Saturday, 9 March 2013

Fearless Females 2013: Day 9: Family Documents


Take a family document (baptismal certificate, passenger list, naturalization petition, etc.) and write a brief narrative using the information.

Rame Head, Cornwall
Emma Elizabeth DUNSTONE was christened on 4 June 1837 in Rame, Cornwall, and married Charles Henry CHASE in 1855.  I still have to find out what happened to Charles Henry, because on 29 July 1860 in Stoke Damerel, Devon, she married John Dunstone AVERY, her cousin. Maybe Charles Henry died? did Emma Elizabeth take her small sons with her (one, Charles Russell CHASE, had only been born in the April-May-June quarter, so he might have been as young as one month old when his mother remarried).  They do not any of them appear in the 1861 census.

And then, her story becomes fairly uneventful - at least, as far as the census records can tell.  Until the 1891 census, when her husband John described himself as a widower, so I thought that Emma had died - then in the 1901 census, Emma was mysteriously back from the dead, and John was missing. After much research, and even more miracles, I found that in 1891 Emma had actually been in the County Lunatic Asylum in Bodmin - and, in 1901, her husband John was there instead!

Bodmin Lunatic Asylum © Peter Higginbotham
 Emma was committed to the Asylum in 1889 for being homicidal, sometimes refusing food, and having 'her bedroom all in disorder'.  After seven years in the Asylum, all she was given were tonics, she appeared better, and was discharged on 3 June 1896.  (BTW, her husband was then admitted with head injuries, and died three years later.  More exciting research beckons...)

Millbrook, Cornwall


Emma went on to live with her daughter, another Emma, and son-in-law Samuel HAYWOOD at 32 West Street, Millbrook, Cornwall.  She died on 21 April 1915 of heart disease and dropsy in Kingsand, Cornwall.






Once again, in honour of National Women’s History Month, Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist blog presents Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month.  I know this is really US-centric - but that's not going to stop me honouring my own Fearless Females...  

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