Normally on Sundays I try to post a story I have written. But yesterday was the anniversary of the death of my great-great grandfather, John Fields, so I'm going to post the transcriptions of the obituaries I have for him, and then a few comments at the end...
From an unknown newspaper - this article was pasted into a scrapbook that came down through my family. I don't know if it was kept by my grandmother or one of her sisters. But because the clipping was glued in the scrapbook with no reference to the paper or date, I can only surmise it was from an Amador County Newspaper written in late February 1901.
The Late John Field:
John Field, after a lingering illness, died in Amador City on the 20th ultimo. He was a native of Ireland, being born in the county of Maith, 26 miles from the city of Dublin, October 11, 1801. When but thirteen years of age he started out to make his own living, and being an industrious, honest and faithful employee, he worked for one gentleman for a period of sixteen years. In 1840 he left Ireland and came to Boston and six years after he came to San Francisco. In 1857 he came to Amador City where he remained up to the time of his death.
Mr. Field was one of God's noble men, being loved and honored by all who knew him, and he will long be remembered by his many friends in Amador City, who sadly mourn his loss. He lived a pure and holy life and died a happy death.
The interment took place from the Catholic church in Sutter Creek on the 22d of February, of which he was a member. He was buried by the side of his wife, to whom he was united in marriage many years ago in Boston, who preceded him to the grave eleven years ago. Scarcely a day passed during his last illness that he did not mention her name. Let us hope that they are united in Heaven, where sorrow never enters and where parting is unknown.
May his soul rest in peace.
A Second obituary I have for him, again, pasted into the scrapbook
AMADOR CITY - Wm Fields who was probably the oldest citizen of Amador County passed from life unto death last Tuesday morning at the advanced age of 99 years and 10 months. Mr. Fields was born in Ireland, but became identified with Amador County when many of its gray haired men and women were children and to many of them he was more like a father than a neighbor and friend. He was a man of many striking qualities of mind and heart, generous kind and honorable. He was a member of the Catholic Church of Sutter Creek and within a short time of his death walked to and from the church with the vigor of youth. As we go to press Father Maloney before a large congregation of devoted friends and relatives is paying an eloquent tribute to the man whose upright life endeared him to so many. Deceased leaves a daughter Mrs. Mary Jane Hardy and three grandchildren to mourn his loss.
Here are two more pieces, both from the Amador Ledger:
Mr. Fields, one of Amador's oldest citizens, is on the sick list. [Later: -- Mr. Field died Wednesday afternoon, Feb. 20, at the age of 99 years and 4 months.]
Nearly a Centenarian
There died of la grippe at Amador City last Wednesday afternoon one of the oldest men in Amador county. His name was Field. For many years past he has made his home with his daughter, Mrs. J. Hardy, in Amador, though ninety-nine years of age he had been seldom afflicted with sickness.
Mr. Field leaves a daughter, Mrs. Jeremiah Hardy, and several other relatives in Amador City. He was born October 19, 1801.
I have been smitten with John Fields since my childhood, probably because of the picture of him that hung in my Great Aunt Ida’s home. He has a long white beard and such kind and soulful eyes. I now have the picture hanging in my dining room and at Christmas-time, I tape a Santa hat upon his head.
My Grandma Brown, John’s granddaughter, told me a few stories when I was a girl. She said that her mother, Mary Jane, and her parents, John and Mary Devlin Fields, sailed from Boston to San Francisco. It was a long journey with quite rough seas around the Horn. They brought a rocking chair with them.
I recently tracked down an 1850s era bible that I believed belonged to John and Mary Fields, and I’m pretty sure he could hear all the way up in heaven my disappointment as I discovered he had not written one word in it – the lovely pages between the Old Testament and New Testament where he could have (SHOULD HAVE!!!!) written the family genealogy were completely blank. John, if you’re reading this from heaven, throw a record or two my way, will ye. Pleeeeease!
 Clipping indicates "six years after (1846) he came to San Francisco" I believe this is an error. His daughter, Mary's, death certificate indicates she was born in Boston, Massachusetts, January 1, 1854, and the 1860 census of Amador County shows John, 60, Mary, 40, both born in Ireland, and Mary Jane, 6, born in Massachusetts. I would presume the word "six" should be interpreted as "sixteen".
 Note that there is some inconsistency in these two obituaries. If he was born in October 1801 as the first obituary states, he could not have been 99 years and 10 months (notation in second obit) in February of 1901 (from first obit). Also, every document, census, etc that I have for him indicates his name is John Field/Fields, and I believe the name “Wm” mentioned in the obituary is in error.
 Amador Ledger, 22 February 1901, page 3
Mary Kircher Roddy is a genealogist, writer and lecturer, always looking for the story. Her blog is a combination of the stories she has found and the tools she used to find them.