21 July 2014

Case Study: Almerinda Capone, 1912-1915

Below are two records that make genealogy interesting and frustrating all at the same time. Is this person male or female? Is it the same person? Compare and analyze the information to try to reach a reasonable conclusion. First the birth index.
Birth Index: 1912

Source: "FamilySearch," index and images, Historical Record Collections (http://familysearch.org : accessed 9 Jul 2014); Massachusetts, Births, 1841-1915: Chelsea, Massachusetts, p425 no196, Massachusetts Archives, Boston; FHL microfilm 2409730; https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/FXVZ-R6D; 

Name: Almerinda Capone
Event Type: Birth
Event Date: 27 Jun 1912
Event Place: Chelsea, Massachusetts
Residence of Parents: 80 Vale St., Chelsea
Gender: F
Father's Name: Almerindo Capone
Father's Occupation: Stone Cutter
Father's Birthplace: Italy
Mother's Name: Mary Torella
Mother's Birthplace: Italy
Reference ID: p425 no196
GS Film number: 2409730
Digital Folder Number: 4401717
Image Number: 1179

Now, let's look at the death certificate.

Death Certificate: 1915

Name: Armerinda Capone
Event Type: Death
Event Date: 02 Jan 1915
Event Place: Chelsea, Massachusetts
Residence Place: Chelsea, Massachusetts
Address: 224 Vale St.
Gender: Male
Age: 2yr 8mo 26d (By Calculation the birth date should read 7 Apr 1912, not 28 May 1913)
Cause: Double Lobar Pneumonia
Contributory: Delayed Resolution
Marital Status: Single
Race: White
Birth Date: 28 May 1913 (Note how the date was typed onto the death certificate. Is the last year numeral a 2 or a 3? When compared to other numerals on the document, I believe it is a 2.)
Birthplace: Revere, Massachusetts
Burial Date: Jan. 3, 1915
Burial Place: Malden
Cemetery: Holy Cross
Father's Name: Armerindo
Father's Titles and Terms:
Father's Birthplace: Italy
Mother's Name: Maria Latorelle
Mother's Birthplace: Italy
Reference ID: 277
GS Film number: 2407805
Digital Folder Number: 4284293
Image Number: 00292

Conclusion: I believe that these two records are for the same child. The child is male and both documents contain errors. First, the birth document is an index. The information on indexes is information copied from another document, namely the actual birth certificate. Very easy to copy the gender incorrectly.
Second, the death certificate was prepared shortly after the death and the death information itself should be correct. Other information that was provided by the father of the child could be incorrect. Think of his mental state after just losing a child. He could have easily given the wrong date of birth to the undertaker.

Until additional information becomes available, we will never know for sure. I wonder what is on the tombstone.


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