The ‘Unknowns’. There are several adults buried in the South Brisbane Cemetery who are simply listed in the records as ‘unknown man’ or ‘unknown woman’. These may have been anonymous vagrants who died a pauper’s death and were buried by the government. Some may have been found dead outdoors and were never identified. It is perhaps the loneliest end to a life, not just to die alone, but to die unknown without family or friends.
There are also dozens of listings in the burial registers of ‘unknown baby’ or ‘unknown child’. While this most often relates to stillborns or miscarriages from the hospital, there would also be cases where dead babies were found in public. This was from a time when harsh community opinions and laws led women to ‘dump’ new born babies, whether dead or alive, to conceal a birth. It was quite common to see newspapers articles of these tragic finds.