hhh asked in Arts & HumanitiesGenealogy · 1 decade ago


If Bessie Winner's parents moved to the U.S in 1888 how could she have been born in russia in 1889. I looked at the original image and it may have said 1888 for bessie bu I cant tell, does all this mean she was adopted. How do you know if an ancestor was adopted (would it tell you?)

4 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    One thing to consider when looking at historical documents, is that when specific years are given you really have to look +/- one year from that date.

    If you are looking at an actual immigration record (such as a ship's manifest), then the year is absolutely solid because, well, it was the year.

    But the same information could have been derived from the fact that her parents immigrated when they were 30 years old. If this were now 1918 when someone identified this, they would likely put a date of 1888. BUT, because someone is a specific age (30 for example) for an entire 365 day span, the actual year would be EITHER 1887 or 1888. Remember, unless you were born on January 1st, you are a specific age in 2 different calendar years.

    So in your above example, 1888 and 1889 being only one year apart, it isn't surprising. The 1889 birth date could have been determined based on her age at some point (though it could have been either 1888 or 1889) and if not from an actual manifiest, the immigration date could also have been based on age at some point, thus could be 1887 or 1888. And of course there is always the possibility of error - people often didn't really know how old they were surprisingly or like us all, can't pinpoint the exact year of something that happened 20 years prior.

    But with what you presented, and assuming everyone was being reasonably accurate in their presentations, I would initially assume that Bessie was in fact born in Russia, but in 1888, vice 1889, and subsequent to her birth, she and her parents immigrated to the US also in 1888 (but possibly 1889).

    That's a first assumption of course....gotta do the detective work to figure out if this assumption is correct.

    But just remember that often times when specific years are given, they are many times "calculated" based on a persons age. An careful, experienced genealogist when facing this, would list a year as "abt. 1888". But often times that "abt." gets dropped and then subsequent people take it to be EXACTLY 1888.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    from that long ago, it may not tell you if the person was adopted simply because adoption wasn't very common at all back then.....

  • 1 decade ago

    not if its a closed adoption and you pay some money

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    i dunno

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