Thursday, March 3, 2011


The Preston family had many misfortunes and many family stories about these tragedies told through the years.  In addition to deaths by train, there were deaths by "drowning in the bay."  I have uncovered records that shed light on one such drowning.

John Preston, his wife, Bridget, and their ever-growing family moved to Bayonne, Hudson County, New Jersey around 1901.  They had previously resided in Warren County, New Jersey and before that, Dutchess County, New York.  Tragedy struck when their son, Edward, almost 18 years old, drowned in New York Bay.  The story is that he dove in and never came back up.  According to the newspaper account, Edward came back up to call for help, but drowned before his body was found.

Edward was buried at Holy Name Cemetery in Jersey City.  I have a listing of Preston burials at this cemetery, so I easily located Edward's death certificate.  The cause of death promised an explanation in a local paper.

Preston deaths in New Jersey for the year 1903, all counties.
The death indexes for years 1901, 1902, and 1903 are on one microfilm reel.
The number next to a name is the death certificate number.

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