Death of a baby in 1960's(15 Posts)
I'm not sure if this is the correct place to post, please forgive me if the information is vague. I'm doing this on behalf of my mum
My mum gave birth to her first son in the 1960's. Baby didn't live longer than a couple of days and my parents were not given the option to bury him themselves. The hospital just said the baby would be buried with an 'appropriate female'. It was later confirmed it would be with someone who also died in childbirth.
So roll on 50 odd years or so and mum is still no further in finding out where her son is buried.
The hospital don't have any records, the local funeral parlours don't have records, she has checked funeral records but is hitting a brick wall because the funeral would be under the females name and mum doesn't have this info. Even mums GP is at a loss on how to proceed.
Your local council should have records of everyone who is buried in their cemeteries. That would be a good place to start. Try searching 'cemeteries' on their website.
I have no advice sorry but that sounds absolutely heartbreaking
This happened to a work colleague of mine, where the then attitude was 'least said, soonest mended', and she was 'not allowed' to talk about it afterwards.
She wrote to the local council cemetaries department, who did find a buried record for her lost baby. The practice then for stillborn/ neonatal deaths was to bury them with other lost babies in a communal (unmarked) grave at the town's muncipal cemetery. The grave sites were eventually marked by a plaque to 'lost babies' but not by individual names. But at least she could visit the grave, knowing that her baby was there.
It gave her some comfort after what was about forty years of not knowing what had happened.
I hope you can find your lost sibling and give your DM some peace of mind.
If the baby was buried with another person then it would be in a communual/paupers grave at the closest council run cemetery to the hospital.
If you contact the local cemetaries close to the hospital in question and explain what you're looking for they will be able to tell you exactly where they buried them from that hospital for that year and month. They may not have specific named plots just xx maternity ward plot 95 row 22. Its a rough idea of where they may be buried.
I found my dads brothers plot this way. Although I had his name they didnt need it because the hospital had specific plots for specific wards. Just so you know my uncle is in a plot with 24 others, it was common for many people to share the plot.
I hope thats helpful.
Thank you for the replies.
Faded your right, as i understand it mum wasn't allowed or didn't discuss the baby. When he died, he was taken away and that was that!
I know she has tried local councils with no joy, but she / we didn't know about communual graves. We will try again
Secret, so sorry to hear about this sad situation. I found myself in a similar situation but it was after my DM died - we learnt after her death that her first child died after a day, in the 50's. it was quite a shock. I did some searching but couldn't find anything. I just wanted to mention that the charity Sands were absolutely lovely and were happy to speak to me, so might be worth bearing in mind for you or your mum.
How dreadful . The same thing happened after the deaths of my two BILs. MIL died before I met DH, it was openly acknowledged that she never found a way of coping. Both died in a different country with a very different system of recording and registration, though, so I am sorry that I cannot help. SIL is still trying, though, even after all these years.
Gentlelope thank you. I have passed the website details onto her.
It is only in recent years that she has openly discussed trying to find baby. For 40 odd years she has just carried on and not told anyone
I'm so sorry, and hope you do manage to find some information that will help your mother.
One of the things that's really touched me while using cemetery burial records for family history research, is the care and respect some cemeteries took in recording lost babies in the C19th. They're entered as "silent birth of [father's name]", "female of..." "dead born male of..."
Often they were buried in the family grave, but the records were properly kept even when the child was born in the workhouse.
The plot may have been a pauper's shared one, but someone cared.
it is heartbreaking. When I spoke to Sands I was so impressed by them - I felt immediately a warmth and genuine understanding, which was so helpful.
Secret, I just had another quick look at their site and there is a down-loadable booklet called 'Long ago bereaved', which might be helpful, and also info on tracing a baby's grave.
Just a thought. At the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, there is a Sands Memorial garden for all lost infants. This may serve as a focus for remembrance, if your search is unsuccessful.
My father was born in the 50s and his twin did not survive, a similar thing happened, however a few years ago they found that the baby had been buried in a sort of communal grave in a cemetery in the city they were born. I'm unfortunately not in contact with him any more so I'm not able to help with any more information. My maternal grandmother also had two stillborn babies in the 60s. It's so sad that they weren't to be talked about back then. It breaks my heart to think what my nan must have gone through.
SJ, mum is going to approach the local council crematorium again with regards to the communal grave.
I didn't realise quite how much of a normal occurrence this was back then.
We will keep looking though
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