Monday, February 21, 2011

Musings on a Munday Primary Sources

Is a replacement birth certificate considered a primary source?  I understand primary source documents to be those that were created near the time and place of the event.  What if the replacement birth certificate was created 20 years after the birth?  Of course, I hope that the parent that provided the information does remember the circumstances surrounding the birth of their child, but one never knows.


  1. Good question! Is the replacement a duplicate of what is on file with the county/state/etc? Or is it "delayed" birth registration? Sometimes these new documents have affidavits and other materials.

    I have two birth certs for my mom -- original and then a new one when she registered a name change.

  2. It's interesting, the document is from NJ Dept of Health and Senior Services and is titled Vital Records Abstract Certification. It's all hand written and signed by my grandfather (it's for my uncle), also signed by an Essex County judge and dated April 1941. My uncle was born in 1916. I'm guessing my uncle needed his birth certificate when he joined the Army and why he requested this?