Conflicting birth dates redux-still confused

+3 votes
Still uncertain after reading other threads on this matter...siblings are pre-Social Security era. Emma (Weaver) Morgan (Weaver-9337) is listed in the 1860 Atlanta census as an 11 year old, b. ca.1849, but her grave marker lists DOB as 6 Aug 1852...about 4 months after her brother John (Weaver-9315, b. 28 Mar 1852), age 8 in the census. Survival of a child born 5 months prematurely in this time period being highly unlikely, which date should I use for Emma? Thanks.
WikiTree profile: Emma Morgan
in Genealogy Help by D Armistead G2G6 Mach 8 (84.7k points)
recategorized by Ellen Smith

2 Answers

+6 votes
Best answer

Is it possible one of the dates for either sibling represents a baptismal rather than birth date?  That is normally the case.  I suppose it depends on what sort of sources you have.  Is it possible the date on Emma's headstone is 1862?  I have seen that also.  Fives and sixes are easily confused as well as sevens and twos and Eights and nines.  You have to decide which source is most likely to have made the error.  My great-grandmother's headstone has the wrong date of birth, for example.

by Lucy Selvaggio-Diaz G2G6 Pilot (876k points)
selected by Shaun Doust
Thanks, you and Ellen list several good scenarios. Maybe her parents didn't get around to baptizing her till later. Or the descendant who ordered her marker didn't check the census record...or Grandma lied about her age! I've read that Georgia required death records quite early in their history, but birth and even marriage records can be sketchy, I've found.
+5 votes
It's common to find inconsistencies in records. Census takers may have gotten their information from a neighbor. Gravestone inscriptions may have been ordered by someone who didn't know when grandma was born. Etc. So we need to look at -- and document -- as many sources as we can find.

To help me address your question, I went to her profile to check the conflicting sources. The only source recorded in her profile is the 1860 census, but I see that she married, so she must have additional records. What's your source for her death and her gravestone inscription? Have you found her parents in the 1850 census? Is she in their household? Have you found her in the 1870 census? Is there a record of her marriage? What else is there?
by Ellen Smith G2G Astronaut (1.6m points)
Thanks for the information you've added. I note that her father ("Alvin") was supposedly 46 years in the 1860 census, but findagrave and his WikiTree profile (where's he's "Alban") both give 1808 as his year of birth. I wouldn't rule out the possibility that two different families have been conflated...
Thanks for your prompt assistance, Ellen! Alban is a pretty unusual name, even in my family which has some humdingers :) He''s also listed as Albert elsewhere. I've found many inconsistencies in 19th c. records. In the 1880 census my ggrandparents have the wrong ages. My 2ggrandmother's grave marker lists her DOD as 1849 (before the birth of her youngest child!)...and she is in the 1860 census! I'll have to ponder this one.

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