Monday, May 4, 2015

You can’t believe everything you read

I don’t work on my husband’s side of the family all that much because he has absolutely no interest in genealogy whatsoever but he does tolerate my obsession with it so I guess that’s something. I decided to work on his family a bit and he told me that his great-uncle Jimmy died in a car wreck.  He said he remembered it clearly.  I found Jimmy’s obituary and this is what it says:

James W. Young
APPLING, Ga. - James William Young, 69, died in an Augusta hospital Sunday after an extended illness.  Funeral services will be conducted at Lewis Memorial Methodist Church in Columbia County Wednesday at 3 p.m. with the Rev. Robert Boyd officiating assisted by the Rev. W.L. Buffington.  Burial will follow in the church cemetery.  Young was a native of Columbia County.  He was retired and a member of the Hollow Creek Baptist Church in Aiken, S.C.  Survivors include one sister, Mrs. G. S. Lewis, Martinez and a number of nieces and nephews.

Well that posed a bit of a problem.  There is a big difference between dying in a wreck and dying after an extended illness.  My husband was a kid at the time so maybe he remembered it wrong. I ordered Jimmy’s death certificate to find out.

Young, James death certificate 1966 

Well there you go.  My non-genealogist husband did remember the events correctly.  No clue why the paper got it wrong.


1 "James W. Young," The Augusta Chronicle, 06 December 1966, p. 5, col. 2. 


Copyright © 2015 Michele Simmons Lewis



  1. When I was a kid, the beloved owner of a riding stable, while feeding up, was kicked in the liver by a horse in a straight stall that was bitten by its neighbor horse. He lived for a few days - the surgeon told my mother that trying to repair a liver was like trying to repair scrambled eggs. That image has stayed with me all these years. No doubt these injuries are way more survivable now.

  2. Wow! That is definitely a misprint in the paper.

  3. Causes of death in obituaries tend to be unspecific and, often, worded sympathetically to the surviving family. I found the obituary of a young man, who had pre-deceased his adopted mother, through a search at GoogleNews archives. In the course of processing the obituary, I happened to browse to an earlier page in the same newspaper issue and was shocked to find an article describing his death by suicide while in police custody.

    1. I was hoping to find some mention of the auto accident in the paper but there was none :(

  4. Great example of why not to believe everything you read (or hear or see nowadays) in the news.