Sunday, April 1, 2018

More Beilstein finds

Well that didn't take long! I got a happy surprise in the mail the other day - the death certificate I ordered for Jacob Henry Beilstein just a week ago came already! So glad that they jumped right on my request and sent it out.

This certificate confirms his name, his age, and his death of death. It's not exact on his age, so I can't calculate his date of birth, but it's pretty close. What's interesting is the nationality is German (which my Beilsteins were), and the place of birth is "Cor 48 & Bishop Court" which I'm guessing is the address of the hospital or house he was born in. I'm guessing it's a house, as it's also the location of his death. I'll need to find a map or gazetteer of Chicago to see where that was.
The cause of death was "brain fever," where part of the brain gets inflamed and causes symptoms that look like fever. The certificate says he suffered with it for two months prior to his passing. I can't imagine the pain of watching your little son suffer with something like that for two months, and then losing him. When my son Levi passed away at two months old, it happened within a matter of hours of the onset of whatever he died from. Having it drawn out over a period of months would be torture.
The downside is, like John Charles Beilstein, the certificate doesn't name his parents. I'll have to find my Beilsteins in a city directory or something to see if the 48th and Bishop Court address matches them. The address in John Charles' certificate is hard to read, but looks like 3573 Darhield. John died in October 1885, and Jacob in April the same year. If these boys were my ancestors' sons, I can't imagine the pain they must have endured. To lose an 11-year-old and an 18-month-old, so close to each other, must have been devastating.
Fortunately, the Beilstein discoveries weren't all tragic. I also found a newspaper article recently about John F. Beilstein, the father of Bertha Beilstein, who tragically murdered her mother after John's sudden passing. This article, dated 23 December 1885, described how the Ladies' Relief Society of Allegheny, Pennsylvania, was expressing gratitude for donations they received for the poor. There were donations of hundreds of garments, printing cards, dress goods, dry goods, caps, cloaks, and gloves to help the needy. On top of those donations, John F. Beilstein donated 1000 pounds (half a ton!) of beef and 1000 loaves of bread to the Society. I've known for a while that John was a successful and wealthy butcher, who trained my ancestor Jacob Beilstein in the same vocation. But to see record of such generosity is just amazing. You don't normally get to find out when people do good deeds like that, so knowing that a relative of mine gave so much to help the less fortunate is just a wonderful feeling. It makes me glad to be his relative, and want to reach to others in a larger way.


Gibson Family said...

These are Grandma Edna’s relatives right?

ironhide781 said...

Yes, if Jacob and John are our relatives, they would have been Grandma Edna’s uncles.