RootsChat.Com

General => The Common Room => The Lighter Side => Topic started by: Preraphaelite on Monday 15 June 09 10:57 BST (UK)

Title: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Preraphaelite on Monday 15 June 09 10:57 BST (UK)
Ok, apologies for ths slightly macabre topic!

One of my gggg grandmothers - Charlotte Harvey (nee Wareham) - died in 1844 in Canford, Dorset.  According to her death certificate, the cause of death was "Inflamation on the chest caused by swallowing a plum stone"   :o

I imagine that, with less advanced medical knowledge the further one goes back in history, the "causes" of death stated on certificates would consequently become increasingly unusual. 

I would love to hear what other people have discovered from family death certificates. What is the most bizarre or shocking cause of death you have found in your research?
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: angelfish58 on Monday 15 June 09 11:23 BST (UK)
The one which knocked me sideways was "crushed by wagons in Thornley pit" and another rellie died of injuries recieved in a train derailment.
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: kerryb on Monday 15 June 09 11:26 BST (UK)
I had a great x 3 grandfather who was run over by his cart.  Also a 3 year old who died of accidental burning.  :(

Kerry
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Preraphaelite on Monday 15 June 09 11:29 BST (UK)
Oh dear, angelfish and Kerry, that all sounds very grim indeed!  :o
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: charlotteCH on Monday 15 June 09 11:31 BST (UK)
"Gored by a bull" for one of mine...  :o

charlotte
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: FAB Fiona on Monday 15 June 09 11:34 BST (UK)
My gg grandfather died of heart attack whilst "taking a warm bath" at Blackfriars public baths in Salford!

Fiona
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: msallen on Monday 15 June 09 12:21 BST (UK)
I have one who froze to death after falling over drunk in a snowdrift on his way home from a dance where he'd been playing the fiddle. He was well into his eighties at the time, so it seems he lived life to the full right to the end  :)
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: stonechat on Monday 15 June 09 12:21 BST (UK)
my grandmother's cousin died in train crash in New York
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: charlotteCH on Monday 15 June 09 12:26 BST (UK)
Learned an awful thing today about one of my lot... he died of epilepsy in an Asylum for the Insane in late 19th C.

Apparently epileptics were "treated" in asylums... if the fits were intermitent, imagine what his life must have been like in between the fits if there were mad people around him..

charlotte.
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Greensleeves on Monday 15 June 09 12:39 BST (UK)
A poor young chap in my family in the 1700s died when helping to manoeuvre a wagon loaded with two tree trunks into a carpenter's yard.  The trees rolled off and crushed him.
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Shertur on Monday 15 June 09 12:48 BST (UK)
I feel very sorry for my 3 x gt. grandmother as her first husband died, aged 29 from falling off his horse as a result of "Natural apoplexy from blood clots on the brain".

Her second husband died from "Fracture of 5th cervical vertebra and compression of spinal cord through a fall from his cart".

They were both coachman, as were most of my ancestors.

Christine
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Flickgirl on Monday 15 June 09 12:55 BST (UK)
My grandmother had a baby who died aged 4 months of "shock scald to legs and abdomen" - the grim family story is that he fell into a pot of soup that was being cooked over the range at the fireplace  :(  Awful.

Michelle
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Preraphaelite on Monday 15 June 09 12:59 BST (UK)
What a lot of very dramatic exits! And many that are particularly sad. Limited funds have meant that I haven't collected too many death certs, and the ones I have all feature fairly "normal" causes of death (with the exception of the "plum stone" incident, which is just a little odd).

Thank you for sharing everyone, and keep them coming - I don't know about anyone else, but I am finding this absolutely fascinating!  I think I ought to send off for some more death certs for my lot now - heaven knows what I might discover, but I think it'd be difficult to top the being "gored by a bull"!! :o
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: perth tiger on Monday 15 June 09 13:16 BST (UK)
the week before xmas 1881 my greatgrans brother died from rupture of a vessel  of the brain due to suffocation while in mothers arms in bed. there was an inquest and it was accidental death. he was 16 months old and the 7th of 9 children.
my ggrandad on another line had 2 sisters 3 and 8 die within 2 weeks of each other.
perth :) :)
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: charlotteCH on Monday 15 June 09 13:22 BST (UK)
Death certs can be full of unexpected info- I don't mean cause of death but who the informant is and their relationship to the deceased... I did some homework - checking last census and then marriage regs-on one cuch that arrived and discovered that the informant was the niece of the deceased- and bingo a whole new family was there.  So keep eyes open.

charlotte
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: molly90 on Monday 15 June 09 13:46 BST (UK)
My Uncle worked as a lamp boy on the railway and was killed by an Express Train.  He was 17 at the time and the youngest of seven sons.  He was born in 1902, the same year as his 11month old sister died from Measles.  His mother would have had to bury her only daughter in the June, and give birth to my Uncle in the September.

Molly
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: spiderboy on Monday 15 June 09 13:52 BST (UK)
Not bizarre but reasonably dramatic exits and a reason for obtaining death certificates.
A great great grandfather of mine “died in the sea” in 1888. I was lucky enough to find a report of the inquest in a local paper and it transpired that he was attempting to row to a boat moored in the harbour during a gale. A witness, who had seen him earlier, maybe uncharitably, suggested that he seemed to be unsteady on his feet – mind you it was also reported that they found some beer bottles in the wreckage of the rowing boat. A great great uncle was “found dead in the river” in 1896, again a newspaper report was found. Perhaps significantly at the inquest his widow stated that there were no known cases of suicide in his family.
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Les de B on Monday 15 June 09 15:11 BST (UK)
My gg grandfather, Robert MURRAY, drowned in Sydney Harbour in 1822, with two others, when they were rowing to Watsons Bay from Sydney Cove. Its not so much the fact that they drowned, but more so the newspaper report of their demise.

They were reportedly seen to be in "a state of miserable, shocking inebriety" prior to their drowning, and the newspaper concluded "We are unwilling for the sake of those relatives that are now disconsolate, to mention any thing that would have tendency to give additional pangs to the wounded mind; but, we should fail in the performance of public duty, were we not to say, that such repentedly woeful example loudly enjoin a sufficient of reflection to induce persons to abstain from those vices, that are at once so pernicious and so awfully destructive in their consequences."

The newspaper was certainly on its "moral high horse" when it printed this article. There were no Death Certificates for these 3 men as the reporting of deaths was not compulsory until 1856. Only Church Burials were officially recorded pre-1856, however, as their bodies were never recovered, there were also no Church Burial Records either. This meant, the only record of their deaths was this newspaper report, which, when read in its entirity, is much more informantive than any Death Certificate.

Les 

Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Flickgirl on Monday 15 June 09 15:13 BST (UK)
Talking of death by drowning my mother told me many a time that her grandfather died by drowning in a park burn after walking home from taking her to school one morning in the 1950s.  My great granddad had been a member of the Salvation Army band most of his life and the Salvation Army refused to bury him as it was widely believed to be suicide and my mum even thought it had been ruled a suicide.  When I found the death certificate it confirmed cause of death as asphyxia by drowning but there was an RCE attached to it with details of the inquest and the inquest had actually ruled it was an accidental death - my mum's family had always thought he had fallen and got caught in something.

Michelle
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Gaille on Monday 15 June 09 17:07 BST (UK)
I was searching for family info in the Lacashire online Parish clerks site & I spotted this (not sure yet if he is one of mine) ......

Burial: 1 Oct 1812 All Saints, Wigan, Lancashire, England
James Bibby - Son of James Bibby
    Age: 6 months
    Abode: Frog Lane
    Occupation: Weaver
    Cause of Death: Chin coff

when i was growing up my Nana always used to tell me to wrap up or I would catch Chinkoff .............. we always thought it was just a local word - never seen it written anywhere before, never mind as a cause of death!

Gaille
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: c-side on Monday 15 June 09 20:12 BST (UK)
One of my gg grandfathers was a train driver and met a very sticky end in a train crash in 1865.

The local newspapers reported the inquest and were graphic in the extreme.  What I hadn't realised until then was that, in those days, the coroners jury had to view the remains which were lying in his home.

Imagine, if you will, poor newly widowed woman with her husband in bits in the front room (or only room!) having all these men trooping through.

C
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: ambers on Monday 15 June 09 22:56 BST (UK)
These are for  my great grandfather and G-grandafther from different sides of the family

Hemorrhage of the brain, following concussion cased by accidentally falling under the wheels of a wagon attached to a runaway horse.
This was his own horse and wagon used in his Haulage Co shared with my grandfather.

Found drowned in a Canal, sitting up in 4'6" of water.

The Inquest report in the paper said, he was known to  be happy go lucky man.
He was  on that very dark night  as he staggered  and slipped into the canal singing on top of his voice. He managed to sit up but couldn't get the water out of his lungs..ah bless him.

Ambers
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Les de B on Tuesday 16 June 09 03:37 BST (UK)
My wife's gggg grandfather, Francis COX, d.1831 in Sydney. One of his daughters wrote a letter to another daughter describing his death. He had had his leg amputated, however, infection set in, and he later died few days later.

In part the letters reads ".......he could not speak at 2 o'clock, but was quite sensible till the last  moment. He took us all by the hand and a minute before he departed, he took his night cap off and waved it 3 times, and threw it away as much to say 'I am going - farewell'............."

Les 
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: pistonbroke on Tuesday 16 June 09 04:30 BST (UK)
Ex Motherinlaws grandfather died after being accidently gored  by his pet bull.
My gggrandfather died of nicotine poisoning.
Got a few died of visitation of God.

Vicki
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Ruskie on Tuesday 16 June 09 06:09 BST (UK)
Gaille,
Chin cough = whooping cough ...  :)

One of my favourites is "decline" which covers a multitude of sins.  ;D
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Preraphaelite on Tuesday 16 June 09 13:52 BST (UK)
"visitation of God"!!?!! :o  Surely that should be "Grim Reaper"! ;)
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Alan b on Tuesday 16 June 09 20:23 BST (UK)
My GG Grandad got killed when he was knocked from the  bike he was riding and a post office van ran over his head. This was in 1946 and I have seen a newspaper report to confirm it.
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Viktoria on Tuesday 16 June 09 23:24 BST (UK)
My grandma lost a 16 year old to T.B in January 1910.Shortly after she had her last baby, a girl who died at under 3 months. At the same time her first grandchildren ,twin boys of just over a year, died .For three weeks on the run there were funerals of babies.Imagine losing a daughter whilst you were pregnant and then losing your new baby, which would have been some solace to you,then your eldest daughter loses her two babies and you want to comfort your daughter in her loss but your own is so great. I don`t know how they coped.To cap it all another daughter got married( which had been planned for some time) and moved away to live in another area.Well grandma coped by adopting four more children of a neighbour who died leaving them orphans. Their father was not on the scene, The youngest of them was the same age to within days as the baby she lost just after her 16yr old died.I can imagine her pain seeing each day a little girl who would have been doing what her baby would have been doing and what a solace this other little girl must have been to grandma, filling in some way the aching void.They wre made of stern stuff our ancestors. Viktoria
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: kizmiaz on Tuesday 16 June 09 23:43 BST (UK)
They were made of stern stuff our ancestors. Viktoria

Too true, Viktoria

My great-grandmother lost one of her daughters at the age of 13 weeks to pneumonia, and then just two years later she lost her husband to cancer. Then within the space of 18 months she lost three more daughters to various ailments including meningitis and gastric enteritis, two of them within a fortnight of each other. All the time she was mourning, she had to raise my grandmother who was a baby at the time. I can't even begin to imagine how she coped!

Glen
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Springbok on Wednesday 17 June 09 00:42 BST (UK)
My daughter in NZ has a Maori friend who's Ggrandfather was a guide at one of the Thermal Valleys  near Rotorua in the late 1800s. 

It was known that on one lake there was  the fairly regular eruption and G would take a boat out with adventurous tourists .(according to Ggrandson)

from the link below one can read what really happened

The mineral Terrace is named after him.

http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~sooty/waimangu1903.html

Reading this I can see how families don't get their facts correct. forgive all the modifications... should have done my homework first!

Spring



Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: maxxangel on Friday 31 July 09 02:43 BST (UK)
My husband had two great uncles who died as children, one from Weil's disease and one from drowning. My husband grew up learning to swin in the local canal, so he joked when he found out that the drownee probably drowned in the canal and the other probably caught Weil's there.

I have recently found out that the family did live near a canal, so he may well be right!
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: dave the tyke on Friday 31 July 09 08:21 BST (UK)
In 1839 Charlotte Lightowler died.

The Leeds Mercury reported on the coroners verdict -

Quote
On Tuesday at the Punch Bowl, Northowram, on the body of Charlotte, the wife of James Lightowler, shoemaker, who suddenly expired the previous day, in consequence of a rupture of a blood vessel on the brain; the deceased was 21 years of age and had only been married a month. Verdict -"Died by the Visitation of God."

The following year James married Charlotte's sister and they went on to raise a family of 7 during their 30 year marriage.
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Nick29 on Friday 31 July 09 09:03 BST (UK)
I don't have the death certificate, but my great-aunt's first husband allegedly died from pneumonia, after riding through the fountains of Paris on horseback in the middle of February !  :)
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: wendy47 on Friday 31 July 09 09:28 BST (UK)
 My gg Uncle died when his horse bolted going under a railway bridge when a train went over and he was flung from his cart.

My husbands ancestor died after falling off some slimy steps at Greenwich whilst climbing from a boat up to the quay. He was quite merry at the time

My son in laws family had many fishermen dying at sea and some of his distant relations were involved in the "Beauchamp" Lifeboat disaster of 1901 at Caister.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1901_Caister_Lifeboat_Disaster

Wendy
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Viktoria on Friday 31 July 09 13:34 BST (UK)
My aunt(whom I never knew) died in 1931. She had Tuberculosis and was at the stage of the illness when the patient coughs up blood, on her death cert it says "haemoptisis"- I thought it was an error -pthysis being the proper name for T.B.and its other name consumption. However on looking up in the dictionary it means blood coming from the mouth,( more properly out of the mouth but originating in the stomach(ulcer) or lungs(T.B.) ) now whilst she would have that I feel the REAL cause of death was T.B.
The haemorrhaging must have been so severe to give it as a CAUSE of death rather than a symptom.
The mind boggles at the horror of it all. She contracted it most probably from an old chap in the office where she worked in whom it would progress slowly but in a young person it rampages through very quickly.
Such sadness in ancestor hunting isn`t there?. Viktoria.
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: BumbleB on Friday 31 July 09 14:13 BST (UK)
I have an ancient relative, in both senses of the word - she was 89  ;D who was "found hanged by a handkerchief to her bed rail.  Not sufficient evidence whether accidentally hanged or had hanged herself purposely."  As yet I can't find anything else - the Coroner's inquest for this period is not available - and I haven't been to Yorkshire since to see if there was a newspaper report.

BumbleB
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: dave the tyke on Friday 31 July 09 14:14 BST (UK)
There is always sadness for me when infants are involved. The 1911 census highlights 6 infant deaths in one of my families and here are my notes from another family -

Quote
What tragedy befell the family of Grace and John Lightowler that they should loose their 9 year old daughter Annie in 1908 and 3 years later loose 2 year old Nora on the 8th of August 1911 and twins Norman and Frank just 18 days old on the 11th of August 1911.
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Ceeoh on Friday 31 July 09 14:46 BST (UK)
How about "killed by a horse tram in Stockton High Street" William Gendle 1905

Ceeoh
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Steve G on Friday 31 July 09 16:36 BST (UK)
 Blimey! Some harsh stuff here! I'm particularly taken with the Weils Disease one. I'm a Rat Catcher. Been there. Had that. Don't recommend it!

 I love DC's. I always buy them, once I find them. One recent Aunt basically rotted!   :o I'm being perfectly serious here! Her stomach ruptured and flooded her entire system with sh ..... you know what! And that turned her to mank and ..... she rotted away whist still alive!  :-X

 But, the most poignant one, for me, is one of my Gt.Gt (or what ever) Uncles. He started work at the " Gas House ", in Portsmouth, as a teenage Stoker. There he shovelled dusty coal into the furnaces, all day, every day. Then, at just fifty five years of age, he died of " Bronchitis and Exhaustion "  :(

 How can any body fail to be touched by that? The poor man was simply worked to death.

Life was indeed hellishly hard back then.
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Viktoria on Friday 31 July 09 19:35 BST (UK)
At a little  lead mining community in Shropshire, there were many men dying from silicosis. It got a lot worse when a compressed air drill was introduced to speed the work up.So bad that the drill was called "the widowmaker". A doctor -paid by the mine owners-claimed that stone dust in their lungs was actually beneficial to the miners !!!!!!!A young man(45)  died and a post mortem was carried out and at the inquest his young widow was seated at the front and was confronted by a large glass jar containing her husband`s lungs-------. It was stated that they were so full of stone dust that he had  an area less than a two shilling piece breathing capacity. His poor wife had not been asked to give her permission ,nor had she been warned and we can only guess at the distress. Also the total disregard for the miners by the mine owners and indeed the judicial system generally.This in the early 1930`s. His widow with two very young children got no compensation, however it helped to establish the precedent and thereafter men with siicosis and their families were entitled to compensation. Viktoria.
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: maxxangel on Saturday 01 August 09 04:06 BST (UK)
Good grief!! It does make you feel so much more fortunate to be living today doesn't it? I have traced my mother-in-law's family back to a community of lead miners in Middleton, Derbyshire. It will be interesting to discover what their life expectancies were. I imagined problems with heavy metal poisoning, but not silicosis. However, this is 19th century, so probably pre 'widowmaker'.
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Pippakit on Saturday 01 August 09 04:25 BST (UK)
My great grandfather's brother Henry was killed by lightning in Heswall church during a harvest festival service in 1875. He was seated near the organ when the lightning entered the church via the weathervane, struck and killed the organist and then struck poor Henry. The newspaper report on the incident states that the lightning entered behind the right ear and exited via the windpipe, killing him immediately. He was just 15 years old.

You would expect to be safe in a church!
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Pippakit on Saturday 01 August 09 04:37 BST (UK)
My grandmother's sisters were drowned in a vat in 1875. This is the report in the local paper:-

Two Children Drowned In A Pan
Mr J Tatlock, Coroner, held an inquest on Tuesday, at Chester, upon the bodies of Annie Ruscoe, aged seven years, and Lizzie Ruscoe, aged six years. It appeared the children had been playing in their grandmother’s brewhouse on Sunday morning last and by some accident got into a pan with over four feet of water in it, where they were subsequently discovered dead. The jury returned a verdict of ‘Found drowned’ – Chester Courant

Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: suzard on Saturday 01 August 09 05:23 BST (UK)
The newspaper report on the incident states that the lightning entered behind the right ear and exited via the windpipe, killing him immediately. He was just 15 years old.

You would expect to be safe in a church!

I have one ancestor who (along with 2 others) was struck by lightning (and killed) at a Church outdoor social event

Cause of death on his certificate is "Act of God"

Suz
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Les de B on Saturday 01 August 09 05:26 BST (UK)
Well it took 3 good goes before my ggg finally died (Captain Steven WATTS).

1) American born, in 1777 he was fighting for the English against the Americans. Historical notes indicate in the Battle of Orinskay, he was shot in the leg, and bayonetted in the throat. Due to the seriousness of his injuiries he was left to die on the battlefield. He was found by a compassionate American, and taken to creek for water. A few days of days later he was found by friendly indians, and returned to his English camp,. where his leg was amputated. He was repatriated to England, and then became Barrack Master of an Invalid Company on Jersey Island.

2) In 1796 whilst on Jersey Island he was involved in a pistol duel with another officer. Numerous newspaer reports of the day describe how Watts fired first, grazing his opponent's neck. The opponent returned fire, shooting WATTS in his still raised firing hand. This blew off his thumb. The ball then entered his nose, finally lodging in his cheek. The opponent and both seconds, thinking  WATTS was mortally wounded ran from the scene leaving him bleeding and to die (duels were illegal). Luckily, WATTS' brother-in-law, who was the Army doctor on the island, found him over an hour later, and managed to save him.

3) No doubt this time - 1810 WATTS shot himself in the head, having been recently dismissed from the Army. Coroner's jury gave the verdit as "Lunacy", as all suicides were deemed.  

Yes, one of my most "colourful" ancestors!


Les
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Nick29 on Saturday 01 August 09 09:16 BST (UK)
The newspaper report on the incident states that the lightning entered behind the right ear and exited via the windpipe, killing him immediately. He was just 15 years old.

You would expect to be safe in a church!

I have one ancestor who (along with 2 others) was struck by lightning (and killed) at a Church outdoor social event

Cause of death on his certificate is "Act of God"

Suz

Hmmm..... that reminds me of an old joke !  ;D

Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Viktoria on Saturday 01 August 09 20:07 BST (UK)
Can you tell it Nick? or is it a bit "not RootsChatters"-I can`t bring one to mind but don`t you love the advert where the old couple get on the white knuckle ride thinking they are on a promenade bench-----"what kind of cheese was that?"Viktoria.
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: ritchiewilk on Monday 03 August 09 14:03 BST (UK)
My grandfather had a cousin, William, who died at the age of 6, in 1902, from "Scalded leg resulting in convulsions after 15 days".  You cant imagine anyone today having this as the cause of death.

Two years later Williams father took his remaining children off to the USA leaving his wife behind in Scotland.  I wonder if he blamed his wife for his sons death.

Ritchie
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Nick29 on Tuesday 04 August 09 16:28 BST (UK)
Can you tell it Nick? or is it a bit "not RootsChatters"-I can`t bring one to mind but don`t you love the advert where the old couple get on the white knuckle ride thinking they are on a promenade bench-----"what kind of cheese was that?"Viktoria.

I don't think it's suitable outside of the "Totally Off Topic" forum  :)

Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: annieoburns on Tuesday 04 August 09 19:15 BST (UK)
Agnes Williams "died by scalding" aged 18months on Jan 2 1839
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: NEILKE on Tuesday 04 August 09 20:47 BST (UK)
my granda died of a heart attack nothing strange about that but on the afternoon he died he was watching england play scotland (football) in 1976 the england goal keeper let the ball through his legs for scotland to score the docter who signed the death cert reckoned this may well have led to the heart attack.
neil
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: wendy47 on Wednesday 05 August 09 10:05 BST (UK)
 
We have a death cert for a boy of 3 whose death was caused through

'Accidental Death by drinking a quantity of boiling water from a tea kettle'

Can you imagine the parents distress?

Wendy :(
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Annie65115 on Wednesday 05 August 09 10:16 BST (UK)
This isn't odd or unusual but I thought it was actually rather lovely -

a 5gtgrandmother who died in 1840, aged around 96, of "a gradual decay of nature"  :)

It would be nice to think that, should I ever live that long, I will be alowed to go gracefully like that!
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Deb D on Wednesday 05 August 09 10:47 BST (UK)
Just been browsing a Welsh newspaper archives site and found ...

News, 06 June 1807 ... Richard Powell, a butcher, at Leominster,  "INCAUTIOUSLY PUT KNIFE IN POCKET & SAT ON IT"

Yes, apparently he died  :o
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Viktoria on Wednesday 05 August 09 14:19 BST (UK)
This is horrible and has probably gained in the telling but I can vaguely remember it----a lorry loaded with sheet metal had lost the warning cloth which had been fastened to the sheet metal to warn of the overhanging load .A motorcyclist came up too close at some speed and was decapitated- the motorcycle swerved and the lorry driver saw the  awful sight and suffered a heart attack or some sort of seizure, lost control and mounted the pavement and injured pedestrians. I really do hope the story has been exaggerated but I do remember it somewhat from  about 60 years ago. I would be pleased to find this was an exaggeration.How sad for all concerned. Viktoria.,
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: dave the tyke on Monday 10 August 09 20:13 BST (UK)
I found these in the Northowram registers

Mr Tho. Brown Inkeeper in Kighley buried Oct 3. aged 64 had
   married a young woman left her all his Estate

Mr. Thos. Brooks, Minr in London died Aug. 1678 aged 72, had
   married a young wife a little before

Girls when you're young never wed an old man - unless he has oodles of money.  :o

Lads when you're old never wed a young lass - unless your heart is strong enough to take it  ;D
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Viktoria on Tuesday 11 August 09 01:16 BST (UK)
As they would say in Manchester---" I wouldn`t mind betting she put soap on the stairs"and to quote Joan Collins when quetioned by the press about marrying a man very much younger than her-
  " If he dies- he dies!" ----Viktoria.
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Windsor87 on Tuesday 11 August 09 19:20 BST (UK)
My greatx5 grandfather, John Bruce, was struck by lightening in 1864.

I have found a few newspaper reports giving a good description:

"The face of the dead man was changed to a dark blue, the hair and whiskers were singed. The watch-chain was melted about his neck, some of the clothes torn into shreds, and one of his shoes burned off; while large holes were made in the ground near the spot."

They Victorian's certainly liked the detail...
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: chinakay on Friday 14 August 09 05:22 BST (UK)
My great grandfather's brother Henry was killed by lightning in Heswall church during a harvest festival service in 1875.

I googled the relevant words, and came across a mention of ghostly organ music which can still apparently be heard on stormy nights, and perhaps even the figure of a boy in the churchyard......for what it's worth :o
http://www.rootschat.com/links/06we/

Cheers,
China
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: J.A.M. on Friday 14 August 09 16:48 BST (UK)
SADLY THERE ARE MANY GRUESOME ENDINGS FOR MY ANCESTORS, MOST BY DROWNING. I'VE GOT 7 OF THOSE BUT ALSO COUSIN JOHN WHO FELL FROM A HAY WAGON WHILE ROUNDING A BEND IN THE ROAD.

SAM, AGED 14, FELL OVER THE GOBBINS.
HUGH FELL ON HIS HEAD STRIKING A ROCK. THE HEIGHT OF THE FALL IS UNKNOWN.

COUSINS OF MINE WHO WERE FATHER & SON COMMITTED SUICIDE. ROBERT, WITH A BROKEN HEART AT THE DEATH OF HIS WIFE FROM CANCER, BY HANGING & THE SON, FRED, BY DRINKING FORMALDEHYDE.

I'VE ALSO GOT DEATHS FROM TUBERCULOSIS, CANCER, STROKE, HEART ATTACK & POISONING BY INGESTION OF BELLADONNA & ACONITE (ALTHOUGH RULED ACCIDENTAL THAT DOES SOUND SUSPICIOUSLY LIKE MURDER) & EVEN A FEW FROM OLD AGE.

AND OF COURSE THERE IS GRANDFATHER ALEXANDER WHO DIED IN WWI FOR KING & COUNTRY.

FORTUNATELY I'VE YET TO DISCOVER A DEATH FROM STARVATION THROUGHOUT THE FAMINE YEARS.

WITH ALL THESE SAD DEATHS IT'S AMAZING THAT THERE IS ANY FAMILY LEFT FOR ME TO RESEARCH.

I'M SURE THAT EVERYONE HAS AT LEAST 1 SUCH DEATH IN THE FAMILY. IT IS SAD BUT ALSO INTERESTING TO NOTE THE LACK OF HEALTH CARE IN THE PAST CENTURIES. WE COMPLAIN ABOUT WAIT TIMES AT HOSPITAL BUT SHOULD CONSIDER OURSELFS LUCKY TO HAVE THE MEDICAL CARE TO WAIT FOR.

J.A.M.
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: stonechat on Friday 14 August 09 18:23 BST (UK)
In the more distant reaches of my tree I have killed in a train crash and killed in a earthquake

Bob
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Viktoria on Friday 14 August 09 19:38 BST (UK)
Chinakey, there is an old hall near where I live ,it was up for auction and we went for a nosey. My son`s friend lived in the farm cottages and it was well known that there could be heard ghostly hymn singing in the corner of the dining room of the hall. We could not afford the renovation work and forgot about it. Some years later there was a  local car boot sale and I like old books and there was a good selection. One in particular caught my eye, a small calfskin bound  volume about six inches by three with a criss-cross pattern tooled on the back and front. The pages were hand cut and the paper really thick.Printing  Gothic. Date1817, contents----HYMNS --composed by Rev. William Fawcett and yes he composed them at the old hall. It was in his preface to the book ,my copy being a reprint of a much earlier one.The book had belonged to one Abraham Nuttall and his wife. It did make me wonder if the hymns had been composed  actually in the dining room of the old hall!!!!I bought the book of course. Viktoria.
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Pippakit on Sunday 16 August 09 10:10 BST (UK)
My great grandfather's brother Henry was killed by lightning in Heswall church during a harvest festival service in 1875.

I googled the relevant words, and came across a mention of ghostly organ music which can still apparently be heard on stormy nights, and perhaps even the figure of a boy in the churchyard......for what it's worth :o
http://www.rootschat.com/links/06we/

Cheers,
China

Thank you for that Chinakay, I hadn't heard that before!
Poor Henry, wandering round the churchyard, I wonder what he was looking for.
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Nick29 on Sunday 16 August 09 13:11 BST (UK)
My grandmother's step-father fell into a pond and drowned.  We suspect that he may have had a few too many in the pub !  :)

Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: sharmar on Friday 21 August 09 18:46 BST (UK)
How about a 3 month old baby being struck by lightening while in the arms of her grandmother!.  Grandmother survived.

This was my great grandmother and by grandfathers baby sister.
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Magrat on Sunday 23 August 09 11:05 BST (UK)
Hi,

My gggrandfather 'choked on his pudding (compaction of food)'.  When I got this cert. my husband commented that at least he had had time to enjoy his first course.

Magrat
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Kevinshouse on Sunday 23 August 09 20:33 BST (UK)
When I went to collect a certificate from our local Registry Office, the Registrar who is very interested in family history (I know her quite well now) showed me a register from the 1850s.  Entered on one page were about 8 people from the local Asylum - one a child  of 8 years had died of worm infestation.  Apparently the people registered had died of various complaints and had died over the previous few weeks, but were registered in a block when the person in charge came into town.  I found this all very interesting and also very, very sad.
Kind regards Susan
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: will-o-wisp on Monday 24 August 09 09:34 BST (UK)
Whilst not an unusual cause of death - I wonder if any 'chatters' can explain the cause of death I found on a 1905 death certificate for a 6 month old baby:-
Spinal caries
Psoas abscess
Marasmus.
Could this possibly have been what we now know as Spina Bifida?
Will-o-Wisp
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: kennyg on Monday 24 August 09 12:43 BST (UK)
Description of 4 XGGrandfather's suicide;

"4th January 1871, 5 pm,  The Mine Plantation, Abercorn    

Cause of Death:  Haemorrhage from a cut on the throat inflicted by the deceased himself with a razor – death was immediate
   
Age:68"

End of the first working day of the New Year - given his age, wonder if he had just been made redundant?
 
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Viktoria on Monday 24 August 09 17:38 BST (UK)
Whilst not an unusual cause of death - I wonder if any 'chatters' can explain the cause of death I found on a 1905 death certificate for a 6 month old baby:-
Spinal caries
Psoas abscess
Marasmus.
Could this possibly have been what we now know as Spina Bifida?
Will-o-Wisp
[/I would think so as a psoas abscess is an abscess of  the loins which is the area where the spinal lesion of spina bifida occurs and marasmus is a wasting away    , what a shame , poor little baby .Viktoria.                             quote]
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: wildtech on Thursday 27 August 09 17:52 BST (UK)
Some of my relatives were dyers by trade and one of their children fell into a boiling vat of dye.

We may find health and safety regulations petty sometimes but they do prevent many accidents

Another relative from New Zealand was thrown from their carriage when the horse bolted, her husband survived.  In the newspaper report it said "...the carriage was smashed to atoms".  Yes the Victorians liked their hyperbole.
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Nick29 on Tuesday 01 September 09 09:16 BST (UK)
Whilst not an unusual cause of death - I wonder if any 'chatters' can explain the cause of death I found on a 1905 death certificate for a 6 month old baby:-
Spinal caries
Psoas abscess
Marasmus.
Could this possibly have been what we now know as Spina Bifida?
Will-o-Wisp

Could be, or it could be the symptoms of inherited syphilis.
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: toni* on Tuesday 01 September 09 09:25 BST (UK)
I have several who commited suicide (maybe its just me) and the death certs explain exactly how they did it.

Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: julianb on Saturday 05 September 09 22:02 BST (UK)
My great grandfather Henry Carter was found dead in water in a ditch.  The night before had been foggy; it is hard to tell whether he had just fallen, had drunk too much and fallen, or had been mugged - he had money to buy a new horse when he went out the previous day and no money was found on him, nor was traces of alcohol mentioned at his inquest by the police. So I tend to think that someone got away with not so much murder but manslaughter.

But that story is just the entree to my "unnatural causes of death" entry.

Henry's younger brother William was working as a house servant at a  farm, and for some reason had gone into one of the barns and got involved in a prank with two of the farm-hands and ended up suffocating in a very large bag of flour.  He was just 18.   :(

JULIAN
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Tobacco on Saturday 07 November 09 15:32 GMT (UK)
I am researching deaths caused by nicotine poisoning in the UK.
Some appear to have been deliberate suicides, others\purely accidental. I would be pleased to hear from anyone with details of such cases, including Preraphaelite.

I am keen to what form the nicotine took (e.g. pesticide, solution from a lab, plug of tobacco, etc) who died, where and when etc.

As far as I can ascertain the first reported in the UK was in 1858 in the Geological Museum in London (according to the Times). The most recent one from the Times (up to 1985) was on the Isle of Wight in 1958.

Glad to hear from anyone. :o
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Icicle on Saturday 07 November 09 22:04 GMT (UK)
In some of the parish records I've been looking at the vicar made a note of unusual deaths.

There are several drownings in river, mostly children. A couple of 'burnt to death' a 'gate falling' and 'fell off a hay rick'
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: annieoburns on Saturday 25 August 12 17:12 BST (UK)
Apologies for resurrecting this thread.... but inspired by this week' WDYTYA programm, I wonder how to progress finding out more about the accidental death of a child in 1839 in Mitcham, Surrey.  Are there any local newspapers for the area where a report of an inquest might be found?    I would have a date.
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: nanny jan on Saturday 25 August 12 17:15 BST (UK)
Hi,

The county archives might, if you are very lucky, have the inquest file in their records.  It's worth emailing them to ask;  they can also advise which newspapers might have carried a report.


Nanny Jan
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: annieoburns on Saturday 25 August 12 17:25 BST (UK)
Thank you for speedy response!  ah yes email and basic inquiry!  Croydon I think.

  I have been lucky with local libraries looking up newspaper details for specific information.  I think there is a policy of spending only a certain amount of time on individual  enquiries. I might get lucky as have an exact date.   It would be good  to have some more detail of the death of this toddler "by scalding".  Was a servant implicated or the mother etc.? 
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Billyblue on Sunday 26 August 12 01:16 BST (UK)
My next door neighbour died from haemoptysis, which Viktoria mentioned earlier. He had lung cancer.
One morning I heard him coughing and coughing, then an expletive, then silence. A few minutes later his daughter ran up my back stairs telling me her dad had just died.

[Haemoptysis is coughing up of blood;  haematemesis is vomiting of blood}

A friend of my OH's ran her car under a semi trailer and decapitated herself and her daughter!

One of my Blue family's DC says he 'fell down the stairs when drunk' as cause of death - didn't say buy presumably he either broke his neck or gave himself severe head injuries.

Visitation of God was usually used when they couldn't work out any other explanation, though I'm sure most people would think being struck by lightning was indeed a 'Visitation of God' !

Years ago, in Sydney, someone jumped off a moving tram and somehow fell under its wheels and horrified passengers saw his head roll into the gutter  :'(  :'(  :'(

Dawn M
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Erato on Sunday 26 August 12 01:32 BST (UK)
I have one victim [shot; buried in a shallow grave in the back yard] of a very famous serial murderess.

Also a child who died of blood poisoning after having been stung by a scorpion.
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: geoff4488 on Sunday 26 August 12 06:48 BST (UK)
One of mine.  Edmonton Daily 4th December 1907 "Fred Pratt a young English boy was injured in the Deseronto box factory by falling against a circular saw, he died today" He was 15 and had emigrated to Canada in July 1907.
Geoff
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Emjaybee on Sunday 26 August 12 09:09 BST (UK)
Marie Curie was the first person to die of radiation poisoning, but they did not know it at the time.
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Nick29 on Sunday 26 August 12 10:56 BST (UK)
The official cause of death of Marie Curie was "aplastic pernicious anemia" which we now call leukemia.  She did suffer from radiation poisoning during her life, but radiation poisoning usually triggers one of 3 forms of cancer which result in death. Pierre Curie was also suffering from bone cancer, and would have died of it, had he not stepped in front of a car, which resulted in his death in 1906.  In those times, nuclear radiation was treated as a novelty, and there were many radioactive products that could be legally purchased, including radioactive water, blankets, lotions, creams, ear plugs, soap, toothpaste, chocolate bars, suppositories, and contraceptives  :o   In 1929 Eben Byers marketed a 'medicine' called Radithor, which was guaranteed to contain 2 µCi of radium, and he swore by its health giving properties - at least he did until he died of leukemia in 1932!   With so many 'quack cures' around, regulations were gradually tightened up, but even in the 1960s, it was possible to buy 'health giving' products containing radioactivity in small doses.

Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Ruskie on Sunday 26 August 12 10:59 BST (UK)
.... there were many radioactive products that could be legally purchased, including radioactive water, blankets, lotions, creams, ear plugs, soap, toothpaste, chocolate bars, suppositories, and contraceptives  :o   In 1929 Eben Byers marketed a 'medicine' called Radithor, which was guaranteed to contain 2 µCi of radium, and he swore by its health giving properties - at least he did until he died of leukemia in 1932!   With so many 'quack cures' around, regulations were gradually tightened up, but even in the 1960s, it was possible to buy 'health giving' products containing radioactivity in small does.


http://news.lucaswhitefieldhixson.com/2011/06/50-of-most-radioactive-posters-ideas.html#!/2011/06/50-of-most-radioactive-posters-ideas.html

 :o

(I have the radium cigarettes - well, the empty tin at least  ;))
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: stonechat on Sunday 26 August 12 11:54 BST (UK)
I remember at school we had special samples of radioactive materials to test on the Geiger counter

Them some of us tested our luminous watches - much more radioactive that the sample which was kept in a lead containers!
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Nick29 on Sunday 26 August 12 14:28 BST (UK)
When I was a kid you could buy luminous paint which came in a powdered form - who knows what it contained  :o
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: stonechat on Sunday 26 August 12 18:12 BST (UK)
***GRUESOME ALERT***
***Not for the sensitive***









My Gtx4 Grandfather was a turnpike keeper who was viciously murdered with a poker and eye gouged out.

Happened in about 1780
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: andrewalston on Sunday 26 August 12 20:43 BST (UK)
The registers of Croston, Lancs commonly record a cause of death for those buried from 1731 to 1812. Bearing in mind that that the entries were not made by a physician, they still show that the common illnesses of childhood used to be a tragedy rather than an inconvenience. "Chincough" and "Measels" came in waves, while smallpox was ever-present, as was consumption. There are 3 "visitations of God", 2 "excessive drinking" and two others were "intemperate". Only one death was occasioned by fire, so there must have been few wooden buildings. St Anthony's Fire, which killed a year old girl, is caused by eating grain contaminated by the ergot fungus.

You can see for yourself at www.lan-opc.org.uk.

And there's a relative of mine, aged 17 in 1788:

           Casually poisoned

This also tells us a little about the way the language has changed over the years. Substitute "Accidentally" and you are close to the original meaning.
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Billyblue on Monday 27 August 12 13:42 BST (UK)
When I was a kid you could buy luminous paint which came in a powdered form - who knows what it contained :o

When I worked for YHA, one of our managers died from cancer of the mouth.
It was put down to the fact that when he was a teenager during WW2, he worked making watches for RAAF pilots etc. that they could see in the dark.  They used to paint the numbers with luminous paint.  To make the point of their brush sharper, they moistened it with their tongue & lips!  No one knew, even then, what the radioactive materials would do.
 :'(  :'(  :'(  :'(

Dawn M
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Nick29 on Monday 27 August 12 22:47 BST (UK)
It wasn't just watches.  Radio dials and other equipment in aircraft were also painted with luminous paint.
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Viktoria on Tuesday 28 August 12 00:29 BST (UK)
T hat`s a bit like the cause of Bisinosis, caused by inhaling cotton fibres when mill girls"kissed the shuttle"ie, sucked the thread through the small hole at one end  of the shuttle when joining a thread when a shuttle had run out. Of course cotton fibres were always circulating in the air in spinning mills anyway, no air filtration systems then .
As late as the 1950`s I can remember mill girls in Manchester walking home covered in cotton wool- like fluff. In their hair and all over their clothes.
 Could people die from phosy jaw?  The Bryant and May match workers protested didn`t they?
  I wonder why the phosphorus settled in the jaw .
                                                                                 Viktoria.
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: syljun on Saturday 01 September 12 12:27 BST (UK)
I have an "Accidentally suffocated" - 31st Dec. 1907.

Inquest held but was unable to obtain report. The mind boggles but perhaps the date says something.

Drunk maybe or something more sinister.
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: giraffe on Wednesday 05 September 12 16:41 BST (UK)
My gt x 3 died in 1851 aged 59 from gangrene in the leg, according to the death certificate. He was a miner, but I have no further details.
giraffe
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Edward Scott on Wednesday 05 September 12 18:28 BST (UK)
Whilst looking at the PR's for Veryan I found 2 burial records that had notes against them presumably written by the Parish Clerk

Firstly - he was very old

Secondly - she drank a lot of gin last night
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Gaie on Wednesday 05 September 12 18:36 BST (UK)

Secondly - she drank a lot of gin last night

 ;D  ;D
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: TropiConsul on Wednesday 05 September 12 19:06 BST (UK)
I find it quite amazing what the newspapers used to print.

The Sandusky Daily Register, 10-Nov-1879, p. 4, col. 4- "Huron Items. The remains of Mr. Geo. Sprague, whose sudden death near Blue Rapids, Kansas, a few weeks ago was mentioned in the Register, were brought to Huron on Saturday last and buried in Scott Cemetery, Mrs. Sprague having gone to Kansas for the purpose. The circumstances of the death of Mr. Sprague were peculiarly sad. He had bought a farm just out of Blue Rapids, erected a house for temporary use, and was intending to remove his family in a few days. Apparently in his usual health he retired one night, another man sleeping with him. His bed-fellow was not at all disturbed during the night, and on awakening the next norning, spoke to Mr. Sprague and receiving no answer supposed he was still asleep, got up and went about his affairs. No one having occasion to go to Mr. Sprague's room, his death was not discovered for two days after. Mrs. Sprague found her husband's affairs properly covered for by an adminstrator, who turned them over to her, and she sold the Kansas property and closed up her husband's business before returning. The deceased had a policy in the Mutual Relief Association of Wellington, and his widow and fatherless children receive the benefaction of about $1,400. "

Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Jean McGurn on Saturday 08 September 12 04:32 BST (UK)
One of my ancestors - a 20 yr old lad - who worked for  the Liverpool Tramways and was part of the gang who erected to electric wires,  was holding the horse and cart during a storm when one of the links (rings)  broke and the cable crashed down hitting him on the head.

He died a couple of hours later in hospital and when the inquest was held, it was adjourned so that the Board of Trade could submit their findings. At the second inquest it was found that the practice of tapping the rings to see if they were ok was to be abandoned. The B of T said all rings had to be checked before galvanising. It appears that the link that broke quite obviously it was faulty and this had been masked by the galvanising.

Reading the inquest reports in the Liverpool Mercury it solved a puzzle I had been given. This was that one of my McGurn ancestors had his name on all the buses as being the General Manager of the omnibus company. In fact it was one of the Owens ancestors because the initial inquest report stated that Chrisptophers uncle "the late Mr E.Owens was Traffic Manager of Liverpool Tramways" so it must have been his name on the side of the trams.

Jean
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Billyblue on Saturday 08 September 12 07:06 BST (UK)
My gt x 3 died in 1851 aged 59 from gangrene in the leg, according to the death certificate. He was a miner, but I have no further details.
giraffe

Giraffe, it could have been from a number of things.
Bearing in mind it was 1851...
He may have been diabetic and didn't know, and any small cut could have let to it, or his diet etc.
Being a miner, he could have sustained an injury which didn't heal (no antibiotics those days) and it turned gangrenous.  It apparently didn't take long.  A cousin of my great grandfather was shot in the leg by his wife's lover (!!) and they had to amputate, and he was dead within a few days from gangrene.  This was in the late 1800s.

Or a wound sustained some other way that got dirt in it, then infection, then gangrene.

Thank goodness it's a rarity these days.

Dawn M
Title: Drowned on his honeymoon
Post by: JonathanC on Saturday 08 September 12 09:51 BST (UK)
A Sad Accident.

On Saturday evening of last week Mr. Charles Crust and Miss Alice Hockridge, of East Brainerd, were united in marriage at the residence of the bride's parents, and on Monday they went to Mille Lacs Lake in company with Mr. Hockridge's family for a week's outing. The parties were stopping with Mr. Warren, and on Tuesday evening were enjoying themselves at the lake bathing, Mr. Crust being out some distance ahead of the others. His wife and companions saw him go out of sight under the water, but did not feel alarmed, as the lake was shallow at that point, they supposed. In a moment he came to the surface, but only for a second, and again disappeared. it was then that the truth flashed through their minds, Mr. Crust was drowning before their very eyes. A boat was put into use and the young man's body was found after an hour's search in fifteen feet of water. The accident was the result of cramps which must have taken the young man just as he walked into a deep hole. The body was brought to Brainerd on Wednesday and buried on Thursday, Rev. Treglawney, who but four days previous had performed the marriage ceremony, preaching the funeral sermon.

The case is as sad a one as has been brought to our notice in many days, and the young widow, who we understand was married on her fifteenth birthday, is almost distracted with grief.

The deceased was an employee of the Northern Pacific, and was highly esteemed by all his acquaintances. He was a brother of Edward Crust, his parents residing in England. The funeral services were largely attended, the fire department, of which he was a member turning out in uniform. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 August 1891, p. 4, c. 5)
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Preraphaelite on Thursday 25 October 12 20:38 BST (UK)
Hello all. I was the originator of this thread and, not having checked in on Rootschat for quite some time, am astonished by the amount of replies....and the many weird and wonderful (and very sad) ways in which people's ancestors have met their maker!

I am particularly surprised, in reading through all the posts, by how many times being "struck by lightning" has been mentioned as the cause of death. I had thought that this was an extremely rare occurrance (I work in an electricity museum, and we are sent details of any present day incidents).

I am also now eyeing my luminous watch with suspicion... :o  Thanks everyone!  :D
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: suey on Thursday 25 October 12 21:07 BST (UK)

Just to keep the ball rolling...

I have a lad who was killed 'by the accidental discharge of a gun with which his father was assisting him to climb a tree'

Later on his brother died from 'Mortification of the thigh', he was a farmer and I often wonder if the bull gored him.

And from pr's an 89 year old 'agricultural labourer found hanging from a tree' - poor old soul probably had no family and no work and thought it preferable to the workhouse.
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: rancegal on Thursday 25 October 12 22:11 BST (UK)

   When my mother was a young girl, the family lived next door to an elderly man. He drowned himself in a nearby pond, for fear of having to go to the workhouse (and if you saw it you'd understand why, it's the District Council offices now)
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: lancs-lassie on Thursday 25 October 12 22:59 BST (UK)
"Died from wounds in the throat, self inflicted whilst in an unsound state of mind" This awful description of a relatives death was found on  the first Death Cert I had ordered  :o This poor chap could not get over the death of his toddler son, he appeared to have suffered awful depression and died in the Lancaster lunatic asylum. It was a very revealing early start to my family research.....
Lancs-lassie
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: seaweed on Friday 26 October 12 00:02 BST (UK)
From an official ships logbook entry  which recorded the death of a merchant seaman as suicide.
The narrative read "Stabbed himself to death with 42 knife wounds and then placed the daggers across his chest. He seemed depressed having heard of his fathers death"
If you were attempting suicide on a ship what would you do?
 Cause of Death, Suicide, was not an unusual entry in Merchant ships logbooks. An easy answer to arkward questions.
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Willow 4873 on Friday 26 October 12 15:03 BST (UK)
From an official ships logbook entry  which recorded the death of a merchant seaman as suicide.
The narrative read "Stabbed himself to death with 42 knife wounds and then placed the daggers across his chest. He seemed depressed having heard of his fathers death"
If you were attempting suicide on a ship what would you do?
 Cause of Death, Suicide, was not an unusual entry in Merchant ships logbooks. An easy answer to arkward questions.

And how many of those 42 wounds were in his back? sounds like someone litrally got away with murder on that ship!

Willow x
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Pippakit on Sunday 28 October 12 11:19 GMT (UK)
This is from my boyfriend's family, the information was recorded in the church register:

“George Harding, 17, son of Eli and Sarah Harding accidentally killed by his head being jammed between the wheel of a cart, which he was driving, and a gate post.”  Date 1820.

Poor George.
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: hulme-griff on Tuesday 06 November 12 00:30 GMT (UK)
I have death certs for twin girls who died 4 days apart in 1899 from Marasmus Exhaustion. The second child died on the day her sister was buried.
Not so much unusual as very sad.
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Suzy W on Tuesday 06 November 12 19:41 GMT (UK)
My lot must be accident prone. ::)

Attacked by cows in paddock (lived)
Slipped off wharf hit head and drowned
Kicked in head by horse died 3 months later
Arm jammed in rock crushing belt, died soon after.
Little two year old.. drunk acid, died within half a hour :-[
Teething :o

Suzy W

Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Willow 4873 on Wednesday 07 November 12 09:36 GMT (UK)
I have death certs for twin girls who died 4 days apart in 1899 from Marasmus Exhaustion. The second child died on the day her sister was buried.
Not so much unusual as very sad.

I've had baptisms where the child has been baptised the day the mother was buried (obviously having died in childbirth)

Willow xx
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: GrahamSimons on Wednesday 07 November 12 10:30 GMT (UK)
From my great-aunt's memoirs:

John [Simons], and in his family the ‘tragic death’ certainly ruled. He died on the night of his eldest daughter’s wedding to Moneykyrle. A bridesmaid’s muslin dress caught fire and in putting it out he died. Ada Moneykyrle’s two baby sons were left by their governess playing by the banks of the Severn when she went to the house for a moment; when she came back they were drowned. Kyrle Simons in service in India rode 200 miles to greet his wife coming down from the hills, reined up outside the station and dropped dead. They were a most unlucky family.


The "baby sons" wasn't quite true, as they were 11 and 17 at the time; I've confirmed Kyrle's death; John's not yet confirmed from the records. But her last sentence rings true!
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: ann255 on Wednesday 07 November 12 12:06 GMT (UK)
I have death certs for twin girls who died 4 days apart in 1899 from Marasmus Exhaustion. The second child died on the day her sister was buried.
Not so much unusual as very sad.
Just looked up what marasmus is - says malnutrition.
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: hulme-griff on Wednesday 07 November 12 14:19 GMT (UK)
I've had baptisms where the child has been baptised the day the mother was buried (obviously having died in childbirth)
Willow xx

I have a cousin who was bought up by our grandparents because his mother died in childbirth, very sad.
Griff

Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: hulme-griff on Wednesday 07 November 12 14:27 GMT (UK)
Just looked up what marasmus is - says malnutrition.
The twin's mother was 41 when she had them and had a daughter at the end of the previous year which survived, perhaps the twins were premature and couldn't feed. they were 14 and 18 days old at death.
Griff
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: hulme-griff on Wednesday 07 November 12 14:51 GMT (UK)
Another Tragic death in the family was a great aunt's son (can never work out what relationship to me he would have been)
on the death cert it says misadventure, knocked down by a train while walking on the Permanent Way.
As it was 1942 and he was a soldier on leave it makes me wonder what he must have been through.
Griff
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Willow 4873 on Wednesday 07 November 12 14:55 GMT (UK)
One of my mum's cousins was killed walking his dog by the tracks - the dog was still sat by him when they found him. Their son died young and his wife later drank herself to death poor lady

Willow x
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: hulme-griff on Wednesday 07 November 12 15:02 GMT (UK)
One of my mum's cousins was killed walking his dog by the tracks - the dog was still sat by him when they found him. Their son died young and his wife later drank herself to death poor lady

Willow x
Thats so sad, this genealogy lark has certainly been an eye opener since I started. 
Griff
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Pippakit on Thursday 08 November 12 07:26 GMT (UK)
Another one from my family, my great granddad's brother in August 1867:

"George Brewer, aged nine years, on Monday last was near a thrashing machine at work at Butterdon Farm, when both his legs were cut in the machine. The left leg, which was much injured, had to be amputated, and the right leg, which was broken, was set by Dr. Hingston. The boy, however, died on Wednesday".
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Billyblue on Friday 09 November 12 10:13 GMT (UK)
Just looked up what marasmus is - says malnutrition.

Marasmus is SEVERE malnutrition.  You can be malnourished and still walking around.
But babies and old people can get very severe malnutrition from which they don't recover.

Dawn M
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: kevinf2349 on Friday 09 November 12 18:07 GMT (UK)
While researching a relative I found this one.

Quote
GENERAL NEWS.others. Maggie McDonald, an Edinburgh girl has met death by being struck on the head with a flower-box, which felt from the window of a house on the third floor.


Ouch!
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Churchie on Tuesday 20 November 12 09:58 GMT (UK)
How about indigestion - 81 days duration....
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Willow 4873 on Tuesday 20 November 12 10:27 GMT (UK)
Surely that was mis-diagnosed and it was heart trouble?!

Willow x
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: johnxyz on Tuesday 20 November 12 11:32 GMT (UK)
I'm feeling in a macabre mood, so can I add:

Seven relatives in one village in the late 1700s with "Distemper. Mortification in his / her  bowels" and similar.

 
"Accidentally crushed in the forehatch of the Mabel Grace by a collision with the Norwegian Steam Packet Lisa"  - that one made The Times.


and one totally unconnected to me, a burial  taken from the parish records of Alstonfield, Staffordshire:

1658 Dec 27 Buried. Widowe Baylie, a poor woman of Sheen who coming from Lee Hall on Christmas Day in the forenoon was drowned in the Dove, in the foard at the Load End; she ryding behind her daughter, the watter being verie bigge her head sweed and fell backward in the watter, and was carried down neare to the Milne before she was taken out.

Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: mirl on Tuesday 20 November 12 11:53 GMT (UK)
I have a female relative who was starved to death by her father and step-mother as proven in a court of law.
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: GrahamSimons on Tuesday 20 November 12 19:23 GMT (UK)
Stirling Observer 26 September 1844

JAMES SCOTT, accused of culpable homicide, "in so far as, on the 25th day of July, 1844, Dewar & Co , coach proprietors in Stirling, having started a new coach for the conveyance of goods and passengers between Stirling and Alloa Ferry, by a road on the south side of the river Forth, the said James Scott did wickedly, culpably and recklessly drive the said stage coach at so rapid and furious a pace, that, at or near Poppletrees Pow, the said stage coach was upset, and thereby William Jaffray, farmer, Skeoch, was thrown off, and in consequence of the concussion, was so grievously bruised and otherwise injured that he soon thereafter died." The prisoner pleaded not guilty. A new Jury having been empanelled, the case went to trial.

There follows what seems to be a verbatim report of the trial.

Lord Wood, at great length, summed up the evidence; and the Jury, after retiring for a quarter of an hour, returned a verdict finding, by a majority of the panel guilty, but without intent to injure, and strongly recommending him to the leniency of the Court. Sentence, 1 month's imprisonment in the county jail of Clackmannan.

William Jaffray was my great-great-grandfather.
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Les de B on Wednesday 21 November 12 06:39 GMT (UK)
Here is a transcript of an 1831 letter regarding the death of my wife's 4 x g grandfather. The letter was written by the daughter, my wife's 3 x g grandmother. An interesting last sentence.

Les

========

My poor father was in great pain on the 10th June (1831), and had been so for a month. A physician was sent for and he advised him to have his right leg amputated as mortification had begun, and death was certain. Three doctors were called and they said it would give him a chance and the operation would not be so much as his sufferings were in one day. He wished to be done Monday 13th June at ½ past 3 o’clock. I came to town every day and sat by his bed side. On the 14th I said, “Father are you sorry you had your leg taken off?”. He said, “No, I am very glad as I am in no pain and I leave myself entirely to God. His will be done”.

We all had hopes of his recovery, and he appeared to be doing well and felt quite easy, although I am sure he knew he would not get better. On Friday 17th the doctors examined his stump and pronounced a continuation of mortification and death in a few hours. He asked for us all. My mother had to be sent for. He could not speak at 2 o’clock, but was quite sensible till the last moment. He took us all by the hand and a minute before he departed he took his night cap off and waved it three times and threw it away as much to say, “I am going – farewell”.
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Geoff-E on Wednesday 21 November 12 16:17 GMT (UK)
Phlebitis 2 months
Mortification 22 days
Septicaemia 4 hours

 :(
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: hulme-griff on Wednesday 21 November 12 22:34 GMT (UK)
I came across the court case of a famly member I was reseaching where he was aquitted from court for killing a man that ran out in front of his horse and cart, the cart wheel ran over his head
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Michelle79 on Wednesday 21 November 12 23:50 GMT (UK)
When I started researching I was warned by my aunt that I'd probably get upset when I came across any child deaths and she wasn't wrong.

The first I came across was my GG Grandmother's first child Minnie who was born 28th November 1881, unfortunately she died on the 18th December 1881 at just 3 weeks old.  If that wasn't sad enough when I got the death certificate and found the cause of death I was shocked, it was listed as 'want od breast milk'.  I know that this could have been caused by a number of things, i doubt the child was starved on purpose, plus there was no inquest.

At the time my GG Grandmother was not married but she did go onto marry the father of Minnie on the 26th December 1881 and between 1881 and 1903 had another 13 children, as far as I am aware only 2 more of these died in early childhood, but I haven't traced all of their deaths yet.

The family does seem to have alot of heartache, my GG Grandmother's 3rd child Dinah lived to the age of 26 but died on the 11th March 1911 in childbirth.  I found the newspaper report of the inquest which was held and it stated she died of a heamorage, the midwife that was arranged to attend the birth was ill and could not come and the inquest said that she may have survived if she had had medical attention sooner.  The baby did survive and was named Dinah after her mother.

Not long after on the 24th July 1912 my GG Grandmother lost her second child John Thomas who was 29 years old.  The title of the newspaper report of the inquest was ' 'Died after eating salmon' after reading the whole story it wasn't anything that strange he actually had a stomach ulcer that burst.

I am sure that there will be plenty more interesting but sad deaths in the family, and I look forward to finding them.

Michelle
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: steensb on Thursday 22 November 12 00:52 GMT (UK)
I recently discovered that my grandfather may have been married before he married my grandmother.  If it was him, he was driving his Model-T with his young bride (18 yrs old).  The car went into an unmarked 12 foot deep pit in the road.  The young woman went through the windshield.  A shard of glass cut her throat and she bled to death.    So tragic.

Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: BenRalph on Sunday 09 June 19 06:54 BST (UK)
I've got a few that are sad.

My ggg granddad Samuel Sutcliffe committed suicide by drinking laudunum (spelling?). He was depressed about being out of work at around 60 years old. His youngest son and wife found him in bed.

Mark Kirby died in an accident whilst building the railway between Leeds and Thirsk (I think. I'm going from memory with these). He was crushed and died later the same day.

My partner's gg granddad, Martin McNulty, died after a horse and cart ran over his foot, chopping his toes off. I assume he bled to death.

Also her Britton family had 3 brothers go to war and all three dying in 1917. One in Jan, one in Aug and her g granddad in Sept. That must have been horrible for their wives, children and their parents.
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Fisherman on Sunday 09 June 19 09:54 BST (UK)
One of my lot,  Miles Corbet, met his end in a very public way - on the gallows at Tyburn in 1662. His crime, he signed Charles I'd death warrant!
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: andrewalston on Sunday 09 June 19 13:06 BST (UK)
Browsing the registers of Daresbury, Cheshire a couple of years ago, I came across a burial entry in 1915:
"Legs of Charles William Roberts taken from canal at Keckwick other portion of Body Buried at Dunham Massey in Altrincham. Late of 2 Dobson St, Warrington"

The person concerned had joined up two months previously, and appeared to be in a disturbed state. He had not returned to barracks after a short leave.

The upper part of his body was found several miles away, where he was not known. An inquest at Dunham Massey gave a verdict of "Found drowned". It was the army boots found two days later which led to his identification.

The inquest jury recorded a verdict of "Found dead" and added that there was no evidence of the date, cause or place of his death, thus sparing the family from the stigma of suicide.
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: goldnutmeg on Sunday 09 June 19 19:17 BST (UK)
Oh dear, I even had a newspaper reporter while reporting the inquest concur it was a ‘very peculiar death’.

The family mood - mood because details were scarce - my great grandfather was ‘done in’ financially by some ‘cousins’ and an iron foundry and he ran off to ‘North America’ where he died ignominiously.

My grandfather who was six at the time never spoke of him to us but his wife my Gran had gleaned some of the story. 

The details when I uncovered the paperwork may suggest the mood in the family could have been correct. I was lucky enough to get both newspaper reports and the full papers of a rather dubious inquest. Hence the reporter’s doubts but he obviously had to squash all those when the verdict came in as ‘suicide’.

My ggrandfather seems indeed to have invested in a business venture with cousins and sailed off to Canada where he went to the office of some cousins of cousins, who ran a scrap metal firm, in a supposedly hysterical state where for some reason he left his fob watch in their safe.

He then went back to his lodgings with a tailor and his family. They apparently left him alone for a few minutes and when they came back - he had slashed his throat and cut his wrists.

Oh, yes, and did I mention some of the cousins of cousins were on the inquest jury?

I did trace a descendant of the tailor who was intrigued and astonished - there is no evidence that the tailor and family did anything but give him lodgings and may have been willing to offer him a job so there was no discomfort there!

I showed some of the paperwork separately during social ‘dos’ to an academic historian specialising in emigration and then a professional genealogist. The academic furrowed his brow and said ‘Hmm, something’s not quite right about this ...’. The genealogist put it rather more succinctly, ‘It stinks!’ 1901 was a year of financial crashes but the clincher may have been the final sentence of the first newspaper report of the inquest before the verdict came in, ‘When the police found the body, it was still warm.’

Still, I know exactly where the slashes were on my ggrandfather’s body from the inquest pathology report, although we do feel we are entitled to wonder how he managed to slash his throat with a deep cut and then slash his wrists ...  :o  :o :o  :-\
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: kevinf2349 on Sunday 09 June 19 20:10 BST (UK)
May not be classed as unusual but it is certain mystifying. I have a relative who was hit by a train while crossing the tracks. It is strange because the local newspaper at the time have her name wrong and she is listed with a different occupation but I am sure it is the same person.

I know that we are probably more aware of dangers these days but how do you miss a dirty great stream engine coming towards you?  :-\

Kevin
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: goldnutmeg on Sunday 09 June 19 21:58 BST (UK)
May not be classed as unusual but it is certain mystifying. I have a relative who was hit by a train while crossing the tracks. It is strange because the local newspaper at the time have her name wrong and she is listed with a different occupation but I am sure it is the same person.

I know that we are probably more aware of dangers these days but how do you miss a dirty great stream engine coming towards you?  :-\

Kevin

Funnily enough, I forgot to put in the newspaper also spelt my ggrandfather’s name wrong although it was still a plausible surname ... I know I was very lucky that the inquest papers are still in existence. Have you managed to find any other sources, Kevin?
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: kevinf2349 on Sunday 09 June 19 22:37 BST (UK)

Funnily enough, I forgot to put in the newspaper also spelt my ggrandfather’s name wrong although it was still a plausible surname ... I know I was very lucky that the inquest papers are still in existence. Have you managed to find any other sources, Kevin?

I wrote for the inquest papers but nobody seems to have them. It was over a hundred years ago and the local authorities have changed hands many many times since then so I guess that is a dead -end (if you pardon the pun).

I may try again soon but as I am in the US and the death was in England it may take a while.

Kevin
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: goldnutmeg on Sunday 09 June 19 22:47 BST (UK)
I think it’s rare to obtain inquest papers in the UK. I was very lucky to obtain the papers from Montreal and it was then I saw who the jurors were!!! Otherwise I wouldn’t have realised how ‘peculiar’ the case was! Do you have a hunch about this? Was she married?


Funnily enough, I forgot to put in the newspaper also spelt my ggrandfather’s name wrong although it was still a plausible surname ... I know I was very lucky that the inquest papers are still in existence. Have you managed to find any other sources, Kevin?

I wrote for the inquest papers but nobody seems to have them. It was over a hundred years ago and the local authorities have changed hands many many times since then so I guess that is a dead -end (if you pardon the pun).

I may try again soon but as I am in the US and the death was in England it may take a while.

Kevin
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: kevinf2349 on Sunday 09 June 19 22:57 BST (UK)
I think it’s rare to obtain inquest papers in the UK. I was very lucky to obtain the papers from Montreal and it was then I saw who the jurors were!!! Otherwise I wouldn’t have realised how ‘peculiar’ the case was! Do you have a hunch about this? Was she married?


No she was only 16 at the time of death. Her father died in the Battle of the Somme in 1915 so it must have been awful for the family. Her DC states that she was a slag works labourer, but she is listed on a plaque as being a munitions worker!

Kevin
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: barryd on Monday 10 June 19 01:49 BST (UK)
Charles Triggs - 1857- Died of Erysipelas - A contagious skin disease also called Saint Anthony's Fire (from its burning heat) and Peritonitis - inflammation of the peritoneum (a membrane that surrounds the abdominal organs). The kind and considerate parish  then tried to throw his widow and children out of the parish. She fought them and won. Good for her.

Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Viktoria on Monday 10 June 19 10:59 BST (UK)
Not certain but there were some harsh rules re Parish relief,people who were destitute could ask for help but were a drain on the funds so were moved on to the next parish and then the next.As long as they did not stay in “ my backyard”!
Not sure where the funds came from, church or donors, probably some from
local gentry .
Hard times.
Viktoria.
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: coombs on Monday 10 June 19 16:47 BST (UK)
In November 1886 my 3xgreat grandmother died of erysipelas, chronic bronchitis and pericarditis. Ouch, sounds painful. She lived in a central London tenement building so no doubt the pollution of the time and the squalid conditions made her ill. She had previously been more well off but the family lost a lot of their business in a beer house in Walworth in the 1870s.
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: stonechat on Monday 10 June 19 22:11 BST (UK)
Not certain but there were some harsh rules re Parish relief,people who were destitute could ask for help but were a drain on the funds so were moved on to the next parish and then the next.As long as they did not stay in “ my backyard”!
Not sure where the funds came from, church or donors, probably some from
local gentry .
Hard times.
Viktoria.

No they were not moved on endlessly but to where they were thought to "belong"
Title: Re: Unusual causes of death
Post by: Viktoria on Monday 10 June 19 22:49 BST (UK)
For some people to get to the places they were thought to belong,there could be distances of many miles.
Would they not be classed as vagrants?
What help would they get along the way on a journey of perhaps months?
That they would not be welcome anywhere is pretty certain as they were a drain on the parish funds.
I remember our history teacher telling us that they were not really welcome
at workhouses and the conditions to discourage people from going into workhorses there meant they were often worse than conditions outside.
And that meant starvation levels .
But there was some reform so just above starvation conditions .
So that would be nice!
Isn’t it shocking ,Dickens wrote so graphically about it all.
Viktoria.