Tuesday, February 28, 2006

READER'S FEEDBACK: Stillborn Births

From: Gartzr@aol.com
You may have seen some of my answers to inquirers. I am the family history researcher at the historic cemetery of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In our records at the cemetery there are hundreds of "child of ________"listed on our Lot Cards and then, when I look it up in the records I will find the words "Still-born." So, if cemeteries are helpful in that area of the country, a good place to search is the cemetery records.

In some places, though, the parents are buried on a large Lot but I will find a child or two of theirs that are buried in another location. I personally lost a child that is buried in Wisconsin Dells but he was five hours old when death occurred (preemie).

After moving the Milwaukee area I purchased at a cemetery here and later buried my mother-in-law there, my daughter (age 30) and my sister-in-law there.

Sorry to say, though, many cemeteries are not all that helpful as I found out when I donated time to the now defunct website, headstonehunter.com where I traveled a two-county area taking pictures of monuments and headstones and markers for people.

I would recommend if there are people out there with a little time on their hands to volunteer to help the office staffs of cemeteries by being willing to help them and family historians for their is usually much more information to be found than just name, dates and location.

Wisconsin, for instance, at one time (but no more) required "cause of death, place of birth, place of death, marital status at time of death, last residence address and the Lot Card shows who all is buried there, many I have found were still-born children.

DearBOB in Brookfield,
It’s obvious you have a special talent and interest in cemetery records. Thanks for sharing your first-hand experiences with my readers. Its a great idea for societies and individuals to support the local cemeteries. Oft times we think of this in terms of cemetery clean-upprojects. Many of the older cemeteries don't have computerized indexes of interments, though this sort of finding aid might prove time-saving and useful to both staff and visitors.

Regarding all those tombstone shots from the two counties in Wisconsin -- do you have copies to submit to USGenWeb? We wouldn't want to lose the great deal of time you've spent helping other researchers. The USGenWeb Archives has a "Tombstone Project" which would welcome the addition of your work.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.

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