What is the preferred procedure for entry of sex for an infant that died with no name?

+15 votes
Infant Rose is buried near his or her parents but the sex of the child is not identified.

What is the recommend procedure to correct this as it shows as an error in the new db reports? -  (Which are wonderful by the way.)
WikiTree profile: Infant Rose
in The Tree House by Philip Smith G2G6 Pilot (306k points)
retagged by Dorothy Barry

2 Answers

+15 votes
Best answer
False Error.

Just mark the error as false error, since sex will never be known. Although the child was 4 years old, not an infant.
by Aleš Trtnik G2G6 Pilot (658k points)
selected by Vincent Piazza
Infant was sometimes in the old days in a way to mean a child.   It was even used that way in court documents.  So it is not an error and it helps for real researchers to be aware of that usage when they come across it.
I have one like this and was puzzling over it as well. I don't think the child I'm working with was identified other than "Infant", birth and death dates the same, likely stillborn. Gender would have been identified by the hospital, but with only grave records at the moment, there's just no information to go on. And it's possible the child was born "at the farm" and the mid-wife or whatever just never recorded the information.
I can see this is an old post, but stillborn normally are not issued a birth certificate.  Washington state does not (Personal expierence - daughter stillborn at 9-1/2 months)

This same night that our Mary Elizabeth was born, a child was born was born to a couple across the hall that lived 15 minutes.  That was a person with a birth certificate.

David, I am so sorry for your loss. <3

I think it may depend on where you are.  New Zealand registers stillbirths, but there is no corresponding death register entry.  Some places don't register the birth but do register the death.  As with NZ, some places register the birth, but don't register the death.  My great-great-grandparents had a stillborn child.  Their only daughter.  She had neither birth registration, nor death registration (that we (or the Queensland Registrar General's office) have ever found).  All we have is a newspaper notice that the Judge's wife had a daughter, stillborn.  That was Queensland, Australia, back in the day.  Where there was a registration record, generally a certificate will be issued.

It is a tough area for some of us, so we do try to treat it with sensitivity.  We give the babies a profile, because they were part of the family.  They help tell the tale of the mother, as well.  If it is not known if they were male, or female, then no selection is chosen.  (For the standard WT profile image, that means it is half-and-half.) 

What is harder for some mothers is the babes that are classified as "spontaneous abortions" aka miscarriages.  The baby never got to be viable enough to be a possible birth.  (This has been a tragedy more than once for my direct family.)  There is not a one-off fits all answer.

+3 votes
Given the comments and my own experience, I wouldn't give up on finding confirmation of Rose's gender.  It might be a gravestone, a birth certificate, a obit in the local paper, a note in a parent or sibling's obit. a mortuary record, etc.  So I'd either make an assumption that Rose was a daughter (with a note that it's an educated guess) or leave sex blank... Opps, I see Rose was last name.  So don't guess, just leave blank.
by Dave Dardinger G2G6 Pilot (410k points)

I have several infants who died at birth without being named and one whose sex was unknown.  I call them Daughter Codding, Twin Sons Codding, and Baby Perry.  I known the circumstances of Baby Perry's birth and the baby was born disfigured and sex was unknown.  Baby with no sex returns an error obviously. 

I wonder if WikiTree would consider that there is a growing body of people (in the US) who identify as neither sex and consider themself intersex. There are some other countries who have considered there to be 3 sexes for quite some time. Australia (2003) Germany (2013) India (2009) Nepal (2007) New Zealand  (2112) Pakistan (2009) 

Perhaps x could mean unknown, ambiguous, or intersex.


Also to consider is people who have had a sex change. They have a recorded sex at brth, but they may lve their adult lives with a changed body and a different sex. 


Also to consider is people who have had a sex change. They have a recorded sex at brth, but they may lve their adult lives with a changed body and a different sex.

Yes, as time goes on, we will need some way to work with this, if only to save work on false errors. To some extent name changes will note gender reassignments, but if, for example, someone adopted a child, it would be helpful to be able to note, for example, that though they were born male, they are the child's adoptive mother. Part of this would be how we deal with the issue of genetic parentage vs. social parenting.

Then there's the possible issue of nuclear transfer / mitochondria donations - if we're looking at DNA, there will be 3 parents to track, as the child would have one mother for the nuclear DNA and one for the mitochondrial, as well as the nuclear DNA from the father.

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