Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wednesday's Child: George Sellers

George Sellers, born October 27, 19061, was the older brother that my great grandmother never knew. He was one of at least 13 children born to Mary (Baldwin) Sellers. From the documents I've been able to find so far, it looks like only four of these children lived to adulthood. George was not one of them.

George's father was also named George. And in fact the George of this post was the second baby George to be born in this family. The first baby George died in infancy2. George lived to see his fifth birthday, but it was not without a struggle. Records indicate that he was baptized in extremis (near death) shortly past his second birthday1. I don't know what illness he was suffering from at this time, but he must have pulled through. Unfortunately, shortly after his fifth birthday, little George passed away.

The circumstances of his death are a little curious. The death certificate I have been able to find is a corrected copy after a coroner's inquest. Given that cause of death is listed as "general burns3," I assume this inquest was held because it was a seemingly accidental death. I can see that there has been some kind of verdict noted there, but what is that word beginning with 'Of'? I can't tell.

This information fits with what my grandfather (the son of George's sister) told me. His mother mentioned she had a brother who died in a fire4. I am very curious if the coroner's records from this time are still out there. It seems a call to the Philadelphia Archives is in order.
1Baptismal Record for George Sellers, Jr., Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 1904 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, Register of baptisms; Pennsylvania, Church and Town Records, 1708-1985, digital image, ( : accessed 28 Sep 2012); citing Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records; Reel: 773.
2George Sellers, Death (10 Aug 1896); “Delaware Death Records, 1811-1933,” digital image, ( : accessed 20 Nov 2012), citing Delaware Vital Records. Microfilm. Delaware Public Archives, Dover.
3City of Philadelphia (Pennsylvania), death certificate 30201 (1911), George Sellers.
4Richard J. Gledhill, Sr., Barbara Gledhill-Begg, and Stacy McConnell. Oral interview, 12 October 2012, by Stacy McConnell at Richard's home in Secane, Pennsylvania. DVD recording in the possession of Stacy McConnell, Azusa, California.

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