Here at Internet Accuracy Project, we never round
off times of birth or death. Our biographical profiles
report them as they appear on birth certificates,
death certificates, or were reported by the hospital,
family or other officials. Even so, the "official"
time of death that appears on death certificates
is usually the time that the local coroner confirms
the death for himself/herself. This is almost always
several minutes, hours, or in rare cases, days after
the death actually occurred. In cases where the
precise time of death and the "official" time of
death differ, we try to offer both, along with an
NOTE: All times of birth or death reported at this
site are from the local time zone where the birth or
NFL football player Justin Strzelczyk died in
a fiery head-on collision with a tanker truck at
8:16 a.m., yet the "official" time of death is
10:41 a.m., because that's when the coroner arrived
at the scene and pronounced him dead. So the
"official" time of death in this case is actually
off by more than two hours.
The situation with times of birth is similar. It
is not uncommon for times of birth to be off the
mark by as much as half an hour to 45 minutes.
Many researchers assume the time of birth recorded
on a birth certificate is the precise moment the
newborn was delivered. Actually, most times of birth
are recorded well after the baby has been delivered,
cleaned, the umbilical cord cut, a cursory medical
exam given, and the newborn and mother are tucked
away in their respective beds. Since all these
items naturally take precedence, it is only after
they're completed that the nurse would normally
look at the clock (which may or may not be accurate
itself) and record that time.
Sometimes we may have a case in which an individual
offers his or her time of birth that directly
contradicts the birthtime given by their parents.
In cases like this, we offer both times, along with
an explanation on their source, but do not take a
stand unless we can confirm one or the other via a
birth or death certificate.
Occasionally you'll find that birth records have
been altered by the individual themselves, or by
Because actor Eddie Albert was born out
of wedlock, his mother actually altered his birth
certificate to read 1908. This erroneous year of
birth was reported by most sources for decades.
Another good example is Jack Benny, who was raised
in Waukegan, Illinois, but was most assuredly not
born there. His birth certificate lists Waukegan at
the request of his mother, but he was actually born
at Mercy Hospital, Cook County, Chicago, Illinois.