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
and then left flowers in remembrance.
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.