Marriage date before birth

+10 votes
What a Challenge!  If I cannot find a source to document change of marriage year before birth, would it be acceptable to make it the year of the first childs birth and reference uncertain?  This would remove it from the error date report until a source could be found. Upon documentation, then the date could be added and status marked as certain/exact. Thoughts please!
asked in Policy and Style by Deborah Dunn G2G6 Mach 1 (19.7k points)

Be sure to add the appropriate template for the estimated date!

Oh, John mentioned that!!

Thanks! I appreciate every one helping out.

4 Answers

+6 votes
Although I think that idea of using the first child's birth date as an indication of marriage date is a good one, I would check first that the child's birth date actually has a source.  

If there are no sources for that profile then we don't really know if the birth date is anywhere near correct and it makes it harder to then estimate a marriage date with any accuracy.

This is a general comment but I'm wondering about the practice of correcting an error and leaving an unsourced template.  It feels to me that we are just exchanging one error for another.
answered by John Atkinson G2G6 Pilot (329k points)
Thanks John Atkinson, for sharing your wisdom on this matter! When you put in a different est. date for the marriage, sometimes that change will give you a source when you search, I have found this is estimate on the age if male is 20 and female 18, I thought that was safe estimate from the first child's birth.  That change might also produce something in the search engine for sources also.
+9 votes
I usually calculate it 20 or so years "before" either the birth of the first child, or better yet the marriage date if I have them, and add a "Research Notes" section and a note regarding the date. That way it's obvious to anyone doing research where the date comes from, and they can replace it with something more specific if they have it (e.g. even a marriage date would be earlier than the birth of a first child). I figure it's better than leaving it blank altogether. Look forward to seeing what others think...
answered by Denise Chiasson G2G6 Mach 1 (17.2k points)
Thank you Denise, my estimate on the age if male is 20 and female 18, I thought that was safe estimate from the first child's birth.  That change might also produce something in the search engine for sources also.
+2 votes
It is a good estimate. but an estimate only. I know of at least two circumstances (with documented sources) where the parents got married a full year after the birth of their first-born
answered by Richard LeBrun G2G Crew (500 points)
Richard LeBrun, you are so right!  That is the reason we should use the status indicators, uncertain, unless we have the documented proof needed.  I know some that never married, even though they lived to gether and had children.  This be the case, just make sure it is covered in the bio.  There are always all kind of circumstances that come into play.
+3 votes

The directions say:

Correct this error by:

  1. Correcting any typos based on information found in the profile. If no information is found then...
  2. Research to find a source which will determine the correct birth and marriage dates. If no sources are found then...
  3. Replace date(s) with a reasonable guess based on a date of death or the birth/death date of the spouse or other relatives. Mark the date(s) as "Uncertain." Leave a note in the profile stating that the date is an estimate and what you used as a comparison for estimation.
  4. If the profile has no sources and no reasonable guess can be made, delete the single date which is clearly incorrect (rarely needed). Add a note in the profile regarding what was in the date field and why it was removed.
Try it this way first.  :)
    answered by Loretta Corbin G2G6 Mach 5 (57.1k points)

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