Infant and maternal mortality was a fact of life in our ancestor’s lives. But sometimes a family suffered more than their share.
I have been researching a story about Antonia’s daughter Anna Terk and her family. The godfathers of two of Anna’s children were named Ferdinand and Ödön Terk. I thought they were Anna’s brothers and wanted to confirm.
That’s how I wound up spending days going through the church records of Budišov nad Budišovskou, a small town in Moravia.
Anna Terk, my great-grandmother, was the daughter of Antonia Till, the second wife of Josef Terk, a butcher in the town. When 23 year old Antonia married Josef he was a widower with four young children. In the next 9 years Antonia gave birth to 5 babies. But at the time of the 1857 census 2 year old Anna was the only one of her children still living. In the following years she had at least 5 more babies that all died as infants.
In the church records when an infant dies, the priest drew a cross below the name. Baby Maria died soon after birth in 1859. Almost exactly a year later another baby was named Maria, no doubt hopefully . She also died. I think they gave up on the name then. The next infant girl was named Antonia. She died at 2 months. Sometime in the next few years Antonia died herself leaving Anna as her sole legacy.
The records are missing for later years. Anna was the only known child of Antonia that lived to have a family of her own. I never found Ferdinand or Ödön.