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Accuracy of Times of Birth and Times of Death

Here at Internet Accuracy Project, we never round off times of birth or death. Our biographical profiles report them as they appear on birth certificates, death certificates, or were reported by the hospital, family or other officials. Even so, the "official" time of death that appears on death certificates is usually the time that the local coroner confirms the death for himself/herself. This is almost always several minutes, hours, or in rare cases, days after the death actually occurred. In cases where the precise time of death and the "official" time of death differ, we try to offer both, along with an explanation.

NOTE: All times of birth or death reported at this site are from the local time zone where the birth or death occurred.

Example:
NFL football player
Justin Strzelczyk died in a fiery head-on collision with a tanker truck at 8:16 a.m., yet the "official" time of death is 10:41 a.m., because that's when the coroner arrived at the scene and pronounced him dead. So the "official" time of death in this case is actually off by more than two hours.

The situation with times of birth is similar. It is not uncommon for times of birth to be off the mark by as much as half an hour to 45 minutes. Many researchers assume the time of birth recorded on a birth certificate is the precise moment the newborn was delivered. Actually, most times of birth are recorded well after the baby has been delivered, cleaned, the umbilical cord cut, a cursory medical exam given, and the newborn and mother are tucked away in their respective beds. Since all these items naturally take precedence, it is only after they're completed that the nurse would normally look at the clock (which may or may not be accurate itself) and record that time.

Sometimes we may have a case in which an individual offers his or her time of birth that directly contradicts the birthtime given by their parents. In cases like this, we offer both times, along with an explanation on their source, but do not take a stand unless we can confirm one or the other via a birth or death certificate.

Occasionally you'll find that birth records have been altered by the individual themselves, or by family members.

Examples:
Because actor
Eddie Albert was born out of wedlock, his mother actually altered his birth certificate to read 1908. This erroneous year of birth was reported by most sources for decades.
Another good example is
Jack Benny, who was raised in Waukegan, Illinois, but was most assuredly not born there. His birth certificate lists Waukegan at the request of his mother, but he was actually born at Mercy Hospital, Cook County, Chicago, Illinois.


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Copyright © 2005-2012 INTERNET ACCURACY PROJECT. All rights reserved. All content, is the exclusive property of Internet Accuracy Project and may not be reproduced (on the Web, in print, or otherwise) without the express written permission of our organization. BY ACCESSING THIS SITE YOU ARE STATING THAT YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY OUR TERMS AND CONDITIONS regardless of whether you reside in the United States of America or not. Our Privacy Policy. This page was last updated January 1, 2012.




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