A Delayed Birth Certificate By Fifty Years–Part II

It took fifty years to record the 1913 birth of Anna Apgar in Chicago, Illinois. Fortunately it didn’t take me that long to find it.

Once I found an index entry for the birth certificate in FamilySearch‘s “Illinois, Cook County Birth Certificates, 1871-1940,” it was significantly less than fifty years before I had an electronic copy. Digital images of records are wonderful. (A big thanks to Nick Gombash of http://www.hungaryexchange.com/ for helping me get the image so quickly.)

The delayed record of birth for Anna Margaret Apgar, born 8 March 1913 in Chicago, Illinois, was actually filed on 6 March 1963, just shy of Anna’s fiftieth birthday. At that point, Anna was actually Anna Lake and living in Moline, Illinois, with her husband, Ola Lake. She made out an affidavit regarding her birth, included two pieces of documentation which are summarized on the delayed birth record, and signed the affidavit before Notary Public Virginia M. Kopko in East Moline, Illinois.


I was particularly interested in what Anna had used for documetation. The baptismal record from Holy Rosary Church in the Pullman area of Chicago is something I already have. What’s on the delayed birth record is an abbreviated summary of what’s in her baptismal record. More interesting was the reference to her school records. The affidavit indicated she used records from the Chicago Board of Education as evidence and that she had attended the Van Vlissingen School at least for the 1926 school year. The name of the school was  something I did not have. I’m contemplating obtaining copies of her school records, but am not certain what information they would give me that I do not already have.

Of course one never knows what a record will say until it has been obtained and they have read it.

Anna was just shy of her fiftieth birthday when she applied for the delayed birth certificate. Anna also applied for her social security number in February of 1963 (we’ll save that for a future post). Whether there is any significance to her nearing her fiftieth birthday and these applications is not known. Most likely she needed a number for work-related reasons. I’m not certain if it is worth the time to see if there’s any significance to her doing it shortly before her fiftieth birthday.

Sometimes one has to avoid going down some research rabbit holes.

A Conclusion We Should Not Draw

In addition to certified copies of actual records, sworn statements by those familiar with the birth were frequently used as supporting documentation. Statements by a surviving parent or older relative were often used and generally considered credible. One might conclude that since there is no statement from Anna’s mother in this 1963 application for a delayed birth certificate that Anna’s mother was dead when the application was made.

That’s not true.

She was very much alive and living in the Chicago area.






One thought on “A Delayed Birth Certificate By Fifty Years–Part II

  1. I remember well when my mother needed proof of birth for Social Security. (Farmers did not get the privilege until much later than “workers”. ) She had no proof (apparently). So she had to take her eldest brother down to the SS office with her…and he had to swear that he remember when she was born. He would have been about 13 at the time. Mom was the 4th of 8 children. I can’t recall when I learned her birthdate but I must have been pretty young. Of course, I only knew because she said so…and not because I was there at the scene. Now I wonder who spoke for the others since all 8 were born at home. I don’t recall any stories about a doctor being present. Little “problems” can make getting proof of birth far more difficult than in our generation.

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