Saturday, October 4, 2014

Assumptions: The Name of the Father Part II

Fourth in a series of posts.

A discussion of assumptions one might be tempted to make. With examples taken from my own research.

Assumption: The name of the father on the birth certificate is the father of the child

You find the birth certificate for John Robert Green II, and the father's name on the certificate is John Robert Green. You decide your previous guess has been confirmed.

But wait!

Absent DNA tests you might have no way to confirm the veracity, but be aware, only the mother needs to be present at the birth. (Arguably, this is no longer the case with surrogacy.)

A 9 month period is a significant length of time, and a woman who changes partners might decide to put the new partner on the certificate, and to name the child accordingly.

For privacy reasons I will not indicate the example from my own research.

[Sure. In your database entry for "John Robert Green" change the source citation to the birth certificate. You now have more to go by than the name of the child. Finding a marriage certificate might help increase the odds, but there are many births outside of marriage. Genealogy is not an exact science; just because something is written down on a government-issued document doesn't mean it is indisputable fact. This is why source citations are so gosh important.]

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