On November 2, 2013, I shared my Death Causes Pedigree Chart here on my blog. It shows the causes of death for several of my ancestors. Unfortunately, at the time I shared this chart, I couldn't fill out each ancestor's cause of death. Instead I had to put the word "Unknown" in place of a cause of death for five ancestors on the chart. Since sharing the chart, I've received death certificates for three of these five ancestors.
One of these ancestors with an "Unknown" on the chart was my paternal great-grandmother, Anna Christopherson.
|Anna (Christopherson) Iverson|
I ordered and received her death certificate not too long ago. I'm going to share Anna's death certificate with you today. But, before I do that, let me tell you a little bit about her. She was one of the children born to Ole Anthon Christopherson and Aslaug Nilsdatter. Ole's name may sound familiar to my regular readers. I recently shared a blog post about him in which I wondered if he was a Sea Captain in Norway.
The photo of Anna (above) was found in one of my Grandma Ingrid Gillberg's Books of Remembrance. It's a group picture with lots of other people in it.
Anna was born on 10 October 1875 in Swift county in Minnesota. She married my paternal great-grandfather, Christopher Iverson, sometime before 1892. They were the parents of seven children.
Christopher and Anna's Children -
- Christian Julius Iverson (1892-1948)
- Hannah Mabel Iverson (1894-1994)
- Lillian Emelia Iverson (1898-?)
- Lawrence Nicholas Iverson (1900-1964)
- Susan Wilma Iverson (1902-1963)
- Arthur Harry Iverson (1910-1942) [my grandfather]
- Adellard Wallace Iverson (1913-1988)
So, just what did cause Anna's death? Here is her death certificate.
The stated cause of Anna's death was an "Embolus of heart." The duration was "quick." And the contributory (secondary) cause was "*eperal state." So, she died due to a blood clot in her heart. I can't make out the first word for the contributory cause. Here's a close-up view of the contributory cause. If you have any ideas about what that first word is, I'd sure love to hear them.
Anna passed away on 4 June 1913 in Torning, Swift, Minnesota. She was only 37 years old. How devastating Anna's death must have been for my great-grandfather, Christopher, and their children. Their two oldest children were adults at the time of Anna's death. But the five youngest children were about 15 years old on down. And the youngest child was not even two weeks old yet. My own grandfather, Arthur Harry Iverson, who was the second youngest child in the family, had just turned three years old when his mother, Anna, passed away.
Christopher must have had to be so strong to carry on after Anna's death. He somehow had to work for a living and still care for his children. Perhaps the two oldest children helped as much as they could. The oldest daughter, Hannah, was already married and had her first child one month after her mother's death.
As far as I know, Anna's husband, Christopher, never remarried. He passed away in 1925, twelve years after Anna's death.
UPDATE: Thanks to Judy G. Russell, author of The Legal Genealogist blog, the mystery of Anna's contributory cause of death has been solved. According to Judy, the word I was having a difficult time deciphering is "puerperal." The Merriam-Webster online dictionary has the following definition for puerperal.
: of, relating to, or occurring during childbirth or the period immediately following1
It looks like Anna's death was due to complications of childbirth after all. Thank you Judy for solving this mystery for me.
Thanks for reading!
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1 "Puerperal." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2014.