Getting a delayed birth certificate for deceased GF in PA

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sforza
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Getting a delayed birth certificate for deceased GF in PA

Postby sforza » 08 Sep 2010, 18:14

I've been on the phone with the county of my GF's birth in PA and the PA state DoH regarding the creation of a birth cert for my grandfather. He is in our direct line for dual citizenship purposes.

We have his baptismal cert, but the family did not record his birth with the county. Both the county and state say they will not create delayed birth certs for dead people. Has anyone had to deal with this in PA? FWIW, my GF was born two years before the PA DoH's Division of Vital Records even existed (opened in 1906), so it's likely that even a court order couldn't compel the state to record a 1904 birth. It looks like we'll have to move something at the county level. Am I going to have to hire an attorney to seek a court order? Will this even work?

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Re: Getting a delayed birth certificate for deceased GF in P

Postby timo » 18 Sep 2010, 12:47

Do I infer correctly from what you've written that county and state WILL create delayed/retroactive birth certs for someone who is still living?

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Re: Getting a delayed birth certificate for deceased GF in P

Postby sforza » 18 Sep 2010, 14:33

Yes, there's a clear process for delayed registration of living persons and for deceased individuals provided certain conditions are met. Those conditions, as stated in the PA administrative code, are that the deceased person's birth be registered either by a parent or a witness to the birth. I haven't found any published legal decisions around efforts to register the births of deceased individuals whose parents and any witness are also deceased. (If anyone knows of any, please PM me).

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Re: Getting a delayed birth certificate for deceased GF in P

Postby kontessa » 18 Sep 2010, 15:34

I posted previously on the forum that I obtained a delayed birth record for my deceased GF, but this was done in NYS. There is a statutory or common law mechanism in place to create delayed records in NYS, but it defines a delayed registration of birth as "occurring one year or more after its occurrence or within one year of the person's death". I was told by staff in the Vital Records dept that it wasn't possible, but they created the record anyway. Have you tried to have an attorney submit your request to official offices at the county and state levels, indicating why you want to have this done? (Then again, it would be a waste of money if you have already confirmed that only a court order will work.)

Also, I do recall an individual from Pa was trying to do this same thing at the same time that I was (posting on expatsinitaly.com). They DID end up taking the issue to court, and were successful. All I remember is that they used a baptismal certificate, school records, and other docs that listed a DOB for the deceased individual (like their childrens' birth records). You can try searching the threads on that forum under "delayed birth records" for additional information.

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Re: Getting a delayed birth certificate for deceased GF in P

Postby sforza » 18 Sep 2010, 16:57

Thanks, Kontessa. I'll check out that message board.

Here's my approach: the priest at the parish from which I have the baptismal is willing to attest to the facts of the birth as per the county's "delayed birth registration form." I plan on submitting it to the county w/all the necessary affidavits; but figure the county will deny it anyway. I have spoken w/an atty who knows the judge, so will go that route once it's denied. (Although I plan on drafting the pleadings myself to save $). Interestingly, the city of my GF's birth is smack in the middle of the county line, so I have another bite at the apple in the next county if necessary. (However, this two-county thing could also be a drawback if the counties want me to prove jurisdiction. So, I've also been on the phone w/the local archives in those counties to ID local censuses and other sources to establish an address if necessary. The family only lived there for a short period, so I'm not optimistic.)

Concerning our documentary evidence, we have a marriage cert with DoB, but no birthplace. My mother is checking w/NJ state archives for school records, checking w/Newark clerk for a marriage app, and is in the process of obtaining his NJ death cert. I have also ordered his social security app. I also plan on looking into whether I can obtain his WWII draft registration (I know this isn't publicly available.) We will see how useful the death cert and SS app are; he often went by a different name than his given name. He was born Carmen Jacques, but is listed in the social security death index as "Jack." We could be faced w/an interesting problem - if he's "Jack" on the death cert, in order to amend this we'll need a proper birth cert. But in order to get a proper birth cert, we'll need documentary evidence like his death cert, which has a different name...oy. But I'll cross that bridge if and when we come to it.

Anyway, thanks again for the lead, Kontessa. Many local court decisions aren't published. And I've got to imagine mine isn't the first attempt at registering the birth of a long-deceased person in PA...

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Re: Getting a delayed birth certificate for deceased GF in P

Postby kontessa » 18 Sep 2010, 18:46

What about census records, voter registration records, deeds to properties, an old driver's license and the birth records of other offspring? Any military discharge papers? A will?

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Re: Getting a delayed birth certificate for deceased GF in P

Postby sforza » 18 Sep 2010, 22:21

We have my mother's birth cert; I'll ask for her brother's, although neither of these have his birthplace (Newark, NJ birth certs - at least those of the 1940s are remarkably sparse on info) - just his name. Re: census, his name is misspelled on every single census and two of them have his gender wrong. Not helpful. I'll look into voter reg and whether he had a will. Never owned property. Thanks for the suggestions.

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Re: Getting a delayed birth certificate for deceased GF in P

Postby sforza » 18 Sep 2010, 22:21

We have my mother's birth cert; I'll ask for her brother's, although neither of these have his birthplace (Newark, NJ birth certs - at least those of the 1940s are remarkably sparse on info) - just his name. Re: census, his name is misspelled on every single census and two of them have his gender wrong. Not helpful. I'll look into voter reg and whether he had a will. Never owned property. Thanks for the suggestions.

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Re: Getting a delayed birth certificate for deceased GF in P

Postby sforza » 11 Jun 2011, 17:37

Update: I received, within a week of filing a petition, a delayed birth certificate for my GF who was born in Clearfield County, PA. I would suggest that anyone facing this issue for pre-1906 PA births (ie - where you have to deal with the county and not the state vital records office) ask if they have a ready-made petition for delayed registration of birth. In fact, if the clerk's office says "no," you should request they ask the judge, since in this case folks in the clerk's office weren't initially aware of the form. This saved a ton of time: I didn't have to prepare pleadings on pleadings paper and file motions or any of that. It was actually, timewise, the shortest process I've been through on this entire project. Filled out petition, attached supporting documentation, clerk brought it to judge for his sign-off, and I received the certs w/in days.


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