Monthly Archives: April 2016

Millie’s Mystery

Millie-Daughter of Teck Reed



The loss of a child is a death out of order.
~ Unknown



“Millie Reed
Borned Sep. 6 1888
Died Dec. 1901”


Teck and Lizzie Reed Family

Reed Family – Front, L to R: Dillard, Callihill Teck, Lizzie, Emma. Back, L to R: Rebecca, Andy, Effie, Jim, Dora.

When I first began researching my Reed family history, I knew that my grandmother Rebecca came from a Reed family with seven brothers and sisters, and I was aware of a sister named Millie who had died as a child. Through the Find a Grave web site I soon learned there was a Millie Reed buried in Duncan Cemetery in Hueysville, Floyd County, Kentucky.

Millie’s online memorial is here.

But I was doubtful initially that this was my Millie’s grave because the birth and death dates did not match the records. Those I have been able to locate, the 1900 US Census and a Floyd County death record from 1901, are in agreement that she was born in 1892 and died in 1901.

Now, while I have come to accept that this must be my Millie’s grave, I continue to puzzle over why her tombstone would say she was born in 1888. Her tombstone does have 1901 as the year of her death, but the month is different from what is documented.

1900 Census Callihill Reed family

The 1900 US census for Allen Precinct in Floyd County was recorded on June 21 and 22. Callihill Reed, age 36, and his wife Elizabeth, age 24, are listed with four children: Emma, age 9, Millie, age 7, Dillard, age 6, and Rebecca, age 1. It shows Millie’s birth date as September 1892, so in June of 1900 she was still 7 years old.Millie Reed death record

The 1901 death records for Floyd County show that Millie Reed, daughter of Teck and Lizzie Reed, died on August 26, 1901, from a fever at the age of 8. Her age is correct because she wouldn’t be 9 until her birthday in September.

So, assuming Millie’s father made the tombstone for her grave, why did he engrave “BORND SEP. 6 1888” on it? And, since the official death record says Millie died on August 26, 1901, why did Teck engrave “DIED DEC. 1901” on her stone?

The 1900 census seems to complicate things even further because it also says that Teck and Lizzie had 5 children but only 4 were living. Millie wouldn’t die until the next year, and, besides, their four living children — Emma, Millie, Dillard, and Rebecca — are listed on the census. Who was the fifth child no longer living in 1901? Was there another child born who died as an infant, maybe in 1888?

If anyone can shed light on the mystery of Millie, I would be very happy to hear from you.


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