Proving An Ancestor’s Birthday

Genealogists frequently have difficulty finding good evidence of 19th century (or earlier) ancestors’ dates of birth or death. As you’ll read in The Value of Knowing Your Birthday, it’s not a phenomena limited to poor obscure families in rural places: even Herbert Hoover had difficulty proving his birthday!

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Proving An Ancestor’s Birthday

  1. Claire, it’s true that Iowa required a record starting in 1880, but my grandmother, Emma, the first US citizen in the family, was born in 1882 and there is no record at the state, in the county, at the church and there is no Bible. The year of her birth is further compounded by the fact she lied about her age because she wanted to appear a little closer in age to her husband. If we didn’t have the family tradition that her mother was pregnant with Emma at the time she crossed the Atlantic, we wouldn’t know that she was born in 1882. She’s not as important as Herbert Hoover but registration was probably erratic at best and amongst the recent immigrants who didn’t have a state system in their homeland–probably worse. {{hugs}}. Jill

    Like

    • Yes, no doubt many places were rather lax in record keeping/record gathering in the early years; I’ve found that to be true in Lake County, Ohio, and that was with people whose ancestors had been in the U.S. several generations.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s