Warsaw birth record - why registered 3 months late? #warsaw

Elizabeth Jackson

I have received a birth record from Warsaw for my Great Aunt.  It was registered three months following the event.  Why might they have waited so long to report it?

 Elizabeth Jackson <cattheater@...>

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Sally Bruckheimer

"It was registered three months following the event.  Why might they have waited so long to report it?"
Why would a Jew register their births at all in Russia (or elsewhere in Europe)? Birth records were used to draft boys and tax families. Civil marriages were sometimes heavily taxed or even banned, so the children were recorded as illegitimate. So why would you do it.
In the US today, almost all births are in hospitals, so it is done for you, by the hospital (or midwife, if she is licensed); this is the law, and nobody objects to it. Russia was different because nobody trusted the government.
I have seen records of people with birth records registered 20 or more years later, because, perhaps, they need it to marry - if they want to marry civilly.  I had a (female) cousin who was a lawyer in New York nearly 100 years ago, and she had to get a birth record from Russia to prove whatever to take the bar exam. I have a copy of it. It wasn't done at the time of her birth but long after, but it satisfied the requirement, apparently.
Sally Bruckheimer,  Princeton, NJ  <sallybruc@...>

rv Kaplan

My great aunt, Golda Felman, was born in 1886 in Kaminets-Podolsk, Ukraine, but her birth certificate was obtained in 1906 - the year she left for Scotland.
My great grandfather, Wolf Linderman, was born in Plock, Poland in 1868 or 1870 (depending on whether you believe the Book of Residents), but he and his siblings had their births registered in 1881 - I suspect shortly before they departed for London.
They probably thought they might need these documents in their new homes.

Harvey L Kaplan,  Glasgow, Scotland   <rvlkaplan@...>

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Nicole Heymans

Such occurrences were not peculiar to Jewish citizens.

My grain of salt:

My father was born out of wedlock in England in 1916 to a C of E mother. My grandfather, a Belgian soldier wounded in 1914, had been cared for in the nursing home run by my grandmother, and when deemed fit to leave had been sent to several French camps in succession, probably before either of them knew my grandmother was pregnant. My grandparents married in 1917, but I discovered (after my parents had died) that my father's birth was registered with the GRO only in 1932, by when the family was living in Belgium. Apparently my father was taken out of school aged 16 and trained as a furniture designer, possibly in apprenticeship, and would have needed something more official than a baptism certificate to certify his date of birth.

And naturally, by the time I discovered this, all those who might have shed some light on the matter were no longer with us.

Happy hunting nonetheless,

Nicole Heymans, near Brussels, Belgium


My grandfather was born in the UK after his father died. His mother failed to register his birth within the 6 months legal time limit. To avoid a fine, she invented a date of birth (26/04/1888) within the limit to register him. This date was about 13 months after his father died, so his 'official' date of birth is at least 4 months after his actual date of birth, which is not known.

Henry Best,
London, UK

Deborah Blinder

You don't say where (or when) your great aunt was born. If she was born in a smaller town near Warsaw, someone would have had to travel to Warsaw to register the birth, which may account for the delay.

My grandmother's birth (near Lodz) was not registered until she was 6 or 7 years old. Unlike today in the United States, there apparently was no requirement in Poland in the late 1800s, when my grandmother was born, for civil birth records to be registered immediately.
Deborah Blankenberg Lodi, CA  dtblankenberg@...    

JewishGen ID #613395 Researching BLOCH/BLOCK (Germany to New York, Colombia and Missouri), BLINDER (Kishinev to New York via Poland? and Paris),
KUSHER/KUSZER (Lodz vicinity to New York via Paris), GOLDSCHMIDT (Germany)

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Lee Jaffe

I'm curious to know how you know the date of the "actual event," relative to the registered date.  I have yet to encounter anyone from that region and period who reports their date of birth -- day, month or year -- consistently.   My paternal grandfather reported birthdays in May, August and September on various documents filed over decades, but in his later years we always celebrated in December.  What is your source for determining the actual date?  What kind of alternative record do you have?

Lee Jaffe   <leejaffe54@...>


My gg grandfather registered the births of multiple children (including some who were already deceased) at one time a few years after some of their births. There is a note in the records that the reason for the delay was his constant traveling.
We know he was involved in textile trade in the area around Lodz and assume that he often traveled for work reasons. This also could be why there are contradictory records for his childrens' births listing both Belchatow and Zloczew as the birthplaces, while family lore was always that the family was from Lodz.
Something to consider is that people were more mobile than we might assume. Travel took longer but was still done. Something as simple as traveling could be a reason for delayed registration.

Binyamin Kerman
Baltimore MD

Jill Whitehead

The pattern of not recording births on time, or late by some months or years, that was practised in the old country continued into the new country, because our ancestors were distrustful of authority and the constant fear they may be asked to move on, or be arrested etc for whatever reason.

My Abrahams/Abrams (formerly Ceglaski) great grandparents came to Manchester, UK in 1867 from Suwalki, and eight of their nine children were born in Manchester. These children were all given certain dates of birth on their official birth records which in every case were completely at odds with the birth records given in their official school reports, and it may be that neither were correct. My grandmother Hannah always told her family her birthdate was 31st October 1875, but her English birth record gives it as February 1876. Her school records give another date again in between the two.

On my Guttenberg (later Graham) side, where my great grandfather Aaron came from Rajgrod to Hull in c 1865 to avoid the Tsar's draft, the birth of one of his sons was announced in the Jewish Chronicle at least one week before the date given on his official birth record. I never got to grips with the date on which Aaron was born as it was given in various Polish and other records any time between 1844 and 1850. As he had a wife and baby daughter when he came to Hull, it was unlikely he was born as late as 1850.

In the records on JRI Poland, I had problems working out if my great grand uncle Barnet Servian ne Baruch Serwianski from Sejny was born in 1855 or 1859. It transpired he was born in 1855 but his birth was registered in 1859.

Jill Whitehead, Surrey, UK


My mother was the fourth daughter born to my grandparents. She was born at the end of January in London, England, and the doctor told my grandmother not to bother too much about this child as she was sickly and not expected to live. My grandmother prevailed and my mother survived. Her birth was registered in April -- although the registration gave her actual birth date. So there's another reason for a delayed registration.
Ruth Chernia,  Toronto, Canada

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