Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Week four - Genealogy Do-Over - Really? Can't we agree on a date?

With the citing of sources and learning the process, it has become very clear that it is no longer possible to ignore the birth dates differences for my father and my grandfather.
My dad, Ernest Rhea and my grandpa, William Rhea, La Brea Tar Pits, October 1947
Until the day he died (at age 79 or 80, depending on whose story you believe) my dad lied about his age and told everyone he was 35. He and my uncle liked to talk about how close they were in age at 11 months apart. My uncle was born in November 1919 (verified) which would make 11 months, October 1920. My dad's birthday was in October but many of his records also say 1921 and that's the story he stuck with. He always kidded my mom about her advanced age being three years older than he. However, I honestly believe some of the records are wrong and he was born in 1920. I have lots of documents with both years so it's up in the air at this moment because the one document I don't have is his birth certificate. It seems Montana's fees are quite expensive so it will have to wait.

My grandfather was maybe born in 1882. My mother copied the pages of the family Bible in 1982 but no one knows where it went after that. I have the copies and it lists my grandfather's birth year at 1882 but many of his other documents say 1881. I believe I will eventually end up using the Bible as proof because it is the source listed on the Delayed Tennessee Birth Certificate. I don't think I can argue with the State of Tennessee.  I can understand the confusion with my grandfather, he did not request the certificate until 1946 at the age of 64.

I'm beginning to think I like my mother's side of the family much better because they documented everything. 

1 comment:

  1. You really have a challenge figuring out those birth records ! I have a feeling that family line will be your hardest working one.