The Long-Lost Birth Certificate: Found!

I’ve been working on gathering all the necessary paperwork, i.e. birth, death, and marriage, for me, my parents, and my grandparents. One of my goals for 2016 is to join the Daughters of the American Revolution, and these certificates are necessary. I was able to get copies of everything, except for two: birth certificates for my mother and her father.

My grandfather was born in South Dakota in 1901, and his birth was apparently never registered there. I do have an affidavit written by his mother 39 years later, attesting to his birth. I’m not sure yet if this will suffice for the DAR.

As for my mother, well, it was quite the run-around! I ordered it with several others from the Los Angeles County Recorder’s Office, for $28. For my $28, I got back a letter saying that there was no record of my mother ever being born in LA Co., and that I should request it from Shasta Co.

Shasta County???

We had always been told that she was born in LA, in the newly renovated maternity cottages that would one day become part of LA County Hospital. Shasta Co. made no sense whatsoever. My mom and siblings were just as puzzled.

It was about this time that I noticed that on My Heritage, on the record page for Mom, was the California Vital Records Index, saying that sure enough, she was born in Shasta Co.

So, I spent another $38 (for the certificate and the online electronic payment service charge) to order said certificate from Shasta Co. And, for my $38 I got back a letter saying that there was no record of her having been born in Shasta Co., and that I should try the state vital records in Sacramento.


Turns out, genealogy can be expensive!

But, yay! This story has a great ending!

I’m just back from a visit with Mom, and guess what she has had all along? Yes, her birth certificate from the city of Los Angeles! The city! Not the county. So, perhaps, if I had begun my search at the state level, I could have saved a bit of money.

Or, if Mom had remembered that she had it, tucked away in her lock box… but, that’s another story.

This photo below is of my new-born mother, with my grandmother, at the maternity cottages in Los Angeles. I am amazed that in 1921, someone took this. Now, it’s common place, but this is the only photo like this I have among thousands of family pictures.

I think it’s lovely.

vida wells and newborn bula