Freitag, 10. Januar 2014

The Boy Who Seemed Dead

On September 10, 1854, a baby boy called Hermann Heinrich Obertubbesing was born at his parents' house in Rotingdorf No. 9, which belongs to the church district of Werther. His parents were Hermann Heinrich Stieghorst gen. Obertubbesing (here it is again, the Westphalian naming pattern) and his wife Anne Marie née Stock.

In the church records, I found the following remark:


"3. child, appeared to be dead" ("3. Kind wurde scheintod geboren" - take a look at the right column).

At some point, they must have realized that Hermann Heinrich was indeed alive, as he was immediately baptized by the midwife ("Hebamme") Aufderheide. His own father stepped in as his godfather.

I can hardly imagine what these parents went through that day. Not only a strenous birth, but also the knowledge that their son had been stillborn. Then, suddenly, the realization that the little one they had thought dead was alive, nevertheless. The faint hope that he would survive in spite of this difficult beginning.

No, he did not make it. Hermann Heinrich Obertubbesing died four days later, on September 14, 1854, and was buried another four days later.

A little bit more than a year passed until Anne Marie Obertubbesind was due to deliver a child again. On November 27, 1855, she gave birth to a daughter. This time there was no doubt - the child was stillborn.

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