Conflicting evidence in church registers

 
 
 
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Fr. Ivan Delic
Fr. Ivan Delic's picture
Conflicting evidence in church registers

I am having issue regarding two records which cannot be both true. Both are in original church record books, microfilmed in Local Historical Archives of my birth town.

The first one is from a baptismal record, which I cite as: St. Nikola's Church (Jezevica, Cacak): "Baptism Record Book 1864-1875," p. 142, no. 6, Delic Drinka Ljubomir baptism (1875), microfilm 10, frame 00154; Historical Archives, Cacak. 

This record identifies Mrs. Rayka Delic as a godparent for newly baptized Drinka on February 2nd 1875. She is also cited as a widow of Mr. Nikola Delic, so her husband passed away before that particular baptism.

The other is from a marriage record in that same church, which I cite as: St. Nikola's Church (Jezevica, Cacak): "Marriage Record Book 1881-1904," p. 156, no. 20, Delic-Popovic marriage (1901), microfilm 11, frame 00051; Historical Archives, Cacak.

This record identifies Nikola Delic and Mrs. Rayka Delic as a parents of Groom Sreten Delic who was born on March 10th 1878.

How is it possible for Nikola to be entered as a father of someone THREE YEARS AFTER HIS OWN DEATH? What to do to make sure which one of those two citations is correct? Any suggestions?

Sincerely,

Fr. Ivan Delic

orthodox priest

Serbia

EE
EE's picture

Fr. Delic,

Your problem is not uncommon. When we do thorough research, we often have contradictory records. Even church records err far more often than most researchers expect. Contradictions between sacramental records typically stem from one of two causes.

1. One or both of the manuscript registers you are using is (are) not the original. Instead, someone has recopied the information from an old book into a newer book. This was done in the past for many reasons. Sometimes an old register had been damaged or the ink had faded to the point that it was difficult to read; so a new copy was made. Sometimes, when a region shifted from one political jurisdiction to another and the official language of the two jurisdictions was different, a register might be recopied into the language of the new authority. Sometimes (even often in the time frame of your marriage record), the parish decided to begin using preprinted, form-type registers (typically Latin). Details from the original free-form registers would then be extracted and copied into the new form-type books.

2. The child was indeed born three years after the death of the father, but the child may not have known that--or the child may not have wanted to say so in presence of others at the time of his marriage. This situation is less likely to happen in a small village, where a person married in the church in which he was baptized. In that case, a priest was more likely to go back and look up the baptismal record in his own books and would see the discrepancy--not to mention the fact that there would have been community knowledge of his paternity.

Whether either of these situations was the case is something you'll have to investigate, typically by using records of other types that were independently created.

The details you provide do leave one other issue unanswered: Does the groom's birth date appear in his marriage record—or just the identity of his parents? If the birth date is not in the marriage record, what is your source for that birthdate? Do you have the groom's baptismal record? Did it occur in this same parish?

 

The Editor

yhoitink
yhoitink's picture

I've had the same problem several times with Dutch church records. In my cases, the surviving spouse had remarried but subsequent children were still registered with the first spouse's name (who was very obviously dead). One explanation I have thought of is that maybe the priest/minister did not know the family very well and made a mistake or he only wrote down partial information on a note and then by the time he registered the baptism in the book the details had gone hazy and he made a mistake. So I would advise you to check if the widow remarried. She may even have remarried a relative of her first husband, if their religion allowed that.  

Yvette Hoitink, CGSM, the Netherlands
Dutch Genealogy Services

Fr. Ivan Delic
Fr. Ivan Delic's picture

Dear Elizabeth!

Thanks for reposting my message to Analysis forum where it certainly belong. My issue indeed require further investigation and research of some other sources and documents.

As for your sta No. 1, it simply isn't true cause microfilm was made on partial damaged record books. Those types with those columns are not made today, so it was oroginal.

When I said that groom was born on March 10th 1878 that record was based upon Marriage  Register Book. Unfortunately I haven't see his actual input in Baptism Register Book (in Archives the have Baptism Register Books between 1850 and 1875, so they do not have the original Baptism Register Books after 1875. In any case they told me where I can find later Baptism books.

All the records are made in same parish church but location of the Record and Register Books are different.

I haven't yet found death records of groom's father, Nikola, but I have a disc with Death Register Books microfilmed at my house. As I said, archivers in my Local Archives gaved me all their microfilms of period and parish church I needed.

Next step is to find actual Baptism Record for the groom, and in it to find names of the parents (it must be there, but it'll have to wait until my next visit to my birth town, and especially Local Government Register Office in the village, where from the Local Archives they said the books I want to see are), then to find Death Record of groom's father where must be date of the death. Then maybe I'll visit the local village cemetary and look for his grave.

Thanks for supporting me.

Of course, citation I made was upon EE for Microfilmed Church Register Baptism Marriage and Death Books.

P. S. As for using EE, how to find way to cite message sent to me by Facebook friend on Facebook, which includes some data about my USA cousin.

Sincerely,

Fr. Ivan Delic

Serbia

 

Fr. Ivan Delic

orthodox priest

Serbia

Fr. Ivan Delic
Fr. Ivan Delic's picture

Thanks Ivette,

I'll certainly look into it. I have a lot of work ahead of me but it's very impressive and inspiring to go on. I found a record of someone from my family in about 1770, that was unthinkible for me few years ago.

Fr. Ivan

Fr. Ivan Delic

orthodox priest

Serbia

EE
EE's picture

Fr. Delic,

It sounds as though you will have a good case study to offer the genealogical community after you resolve this issue.

For citing Facebook messages, see this discussion thread: https://www.evidenceexplained.com/content/facebook-pages.

The Editor

judydarnell
judydarnell's picture

I love this topic because I found a cousin's headstone with his date of death carved clearly in granite as 1939.  Then I was very surprised to find that the 1940 census enumerator had listed him as head of household and marked him as the person who had been providing info on that home.  In going into the church death record, I did find that the date of death was later in 1940.  I sitll do not know why someone would have placed the wrong date of death on the granite headstone...

Judy

EE
EE's picture

Judy, wrong dates on tombstones also happen with considerable frequency. More commonly, we see it with markers for people who died in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Family members, generations later, will note the lack of marker and have one erected—at which time they will be misinformed about the correct date. We also find markers erected, generations later, in the wrong burial ground—again, a mistake by someone who assumed a forebear would be buried in a certain place. If we're lucky, we may even find both markers for the person, in which case the dates may disagree as well.

You are wise to (a) seek an independently created source; and (b) note the material used for the headstone. The latter, when the material is the wrong type for the date carved on it, will be a flag warning us that we are dealing with a later marker and that the data on the stone might also be incorrect.

 

The Editor

Fr. Ivan Delic
Fr. Ivan Delic's picture

Hello all!

After more then four years, I managed to visit village and some relatives in it from which my grand-grand father moved into new village. In that old village I visited cemetery of my family with about 30 grave markers on the ground. Some of those markers were clear for reading some of them were not at all. At the end of the search I spoted one thomb at the very edge of the cemetery. Name was very clear and readable - NIKOLA DELIC (letters are in Cyrrilic), and it said that Nikola was born on March 5th 1859 and died on November 27th 1918. Day after I called local State Municipal worker at State Vital Office, who is holding original Church Record Book for period before WWII to check for me if there is a record of Nikola's death at the year of 1918. Joy was great when he told me that there is indeed that record. Part of the Church Death Register Book was putted out of it (few pages) and those pages weren't photographed and microfilmed in Local Archives. That was a reason why I couldn't at all find the record I needed.

Thanks a lot for helping out.

My suggestion is to carefully read all data on the thumb stone (grave marker) and to compare that data with other data we have on some person. As Elizabeth said, many of dates and names are wrong on the thumb stone.

P. S. On the image in attachment, higher part I marked is name НИКОЛА (Cyrrilic transliteration; NIKOLA-Latin). Middle part is his birth date which is similar of one I had from Record Books and Census of Serbia in 1863 (he had 4 years then - birth year would be 1859 as in thumb stone). Lower part is death date - 27 НОВЕМБРА 1918 (i. e. November 27th 1918).

Fr. Ivan Delic

Serbia

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Fr. Ivan Delic

orthodox priest

Serbia

EE
EE's picture

What a great testament to perseverance and thoroughness!  Love the tombstone!

The Editor