The Burial Permits Office issues the official disposition, removal or transportation permit for any person who dies within City of Boston. The City of Boston includes Beacon Hill, Back Bay, North End, South End, West End, South Boston, East Boston, Allston, Brighton, Fenway, Mission Hill, Roxbury, Jamaica Plain, Mattapan, Dorchester, West Roxbury, Roslindale, Hyde Park, and Readville.
Burial Permits are issued to Funeral Personnel, after presenting a completed and correct certificate of death.
Burial Permits are issued to record the final disposition of a deceased’s remains. Burial Permits are issued for the burial, cremation, or transportation of a person’s remains. Final disposition may be within the state of Massachusetts, USA, or any other place throughout the world. Permits are also issued for the exhumation and re-interment of any person’s remains within the City of Boston, to another location, in or out of the city, or out of the country.These records could also contain a receipt for the purchase of the grave. The ones I am looking at are have two parts; the actual Permit and a receipt for the purchase of the grave. I have to admit, this is the first time I have examined any of this type of record. The Arizona records give the following information:
- The name of the deceased
- The name of mortician
- The location of the grave
- The date and circumstances of the death, i.e. suicide, still birth, accident, murdered with description etc.
- The cause of death in medical terminology or narrative
- The age at death
- The name of the person or entity purchasing the grave
- Whether or not the remains were transported from another state
- The name of the Town Clerk
So why are they sad? I was stunned to see how many children, who died early in childhood, were buried in the cemetery. The cemetery is literally a graveyard of children. My best guess is more than half the burials were of children. I am certain that the record of their deaths exist in no other place. Period. Looking at the Family History Library Catalog entries, it is likely that these are fairly common records.
In addition to the content of the originals, the link to the mortuary may produce even more records. Mortuary records are not uncommon, but are hardly ever consulted.
Looking at the causes of death makes me thankful for antibiotics and modern medicine. The sadness comes from the realization that many of these children passed through this world without any other record of their existence. How many more of these records and others are locked up in cemetery offices, mortuaries, and other repositories around the world? I would guess millions upon millions.