JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen NYC Birth Records (c. 1900) - Question #general

Shawn Weil <weil.17@...>

List and Friends-

I have a question about NYC Birth Records c. 1900.

My GGreatgrandmother had 9 children, 8 of which survived to adulthood.
Family lore says that the child who passed away before his time was run
over in the streets of the Lower East Side by a beer wagon, while my
grandfather was supposed to be supervising. However, my grandfather was
the youngest of the 8 siblings that survived, and he wouldn't have been
older than 3 years old himself. I doubt the family story, and would like
corroboration in documentation.

I am trying to figure out when this missing sibling was born and killed.
Here are my clues.
1) The 1900 census does not indicate that a child passed away.
2) The 1910 census does indicate the passing of a child.
3) I know that siblings were born 6/1899, 8/11/1901, 7/28/1903
*4) NYC Birth Certificates >from 1901 and 1903 seem to indicate that the
child was born in 1902. However, I do not know if I am interpreting the
questions correctly.

In NYC Birth records of this era, there are two questions that seem
pertinent to my mystery:
- Number of Previous Children
- How Many Now Living (in all)

The answers in the 1901 Certificate:
- Number of Previous Children: 6
- How Many Now Living (in all): 7
(Does this mean that all of her children are living?)

The answers in the 1903 Certificate:
- Number of Previous Children: 8
- How Many Now Living (in all): 8
(Does this mean that a child has passed away?)

Now, I would interpret the first question to reflect the number of
successful pregnancies that the mother had had before(and not including)
the birth of the current child I would interpret the second question to
reflect the number of children that are currently living, including the
current child.

Is this the correct interpretation? Was this the interpretation at the
time, or was the ambiguity interpreted differently by the individuals
filling out the forms? What does this say about the missing child, if

Any illumination would be appreciated.

Shawn Weil
Columbus, OH

PS - I am far >from NYC to go through the index of births at the municipal
archives. I've gone through the one on-line, but because they do not
indicate the names of the parents, I can only finger possible matches.