Obituary of Compton Stafford

The obituary of Compton Stafford (1847-1905)—my 2nd great grandfather—tells a sad tale. A coal miner by profession, Compton sought employment at the Hatfield mines in Nolan, West Virginia. While walking on tracks, he was hit by a train owned by the Norfolk and Western Railway. Compton left behind a wife and seven children with “scant means […]

Cause of Death: Senility?

Lately I’ve been obsessed with death certificates. Apparently, I’m not alone. A recent family history trend involves mapping causes of death within a particular line and noting patterns. Whether it be cancer or heart disease, such patterns pave the way for more detailed family medical histories. As you probably know, death certificates often use archaic […]