One solution? Newspapers.
What a wonderful source! And, it was newspapers that helped me locate the two "missing" children of Elizabeth and Norman B Merrill.
The first newspaper article I found was dated November 25, 1902. It simply stated: The infant child of Mr. and Mrs. Norman Merrill died Sunday night, aged seven months. The funeral will be held this afternoon; interment at Dunnstown.
I looked for two additional records for this baby: a death certificate and a grave record at Find A Grave. Neither record was found. So, sadly, I don't know the name or even sex of this little baby, but I do know an approximate birth and death date.
I was able to find out a lot more about the second missing child. The newspaper article about her death provided a lot of information.
|Three-Year-Old Child is Fatally Scalded, Lock Haven Express, Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, 3 Dec 1906,|
page 5, column 2, digital image newspaperarchives.com, (http://newspaperarchives.com), accessed 10 May 2016
Dated December 3rd, 1906, this horrific story explains that Caroline's mother was preparing to give 3-year-old Caroline a bath. The hot water was sitting on the floor next to the stove. Little Caroline was sitting on a chair near the water while eating an apple. She fell into the hot water in which she was badly burned. She lost consciousness several times and died from her burns the following night.
What a horrific story! My heart aches for this mother (and the family) as she watched her little one suffer! I can just imagine how she must have blamed herself. I know I blamed myself when my daughter fell out of our car onto her head once. (Thankfully, she was fine.)
|Portion of Death Certificate of Caroline Viola Merrill, died 1 Dec 1906,|
Lock Haven, Clinton County, Pennsylvania (image on Ancestry)
On Ancestry, I was able to find Caroline's death certificate. "Little Caroline" was not 3, but actually only 2 years, 4 months, and 5 days old. The cause of death is listed as "accidentally scalded." It also stated that she would be buried in Dunnstown Cemetery, the same cemetery where her parents are interred, though she is not listed with them on Find-A-Grave.
The informant for this death certificate was not the mother or the father who were possibly too grief-stricken to answer the questions. The informant was the father's brother, A. L. Merrill, who was my great, great grandfather.
3 Sources for locating these "missing" children:
- death certificates - which can often be found by using the parents names
- cemetery records - these little ones will often be buried by their parent, siblings, or other family members