Celebrating friendships, stories and discoveries along the way

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Remembering Edith Caverly Swaine

My great-grandmother, Edith Caverly Swaine, died suddenly and tragically on this day, May 30, in 1889. She was only thirty-one years old. She was deeply loved and mourned by her family. Her obituary in the Dover Enquirer announced the sad news of her death:
Thursday morning at Rochester Mrs. Herbert C. Swain[e] died very suddenly, aged 31 years. She had been for some months in poor health but was able to be about and attend to her domestic duties. On Wednesday night she retired as usual and slept till 2 o’clock, when she awoke, finding difficulty in breathing. A little later, she rose up in bed, threw up her arms, and fell back in the embrace of death. She was a most estimable lady and greatly beloved. She leaves a husband and two children behind while two little ones have preceded her to the spirit land. She is the daughter of John S. Caverly of Barrington and sister of J. Colby Caverly of this city. The funeral will be from the Congregational church in Barrington Saturday at 1 p.m., Rev. E. Haskell of this city officiating.1


Edith left behind a husband, Herbert, a son, Philip, and a daughter, Hazel. Hazel died less than two years later on March 23, 1891 at the age of four. Edith's husband, Herbert Swaine, remarried in 1893 and died three years later on September 3, 1896 at the age of forty-one. Edith's only surviving child, my grandfather Philip, was raised by his stepmother, Ella Ballard Swaine, married Bertha Fairchild in 1913, and raised seven children. At his death in 1969 he was survived by six children and twenty-one grandchildren.

1 “Very Sudden and Sad Death,” Dover Enquirer (Dover, New Hampshire), 7 June 1889, page 2.
2 Pine Grove Cemetery (Barrington, Strafford County, New Hampshire), Edith Caverly Swaine marker, grave 11-9E; photographed by Carol Swaine-Kuzel, 31 May 2003.

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