Honoring Ancestors who died too young: Ruth Kaiser

Ruth is not exactly an ancestor of mine, but I have heard about Ruth since I was a little girl.  Ruth was my grandfather’s first wife.  He was married to her a little over a year when she died.

Ruth was born Ruth Muzzey on September 5, 1898 in DeKalb, DeKalb, Illinois.  She married Fred Kaiser on October 28, 1920 in Chicago, Cook, Illinois.  She died November 8, 1921.  According to her death certificate she died of Eclampsia (seizures and coma that happen during pregnancy but are not due to pre-existing or organic brain disorders), pregnancy and uremic coma.  Secondary condition was Pyebitis Pyonephrosis.

I had to look these medical terms up to understand what exactly happened.  From what I can deduce is that she had a pre-existing kidney condition before becoming pregnant.  According to her death certificate the doctor treated her for Pyebitis Pyonephrosis (a kidney condition) for 11 months and 20 days.  I remember my grandmother saying that Ruth was told that she should not get pregnant, but she did and it caused her death.  The death certificate also states that the doctor treated her for the Eclampsia and pregnancy from September 1 though November 8, 1921.  A Cesarean Section was preformed prior to death.  It does not say how far along she was in her pregnancy.

Once again, I felt for my grandfather.  In April of 1919 he lost his brother to Influenza, then 2 ½ years later he loses his wife and child.  It seems like more than one could bear.

Then I wondered about Ruth’s family, her parents, brothers and sisters.  I never heard anything about Ruth’s family of origin.  What I did hear about Ruth came from my grandmother, not my grandfather.  I never heard my grandfather talk about Ruth.  My grandmother was a Ruth’s friend so she is the one that kept Ruth’s memory alive.  But I could not remember Grandma saying anything about Ruth’s family.  Maybe she did, but back then it really didn’t mean anything to me.  Even after starting genealogy, I just ignored her until recently because she was not a blood relative.

I had to find her on the censuses to get a glimpse into her life. I also found her family tree on Ancestry.  It looks like she was the youngest of seven children.  She was 10 years younger than her next closest sibling.    Her father and one brother preceded Ruth in death.  Ruth’s mother and other siblings died after Ruth. The last of her siblings died in 1966.  I wonder if they were close to her and what their thoughts were when she died.  Apparently, they did not keep in touch with my grandfather.  I think I would have heard if he were in touch with Ruth’s family.  Too bad I was too young at the time to ask the right questions.

Another thing that struck me in researching her life was that there was a cesarean section done.  What happened to the baby?  There was never any mention of the baby.  I assumed it died too.  That started me thinking that there should be a birth and/or death record.  I was able to find a death record on Familysearch.  It was just an index entry, they did not have a picture of the original.  However, I did get some information from the index. Here is the information from the index.

Name:  Kaiser; Death Date:  8 November 1921; Gender: Male; Birth Date: 8 November 1921;  Birth Place:  Chicago, Cook, Illinois; Father: Fred Kaiser; Father’s Birth Place:  Chicago, IL; Mother: Ruth Muzzey; Mother’s Birth Place: IL.

I wonder if the baby was near full-term or born premature.  If premature, how premature was it?  Apparently, the baby was never given a first name.  What happened to the baby?  Was he buried? Cremated?  I know he is not buried near his mother because I have been to Ruth’s grave.  She is buried on one side of my grandfather, and my grandmother is buried on the other side of my grandfather. Also buried there are my grandfather’s parents, his brother, and my mother and father.

Did Grandpa think of Ruth on their wedding anniversary (October 28) or on the anniversary of her death (November 8) and the birth & death of his son?  I will never know, but I would hope that he did think of them on those days. How sad to think not only of Ruth’s early death, but the death of her baby too.  Two lives that ended too soon.  So in honoring Ruth’s life, I am also honoring that of her baby boy too.

Honoring Ancestor’s who died too young: Hugo Kaiser

Hugo (year unknown)

A few weeks ago I wrote about Genevieve Bowers who died at age 20 of appendicitis.  A lot of people seemed to relate to this story.  This got me to thinking about other ancestors who died at a young age.  Of course they are not direct line ancestors as most of these people died before they had a chance to marry and have children.

Today I decided to write about my grandfather’s brother.

Hugo Emil Kaiser was born on January 26, 1899 in Chicago, Illinois to Wilhelmina Springer and Rudolf Kaiser.   Hugo died on April 11, 1919 of Influenza during the third wave of the Influenza epidemic.  His secondary condition causing death was Bronchial Pneumonia.  More people died during this epidemic which started in 1918 than died in World War I.  Hugo was working in a cigar factory at the time he contacted the Influenza.  Once again a young person struck down by an illness before he had a chance to live his life.  One wonders what his life might have been like or how his life would have influenced other lives had he lived.  I knew my Grandmother’s brother and sister.  What would it have been like to know my grandfather’s only brother?  Would he have married and had children and what would they be like?  Maybe he would have stayed single and been a bachelor uncle.  Who knows what he might have done.  What was his personality like?  Was he like my Grandfather?  My Grandfather never talked about him.  All I ever knew was that Grandpa had a brother who died when he was young.  That was where the story started and ended.  No information was given about Hugo.  Maybe it was too painful for Grandpa to talk about.  I can only imagine how his parents grieved at the loss of a son so young.  They probably thought about what might have been.  How very very sad for them and Grandpa too.  Hugo is buried in Eden Cemetery in Schiller Park, Illinois alongside his mother, father, and brother.

Grandpa and Hugo around 1918

If you would like to learn more about the Influenza epidemic of 1918/1919 go to:

http://www.flu.gov/pandemic/history/1918/

Coming out of Hiding

Show me your face, let me hear your voice

Souvenirs de guerre

Souvenons-nous

pacificparatrooper

This WordPress.com site is Pacific War era information

Rose of Sharon Healing

Herbs and Healing for the Nations

Curating in Sepia Tones

One Big Story and Boxes of Old Photos - Taking Care of My Family History

Maybe someone should write that down...

Writerly ways for Family Historians and Storytellers

Genealogy Certification: My Personal Journal

a journal about my experiences becoming a certified genealogist

Genealogy Lady

Connecting history to the present generation

harbin77

Just posting my thoughts, pictures and the link below is my sons web site

Slightly More Than Necessary

Just another WordPress.com site

Socks for the Boys!

My Great Aunt Norah's wartime diaries, 1938-1948

Home Front Girl

A Diary of Love, Literature, and Growing Up in Wartime America

1st Sense Photography

Photography, and whatever

GeneaJourneys

Pathways of a budding genealogist

Planting the Seeds

Genealogy as a profession

Fun With Family History

A place for our Ancestors to come and mingle

Grow Your Own Family Tree

Alan Stewart's UK and Ireland family history news

GenealogyDr

Attempting problem solutions, one question at a time.

1 Foot Planted Firmly on the Ground

My journey of “Genealogy in the Recession”: how I continue my research and family history activities when the genealogy budget has disappeared

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 125 other followers

%d bloggers like this: