Confidence level for a mother based on civil registration documents

+7 votes

Is everyone agreeing that a civil registration document naming the mother is enough evidence for to mark her as "confident"?

Other than the act of procreation the birth of a child usually had witnesses and that is the source for the documentation in the civil registration (and I guess the same is true for church books but one can argue that less inquiry was done for those cases. There are cases reported where sisters were used in cases of underaged and non married mothers to avoid the shame in front of the church).

What does everyone thinks about the following narrative in the bio section of a son that has a "confident" mark for his mother:

"As his birth information is from the civil registration there should be no doubt about the mother who gave birth in front of witnesses. The same cannot be said for his father as the act of procreation bares witnesses."

in Policy and Style by Andreas West G2G6 Mach 7 (76.4k points)
Nobody asked for witnesses.  Some cases where the granny was passed off as the mother must have been falsely registered.

Then there's the cases where church adoption societies whisked the baby away at birth.

But the real problem is that you can have a genuine cert and still have the mother mixed up with a different woman.

Or you could have the child mixed up with a different child and be looking at the wrong cert.
That's why I think "confident" is exactly right, RJ (for the extreme unlikely cases you name). It's not 100%, hence confident (with a primary source).
What's unlikely?  Many people have found the birth of the wrong child and never realised.
I'm not sure why you need the extra commentary about witnesses and procreation. Simply cite the civil document, including what it says (and doesn't say). For example: mother identified as ....   Father not named.

If you have permission, upload a copy of the document.
Thanks Jillaine, that's exactly why I asked this question. I wasn't sure how to document it enough to satisfy the WikiTree standards. My whole genealogy stuff including all copies of certificates, pictures, books etc. is unfortunately currently in a storage (can't even open the door, it's filled to the brim LOL).

Guess making everything digital is a job for retirement times ....

2 Answers

+3 votes
Best answer

Barring evidence to the contrary (whether that is DNA evidence, a legal proceeding such as a divorce where [p/m]aternity of a child is brought into question, etc.) I treat the parents originally named on the birth registration or baptism as 'confident'. If we can't accept birth records at face value then we can never be "confident" of any relationship that is not proven by DNA.

by Rob Ton G2G6 Pilot (294k points)
selected by Andreas West
Thanks Rob for your comment. I would be interested in hearing how more people at WikiTree use the 'confident' attribute when it comes to birth certificates or baptism records (both as primary source, not copied from some other source) and using them as a confirmation for the parents.
+1 vote
I have the case of a illegitimate cousin who was passed off as a child of the actual mother's parents.  Later she registered a delayed birth with a person who may or may not have been the actual father.  Apparently he didn't know the person who reard him after her grandmother died was his actual mother.  He later committed suicide when he was older, but i don't if it might have been from finding out the truth or not.  I think the lesson is to tell the truth for posterity, if nothing else.
by Living Dardinger G2G6 Pilot (445k points)
Good example Dave but still qualifies for "confident" IMO.

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