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08-05-2019, 15:41   #1
Cyrus T Buford
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Celebrating Birthday 2 days late

Hi All,

Just wondering if others have also come across this situation where a civil record date of birth is 2 days before the DOB an individual believed.

For example, the civil birth record of my great uncle, is May 10th, 1913. I was later told by a child of this man that the birthday was May 12th, i.e the family of the man had always celebrated his birthday on the 12th.

It is also the case of my own mother, (born in 1950). She always celebrated her birthday as the 9th April. Later on in life (she thinks it was when she was getting married at age 22) she got a copy of her birth cert from the local registry office and she was surprised to see that on the cert her DOB was 7th April, so when filling out forms from then on she used the 7th April and celebrated her birthday on that date.
She is the youngest of 12 children, and I remember telling a first cousin of mine this story, only for her to reveal it was the exact same situation with her father (my uncle)...

I have since asked family members for the birthdays of their parents etc. and compared them with the information on my tree and found that it was very common.

My guess is that the birthdays celebrated were that of the baptism of the child, which would usually have been very quick after birth back then (two days).
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08-05-2019, 18:20   #2
KildareFan
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I have seen many discrepancies between the date of birth on the civil register and the baptismal register. I've found examples of people being baptised before their official birth date.

The person who registered the birth could be the parents or someone who was present at the birth or who said they were, or some runner from the hospital where the baby was born. Some people were illiterate and could have just reported the wrong date as the child could be registered up to 60 days after the birth; there could be fines for late registration so sometimes people just changed the date of birth to fit the date of registration.

Finally, the civil register is a transcription so lots of scope for errors especially with the horrendous writing adopted by some Registrars.
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09-05-2019, 10:18   #3
kildarejohn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyrus T Buford View Post
My guess is that the birthdays celebrated were that of the baptism of the child, which would usually have been very quick after birth back then (two days).
If we are talking about the 1930s/40/50s that would make sense. In rural Ireland, it was much easier and cheaper to get a Baptismal Cert (from the local priest) than to visit/write to Registrar for Birth Cert. The Baptismal Cert was accepted for most purposes such as enrolling in school, 1st Communion etc, so the parents had the Bapt. Cert ready to hand; if they had a copy of Birth Cert it was hidden away in a drawer for safety. So the date on the Bapt. Cert came to be used as the birthday.
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09-05-2019, 12:41   #4
pedroeibar1
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I'd agree with Kfan's take. Wife's DoB was incorrectly registered by her father. Homebirths often led to registry by other than the mother, so errors happened. I had a neighbour known locally as 'Tim the Turd' (I was too polite to ask why). I later learned that when asked for name details on registering the birth, his father (who had celebrated in the pub) said 'the third'. It stuck with Tim until his death.
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10-05-2019, 23:39   #5
srmf5
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My dad has the wrong date recorded on his birth cert. He was born on 11th April but his birth was incorrectly recorded as 12th April by the nun who registered the birth. My grandfather always celebrated his birthday on 30th May. However, he wasn't sure if his birthday was the 30th or 31st. With the records now freely available online, it was confirmed that he celebrated his birthday on the right day. Considering that there is a repeated pattern of birthdays being about two days off in your family, it seems possible that they were using the baptism date.
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13-05-2019, 04:19   #6
VirginiaB
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How about an obituary published the day before someone died? That was the case with my great-great grandfather's brother in the Brooklyn Eagle in the 1860s. I had found his death cert but could not find an obit and no guarantee one was published. It's a miracle I checked before the death date and found an obit as it turned out to have the family's place of origin in Co Meath. That's the only doc I ever found with that info. I later found baptism & other records to confirm.

Last edited by VirginiaB; 13-05-2019 at 13:48.
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13-05-2019, 05:46   #7
Kablamo!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srmf5 View Post
My dad has the wrong date recorded on his birth cert. He was born on 11th April but his birth was incorrectly recorded as 12th April by the nun who registered the birth. My grandfather always celebrated his birthday on 30th May. However, he wasn't sure if his birthday was the 30th or 31st. With the records now freely available online, it was confirmed that he celebrated his birthday on the right day. Considering that there is a repeated pattern of birthdays being about two days off in your family, it seems possible that they were using the baptism date.
My father celebrated his birthday on May 31st, discovered when he died that he was actually born on the 30th.
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13-05-2019, 11:31   #8
ticklebelly7
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My Mam celebrated her birthday as 19 April till she had to get a passport. It was then she found out from her birth cert that she was actually born on 17th. And had been using her baptism date all along. So we compromised and had two birthdays a year for her. As she lived to 95, this proved quite expensive in the long run...
Doing the genealogy research I found out that Granny didn't register her birth till she was five. By then she had about five siblings so maybe the GRO was offering a register one / get four free deal.
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13-05-2019, 18:18   #9
SophieLockhart
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Yes it's very common. My grand-aunts birthday would be celebrated a full 3 weeks before the date on the cert. It was a particular saint's feast day which I think was a regular custom. Also January 1 was more likely than you would statistically expect. Of course with fines being imposed for late registration, we can't prove any of the entries with 100% accuracy.
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