Author Topic: is it possible for the DOB on a death certificate to be wrong?  (Read 4537 times)

Offline Emma Pierce

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is it possible for the DOB on a death certificate to be wrong?
« on: Sunday 16 August 15 20:43 BST (UK) »
I have my great grandmas death certificate Nellie Clara Shoosmith (maiden name Lawrence) Died 14Th August 1982 in Canterbury and her DOB is listed as 10Th Oct 1892 in tunbridge wells (which is also the date on her headstone)

Name on Her marriage certificates (married twice) is Nellie Clara Field Lawrence and suggests she was born 1894 or 1893 and lists her father as Albert Field Lawrence (who her mother did not marry)

BUT I have not been able to find anyone with her name or similar under that DOB, I did however find a birth certificate for a Clara Nellie Lawrence born 10Th Oct 1893 in Tunbridge wells, with NO father listed on the birth certificate.

Do you think that its possible for the DOB to be wrong on the death certificate AND headstone and my great grandma is that of the 1893 Clara.  ??? ???
Cowell - Thanet, Kent, England
Jenner - London, England
Peebles - Glasgow/Lanarkshire, Scotland
Shoosmith - Sussex & Ramsgate, Kent, England
Pierce - London/Kent
Goodman - London, England
Redford - London, England

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Offline Rosinish

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Re: is it possible for the DOB on a death certificate to be wrong?
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 16 August 15 20:57 BST (UK) »
I have my great grandmas death certificate Nellie Clara Shoosmith (maiden name Lawrence) Died 14Th August 1982 in Canterbury and her DOB is listed as 10Th Oct 1892 in tunbridge wells (which is also the date on her headstone)

Name on Her marriage certificates (married twice) is Nellie Clara Field Lawrence and suggests she was born 1894 or 1893 and lists her father as Albert Field Lawrence (who her mother did not marry)

BUT I have not been able to find anyone with her name or similar under that DOB, I did however find a birth certificate for a Clara Nellie Lawrence born 10Th Oct 1893 in Tunbridge wells, with NO father listed on the birth certificate.

Do you think that its possible for the DOB to be wrong on the death certificate AND headstone and my great grandma is that of the 1893 Clara.  ??? ???

Hi Emma

Simple answer to both is yes & quite easily & have one myself.

Annie
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Offline ScouseBoy

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Re: is it possible for the DOB on a death certificate to be wrong?
« Reply #2 on: Sunday 16 August 15 21:19 BST (UK) »
The Informant, whoever that may have been,    may not have known the correct date.   And may have guessed the date, but guessed the wrong date.
Nursall   ~    Buckinghamshire
Avies ~   Norwich

Offline mike175

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Re: is it possible for the DOB on a death certificate to be wrong?
« Reply #3 on: Sunday 16 August 15 21:38 BST (UK) »
Ages or dates of birth do often seem to get wrongly stated. One of my ancestors had a different birthdate on almost every document I have found. The only consistent bit is that the actual day and month are always the same, only the year changes. I suppose it's easier to remember the same birthday even if you forget or deliberately alter the year  :-\

Another person had a different age on his death certificate from that on his headstone. I think people often genuinely didn't know, and just made a guess. Officials could only write down what they were told.

Mike.
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Offline StanleysChesterton

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Re: is it possible for the DOB on a death certificate to be wrong?
« Reply #4 on: Sunday 16 August 15 22:07 BST (UK) »
My own mother only "found out" her real date of birth when she received a letter from the pensions office "out of the blue".  I can still hear her saying "I never knew I was born that year!" - and that's this century.  A woman that was married twice, yet spent her life (until 1984) thinking she'd been born a year later. 

It's possible the "publicly spoken of" date, that she grew up believing, tied up with the mother's later marriage, to minimise any stigma of illegitimacy. 
Related to: Lots of people!
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Elizabeth Long/Elizabeth Wilson/Elizabeth Long Wilson, b 1889 Caxton - where are you?
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Seeking: death year/location of Albert Edward Morgan, born Cambridge 1885/86 to Hannah & Edward Morgan of 33 Cambridge Place.
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Offline Jebber

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Re: is it possible for the DOB on a death certificate to be wrong?
« Reply #5 on: Sunday 16 August 15 22:17 BST (UK) »
As has already been said, it is not unusual for birth dates to differ from that given by the informant of the death.

The middle name Field may be a clue to her father's name, quite often the father's surname was given as a middle name. On the other hand, Albert Field LAWRENCE could be a made up name. It was not uncommon for an unmarried mother to use her father, brother or an uncle's name for a fictitious father of her child. I have this in both mine and my husband's  family.

I have little doubt that the birth certificate you have is the correct one. If I have followed  the right family in the census, her mother was born  Clara Harriet  LAWRENCE and had a younger brother Albert who may have given her the idea for the name.

Jebber
CHOULES All ,  COKER Harwich Essex & Rochester Kent 
COLE Gt. Oakley, & Lt. Oakley, Essex.
DUNCAN Kent
EVERITT Colchester,  Dovercourt & Harwich Essex
GULLIVER/GULLOFER Fifehead Magdalen Dorset
HORSCROFT Kent.
KING Sturminster Newton, Dorset. MONK Odiham Ham.
SCOTT Wrabness, Essex
WILKINS Stour Provost, Dorset.
WICKHAM All in North Essex.
WICKHAM Medway Towns, Kent from 1880
WICKHAM, Ipswich, Suffolk.

Offline Rena

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Re: is it possible for the DOB on a death certificate to be wrong?
« Reply #6 on: Sunday 16 August 15 23:05 BST (UK) »
I've also come across a woman who had a discrepancy of a couple of years between two birth dates.
Her initials at baptism were W.S.M. later changed to W.M.S.
The truth was written in the margin of the child's baptism record where the vicar had made a note that the parents had promised to marry within a year.  The child was given her father's surname as one of her middle names (actually she was given her father's full name of William(ina) Sh---), thus when her parents eventually married her original surname was swapped with her middle surname and on every early census she was always 2 years younger than her actual age. 
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Offline Marmalady

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Re: is it possible for the DOB on a death certificate to be wrong?
« Reply #7 on: Sunday 16 August 15 23:09 BST (UK) »
Yes

My husband's Grandmother said she was 18 when she married --but she was actually 16.
She kept those additional 2 years the rest of her life
Wainwright - Yorkshire
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Online Ayashi

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Re: is it possible for the DOB on a death certificate to be wrong?
« Reply #8 on: Monday 17 August 15 00:09 BST (UK) »
I have a few certificates themselves containing errors, such as the marriage index saying a different year to the one hand-transcribed on the certificate (makes you shudder a bit, doesn't it? How many certs have we got written down wrong?)

One of my ancestors gave me a great deal of trouble as, going by his age on census, his date of birth was anything between 1803 and 1821. I found him in the end, mind you, who knows if he knew how old he actually was.

According to his headstone, my poor old great great grandfather died two days after he was buried  ::)

In short, absolutely.