Archiver > QUEBEC-RESEARCH > 2004-04 > 1082093044

From: "Mary Anne Smith" <>
Subject: RE: [Q-R] PRDH Problem
Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2004 01:24:13 -0400
In-Reply-To: <010b01c42259$05ee3ef0$f389d142@abr9q82y1uwjcx>

Hi, Margaret,

I am a couple days behind in my messages, and was just reading your reply to
this ongoing discussion.

My two cents are: my grandmother used to say that you didn't begin to live
until the day you were baptized. So, I think that is some of the thinking
behind the recording on Baptismal dates as the birth dates.

Also, we are relying on Baptismal records as birth dates in many cases
possibly because they were the only dates that were recorded. For the most
part, the ordinary people did not know how to read or write. I bet they
didn't have calendars on their walls, either. The priest who baptised their
babies DID have a date and could write...or someone there could. So, that
was probably the only date that was recorded as the babies' birthdates.

Same thing with burial being confused with death dates. The people who died
may not have recorded them, nor had the calendars, or been able to read
them.. But the priests who buried them, DID.....and recorded the dates of
burial, which most of the people accepted as being the official dates of the

Mary Anne Smith

-----Original Message-----
From: Margaret Hobler [mailto:]
Sent: Wednesday, April 14, 2004 3:45 PM
Subject: RE: [Q-R] PRDH Problem

I have been following this issue with interest. I do not use the on-line
PRDH, but the 47 vol. of books at the library. It has worked well for me. I
have always understood the French usually recorded baptisms and burials, as
birth and death data were not always available. When I look at other
people's data they usually have the baptism and burial dates, and likely do
not realize they are incorrect.

On the issue of errors, no record can be considered 100% accurate! One
example is the civil marriage record of my grandparents. The names of my
grandmother, her father and mother are all incorrect. For a while, I thought
possibly she was adopted as nothing fit! The official recording this
marriage (in a small town)no doubt knew every one involved. My
great-grandfather was married twice, the Clerk mixed first and last names of
everyone involved. This happened
in Illinois in the late 1800s.

The Priests recording data hundreds of years ago did the best they could;
they are human and like all humans make errors. Considering the era, I
think they did fine.

There is no way we can be sure that any record is correct, unless we are
participating. We have to use common sense in all aspects.

Margaret LaGue-Hobler

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