Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Elsah (IL) Cemetery

I'm not related to the BESTERFEDLDT's but one day when I was walking the Elsah Cemetery looking for a few stones for photo requests on Find-A-Grave, I just had to take pictures of these as well.

Lydia A.B.
Died July 24, 1873
AGED 1 Yr, 6 Ms, 12 Ds

Lucy S. B.
Died Nov 16, 1869
AGED 3 Ys, 7 Ms, 3 Ds

John F.B
Died Oct 26, 186[3/8]
AGED 1 Yr, 2 Ms, 11 Ds

Henry W. [B.]

Died Mar 3, 186[2/7?]
AGED 2 Ys, 1Mo, 21 Dys

It seemed so sad to me - all 4 of these children dying so young. It doesn't appear to be the result of any type of epidemic as they all died at very different times...but all so young. Not only did I take the pictures, but I also had to find this family in the census. In the 1880 census the family had six children:
Addie - 10
Leander - 8
Lena - 6
Lilly - 4
Albert -2
George -1

I also found Leander in the 1900 census married and living in area, but haven't traced any of the others. I just wanted to see that Selinda and Christian did have children that lived to adulthood.


  1. Awwww, how precious! It's nice of you to also pay tribute to these little ones. Do you suppose it was someting genetic? How sad.

  2. What beautiful tombstones and such a sad story. My great grandfather lost a child and his first wife in 1884, then lost 2 more children seven years later. Almost all of my families lost children. It must have really hard on them.

  3. Hi Becky ~
    I wondered about that too...if it was genetic. That's one of the reasons I wanted to see if they had any children who lived to adulthood!

  4. Hi Debbie ~
    Yes, it's always sad for me when I start exploring my families and see that almost without exception they had at least one, usually several, children who died young. I have a wonderful family picture of my great-great grandparents and their 8 children taken when most of the children were well info young adulthood. I discovered, however, that Emma had a total of 10 children, the other two dying in early infancy.

  5. My boyfriends daughter has CF and while doing research for his mom on their tree we have discovered where it came from. The CF foundation told us that if we looked far enough we would find people who died from "Cat Scratch Fever" and I have. At that time, they died before age 5. In order to have CF both parents have to be carriers of the gene

  6. Diana,
    I just noticed that these tombstones are a lot like the ones of the sons of my great grandfather. Take a look at my blog post at http://blantonroots.blogspot.com/2009/02/tombstone-tuesday.html.

  7. At that time a lot of people died of things that today would be no poblem. Measels, Scarlet Fever, Typhoid, and even Step Throat. Antibiotics today would kill the Strep bacteria, which back then lead to Rheumatic Fever and kidney disease. People dying of infections would be common.

  8. Hi Debbie ~
    Actually it was your Tombstone Tuesday post that made me thing of posting these! When I saw your post I immediately thought of these stones - they do look quite a bit alike.

  9. Hi Robin ~
    I didn't know that about cystic fibrosis...I have seen families where almost all of the children seem to die young. I was glad to see in this family that by 1880 they did have some children who had survived beyond the early years of childhood.

  10. Hi Claudia ~ Yes, one thing that genealogy has shown me is just how sadly common it was for families to lose several children to what would be diseases that we don't even give a second thought to today.


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