How the discovery of a tragic event brought me a good deal of joy

In the course of my research, I’ve traced members of the Hyne family all over the world. To Canada, the United States, India, Australia, Argentina, etc. But the one place that seems to appear in records more often than most is a small village called Blackawton in Devon, England.

I was recently browsing the Find A Grave website, looking at the memorials for Hyne’s buried in the St. Michael’s churchyard in Blackawton, when I found a memorial for a Harry Hyne who died in 1841 at only 2 months old.

Using the FreeBMD and General Registry Office (GRO) websites I found there was a death certificate registered, and decided to pay the 7 pounds (~ $12 CAD) to order a PDF copy from the GRO.

I’m very glad I did.

Harry Hyne died on August 18, 1841. He was 2 months old. His cause of death is listed as “Diarrhea”. The poor child had a very short life and an very unpleasant death.

On the death certificate, under “Rank or Profession”, what is written is “Son of Charles Hyne Captain of the Carnatic Indiaman”. This confirms that Harry was the child of Charles Hyne and Louisa Hole Carruthers. A previously unknown child, and another possible reason that all the children born to them after Harry’s death had Harry as one of their given names (William Harry, Harry Charles, Richard Harry & Harry).

Additionally, the informant listed on the death certificate is Susanna Hyne of Charles Place in Plymouth, Devon, England, which is also where poor infant Harry apparently died. This is no doubt the Susanna Hyne listed as living at 5 Charles Place, Plymouth in the 1841 & 1851 censuses and therefore adds evidence to my theory that the “Charles Hyne, mariner; Louisa and 3 year old Charles” also listed at that address in the 1841 census are in fact Charles Hyne his wife Louisa Hole Carruthers and their son Charles. Harry would have been born probably days, or at most weeks after the census was taken in early June 1841.

This chance discovery of the tragically short life of young Harry Hyne has provided me with more evidence to strengthen my genealogical research into the Hyne family, and equally important to me, it’s allowed me to shine a light on the life of a mostly (if not entirely) forgotten young member of the Hyne clan.