Saturday, July 19, 2008

A small bit of Family History by Jennie Sanders Lake Jan 1 to Oct 2, 1918

This small appointment book consisting of some 24 pages, gives us snippets of the last 10 month of the life of my Great Grandmother Jennie Sanders Lake. She was one of the millions who died as a result of the 1918 world wide flu epidemic, or what we would call a "pandemic". That year nearly every members of her household became ill at one point or another, Jennie was the only one to have died from the illness. Her small diary notes daily life around their small upstate New York farm; the weather, important events, people who visited, the names of several people from the community who had passed away, their funerals and bit of information important to her. It is a small slice of the history of a community during an extremly dfficult time, in reading it you can see how, life kind of came and went moving along for these people even with everything that was happening around them, and to them. One of the stories that was noted in this small history then expanded on by later verbal family accounts was Jennie's son in law Ira Edwin Clement came in from working the fields very sick with the flu one afternoon infact he was so ill that he had to be carried in the house. When he came down with the illness his hair was a light brown color when he finally left his sick bed his hair had turned white, and remained that way the rest of his life, such was the dramatic effect this virus had on people. Jennie started this little book using an out dated 1916 appointment book, very frugal people "never waste anything you can use later" and as you can see by the example she made little notes everyday. On the first page Jennie identified the date she was started the diary, being January 1, 1918 on October 1st she noted, "Nice Day, Ernest come home sick, Walter Perriggo died" the next day was her final entry, 6 days later she died of the flu at the age of 54.

Jennie Sander was the daughter of Jared A.and Sarah Sanders, she was born in Lewisburg, Lewis Co., New York on 22 Apr 1864. She married Harvey Jessie Lake 14 Dec 1883 in Diana, Lewis Co, New York. Jennie's father was born in 1815, in Champion NY he live to extreme old agefor the time passing in 1914. Her grandparents are Joesph Sanders and Lucinda Fairman both born in the early 1780's in what is now southern Windham Co., Vermont or Northern Massachuetts, then migrated to Jefferson or Lewis Counties of New York State. This family line is somewhat a mystery as the lack of records as hampered the research todate. There are possible links to Sanders families in the Halifax, VT, from the 1780 period that are currently being explored.

Note: Jennie Sanders was the wife of Harvey Jessie Lake
Ernest Leon was their son and my grandfather
Ira Edwin Clement was the husband of Merle Florence Lake; daughter of Jennie Sanders and Harvey Jessie Lake