I finally got the correct death certificates from New Hampshire, which included the records for Daniel and Mary Alice Dunn, as well as Carl Dunn, Grandfather Dunn’s twin brother. The certificates cleared up a number of questions:
- Because Daniel passed away in 1918, at the tail end of the influenza epidemic, I’d wondered if he had died of influenza. It turns out the cause of death was actually heart disease. (Daniel died on Halloween- last Wednesday was the eighty ninth anniversary of his death).
- Daniel’s death certificate says that he was a resident of Rindge for 28 years, which means he and Mary Alice were residents at the time of the 1892 map, so maybe they’re on there somewhere. Prior to that, they lived in Troy.
- Mary Alice also died of heart disease- in her case, the specific cause is “mitral regurgitation”, a leak in the mitral valve of the heart.
The most surprising record was Carl’s. Carl was Grandfather Dunn’s identical twin. The story Mom and Uncle Bud heard was that Carl had died when he jumped off the roof of a barn holding an umbrella as a parachute. The death certificate says nothing about an accident of any kind. Carl’s cause of death is given as “paralysis”, said to have existed “since birth”. This explains, presumably, the trip to New York in 1908, just over a year before Carl’s death, when, according to the Fitchburg Sentinel, “Mrs. Daniel Dunn of East Rindge took her son, Carl, to New York, last week, for treatment at one of the leading hospitals of that city.”
Carl’s paralysis may have been a form of cerebral palsy, which can result from complications at birth, and occurs more often in twin births.