What I Learned From a Delayed Birth Certificate

A return address for the Surry County register of deeds on a plain white envelope made my genealogy heart go pitter patter.  In that envelope was the delayed birth certificate for my maternal grandmother Cecile Clara White.

Lester and Cecile Howard

I am most fortunate to have grown up knowing my grandmother.  I spent many summers with her and Granddaddy (James Lester Howard) learning to make candy, going on special trips and just playing in the backyard.  Oh yes, and shelling butter beans! (If I shelled them I did not have to eat them.  I shelled a lot of beans.)

I had requested Grandmom’s birth certificate as part of my lineage paperwork for my DAR application.  While I already knew the vitals for my grandmother, I did find some interesting things.

Cecile Clara White’s birth certificate is a delayed birth certificate.  Grandmom herself applied for it in August of 1971. To apply for the birth certificate she was required to present proof of supporting evidence to her claim of birth date and parents.  For proof that her mother was Stella Holyfield White, an affidavit from Stella was obtained.  Stella White (known as Grandmother White to me) was 76 years old in 1971 and still living in Dobson, NC.  The Family Bible of Stella White was also presented as proof to Cecile’s birth date.  Finally, the birth certificate of Cecile and Lester Howard’s youngest child was presented.

White Family Cousins – Who has the Family Bible?

More fun things from this delayed birth certificate:

  • The original spelling of Cecile’s name was “Cecil”.  Grandmom added the “e” on the end as an adult.  She did not like the fact her name was spelled like the male version of Cecil.
  • I have her original signature.

Cecile White Signature

  • I discovered there is a Family Bible.
  • Cecile listed her mother as Stella Foy Holyfield.  Stella’s name on her marriage certificate is Estella Fay Holyfield.

I can’t wait to see what I learn on Granddaddy James Lester Howard‘s delayed birth certificate.

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