New Orleans Daily Item
Wednesday, October 14, 1863, Page 2
"Destitution and Death - A Mother and Her Child - A miserable room in an old tenant
house, far down on Royal street, was the scene of a sad death on Monday night. The
victim was a young mother, said to be twenty-two years of age, but apparently not over
twenty. On her face the hues of beauty still lingered and her forehead, yet damp with the
kiss of the pale messenger, was smooth and white as if just chiseled in virgin marble,
when the Coroner went to inquire 'how and in what manner she came to her death.'
"The story of poor Mary Anderson was found to be a sad one..."
|Full text of this newspaper article can be found in on the Forensic Genealogy CD.
|New Orleans' Coroner's Report - October 12, 1863
Mary Anderson – 22 years – Louisiana
The above subject was a young woman that
had been confined in the Charity Hospital
some four weeks ago with a daughter. She had
left the hospital some days ago with her child
and took a small room in the backyard of the
above premises where she was living in
destitute circumstances. This morning the
neighbors finding her door fastened and
hearing the child cry and getting no answer
bursted open the door, and found her lying
dead on her cot with her child by her side.
Child was about four weeks old. She had been
complaining and sick for some days with chills
and fever. Her Father lives in Algiers, the
whereabouts of her husband was (sic) not
known. The child was kindly cared for by the
neighbors. The Father was sent for but wether
(sic) he will be found or not I don’t know.
|Click on thumbnail to see larger image.
Coroner's reports are one of many unusual types of records that are often
overlooked in researching a family. When combined with newspaper articles and
civil death records, they can paint a fascinating picture of an episode in an
The chapter The Database Detective gives you innovative ways to use even the
most common genealogical materials. For example, did you know that city
directories can be used to estimate the birth years of the sons in a family, but not
the daughters? City directories can also reveal changes in family living arrangements
that can indicate important events such as the death of a spouse or the birth of a
The Database Detective shows you how combining several sources of information
can produce a more complete picture of what really happened in a family.
Combining marriage records with death records might reveal that a woman married
her second husband before the first one died, or that the disappearance and
reappearance of a man in the city directories can be linked with his admission and
discharge from the city insane asylum.
By reading The Database Detective you will discover new and unusual places to
search for those ancestors who have disappeared from the face of the earth. Have
you ever considered the records of destitute orphans? How about police reports or
requests for bodies from the coroner's office by city funeral homes?
Finally, The Database Detective shows you how to use reference materials to
recreate significant aspects of the era when your relatives lived that might have had
important personal consequences for the family. For example, hospital records can
give hints on the weather, since the number of hospital admissions will increase due
to unusually hot or unusually cold weather. They can also be used to deduce the
immigration profiles of a city, which in turn can be linked to political and social
upheavals in countries of origin.
The accompanying Forensic Genealogy CD contains a supplement to The Database
Detective with additional examples of coroner's records, many accompanied by the
newspaper article giving additional information on the circumstances of death. The
CD also contains fascinating accounts taken from the New Orleans records for the
disposition of destitute orphans and the city physician's handwritten examinations of
insane asylum inmates.
To get the most out of your reference materials, read The Database Detective!