Delayed Birth Certificate for Mary Elliott — FOUND!

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!

The father of Mary Elliot, search in Eureka, Kansas records: search for delayed Birth Certificate

This is an update to a previous post. I searched the online records for Vital Records for Eureka, in fact all of Greenwood County, Kansas. Birth Registrations and Marriage Records are in a ledger style book that was microfilmed and now digitized.

Mary Elizabeth Elliott was reportedly born in 1909 in Eureka, Kansas. I searched all records for 1906-1911. I searched for birth records for Mary Elizabeth Elliott, and any record of other Elliott children born, or any child born to a Cora. No record was found.

The closest similar record found was a baby girl Elliott, born on Oct 13, 1906, a legitimate child, born to Mary Ford and H.D. Elliott. At this time, I have no idea who H.D. Elliot was. He may or may not be a relative of the J.D. Elliott that is reportedly the father of Mary Elizabeth Elliott. But this baby girl Elliott is not likely the Mary Elizabeth Elliott I am looking for.

I also searched for a marriage record for the reported parents of Mary Elizabeth Elliott. That should be Cora Jane Jones and Joseph D. Elliott. I searched all marriage records from 1906-1911, with no record found, and no similar record found.

We now have a conundrum. The reported birth places for Mary include Inka, Kansas (interpreted to mean Iuka, Kansas in Pratt County as no Inka has been found to exist) and also Eureka, Kansas in Greenwood County. No birth record for Mary has been found in either location, and no marriage record for parents has been found in either location.

The possibilities include the record did not survive, the record may have not been located, or the birthplace and/or marriage place is in yet another location.

My next step is to contact the State of Kansas for a Birth Certificate search. Mary was born in 1909, and the State of Kansas began recording Birth Certificates in 1911. At first glance, there would be no reason to conduct a search.

However, some people did file what was called a “delayed Birth Certificate” with their state. This would be a Birth Certificate filed later, perhaps years later, than the actual birth. This would require a sworn affidavit from someone present at the birth, such as the mother or the doctor or other witness. While this is possible, I don’t know if Mary ever filed for a delayed Birth Certificate. She did file for a Social Security Number in 1939, and some form of ID or proof of birth was likely required, so a filed delayed Birth Certificate may have been submitted as proof of birth date to the Social Security Administration. If so, the State of Kansas MAY have a delayed certificate on file. You never know until you request the search!

So, a search application for a delayed Birth Certificate for Mary Elizabeth Elliott in Kansas has been filed. I’ll update you when I hear from them. The results will be either no record found, or a copy of a delayed Birth Certificate will be sent to me.