In an earlier blog, I asked if you knew your parents’ birthdates. Notice I didn’t say birthdays. Birthdate includes the birth year as well as the month and date of birth.
For most of her life, my mother BL, who was an only child, believed her father Bill was a cradle robber and that her mother Ida had been a child bride. When my grandma died, BL got a copy of Ida’s birth certificate and discovered that her mother was actually only three years younger than her father, not the 10 year-difference she’d always been led to believe.
Knowing an ancestor’s real birthdate can be very important, or it can be just somewhat important to your search. If you’re only trying to make sure you are tracking the right Peter Olson, it’s helpful to have a general idea of his birthdate, but you can also validate that he is your ancestor by following him and the names of his parents, spouse and children in the censuses; who is listed as his spouse and his parents on his death certificate; who he is buried with and where; who his survivors are and parents or siblings were from his obituary, etc.
If the real birthdate is critical to your family history research, your best bet is to try and get a copy of your ancestor’s birth certificate or the church records for his or her baptism, which usually includes the birthdate. For male ancestors, WWI and WWII draft registrations also provide birthdates, with the information coming directly from your ancestor.
Do you really know your mother and father’s birthdates?
Discover your roots and watch the branches of your family tree begin to grow.
For more information on my Family History Research services, visit TheMemoryQuilt.com and click on “Family History Research.”