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My 3rd great grandmother is Mary Chaffee Lane Clifford. She was the daughter of Joel Chaffee and Lavina Morse. She is on of 5 children: Lucian, Levine, Otis, and Vernon being her 4 brothers.
My focus on this family has taken a turn today (10/13/2019) with the discovery that her brother, Vernon Chaffee, died from suicide in April of 1892. He was a farmer in Oxford, MA. While suicides are rare in my family tree, the means by which he committed suicide was news to me. It is noted in the town’s vital records as “Suicide Paris Green”.
My first thought was – is this a park or some location in Oxford, MA? Well research quickly pointed to it being a rodenticide used in the 18th and 19th century, it did have other uses as well.
Some additional research found that this was not an uncommon form of suicide in the 1890s. The following link, http://libapps.libraries.uc.edu/exhibits/irish-cincinnati/cincinnati-irish-births-and-deaths/irish-american-suicides-1865-1912/, will take you to a page that shows it was used for suicide by male laborers in the age of 50-59 at that time.
Vernon was 58 at the time of his death. He left a wife who would die 17 years later. His ethnicity is not known at this time as I have not been able to trace back further than his grandfather who was born in Connecticut in 1756.
May he rest in peace.