One of the saddest parts of walking through a cemetery is finding the tombstones of babies. This stone is for Alexander Iida at St. Sylvester’s Catholic Cemetery, Kilauea, Kauai Co., Hawaii.
Alexander was the son of Benedict and Maria (Pacheco) Iida. He was born on the 18 of August 1912. He died in February of 1913 (the date was obscured in the photograph). He was 6 months old. It’s unknown what Alexander died of.
Alexander was not the only child of Benedict and Maria to not make it to adulthood. In 1909, Maria gave birth to Antone. He died at the age of 4 months.
Losing babies was a part of life. So many things might happen from a horrible delivery to injury to disease to starvation. Women who worked in the field often delivered in the fields. Because money was necessary, some women had to continue to work after the baby was born. They’d bring the baby out into the fields with them exposing them to the elements. Or, they left the baby with siblings at home, hoping nothing would befall them during the ten hours of the work day.
Medical care was limited. Knowledge of disease was limited. People depended on their Midwives and traditional remedies to take care of whatever ailments came about.
So much might go wrong for a baby. It really was a miracle that so many babies born before modern medicine and hygiene made it to adult life.
Genealogist and writer. Creator of the Portuguese Hawaiian Genealogy and Heritage website, yourislandroutes.com