Well, not really, more of a cemetery data collection update. I finished the project a while back, but as I looked over the data and thought of a few ways to analyze it, I decided I had a major weakness if I ever wanted to publish one aspect of it: namely, detecting the 1918 influenza pandemic. It seemed pretty obvious when I did some preliminary analysis early on, but publishing is a different animal and one has to at least minimize biases as much as possible. Obviously, this wasn’t a demographic study to begin with, so there are inherent limitations anyway.
The problem crops up because I only looked at burials from before 1920 which leaves only one year of data (1919) after the pandemic year. So while I could easily compare the 1918 death profile with a lot of earlier years, there was only one after. That means that almost all I could say was that 1918 was different from previous years, but whether it was solely related to something in 1918 and not, for example, something from 1918 and after, was comparatively weakly supported.
So I’m going back out tomorrow to collect basic data — age and sex mostly — for some years afterwards. Probably 1920-25, maybe up to 1929. I figure if I get 100 or so from a variety of locations it should at least allay some criticisms that I haven’t ruled out some change not entirely specific to 1918.
UPDATE: Decided it would be useless to collect more data since the two sets would be incomparable: one’s a tabulation of the full population and the other’s a sample. So, I work with what I got.