Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Wednesday's Child - Alice Brown

Excerpt of Alice Brown's Death Certificate
Thank goodness for the Pennsylvania Death Certificates being online! I was able to discover that my great grandparents, Thomas and Mary Brown nee Barrett, had two children that I didn't know about previously. Today's post is about one of them.

I came across Alice Brown's death certificate accidentally. I was actually searching for Barretts who died in the Hazleton, PA vicinity and she popped up because her mom's maiden name was Barrett. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. We never knew about her. My mother's middle name (and the name she goes by) is Alice, but we have several Alices in the family tree that she could have been named for. This discovery added another possibility and was certainly interesting news to my mom.

We were surprised that she was never mentioned especially since my grandfather (her brother) would have been about 5 when she died. He would have remembered her. What was more surprising was that she was a twin.

We knew that Walter Brown (another child of Thomas and Mary Brown nee Barrett) had a twin that died and everyone believed the child had been stillborn...and was male. Well as it happens I was updating great uncle Walter's information on his FindAGrave memorial right before beginning this post and had just put in his birthdate of February 3rd 1911 when I looked at Alice's death certificate and saw that was her birthdate as well. She was the twin of family legend.

Alice died of pneumonia on January 16th 1914 at 4 a.m. and was buried in St. Gabriel's Cemetery. There is no known tombstone for her although I did create a memorial for her on FindAGrave. This little girl...my great aunt...was always remembered because of her twin and we remembered her without a name and as the wrong gender. Now we can remember her properly and someday maybe I can discover where in Saint Gabriel's cemetery she is buried.