Author Topic: Why would ages be off on records?  (Read 5258 times)

Offline gmichaelking

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Why would ages be off on records?
« on: Sunday 01 January 17 10:03 GMT (UK) »
Hi all,

I am a bit perplexed at the moment, and am wondering if anyone can help.

My wife's Great Grandfather was allegedly 25 years old when he married in 1902.

I have found a record of his birth on FindMyPast, and that gives it as 1874 (which would make him 26/27 years old).

Can anyone suggest a reason for him (seemingly) not knowing how old he was?

I have downloads from ScotlandsPeople so am reasonable confident I have the correct individual.

Thanks in advance for any assistance.

Graeme





Offline Sinann

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Re: Why would ages be off on records?
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 01 January 17 10:07 GMT (UK) »
That's normal, people often didn't know when they were born.
Unlike today they didn't celebrate birthdays.
When old age pensions were introduced it was common for people to 'write home for their age'.

Offline JenB

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Re: Why would ages be off on records?
« Reply #2 on: Sunday 01 January 17 10:12 GMT (UK) »
That's normal, people often didn't know when they were born.

I'd agree with that: many people only seem to have had an approximate idea of when they were born. They didn't have the documentation around them that we have now.
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Offline Maggsie

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Re: Why would ages be off on records?
« Reply #3 on: Sunday 01 January 17 10:15 GMT (UK) »
You must be new to this, always search or guess 5 years + or -.
Many of us have found this when searching.
Many say born about as they don't know what year they were born.
As Sinann and JenB says they didn't know.
Scotland records are the best detailed records I have ever seen, spent hours up in Edinburgh and Glasgow searching.
Maggsie


Offline gmichaelking

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Re: Why would ages be off on records?
« Reply #4 on: Sunday 01 January 17 10:17 GMT (UK) »
Thanks for the prompt replies

Different world to nowadays.

Graeme

Offline km1971

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Re: Why would ages be off on records?
« Reply #5 on: Sunday 01 January 17 10:43 GMT (UK) »
Also, the records you see were often written later with the official relying on scraps of paper, which they sometimes lost and often could not read.

Ken

Offline Sinann

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Re: Why would ages be off on records?
« Reply #6 on: Sunday 01 January 17 10:45 GMT (UK) »
Gets even worse on death Certs as than you have an informant who often didn't have a clue what age the person was.

Offline janan

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Re: Why would ages be off on records?
« Reply #7 on: Sunday 01 January 17 10:52 GMT (UK) »
And, for a variety of possible reasons, sometimes people who from other documents do appear to know their true age give a different one when they marry!
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Offline carol8353

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Re: Why would ages be off on records?
« Reply #8 on: Sunday 01 January 17 10:57 GMT (UK) »
Also men.....and women,used to tweak their age a little if their spouse was a lot older or younger than them,so as not to appear to be too different in age.
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