Friday, August 8, 2014

1850s Coffin & Remains Found in Hastings, Minnesota

The recent news that a body was found in Hastings, Minnesota does not come as a complete surprise to genealogists familiar with “frontier ancestors”.
If you haven’t read the articles or seen the news coverage,  I’m including links for a couple of the published stories  Hastings- Star Trib & Hastings- FoxNews.

In my own genealogy research I've stumbled more than one occasion of a "farm" or "non-cemetery" birth. Which is certainly normal... families often buried relatives on the home farm in the early days, especially in 1850s, here in Minnesota there were few established cities, let alone cemeteries.

I imagine countless burials took place on the pilgrimage to the western parts of the United States... people fell ill and died or infant children didn't survive long after birth... and it is only natural that these early folks would have buried people about anywhere they could find a place.

This recent burial, in Hastings, Minnesota, has been aged to a point of the 1850s or so... back when Minnesota was either still a territory or a fresh new state... and Hastings was nearly nothing but an early trading area.

I'm not familiar with research in the Hastings area... but it would be interesting to see if any old plat maps exist and to see what family may have owned that land in the 1860s... perhaps that unknown lady that was found this week, is a relative of early landowners.

I have one situation of an unknown burial for my Great-Great-Great Grandmother, a woman of 44 years of age, who died in 1877, a long time resident of Freeborn County, Minnesota, I've never been able to locate a burial for her.  I still keep hoping she'll turn up in an early cemetery in Nunda Township, but I fear she ended up in a quiet corner of their time... lost and forgotten to time.
Do you have any farm burial instances in your family? Or what about your knowledge of the Hastings area... and way to find early plat map listings and perhaps find out what her family name is? I wonder if the examiners of her remains were able to locate and viable DNA? Be interesting to have her run through a database.  If it was one of my relatives, I'd like her to have a proper burial spot. 

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