Monday, February 28, 2011

The Tragic Life of Sophia Jane Whitmore - COG 103

This post is part of the 103rd Carnival of Genealogy: Women's History! hosted by Jasia at Creative Gene

Daniel Servos Whitmore and Eliza Jane Lawrence were married on 26 February 1835. They were both raised in Loyalist households. They had five children before my ancestor, Sophia Jane Whitmore joined their family. Louisa was the oldest child. She was born 30 December 1835. Then came John Young on 25 Jul 1837. Next was Eliza in June of 1839. Then Ann Magdalene was born on 16 March 1841. Their second son, Daniel Servos, was born in April 1843.

On the 24th of May 1845, Sophia Jane Whitmore was born. She was the youngest child of Daniel and Eliza. The Whitmore family lived in Niagara Township, Lincoln County, Ontario.

Sophia married her neighbor, John S Rogers, the son of Abraham Rogers and Margaret Singer. John and Sophia had 5 children together. Hattie Belle was born on 9 July 1866. Mary Louisa was born 27 March 1869. Maggie May was born in March 1871. George Edgar was born 16 February 1873. Their youngest child, Maude, was born 3 August 1875.

Until this point in time, Sophia had been living a happy life. One day this all changed. Her husband John died on 2 September 1876 in Niagara Township from consumption. Sophia was left a widow with 5 young children at age 31. From this point on, the lives of Sophia and her children would be filled with more tragedies.

After John’s death, Sophia married Frederick Markle Colby. They had one daughter, Carrie Sophia, who was born 21 January 1880.

Sophia died on 15 December 1880 in Niagara township, before her youngest daughter’s first birthday. She died from phthisis pulmonalis, also known as consumption. She was buried with her first husband, John Rogers, in Christ Church Cemetery.

Just over a month after Sophia’s death, Carrie Sophia Colby died from inflammation of the brain. She passed away on 17 January 1881 at the age of 35.

Tuberculosis had left the Rogers children orphans. They were lucky and went to live with Sophia’s oldest sister, Louisa and her husband Frank G Havens. Louisa and Frank never had children of their own.

Sophia’s oldest child, Hattie Belle Rogers, married Howard R Stull on 19 April 1893. They had six children together.

Sophia’s other children had much different lives from their sister. Mary Louisa Rogers died in 1945. She never married. She lived for a time with her great uncle, William Kirby, a famous Canadian writer. Maggie May Rogers died at the age of 21 on 2 May 1892 from consumption. George Edgar Rogers died 19 July 1895 after an accident with a pitch fork and his eye. Research has not located Maude Rogers after 1901.


  1. How depressing. So much death. Consumption is bad enough but that pitch fork in the eye...

  2. I wonder if it is possible that Carrie Sophia Colby died of Consumption also? Tuberculosis can affect the brain as I have found out. My mother's sister was diagnosed in the 30s with Schizophrenia and was institutionalized for the rest of her life. In the 90s the Institution told us her actual illness was "Tuberculosis of the Brain". My paternal great grandfather, his mother, and all 8 of his siblings died of TB. At least one of them died from her brain being affected by it. Just a thought.

    Eewww...I agree with Kristen, the pitch fork in the eye made me flinch!

  3. Oh, what a sad life! So many tragedies for one family to bear. We hardly hear of people having TB these days and yet, then, without antibiotics, there was no help. So sad for your ancestors. This was a great post to share for the CoG. Thank you.