Sunday, May 28, 2023

SUNDAY'S OBITUARY - Martin Frampton, 4th great granduncle commits suicide


Martin Frampton is my maternal 4th great granduncle.  He was the fourth son born to John Frampton, Jr and Anna Barbara MARTIN.  There were 8 children in the family: Rachel, Ephraim, Elijah, Martin, Isaac, Edward, Sarah and William.

Martin was born near Lewistown, Pennsylvania 13 Jun 1788.  At age 30, Martin married Sara MANN, daughter of Robert Mann and Jane (maiden name unknown) in 1818 in Pennsylvania.  Details are limited as I have not located an actual marriage record. 

Only a record in…..

U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900

Name: Martin Frampton

Gender: male

Birth Place: PA

Birth Year: 1788

Spouse Name: Sarah Mann

Marriage Year: 1818

Marriage State: PA

Number Pages: 1   

Martin was said to be a Farmer according to the 1850 census.  In that household are Martin, his wife Sarah and children Martin, Gardner, Jane, Caroline, Isaac and Alice.  Those were the youngest of 12 children born to this couple. 

Six years later on 16 Dec 1856, Martin took his own life.  He was 68 years old.

According the the newspaper reports, Martin had gone partially blind. Then he went to Cincinnati, Ohio and an occultist destroyed his sight, in attempting to restore it. 

Another newspaper article says the following:

"Martin Frampton, an old and wealthy citizen of Lawrence County, Ohio, committed suicide on last Tuesday evening, by hanging himself in an out house, next his residence at the mouth of Simms Creek.  He lost his sight some time since."

Martin’s actual obituary was published in the Ironton Register on 18 Dec 1856. No image available.

FRAMPTON, MARTIN ESQ.----- I.R. DEC. 18, 1856

Committed suicide by hanging himself at his residence, mouth of Symmes Creek, on Tuesday of this week. Cause: severe affliction with his eyes for a year or two, from which for some time past he has been quite blind, producing a very depressing effect upon him. Mr. Frampton came from Beaver county, Pa., to this county, soon after its organization, in the next year, we believe, 1818, and located at Burlington, then just made the county seat. At the time of his death he was about 65 years old.

It's always difficult for the family when a loved one dies.  But, death by suicide always seems very tragic. Martin left behind his wife of 38 years and 7 children known to be living at that time.  Sarah never remarried and on died 18 Oct 1869 at age 70.

You may visit Martin’s findagrave memorial here #66805943


TOMBSTONE TUESDAY ~ Anna Barbara Martin–1748-1822–My 5th great grandmother (this is Martin’s mother)

TOMBSTONE TUESDAY–Triplet daughters of Elijah & Rebecca Frampton (this is Martin’s older brother)

If you are related to or connected to anyone in this blog post, please get in touch.  Let’s exchange information.

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2022   Diane Gould Hall



Thursday, May 18, 2023

CIVIL WAR PENSION FILES ~ How many do I have? How many do you have?

Sometimes we have to spend our days doing organization work, rather than research.  

That's what I did today.  I desperately needed to get my Civil War Pension files (what I've ordered and received) in order. These are all Union pension files.  I do have one Confederate soldier who was killed in action and I plan to try and locate a file for him.  But, the confederate files are hard to come by.

These are digital files in PDF format, so thankfully not a bunch of paper.

Since 2016 when I ordered my very first Civil War Pension file, to last month when I ordered my most recent - I have been captivated by them.  

They can contain copious quantities of information or hardly anything at all.  Most of the time, though, they are filled with information about that military ancestor, his family, his friends, his time in service, his health and so much more.

I've found Birth, Marriage and Death records/information and also letters. If you're really lucky there might be a photo of the soldier.  I'm told that only about 5% contain photos.  None of mine have, so far.

The smallest one I've received is 21 pages and the largest is 258 

That's quite a disparity.  Just for fun I totaled all the pages from all  pension files I have,  and they came to a whopping 2118 pages. 



The big question - how many have I blogged about?


That's just under half of the files I’ve received. Thus, my desire to create a spreadsheet and enter every file I have, when I ordered them, when I received them, how many pages they contain and whether or not I have written a blog post ..... yet.

My goal is to review and write about them over the next couple of years.  Don't worry, I've perused all of them.  Now I just need to really dig in and write.

There are many ways to order these records.  They are housed at the National Archives, mostly in Washington, D.C., but some are housed at other locations, like St. Louis.

Ordering directly from the Archives is not only expensive but can also take a very long time from order to receipt.

I've used 2 sources for my pension files.

Twisted Twigs and most recently, Gopher Records.

Both services got me what I'd asked for in a timely manner. 

I’d love to hear about your discoveries if you’ve ordered Civil War pension files.

If you’d like to see what a pension file looks like and read about the 10 pension files I’ve written about and the things I found inside them, click hereCIVIL WAR PENSION FILES  

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2022   Diane Gould Hall


Monday, May 15, 2023



What if you finally located a death certificate online, or received one that you’d ordered, only to find out the cause of death has been redacted (obscured)?

While it isn’t “necessary” that we know the cause of death for all of our ancestors, it’s certainly a piece of the person’s life that we’d like to have.

Here’s one that I located online for the 2nd husband of my maternal Great Grandaunt, Edna Mabel Bowden.  The man’s name is Elmer Wilbur Cunningham.

You can click on the image to enlarge it

As you can see, the image is very clear, it’s typed and it contains a lot of information.  HOWEVER, there are two areas that have been obscured/redacted.  An area in 3b that pertains to, perhaps, war service.  And the entire area which would state the Cause of Death. 

A couple of other things jumped out at me.  There was an autopsy performed and the onset of whatever killed this man had only just happened.  The date of death and the onset of the cause of death are the same.  He was only 54 yrs. old so this leads me to believe his death was sudden, which usually precipitates an autopsy.


YES, there is.  It’s called an ICD code which stands for International Classification of Diseases.  Note - these codes do not appear on all death certificates.

Here are a couple of links I found that explain what code 94a stands for:

·       Exploring ICD codes on death certificates

·       International List of Causes of Death, Revision 5 (1938)

According to the lists I located, code 94a is defined as Diseases of the Coronary Arteries. 

Generally we think of coronary artery disease as something that goes on for some time.  Why would it have been a sudden death, as I believe it to be?

Well, there could be a secondary cause of death listed, such as stroke, which would, of course have been sudden.  I can’t see behind the redacted area, therefore I cannot determine if there is a secondary cause listed.

Will I find out more about this death?  Probably not.  This man was married to my grandaunt for only 3 years and they had no children together.  I go down rabbit holes, like everyone else, but this is not one I will chase.

Did you know about ICD codes before reading this? 

If not, will you be looking for them now?

If you have used these codes to find information, I’d love to hear about it.

If you are related to or connected to anyone in this blog post, please get in touch.  Let’s exchange information.

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl
Copyright ©  2010-2022   Diane Gould Hall