Not Named

Today I came across a death certificate for a child of my 2x Great Grandparents Stella Edwards & Wiley Edwards. It was a baby girl aged 1 month and 1 day. Under name it says very clearly “not named”. I’m not sure how I feel about this, it surely leads me to some questions. I know that the infant mortality rate of that time wasn’t high, were they so used to loosing children that they just gave up? Did they wait until a certain time (family tradition/custom) to name all of their children?  Maybe they were waiting for the Christening/Baptism. Did they know that their child was going to pass away and didn’t want to gain added attachment?  Why didn’t she have a name? While I’ll never know the answer to this question at least I know that she existed.


“North Carolina, Deaths, 1906-1930,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 15 Nov 2013), 004215638 > image 824 of 2727.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Andrea says:

    Awwe very sad. I would also like to think that maybe a name had not been thought of yet.

  2. I’ve come across this in both the census (child identified as “baby” only) & on death certificates. It’s always been a mystery to me as well. You’ve asked a very good question though… maybe it’s time we seek an answer?

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