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16 January 2012

Could They Get By Without a Record?

In the 21st century in many countries, it is difficult to function without a birth certificate. Settling up an estate may be difficult without a death certificate. This was not necessarily the case in 1912 or 1812. Your ancestor very easily might not have a record of his birth or death, particularly for events that took place two hundred years ago.

It would have been a little more difficult for your 1812 ancestor to function without deeds to his property, paying his taxes, or settling up his father's estate. That's why those records are more likely to exist. Records of property are often one of the earliest records--much earlier than who was born or who died.

1 comment:

  1. My neighbor doesn't have a birth certificate, and he was born in 1940! I found this out when I was helping him get a passport (he also doesn't read well.) He has his driver's license, Social Security, Medicare & voter registration, but especially in the wake of 9/11 they want a lot more for passports. I ended up doing some genealogy on him to try to show that he and his parents were born in the US. After getting what I could from Ancestry, making a lot of phone calls and actually finding school records from his elementary school in another state, we sent in the info and crossed our fingers. He finally got his passport...whew! I never would have thought that someone born in 1940 (even if it was at home), would not have a birth certificate.