This week, I got another email from the Mayfield library genealogist – with a copy of the death notice for Mary Ann Wilks!
2 Feb. 1898; The wife of Mr. W. F. Wilks of the Dublin section died yesterday of dropsy at the age of about 53 years. Left a husband and five children, burial at Dublin.
I’ve mentioned that we are a BRCA1 family – and one of the things I am trying to track through my genealogy is this mutation. Some BRCA genes are likely to only pass through the females of a family. However, our gene has been verified to travel through the men, too. I know this because my mother’s only brother – managed to pass it on to his only child, a daughter. She has had 2 bouts with breast cancer and is a strong survivor. We were shocked at the notion that the mutation could come from the dad – without him appearing to be affected at all – we had been considering only the females in the family “at risk”.
So now, instead of the women of the family being the “pass-er-on-er” of the mutation, everyone is suspect.
We know – my mother and her brother had the mutation. They had no other siblings.
Their mother – Shirley Justis Moreland – had the gene (she died of breast cancer, age 41)
Her mother Louisa Wilks Justis, died at the age of 31 in 1894 after having 4 children. I have no information on her cause of death. It is suspect though. And her father, Andrew Fuller Justis – lived a relatively long life – dying the age of 83. So even though he looks “safe” and she looks suspect – there is no telling without more evidence.
So I move on to the next generation:
Louisa Wilks Justis parents:
Her mother: Mary Ann Hooper Wilks died at the age of 53 in 1898. A younger sister of my ggrandmother Louisa, Lillian Wilks Covington, died age 25 having been sick for a few years before her death. (I’m on the search for her death notice/obituary to see if I can learn more). Other siblings need to be tracked for cause of death. Of the 8 children of Mary Ann and W F Wilks, only 4 had children to track for the mutation: Louisa, Roy, William F, and Anne.
Her father: William F Wilks died at the age of 64 in 1902. Nothing suspicious there. He wrote his will in 1899 and died almost 3 years later.
Andrew Fuller Justis parents: William W Justis lived 80 years and his mother Kate/Caroline seemed to be alive still around the age of 70 based on census records. Nothing suspicious here either.
Its just a sideline to the puzzle of the genealogy hunt and certainly fascinating.