Report of Post Mortem examinations made on the remains of the bodies of the late James, Julia, Thomas, Bridget Donelly of Biddulph

Thursday 5th Feb. 1880-

[...] All of these bodies had been very much burned by fire, many of the bones disarticulated, and only portions of some of these remaining, the rest having been destroyed. Most of the internal organs were so much charred that I could not distinguish them, some portions I could, there were no complete skulls to any of them, only a very few pieces. [...] the burning had been so destructive that I could not distinguish male from female. There were sufficient, however, of the remains, to enable me to know that they were those of 4 Human beings. I cannot say positively what was the cause of Death. Death may have been caused by burning alone, or they may have been dead or injured previously to being burned. There are no means by which I can determine.

(Signed) C.W. Flock, M.D.

[...] Alfred Brown County Constable London being sworn Saith:

On Thursday morning I left Lucan in company with Constable [illegible] to bring in the remains of the bodies from the burning we found four bodies, there were two bodies lying together near the stove in the kitchen, also one other body was lying in the kitchen between the outside kitchen door and door going in the front room. The other body laid near the front door in front room. I collected the remains of each of them separately and kept them seperarated by paper and put them into a coffin and brought them to Lucan. [...] I think there were a portion of all the skulls there at that time. I saw blood on the ground in front of the house [...].

(Signed) A.F. Brown

Source: J.J. Talman Regional Collection, University of Western Ontario Archives, Donnelly Family Papers, B4877, File 35, Unknown, Post Mortem Reports on the Bodies of James, Julia (Johannah), Thomas, John and Bridget Donnelly, February 5, 1880.

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