B is for Birth Certificate


Brandolyn and "Nick" at the pre-school fiesta

Brandolyn and “Nick” at the pre-school fiesta

 One of the best primary sources for genealogical research is the birth certificate. The reason this is one of the best is because it contains information usually provided by a person who was actually there at the time of the event, like the birth mother or father. These are usually held at the state level and most states have an online application process for requesting copies for genealogical purposes. Costs range from $4 to $15, BUT…as I don’t usually need a certified copy for my purposes, sometimes an email to the town clerk (especially true for the small towns) where the birth occurred (provided I know the town where the birth occurred) will result in a correspondence that provides the information I need without cost.

Lots of good tidbits can be gleaned from a birth certificate, like the occupation and birthplace of the parents, which will lead one to finding the next generation on one’s tree.

Family Vignette:

B is for Brandolyn, my firstborn and lovely daughter. When Brandolyn was 5 years old we lived in Belgium (hey! Another B word!), on assignment with the US Army. Brandolyn was in a French pre-school, where the teachers only spoke French, so she was of necessity, acquiring some French vocabulary. One day we were at the checkout in the local market and Brandolyn turned to her father and said, “Let me handle this, Dad; I speak French!” Rich gave her the item and the money, both of which she handed to the clerk. The clerk handed her the change, which Brandolyn gave to her father, beaming a big smile. Rich said, “You didn’t say anything…I could have done that!” Brandolyn turned to the clerk, said a pert, “Merci!” and we left.

Part of the A-Z Blogging Challenge


About Gail

Genealogist, librarian, writer, traveler, Mormon
This entry was posted in A-Z Challenge, Family, Genealogy & Family History, Good Old Days and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to B is for Birth Certificate

  1. Sammy D. says:

    Gail – i enjoyed this one. I’ve learned something about my father from my own birth certificate, and Hub and I had a funny/odd encounter with a county clerk over Hub’s birth certificate when we applied for our marriage license. I can easily picture your daughter so sure of herself and, in her mind, absolutely nailing the money exchange that her Dad could not. Precious memory!

    • gapark says:

      Thanks! and thanks for stopping by and commenting! This is a very fun exercise in blogging and I’m getting to know so many awesome bloggers through the hop!

  2. The story about your daughter is absolutely adorable. Love the merci at the end!

  3. renatabu says:

    Hi–Found you through A to Z challenge and just wanted to say how much I enjoyed this post. Very sweet and cute!

  4. Leslie says:

    I’m really enjoying your posts!

  5. LOL what a cute little daughter you have! Brandolyn is such an unusual, sweet name. Love it!

    • gapark says:

      I don’t think you will find anyone older than her with that name! I’m sure we made it up while in the hospital waiting to take her home. Since then, we’ve come across one or two, but we were the first!

    • gapark says:

      This happened over 30 years ago so she is no longer little; and now I’d describe her more as beautiful than cute!

  6. Hey gapark, Your A-Z blogging challenge sounds fun. I am interested in doing it myself, is this something you can share on how it works if there is a specific way of doing it, or perhaps tell me where you got the idea if you didn’t make it up yourself? Thanks for sharing ;=)


    • gapark says:

      If you click on the A-Z green logo on the right of the side-bar, it will take you to the A-Z site. It’s an annual challenge every April. There werer over 2000 bloggers that took part this year!! It’s a fun blog hop as well to encourage supporting each other.

  7. AMomBlogs says:

    That is a cute story. Thanks for visiting my A to Z “Things My Husband Has Broken” AMomsPointOfView.com

  8. A birth certificate settled an argument my brother and I were having. He thought for sure that our grandmother’s name was Lillian Mary because everyone called her Lillian. I told him that she had told me that her real name was Mary Lillian but that people called her by her middle name. Glad I was able to produce a birth certificate to prove I was right…LOL

  9. Elle says:

    I really like the name Brandolyn. Very cute. And nothing is more funny that the words that come out of the mouths of small children. I kept a notebook in my purse when ours was between 4 and 7 and wrote down the little quips that would come out of his mouth. It’s so much fun to look back and read those little moments. Elle @ Erratic Project Junkie

    • gapark says:

      We created “secret names” for our kids out of the fun way they said things. Several words combined into an unusual “name” that strangers had to know before they were trusted. Never had to use them in that way, but it has been a fun tradition handed down through the generations now.

  10. TaMara says:

    I love the story about your daughter! I’m really interested in doing a genealogy of my family. I told my hubby that once I’m done homeschooling my small people (in 12 years), that’s my next project.

    AJ’s AtoZ wHooligan
    Tales of a Pee Dee Mama

    • gapark says:

      yea, I had to put genealogy on hold for a few years so I wasn’t neglecting my kids! It can take over your life if you aren’t careful!

  11. It was fun looking at my birth certificate. Like a look into the past.

    ~Patricia Lynne~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, YA Author

  12. msmouse7 says:

    And a “merci” to you for a great post!

  13. Marie Abanga says:

    Hi Gail, a good one especially the ‘merci’ part! Hmm, how smart are kids nowadays, maybe a gene not marked in their birth certificates 🙂 “Just for fun!

    Now, let me share a fun fact about the birth certificate to you. In Africa and talking of my country Cameroon, there are still lots of people without a birth certificate.

    On my grandmother’s, which was made much later, her date of birth was marked as ‘around 1920”.

    Another fun fact, in some political campaigns in rural areas, the villagers are promised birth certificates and or ID cards if they promise to vote for that candidate!

    Marie: http://myeverydaypower.blogspot.be/

  14. Aditi says:

    Haha so cute! Smart, she is! 🙂

  15. How cute….I bet she felt so grown up!!!

  16. My grandmother doesn’t have a birth certificate (or maybe it’s back in China) so when she got her Malaysian citizenship they estimated her year of birth.
    Apparently we found out it’s off by about a year or so.

    Deeply Shallow

  17. What a darling story! I love her “let me handle this, I speak French”! I think I’m going to use that line for lots of things henceforth!

  18. Brandolyn says:

    Thanks for making me famous, mom. Love you.

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