This is the story of finding out how my Great-Grandma died and her grave. The obituary and marriage registration are recreations since I couldnt take photos of the originals.
Since I began looking into my familys history I have had a lot of questions about my Great-Grandma Frieda. I recently received some information about her from a distant cousin on Ancestry.com which included information on where she was buried. I was really excited about this. I decided to plan a trip to La Porte, IN to find her grave and see if I could uncover any other information about her. Since we were planning to go to Fort Wayne in April for the Vera Bradley outlet sale I decided it would be the perfect time to go find Friedas grave. Our first stop in La Porte was the La Porte County Historical Society museum which has a research room. I was hoping we could find an obituary for Frieda there. I was really hoping that the obituary would say how she died. Our first place to search was the archives of obituaries. Melinda found Friedas right away. I was so excited, but even more excited when I read it because it said how she died. She died from blood poisoning from an infected tooth. She was just 26 years old. It was so sad and tragic. My heart broke for my Grandpa and his brothers to lose their mother in such a way. It was very sad. But this was the information was I looking for! Finally! The obituary also gave us Friedas birthday, the day she died, and the day she was married. After looking through the obituaries for our other relatives we turned our attention to the marriage records since we now had a date. I pulled the book for 1912 which contained the original records. After figuring out how they were organized I found the record for William and Frieda. I was beyond ecstatic. It was amazing. It was totally a moment like on Who Do You Think You Are. I wasnt able to photocopy the page or even take a photo of it, but I painstakingly wrote down all of the information so I could recreate it later. This recorded provided me with some more interesting information. It said that my great-Grandfather William was a photographer at the time of his marriage to Frieda. It also gave me the names of his parents including his mothers maiden name. I havent been able to find much on them since they immigrated to the United States from England before William was born. The story has always gone that our last name was changed when they came to America which would seem to be true since I havent been able to find any information on my great-great grandparents before they came to America. We finished looking through the records that the historical society had, but didnt find anything else. We then looked around the museum a bit before we left. Our next stop on this journey was to find Friedas grave. I had the location of it from the cemeterys website along with a map. It turned out that the map I had wasnt quite accurate and we had been searching in the wrong section. After an extensive search of the one section we decided to try looking in the section next to it. It was Mom who finally found Frieda. It was amazing to be standing there after so much looking and searching. It seemed that the mystery of Frieda was finally solved. I wish my Dad and Grandpa could have been with me. I dont know if my Grandpa ever knew how his mother died since he was only 5 years old and his father remarried not long after. I dont know if he ever came to visit her grave. I was really happy to have my questions answered, but it was so sad that her life had to end so soon. It was a very successful trip that exceeded my expectations. I only wish I had a photograph of Frieda. For so long she seems to have been forgotten by the family, but I know I will never forget her and will share her story so that others will know her too.
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