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
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.