Robert Groome was the sixth of seven sons born to Joseph and Elizabeth (Smith) Groome. Except for a brief entry in the records of the Fisher's Funeral Home of Vicksburg, Mississippi, we would not even know that Robert lived.
GROOME, Robbert 6 Aug 1856; 2 years; Typhoid Fever; Coffin, Case, Drayage 7 Grave - $16.00; Groome Dr (Debtor) [from Fisher Funeral Home Records, Vicksburg MS, 1854-1867]
From this we know that he was born about 1854 and died 6 Aug 1856, and that he died of Typhoid Fever.
Typhoid fever is an illness transmitted by ingestion of food or water contaminated with feces from an infected person. The bacteria then multiply in the blood stream of the infected person and are absorbed into the digestive tract and eliminated with the waste. Even before the Civil War began, public health conditions in Vicksburg, particularly for those living near the river, were not that good.
Robert's death would be the first of several to afflict this family in the next dozen years.