Thursday, August 15, 2013

Another stop at the cemetery

On our way home from Oregon today,
we once again went looking for my relatives at French Camp cemetery.
I've been very curious about my Grandpa Romeo's sister Dollie.
She only weighed 1 1/2 lbs when she was born at home in 1897.

Her parents named her Dollie because she was so tiny, and no one expected her to live.
They put her in a shoebox lined with cotton and her mother nursed her to health. Amazing.
Think of all the machines and tubes that are needed in a hospital to keep a teeny baby alive.
But this one made it in a shoebox!

She grew up to be a healthy appearing adult and married this man, James Risso:

The story is, this husband of hers was not very nice, and he didn't treat her very well. 
They had a baby son together but he died as an infant. 
Then Dollie died at the age of 30, but I have no idea what of.

Here's Dollie sitting between my grandparents, Leonie and Romeo Rozier. 
I think this was taken shortly after Dollie's baby son died, which may explain her black dress.
(unlike today where we wear black even to weddings)
(that's little June and baby Leonie with them)

Since she died so young, I've been very curious about Dollie's cause of death. 
This cemetery helped me last week finding out more about my Grandma Leonie Rozier, 
so I didn't think it would be a problem this time. I was wrong. 
Suddenly the workers at the cemetery told me it was against the HIPAA law to give information. 
I told them, "But she died 86 years ago! Knowing how she died is not going to hurt anyone." 
Then the worker mumbled something about how it could invade the family's privacy 
since addresses are on the information card. 
I said, "Her relatives are no longer living at that address....they're all dead. "

Nothing I said helped. 
They weren't going to give me any information other than where to find Dollie's grave.

I find it curiously odd that Dollie goes by her maiden name of Rozier on her marker, 
but then it says that she is James Risso's wife!

Dollie's older brother Frank tried to protect her from her mean husband. 
I'm not sure how well that worked. But I love him for trying.

Here is Frank with his wife Emma, who everyone loved.
She's in a wheel chair here due to a fractured hip that never healed.

His real name was Francis so I was surprised his grave marker actually said Frank.
So that's what I learned today.

PS  I got my information about Dollie and Frank from some hand written letters 
by Frank's daughter Marnie. She is in her 90s and living in Pahrump, Nevada.

Oh, and as a side note, Dollie had "carrot-top, bold, bright red hair that was curly, curly, curly" did her mother Mary Jane Cole Rozier.


Richard said...

That's all completely new to me and really interesting...thanks for sharing. Which blond child is that with Grandma Leonie? Anne? Leonie Jr?

Grandma Honey said...

I wondered that too, RIchard. June was the oldest girl so perhaps that was her? But then where was Irving that day...since he was the oldest.

Did you notice how much Frank looks like Dad? i think he looks more like Frank than he does his own father Romeo.

Rebecca said...

what a sad story!

lindsay lark said...

I married a boy with red, curly hair so it sounds like we have a good chance of getting a ginger ourselves one day! Thanks for all of the fun family history, I love reading about our ancestors.

Grandma Honey said...

Lindsay...Wouldn't it be so fun to have a curly little red head someday?! I don't know why it stopped with Grandpa Romeo's family.

Thanks for writing what you did. I have more stories to share and now it's good to know a few are interested.

Nate and Julie said...

I love this! Thanks for sharing! The first thing I noticed in the picture of Frank was that it looked a lot like Grandpa or even my dad. There is a definite family resemblance.

Connie said...

Wow! That's amazing that she survived the first few days of her a shoebox! That's too bad that the people at the cemetery couldn't give information to you about the cause of death. Is there a way to find a death certificate that might have the cause of death listed? When you do find out, I hope you let us know. :)

Grandma Honey said...

Thank you Connie. Yes, I will be calling the county she died in to see if I can get a death certificate. And I will report back :)

The frustrating thing is that worker went in the back room and pulled Dollie's info card so she could tell us where to find the grave....her cause of death was right on that card!....the worker knew but wouldn't say!

Anonymous said...

I love hearing about premies that were born long ago and survived without technology! I've heard the "shoe box" story many times over the years! Those babies who live must have strong constitutions.
I hope you do find out more about Dollie. I'd love to hear the rest of her story.

Anonymous said...

Also, I'd be interested what Dollie's health was like as a child and adult.

Anonymous said...

Wow,that is so fascinating! Now I really want to know how Dolly Died..Seems so silly that they couldn't just tell you. Thanks so much for all the pictures and stories!

Anonymous said...

Very interesting. Here are my objective thoughts: Maybe one should not find out; it could be of very sensitive nature. I'm thinking that the cemetery caretakers are just doing their job in protecting family history. Also, they have no way of knowing just who you really are. If it was important, such as an illness, wouldn't the cause be past down through the family.

Grandma Honey said...

Unfortunately my true love of family history did not surface until just the past couple years. There were many living relatives I could have talked about this back in the day, but they are all dead now. So perhaps it was passed down through the family, but there is no one left to pass it down to me now.

But you make some good points that I hadn't considered.

I tend to think they just did not want to be bothered. They were more concerned about spending time with potential plot buyers.

Scrapally said...

I am interested in these histories you are sharing, and I'm not even related! I just love history stories and the wonderful pictures that accompany them. It is my understanding that after 50 years you can get copies of the death certificates, so I don't know why she couldn't share the information. My sister has been gone 50 years now and I am trying to get a copy of her certificate. For some reason my parents don't have one in their belongings. Perhaps they didn't give them out back then like they do can order as many as you want when someone passes. Anyway, good luck on getting that and perhaps the Marnie person could give you more information. You would be amazed what 90 year olds can remember from "back in the day!" Please keep posting!

Grandma Honey said...

Scrapally...I just ordered Dollie's death certificate. I would love to ask Marnie about it but she is no longer able to write, and for all I know maybe not able to communicate either. I need to somehow figure out how to contact her daughter Linda who I think is caring for her. I sent a letter to her several months ago complete with an addressed stamped envelope to me, but nothing back.

If you get a certificate for your sister please let me know. I ordered Dollie's through but I'm not sure that was the way to go. It cost me $23. plus they wanted another $ guarantee delivery which I didn't pay. They implied with out the extra $20, I'm taking my chances about it arriving. Oh, and if they don't have a certificate for her I don't get my money back. So if you find a better way to get a death cert please do let me know.