Life in Old South Central Alabama

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South of Birmingham, Alabama, United States
I am an antique trader in central Alabama....I love old houses... My log home was built in 1817 by my ancestors Benjamin and Hannah Harless Wilson .............. Outside the house are herb gardens and lots of pass-along plants................ No one in Alabama is in a hurry about anything......... Visitors think that the garden needs weeding and the furniture needs polishing....I am a direct descendant of Joseph Towne, whose two sisters Rebecca Towne Nurse and Mary Towne Easty were hanged in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692 as witches. I am also a direct descendant of Pocahontas and husband John Rolfe.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Anna Melick, age 12, Albany Rural Cemetery

I've had this painting for a while and never noticed on the back the pencil writing in the upper left hand corner. Tonight , after about an hour of trial and error, I was able to positively identify her. 

She was only 12 when she died. I thought she looked older. 

Her name is Anna Melick.  She and her parents lived in Albany, New York. Her father is James H. Melick and her mother is Ruth Ann Melick.  Anna was born 1 January 1858 and died 25 February 1870.  She is buried in Albany Rural Cemetery in Albany, New York.  Her (typed much later) death card says she died of "rheumatism," which I thought was odd for a 12 year old. I suspect the original hand written 1870 document read "rheu" and the 1920's typist misinterpreted the abbreviation.  It was probably rheumatic fever.

The back of the painting says  " Anna Melick Daughter of  James H.and Ruth A. Melick Died Feb 25th 1870 Aged 12 Buried in Albany Rural Cemetery "   This was fading and not easy to read, especially the last name. 

It's her eyes that are so enchanting. 

The 1860 census of Albany, New York lists James H. Melick age 28, wife Ruth Ann age 25, Maria Kelly age 17, Anna Melick age 3, and William Melick age 9/12.    The 1870 lists J. H. Melick age 40, Ruth age 39, Willie age 10, Ella age 9, and Lillie age 5.  (Anna has died earlier that year. ) Her cemetery death card says that although she died 25 Feb 1870 , she was not buried until 21 May 1870.  Was this because the ground in New York was frozen and people had to wait till spring to bury the dead? I've heard that story but being Southern in Alabama didn't know if it were true. She is in Lot 3 Section 34.  Her age on the card is 12 years, 1 month, 25 days which supports her birthday as 1 January 1858.