Killed by a bear, you say?

Published 8:57am Wednesday, July 3, 2013

I’m just now getting around to spring cleaning at my house, so the discovery of some stashed books and folders is coming to light.

During a recent forage through some cabinets that my mother had used to keep important things, I found a copy of a study on my family history prepared by one of my maternal uncles.

It seems that my great-great-grandmother was killed by a bear.

Now, I’m not certain exactly how to take this information. Was she in the wrong place at the wrong time or was she simply not a fast runner?

The story goes that Cedena Blair was out rustling up the cows to be milked back in 1829 or 1830 (the actual date is a little vague) when a black bear overtook her and killed her.

All of this happened a “short time” after she had given birth to her only child, which would have been my great-grandfather Solomon.

After Cedena’s death, my great-great-grandfather remarried. It isn’t unusual for a man still in the prime of his life to remarry after losing a wife.

But, in this case, he married his killed-by-a-bear-wife’s sister.

Apparently, that was a common practice back in the 1800s. But still.

Surely I had heard this story at some point during my life, but I seriously don’t remember knowing that an ancestor of mine was killed by a bear.

I have no idea if this was a common occurrence back in the time when cows were rustled in for milking or if this was an unusual way to die.

There are no other accounts that any other relative was killed in such a manner so I’m inclined to think this was out of the ordinary, even then.

This bit of information has certainly made me stop and think about how wonderful things are these days, even if I do complain about things happening around me.

I am thankful that I don’t have to rustle cows and I’m even more thankful that if I did have to rustle up cows I wouldn’t be attacked by a bear.

Many things have evolved since the 1830 death of my ancestor, I’m thankful that my lineage has evolved to the point that I think I could outrun a bear.

Rest in peace great-great-grandmaw.

Lisa Tindell is a staff writer for The Atmore Advance.

Leave a comment

You must be a registered user and signed in to comment on this article.

Editor's Picks