Re: Am I wrong in thinking that there should be a birth and/or a death cert for an infant? #general

Ira Leviton

Dear Cousins,

Barbara Mannlein is looking for the birth and death certificate of an
infant. Her relative died of "peritonitis puerperalis" (childbed fever)
and she has the mother's death certificate but she can't find a birth or
death certificate for the baby. She has been told that this condition
"occurs after delivery; does not affect the child normally (unless the
infection is STD.)" and the births of all other children in the family
have been accounted for.

I answer that this condition can follow delivery *or miscarriage*. If
the baby was a stillbirth, i.e., died in utero or otherwise did not draw
a breath, there won't be a birth or death certificate. If the baby was
born alive, i.e., took even one breath, then there should be both,
although for 1893 in New York City, it can be challenging to find a
misfiled or misindexed certificate. That probably didn't happen with a
baby surnamed ANDERSON, especially if they got the mother's name correct
on her death certificate, but I have a case of a woman who died in
childbirth and her son, who lived to an old age, with differently spelled
surnames (variations of Lipshitz).


Ira Leviton
New York, N.Y.

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