Wednesday’s Child: Gladstone Gravitt. Cause of Death: Gunshot

I’m not yet sure if he was one of ours, but considering the name Gravitt (and it’s many variations) is fairly uncommon in the U.S. and this child lived very close to our family (and actually originated in Forsyth County, Georgia – the same area as my Gravitt family), I’m certain this 11-year-old child was a distant cousin. Check out the cause of death and time of death. Mysterious and sad.

Courtesy of the Georgia Archives online Death Certificate Database
Courtesy of the Georgia Archives online Death Certificate Database. Cause of Death: Gunshot

Gladstone Gravitt was the son of Ed Gravitt and Bertha Addams Gravitt. They show up in the census in Georgia, Forsyth County, Militia District 795 Big Creek in 1920, though this death certificate was filed in Milton County. That area is near where the historical Milton County Georgia was located, so they might have moved or they might have simply went to town in Milton County. This is definitely cause for further investigation, especially since a quick search did not find his family unit together in the 1930 Census.

Also, sadly, this is not the only Gravitt I’ve found killed by a gunshot wound. I’m not sure what was going on back in the late 1910’s and 1920’s, but I wish everyone had been a little more careful and deliberate.

Have any of you ever found a child who died by violence (or violent accident) in the past? It’s unsettling.

7 thoughts on “Wednesday’s Child: Gladstone Gravitt. Cause of Death: Gunshot

  1. Hi Jennifer,  I just wanted you to know how interesting all this is and how grateful I am that you are digging in.  I knew nothing of this and yes,  it is sad.  I wonder if he was one of Mama’s distant relatives.  Keep at it girl.  I love all the info.  Thanks ,  Brenda

    1. Hi Brenda,

      Thanks! I’m definitely going to look into this and try to find out what happened. There are so many possibilities – it could have been an accident, or a crime or any number of things. It’s very, very sad. I can’t even find where this family is buried. I need to trace them back to our family, but I am thinking that since we are all from Forsyth County originally that they must be relatives.

  2. I know you have probably already looked but were there any newspaper reports about the incident?

    1. Hi Laura,

      I haven’t looked yet, in fact! The newspapers in that area are tragic. A courthouse fire in 1973 destroyed a lot of the Forsyth County historic newspapers and what’s available now is mainly just copies of newspapers from private collections. Now, the newspaper in Milton – where the death took place – was the Alpharetta Free Press. They are currently only (as far as I can tell) at the University of Georgia’s huge library of newspapers. I need to make the long trek up there and see what I can find. I’m definitely going to update on this if I do!

      1. Oops, I just checked and it looks like they don’t have the Free Press for that time period. Back to the drawing board on what the local newspaper would have been. 😦

  3. Don’t give up on the newspapers. There is a good possibility that the story was picked up by other papers in neighboring counties. That is how I found the story in my family where a fire killed two children.

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