Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Birth record created for war duty

From: Ms4649@aol.com
To allow my father to enlist in the Army for World War II, a birth record was created for him. The form used is a birth certificate from Texas with a letter typed on the back, explaining the circumstances used to create the birth certificate.

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?


Usually, unless we obtain a photocopy of an original birth record entry (perhaps from microfilm), we must rely on the Clerk of the Court to type a complete, accurate transcription of the original entry. It is then imprinted by the Clerk’s seal to certify the new paper as a true and exact copy of the original birth entry. Unfortunately, we’ve come to know that often the new "forms" for making these copies don’t include fields for information that was provided in the original birth record.

It’s entirely possible that a simple transcription error could have occurred. We’re all human.

DON’T ASSUME ANYTING. Possible solutions might include:
-- Search the Dimmit County Courthouse public vital records of birth for 2 earlier births, which may not have resulted in baptisms/christenings at the local church your father attended.
-- Check the 1900, 1910, 1920 & 1930 US Federal Census entries for your grandfather’s household and his extended family. Are there any children not readily accounted for?
-- Check out Dimmit County USGenWeb
-- Visit the Dimmit County Courthouse and ask to view the original birth record. Understand the books are often large, and cannot be photocopied directly. Some courthouses won’t allow the public to handle these books. Others may allow you to take a digital camera shot of the page in question.
-- Request and pay for another copy of your father’s birth entry to make a 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!
Myrt :)
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207

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