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27 March 2013

Does One Day Off Really Matter?

In most cases of births, deaths, and marriages, a discrepancy of one or two days is frequently not crucial. Dates that differ by years, names that do not even sound alike are more of a concern--as are relationships that do not make sense. Transcribe documents as they are written, but try and avoid creating genealogical drama out of a date that varies by one or two days in later records. Oftentimes, it simply is due to someone's faulty memory--particularly when the date of birth in question is in the 1820s and the person was born in a location where there are no contemporary vital records.


  1. And I'm trying to reconcile a known ancestor: Camille Eugene Oswald Englebert de BUISSERET, who was born 18 July 1823, according to his headstone and constantly insists he is from France; with another man named Camille Auguste Oswald ENGLEBERT, born 15 July 1822 in Glimes, Brabant-Wallon, Belgium. I'm giving up a year and three days, along with two different names and one supposed add-on!

    The birthdate I would ascribe to faulty memory (I think it was emplaced some 30 years after his death on the death of his wife). But the name and country of origin would be a pure fiction created by the ancestor himself. Reading of a fraud case in Belgium concerning that Camille Auguste Oswald ENGLEBERT, then he may have had such a reason for the name change.

    1. I would try find and heir and doing the DNA

  2. I have a Military pension where the death date is 1 day off between several of the papers and I think the reason is the Solider died at night.

  3. Or, perhaps the birthdates were told to the person wrong. My grandma was adopted because her single mother died after child birth. My Grannie celebrated her birth date on the 22nd when in actuality, she was born on the 21st. Her birth mother died on the 22nd. She grew up with the 22nd as her birthdate, as that is what the adopted parents used. It wasn't until she was in her 50s that she learned her real birth date.

    In another case, my great uncle's wife was also adopted. In this case, her celebrated birth date was 7 days before her actual birth date (at least according to her birth certificate). I don't know how your birth date moves forward that much. But it did.

    In any case... I wish be sure to leave notes everywhere I can for these two relatives. That way, someone in the future will know the birth dates celebrated and the birth dates of record.

  4. A fourth great grandfather states he entered the militia during the Revolutionary War at age 13. However, his recorded birthdate indicates he was 12. Where the source of that date comes from I am not sure. However, his grand daughter published a genealogy with that date in it. If that was the original source it is in question for she is often a year short in other things that can be verified by existing records. If you start counting backwards from a date and start with one you come up a year short unless you are Oriental. Occidentals are not a year old until they have been alive for a year, while Orientals count the birth as one. Likewise a thirteen year old is very likely to know he is thirteen. When several years have gone by remembering your age is a little more difficult.

  5. My mom supplied the info. to the clerk for my birth certificate. Her birthday is 1/2 mo. after mine. She was contemplating her new age when asked her age. She gave 36. She was but 35. Good thing I have her baptism certificate.

  6. My Mom was born at home in Denver Colorado during a snowstorm. I have never seen an actual birth certificate for her. Her oldest sister died in Feb of the next year which was 1918. When getting a government clearance someone decided she was born a year before she actually was. I never know if I should put her birthdate as 1917..what we believe to be the actual date or 1916 which is what the government decided on. She has long since passed on so I guess it doesn't actually matter but it still bugs me. When the computer allows me to do so I put 1916/17 but cannot always get that to fit .