Providing practical, down-to-earth advice for family historians since 1995, online since 1985.
Birth record created for war duty
I am confused by the notation on the created birth certificate which states that born to this woman (his mother) were two other living children, this same information is listed for the father. My father always thought he was the oldest, the first born; my aunt and uncles have no knowledge of any other children, and my grandmother never stated otherwise.
Should I just assume that on Dec. 2, 1940 the clerk in Texas made a mistake when he created the birth certificate? By this time my father had three younger siblings.
I ordered and read the baptismal records for the church my father was baptized in, and there are no earlier births written for this family. This family stayed in Crosville and Asherton, Dimmit County, Texas.
My father never knew why "two living children" was on his birth certificate and he never contacted the clerk to ask why two was written in.
By time 1922 came around my Grandmother had left her husband for another man. Did these two other children go with my grandfather? Should I keep looking for them or believe that the clerk made a mistake?
It’s entirely possible that a simple transcription error could have occurred. We’re all human.
DON’T ASSUME ANYTHING. Possible solutions might include:
GET ANOTHER COPY FOR COMPARISON.
It probably wouldn’t help your case to state you think a clerk had made a mistake. But the chances of the same mistake being made twice would be mighty low. Use your judgment here, and keep your story to a minimum – something like "We’re not sure if this '2 additional living children' is an accurate transcription." If this was a matter of inheritance, the clerk would be asked to accomplish the same task.
PS – You didn’t mention if your father is still living. You may have to ask him to sign the letter of request. Otherwise, the clerk may ask you to provide a death certificate to prove your father’s right to privacy isn’t being compromised by your inquiry.
Happy family tree climbing!