Charlotte Maria Burnham was born in Shaftsbury, VT in 1803. She was the daughter of Asa W. Burnham, a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and his wife, Lucy Huntington. Around 1824, the family moved to Aurora, Cayuga, NY. Two years later, Charlotte married Sherman Smith. Sherman was originally from the New Haven, Connecticut area. His father, Abram, had also fought in the Revolutionary War.
Sherman and Charlotte were the parents of 6 children (4 daughters and 2 sons). Their youngest child, Caroline, was born in Aurora in 1843. She married George W. Salisbury in Auburn, NY on August 20, 1862. The next day, George went off to fight in the Civil War. While George was fighting in the Civil War, Caroline's father (Sherman Smith) died in Ledyard, NY. When George returned, the couple had 4 children (3 daughters and 1 son). Caroline's mother, Charlotte, moved in with her daughter at their house in Ledyard. In 1880, Charlotte is found living with another daughter in Auburn, NY. George and Caroline are also living nearby.
On January 30, 1882, Charlotte and her two daughters, Caroline and Elizabeth, went shopping. She was said to be in good health. The next morning, she made herself her customary hearty breakfast and sat down at the table. After finishing her meal, she rose from the table and became dizzy. She sat back down in her chair and lost consciousness. About 12 hours later, she passed away at the age of 79. The cause of death was stated as "apoplexy".
The family didn't have much time to grieve for the loss of Charlotte before another tragedy struck. The following day, February 1, 1882, Charlotte's granddaughter, Hattie E. Salisbury (daughter of Caroline Smith and George W. Salisbury), passed away at the same location. She was 3 years and 3 months old. The cause of death was not noted.