Where Did I File That?

I was going to entitle this post  “Gathering the Documents”, but this title seems to work so much better(!).

I have started gathering the documents needed to prove my lineage and join the  DAR.  I need to prove the birth, marriage and death (if applicable) dates for each generation back to James Harward. That shouldn’t be too hard,  the research has been done.  It is a matter of printing the documents I need.

Easy, right?

DAR Blog Photo

I discovered I was missing documents for those generations closest to me.  I have/had them in person, I didn’t have their documents. I had to search for my own documents.  Just where did I file my marriage certificate?  After a thorough search of where it should be, I finally found it – in my wedding scrapbook. Not the best place for it, but that was in my pre-genealogy days.  All has been properly filed this week.

I also discovered I did not have the needed documentation for my grandparents. I had bits and pieces, but had never pursued their birth certificates.  I was not even sure they had birth certificates.  Birth certificates were not issued until 1913.  If a child was born at home, especially in rural communities, often the birth was not recorded in the early years of the law.  Often a delayed birth certificate was filed.

James Lester Howard was born in 1915 in rural Lee County, NC.  I called the register of deeds office for that county and spoke to a most helpful woman. She performed a quick look up and discovered that Granddaddy did have a delayed birth certificate on file.  For 25 cents I could have a copy.

Cecile Clara White was born in 1917 in rural Surry County, NC.  I spoke to a register of deeds office employee there as well and she, too, performed an “on the spot” look up.  Grandmom also had a delayed birth certificate on file.  Again, for 25 cents I could obtain a copy.  I was instructed to tape a quarter to my request letter.

I promptly ordered both documents.

On a side note: These register of deeds employees could not have been more helpful. (Who knows, I might even be related to them.) I find some of the most helpful people to my research in small county courthouses and records offices.  I think that’s why I enjoy on-site courthouse research so much.

Genealogy friends, Do you have the vital records documents on your closest generations?


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