Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Noah Grant Church

What do you think of when you hear the word cholera?  As part of my website cleanup, I was digging a little more into Noah Grant Church and his death certificate which I had found some time ago in the vital records images that the West Virginia Division of Culture and History has put online.

Commonly known by his middle name, Grant was the son of William Church and Elizabeth Roberts - an older brother to my great-grandfather, Eli Church.

Grant's death certificate states that he died from "cholerra morbis" [sic] on 03 October 1934.  Per numerous websites, cholera morbus is a term no longer used. As it turns out, it did not refer to the cholera epidemics we think of when we hear the word cholera ... it describes what we now call gastrointestinal illnesses.  The types of illnesses that generally result in cramping, vomiting, and severe diarrhea and dehydration that can result in death if not treated quickly enough.  Apparently cholera morbus was often associated with food poisoning.

In Grant's case, a contributing factor to his death was myocarditis, defined by the Mayo Clinic as an inflammation of the middle wall of the heart and usually caused by a viral infection.  Symptoms include chest pain and it can result in heart failure.  Reading through all the info about cholera morbus and myocarditis, it seems that Grant must have been through quite an ordeal in his final hours.

For a long time I could not decipher the handwritten name of the cemetery where Grant was buried as it appeared on his death certificate. I kept thinking the first word was something like Robain but could never find a cemetery with a name close to that spelling when I searched lists of Wetzel County cemeteries on the internet. Then yesterday morning it dawned on me that it reads "Robsin Ridge C" - an interesting spelling of Robinson Ridge Cemetery.

Next step was to try to find a photo of his gravestone online, but I was coming up empty. Samuel and Jennie Bradley Church are the only two Churches that show up in Robinson Ridge ... but then I discovered a note on the Wetzel County WVGenWeb site that says that there is a whole section of the cemetery that is full of graves with no markers. Perhaps Grant is buried in that section.