My daddy’s family has been a mystery throughout the 40 plus years I’ve been researching.
Mary Rebecca Smith, my great-great-grandmother, was born on Halloween, 1849 in Georgia. June 1869, she married John W Black in Grimes County, Texas, three sons and three daughters were born to their union. John passed away in March of 1884 leaving the 35 year old Mary with six small children from four months to 13 years of age.
One would think that the young mother would have remarried, but as census records bear out, that was not the case. In 1900 I found Mary and her two youngest children, Wayne and Fannie, living with her oldest daughter, Mary Alice, her husband, John M Machen, and their family. June of 1911, Mary was committed to the Austin State Lunatic Asylum in Austin, Texas by her son-in-law, W T Higgins.
For 19 years, 5 months, and 13 days, this was her home, this is where she died.
I was able to obtain her commitment papers and her patient file a few years ago. It was heartbreaking to read that the condition for which she was committed could have been easily treated with Vitamin B-12.
I’ve often wondered if she simply became overwhelmed with life after losing her husband.