Wednesday, April 1, 2015

"Baby Henn"


Climbing My Family Tree, "Baby Henn" 1904-1904
In the public domain


About a week ago in my NoteWorthy Reads #7 post I told you all of the new death certificate databases added and being added to SeekingMichigan.org via a post from the No Story Too Small blog (they will cover 1921-1952, which will bring their death certificate coverage to 1897-1952). You can download and keep a digital image of the death certificate for free. It's a wonderful resource!

Even though I have other genealogy tasks I should be doing I could not ignore this "Bright Shiny Object", and spent the other night looking for death certificates for my Henn ancestors. So far I've found one for my 2nd-great-grandfather John Henn, his daughters Ella May [Esper] and Olive [Kreiner], and John's nephew John Philip Henn who came to Michigan when he was 15 to live and work with my 2nd-great-grandfather. There were one or two interesting revelations contained therein that I will save for another day.

My most unexpected and saddest find was a death certificate for "Baby Henn," who was the second son, and third child, of my great-grandparents, Owen James Henn and Myrtie Wilcox Henn. His name was Earl Owen Henn. He was born on October 29, 1904 and died less than two months later, on December 20, 1904.

Climbing My Family Tree: Death Certificate for "Baby Henn" (Earl Owen Henn, 1904 - 1904)
Death Certificate for "Baby Henn" (Earl Owen Henn, 1904 - 1904)
Found at SeekingMichigan.org
Click to make bigger.

He was one month, twenty days old. The Medical Certificate of the cause of death indicated that he "died very suddenly" at 5:00 A.M. on December 20,  1904. In the blanks for 'Disease Causing Death' and 'Immediate Cause of Death,' Dr. J. E. Campbell wrote "hard to say positively, most probably heart trouble of some kind." Earl Owen was buried the next day in the South Burnside Cemetery, in Burnside, Michigan, The Undertaker was W.R. Elliott. The Reporter who certified the information given was correct was the child's grandfather, John Henn.

That must have been a very sad Christmas.

Rest in peace, little one, and all those who loved you.


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