Re: Birthdates #general

Richard Lowenthal <richlowenthal@...>

In many cases it's not a question of whether or not they knew the exact
birthdate, but what was reported. I've found a tendency in many cases
within my family for the ages of unmarried woman to be significantly less
than the real age. For instance, my grandmother and her twin brother were
born in 1893, but in the 1915 census their mother reported her as two years
younger than her twin brother. Her other unmarried sisters were similarly
rejuvenated. I've found similar examples on both sides of my family. The
ages reported in Ellis Island records seem to be particularly fluid, with a
tendency to make teenagers older and middle-aged people younger, presumably
on the assumption it would help them get into the country.

It saddens me and I believe it does a disservice to our combined
and individual genealogy quests to state with oversimplification that
our grandparents did not know their dates of birth.

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