Have you ever come across something in your research that was so unexpected you were shocked by it? There have been several things over the years, that really surprised me. One was that my step-grandma was married at the age of fourteen for the first time. And divorced. And let her husband who was ten years older have custody of the little boy. And the ink was barely dry on her divorce when three months later she married hubby number two. Two years later she divorced him. And then married him again the next month! So it wasn't surprising at all to find out that she married a fourth time to someone who was a bigamist. And almost as an anticlimax, married my grandfather, her last husband. All of that was somewhat shocking.
Today, while working on Massachusetts death certificates, I came across a death record for someone who died from mortification. After some research, I found what I think is the answer, and it shocks me even more. I doubt the woman worked in a match factory, since an occupation was not found on her death record; so the other possible cause would be self-flagellation.
I think this appalls me more than the relative who was shot to death in his own home; or the relatives who were run over by trains.
Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes