Ages #lithuania


Judith Singer
 

I've learned to ignore differences in ages that are 5 years or less,
though it was confusing at first. I generally use the age >from the
earliest record I can find, as most likely to be accurate.

Two more reasons why birth dates vary:
as women got older, they tended to shave a few years off their age,
just as women in the U.S. did a few decades ago (one of my Charney
relatives managed to lose more than ten years that way, bit by bit);
and figuring an elderly person's birth date >from their death record
is not very reliable. Often, no one remembered the exact year, so the
age was simply guessed, and the guess was more likely to be in round
numbers such as 80 rather than 78 or 83. Also, I've noticed that the
age of an elderly person might be exaggerated; I think there was a
certain prestige to living to the age of 90, for example rather than a
"mere" 82.

Judith Singer

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