Casefile Clues

30 September 2009

1877 Birth In Chicago

This is an entry from the 1877 Cook County, Illinois, birth register. The baby, was unnamed at the time of birth. A quick look at the other entries on the page indicated that the majority of births were apparently not registered at the time of birth. Always look at a record in context. In this case, that aspect of the record is not unusual.
The only real altering I did to the record was to cut just the bottom part of the image and split it in to two so that it would not be as wide. Obviously the yellow line was not on the original record either. I probably should have made a note that the line was added as a way to see where the record continued. When I copy images like this (which makes them easier to print and have the image be nice and readable and closer to the original size), I rarely copy just the entry.
There are quite a few clues here. What I should have done was to put the heading underneath the various entries so that others would know what the various things meant. Garabaldi is the name of the street where the family was living and where the birth took place. Without knowing what the heading was and given the few entries I copied, one might be tempted to think it meant something else. A few entries on the page in this column had "St" or "Ave" after the name making it a little more clear what the column was for had there been no heading. David Dodge was the doctor.
In an upcoming column of "Casefile Clues" we'll look at this document in more detail as part of a larger problem. This image was obtained on the site.