|Mabel McAboy Fitzgerald|
Mabel and her husband, Edward Fitzgerald, lived in Fresno near both sets of grandparents so we were fortunate to have them both in our lives until I was about 12 years old. Plus my grandmother, Mabel and Edward's daughter, told me that her grandmother was named Rebecca the day she learned that our daughter had been given the middle name of Rebecca. Who knew that almost 36 years later that name would become so important to my story?
Over the last year I've been researching Emery's clan and everything has pointed to his wife, Clarinda Meeker (or Epesson) as the mother of my 2nd great grandmother, Rebecca. Every public tree I'd seen on ancestry.com, every census, every THING pointed to Clarinda as Rebecca's mother. But was she born Meeker or Epesson?
As I continued with my search, I was able to locate a marriage record for Emery and Clarinda from July, 1845. That was a bit confusing, though, as their daughter, Rebecca, was born February 7, 1845. While I know it's possible that Rebecca was born prior to their marriage, it just wasn't adding up.
Until I went back to Family Search and found this.....
Yes, that's right. Emery Waller married Rebecca Parker on January 31, 1833 in Hamilton County, Ohio!
What happened to that marriage? Was this Rebecca the mother and namesake of "my" Rebecca? What about Clarinda? I had so many questions I didn't know where to start.
Which led me to the Warren County Historical Society in Ohio. "My" Rebecca was born in Warren County and the marriage record for Emery and Clarinda was there. A very nice researcher answered my call and quickly agreed to do some research for me for a nominal fee. And this is what he told me the other day:
Well I have, what I feel, is some very good news. I have found the burial site of "Rebecca Waller consort of E.L." she died on Feb. 13 1845 at the age of 30 years 4 months and 3 days. The date of her death has her die 6 days after your great great grandmother was born on Feb. 7 1845. She, in all probability, died as a result of the complicated birth of your great great grandmother who was named Rebecca in honor of her mother.
I am prepared to send you the cemetery records and copies of modern and historic maps of of the cemetery's location. I also have the marriage record of Emery and Clarinda five months after Rebecca's death.
WOW! Rebecca Parker was my 3rd great grandmother! This woman lost her life because she gave life. So now the name Rebecca has even more meaning for me.
Poor Emery must have been devastated. Here he was left with an infant (and, perhaps, a toddler as there may have been an older child) and he turned to Clarinda. Together they had five more children and Clarinda must have cared for all of them by herself while Emery was away at war.
It's amazing how a little detail like this changes everything. My mind can't stop thinking about those fateful days in February, 1845. The complete joy of bringing a new life into the world followed almost immediately by the grief of losing a wife/mother/daughter/sister. And then the new chapter that began just five months later with the marriage of Emery and Clarinda.
While I've not received the cemetery information from Warren County yet, I did find Rebecca's memorial at Findagrave and have contacted the memorial manager in order to update the information. I hope there's not a lot of drama with that :-(
And that's how I found a new great great great grandmother!