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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Revisiting Baptismal Record

Here's a lesson in doggedness, a trait all genealogists need. The previous post shows Crespin Torres' baptismal record in Spanish. Don't let Spanish scare you; these records are not impossible to decipher. You need to look for names and dates. The baptismal record states: "In the year of our Lord, IMPORTANT DATE (priest) baptized NAME, legitimate son of FATHER and MOTHER." A.P is for paternal grandparents and A.M. is for maternal grandparents (abuelos). In Crespin's case, his parents were Jose Anastacio Torres and Maria Josefa Montoya. A.P were Santiago Torres and Barbara Ortiz. A.M. were Juan Montoya and Maria Manuela Garcia.
The trick is to remember it's a baptismal date. Look in the text for something like "tres dias de NACIDO (three days after his birth).
But now we have a problem. Crespin was baptized on the 29th, which is three days after Oct. 26. Ordinarily, the record made closest to his birth would be the primary and most reliable source. But in this case, not only does Crespin's obituary and death certificate reference Oct. 25 as his date of birth, but the family KNOWS the date that the man celebrated his birthday was Oct. 25. One of Crespin's granddaughters, whose birthday is Oct. 26, did NOT share her grandfather's birthday date. The preponderance of evidence is: Crespin's birth date is Oct. 25, 1847.
See, it's never simple.

Source: Baptismal record of Jose Crespin Torres, San Miguel Catholic Church Baptisms 1821-1850, Family History Library Roll 16993. Scanned January 2009 by Maurine Pool

Update 6.26.2011 -- Here is further verification of the Oct. 25 birth date: Oct. 25 is the feast day of Saints Crispin and Crispinian, martyred Roman brothers and shoemakers.

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