Sunday, July 31, 2016

SNGF: Female Ancestors' Age at Death

This week’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun (okay, so I’m a day late) from Randy Seaver is to review your pedigree chart and determine the age at death of your female ancestors back at least 5 generations.  You can read about it HERE

What’s interesting about this exercise is that I’ve actually given it quite a bit of thought as when my mother died at the age of 84, I thought back to her mother, and her mother, and her mother and I thought they were all about the same age.  It made me realize that I’d really like to go from age 83 to about age 85 and just bypass those ages altogether. 

So an added exercise for me was to identify the ages of those women, in addition to five generations.

My mother, Geraldine (Martin) Levy, died 15 days before her 85th birthday.  So 84 years old.

Her mother, Clara (Fitzgerald) Martin Hunter, died at the age of 84.  Uh-oh.

Gerry & Clara
Geraldine (Martin) Levy & Clara (Fitzgerald) Martin Hunter
Clara’s mother, Mabel (McAboy) Fitzgerald, died at the age of 83 years, 5 months.

Mabel McAboy 1
Mabel (McAboy) Fitzgerald
Mabel’s mother, Rebecca (Waller), died at the age of 83 years, 2 months.
Rebecca Moriah Waller 1920
Rebecca (Waller) McAboy

See?  I’m turning 83 and then poof – I’m gonna be 85! 

Okay, so back to the original exercise.  Some of my math might not look correct as I took into account the age at their last birthday.

Geraldine (Martin) Levy – 1928-2013 – 84 years

Clara Maxine (Fitzgerald) Martin Hunter – 1903-1987 – 84 years
Mildred Loraine (Gunzendorfer) Levy – 1896-1982 – 86 years

Great Grandmothers
Mabel Viola (McAboy) Fitzgerald – 1883-1966 – 83 years
Frances Maria (Brooks) Martin – 1860-1936 – 75 years
Bertha (Schwartz) Gunzendorfer – 1872-1950 – 78 years
Goldie (Benas) Levy – 1864-1926 – 62 years

2nd Great Grandmothers
Rebecca (Waller) McAboy – 1845-1928 – 83 years
Julia (Horgan) Fitzgerald – 1849-1886 – 37 years
Sarah (Miller) Brooks Anderson – 1836-1923 – 86 years
Rebecca (Steen) Schwartz – 1848-1918 – 70 years
Fannie (Goldstein) Gunzendorfer – 1848-1910 – 62 years
Fredericka (Wilzinski) Benas – 1840-1915 – 75 years
Millicent (Moore) Martin – 1827-1884 – 56 years
Unknown ( ) Levy

3rd Great Grandmothers
Rebecca (Parker) Waller – 1814-1845 – 30 years
Margaret (Finley) Miller – 1812-1884 – 72 years
Monima (Williams) Brooks – 1801-1867 – 66 years
Hannah (Plotzkey) Steen – 1828-1909 – 80 years
Margaret (Callahn) Horgan – Unknown
Sarah (Frankel) Goldstein – 1838-1897 – 59 years
Sarah (Mann) McAboy – 1825-1910 – 85 years
Margaret (Cullen) Fitzgerald – Unknown
Amelia (Jackson) Wilzinski – 1816-1902 – 86 years
Elizabeth (McDaniel) Moore – 1808-1867 – 59 years
Tabitha (Rodgers) Martin – 1800-1860 – 60 years
Unknown x 5

The female ancestor to live the longest was Sarah Jane (Miller) Brooks Anderson at 31,586 days.  Sarah’s first husband (and my 2nd great grandfather) was killed in the Battle of Fredericksburg and at one point she moved across country from South Carolina to California – what stories she would have had!

A close runner-up was my grandmother whom I’ve written so much about, Mildred Loraine (Gunzendorfer) Levy at 31,519 days.  Besides my parents, I probably know more about her than any other ancestor.

The ancestor to live the least amount of time was Rebecca (Parker) Waller, my 3rd great grandmother.  Rebecca died at the age of 30, within days of giving birth to my 2nd great Grandmother, Rebecca (Waller) McAboy.

The average age of the 23 women I know the age for at the time of their death was about 70 years old.

It sure is hard to see how many of these women died at an age younger than I am today.  But I’m not dwelling on that, at least not until I get to be 83 years old!


  1. "Rebecca died at the age of 30, within days of giving birth to my 2nd great Grandmother, Rebecca (Waller) McAboy."
    Debi, Rebecca Parker Waller was my wife's (Terri) 4th great grandmother. Is it a given she died due to complications of childbirth?

    1. I think it's as close to certain as we'll ever be. Read my blog post about her here.

  2. Wow, that's spooky! Maybe you can skip from 83 to 85. Or maybe there is some comfort knowing how much medicine will improve before you get there!

    1. Sadly, 83 is getting closer and closer for me.

  3. I think we are about the same age---you may be even younger, and I am hoping that 83 is WAY FAR OFF for me! (Almost 20 years anyway)