One of the things that I loved about taking up my family history work again was re-discovering all the lost children. I’ve since come across so many children who’ve died young that these discoveries are now distinctly bitter-sweet.
We had this family photo of Rhoda but didn’t know anything about her for certain. She was one of my first online successes – it turned out during my very first hour on a family history website that she’s my great-great aunt. Such information out there and now at my fingertips! But then she disappeared again.
Sanitation, vaccination, better nutrition, central heating, improved working conditions – so many reasons to appreciate living in the current day, so many factors conspiring against kids in the 19th century.
I don’t know for sure yet what’s happened to her but I’ve always been a happy-ending person. Just this evening I’ve found a new lead online, and I feel optimistic again – so fingers crossed she was smiling for many years after the photo was taken.
And now I’ll be heading back to my Yorkshire family to see what life had in store for Rhoda….