German SIG #Germany Re: "One-off" dates (continued) #germany

Peter Straus

On 5 Apr 2012, I posted a note about "one-off" dates, and that they
constituted a subject of interest, which I have never seen discussed, but
which surely many others have encountered, namely the frequency of
occurrence of dates which are exactly one day off >from those culled from
other sources. Frequently, but not always, this discrepancy appears between
family records and official sources. My current theory is that these
"one-off" discrepancies derive >from the mismatch between civil dates
(midnight-to-midnight) and Jewish religious dates (sundown-to-sundown).
But surely someone has investigated this?"

Perhaps not.

The only theory suggested in replies was one I had seen before, and was
cited by more than one respondent, namely that the discrepancies arose
through a confusion of the recordation date at the top of the birth
certificates and the actual date of birth. While it is reasonable that this
occasionally occurs, it seems an unlikely error for professional bureaucrats
familiar with the forms and local customs to regularly make. It is also not
supported by the evidence. Two examples:

--One respondent wrote that his "great grandfather's birth date was recorded
in a family bible by his son as January 1, 1831. When (he) got his birth
certificate >from Düsseldorf it was recorded as having been on January 2, at
4 am."

--My own great aunt, in my youth, always celebrated her birthday on 8 Sep,
and that is the date recorded on her tombstone, as well as on her German
Passport, and various Brazilian travel documents. Yet her birth
certificate, recorded on 14 Sep 1889, gives her birth as "sieben(ten)
September tausend acht hundert achtzig und neun," i.e., 7 Sep 1889.

Neither of these instances can be explained by the date-of-documentation
theory, yet they are typical of the cases I've encountered.

Anyone else care to weigh in? [See Moderator note below.]

Peter Straus, San Francisco pstrausSF@...

Moderator note: Please send your replies to: <pstrausSF@...>
You may also send a copy of your message to our Forum for consideration.
Many of us have found date discrepancies of one day or more.
Messages that do not explain the proven or highly likely
reason for the difference will probably not be posted. MOD 1

Join to automatically receive all group messages.