The Brief Life of John Kurpiel

My Aunt Bronisława was the second of three infants to be buried in an unmarked grave in Notre Dame Cemetery, Worcester.  The first to be buried was John Kurpiel who died when he was only a month old.  Like Bronisława, he was from a Polish family and he died of broncho pneumonia.  Finding his birth and death records was relatively easy, especially since Barb Poole looked up the volume and page numbers in the vital record indexes at the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) in Boston.  I didn’t have a chance to visit the NEHGS in my recent trip to Boston (although I did have dinner on Newbury Street, just a few blocks from the NEHGS on Saturday night).

The Birth Record of John Kurpiel is shown below.  Like Bronisława’s birth record, John’s record is included in a ledger and was recorded in January of the year following his birth.  In John’s case, his birth was actually recorded after his death.  As with Bronisława’s birth record, I cropped the ledger page just below John Kurpiel’s entry, so John’s name appears to be at the bottom of the page.  The original page contained many more entries below John’s.

Birth Record of John Kurpiel - 1912

Birth Record of John Kurpiel – 1912

The entry states that:

  • John Kurpiel was listed as entry number 224 in Massachusetts Births, volume 611, page 514
  • He was a male child, born in the City of Worcester, Massachusetts on October 30, 1912
  • His father was Mateus Kurpiel and his mother was Katarzyna Novak, both of whom resided in Worcester
  • His father’s occupation was not listed
  • Both of his parents were born in Austria
  • His birth was registered in the City of Worcester in January 1913

The correct Polish spelling of the names of John’s parents should be Mateusz Kurpiel and Katarzyna Nowak.

The Death Record of John Kurpiel is recorded on the standard form, just as Bronisława’s was.

Death Record of John Kurpiel - 1912

Death Record of John Kurpiel – 1912

The Death Record states that:

  • John Kurpiel’s death was recorded in Massachusetts Deaths volume 111, number 303
  • He was a single, white male, born in Worcester on October 30, 1912 and was 1 month, 20 days old at the time of death
  • His father was Mateus Kurpiel who was born in Austria
  • His mother was Katarzina Novak and she was born in Austria
  • Peter O’Shea. M.D. attended him from December 17, 1912 until December 20, 1912
  • He died at 6 PM on January 13, 1913 at the family home at 161 Millbury in Worcester after suffering for 4 days with broncho pneumonia
  • Mateus Kurpiel of Worcester was the informant
  • The statement of death by Peter O’Shea. M.D. was made on December 21, 1912
  • He was buried in Worcester on December 21, 1912by the undertaker Lucian Karolkewicz of Worcester
  • The Death Certificate was filed by the registrar on December 23, 1912

Tomorrow:  Adventures finding the birth and death records of the third infant.

Copyright © 2006 by Stephen J. Danko

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