Question Home

Position:Home>Genealogy> Why weren't names used in cemetery plots for infants and older babies more t

Question: Why weren't names used in cemetery plots for infants and older babies more than 100 years ago !?
Some older than a year old were simply listed as baby!.Www@QuestionHome@Com

Best Answer - Chosen by Asker:
You have to understand in most U!.S!. states birth certificates weren't issued until the first part of the 20th century!. They were not requirement in order to go to school, get a job, join the military, even apply for a social security number once Social Security went into effect or for anything!.

Therefore a lot of babies were not named!.Www@QuestionHome@Com

Allot of parents did not name babies that lived only a couple of days!. If a baby was still born the parents rarely picked a name!. Some babies were born to early and lived on a few minutes or even as much as a few days!.
Some people were afraid to name babies that lived a short time!. They felt it would be harder to live without them if they were named!.
Some people held onto customs of not giving the baby a name for many reasons!.
People had allot of different reasons for not naming babies about 100 years ago!.
Superstitions and customs depending on their beliefs would not name an infant or older baby!.
Another reason as to why some babies don't have names is because if the mother dies in child-birth and the baby also dies!. Husbands left the name picking upto the mothers!. And this is another reason why babies do not have names when they are buried especially if they only lived a couple of days!.

I found this link very interesting and may give you an answer to your question!. Naming children in early New England!.
Alot of this leads back to customs and superstitions!.Www@QuestionHome@Com

The earlier answer, that births weren't registered, so the name was not on record, seems reasonable to me!. Many of my ancestors came to New France (Quebec) in the 17th century!. Unless an infant was stillborn, the baby was immediately baptized and named!. The death was also recorded in church records but I was initially shocked to discover that infants were often buried in "communal" graves!. When I realized the high rate of infant mortality in those days, it didn't seem so shocking!. There are many heartbreaking instances in my records where a woman gave birth to 14 or 16 children, and only one or two survived infancy or outlived her!.Www@QuestionHome@Com

Generally these were babies who were still-born or only lasted a few days and they weren't named back then!. I had a grandmother who had 3 still-borns and none of them were named!. It was the custom!.Www@QuestionHome@Com

I have seen "Baby Smith" aged as much as a year on census records!. Some of out our ancestors didn't name children as fast as we do!. As to why, I can't say!.Www@QuestionHome@Com

Some cultures don't name their babies until they survive past five days!.Www@QuestionHome@Com

because money was scarce back then and you paid by the letter for masons to engrave headstones!.Wealthier people had epitaphs and huge stones!.!.sculptures !.!.poor people often had unmarked gravesWww@QuestionHome@Com

some did, some didnt- it depended upon the parents of the deceased child!.!.!.just like today!.Www@QuestionHome@Com

because of the high infant death rate would be
a good reason back thenWww@QuestionHome@Com