kin can be elusive, notorious in fact with
legacies to be recalled by generations hence
more curious than how they lived, accounts
of how they died, some of causes natural
while others met the sword midst battle cries
I have found that records of how my ancestors died can be an interesting window into the times that they lived. I discovered the obituary for my 3rd Great Grandfather, Henry Orwick. Henry was born on the 2nd of July 1833 in Virginia. He married my 3rd Great Grandmother, Malinda C. Martin, in Indiana on 10 May 1855 and from census records it appears that they made their home in Indiana, where they lived for the rest of their lives. Henry served in the Union Army, when he was 30 years old, in the 144th Regiment, Indiana Infantry. The 1864 United States Census records that Henry was a Hog Farmer, having slaughtered in excess of 100 lbs of the beasts that year. Henry and Malinda had 5 or six children. My great great grandmother, Amanda was born in 1874. But it was Henry’s death that caused quite a stir. Here is the excerpt of his obituary, found by a distant cousin (I assume) at the Cordyn, Indiana Library. It may actually be the most interesting thing about this common man who I call great, great, great…
Sudden Death of Henry Orwick
Henry Orwick, of Leavenworth, died suddenly at that place last Monday. He had been deputed to serve attachment papers against a steamboat tying at that place, and while holding the line attached to the boat, he was seen to throw up his hands and fall backward. It was, at first thought he had been shot, but it was afterward learned that he had died of heart failure.