How do you explain the mother died 1 year before the child was born? [closed]

+5 votes
Sarah Pierson Meeker's death date on tombstone is January 10, 1737. Daughter Sarah Meeker's birth date is January 21, 1738. The mother died a year before the child was born. How is this explained?
WikiTree profile: Sarah Smith
closed with the note: Resolved
in Genealogy Help by
closed by Keith Hathaway
thanks for pointing that out. Either an incorrect entry in WikiTree for the mother or an incorrect merge.

or - maybe an incorrect reading of the tombstone or an incorrect date?  I didn't see a link to her tombstone, but the WikiTree profile for the mother ( ) has her death as January 28, and says that "Sarah died at age 20, a week after her 2nd child was born."  Maybe a difference in old style/new style dates? (I must admit to not understanding the dual date thing, would it apply for a date from 1738?)


There is a ledgible picture of Sarah Pierson Meeker's tombstone on Find A Grave, First Presbyterian Churchyard, Orange, Essex Co., New Jersey. I don't know what the answer is either, but thanks for your reply.

It would suggest to me that the tombstone was put up some time after the actual event, and someone got the year wrong. I've no idea how you would prove or disprove that theory though!

Regarding the comment about the old fashioned way of dating years (i.e. when the year began in March rather than January) - yes that would apply in 1738. But if the mother allegedly died a week after the child was born, that wouldn't explain it since the mother's death date would still be 11 days before the child's birth. There was never a time when the year changed between January 10 and 21.
Or maybe the child's recorded birth date is actually a christening date instead?

Thanks Julia (glad I admitted to not understanding the date thing).  Also, I missed it the first go-round, even though it was in the question - dates are a year and some off.  The tombstone looks remarkably well-preserved for being 173x, but it could be the original (albeit still put up after the event), unlike her husband's, which looks decidedly new (as in late 1900s, maybe even 2000s new).  And I'm with you on no idea how to prove/disprove, as cemetery records generally match what's on the tombstone and as this is the church's cemetery, I wouldn't expect to find that the church records showed anything different either. 

Cheers, Liz

ooh - anonymous 2, I think you hit on the probable reason... a christening date instead of the actual birth date could even explain the year difference!  Thanks for posting!
From the book "The Meeker Family of Early New Jersey" the author Leroy J Meeker wrote "Unless the datings are all wrong, the first two children of Timothy, Joseph (c1737) carrying his grandfather Piersons's name, and Sarah (1/21/1738) whose birth-date is given as the day her mother died, were both the children of Sarah Pierson."

So although his date doesn't match the tombstone, the author thinks Sarah Pierson died in childbirth. I have no idea where 1/21/1738 was given, but it could be possible the tombstone is a year and eleven days off.
Thanks for the additional information - with source!  Are you a relative? If so, and if you have a Wiki profile, you should ask to be added to Sarah's trusted like (that will put her on your watch list).


In the New Jersey Deaths and Burials Index for 1720-1988 there is a Mrs. Sarah Meeker who died 27 Jan 1842.

2 Answers

+4 votes
Best answer
In1731 we were still using the Julian calendarcalendar.   We now use the Gregorian calendar.  

They are the same day using the different calendars.
by Maureen Rosenfeld G2G6 Pilot (182k points)
selected by Anonymous King
Not a lot of people know that.
+1 vote
wow - what a great find - ! I've posted the link to the bulletin board on Sarah's profile page.  Thanks!!
by Liz Shifflett G2G6 Pilot (504k points)

Related questions

+11 votes
2 answers
+2 votes
2 answers
+3 votes
2 answers
+4 votes
4 answers

WikiTree  ~  About  ~  Help Help  ~  Search Person Search  ~  Surname:

disclaimer - terms - copyright