What do you do with difference dates of birth from difference sources?

+4 votes
136 views
I see two different dates of birth for Sarah. One from Find a Grave 26 Aug 1796 and one a couple months earlier 25 Jun 1796 from Family Data Collections from ancestry.com. What do you recommend I do next to find out which is right? Should I worry over 2 months?
WikiTree profile: Sarah Hedrick
in The Tree House by Mike Johnson G2G3 (3.2k points)
In a lot of cases, a discrepancy of a few weeks or months can be due to birth vs baptism dates.

4 Answers

+2 votes
 
Best answer
I have been coming across birth records that list birth dates that conflict with FindAGrave. If the birth record is consistent with father's name and mother's given name, along with birth location (birth, not baptism) and it conflicts with FindAGrave, I have been leaving suggestions for FindAGrave indicating the information on the birth record, along with birth location if listed.

And there have been times when the year on the headstone is not consistent with the birth record. If the person was born in say 1820 and a friend or family member is expected to report the death in 1900, they may not know the year and give a guesstimate to the undertaker say 1874, which makes the death record incorrect, the headstone incorrect and the FindAGrave incorrect (they don't check for birth records). So, while it takes time from my wiki-sourcing, I do leave suggestions for changes on FindAGrave when I come across birth records that are inconsistent with FindAGrave. I've actually gotten a couple of replies indicating they changed the birth date based on the birth record!

My issue is when I come across birth records for the SAME family member and one birth record lists say 10 Jan 1831 and when I check the next birth record for the SAME person it lists 10 Jan 1832! Case in point, Col Jeduthan Baldwin.
by Carol Baldwin G2G6 Pilot (524k points)
selected by Mike Johnson
+1 vote
I would go with find-a-grave. The earlier record is from a family database not an actual source
by Marion Poole G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
FindAGrave is not always right either. Headstones can be wrong too (dates might not match the age listed). If I had to choose between just those two, I'd match what the photo of the headstone says but leave as Uncertain, and find more sources
Thanks for the tips! I'm not the manager of the profile, so I don't feel comfortable marking it as uncertain. So now I have a task to do on another day about finding more sources.
Not all profile managers are the same.  If the profile manager is active I give more deference than someone who imported a gedcom file 5 years ago then mostly walked away. There is also a comment field on every profile so if you aren't comfortable just changing the profile, you can post  questions, observations, concerns, sources, ideas in the comment field.
+4 votes
I performed a quick search on Ancestry and it appears that the current date on the WikiTree Profile is correct.

I also saw that the findagrave date of 26 Aug 1796 is actually for a "Sarah Ward" who was born in the same state as well.

I hope this helps clarify the confusion as it does happen often. I can't be sure exactly as to what went on in findagrave. It can be very easy to make mistakes there if a Memorial Manager doesn't know about the individual or even pays attention.

I make sure all the Memorials i manage there are as correct as possible (though never perfect).

Good Luck! :-)

~Brian Kerr
by Anonymous Kerr G2G6 Pilot (308k points)
A different woman with the same father, the same brother, and the same husband and children?

Unless the ancestry "sources" actually use an original document for the birth/baptism, how can you be sure it is more correct than the gravestone?
+3 votes
I would ignore both of those while I look for a more reliable, documented source.

Only in the case where I was unable to locate any more reliable source would I use the FAG data, noting it as uncertain and perhaps using the Estimate Date template.

I would then, in the bio, place a Note explaining the discrepancy between the two dates and their sources, suggesting that if a more reliable source is found, the data should be edited to reflect it.
by Lois Tilton G2G6 Pilot (128k points)

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