Saturday, January 14, 2012

Sympathy Saturday - Saw Seven Children Die

My great-great grandfather, James R. McRae, died on March 5, 1910 in Brockton, Massachusetts. His obituary said that he was survived by three sons, Fred, Walter, and Benjamin. 

Through my research, I found out that James, with his first wife, had seven children - William C. McRae (b. circa 1867), Edward S. McRae (b. circa 1870), Agnes A. McRae (b. circa 1871), Kate McRae (b. circa 1872), Rufus McRae (b. circa 1877), Benjamin F. McRae (b. circa 1879), and Gracie McRae (b. circa 1880). 

Following the death of his first wife, James remarried to Bridget T./Theresa Kane and they had three children together. The first one was Frederick Everett McRae, whom was born in 1888. The second was Walter McRae, who was born in 1889. I found out Frederick passed away on April 5, 1891. Shortly after, in 1892, James and Bridget T./Theresa had their final child, Frederick Everett McRae, whom they named after the deceased Frederick.

After doing further research, I discovered that Gracie passed away on December 11, 1880 and she wasn't even a year old. Edward passed away on May 29, 1882 at the age of thirteen. Rufus passed away on January 23, 1884 at the age of eight. And Agnes passed away on November 18, 1905. Although I couldn't find a death date for Kate or William, neither one of them was mentioned in James' obituary, which leads me to assume that they were both deceased prior to James' death.

James saw seven of his children die during his lifetime as well as the death of his first wife, Katherine. Knowing this can't help but make me think of all the pain that man must have gone through during his life. . . But it also makes me grateful for what I have in mine. 


  1. WOW.............awesome research.......

  2. You forgot little James who died 30 Nov 1874 age less than one year. I had Agnes' birth year as 1874.

  3. How horrible. I wonder if there was a common genetic issue with the children or if it was just unfortunate luck. It definitely makes you appreciate modern medicine.

  4. His first wife Catherine did of TB 29 Jul 1883.

  5. It is all just so sad. Many children died so very young during this era. My own great grandfather saw five of his children die, ages two and under. Only one child, a son, survived to adulthood.