There are times when documents are not standard from one area of the country to another. This 1941 birth certificate from Lee County, Iowa, asks how long the mother had been in the hospital and in the community before the child was born.

In this case, the answer to both those questions were three hours and it’s suggestive of the mother going to the hospital for the explicit purpose of delivery. The residence of the mother 15 miles away would also be a a clue.

While I’m not certain why the questions were asked, the hospital in question did draw a number of out of town residents. It’s likely someone in the vital records office was interested in knowing that information and the only to know that is to ask.

But it’s neat little bit of information as it tells me how soon before the delivery the mother arrived at the hospital.



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