Today I ordered microfilm from the LDS church on the burial records of St. Adalbert’s Cemetery in Niles, Illinois. I’m hoping to find some additional information on the burial of my great-grandfather Mikolaj (Nicholas) Cygan. Specifically, I’m hoping to find out if he is buried in a family plot, and if so, who he is buried with. I am hoping that he is buried with his son, Alfred, who died in September of 1917 at the age of 18 months from Gastroenteritis.
It is interesting to note that little Alfred died during the month of one of the worst outbreaks of polio in Chicago as seen by this Chicago Health Dept. Report found while searching Google Books. How scary this time must of been for my great-grandparents. Imagine having three children in the house under the age of 5 and the deadly disease infantile paralysis (polio) spreading like wildfire between siblings, cousins, and neighborhoods.
My dad does not recall my grandmother Clara ever talking about Alfred. Of course, Clara came after Alfred. In fact, my great-grandmother Mary Jockem Cygan would have been 8 months pregnant with Clara when she lost her son Alfred.
Someday maybe I’ll find a picture of Alfred. This is why I search. To honor those who may have been forgotten if not for my research.