Cause Of Death Pedigree

Cause Of Death Pedigree

OK, this is definitely twisted, but I blame it on Judy Russell, who in turn blames it on Nathan Murphy. And if you’re going to share something morbid, you might as well do it on Halloween.

At any rate, this is a cause of death pedigree for my family back through my great-grandparents. I really should do another generation because I know I’d hit the era of consumption, Bright’s disease, and other ailments that slightly befuddle us today, but I’ll leave it at this for the moment.

So of 13 deaths, there are five from cancer (never the same kind twice), five from heart/cardiac conditions (mostly heart attacks), a pair of stroke/hemorrhage passings, and one murder. At least some of the cancers were environmentally caused, and since I’m not, say, a smoker or coal miner, I can see what the odds suggest for me when my time comes. They say knowledge is power. It’s also a little scary sometimes. Maybe I should back up another generation so I can at least reassure myself that typhus and cholera aren’t in my future. Happy Mortal Halloween!

By |2018-09-22T17:20:58-04:00October 31st, 2013|Family History, Research|15 Comments


  1. Sandra Johnson March 25, 2016 at 6:10 pm - Reply

    I agree that the age at death would be very useful.

  2. Colette Mazey November 10, 2014 at 1:02 pm - Reply

    This is a great idea. Might add age at death. My husband died at 38 of heart attack, his sister at 44 with heart disease. Also their grandparents and great grandparents also died of heart disease at ages younger than normal.

  3. Sue Cieslak October 8, 2014 at 1:02 pm - Reply

    I love this. I was only able to go back two generations but it was still interesting. Not sure I can find more in Denmark and Germany.

  4. Jim Owston October 31, 2013 at 9:45 am - Reply

    What an excellent idea. I must try this.

  5. Nathan Murphy October 31, 2013 at 9:30 am - Reply

    Sometimes knowledge is painful.

  6. Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak October 31, 2013 at 9:10 am - Reply

    Yeah, you’ll have to color-code it so he stands out, Michael!

  7. Michael Prine October 31, 2013 at 9:00 am - Reply

    You know, I think I have to do this because my 2xGreat Grandpa was killed in a train robbery. I have no other info on him (well, very little) so what better way to recognize him than as, dare I say, “Most Interesting Cause of Death” on my morbid mortality tree :o)

  8. Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak October 31, 2013 at 8:45 am - Reply

    If it weren’t Halloween, I’d apologize, Michael, but since it is, you’re welcome! Good luck with your tree!

  9. Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak October 31, 2013 at 8:40 am - Reply

    I suspect the further we go back, the stranger the causes could be, Rosanna, but that’s definitely a peculiar one! essentially rained to death

  10. Michael Prine October 31, 2013 at 8:30 am - Reply

    INCREDIBLY creepy….if I can face mortality with some courage today I think I’ll have to do one!

  11. Rosanna Ward October 31, 2013 at 8:15 am - Reply

    How about the ancestor that fell head first into a rain barrel and couldn’t get out? I think this would be fun to do and see all the strange circumstances of death.

  12. Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak October 31, 2013 at 7:55 am - Reply

    Oh my gosh, Judy – only a genealogist would think a murder is cool! You made me laugh out loud. But yes, a simultaneously sad and extremely interesting bit of family history. I both thank and curse you and Nathan!

  13. Judy G. Russell, CG, CGL October 31, 2013 at 7:45 am - Reply

    Blame Nathan, not me! (A murder! Cool. Not to the victim, I’m sure, but a really interesting part of family history!)

  14. Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak October 31, 2013 at 7:30 am - Reply

    Yes, it actually is a good idea, but still a touch creepy!

  15. Diana October 31, 2013 at 7:20 am - Reply

    Actually that’s a very useful health history. I’m sure your doctor would be interested.

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