Funerals by the People

When Harm Habben was buried “Near Quincy road in Harmony Township,” the “people” were the undertaker.

It wasn’t the “People’s Funeral Home.” Likely the neighbors helped the family with preparation of the body and the funeral. The death certificate makes it sound like Habben was buried along a road somewhere. The burial was actually in Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery south of Carthage, Hancock County, Illinois. That cemetery is located on what was known later as the Old Quincy Road. There is no date of burial listed on the death certificate.

Death certificates may not give as much detail as we would like and not all locations have undertakers or morticians.

Habben’s grave is marked with a stone that only has the last name on it. His mother and a sibling are buried there as well. It’s not known whether stones were originally placed on the graves or not. The marker standing there today is of a more recent vintage than the 1880s. Habben’s immediate family left for Nebraska in the 1880s and it is possible the grave was never marked. It’s also possible the original stones fell into disrepair.



2 thoughts on “Funerals by the People

  1. Linda Sullivan says:

    Since the date of death does not include a year; would you use the year the form was signed? And how would you site that assumption? Thanks

    • I’ve used the year the form was signed. I’ve cited the death certificate for the year of death, but made a notation that the actual certificate does not include the year of death in the “death place” on the record, but that it has been inferred from the year given for the date of the document.

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