I am not a medical health professional and any comments I post are not intended, nor should they be construed, as medical advice. If you believe you are experiencing a medical emergency, dial 911 (where applicable) or contact proper emergency service personnel.
As I mentioned in my Dad‘s post – Happy Angel Day Dad February 7, 1977 earlier today, official records can be wrong. My birth certificate has Dad‘s birth location wrong. A friend’s mother’s death certificate has the wrong death date for her. She died before midnight, but the doctor who filed out the death certificate didn’t fill it out until the next day and mistakenly wrote the death date as the day he filled it out.
Census records are probably the worst by far. Some people have no problem providing incorrect information, intentionally or unintentionally, to census workers. And I am not only talking about neighbors who may get the information wrong accidentally. Intentionally lying happened. Maybe a person didn’t want their age known so in different census listings, they gain or lose years or decades. Had a case where the person went from 30 to 50 to 40 in three (3) successive censuses. He gained 20 years in the second census instead of 10 like most people and lost 10 years in the third census. Maybe John Smith changed his name to avoid legal issues or an irate spouse he skipped out on.
Cause of death is often wrong on death certificates unless an autopsy was conducted. My paternal grandfather’s cause of death reported several things, but ignored the biggest cause of death: second amputation too soon after the first amputation. The doctor reported health causes that had nothing directly to do with his death. Mom’s cause of death was lung related, COPD, but no autopsy was done. Had they did one, it would have revealed that she had significant weight loss. It could have been caused by cancer or any number of issues, but it was a major factor in her death. Her paternal uncle died from giving up. I know that’s not a medical term, but he gave up when he was placed in a nursing home.