[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Birth Dates -- record from old church book or U.S. government documents?

Peter chamdo4ever at gmail.com
Thu Apr 9 17:34:55 PDT 2015

Wow -- that is very complicated Gary!! Thank you for sharing.

And yes, thank you, I agree -- to my mind, the info from the original
birth record taken at the time and place of birth will always be the
definitive information. Perhaps the ancestor themselves didn't even
know the truth.  It's no big surprise at all if the ancestor was off
on the date after emigrating, nor the U.S. Government on their

The original birth record reigns supreme as the definitive birth info
source as far as I'm concerned.

Again, thanks,


On Thu, Apr 9, 2015 at 10:46 AM, Gary Warner <garyw555 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Peter,
> My father was born- that is all I know for sure!
> 1.  I have a note from his father that says he was born Henrich Jaeger on 6
> Aug 1901
> 2.  I have his Manitoba birth record that says he was born Henry Jager on 12
> Aug 1901
> 3.  I his USA Army papers that say he was born Henry Warner on 12 Aug 1903
> in Harvey, Illinois (he lied to be young enough to enlist, and said his
> birth record got burned in a courthouse fire)
> 4.  I have his Manitoba marriage record that says he was born Henry Warner
> in 1909 in Harvey, Illinois (he lied to be younger for my mother, who was 22
> years younger than he was, and 16 years difference was more acceptable than
> 22)
> 5.  I have his Illinois delayed record of birth that says he was born Henry
> Warner on 12 Aug 1904 (filed to get his Social Security).
> So, yes, I would say to use the earliest record of any event.   You are also
> correct that in double dating, that the first date is the Julian or old
> calendar, and that the second date is the Gregorian or new calendar.  And,
> we always use the second date in our records.
> BUT, my grandparents were married in the Ukraine in 1889 on 31 Dec 1889
> (Julian) or 12 Jan 1890 (Gregorian).   They always insisted that they were
> married on New Years Eve in 1889, which is NOT correct for genealogy, but
> the new date was not New Years eve.
> Gary Warner
> On 4/9/2015 6:38 AM, Peter wrote:
>> Greetings List,
>> My cousin and I are having a friendly little debate.
>> I have the birth record of an ancestor of mine from the Plock church
>> books in the 1870's. I am 100% confident that this is my ancestor.
>> I realize that in Plock at that time, they were coping with both the
>> Julian calendar and the Gregorian/Western calendar. My ancestors birth
>> record lists two dates and I have always used the second, western
>> date.
>> Said ancestor then emigrated to the United States. On all the official
>> U.S. records (Census, draft registration, naturalization, etc.) the
>> birth date is something other than what the Plock church book list it.
>> The year is occasionally the same, occasionally one or two years
>> later. The actual day is never the same between the Plock record
>> (Julian or otherwise) and the U.S. records. The only thing that is
>> consistent throughout is the birth month (when it is given).
>> When listing this ancestor in tree, chart, or database my firm
>> instinct is to go with what I firmly believe his actual birth date to
>> be as the primary birth date: the western date in the Plock church
>> book. That being the first official record of my ancestor after his
>> birth, it is unconscionable for me to consider otherwise.
>> My cousin on the other hand, uses the Plock church book as one of the
>> "alternate" birth dates and tends to pick one of the varying dates
>> listed on the U.S. government documents as the primary birth date,
>> pointing out that said ancestor himself appears to never have used the
>> Plock birth date. He also chooses to rely on what the U.S. government
>> believes the birth date to be, and hence trusts the U.S. government
>> over the Plock church book. I flatly refuse to do that.
>> So, list readers, I'm not asking you to settle this friendly debate
>> between me and my cousin as I don't think it can be settled -- I will
>> always use what I believe to be the most accurate birth date which is
>> what is listed in the Plock church book. I think that to do otherwise,
>> defies the true facts of history.
>> But I am curious as to what other list readers do in situations like
>> this where the birth date in old church books varies from what an
>> individual used in official documents during their lifetime after
>> immigrating.
>> Finally, to be fair to my cousin, in this case my ancestor is not his
>> ancestor. My cousin did concede to change this specific birth date on
>> his public tree to list the Plock church book date as the primary
>> birth date for my ancestor rather than what the U.S. government used.
>> I very much appreciate that.
>> Thank you,
>> Peter Schmidt
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