As I continue to work on Dr. Clarence Gee’s Brown Family Genealogy to bring the family lines current, I find unanswered puzzles. My current puzzle involves the location of Amelia’s grave. I know the location of all the other nineteen John Brown children’s graves, but this is making me crazy.
A Decade of Hardship
The early 1840’s were difficult for the Brown family. John Brown was heavily involved in but not very successful in the wool business in Ohio and moved his large family around a great deal. In 1840 the family settled in Hudson, Ohio, where Brown faced off against authorities during the bankruptcy induced sale of house and property.
He later began a partnership with Herman Oviatt in Richfield, Ohio and in 1842 moved his family there. At this time, the family consisted of Ruth (13), Frederick (12), Sarah (8), Watson (7), Salmon (6), Charles (5), Oliver (3), Peter (2), and Austin (newborn).
Mary was in her third trimester when dysentery struck the family, taking four of the children within a 2-week period in September 1843. The family buried Austin (13 months), Peter (33 months), Charles (5 years) and Sarah (9 years) in a single grave in the East Richfield Cemetery.
Two months later Annie Brown was born into a family still reeling from this heartbreaking loss. The family again moved in 1844, this time back to Akron, Ohio, where Brown partnered with Simon Perkins, Jr. in the wool business. Life for the Brown family began to return to normal.
A Birth and A Death
Amelia was born on Sunday, June 22, 1845, in Akron, Ohio. She was John’s 16th child and Mary’s 9th child. Little is known about Amelia, other than her birth, manner of death, and date of death. She lived for 14 months before a tragedy took her life.
In October 1846, Mary was recovering from the birth of her 10th child, Sarah, born September 11, 1846. John was away from home in Springfield, Massachusetts, on Perkins & Brown wool business. Ruth, the 16-year-old eldest daughter, was doing the major task of laundry for the large family. Laundry day was just that, a long, hard, tiring day of boiling, treating, rinsing, wringing and hanging to dry the clothing worn by this large family.
We don’t know exactly what happened, all we know is that there was a household (laundry) accident that resulted in little Miss Amelia, just 14 months old, being scalded so severely that she died on October 30, 1846.
Five children taken suddenly from the family over three years. The pain of losing Amelia was felt by all, and John wrote to the family from Springfield “This is a bitter cup indeed, but blessed be God; a brighter day shall dawn; & let us not sorrow as those that have no hope.” It was a horrible tragedy, from which Ruth never fully recovered as she carried the guilt of Amelia’s accidental death with her to her grave. The family grieved, and then continued on caring for the remaining children, including 18-month-old Annie, and newborn Sarah.
Where is Amelia’s Grave?
But where is Amelia buried? I have not been able to find any record of her grave-site, or date of burial. I find this odd, as John was very particular about the burial of his children, ensuring they had carved markers, and even moving the body of Ellen from Springfield, Massachusetts to the North Elba, New York, cemetery months after her death 1849/1850.