Thursday, June 21, 2012

Treasure Chest Thursday - Birth Certificate for Frederick W. Seaver

It's Treasure Chest Thursday - time to look in my digital image files to see what treasures I can find for my family history and genealogy musings.

The treasure today is the birth certificate for Fred Walton 
Seaver in 1876 in Leominster, Worcester County, Massachusetts:

I obtained this birth certificate by postal mail from the Leominster town clerk's office on 9 September 1996.

Here is the transcription of the birth certificate (handwritten parts in italics, form lines underlined):

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Certificate of Birth
From the records of births in the City of Leominster
Massachusetts, U.S.A.

Date of birth:  OCTOBER 9, 1876
Full Name of Child:  FRED WALTON SEAVER
Sex, Color, and if Twin:  -----
Place of Birth:  LEOMINSTER
Residence of Parents:  LEOMINSTER
Name of Father:  FRANK W. SEAVER
Occupation of Father:  COMBMAKER
Birthplace of Father:  MEDFIELD
Name of Mother (Maiden): HATTIE L. (MAIDEN NAME NOT GIVEN)
Occupation of Mother:  -----
Birthplace of Mother:  NORTHBORO

I, BEVERLY J. DAVIS, depose and say that I hold the office of City Clerk of the City of Leominster, County of Worcester and Commonwealth of Massachusetts; that the records of Births, Marriages and Deaths required by law to be kept in said City are in my custody, and that the above is a true extract from the records of Birth in said City, as certified by me.

WITNESS my hand and seal of said City, on the 9TH day of SEPTEMBER 19 96

FILED:  1876
PAGE:  155 ................................................... Beverly J. Davis
NUMBER:  -----  ...........................................     CITY CLERK
AMENDED:  -----

While this "certificate" is an official record of the birth of Fred Walton Seaver, it is not the "original" record.  It is a Derivative Source record since it was not the first record of the event.  

Fred Walton Seaver is my paternal grandfather, whose parents were Frank Walton Seaver and Hattie L. Hildreth.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

1 comment:

Geolover said...

Randy, I am glad to see your notation that what you posted was not, in fact an original record of birth.

I would call it a certified transcript of record of birth, rather than a Birth Certificate.

In many localities, particularly beginning in the second quarter of the 20th century, the original record was entitled a "Certificate of Birth," of which a photostatic copy or even the original was supplied to the parents after registration in the pertinent jurisdiction (mine was hospital-issued, recorded in the County).

In the case of Frederick W. Seaver, your certified transcript does not state what the title of the original record was.

Many jurisdictions would much rather supply a certified transcript than a certified copy of whatever the original document was.

In one jurisdiction, I duly applied for, supplied payment, and received a certified transcript of a death record (from a County Register of Deaths, although the 'certified copy' did not state the title of the original record). It was entitled "Death Certificate." I previously had looked at the actual original, found about 5 minutes before closing on the day I had to leave town, and was unable to request the original copy or a transcript at that time. From my notes, I was certain that the 'certified copy' omitted more than half of the information that was on the record: age at death, place of birth, parents' names and name of informant for the record.

I wrote back to the County Clerk's office, sent more payment, returned what I had received, and requested a certified copy of the original document. The Clerk's office responded with another transcript, with more but not all of the originally-entered information.

A third round resulted in the certified photocopy of the actual record, which clearly identifies the title and the original source-volume, which I can now call a photocopy of the original record, and accurately cite its source. It was a yippee-moment to receive this, even though it is not on a nice scrolly document entitled "Certificate of Death."

Have you further thoughts on this?