Last week, I blogged about my grandmother, Mary Anne Bowman Percival. She was born in Lexington, Missouri in 1893 and died August 11, 1938 in Sault Ste Marie, Michigan. Yeah, it was a long way from Lexington, Missouri.
She married John Stearns Percival on March 3, 1920. They had two sons.
In the late 1920's my grandfather, a civil engineer, took a job in Detroit. He was a supervisor on the Detroit Water Intake Tunnel project.
They were a long way from home in the 1930's during the Great Depression. Dad said things were really hard for his parents, and when in the mid 1930's things started to get better, they started to take trips again.
They were on their way to "The Soo" when my grandmother took ill. Grandpa left his two sons, ages 13 and 17 in St. Ignace and took his wife to War Memorial Hospital in Sault Ste Marie, Michigan. The next day he retrieved his sons, so they could see their mother before she died.
Fast forward to 1986, conversation between me and dad.
"Dad, what did your mother die from."
"She died of female trouble."
No kidding. That is what he told me. As someone who suffered from "female trouble," I thought "No one dies from female trouble while on vacation."
A simple written request and $5 to the Chippewa county Clerk's office netted me the real story. Mary died of a bowel obstruction. Not female problems.
So while it is imperative to ask your relatives all the questions they will answer, don't take everything for gospel truth. Memories are highly imperfect.
Of course, that death record wasn't without errors, either. It had her father as Frank Bowerman.
Copyright 2010, (ACK) for Gene Notes