The Story of Ida Shelby

Ida Shelby Bostwick is my 2nd great grandmother on my mother’s side of the family. Ida was born circa 1859 most likely in Soquel, California. Her parents are John Lafayette Shelby (from Tennessee) and Ann Jeanette Hinckley (from New York). I believe she has 5 siblings: Isaac (1857), Evan (1862), John (1868), Jeanette (1872), and a half-sister, Ella Bledsoe (1855), from her mom’s first marriage. She was listed on the 1870 census with her parents, siblings, and grandfather, Rodger Hinckley.

1870 census
1870 census continued on next page


Ida must have been a good student as she was in the December 2, 1871 edition of the Santa Cruz newspaper in the Honor Roll section having scored a 90. Unfortunately, it doesn’t explain what the score was in and as of yet, I haven’t been able to figure it out.

Dec 2, 1871, Santa Cruz Weekly Sentinel
Marriage announcement in the March 16, 1878 edition of the Sentinel Newspaper, Santa Cruz, CA

On the 28th of February, 1878, Ida, age 18,  married John Day Bostwick. He is my 2nd great grandfather and was born circa 1851 and raised in New York. The record of their marriage can be viewed at the Family Search website.  By October 1878, their son Charles Jabez Bostwick was born in Soquel.

In September 1879, Ida Shelby Bostwick died. The US Federal Census Mortality Schedule lists the cause of death as Fever Puerperal. This is an infection that occurs after miscarriage or childbirth, so Ida must have been expecting another child. Unfortunately, this infection took many lives before the introduction of antibiotics and improved hand washing procedures. I was told that on her deathbed, Ida requested that her husband John marry a woman that helped her take care of Charles because she was very good with him. On the 1880 census, John was listed as a widow with Charles then 2 years old, and living with Delphina Valincia and Clatilda Valincia. John eventually remarried and it was to Delphina. Ida Shelby is buried in Oakwood Memorial Park, Santa Cruz, CA with her parents, two of her siblings and her grandfather.

Tombstone photo from Find a Grave

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