Sunday, March 31, 2013

Fearless Females: What happened to…..Part 2

Lisa Alzo at The Accidental Genealogist launched a series of 31 blogging prompts for celebrating and honoring the "fearless females" in our family trees in March, 2010. This year the series is being revisited in honor of National Women’s History Month and the purpose is to focus on the women in our lives and to make sure their stories are told.

Today’s prompt is from March 11, part 2: Did you have any female ancestors who died young or from tragic or unexpected circumstances? Describe and how did this affect the family?

One of my favorite subjects has been my 3rd great grandfather, Emery Waller.  Besides being a favorite, Emery has brought me several new cousins and for someone who comes from a very small family, getting to know these cousins has been a lot of fun (Sarah, we MUST meet in real life soon!).  Emery also brings me a Fearless Female – his first wife, Rebecca Parker.

Based on the age shown on Rebecca’s gravestone, she was born on 10 Oct 1814.  I don’t know much about Rebecca except that she was married to Emery in Hamilton County, Ohio on 31 Jan 1833 by F.N. Skillman, Justice of the Peace.


Emery and Rebecca’s first child, Mary Ann, was born shortly thereafter, sometime in 1833.  By 1838, another daughter, Caroline, would join the family.  The 1840 census shows them in Liberty, Butler County, Ohio.  It appears that another daughter, Sarah, was born in 1842 and then things changed for this family. 

On 7 Feb 1845, Rebecca gave birth to her fourth daughter, my second great grandmother, and what should have been a happy occasion was anything but.  Six days later, on 13 Feb 1845, Rebecca Parker Waller was dead.  At 30 years, 4 months, and 5 days she was gone, leaving Emery alone with four daughters.  The fourth daughter was named Rebecca Moriah, most likely in memory of her mother.  Rebecca Parker Waller is buried in Plum Run Cemetery, Warren County, Ohio.

Rebecca Parker Waller
Memory of Rebecca
Consort of E L Waller.
She departed this Life
February 13, 1845; Aged 30 Years, 4 months, and 5 days
Look at this as you pas by, as you are now so once was I, as I am now so you must be. For death and follow me.
Life for Emery and the girls was about to change dramatically.  How would he care for these young children?  What would he do?  Why, he would remarry and his new wife would care for them.  And that’s just what he did.  On either 22 Jul or 23 Jul 1845, Emery and Clarinda Meeker were married.  I’ve found reference to several different names for Clarinda so it could be that Meeker was Clarinda’s married name.




By 1850 the family had moved to Clinton, Illinois, and the two oldest girls, Mary Ann and Caroline, were living with Emery’s parents, Salmon and Amelia Waller, just two doors from Emery and Clarinda.  Emery and Clarinda had added two more daughters, Elizabeth (b. 1846) and Nancy Hannah (b. 1848) to the family.

The 1860 census finds the family in Santa Ana, Illinois and while more children had joined the family, some had left.  Living in the household were Rebecca, Elizabeth, Nancy Hannah, George (b. 1855), and Minnie (b. 1857).  Mary Ann and Caroline were now married and living nearby.  But Sarah was gone, and daughter Alice, who was born in 1851, was also gone.  And somewhere along the line, “Sons Waller”, the sons of Rev. E.L. Waller and C. Waller, were born and died as they are buried in McGraw Cemetery in Clinton, Illinois.  Emery and Clarinda had been married for 40 years when Clarinda died in 1885 and, once again, Emery buried his wife.

The family was forever changed on 13 Feb 1845 when Rebecca Parker Waller, wife of Emery Waller, the mother of four young daughters, and my 3rd great grandmother, died.  


  1. I'm assuming Rebecca died of "childbed disease." Is that right? I read online that it was usually caused by the doctor himself from unsanitary practices.

    1. I assume so, Wendy, although I'll never know for sure.

  2. What a lovely headstone. And very comprehensive with the age in months and days too. I don't think I have seen this before.