My grandparents, Thomas (Tom) Lafayette Bynum and Viola Perdue had thirteen children born between 1914 and 1940. According to my father, he never had a birth certificate. So when he wanted to go into the Navy, my grandmother had to “provide a certificate of birth” by going to the court house with a neighbor as a second witness. This is the only birth certificate I have ever seen for my father.
Many of my aunts and uncles also claimed they had no birth certificates and simply went by the dates their mother and or siblings provided. So imagine my surprise when a few years ago, while searching the Texas Birth Index on Ancestry, I came upon a couple of listings that were most likely a few of my aunts and uncles. Unfortunately the images were not attached to the index and the certificates have no names for the babies.
Fast forward to last week when I decided to do a quick search on FamilySearch.org for Texas Birth Certificates and found one that is definitely one of my uncles.
The listing of FamilySearch.org looks like this:
This was a step up from the Ancestry Index as this index lists the gender. (For this certificate, it is not so important but there is another that is not yet on FamilySearch that is close between two of my fathers siblings, one male and one female. I can not tell which sibling the certificate belongs to as there is no name and no gender. Waiting very impatiently for that certificate to be released. )
This is the birth certificate for my uncle, Joe. How do I know this? Well, uncle Joe’s Social Security Death Index gives his date of birth as July 30, 1914. (Clearly, this is the date he used and told his family.) Also, I have a handwritten “family tree” from his sister that lists his date of birth as July 30, 1915. These two dates are too close to the actual birth certificate date to not be his. Further, there were no male children born to Tom and Viola around this date. Joe was the oldest son and the next male was not born until 1922.
My uncle Joe believed he was born in Oklahoma. It is my understanding that he and his relatives searched in Oklahoma for his birth certificate and finding none believed that he did not have one. This certificate clearly states that this child was born in Texas and that Tom and Viola lived “10 miles N.W. of Childress”. Childress is located in Childress County, Texas and borders Oklahoma. According to my mother, the Bynum family “went across the border” between Texas and Oklahoma quite often.
For now, I’m just happy to have another birth certificate to add to my collection!