San Mateo County Genealogical Society's Blog featuring society events, projects, meeting notes and other items of relevance to genealogists.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

SMSGS Sharing Stories 2017

The Death of Frank Duncan

Dennis Maness

When the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire struck my newly married grandparents Frank and Jessie Monday Duncan lived there. Their house was burned down and they decided to move back to Falls of Rough, Kentucky where Frank came from. In 7 years they had 4 daughters were prospering on a farm.

On November 11th, 1915, when his newest daughter, and my future mother, Rosa was only 7 months old, Frank’s appendix burst.

A burst appendix can be fatal if it is not attended to quickly. Although the exact causes of a burst appendix are not completely understood it seems that the appendix will become blocked and eventually become inflamed and rupture. When the appendix bursts it leaks bacteria from the intestines into the abdominal cavity. This can cause the formation of an abscess or a condition known as peritonitis, which is a serious infection of the abdominal cavity. Before the advent of modern antibiotics this condition often resulted in death.

A doctor was called to the farm and he and Jessie put Frank on the kitchen table and the doctor started to operate. But by this time there was nothing that could be done.

Frank knew he was dying and started to sing his favorite hymn It Is Well With My Soul.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to s
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

And with that he died.

Dennis Maness has been a member of SMCGS for more years than he can remember.  He moved from Los Angeles to San Francisco during the Summer of Love, 50 years ago.  Dennis is a retired librarian and considers himself an amateur genealogist, although he's been at it since 1977.  He is also a great photographer ; his other major hobby.  Dennis says his favorite ancestor is W.T.F. Coles (solely because of the initials), with Pleasant Monday placing a close second. You can contact Dennis at dennis.maness   @

© 2017 Dennis Maness- Please contact author for use of any portion of this story.

It Is Well With My Soul - Big Small Village on You Tube - there are enough versions here to last hours
It Is Well With My Soul - LOC National Jukebox - Handel Chorus
It Is Well With My Soul - Discipleship Ministries

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