Italians and multiple birthdates

As a nation state, Italy has emerged only in 1871. Until then the country was politically divided into a large number of independant cities, provinces and islands. The currently available evidences point out to a dominant Etruscan, Greek and Roman cultural influence on today's Italians.
sbadalamente
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Italians and multiple birthdates

Postby sbadalamente » 16 Aug 2016, 17:19

I am researching my ancestors for the purpose of obtaining dual citizenship. I have encountered consistent inconsistencies in respect to birthdates and ages provided by my relatives.

A few example --

From 1910 through 1930 the US Census has my great grandparents ages as 2-3 and 5 years apart.

My great grandfather has three different birthdates recorded on naturalization, and draft records.

I have been told by other Italians that birthdates are sometimes arbitrarily changed to coincide with school start dates.

Was providing different birthdates a common practice in the early 1900s? Any particular reason why?

Any recommendations on dealing with date discrepancies when applying for dual citizenship and dealing with the consulate?

Grazie!

kencwalker
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Re: Italians and multiple birthdates

Postby kencwalker » 17 Aug 2016, 15:53

sbadalamente wrote:I have encountered consistent inconsistencies in respect to birthdates and ages provided by my relatives. A few examples --
From 1910 through 1930 the US Census has my great grandparents ages as 2-3 and 5 years apart.

This is a common problem with US Census data. Age is self-reported (unverified) and can vary greatly from census to census. I have a Swedish GGF who's implied birth year varied from 1865 to 1871 over 4 censuses.
My great grandfather has three different birthdates recorded on naturalization, and draft records.

Again, these are self reported....and considered secondary sources for genealogy work.
I have been told by other Italians that birthdates are sometimes arbitrarily changed to coincide with school start dates.
Was providing different birthdates a common practice in the early 1900s? Any particular reason why?

I can't comment about Italian birth date practices. I've only seen a 1-2 day variation for my family (and usually is explained by the variation between date of birth and date the birth was recorded).

Remember, these were different times. This was before TSA, government issued IDs, or frequent credit and identification checks. People didn't have to provide their birth date to someone every week. :)

Any recommendations on dealing with date discrepancies when applying for dual citizenship and dealing with the consulate?

I haven't done this. I would use the date on your ancestor's Italian birth record. That's when he was born. All other dates are secondary sources.
-Ken
Researching surnames Pedroncelli and Pilatti in Sondrio; Cantoia in Novara; Penna in Asti.

sbadalamente
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Re: Italians and multiple birthdates

Postby sbadalamente » 17 Aug 2016, 21:06

Grazie! I learned this morning my GGF had a brother --- "Calutz" -- Not certain on the spelling. Apparently the American translation is Charles. I have found several records with both Calogero and Charles -- living at the same address, however different birthdates. I am thinking there were actually two people.


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