Researchers Identify Body Belonging To Two Year Old From 1876


Last year, officials found the body of a girl who died in 1876 in a small casket under a home in San Francisco. Researchers declared that they identified the body on Tuesday.

The Child

The Garden of Innocence identified Edith Howard Cook, a 2-year-old child who died on Oct. 13, 1876, exactly 6 weeks before her birthday.

The dead body was found by workers last May. Her body’s remains stayed behind when thousands of bodies, buried in Odd Fellows Cemetery in the Richmond District in San Francisco, were relocated around 1920s to Greenlawn Memorial Park in Colma.

Last year, founder of the Garden of Innocence, Elissa Davey, planned to bury the girl’s remains in Colma while started a mission to identify the remains.

After a lot of research to identify the body, researchers found the old cemertry’s map and then matched it with where her parents were buried.

They identified the parents as Horatio Cook and Edith Scooffy. Researchers then looked for anyone alive from the family. One person agreed to a DNA test to compare it with a strand of the girls’ hair, which later proved that he is Peter Cook, Edith’s grandnephew.

Cause Of Death

Jelmer Erkens, a professor at the University of California who helped with the DNA test, explained that Edith died of malnutrition.

“It’s likely she was sick with some disease and at some point her immune system couldn’t combat the disease and probably went into coma and passed away,” he said

Edith’s family was wealthy. Her family buried her in a well ornate coffin full of roses and flowers. She was dressed in a white dress. As for her family, her father was a businessman and her grandfather from her mother was a member of the Society of California Pioneers, an organization which was created by residents in California who came before 1850.