A Birth Means…

A child being born in location A means the mother was in location A at the time of the birth. It does not necessarily mean that the father was in location A at that same time as well. One cannot assume that the father was present at the birth, nearby at the time, or even in the same town. One also cannot assume the father was even alive at the time of the birth.

I recently wrote about a piece of information that was on my father’s birth certificate and almost stated that my grandparents (plural) were at the hospital when he was born. My grandmother was. While I’m reasonably certain my grandpa was there as well, I do not know that Grandpa was at the hospital because I was not present at my father’s birth.

The father and mother were in the same location when the child was conceived, not necessarily when the child was born.

Genealogists know how babies are conceived (or they really should), but occasionally forget basic knowledge when distracted by other information or are focused on a different aspect of the story or the record.

When it comes down to it, a great deal of genealogy is about babies and their conception. Don’t forget the basics.