The BEST Guide to POLAND
Unanswered  |  Archives 
 
 
User: Guest

Home / Genealogy  % width posts: 16

Are recorded birth dates sometimes different from the actual?


uhnow86 1 | 3
21 Jan 2013 #1
My grandfather was born in 1886 in what is now Ukraine (1-2 kms from the Polish border). But the birth records for his village are in Warsaw. I sent the Central Archives of Historical Records in Warsaw his name, date of birth and place of birth. The archive sent me a letter about his birth, but the date was off by about two weeks. So I was thinking that this was a different person from my grandfather. But someone has since told me that it is common that the actual birth date and the date entered in the records are different because of baptism, etc.

Can this be true? If so, doesn't that make it nearly impossible to verify that the persons are the same (names of his parents are unknown to me)?
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
21 Jan 2013 #2
The archive sent me a letter about his birth, but the date was off by about two weeks.

How do you know which date is the correct one? The recorded date may be accurate, and what your family members remembered might be off. I think it's down to a laxer attitude to dates and time in general back in the day.
OP uhnow86 1 | 3
21 Jan 2013 #3
How do you know which date is the correct one?

The date I am going by comes from his WWII draft registration card from 1942. That's also the source of his place of birth.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
21 Jan 2013 #4
He might have misremembered (or - for whatever reason - lied about) his own date of birth, or any of the official records might be wrong... I would probably put it down to a mistake made by a clerk or family member somewhere down the line. Is there no additional info on the draft registration card though? I would have thought at least the name of the father would have been recorded.
gjene 14 | 204
21 Jan 2013 #5
Yes, to the baptism. Sometimes, parents waited to baptise the child once the mother and child were well enough to travel depending on how close they were to the church. The other thing to remember and look into is the change from Gregorian to Julian calendar. This would throw off a lot of records by 2 weeks. Try to find out when the switch was made. Otherwise, the church date will be the best to go from for the time being since it was recorded and you can backtrack from there by 3 days to the 2 weeks time frame. Another thing to factor in, how populated was the area for where the church is at the time of the baptism. If some churches, have a circuit riding clergy, that could also explain the 2 week delay. I have read about some churches like that in Poland.
Ziemowit 13 | 4,485
21 Jan 2013 #6
The other thing to remember and look into is the change from Gregorian to Julian calendar.

Yes, this might be essential. The difference between the two is approximately, but not precisely, two weeks. For example, I am now looking at the electronic copy of the Kurier Warszawski of the year 1863. Almost exactly 150 years ago, just two days before the breakout of the January Uprising in Warsaw, the day was the 20th January (Gregorian calender) or the 8th January (Julian calender). The paper prints both dates, but why it is Tuesday (wtorek) on both dates, is something that I can't underdstand.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
21 Jan 2013 #7
I have heard similar before, this difference rings a bell from a past conversation I had with some Polish people on this subject.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
21 Jan 2013 #8
Yes, this might be essential. The difference between the two is approximately, but not precisely, two weeks.

I thought of that as well, but was too lazy to check whether it was in fact approx. two weeks. This is probably the solution then!
OP uhnow86 1 | 3
21 Jan 2013 #9
I had forgotten all about the 2-week calendar difference.

It's interesting if someone's birthday is per the Julian calendar, then they moved to where the Gregorian calendar is in use, would that person still have used the old date they were familiar with as their birthday?

Grandfather's Birth date per WWII Draft card: Sept 16, 1886

Birth date given by Warsaw Archives: Oct 3, 1886 (17 days later).

If they are taking this from old records, then this should be the Julian calendar and when converted to the modern Gregorian, wouldn't it go the other direction, to Oct 15th?

I used a calendar converter at fourmilab.ch/documents/calendar/

In any case, without accurate dates, I'll need some other family info to fill this side of my family tree and none exists...or at least hasn't turned up yet on any of the ancestry type sites.
Ziemowit 13 | 4,485
21 Jan 2013 #10
It's interesting if someone's birthday is per the Julian calendar, then they moved to where the Gregorian calendar is in use,

If he was born in Western Ukraine, the calender in use there was Gregorian (Austrian partition). If he moved to Warsaw, the official calender there in use in 1886 was Julian (Russian partition), so quite the opposite ...
gjene 14 | 204
21 Jan 2013 #11
Please forgive me. I was not trying to or intending to open a can of worms with the calendar business. The Julian calendar came into use about 1752 in most western countries. I think Russia didn't start using it until the 20th century sometime. Not sure of the exact date. But yes it is roughly a 2wk discrepancy between the 2 calendars. If the date given for the grandparent as date of birth, you will have to determine if that is the gregorian or julian date. If it is the julian date, then you add approx. 14 days. If it is the gregorian date, then you subtract.

Here in Canada we celebrated Christmas on Tuesday, 25 December 2012. The Orthodox Church found mostly in Ukraine and the area would celebrate 2 wks later since they use the gregorian calendar. So their Christmas celebrations would have been about January 6th, 2013. Does that help somewhat. By having the different documents try and determine what calendar each system was using that wrote the date down. If for example the baptism, if the church was using the gregorian date and the military document was using the julian calendar then each document confirms the other.

But, like I said, you will have to determine when each made the switch to the current calendar we use now for most of the world. If the government, whether they be from 1 of the 3 partitions, started using the julian calendar before the grandfather was born like most of the other countries were using and the church held out until the turn of the century or after. It is a round about way, but will help to establish who used what, when and for how long. If that is not the case, did the church have its own full time clergy or someone who came by once or twice a month because there was not enough parishioners to warrant a full time clergy. That could also be the reason for the discrepancy. Check with the officials of the church where the grandfather was baptised. They may be able to check the records they may have for the time frame in question to find out if the clergy was full time or not.
Ziemowit 13 | 4,485
21 Jan 2013 #12
The Julian calendar came into use about 1752 in most western countries. I think Russia didn't start using it until the 20th century sometime.

The Orthodox Church found mostly in Ukraine and the area would celebrate 2 wks later since they use the gregorian calendar.

Gjene, you confound those two names. There where you use the name "Julian", you should use the name "Gregorian" and vice versa. The name "Julian" was made after the name of Roman emperor Julius, the name "Gregorian" after the name of pope Gregory who introduced the reform of the Julian calendar into the western world.
gjene 14 | 204
22 Jan 2013 #13
Ziemowit

Whether I had the 2 interchanged is irrelevant. The main point still stands. It does help to help having another view in order to figure out the difference in time between documents and that is the main point. Now it is up to the person asking to determine which version of the calendar applies to the different documents. Besides, even though I had the names of the 2 types of calendar reversed or not, the gist of my previous comment still stands and does help to make some sense of the discrepancy. The person that started this conversation is smart enough to figure it out.
Ziemowit 13 | 4,485
22 Jan 2013 #14
The Julian calendar came into use about 1752 in most western countries.

That is not at all true. Such a statement reflects the peculiar view that Britain and the British empire should be what you have called "most western countries". The Gregorian calendar (and not Julian calendar as already pointed out in my previous post) was adopted by four European Catholic countries on the day specified by the Pope's bull, that is in 1582, these were: Spain and Portugal (and their possessions), Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and most of Italy. France, Austria and most of the now Benelux countries followed suit, in 1582-1583. Many protestant countries objected, but most of them did adopt the Gregorian calendar between 1700 and 1701 (Denmark, Norway, Germany).

The British Empire did indeed adopt the Gregorian calendar in 1752.
archiwum 13 | 125
29 Jan 2013 #15
Usually on a birth certifacate there witnesses. So whenever it's been declared.
OP uhnow86 1 | 3
26 Feb 2013 #16
I have recently been given a couple letters from 25 years ago written by an old friend of the family. He was the Metropolitan of The Holy Orthodox Catholic Patriarchate of America located in New Jersey so I hope I can trust him as a source. He wrote that my great grandfather's name was Maxym. On the birth record with the date discrepancy I mention in the OP shows his name as Maximus. While not proof that the birth record I received from the Archives is that of my grandfather, it does make it more likely...right?


Home / Genealogy / Are recorded birth dates sometimes different from the actual?
BoldItalic [quote]
 
To post as Guest, enter a temporary username or login and post as a member.