge, understanding, and compassion back in the day regarding depression and mental illness. I also wonder what triggers a moment like this. I'm so happy you have this lovely photo of Mira with her son. She looks happy at least at this moment in time.

As far as your Bishop family is concerned, the poet Elizabeth Bishop was from Worcester, MA. Is she somewhere in your family tree?

Yvonne said...

Very tragic, but your addition of the photo confirms that, in spite of her depression, she was a loving person.

Becky Higgins said...

What a sad story. But isn't it great to have Random Acts volunteers who are so helpful.

Nolichucky Roots said...

I love your pairing Mira's tragic death with Mona's RAOGK. Not that one balances out the other (as if that were even possible) but her generosity, and your expression of it is a grace note in a somber piece.

Barbara said...

Thank you everybody for your comments and kind words. Cynthia, I don't know of any connection to the Worcester Bishop line. Yvonne, the picture was added minutes before I posted it, so thank you for that mention. I hope Mona reads this and sees how others (through your comments) appreciate the RAOGK volunteers. (She gave permission to use her name.)

Greta Koehl said...

A sad story, and a pity that mental illness and depression weren't better understood in those times. I have not used RAOGK, yet, but your story encourages me to give it a try in the near future.

Nancy said...

What a tragedy! And she was really so young, all things considered. Her photograph with her son is just beautiful.

Barbara said...

Thank you Greta and Nancy for your comments. Nancy, thanks regarding the photograph, and Greta, please try out RAOGK, and you can blog about it, good luck.

Kathleen Brandt, Professional Genealogist said...

I too have had wonderful experiences with RAOGK. Thanks for sharing both your experience with RAOGK and the story.

lindalee said...

I have never heard of RAOGK...thank you for the tip. How sad that depression and many forms of mental illness were so misunderstood until recently. It has touched my family and am thankful that no one has actually taken their life.

Barbara Poole said...

Thank you Kathleen and Linda for your comments.