Etta E. "Ettie" Flood
Ettie Flood was my paternal Great Grandmother.
The Mother of my Father's Mother.
As a family, we know very little of Ettie, we know of
no photos of her.
Her story is short, but fraught with pain and
Little Ettie was born at home in August of 1867.
Home was in Lake County, Ohio and her parents were
Franklin Flood and Jerusha Kirby Flood.
I learned from her father's Military Pension
file that her Grandmother, Julia Ann Rossman Kirby
attended her birth. (Julia was said to be a nurse in the
Military Pension file of her son, Oscar.)
Ettie had one sibling, a brother,
Eugene Franklin Flood, who was about 10 years her junior.
Ettie's father, Franklin, had fought in the Civil War
and was wounded at the battle of Rocky Faced Ridge, losing
about 2 inches from one of his legs. The injury
never healed properly, and Franklin soon found himself
in the Dayton National Home for Soldiers.
Franklin died on the 14th of February, 1880. Ettie
was just 12 years old, and her brother just 2.
In the 1880 United States Federal Census, Ettie and Eugene
are not listed with their mother, and I have not found them
living with neighbors or relatives as of yet.
What a difficult time for this little family. The pension that
Jerusha received was very small, making day to day life
quite difficult for them.
I find Ettie next in marriage records.
On the 25th of February in 1885, Ettie married
John Purtell/Purtil. She was just 17 years old.
|The marriage documents (left side) for John Purtil and Etta Flood.|
With the help of a very sweet volunteer in Painesville, we
found that Ettie and John divorced in December of 1895.
I have a copy of the divorce file.
Ettie filed, and won the case, retaining the right to
return to her maiden name. She filed for gross
neglect. John had ceased to care for her, and she charged him
with drunkeness, he had stopped working and had lost all that
they had. She had begun to rely on her own family for sustenance.
(Information from the divorce file.)
In January of 1896, on the 16th, Ettie Flood married
William H. Gaffney, my Great Grandfather, the son of Patrick H. Gaffney
and Julia Maria Mosher Gaffney.
They were married at home (most likely the Gaffney/Mosher home) in
Leroy, Lake County, Ohio. The Reverend R. J. Hibbard was the
|The marriage documents for William Gaffney and Etta Flood|
William and Ettie had 4-5 children between 1897 and 1903.
Two of these babies died at birth,
Katie Estell died in her infancy, only 2 months old
and little Frances lived a bit longer,
but was not yet a toddler, being very young when she died.
Only one of their children lived to adulthood,
my Grandmother, Evelyn Frances Gaffney, born in 1902.
How heartbreaking, to lose so many sweet little babies . . . . .
The end of May in 1904, Ettie became ill. She
had Grip, or La Grippe. Merriam-Webster Dictionary (online)
says of grip: "grippe: an acute febrile contagious disease . . . . . Influenza."
In a few days, Ettie was dead, leaving a
grieving and heartbroken husband and a little 2 year old
who didn't really quite know where her Mama was.
(A note here: my Grandma said that her first recollection was
not really a memory, but a sense . . . . . a sense of deep sadness.)
Grandpa Will buried Grandma Ettie in Evergreen Cemetery
in Painesville, Lake County, Ohio.
Perhaps the Lord felt it was time to relieve Ettie from the pain of loss,
. . . . time to hold her close, perhaps for her to hold her
babies and to give her
|Two of Ettie's very cute Great Great Grandchildren visiting her grave site in Ohio.|