14 July 2012

Birth year challenge

Here's a challenge in resolving conflicting evidence

A US census record taken on Friday 15 April 1910 showing a boy aged 10
A Canadian province civil registration certificate for a marriage on Thursday 1 June 1922 showing his age as 23
A Canadian military attestation paper showing him enlisting on Friday 12 May 1916 with age given as 18 years and birth-date Friday 31 December 1897. The minimum age for enlistment was 18.
A US state birth certificate showing Monday 2 January 1899 as his birth-date registered on the last day allowable before a penalty for late registration had to be paid.

Please leave a comment on how you came to your conclusion despite the conflicting evidence.


Anonymous said...

Birthdate is Dec. 31. 1898. The US documentation is suspect as the parents probably missed the registration deadline and didn't want to pay a fine, so rejigged the son's birthdate to accommodate a no-fine scenario. The US census info is based on the suspect birth info. The son probably lied about his age by one year in order to enlist. When he marries in Canada on Thursday, 1 June 1922, he would have been 23 - his birthday not being until Dec. 31.

J. Brian Gilchrist said...

For now it would be appropriate to use the "born circa 1898/1899" - and list the sources you have found to date. Where is this person in the 1900 / 1901 census? Did he live to apply for an Old Age Pension / Social \security and what evidence of birth did he present? Is he listed in the 1940 National Registraiuon? Has a baptismal reord been found? Happy Hunting! J. Brian Gilchrist