A. E. Jordan
From: Rose Feldman:
"...when my mother said, don't put the year of birth on my tombstone. My
parents had a plot reserved near by. I asked why, and she answered -
how would it look if two sisters had the same year of birth..."
Generally my rule of thumb is to use the dates/ages that come >from the
earliest documents like births or census when they were infants. Parents
had less motivation to change the date of a 2 or 4 year old on the
census versus by the time they got to 15 and also could not remember
exactly when the child was born. But in general the census is not a
very reliable source of age.
Women also had a amazing talent of aging only 5 or 7 years between 10
year census intervals! I can not tell you how many times I have seen
that happen as you follow the paper trail ... even when the husband
ages a full 10 years.
Then to match Rose's story above .... one of my cousins told me how at
her mother's funeral one of my great aunts took her aside and told he
"Your mother was older than she said. You need to take two years off
her birth date because otherwise it will mess up with her sisters when
they die and are buried next to her." All the sisters had been deducing
two or three or four years I found on their records .... but I did not
have the heart to tell the cousin who was telling me this that her mother
according to the birth certificate I had found was still two years older
... the woman had cut a total of four off her age and the sisters only
told her about two of the years!