29 January 2014

Wishful Wednesday - 52 Ancestors Week 5 - The Story of Lillie Howard

One of the challenges in telling our ancestor’s stories is, without documents of their life, how do we know what it was like to be them? I think about all the little failures and successes in my life, that no one will know in the future, that have molded me into the person that I am. So, we dig to find all the documents that we can to bring together as much information about each of those people from whom we came. And, every once in a while, you can find something that tells a whole story in very few words.

For this week’s ancestor, I chose someone who’s not an ancestor at all. But, she’s buried with my family. And, in that one not-so-small gesture, I think it tells a great deal about my family. I’m pleased to introduce you to Lillie Howard.

 I ‘found’ Lillie as I was researching my Burrows family in Cincinnati, Ohio. If you follow my blog, you’ll know I’ve become quite a fan of Cincinnati; it’s a gorgeous city and every time I’m there I feel, well, at home. It’s a welcoming place. And, out of 38 of my extended family buried in Section 54 Lot 93, Lillie has always been an enigma.

The Big Guy had a special Plan for little Lillie. She died on Christmas Day, 1857. Now, mind you, I’ve thought a LOT about little Miss Lillie. I’ve done the math to see if she could have been a child of one of the Hartshorne girls or any of their contemporaries. It just seems impossible.

So, I decided Lilly needed a story. It goes something like this: The Hartshornes, SW and Ann Eliza (Burrows) are at church on Christmas Eve and hear of the plight of this poor baby girl who is tragically ill. Their hearts go out to her, having lost three infant children themselves. When they return to church the next day for the Christmas celebration, they learn of the sad fate of little Lillie: she’s died. In a gesture born of the season, SW tells the head of the Home to have little Lillie’s body prepared and sent to Spring Grove to be buried in their family plot. 

What do you think? Do you wish there was a different story for Lillie?

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