Every now and then, in the course of a discussion about vaccines or some other aspect of science-based medicine, I’m asked why I even care. Apparently, only parents are allowed to give a flying fuck about public health. Or something. We genealogical dead-ends should just shut up already. Parents are imbued with an innate sense of what’s right for their kids, and what’s right is no toxin-laced vaccines, no scary GMOs, everybody eating an all organic diet, no dastardly antibiotics, and nobody getting brainwashed by evil pharmaceutical companies. Just like in the good ol’ days when everybody lived long, happy, healthy lives because “chemicals” hadn’t been invented yet. Or something.
Since I’ve got my family tree reasonably well documented, I thought I’d use it as a sort of time machine. I’ll look through the families of my grandparents and great-grandparents and see if it supports the hypothesis that vaccines, GMOs, and pesticides are killing us all. It’s a flawed, funky time machine to be sure, but the funkiness tends to under-report, rather than over-report, early deaths. There are no doubt some dead babies in these families which were not documented. I seldom know the causes of deaths, so maybe some of them are accidents or diseases which we still have no way to prevent, treat, or cure. But the main factor skewing this dataset is the fact that it’s based around my direct ancestors. Families where all of the kids died young are not represented at all. Obviously, none of my direct ancestors died in childhood. But their siblings constitute a more representative sample.
So, without further ado, here’s a list of early deaths from my grandparents’ and great-grandparents’ families:
Evy Yeatts (1907-1910)
baby boy Yeatts (1910-1910)
Charles Thomas Yeatts (1875-1918, influenza)
George Oliver Preston Yeatts (1864-1898, measles)
Stuart T. Yeatts (1867-1869)
Ferdinand Yates (1845-1850)
Hartwell Yates (1848-1861)
Mary Elizabeth Yates (1853-1861)
James B. Yates (1858-1858)
Nancy Eliza Barnard (1886-1890)
Elijah Euwell Barnard (1889-1890)
Charles Madison Barnard (1891-1897)
Eva Belle Yeager (1873-1899)
Olive A. Yeager (1883-1901)
Phoebe Patterson (1854-1855)
Mary Patterson (1854-1854)
Rebecca Hagerman (1855-1856)
Jackson Hagerman (1847-1856)
And then there’s the Searle line. My great-grandfather was orphaned by typhus. The family is not well documented, but several of the kids died in their 20s and 30s. Some have death dates but not birth dates, others have birth dates but not death dates.