Today's Special

By Connections

A Rose for My Great-Uncle

It's been a good day:
-- I had a great "Silver Sneakers" class at the Y, leaving me feeling energized and well-exercised.
-- I found the perfect pepper mill at a local shop to replace our ancient, broken one.
-- Phil picked another couple of pints of delicious blackberries over the back fence.
-- I pulled supper together quickly from bits and bobs in the fridge.
-- And I spent several fascinating hours this afternoon looking up the death certificates of some of my Virginia ancestors.

The Virginia Department of Health Office of Vital Records now houses over seven million records of births, marriages, divorces, and deaths. I couldn't find death certificates for all of my kinfolk from that state, but I found quite a few. 

It's fascinating to read the causes of death; my favorite was that for my bachelor great-uncle J.W. St. Clair, known to the extended family as "Tot." He was born in August 1878 and died in November 1976 at age 98 of "Ravages of old age," according to his death certificate. As far as I knew, he spent his entire life at "Battlemont," the beautiful, large brick farmhouse where my grandmother grew up, and where Tot had several rooms filled with books.  

I remember "Tot" well, and treasure my extra photo today of the two of us, taken about 1967 -- don't I look demure in that homemade dress?

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