Tuesday, January 14, 2014

52 Ancestors: #2 - Caroline Elizabeth Sterling Wood (1868-1942)

Caroline Elizabeth Sterling Wood (1868-1942)

Caroline Elizabeth Sterling Wood is my 2nd great grandmother.  She was born 12 January 1868 in New Scotland, Harwich Township, Kent County, Ontario, Canada to James S and Sarah (Bassett) Sterling.  She was the fifth child of eight children (five daughters, and three sons).  New Scotland is located in county of Chatham-Kent, Ontario a little over two miles away from the Rondeau Provincial Park on Lake Erie.
On July 24, 1889, at the age of 21, Caroline was united in marriage to a young man from Morpeth named Nathan Wood (1870-1907) at the Presbyterian Church in Blenheim, Ontario, Canada.  Blenheim is about ten miles west of New Scotland; and Morpeth is almost 5 miles north of New Scotland.

It is important to understand how geography affected the lives of your ancestors when doing research.  That way when it looks like someone traveled hundreds of miles to get married, you may want to double check that there is not another community closer that used that same name at one point in history.  For example: New Scotland is also the historical name for New Brunswick ... but it would be unlikely that Caroline would have met Nathan if they didn't live within ten or 20 miles of each other.  
Nathan, Caroline and their son Nelson immigrated to Michigan about 1892, likely over the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit, Michigan (which was built after the civil war and is about 73 miles west of New Scotland.  The Blue Water Bridge, located at Port Huron, was closer for them (64 miles away) but was not open to traffic until 1938.

To this union, three children were born:
  1. Nelson James Wood (1889-1945)
  2. Robert Harold Wood (1893-1961) – my great grandfather
  3. Mary Jane Lydia Wood (1903-1985)
In October 1907, Caroline was left a widow with two teenage sons (18 and 14) and a four year old daughter after the unexpected death of her husband Nathan in a boat explosion in Grindstone City, Huron, Michigan.  She never remarried.

My initial records showed that Caroline died December 9, 1942, at the age of 74 IN Grindstone City (which now I believe was based on assumption or best guess) and is buried at the New River Cemetery along with her husband.  However I recently came across this obituary, along with two other articles the in the newspaper the week before her death that indicate that Caroline Wood was spending the winter at the home of her son, Robert Wood when she took ill with pneumonia and was taken to the Harbor Beach Hospital, where she was at the time of her death.  So it is always important to double check your assumed "facts" with other facts to make sure you have the whole picture.

The Harbor Beach Times - 12/04/1942

The Harbor Beach Times - 12/04/1942

The Harbor Beach Times - 12/11/1942 Pg 1

Thanks for stopping by.  Hope to see ya again real soon.

Love & Aloha,

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