Is a story of a mother complete if we do
not record the identity of her stillborn children? Today I'm going to show you how you
can add stillborn children to the family tree so you can make sure you're telling the
complete story about the females on your family tree. Whenever you are recording the
birth of any child, it is important that you use documentation. And particularly when you
are trying to document a stillborn child, you want to base this information on some type of
documentation. Now there are not a lot of records that are created for stillbirths. There are some,
and I'll show you one in just a moment. However, you can utilize interviews with people. You could
use family bibles occasionally the stillborn child is recorded there. You can also utilize
diaries and other first-hand accounts about the loss of a child just.
Be sure to tell other
people what sources you use and, if possible, share those images when you start recording that
there was a stillborn child in your family tree. Over in Ohio, as you can see on the Ohio History
Connection page, which is associated with the Ohio State Archives, there is a death index. And
one of the things they have – Because I remember being in the state archive and going past this
collection. Unfortunately, it didn't have enough time to explore it. However, I now can search an
index to this collection using the search form. In this collection, I went ahead and used the name
stillborn. and then I have to have part of a last name. So I'm just going to use a wildcard search.
And then I'm going to limit it to franklin county. And do a search range. It's pretty broad, but
I'm going to go ahead and use it 1913 to 1935. and click search.
Now I find that there are
quite a few of the stillborns recorded. This is their volume number and their certificate.
And I can go and look those up. So, I do have evidence that a stillborn child was born with
the last name Brauwnex, possibly even Broadway, in Franklin County, Ohio. And I have the
date. Now that you know that you have evidence of a stillborn child born to a woman,
what do you do? Well, you're going to add that to the FamilySearch family tree. So, let's
say that for my Grandma Emma, there is a record that said that when Lewis
was born, she had had nine children. Now I have one child that she recorded in
her Bible, but this is not a stillborn death. I did have another record in 1904 about a child
I did find that certificate, and there's still a few other children to add to this tree.
So, I click "Add a child." You simply add a child as you would if you had a living birth. So, now
I'm going to click on "Add a child." And now I'm going to put in the name. I don't know the name of
the child. So, I'm not going to put a first name. I do know that the father's name was Brown. So,
I'm going to do that. The child was male. They are deceased. And now I need to put the birth date
and the birth year. So, let's say 18 November 19 in Columbus, Ohio. And then it's the same
date, and place/ I just did a copy and ctrl+c copy. Control+v paste. And I went ahead and click
Now it's going to search the database to see if I already have a match in there. I don't. So,
I'm going to click "Create a Person." And now I have the child in 1905, but how does anybody
know that that child is a stillborn? Well, I need to go to the profile, and here I can click
"Edit." Now you can add information. In this case, perhaps you knew that the child was stillborn at
three months old or the child was stillborn at eight months old. There are a lot of the records
that actually tell you how far along in the pregnancy what the mother was. So, if you have
it, go ahead and put it in. Then click "Save." And that's one way you can add a stillborn.
Another thing you could do is do add an EVENT here on FamilySearch. And they do
have a custom event for stillborn. And then you put in the place- Franklin County,
Ohio – and then tell people where you got this information.
So, there you go. So in FamilySearch,
you have a note, and you have a custom field for putting a stillbirth. What are you going to add
to your family tree about your stillborn child? Anything you have access to. So, the child's name,
but we'll give you some guidelines about that in just a minute. You're going to add the gender.
You're going to add the birth date and place, and the death date and place. And then attach
any sources that you know that articulates this information. Now some records do not differentiate
between a child that is born and is deceased or a child that is born and lives for a few
hours and then dies. So, do your best based on the records that you have. Don't put your
own presumptions into the records.
If it says stillborn, that's what you go with. If it does not
say stillborn, do not add a stillborn tag for a child that dies the same day that they were born.
Try to be as clear as you can. Now I'm over on Ancestry. And there's actually one cool thing that
I wish a lot of platforms has, and that is the way to tag your ancestor. So, you're not cluttering up
the suffix field with this extraneous information or adding crazy graphics. So, all you have to do
is click on MyTreeTags.
If the child died young, so, it lives for a few hours, live for a
few days, then you can put the "Died Young: relationship tree tag onto your tree. And notice
it'll just be there in your profile. So, whenever you come across this child, you can see, "oh,
they died young." If they did not die young, then you're going to need to add a custom MyTreeTag.
So, to do that, you create a custom tree tag "Stillborn" and click "Create." And now you have
STILLBORN attached to that tree.
And you can attach it to anybody else in your family tree
that is a stillborn child. So, how do you record the name of your stillborn child? Consult the
documents. If a document says the child's name is Lizzie Brown, then you name the child Lizzie
Brown. Becareful. Just because it says Lizzie, does not mean their name is Elizabeth. Use what
is on the documents that are available to you. If you do not have a name identified on a
document, or the document says something that's "infant," "girl," "boy," "unnamed," or
"stillborn," do not put them in your tree. So, in this tree, it has Miss. And Miss should not be
in that field. Then you have the gender. And you can go ahead and click "Save." Now back to naming,
if the father was named on the certificate, the genealogical standard is that you use
the father's surname as the stillborn child's surname. So, in this case, Geiszler, because I
do know that George Joseph Geisler was married to Eveline Townley Peak at this time period. So, the
last name would be Geiszler.
But not every mother identifies the name of a father. And in that
case, then you would just use the mother's surname in place of the father's surname for the surname
of a child. Now, if you have a stillborn child and you have no identity for the parents, I don't know
how you're going to put that into the family tree. Because you're just going to have a floating
tree out there of this child with no parents' names. So, I would refrain from adding a stillborn
child with no known parents to the family tree.
If you do know them, then follow those practices. If
you have other questions, don't be afraid to ask how do I add fill in the blank to my family
tree, and I'll be happy to answer you. If you want more tips and tricks on how to
get started in genealogy research, be sure to check out this video. And if you're ready for
something new, check out this video right here. What are the things that you're? What
are you going to add to the family?