People Who Died Young
|Children who died young |
are often memorialized with images
symbolic of innocence and tenderness,
such as the lamb that decorates
the gravestone of Lucy Belle Batchelder.
Why Do We Care?
In contrast to traditional genealogical publications that typically contain individual profiles only for people who had children, WikiTree seeks to have a separate profile for every individual person, including those who died in infancy or childhood.
People who create or maintain profiles for infants and children who died can feel especially sentimental about a child who died young. Even when the child died many years ago, they may wish to memorialize the child's short life with something other than a cursory presentation of birth and death dates. Additionally, when documenting a family, it can be valuable to prominently indicate that a specific child died young. This is particularly valuable when a later child in the same family was given the same name. Also, in the eras when families typically had another baby every 18 to 24 months, omitting a child because they died at birth may result in long gaps between births (or between a marriage and a first birth) that invite mistakes, such as connecting some other child to the wrong parents.
The "Died Young" Sticker
The "Died Young" sticker is intended to identify and memorialize a person who died in infancy or childhood. It was created to address both the sentimental and practical motivations for highlighting that a child died young. The sticker includes an image of a "flying baby" (originally stone cherub, from a memorial stone for a deceased child), and it names the child who died young. It does not place a profile into a category. See Template: Died Young for instructions on using this sticker on a profile.
|Image used in the "Died Young" sticker|
What is "Young"?
WikiTree members have expressed varying opinions on the age at death that can be treated as "died young." There is no firm rule on the upper age for using the Died Young sticker. One general principle is that any child who died too young to marry can be labeled as "died young," but it is pointed out that genealogists sometimes encounter records of girls as young as about 12 or 13 who died in childbirth. Some WikiTree discussions of the upper age limit for "died young" can be found in the following G2G threads:
In addition to using the "Died Young" sticker, links found on the righthand side of the profile in Edit mode can be used to indicate "no children" and "no spouse."