I have previously written about my great grandmother, Mary Elliott, and the difficulty in identifying her father. I wrote a blog post here about some of the issues I was looking at.

Some people are born during a time when birth certificates were mandatory. Most modern births are in this category. This happened at different times in the US, and varied from state to state. The National Center for Biotechnology Information provides information on their website about the history of Vital Records in the US, and that Birth Certificates and Death Certificates were standardized sometime between 1915 and 1933 in all states in the union. Some states were compliant with Federal law before 1915. The State of Kansas confirms on their website that Birth Certificates were being filed starting on July 1, 1911.

My great grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Elliott, was born on February 2, 1909 in Kansas. The State of Kansas started keeping records for Birth Certificates after that date, on July 1, 1911. So, it seems there is no record for her birth.

But…not so fast.

What about a “Delayed Birth Certificate” in genealogy? What is it? Genealogy Today has information about a Delayed Birth Certificate. Basically, a person who has no Birth Certificate because they were born before the records were kept can file for a Delayed Birth Certificate with the state they were born in. They may need a Birth Certificate for a Social Security Card, a Driver’s License, or some other reason. The State would not just take a person’s word for it; after all, the person in question does not remember their own birth! So, some sort of records were needed to prove the facts that are recorded in a Birth Certificate, often affidavits from people that were present at the birth, and other evidence.

I requested a Delayed Birth Certificate for my great grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Elliott, not knowing if a record would be found or not. Today, the found record was in my mailbox from the State of Kansas!

The bottom portion of the Delayed Certificate of Birth includes “Abstract of Evidence” and indicates the proof the State required to issue this Delayed Birth Certificate. In this case, it includes an affidavit of her grandmother, Rebecca A. Jones, an affidavit of her grandfather, Albert W. Jones, which means they both swore that they remember when Mary was born, and it was on this date in this location, and the names of the parents. Also, a Marriage License showing her at the age of 16 when she herself got married, and a Birth Certificate of her daughter (my grandmother), born in 1925 and showing the age of the mother (Mary Elliott) at age 16 at the time of her child’s birth. In other words, one Birth Certificate (my grandmother) was part of the evidence used to prove the facts for a Delayed Birth Certificate (my great grandmother). This is fascinating, and I already have the Marriage License and the Birth Record of her daughter.

Delayed Birth Certificate below.


Some notable facts on this Delayed Birth Certificate include: confirms date of birth as February 2, 1909; confirms place of birth as the city of Iuka, in the County of Pratt, Kansas; and identifies her father as David Joseph Elliott.

The real challenge is finding more information about her father. I already had her father’s name on other documents, but this tells me more about him. David Joseph Elliott was 28 years old at the time of Mary’s birth, placing his year of birth in approximately 1881, and his place of birth in Texas. We also learn, for the first time, that his occupation was Deputy Marshal. This is great information, because there may be other records about him with this occupation!

A US Deputy Marshal has records. If he arrested a criminal or testified at the criminal’s trial, he will be in those records. He may appear in newspaper articles (although I’ve had no luck in that department so far, but now can add the keyword Marshal to the search). Also, the US Marshal’s Office kept records on their Deputies, and these records are at the National Archives. I get to find more records!

This is a great find! It does provide more clues to do more research. When I find more, I will post it here!

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