Tragedy in Poultney Vermont

Margaret Griffiths died on February 3rd, 1900 two weeks after having her sixth child, daughter Margaret, at the age of 35 according to her funeral announcement. It is unknown what she died of, but it is probable that she suffered complications from the birth of her sixth child. Her marriage certificate says she was three years older, but it is possible she married at 16 and wrote the age of 19 to avoid embarrassment.

Her brother, Owen H. Roberts, is also buried in the Poultney cemetary, and he died in 1902, two years later after suffering from a long illness. Both brother and sister were in their 30s. Family lore has it that he died of sunstroke, but it seems unlikely that he would have suffered for more than two years with sunstroke, leaving a lingering doubt about the causes of death of brother and sister at such a young age. Owen also left a wife and children.

                                Below is the Obituary in the Poultney Journal February 9th, 1900:

   " Death has once more taken one from our midst when Margaret, wife of Richard Griffiths departed this life Saturday Morning after an illness of only a few days.

It has taken from that home a kind and loving wife and mother, as she leaves a stricken husband, four sons and two young daughters, the youngest being about two weeks old, and one brother, Owen H. Roberts, who is in feeble health. Mrs. Griffiths has been a resident of this place for about 17 years, coming here with her husband from Festiniog North Wales, and leaves many friends to share the bereavement with the heart stricken family. The funeral was held from the Welsh C.M. Church, of which she was a member, Monday afternoon at 1:30 O' Clock, the Rev. J. W. Morris officiating in a manner that brought tears from almost everyone in the church. The Bearers were Hugh C. Roberts, John R. Jones, William F. Morris, William H. Jones Frank Owens and William Owens. The internment was made in the Poultney Cemetary."

Eventually Richard went back to Wales and married a woman from North Wales, Ellen Jones, who apparently spoke no English. While he was in Wales looking for a second wife, his young boys ran the farm and took care of the two young girls, Catherine and Margaret. The oldest, John, was 15 when his mother died, but he had to continue working in the Quarry. Hugh, then 13, took care of the children and the farm.