Birth certificates: unnamed children and amendments

Hi again Elizabeth,

I found a birth certificate on Family Search for the birth of an unnamed son of EJ Smith and Lillie Parsons on 8 April 1912 in Stacy, McCulloch County, Texas. The unnamed son is my great grandfather, "Davey/Davy Stirman Smith." Here's the citation for it:

"Texas Birth Certificates, 1903-1935," database with images, FamilySearch( : accessed 27 October 2023), certificate image, unnamed Smith, 8 April 1912, certificate 49589; Texas Department of Health, Austin.

I figured his birth certificate was eventually amended, so I contacted the Vital Statistics Section of Texas Department of State Health Services and asked if I needed to include any additional information for this situation before ordering a copy. I followed their instructions and mailed in my order, so I could include the information they needed.

Well, I finally received a "certified" copy, but it was just the same version of the image I found on FamilySearch! lol

I talked with my aunt, who checked her family papers and found a copy of what I initially thought was his amended birth certificate. However, after further consideration, that doesn't seem quite right. Shouldn't it have a certificate number? Could it be the application for an amended certificate (or part of one)? 

What do you think? Is this an amended copy of his birth certificate? Should I keep trying to obtain a... more original (?) version of his birth cert?

Regarding citations...

Would I cite the "certified" copy I ordered as:

Texas Department of State Health Services, birth certificate no. 49589 (8 April 1912? or 1912?), unnamed son of EJ Smith and Lillie Parsons; Vital Statistics Office, Austin.

How would I cite the amended birth certificate (or whatever it is)? Here's how I cited his wife's birth certificate, who also had the original amended:

Oklahoma State Department of Health, amended birth certificate no. 62398 (1967), Myrna Mildred McCorcle, formerly "not named," born on 7 July 1916; citing birth certificate no. 014288; Office of Vital Records, Oklahoma City.

I can't really follow that format in this case, though, right? Would I cite it as an affidavit? Family artifact? 


Thanks so much for your help!!



Submitted byEEon Sun, 10/29/2023 - 19:44

Hello, Taylor. Can you provide images of the two documents? (I've long since learned not to speculate about documents I haven't seen and can't scrutinize!)

Submitted byEEon Mon, 10/30/2023 - 13:37

Taylor, thanks for the visuals to examine.  Yes, the document your aunt found in family papers, dated 1942 for a 1912 birth, would be an approved request to have the original certificate amended. It shows that E. J. Smith and Mary C. Snodgrass made their affidavits on 26 January 1942, attesting the facts of the birth of Davy Stirman Smith on 8 April 1912.

The third certificate at the bottom of the page has its own bottom portion folded up so that needed details can’t be ascertained; but we can determine that the court ordered the record to be accepted. 

The folded up portion shows printing on the back of the certificate, and the left margin tells us that the backside provides the details of the law.  Did your aunt supply an image copy of that backside, as well? That backside would likely provide additional information you need to understand the process and what would have happened after the McCulloch County court accepted the documents.

The document your aunt provided does not show a certificate number because it is not a copy of the recorded copy. It is likely the personal copy given to Davy Stirman, created (by an attorney, judging from the blue paper in which it is enfolded) prior to the recording.

Have you contacted the McCulloch County Clerk’s Office to ask for a recorded copy?  As you can see from EE 9.35, note 2 (3d ed. rev.), that local office should have a register with copies of the amended certificates.

As for how to cite the copy of the original, supplied by the state, your draft suffices.

As for how to cite the copy given to you by your aunt: yes, you would cite that as a family artifact.  You did not receive it from an official office.

Submitted byancestrywithtayloron Tue, 10/31/2023 - 12:35

You're the best!! Thank you so much.

I have now emailed the county clerk's office and will ask my aunt to send a photo of the entire document.