Sunday, July 12, 2015

Bernard Keith Midkiff: The Little Boy Who Wasn't Forgotten

The Little Boy Who Wasn’t Forgotten

Back on 03 January 1959 when the family lived in Clay, Jackson Parish, Louisiana, our next-door neighbor came to give us the news. I was in the tenth grade at Quitman High School at the time. I was just an immature, carefree teenager who did not know much about the world! My sister Jean was two years older than me. She had left home to visit our oldest sister and help her with her children for the summer.  While there she met a man, Roy Midkiff, married, and in 23 December 1958 had a baby boy, Bernard Keith Midkiff.

Well, news that we received from our next-door neighbor on that day back on 03 January 1959 was that the baby, Bernard Keith Midkiff, had died. My mother, my father, my sister, my brother, and I were grief stricken. This was the first time we had a death in our immediate family. Bernard Keith died from SIDS, sudden infant death syndrome. Our family made plans to go to Jean and attend the funeral for the baby. Little Bernard Keith Midkiff was a beautiful baby. He looked like an angel in his little tiny casket. Our family had the assurance this little angel boy was in heaven. He was so peaceful and quiet lying in his eternal bed.

You may be wondering now, “Why is she writing about a child who has been gone for so long?” The reason I am writing is that I have thought of this precious baby so many times over the years and wondered where he was buried. Remember now, I was only sixteen years old when he died! Jean, his mom died 21 February 2012 and all hope of getting this information from her is gone. Jean’s son, Dell, called to tell me the plans for Jean’s memorial, where she will be laid to rest, and she will be with Bernard Keith. I now have the name of a cemetery.

The next thing I did was get on
and do a search for Bernard Keith Midkiff. Walla! I found him! I was happy now. This beautiful baby boy has been remembered and someone had taken his or her time to take a picture of the cemetery and put this information on Findagrave. This was a random genealogical act of kindness for which I am grateful.  I have the information, and can now add this to Jean’s family tree. You see, I am a family historian/genealogist and this is important information to have for future generations. Jean’s grandchildren or great grandchildren possibly in the future will research their families and this information will be important to them.

Random acts of genealogical kindness are what volunteer genealogists do on a regular basis. The digitized records that are on websites such as are done by volunteers. These volunteers have gone into courthouses and made photocopies of records. One might think since these records are readily available with the click of a mouse that they magically appear on these websites. That is not the case. Someone somewhere has taken his or her time to go and make photocopies of records. There are also volunteers who index census records so those can be put on the internet. Again, someone has taken his or her time to volunteer to do these random acts of kindness. This is how family historians/genealogists are able to do the research.  Let’s not take this service for granted. This will be done only as long as we have volunteers to give of his or her time to provide this service for us.

Little Bernard Keith Midkiff will be remembered now. I have him in my family tree and when I look at my family tree he will be there in his place with the family.

Bernard Keith Midkiff
Birth: 23 December 1958
Texas, USA
Death:   Jan. 13, 1959
Kountze, Hardin County, Texas, USA
Son of Roy and Jean (Eley) Midkiff
Burial: Resthaven Cemetery
Silsbee, Hardin County, Texas, USA

Cemetery notes and/or description:
Directions: Take US Hwy 96 North into Silsbee, Texas. Just before you reach the Silsbee Post Office there is a traffic light. Turn right, at the traffic light, onto Avenue R. At the end of Ave R (cemetery will be straight ahead) turn right and the entrance to the cemetery will be on the left.

Find A Grave Memorial# 36412502
Record added: Apr 26, 2009

Note:  Another way to get to Bernad Keith Midkiff's webpage is to do a Google search by putting in Bernard Keith Midkiff Findagrave in the search box. Then click on search. The site will come up in the search results and by clicking on that search results it will take you to the website.

No comments:

Post a Comment