JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: Questions about identity #general


Judith Romney Wegner
 

At 12:08 AM +0100 9/20/06, Henry Best wrote:
| Yes, you are right! All of your information is what your father-in-law
| guessed. The truth is that many (I could say most, but that would be
| disputed) people in 1900 did not know when they were born, especially
| immigrants. There are lots of stories about somebody 'deciding' on a
| birthdate, having been born on 'Chanukah' some year.
...
| Sender: "Sally Bruckheimer" <sallybru@...>

Sally,

Even today, some immigrants to the UK do not know their date of birth.
Dear Jgenners,

There's yet another possible reason for this kind of confusion.
The changeover to the current western calendar occurred at different
times in different countries.

Thus my father (born in November 1901 and brought to England in 1902)
always celebrated his birthday on November 30th. But he often said
there was some confusion about it, as he was born in Poland on "some
other date" according to the Polish calendar then in force.

My Dad had no birth certificate, but one of my cousins obtained
(after my dad passed away, unfortunately) the text of the "birth
declaration" with which my Zaida registered my father one week after
his birth.

It is handwritten in Polish (which I can't read). But I have the
translation reads as follows

"Before me came Yankiel Rumianek, merchant, age 27, permanent
resident of Wysockie Masoviecke, Lomza Gubernia, currently residing
in the town Blonie. In the presence of witnesses Yosel Prachman,
merchant, age 35 and Shulim Alberstein, merchant, age 34, both
residents of the town Blonie, he brought a baby boy and said that the
baby was born at 8 a.m. on November 17, 1901, in the town of Blonie
from his lawful wife Masz Haja nee Przytycka, age 22. The baby
received the name Yosek."

Presumably the law required him to show up with the baby and two
witnesses, or no doubt he wouldn't have schlepped there at all with
the new baby.

I don't know when the Polish calendar that was in force in 1901 was
altered to match the western calendar. Maybe someone can enlighten
us. But my Dad observed November 30th as his birthday -- presumably
because that was the date in the West which was understood to
correspond with November 17 in the Polish calendar in 1901.

Judith Romney Wegner

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