Genealogical Breakthrough

You may remember back in November I wrote about my great-grandfather Winslow, with two possible stories of how, where, and when he died (with slight additional variations) and my ever-thwarted attempts to find out what the real story was.

In mid-January, I managed to ensnare myself into a half-year subscription to Newspapers.com (via a one-week trial period that I kinda-sorta forgot to end). I had been poking around for him in Chicago, Detroit, and Port Huron newspapers there, striking out in general.

Yesterday, I did a really broad search for his last name, anywhere in Michigan, in the years 1890–1893. Lo and behold, results came up in a newspaper from a tiny town I had no expectation had ever had a newspaper. The first result was a paragraph that said he was bound for Chicago as a mate on the steam barge J.I. Case in April 1892. The second was a longer paragraph in June 1892, noting that he had passed away at home near Yale, Michigan, earlier in the week after three weeks of illness with typhoid fever.

I didn’t know anyone could get giddy over typhoid fever, but I did. Well, ok, not exactly for that reason, of course. I was just really happy to have solved this mystery. I do not know where the case of typhoid fever was acquired; I’m not sure it matters, really. I just saved the two “clips” into my Ancestry.com page for Winslow, updated the death information, and smiled.

He left behind a wife, two sons, and a daughter; five months after his death, his third son was born. Curiously, none of them is mentioned in his death notice, just his father, the Civil War captain. The obit concludes “The family have the sympathy of all,” which is a nice touch.

So… on to the next cold case.

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About songdogmi

I'm a longhaired almost-hippie stuck in the inner suburbs of a major rust-belt metropolis who's thoughtful, creative, and kind of geeky. In exchange for a paycheck I run around in a cubicle maze most days. When I escape, I play music, hang out in coffee houses, dink around on the computer, take naps, and think I should be off in the woods somewhere. Every once in a while I get in my car and drive far, far away, though I've always come back so far.
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