March 30, 2010

Tombstoneless Tuesday - Napoleon LeBlanc - Died at age 9

Once again, I have to entitle today's blog as "Tombstoneless Tuesday" because a tombstone does not exist for my uncle who died by accidental drowning in the Merrimack River, Lawrence, Massachusetts.  Napoleon would have been ten years old on July 17th - he died on July 12th.  The family was very poor and he was buried in the children's section of Sacred Heart Cemetery in Lawrence where so many children were buried with tombstones.  Recently, I obtained his certificate of death so that will have to do.

Unfortunately, my grandmother's name was incorrectly recorded.  Her name was not Odellie Derouin.  It was Odille Doiron.  This death certificate is an excellent reason that I often tell new researchers that these certificates may not be the most reliable source for information.

Ten months later, my grandmother Odille passed away at the age of 44.

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Lucie LeBlanc Consentino


Janine said...

No kidding. My GGGrandfather's death certificate, from NH, stated that his birthplace was St. François Xavier, and his birthdate was 1 Dec 1843. I found him in Boucherville (Ste-Famille) 30 Nov 1842.

Lucie LeBlanc Consentino said...

Hi Janine,

I all depends who gave the information to the medical examiner in this case it may have been the undertaker as my grandfather certainly knew my grandmother's name and her death certificate reads correctly.


Barbara said...

Poor child, his death came too early. Boy that Merrimack River is wild today, with all our rain (it is a mile from me), and prob. not far from you either. Wonder what the weather was like on that day of his death.

TCasteel said...

No doubt her son's accidental tragic death affected her greatly - maybe to the cost of her health.
I have seen many errors on death cert's - so you are correct in not always taking them at face value and as your only source.

Lucie LeBlanc Consentino said...

Hi Barbara,

Ther Merrimack is supposed to flood today - poor people.

I have always believed that it must have been a nice hot July day when my uncle Napoleon drowned in the Merriamck. The family lived on Broadway near Theatre Row and I can't imagine any other reason why he would ave been at the river. In those days, they used to swim up above where the falls are located.


Lucie LeBlanc Consentino said...

My father always said his mother had stepped on a rusty nail and died of blood poisoning. her death certificate does cite blood poisoning.

It was tough in those days. My grandfather had lost three sons with his first wife too.