Genealogy

Hart Island

This article is a follow-up to a recent blog entitled “Harbour Lights”.

https://genealogyensemble.com/2015/02/10/harbour-lights/

It was noted  that Alpo Hjalmar Lindell had died in the Bowery in New York City and was buried on Hart Island, a Potter’s field. Here is a brief summary of Hart Island.

Hart Island

Hart Island 1

A 101 acre potter’s field

Under the jurisdiction of New York City

Largest tax-funded cemetery in the world

Records are found on microfilms in the Municipal Archives in Manhattan

More than one million dead are buried there

Approximately 1,500 burials a year

One third of the burials are infants

Dead are buried in pine boxes in trenches

 

Hart Island 2

Babies are placed in various sized coffins and stacked five coffins high

Adults are stacked three coffins high in two rows and 25 across

Trenches were used to facilitate disinterment

Ceremonies have not been conducted at the burial site since 1950

No individual markers are set

Currently historic buildings are being torn down to make room for new Mass burials that are conducted by Riker’s Island inmates who are paid 50 cents an hour

Burials are of those people who could not afford private burials

Those unclaimed within a two week period by relatives were also buried there

Burial records are currently kept within the prison system

New York City Department of Corrections created a searchable database starting in 1977

It is not possible to visit the actual grave where a loved one may be buried

There is one ferry to the island every month, other than the ferry used to transport prisoners from Riker’s Island who work at Hart Island

April 30, 2012 jurisdiction of Hart Island was transferred to the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation from the Department of Corrections

 

Hart Island 3

In 2008 a Freedom of Information Act request for 50,000 burial records was granted to the Hart Island Project.

“Since 1994, The Hart Island Project has independently assisted families in obtaining copies of public burial records. The group also helps people track down loved ones and negotiate visits. An ecumenical group named the Interfaith Friends of Potter’s Field has intermittently conducted memorial services on the island.”

Visit the following websites :

https://www.hartisland.net/        a video clip

https://www.hartisland.net/burial records/search/plot=317

 

Source for the above information:

Hart Island, New York    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

Further Reading:

  • Visiting the Island of the Dead A Rare Visit to New York’s Potter’s Field on Hart Island

                By COREY KILGANNONNOV. 15, 2013   The New York Times

 

  • Is your family member buried on Hart Island, off the coast of New York? Sorry, you can’t visit

            PRI’s The World  February 17, 2015 · 1:45 PM EST

Reporter Alina Simone 

 

 

Genealogy, Research tips, Volunteering

Indexing Records for LDS

Have you ever wondered who does some of the indexing for the Mormon Church in Salt Lake City? The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is actively involved in a very unique program in conjunction with the Utah State Prison. “Inmates who volunteered at the Utah State Prison Center last year indexed more than 2 million records…..They put approximately 50,000 hours of personal family research in the project.” This recent article in The Huffington Post  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/03/utah-prisoners-mormon-genealogy_n_5079776.html was like a breath of fresh air to learn that these prisoners are contributing in a very positive way to help genealogists. Perhaps the next time you access familysearch. org  you might think about many of those prisoners who  are involved in preparing the records we as genealogist  so often seek .