One of the greatest joys of genealogy is finding the documents that verify your lineage & give you clues to the next generational line. I usually get a document & do a “happy dance” for a few minutes, before catching my breath, & sitting down to scour it for all the obvious & hidden information.
Image provided by a relative :) Thank You!
When it came to Frank Herbert Lee (the son) born 1900 in Pryor Creek, OK, I was certain that his birth certificate was the key to his elusive parents: Frank Herbert Lee (1875) & Clara Marie [sic: Gladys] Nuahause. That was until I got it…
His birth certificate is a Delayed Certificate of Birth… by 51 YEARS! 51 years? WOW!
My immediate first question is: “Why 51 years later?” My second question is: “Where’s the first or original certificate of birth?”
Frank Herbert Lee had to go through a lot of effort to accomplish this feat. He had to have a lot of documentation & witnesses to quasi prove his birth. So the mystery remains in tack about the events that lead to his brith in Pryor Creek, OK, 1900.
What I found even more interesting than a need for a delayed birth certificate just a few years before his death (1955), was that he was able to serve in the US Army without a birth certificate?! I quickly looked to my husband (Navy dude himself) & asked if & how this was even possible. He asked me if there was a war going in during his enlistment…. Yes, of course! World War II. He then assure me, it was possible. (As I still frown & scrunch up my forehead in doubt…)
Another interesting point is that the affidavit of personal knowledge was given by “Wilbert R. Tuttle”. The same man he was boarding with in 1920 in Chicago, IL, right before his marriage in OH the same year. Though some information seems incorrect on the census, & he is listed as just a “boarder” to Wilbert Tuttle, could this be the family he was living with in IL? I presume Wilbert Tuttle had to be close to Frank Herbert Lee to provide an affidavit of personal knowledge, right?
Also all his “witnesses” are from about 1920 in his life & onward. So, is all his family & close family friends dead by 1920? So, how “factual” is a 51 years delayed birth certificate?
I suppose the “original” certificate of birth may have never existed. Oklahoma wasn’t a state until 1907, therefore, before 1907 there was no law mandating vital record reporting. Another possible scenario is if he was indeed part Cherokee, his record of birth wouldn’t be with the state at all.
What I do know is a stork didn’t just drop him off & he wasn’t born from dirt under a rock. He has a story I can’t wait to uncover!
NOTE: this is a document to prove birth first & foremost when it was created, not his lineage. Thus, the mystery continues….