Author Topic: Which date of birth is right?  (Read 522 times)

Offline iolaus

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Which date of birth is right?
« on: Saturday 02 February 19 20:41 GMT (UK) »
Which date of birth is more likely to be the actual date of birth?

The one on official documents ie birth certificate, 1939 register

or the one on the baptism record?

(Ive only seen the text only for the baptism which shows birth date as 25th Apr 1886 (christening date 23rd May 1886) - others show 5th May 1886

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Online KGarrad

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Re: Which date of birth is right?
« Reply #1 on: Saturday 02 February 19 20:47 GMT (UK) »
I would go for the Birth Certificate! ;D
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Offline Milliepede

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Re: Which date of birth is right?
« Reply #2 on: Saturday 02 February 19 22:20 GMT (UK) »
Yes I agree.
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Offline macwil

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Re: Which date of birth is right?
« Reply #3 on: Sunday 03 February 19 03:09 GMT (UK) »
I have to favour the Baptism record. But you do need to see the original to be sure the transcription is accurate.
This was discussed Here
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The only stupid question is the one not asked

WILSON; Lancs, Lanrks.
BERRY; Lancs.
BORASTON; Salop, Worcs,
TYLER; Salop, Herefords.

Online KGarrad

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Re: Which date of birth is right?
« Reply #4 on: Sunday 03 February 19 09:06 GMT (UK) »
Since Civil Registration began, a Birth Certificate is a legal document and, especially after 1874, was compulsory.
Since the birth was registered within 42 days, the date is more likely to be accurate.

Many people weren't baptised, or were baptised months or even years after the birth.
Plenty of scope to mis-remember the actual date?

The 1939 Register shows the date of birth that an individual wanted to show. For many reasons people often wrote down the wrong year!
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Offline macwil

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Re: Which date of birth is right?
« Reply #5 on: Sunday 03 February 19 09:14 GMT (UK) »
. . .
Since the birth was registered within 42 days, the date is more likely to be accurate.
. . .

Where is the evidence for this statement!.
The OP did not state the date of registration nor provided a GRO Ref.
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The only stupid question is the one not asked

WILSON; Lancs, Lanrks.
BERRY; Lancs.
BORASTON; Salop, Worcs,
TYLER; Salop, Herefords.

Offline Sloe Gin

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Re: Which date of birth is right?
« Reply #6 on: Sunday 03 February 19 10:02 GMT (UK) »
Which date of birth is more likely to be the actual date of birth?

The one on official documents ie birth certificate, 1939 register

or the one on the baptism record?

(Ive only seen the text only for the baptism which shows birth date as 25th Apr 1886 (christening date 23rd May 1886) - others show 5th May 1886

This may be a case where the parents were late in registering the child, and gave a false date of birth so as to comply with the 42 day rule.  They would have had no need to do this at the baptism, so the DOB given at the baptism may be the true date.

As already mentioned, you would need to check in the PR that the transcribed date is accurate.
UK census content is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk  Transcriptions are my own.

Offline Andrew Tarr

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Re: Which date of birth is right?
« Reply #7 on: Sunday 03 February 19 10:27 GMT (UK) »
And there is always the chance that the recorder misheard  :P  As I have come across various examples of that, it may have happened more than we think, especially if illiteracy was fairly common. On this occasion '25th' and '5th' may have sounded similar in some contexts - 'about the 5th' ?
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Offline arthurk

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Re: Which date of birth is right?
« Reply #8 on: Sunday 03 February 19 11:27 GMT (UK) »
I have a case which may be similar to the OP's.

My great grandmother was born in early May 1857.
She was baptised on 31 May, and her date of birth was given as 6 May.
Her birth was registered on 8 June, with the date given as 4 May.

For a long time I thought that the birthdate in the baptism register was more likely to be correct, being closer to the event, though the discrepancy always puzzled me. The birth was registered by her father, who was a schoolmaster born into a family containing several parish clerks, and I would have expected him to get it right.

When the 1939 register was released I found she had given the date there as 4 May, and I now feel that must be the correct date. My best guess is that the vicar misread his rough notes when writing up the baptism register.
Researching among others:
Bartle, Bilton, Campbell, Craven, Emmott, Harcourt, Hirst, Kellet(t), Kennedy,
Meaburn, Mennile/Meynell, Metcalf(e), Palliser, Robinson, Rutter, Shipley, Stow, Wilkinson

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