13 December 2010

Ollie's Baby

     Dad's favorite aunt was his mother's sister, Ollie Britt. She married Joe Funston, a veteran, and is buried next to her father at the Melwood Cemetery in Stone Mountain, DeKalb, Georgia. Ollie spent a lot of time with her sister's children and died when she was 42.

Ollie Britt     When I found her mother's obituary, I soon had some questions about Ollie. The obit listed Ollie as "Mrs. Borowiski," a name I had never heard of.  I asked Dad if he knew anything about other marriages, but he didn't. Then, I asked my Aunts. To my surprise, I learned that Ollie had been married not once, but three times and had once had a child! Not much was known about the child and I became very interested in finding out who he had been. My Aunt June said,

"Ollie was married to a McGee when she had Bobby... I think he is buried in the same cemetery as Grandma Ledora" and in a different conversation, "She was married and had the baby. And then she married that guy that was in the service, I think. And then she married Joe. She never remarried after Joe."
     And Aunt Charlotte said,
"Yes. We found the obituary. Because we didn't know the name either. But he was, I think, a little bit older than me, maybe a year or less older than me. And he died soon after birth. And I remember Mama sayin' in later years, she thought he had leukemia... or somethin'. There was somethin' wrong with his blood."
     From these statements I was able to piece together that a baby boy named Bobby had been born about 1940 with a surname of McGee. But I hadn't been able to uncover more. And today when I checked my email I found that Aunt Charlotte had found the obituary and sent it to me.

Britt / McGee Baby - Obituary

     From this obituary, I now have a full name for the baby, a name for his father and paternal grandfather, as well as a place of death. Part of the reason that I had not been able to find a death record was that I was looking in the wrong place! Ollie and her family lived in Emanuel County, but the baby died in nearby Chatham County (probably the closest hospital). 

    With all of the information I now have, I have been able to locate a death record, that I believe is correct, for two month old Bobbie McGee that died on 24 May 1939 in Chatham. Unfortunately, I have not located a burial record for the baby in Hawhammock, which has been well indexed online. But considering Ollie would have been only 15 when her baby died, I find it very likely that she was not able to purchase a headstone for him. 

     Now I really want to send off for a death certificate for the baby. For some reason, I am very interested in this young baby's life and want to know as much as I can. 

1 comment:

Liz said...

Valerie, did I tell you that I grew up in Swainsboro? Small world! Though my roots are in the next county over, Johnson. Savannah is 2 hours away from Swainsboro, and while I don't know which hospitals were open in 1939, that would have been quite a trip in those days. Sounds to me like the baby was VERY ill so was taken to a larger hospital.


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