The Best for that Place

My ancestor was born in Kentucky, most likely in 1818 or 1819. I’m not certain of the year. I may never be certain of the year and there is actually little chance that I ever find a reasonably reliable record containing his precise date of birth.

And that’s just fine. It’s also the reality of this time period and location. There were no civil records of births when he was born in Kentucky. No bible record has been located. He was not in the military so there’s no service record, enlistment papers, or benefit application that could be helpful either. The family was not a member of a church that kept any sort of records of dates of birth–or even ages. The ancestor died in the 1880s in Missouri and no death certificate can be located–it likely would not give date of birth any way. No tombstone is known to be extant.

I’m not really that concerned that I have no precise date of birth. Census records are relatively consistent with an 1818/1819 year of birth. My bigger concerns are: tying him to his parents, his spouse, and his children–all of which has been done with a variety of original records containing primary information.

Sometimes it simply is not possible to get a date of birth for some individuals. That’s not a “brick wall.” It’s reality.