The information below was prepared by a genealogist in the Southeastern US, and is the first of a series of posts regarding the documented history of the Watts family. The information in this post is found on publicly available documents, accessed via ancestry.com
The family of Chris’s paternal grandfather (Ronnie’s father) seems to have had more than its share of tragedies. Chris’s grandfather seems to have led a normal life, at least from the documents available. But his grandfather’s brothers were stalked by tragedy.
One great uncle’s wife died one hour after being admitted to a hospital with a ruptured uterus, caused, the death certificate says, from too many pregnancies (9 in about that many years).
Two more brothers committed suicide in 1957 and 1964 with gunshots to the head. Both appear to have been discovered around 8 a.m. One of them had a three year old daughter who died of diphtheria two years prior.
The parents of these suicide victims were living at the time of the sons’ deaths and lived well into the lifetime of Ronnie Watts, Chris’s father, who was born in 1958, I believe, so he could have been greatly affected by the stories of his uncles’ suicides.
Suicide has a huge stigma attached in some families, possibly more so here in the South due to our preoccupation with appearances. It could be a cause of shame that can become the festering sore around which other sores may cluster. This is what may have happened in the Watts family.
Neither suicide was a grandfather of Chris. The grandfather had a long life and was honored and loved by his family. Incidentally, many men in this family served in the military.