One of the most devastating things that can happen to a young family is the death of a parent. While a death can be difficult to handle at any age, the impact can be felt more greatly when the couple's children are still young. An untimely death at this stage in a couple's life can throw the family into a complete tailspin. From the standpoint of the genealogist, much of a family's response to the death of a parent is undocumentable, despite how tragic it may be. In this column we look at some records that might have been created when a parent dies leaving young children.
There will necessarily be some generalization in this column as we aren't talking about a specific family or a specific record. My intent is to get you to think about what happened to the family in terms of records that might have been generated by the death, and what the family dynamics were after the parent's death. Readers are also encouraged to familiarize themselves with local records available in their own geographic areas of research.
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