Twins born two days apart???

+7 votes

I know it is possible for twins to be born on successive days, one shortly before midnight, and one shortly after. In fact, my son went to school with just a set of twins. But two days apart? Is that possible?

In the vital records of Livermore, Maine, the births of Polly and Patty Benjamin are recorded on October 2 and October 4, 1792. The birth dates of their siblings make it unlikely that the year is recorded wrong for each of them. They are indeed separate people; Polly married a Samuel Ames, and Patty, AKA Martha, married Israel Washburn, the author of the 1858 history of Livermore, who calls Polly and Martha twins in his book.

The obvious answer is a scrivener's error - but that seems to me unlikely, given that the births are recorded in the same hand on two adjacent lines.

in Genealogy Help by Stuart Bloom G2G6 Mach 9 (95.3k points)
Dunno about your two "twins" but yes now and then twins, which are but two infants, each with their own placenta and each tucked into the same uterus, will be born individually at different days ... it is not common, but it is not unknown for it to occur ... so long as the one to be born second is not in distress nor the mother, the medicos will allow it
Was that possible in 1792?
Yes, it could be possible.  A woman's body will "give birth" after she is dead, so for it to retain a placenta and the one feeding on that placenta while living would not be common, but it would be possible.  (What the superstitious thought of such we cannot know.)

6 Answers

+10 votes
Best answer
by Marion Poole G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
selected by SJ Baty
That is most likely what happened here.  It is possible that the mother was in labor the whole time.  As Stu described, one born shortly before midnight, the mother remains in labor for 26 hours and the second is born.

The WikiBot will not be amused.
Thanks for the star SJ.
Yeah, SJ, I got the scary red banner when I saved the second child. I saved anyway.
+6 votes
I remember to have read about it once - could have been even here on G2G. I then wondered about the mother being in labor for far more than 24 hours, so yes, that happened.
by Jelena Eckst├Ądt G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
+7 votes
It's certainly possible.  Had a gg-aunt on my father's side who gave birth to triplets, one on each of three consecutive days:
by Dennis Barton G2G6 Pilot (494k points)
The word stoic doesn't even begin to describe a woman who can labor for three days.

Several days-long labour was fairly common before "modern medicine" (and even now .. I was "in" labour for two days before my son decided to finally appear, but it wasn't sufficiently advanced for the doctor to do anything) .. but oftentimes either the mother or babe, or both, did not survive.
+4 votes
It is quite possible for fraternal twins to be born on different days.  This would not be possible for identical twins.

It is also possible, for a woman to give birth to babies with two or more months apart. They are not really twins as they are not born on the same day. Ovulating during pregnancy, can get a woman pregnant while she is already pregnant.

This is an interesting subject.
by Aline Barbeau G2G6 (8.2k points)
We had a thread about this a couple of years ago.  Some rare women are born with two reproductive systems and
can be pregnant in each one at the same time and several months apart.  Art Linkletter did a whole series on this, back in the 1960s or so, on his afternoon tv show.
Edited: Arts tv to 1960 from 1860

laugh Other than Art's program wasn't on TV in the 1860's and such topics were dealt with delicately in the 1960's -- and how times have changed about what is discussed on TV, NOTHING is to "delicate" to discuss nowadays  -- enough to curl the hair on your head involuntarily if you were raised that there's some topics not discussed in mixed company and certainly not in public .... of all the things published that came to my attention not once did this program about dual reproductive systems ref Art Linkletter ever raise its head and wink at me ... awesome to find out and I wonder how HE managed to tiptoe around it 

Correction: it is quite possible for dichorionic twins to be born on different days. This would not be possible for monochorionic twins. (Well, arguably it's possible even then, but the chance of survival of all parties is rather slim.)

Monozygotic (identical) twins can be either dichorionic (two placentas) or monochorionic (one placenta). Dizygotic (fraternal) twins are always dichorionic.

Another correction: two babies who are gestated together are twins, regardless of when they were conceived or when they're born. It's even possible for fraternal twins to have different fathers.

When I had my daughter there was another woman in the maternity hospital at the same time who had two uteri and was pregnant with a baby in each uterus.  I can't remember exactly (it was a long time ago), but I'm pretty sure they were born a couple of days apart - and one of them on 29 February to boot!

My daughter was due on 29 Feb, but decided to wait a week as she wanted a birthday every year smiley

+4 votes
Just a few days ago, I happened to see a news article about a woman who gave birth to what they called twins three months apart.  She had the first at just under 6 months and it was a miracle that the baby survived, also that they were able to delay delivery of the other one until full term.
by Gaile Connolly G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
+3 votes

I started to write a new question about exactly the same issue, when a link to this thread came up. I've just entered a couple of twins, Ole on 31 March, and Gunder on 2 April in 1798. This pastor was extremely conscientious, and I have no doubts that it must be correct. The entry is on this page, first column on Easter Day (Fer. 1 Pasch.), Nos. 47 and 48.

The first one, Ole, grew up, but Gunder only survived for 19 days, possibly as a consequence of the delayed birth. And luckily, their mother survived, too.

I get a warning when I save, but of course click "Save anyway" to proceed. Is there any risk that somebody would find this suspicious and "correct" one of the birth dates? I've added this sentence in the biographies of both: "He was a twin, and the two brothers were born two days apart from each other." I hope that is sufficient.

by Leif Biberg Kristensen G2G6 Pilot (173k points)

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