Church Issued Birth Certificates from 1955

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gb308-p40
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Church Issued Birth Certificates from 1955

Postby gb308-p40 » Mon Sep 10, 2007 12:28 pm

Hello!
I hope someone will be able to answer this question for me. I've been attempting to sort through my deceased parent's records (boxes of documents, etc.) My Mother was from the Smith family (through Joseph Smith's uncle - Father's brother) on one side and the Eyring family (Henry) on her other side.

In one of her envelopes of saved records, I've found some "Certificates of Birth" that are on gold paper with a Green (circle) stamped seal (embossed in the circle "THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS" is around the outside of the circle, and "CHURCH HISTORIAN" in the center of the circle).

These certificates have printed across the top:
"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" and are all dated June 8, 1955 (I have four certificates for different descentants and they all have this same date on them even though they were born on different dates between 1861 and 1891).

They are all three signed by "Joseph Fielding Smith" (original ink), and printed under his signature it states: Historian of the Church and ex officio Custodian of its Records.

Sorry for such a LONG description! Anyway, can anyone tell me what these are (other than Certificates of Birth), why they were issued, what was their purpose, and if they are legal (ie. an official, legal Birth Certificate)?

Thanks for anyone's help or input!!!
gb308

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Mon Sep 10, 2007 12:38 pm

I'm guessing here, but from the dates, it sounds like they were a "re-issue" or certificates done later. Not unlike being able to go to any state and getting a birth certificate for an ancestor from them.

For the ancestors in question, the Church may have been the local government at that place and time. I'm thinking your parents went to the church to get those birth certificates to have solid sources for their genealogy research. Sources are everything in genealogy. Without sources, pedigrees are just mythology.

You might want to post in the LDS genealogy groups for additional insight.

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thedqs
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Postby thedqs » Mon Sep 10, 2007 12:55 pm

I believe these also were included as the official documentation that they were "children of record" on the records of the church.
- David

gb308-p40
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Postby gb308-p40 » Mon Sep 10, 2007 1:19 pm

Thank you for your help, RussellHltn, and dqs!
I'll go post this over in the forum that you suggested, Russell.
Thanks Again!
gb308

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thedqs
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Postby thedqs » Mon Sep 10, 2007 1:23 pm

No problem, and you might just want to repost an answer here in case someone else has the same question.
- David


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