Sunday, May 15, 2016

Learning of Lost Children

U.S. Census records present a wide variety of data. The first U.S. Federal Census, conducted in 1790, just listed the heads of household with other household members categorized by sex and age group. That was how census data was recorded until the 1850 census when they started to list each household member by name. It wasn't until the 1880 census takers were instructed to identify the relationship of each person to the head of household. The 1870 census is very important if you're researching African American ancestors because prior to 1870 slaves were not reported by name, only by age and sex under their owner's name on separate records called slave schedules. The 1890 census, as most genealogy researches are sadly aware, was destroyed by a fire with only 1% of its records surviving. The 1900 census is the only census to report the month and year of birth for each person, as well as the first census to report a person's the year of immigration. Come 1920 the census also records the year in which a person was naturalized. As time goes on each census collected more and more data. 

In the 1900 census women were asked how many children they had given birth to and how many were living. In an effort to learn about the rate of infant mortality, this information can also help you discover children in your family history who died between the censuses.

In the case of Annette Henry-Hinch, my great-great grandmother, the 1900 census indicates that she had 3 children, 2 of which were alive at the time; Charles and Jane. Both Charles and Jane lived into adulthood, married, and had children of their own. One child had died though.

In the 1910 census this type of information is recorded again. This time Annette states she has had given birth 5 times and 3 of her children were living. That third child I know to be Victor Henry, named after his father. He too lived to be an adult. So, here I learned one more child had died.

So now I was curious if I could find at least the names of those children she lost, if not also the causes of their deaths and places of burial.

I went straight to and specifically searched their database for New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949 because their index shows the most data. Instead of just the name of deceased and the date of the death, this FamilySearch index often provides the names of the deceased person's parents, estimated date of birth, location of death, occupation, and place of burial.

I put in the last name Henry, and then in the section on parents I listed the father's name as Victor and the mother as Anna, the variation on Annette's name that she most commonly went by. Keeping in mind that Annette's husband, Victor, died in 1908 and she never remarried, I also included the date ranges of when those lost children could have been born, 1880 - 1909,

This search pulled up not just the two dead children that Anna had accounted for in the 1900 & 1910 census records but three. 
  1. Mary Henry, who was born in 1898, between Charles and Jane, and died on 6 April 1899 in Brooklyn, before Jane Henry was born in November of that same year. The index indicates that Mary is interred in St. Monica's Cemetery in Queens where I know other members of the Hinch family are buried.
  2. James Henry, was born in 1904, after Victor Jr. was born, and died on 16 July 1905. The index on does not indicate the cemetery he was buried in but I assume St. Monica's because the next child in the database is also buried there.
  3. A son, no given name, was born in 1906 and died on 10 February 1906. 
I then wanted to cross reference those death records with the "New York City Municipal Births, 1846-1909" which is also available through There I found records for 5 or Annette's 6 children.
  1. Annie Henry, who must have been Mary Henry listed above, born 8 December 1897. 
  2. Annie Henry, who is actually Jane Henry who lived to adulthood and whose birthday was 14 November 1899.
  3. Victor Henry was born 10 July 1902.
  4. James Henry, listed above, was born 24 June 1904.
  5. Robert Henry, listed above as an unnamed son, was born on 7 February 1906. 
So now I have a complete list of the children of Victor and Annette Henry:
  1. Charles Henry (26 March 1896 - 14 June 1949), my great-grandfather.
  2. Mary / Annie #1 Henry (8 December 1897 - 6 April 1899)
  3. Jane / Annie #2 Henry (14 November 1899 - 19 May 1982) 
  4. Victor Henry (10 July 1902 - 15 September 1940)
  5. James Henry (24 June 1904 - 16 July 1905)
  6. Robert Henry (7 February 1906 - 10 February 1906)
To learn the causes of death for Mary (Annie #1), James, and Robert, I would need to see their death certificates. Causes of death are not visible on the FamilySearch index. I will either have to order their death records from the NY City Municipal Archives ( or make a trip there some day soon. 

Til then, rest in peace, little ones.

No comments:

Post a Comment