Tag Archives: Nottingham

Unknown Female Child

While researching today at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, I ran across an interesting entry in a parish record that made me stop and do a double take. After magnifying the document so I could read it better, I was dismayed at what I had discovered – the burial of an unidentified child.

The parish record, which recorded the marriages and burials for the village of Harworth in Nottingham, England, held the following disturbing entry for the date of January 26, 1723:

An unknown female child found dead upon Harworth Comon & buried in Harworth Church Yard.

COLDCASE_1723No name, age or identifying marks, was used to describe the child and unlike the other burial entries, there was no father or mother’s name listed, claiming kinship. There was no evidence that this child was loved, missed or even remembered.

Unknown female child.

Somewhere, a family is missing a part of their family tree. An descendant doesn’t know that unknown female child is a part of their history – one of their ancestors.

Unknown female child.

Just thinking of those words, the only words left to history to remember her, bothers me and leaves me with so many unanswered questions. For almost 300 years, this child, somebody’s baby, somebody’s daughter, somebody’s sister, somebody’s loved one, has been known only as an unknown female child.

What happened to that little girl? Was she an infant? A toddler? Was she old enough to speak out? Did she have a family that loved her and missed her? Was it an accident? Did someone hurt her? Was it someone she knew or loved?

And the biggest question?

Why wasn’t she claimed?

Everyone deserves to be remembered. Every being deserves to know that they mattered. Every life deserves to be recorded.

Especially, an unknown female child.


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