Death Date for Catherine Roberts Farley

Catherine F. Roberts was married to James Henry Farley on 01 October 1832. They were (are? the tense thing is annoying) my 3rd great-grandparents.  Their son, Thomas Willis Farley, was born 26 January 1841, the third and last child of this couple, and my 2nd great-grandfather.

James Henry Farley married a 2nd time and fathered two more children, (and married a 3rd time with no known children). However, until somewhat recently, the death date and circumstance for Catherine has been unknown.

I pieced together the answer in paying closer attention to some information shared during a genealogy discussion recorded in the 1970s (exact date unknown). The participants included my grandfather (Willis Hite Farley) and grandmother (Audrey Hale Farley), and my great-aunt (Francis Folsom Farley, known as “Frankie” and “Aunt Aggie”) who was in her 80s at the time of the recording. Aunt Aggie was granddaughter of of Catherine and James Farley, and recounts this story about Catherine’s death.

She fell over his cradle when he was six months old…of a heart attack. My grandfather took off that morning for Lynchburg on horseback, and she died right soon after he left. Some friend, somebody in the neighborhood, who were country people then, somebody started after him, tried to catch him before he got too far. They got into Lynchburg about the same time; it took all day to ride horseback from Buckingham.

Though I can’t find any record to fine tune the date, I am estimating her death to be in July 1841, which is about 6 months after her son’s birth.

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