Searching for my Grandfather's birth records #general


Scott Ehrlich <scott@...>
 

I am searching for a record of my grandfather's birth here in
Massachusetts. Samuel House Cohen was born, supposedly in Boston,
April 15, 1903. His parents were Israel Cohen and Rose/Rachel
(Ganze/Gauze) Cohen. He was also a Mason, and I have reached out to
them, too.

It would be nice to find so my mom and I can see it, and so I can
place Israel's residence at that point in time (Israel came to the US
in 1900).

The State archives does not seem to have a record of him, and a
thorough search of ancestry.com and familysearch.com using as
flexiblle parameters as I could yielded nothing. The state archives
said if he was a home birth, the parents should report it, but may not
have, if that was the case.

I've directly emailed several communities around Malden, where Israel
finally settled, to see if there are any local records of Sam's birth.

Any other ideas of where his birth may have been recorded, outside of
census records which are not official for this purpose and are only 10
years at a time?

Thanks.

Scott - scott@...


A. E. Jordan
 

From: Scott Ehrlich <scott@...>
Any other ideas of where his birth may have been recorded, outside of
census records which are not official for this purpose and are only 10
years at a time?
This is a common problem in New York City too. They estimate a quarter
or more of all births went unrecorded in the early 1900s/late 1800s.

Besides the obvious using alternate spellings and widening the search
parameters the next thing is to look for delayed reporting. At least
in New York we have files of people who later in life filed for birth
certificates. They are separate files >from the original birth records
and show up with a letter S or D in the indexes. Most common was for
school or the military or a passport they filed for a copy of the birth
certificate.

Checking any military records is a good place to see he person recorded
their birth date or their Social Security application. I do not know
when Social Security started but in modern days you need to show your
birth certificate to file for Social Security. Now I think babies
actually get there number when they are born.

Passport applications would be another good place to look for a person
swearing to their details of birth. Of course that is only if they
traveled overseas and got a passport.

Otherwise it is very possible for a person to go about their life
without ever needing to prove the details of their birth.

Allan Jordan


Sherri Bobish
 

Allan wrote:
I do not know when Social Security started but in modern days you need to
show your birth certificate to file for Social Security. Now I think babies
actually get there number when they are born.
Allan is correct. When our son was born two decades ago the hospital
immediately filled out the Social Security application for him. The child must
have a Social Security number for tax purposes.

When Social Security was begun in the mid-1930's there were so many people
without birth certificates that the U.S. census was one medium used as proof
of age. The WPA used that reasoning when applying for funds to index the census.

For more detail on the subject:
http://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2002/spring/soundex-projects.html

Also, note that one had bo be born in 1870 or later to participate in Social
Security.

As an aside, I recall in the 1960's when my gf was retiring and ready to
receive Social Security that my uncle went to NARA in Manhattan to obtain a
copy of my gf's 1904 ship manifest to prove that he was born in 1895. I've
wondered why that was necessary since my gf was naturalized, had appeared on
every U.S. census since 1910, and had a Social Security card since the
mid-1930's.

Also, it was common for people born in the U.S. to have no birth certificate.
Most births were home births, and the paperwork simply didn't get filed. It
was around 1900 when many states began getting stricter about the filing of
birth and marriage records.

Regards,

Sherri Bobish
Princeton, NJ