There are times when I’ve come across an ancestor on my tree and the only information I had listed was their date of birth. From this point they all but disappear from records. When this occurs I start to wonder what happened to them and mentally start thinking of possibilities in my head. Did the person die at a young age and were they buried in a country cemetery? This could certainly be a possibility except occasionally, there is no registration of the death. Did the person simply grow up and move to another state or country? Also a strong possibility and this one would involve a lot more digging around. Sometimes however the reason for a lack of continuation of records is due to a tragic event.
Thomas Lisle Crampton was born in 1891 in Collie, Western Australia and was the only son of Thomas Crampton and Matilda Maria Crampton (nee Hurst). He had an older sister, Daisy Hilda Crampton and a younger sister, Matilda Maria Crampton (my Great Grandmother). There is not much to report on Thomas’ life because sadly, he never had the opportunity to live it.
It was on Friday, 21 September 1894 that The West Australian printed the following article in a country news section:
Three days later on Monday, 24 September 1894 a follow up article was printed in The West Australian:
Unsure as to whether these articles did in fact relate to my ancestors, I forwarded them to my Mum who then asked my Aunty about the matter at a family gathering. My Aunty confirmed that Thomas and Matilda did indeed have a son and that son did disappear at a very young age. She further elaborated on the story stating that after the disappearance, Matilda Maria Crampton (nee Hurst) never fully recovered mentally and emotionally from the loss of her child. In my Aunty’s words, she was never quite the same.
Through the use of the NLA’s online version of The West Australian I was able to solve the mystery and finally give Thomas Lisle Crampton an ending to his story, albeit a sad one.
WA Births, Deaths and Marriages online births registry.
NLA Australian Newspapers website (http://newspapers.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/home) – The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879-1954); Friday, 21 September 1894; Page 2.
NLA Australian Newspapers website (http://newspapers.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/home) – The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879-1954); Monday, 24 September 1894; Page 2.