"If you can't get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance"
-George Bernard Shaw

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What happened to Baby Louise?

Louise Mary Valley abt six months old
Up until recently I had a little girl, Louise Mary Valley, living with my Great Grandparents, Stanley and Lillian Lardie.  That's how Louise showed up on the census.  I had one of those moments where it finally occured to me that Louise's last name was Valley, not Lardie, not to mention I knew she wasn't my grandma's sister...or at least I hadn't heard of her from Grandma.  When I asked my Grandma about her, all she could remember was vague details.  So I set off to find out who Baby Louise was.

Louise as a toddler
I actually discovered who Baby Louise's parents were when I came across the article about John Peter Valley's death.  John was killed from injuries resulting from a car accident on 26 October 1917.  In the article is lists that John is survived by one daughter, Louise.  I found John and Louise's death certificates online at Seeking Michigan.  Louise's death certificate lists her parents as John Valley and Mildred Evans.  I also found that Louise was born 10 January 1912 and died 23 December 1920.

I knew from previous research that Mildred, or Millie as she is frequently listed, was John Peter Valley's wife.  Another search of Seeking Michigan's website revealed the Millie died from complications due to childbirth seven days after Louise was born.  Again this information was obtained from Millie's death certificate online at Seeking Michigan. 

Louise about age 8, I believe this was taken the summer before she died
So the sad death of both parents explains why baby Louise came to live with my Great Grandparents.  Sadly Louise contracted diptheria and died at eight years old.  At the same time my Great Grandparents, Stanley and Lillian's oldest son, John George, also died of complications of diptheria.  Baby John died on 18 Decemeber 1920, only seven months old.   Louise and John George were both laid to rest in St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery in Mapleton, Grand Traverse County, Michigan in the family plot. 

The Lardie/Valley family plot in St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery in Mapleton, Michigan

A closeup of the plaque on the center of the cross with the names of the family members buried in the plot. 

1 comment:

  1. Such a sad story - but I'm glad you found Louise and John George.