JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Passaic birth certificate, and other certificates vs. original records #general

Mark Fearer

I have my mother’s 1934 “Certificate of Birth Registration” >from Passaic, which
could be interpreted to look like a diploma, with all the information you
described. What’s important to know is that in general, clerks are creating - or
certifying - the basic facts that may well come >from another record, such as a
birth register. My mother’s certificate states when she was born, but is undated,
indicating it likely was created well after the event. As good genealogists, we
should alway search for a copy of the original records, which is what you appear to
be doing, since transcription mistakes are possible. Whether the certificate
(birth, marriage or death) is “official” or not, it may not be the original record,
unless we specifically asked for that version.
Mark Fearer

David Perle wrote:

I have an interesting-looking "Certificate and Record of Birth" >from my grandma
in Paterson, NJ (Passaic County) in 1927. What's interesting is that it looks
more like a diploma than any other birth certificate that I've seen, such as her
father's in the same city 22 years prior.

So--am I right to suspect that this 'birth diploma' isn't really her full
official birth certificate and I should probably go ahead and order a formal

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