Thursday, 28 August 2014


It is almost August 31st. What makes me say that?

August 31st is one of those dates in my family. You know, a date that more than one person in the same family died, or was buried on. A date that when I first realized its particular significance for these people, I was kind of just like 'Wait, what? Oh my gosh, that's so trippy.'

Oh my!

My Great Uncle Adam Gow was born on August 28th, 1905. However, he was only alive for 24 hours and died on August 29th. He was buried on August 31st. Four years later, my Great Great Grandmother Christian Alves died on August 31st, 1909. 94 years later in 2003, my paternal Grandfather William D. D. Gow died on August 31st. William and Adam were brothers, and Christian was their grandmother.

Christian Croal, Great Great Grandmother.
[Source: Personal Collection]

I was only 12 when my Grandfather died, so at the time, none of us had any idea about the significance of August 31st. It was only when I started genealogy and got Christian's death certificate that I realized and proceeded to have my 'Oh my gosh' moment.

This brings me to another one of those dates - December 15th. My paternal Grandmother, Eunice Dyer had five siblings. Two of those siblings were Noel George Dyer and Earle James Dyer (known to my family as Uncle Curly). Uncle Curly was born in 1918, while Uncle Noel was born in 1926. I never met Uncle Noel, but in his later years he was in a wheelchair. Uncle Noel died on December 15th, 2008. Uncle Curly worked right up until he died. He grew large fruit, had a beehive in his backyard and made his own honey, and invented cleaning products. The day before he died he had been working in his front yard doing some potting. Uncle Curly died on December 15th, 2011. Three years after his younger brother Noel.

Uncle Noel's Wedding, 1949.
L-R: Noel, Ada, Eunice (Nanna), William (Poppa) &
Aunt Elizabeth
[Source: Personal Collection]

I was not able to tell my Nanna that two of her brothers died on the same day, three years apart, as her dementia was quite bad. I think she would have liked it though, if that makes sense. She was very close with both of them. I did tell one of my Nanna's sisters, Aunty Vera. She had not realized this and was a bit stunned herself. I think it is always interesting when there are dates like this. Having birthdays on the same day is awesome itself. My brother was born on my other Grandfather's birthday, and I was born on my maternal Grandparents wedding anniversary. I think generally there's always a good chance of those things happening though. I certainly would not have expected my Poppa to die on the same day as my Great Great Grandmother, or my Uncle Curly to die on the same day as Uncle Noel. It is when you don't expect it that makes it trippy, and kind of special.  

So, what DATES are trippy in YOUR family?

Until next time genea-friends!


  1. If you have 23 people in a room the odds are 50% that two of them will share a birthday. If you have 57 people in a room the odds rise to 99% that two of them share a birthday :) See

  2. my eldest son born on the 11 aug and my nephew ( Susan's brother ) same day year later. Other nephew 15 aug
    Paternal grandfather died on my birthday

  3. August 21st - My grandmother was born in 1881, and gave birth to her daughter (my mother) on that date in 1915

  4. Hi, Caitlin, that is such an imposing portrait of your great great grandmother - she looks a formidable person. September is the "trippy" month for my family - my maternal grandmother, mother, aunt, two uncles and myself were all born in that month - and I married a September, baby, as did my aunt and my brother. One cannot help thinking a grand time was had at the previous New Year! I was over the moon to discover that my great grandmother, who was at the heart of my family history research, was born Jan. 15th 1859 - the same day as my own daughter 114 years later. That seemed such a wonderful coincidence

  5. Great post Caitlin...I must give a bit of thought to this but nothing leaps to mind immediately. Your dates were definitely trippy.


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