Mystery solved?Sep 6th, 2010 | By Rick@Leonard Family Legends & Legacies | Category: News
If there’s any certainty in genealogy and family history, it’s that people will make mistakes. People often make “mistakes” about the year they were born. But when someone makes a mistake about the day they were born, all sorts of havoc can ensue. Such was the case of two of my ancestors, brothers Daniel and Isaac Leonard.
For as long as I could remember, I firmly believed my great-great-grandfather’s birthday was June 24th, 1930. That’s what it said in a county history, three obituaries, and his death certificate. If that’s not solid evidence, I don’t know what is.
Then along came Daniel’s brother Isaac, who claimed by the time of his death that he was born June 24th, 1830 as well. It’s engraved on his tombstone, noted in the US census of 1900. But here’s the odd part… no one, in either brother’s family (and there is substantial documentation), ever mentioned the two men being twins. It should’ve come up, doncha think?
What’s more, there is a substantial gap in the birth records between oldest brother Edmund, born in 1825, and Daniel, born (for the sake of argument) in 1830. There’s no mention of miscarriage or infant mortality in that period and let’s just say that birth control was less than reliable. So, was it possible that either Isaac or Daniel was born earlier than 1830?
Harry S. Blaine, an early Leonard researcher who was in contact with Edmund’s daughter and fellow researcher Jennie Leonard Hutchinson, once pinpointed Isaac’s birthday as June 23rd, 1827, but he never cited his sources. The date always seemed to make the most sense to me, but the evidence (including several census reports) all pointed to 1830. Until now.
New Bible records, appearing to be those of William and Mary (Van Ort) Leonard, parents of Daniel and Isaac, have surfaced. I say they appear to be, because William and his wife are listed on the Parents page, Edmund, Isaac, Daniel, et al, are listed on the Births pages. These records show Isaac born June 23rd, 1827 and Daniel born April 23rd, 1830.
I can understand these pioneers losing track of their own birthdays, particularly if they both fell on the 23rd day of different months. But to confuse the year by three years? Still sounds a little fishy to me. I, for one, am going to go with what appears to be a mother’s remembrance and take Daniel and Isaac out of the twins category.