Sharing my experience re: persons born more than 9 months after father's death

+10 votes

Among my ancestors is a man (1st cousin 4x removed) who was born on 28 August 1823.  The exact date of his father's death is unknown, but administrators of his estate were appointed on 28 November 1822.  I did some research to satisfy concerns about paternity and found a surprising (to me) answer.  According to "Science Daily" at, as well as : at, the normal human gestation period can vary by as much as five weeks and be as long as 294 days.  That's about 9.8 months.

WikiTree profile: Bryan McDaniel
in The Tree House by Loretta Layman G2G6 Mach 2 (29k points)
Thanks!  That explains one birth in my family tree that i was puzzled about!
You're welcome Shirlea.
I have 2 children that liked being inside and were born 3 weeks later than the due date.  Now a days the doctors don't normally allow them to go that late, but they definitely didn't worry about things earlier.

Thank you Linda.  I have 8 sisters, all of whom have children, so I think I'll take a survey.  smiley

3 Answers

+4 votes
Best answer
True!  There are definitely varying gestation periods.  We don't see that as often now since most pregnant people will be induced by 42 weeks.  Period cycles vary as well, which will affect the length of gestation.

I have a one person I'm trying to confirm because he seems to be a bit too late after his "father's" death.  I can't remember the length of time off the top of my head at the moment.
by Lynnette Hettrick G2G6 Mach 1 (12.1k points)
selected by Loretta Layman
+3 votes
When a husband dies before any children are born, it's not unheard of for the widow to rush out and get pregnant, intending to pass the child off as her late husband's heir, to her advantage.
by RJ Horace G2G6 Pilot (562k points)
Well, the widow in this case turned administration of the estate over to her brother and her deceased husband's brother to jointly administer.
+3 votes
On a parallel track, a birth closer than 8 months to another record is also possible, if the other record is a baptism. The first child may not have been baptised for several months, and I have seen instances where records showed years between birth and baptism.
by Rob Judd G2G6 Mach 7 (75.8k points)

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