Family Story Friday: Bertha Knox Dearing, a Short Life

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This blog post is one in the series, Family Story Friday. I hope it inspires you to begin saving your family stories, even if it’s just one-at-a-time.  After all, if you don’t save the stories, who will?

Bertha Knox Dearing (white blouse) sitting with siblings

Family Story Friday – Bertha Knox Dearing, Great-Grandmother

Born June 2, 1880, Bertha Knox Dearing passed away on March 16, 1914, just short of her 34th birthday. She is buried at the Harris Cemetery in Milan, Sullivan County, Missouri. Bertha was married on November 14, 1901 to Jacob Marcellus Dearing.

Bertha is identified in the photo above as the girl in the white (or light-colored) blouse. We believe, although we are not sure, that the other people in the photo are her siblings: Henry, Anna and David.

Our grandmother, Nora Dearing Sadler, always said that Bertha’s death was somehow related to the birth of her child, Samuel, who was born in October 1913 and died of whooping cough in December 1913.

Although I can locate Samuel’s death certificate in the Missouri database, I had to search the database for all Sullivan County deaths between January and April 1914 before I found Bertha’s as her surname had been spelled Deering. Bertha’s cause of death is listed as pulmonary tuberculosis.

Visiting Bertha’s Grave

In 2006, my sister, Vicki, and I traveled to Northern Missouri, found the cemetery and Bertha’s grave. She is buried next to her infant son.  Fairly close by are the graves of Bertha’s mother and father (James and Sarah (Hume) Knox and brother David).

Vicki cut away all of the grass that nearly covered Bertha’s tombstone

Vicki clearing the grass away from Bertha Dearing's grave

and then left flowers in remembrance.

Leaving flowers on Bertha Dearing's tombstone

Bertha’s husband remarried and is buried at the Wilhite Cemetery

Save a Family Story

As you can see, saving a family story can be as easy as writing a few paragraphs about what you know and adding photos if you have them. My sister and I are doing our best to remember the stories we heard from our grandmothers. As we age, our memories of those stories are becoming dimmer and dimmer. That’s why we feel it’s so important to start saving stories, one-at-a-time.

Save Your Family Stories - 10 Easy Steps

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3 comments

    1. Hi Melody,
      Thank you for the note! I am THRILLED that you like the idea and are going to adopt it. I’m such a fan of saving those family stories – just happy that you are too!
      Nancy

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