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15 June 2012

Did Grandma Approximate Her Place of Birth?

Some immigrants, when providing birth or origin information in their new country, may have provided a town "close" to where the were actually from or were born. Some might have thought that no one had ever heard of their actual place of birth and instead gave a nearby larger town--perhaps the local seat of government or town where most business was conducted.


  1. And we do the same thing today - we say we are from the nearest large town or city. Good thing to keep in mind.

  2. People still do that today. While on a vacation, the hotel clerk noted my residence (which happened to be the state capital). He remarked that he had known a man in the army from that town, gave his name, and some comments concerning his wife. Small world! I knew these folks as they came from my childhood home, 40 miles away from my current residence.

  3. Many times folks used the Census Post Office. Especially if there were no marked roads nor street addresses... farming communities used the general store or post offices for their mail.