1920s Luttrell infant birth and death in Kentucky, no documentation

+2 votes
I am looking for the birth and death records for a baby who lived for four days in the mid to late 1920s. My great-grandparents had at least three children that died shortly after birth.  I think there might have been as many as six, but I can only find documentation for two of them (as well as one who died at age nine).

My grandmother showed me a list of all her deceased siblings in the 1990s.  Her mother had written it out before she died. Unfortunately, I have been unable to find this list since my grandmother's death (it may have been lost or stuck inside a book).  I only saw it twice, and I didn't remember all of the names, but I think there was one named Emily Luttrell, and I think she was born and died in 1926.  I noticed that she was born after my grandmother (who was born in 1923), so I asked her if she remembered this little sister. She told me that she did.  It could have been as late as 1928, but I don't think later, because I remember my grandmother being about four at the time, maybe three or two.  I also seem to remember the birth as being in May (but maybe one of them was named May).  

The problem is that I cannot find any record of the birth or death of this baby, nor of any babies that may have been born between 1919-1922 (there may have been one or two born during this time as well).  

I would appreciate any help in tracking down any records for these children.  

The family lived in Casey County, Kentucky, but they also had relatives in Illinois and Indiana.  My great-grandmother was born in Indianola, Illinois, and died in Tennessee.  Her parents had divorced, and her father and step-mother lived near Indianapolis, Indiana.  I think that all of the children were probably born in Casey County, however, because I think it's unlikely that she would have been traveling out of state while pregnant.

Thanks so much for taking a look at my problem!  I know that it may seem really irrelevant to try to find the names of my grandmother's infant brothers and sisters, but their loss had an enormous impact on my family, which is still being felt today, so it's a part of my family history that I would really like to preserve.

I am including only the baby's Wikitree ID, however both parents and all the known siblings have already been added.

Parents names were Henry Jefferson Luttrell and Vina or Vinia Green (actually Luvinia, but her name never shows up that way).  I have seen Henery and Ruttrell and Dina and Vivian and Greer show up as variant spellings in records.  I'm sure there are other variants as well, making some documents very difficult to find.
WikiTree profile: Emily or Emmeline Luttrell
in Genealogy Help by Susannah Rolfes G2G6 (6.8k points)
My grandmother had two babies before her first child who lived, between 1917 and 1919, there are no records. What makes me sure of no records is that my uncle who was born in 1920 had a delayed (is that the correct term) birth certificate issued shortly before he enlisted during WWII. That happened in Missouri. My Iowa family includes similar delayed birth certificates. My assumption is that babies born at home, in some areas, were not necessarily recorded except in Bibles and if an infant did not survive there was no reason for a delayed birth certificate.

An aunt gave birth to a stillborn infant, at home, in about 1935 and I have never found a record for that child (that was in Los Angeles, CA).

Not much help, I know, but may explain not finding a record.
I would also assume that one or more child simply wasn't reported except the baby born in 1917 that lived 17 days and the baby that was born in 1918 that lived for 7 days both have birth and death certificates, even though they lived in a very rural area of Kentucky.  It's possible that, for some reason, they had just delayed longer to report the birth, so decided there was no point, or it could be that, discouraged with multiple infant deaths, they decided not to bother reporting until they were sure she would live.  I do think that someone who had been reporting births in the 1910s would continue to report them in the 1920s, unless it was just too depressing.  You may be right.  My only hope may be that that slip of paper turns up.
I have found a possible name on Find a Grave!  Colene Luttrell.  She was born and died in 1927 and is in the Birdie Russell Cemetery, where other ancestors are buried and which is close to where they lived. I'm not sure if it's her or not, but I hope to find records of her parents' names (perhaps a death certificate), so I can determine if this is the lost baby I'm looking for.  


I also think there was either 1 or 2 other children, one of whom lived over a year.  I think one of them was nearly 2 when he died, the other lived almost a year.  This is all from memories I have of reading this piece of paper as a teenager in the 1990s, but I have a very good memory (just not good enough to remember all the names and dates, and how many there were, from a piece of paper I only saw twice).  I just remember how badly I felt for my great-grandparents, losing so many children, and I remember thinking, "Wow, after he lived that long, they probably thought he was going to make it, and then he died, too, just like the others."

They are not going to be easy to find, but if there are records, I'll eventually find them.

If anyone can point me to any tips, such as where to look look for physical records that may not be digitized, I'd appreciate it!  I am planning to go to Frankfort next year to search for some other information, and perhaps these records would be stored both at the state capital as well as at the county level.

2 Answers

+3 votes

Marie Beatrice Luttrell


Birth: Jul. 29, 1925Death: 1926image
South Fork Baptist Church Cemetery 
Casey County
Kentucky, USA 
Created by: Rochelle Riordan
Record added: Oct 16, 2006 
Find A Grave Memorial# 16213826

Marie Beatrice Luttrell
Added by: Rochelle Riordan
Marie Beatrice Luttrell
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Rochelle Riordan


by Frank Gill G2G Astronaut (2.3m points)
+2 votes

Beatrice M Lutterall

Kentucky, Vital Record Indexes

Name Beatrice M Lutterall
Event Type Death
Event Date 19 Oct 1926
Event Place Casey, Kentucky, United States
Age 1
Birth Year (Estimated) 1925
  • No image available

Kentucky, Vital Record Indexes, 1911-1999

Citing this Record

"Kentucky, Vital Record Indexes, 1911-1999," database, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QKCM-V5FG : 1 July 2015), Beatrice M Lutterall, 19 Oct 1926; citing Death, Casey, Kentucky, United States, Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives, Frankfort.

by Frank Gill G2G Astronaut (2.3m points)
Thank you, unfortunately Beatrice is not who I am looking for (wrong parents).  Actually, I have a lot of relatives buried in that cemetery, but the only child that has a headstone was Edna, who died at age 9.  She is in that cemetery.  My great-grandfather, grandparents, uncle, and several other ancestors are also buried there.  My grandfather used to preach at South Fork Baptist Church, so there are strong family ties.  It is quite likely that they are actually buried in that cemetery.  I know that most of those rural Protestant cemeteries never kept records, though I admit I have never written to the church and asked if they keep records.  You've given me that idea, at least!

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