Theodore Sanchez was my Grandpa Don’s only brother (they had a lot of sisters). He and his wife died tragically of carbon dioxide poisoning in their home in San Mateo, CA in 1977. As far as I know, they didn’t have any children.
30 January 1977, The Times, San Mateo, CA

2014-12-30_0008THEODORE SANCHEZ
Double funeral services will be held at 2 p.m., Friday, for Theodore Sanchez, 66, and his wife, Billie G. Sanchez, 63, who perished of carbon monoxide gas in their air-tight South San Francisco home last Sunday.
The couple lived at 132 Drake St. for 17 years.
Sanchez was a native of Minnesota and a retired warehouseman, according to a spokesman for the San Bruno Funeral Home, where services will be conducted in San Bruno.
He is survived by a brother, Donald, of Centralia, Wash., five sisters, Leonarda Rindahl, Luella Keene, and Charlotte Runte, all of Seattle, Wash., and Geneva Hanson and Juanita Lorees, both of Minneapolis, Minn.
Mrs. Sanchez, a native of Alaska, is survived by her mother, Mrs. Jennie Murphy of Seattle.
Interment will be at Skylawn Memorial Park.

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Have you ever heard of anyone dying from the hiccups?
I don’t think that was actually his cause of death, but it seems to have been a contributing factor.
I found this obituary in 16 Jan 1907 issue of the Jeffersonian Gazette (out of Lawrence, KS).



Hiccoughed Three Days.

William Marshall, an Old-Timer, Died this Morning at his Home.

William Marshall, a resident of Blue Mound neighborhood for many years, and one of the well-known citizens of Douglas county, died this morning at his home. His death was occasioned by nervousness and stomach trouble, and he had been greatly weakened by an attack of hiccoughing which lasted for three days continuously.

The funeral will be held on Monday morning at 10 o’clock, from the house, and the services will be conducted by Rev. Lawrence of the United Presbyterian church.

Mr. Marshall was born on December 25, 1820, and had consequently lived far beyond the period allotted the average man, he was comparatively hale and hearty: however, until the last sickness.

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My 4th great-grandfather, Francis Pottgen, is a mystery to me.  For years, I thought that he died in 1853 (according to his wife’s mother’s pension for their son’s death during the Civil War). I was surprised a few months ago when I found this divorce notice in a 1853 Alton, Illinois newspaper.

It states that Francis couldn’t be found.

Francis Pottgen and Sophia Ross were both born in Germany/Prussia and married in St. Louis in 1835. They were living in Alton, Illinois in the 1840 and 1850 census.

I wrote to the Madison County Courthouse, to see if they could find the divorce records.  I was so happy to receive this in the mail a week ago!! I have to add that the lady who called me was skeptical about me wanting the copies.  She said that they weren’t legible.  There are a few words that I can’t make out, but most of it is easy to understand.  I’m starting to wonder if there are a lot of people that just can’t read cursive well.:)

Apparently, Francis didn’t show up for the court proceedings and Sophia was granted the divorce, along with the custody of their seven children.  My guess is that the kids were about 17, 15, 10, 7, 5, and 2 years old.  That’s quite the brood to be raising on her own.  The bill of divorce also stated that Francis was to pay her $100 alimony every January.  I’m not sure if she every received any of that money – or if there would be any available records showing it.  This was the only thing that was sent to me.  If I ever make it back to Madison County, Illinois, I’ll have to do a more thorough search.

I wonder though – did Sophia know where Francis went?  Did he disappear and leave her with the kids without letting her know?  Did he leave her after a fight?  Did he head for adventure in California and she never heard from him again? Was he laying low in the area?  I’m not quire sure.  This is the last time I have found Francis Pottgen being mentioned in records (so far – I’m of course still looking!)

And here is the transcription of the above documents.  I still have some blanks – if you can read what it says, I’d love to know!

Sophia Pottgen vs. Francis Pottgen

Bill for a Divorce
And now at this day comes the said Plaintiff Sophia Pottgen by William Martin her attorney and it appearing to the court that the said Defendant Francis Pottgen has been duly brought into court –a notice of publication and the said defendant having failed to answer said Bill in pursuance of a —- taken against him in this cause at a previous day of this Term, and the said defendant being three times solemnly called comes not but makes default. It is therefore considered by the court that the complainants Bill herein be and the same is hereby taken as confessed and this — coming on to be heard. and this court hearing — testimony — and being sufficiently advised of and concerning the premises do the order adjudge and decree that the Banns of Matrimony a marriage contract now existing between the complainant and respondent Francis Pottgen be and the same is hereby dissolved and for nothing esteemed. It is further ordered and decreed that the complainant be and she is hereby authorized to retain the possession and custody of Louisa, Francis, Henry, Catharine, Joseph and Sophia Pottgen, children of the said complainant and defendant had during their intermarriage. It is also further decreed that the said respondent Francis Pottgen pay annually to the complainant the sum of one Hundred Dollars as her alimony which said sum of money is to be paid to her on the first day of January next and on the first day of January of each year hereafter and that she have an Execution therefor–

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This obituary of Thomas Campbell, was found in the 5 Jan 1934 issue of the Indiana Gazette, (Indiana, PA).

Thomas Campbell.
PITTSBURGH, Jan. 5 – Funeral services were conducted at the late residence of the deceased in North Side, Pittsburgh, this afternoon for Thomas Campbell, 42, son fo the Rev. P.B. Campbell, Pittsburgh, well-known Bell Telephone Company employee. His death occured in Allegheny General Hospital at 6 p.m. Tuesday, after an illness of complications.
Mr. Campbell was born in Dixonville, July 5, 1891. His mother, Mrs. Martha Eleanor Campbell, died when he was eighteen days old. He came from Mercer county to New Castle with his father and family, in 1906. He attended the Thaddeus Stevens school and the old high school on North street.
For the past twenty-one years he had been in the employ of the Bell Telephone Company in Pittsburgh and at the time of his death he was plant safety superintendent of the western area and during his last illness his men gave sixteen transfusions of blood to try and save his life.
He and his brothers Cassius and Hubert had charge of the Wesleyan Methodist Mission on McClure avenue, Pittsburgh, since its organization two years ago. He was an active and efficient worker in all religious and business relations. His religion was both practical and experimental.
He is survived by a wife, Mrs. Elsie Marie Campbell and a son, Walter, nine years old; a sister, Mrs. Clinton Bard; two brothers: Prof. H.L. Campbell of the Perry High school, Pittsburgh and Rev. C.H. Campbell, Pittsburgh and his father, the Rev. P.B. Campbell of this city.

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Sometimes people disappear off of our genealogy radar and we wonder what may have happened to them.

Old newspapers are a great way to discover clues as to where they went.

Looking through the Alton Evening Telegraph over a number of years, I found many mentions of Philip Thornton visiting his Alton family from New York City.  I never would have thought of looking for him there.


Have you made any discoveries finding visiting relatives in newspapers?

  • Shaz - April 21, 2015 - 10:26 am

    Yes, my great-grand aunt Alice travelled from Chicago to Salt Lake City, Utah several times with one or the other of her sons in the 1930s. She was quite a gallivant – she married and divorced her first husband twice! Who she was visiting in SLC – she once was matron of honor at a wedding there. Eventually, she married again in Nebraska and they ended up in SLC – he was a railroad worker and moved around frequently. ShazReplyCancel

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