Category Archives: Mysteries

Woman Gives Birth to her Own Grandson

I want to see the pedigree chart on this family!

A California woman was told that she couldn’t have children. A few years later, her mother delivered the younger woman’s first child, conceived through in vitro fertilization (IVF) with the younger woman’s husband and eggs removed from the younger woman’s body.

According to the grandmother, “The attachment for me was not an issue as people have predicted, because in my mind it was biologically their baby,” she said. “I was just a deluxe Easy-Bake Oven.”

You can read the full story at

This reminds me of the song, I’m My Own Grandpa that has been recorded by a number of artists. Ray Stevens’ version is available in a YouTube video at:

Now, many many years ago
When I was twenty three
I was married to a widow
Who was pretty as could be Continue reading

Explain this – deceased husband serves as informant on his wife’s death certificate

From MILLENIA Legacy News

Posted by in News & Views

I’ve heard of people coming back to life, but that was more than 2,000 years ago. Yet according to Adelaide Brown’s death certificate, her husband, who had been deceased for more than two years, was listed as the informant.

Leonard, Adelaide - 1916 death certificate

In two places it clearly states that Adelaide was a widow at the time of her death:

Field 5:


Field 8:


Yet field 14 clearly shows the name of the informant AND has the informant’s relationship to the decedent:


How could Adelaide’s deceased husband be the informant on her death certificate? Below are a few ideas I had, but if you have any other ideas, please let me know in the comments.

Could her husband, Charles Frederick Brown, have been alive at the time of her death? Yes, and I should follow up on this to have more convincing evidence of it. He was last known to be alive in 1910 as he was living in Philadelphia in this Continue reading

Analyzing Using Discrepancy Charts

By Jim Onyschuk

Dealing with discrepancies and inconsistencies are a matter of course when doing genealogical research. Discrepancy Charts are logs which record the existence of contradictory information about the same individual. They are a useful way of keeping track of particular problems that need to be solved. A Discrepancy Chart helps you organize conflicting dates or places for a specific event in a person’s life.

Genealogical data will fall into the following categories:

  • Totally consistent, where every document provides the same date and place for each event, and there is no conflict between sources
  • There is some conflict, but the data is consistent enough that different researchers can reach the same conclusion
  • Completely inconsistent and inconclusive

A very common discrepancy may occur with age. For instance, a tombstone may indicate one age, a census another and immigration records yet another.

Example #1
When researching my grandfather Peter DUTKA, I found conflicting birth dates. In various records, there was differing birth years indicated for Peter. His daughters maintained that he was born on July 10, 1895. However, I found records to indicate that he was born in 1897. Which was the true year 1895 or 1897?


Why was there a two year discrepancy in his birth year dates? Would there have been a reason to say he was older? My first thought was to wonder “By upping his age, would this allow him to get out of school to work full-time on the farm and elsewhere and not have to attend school?” Was there a mandatory age for children remaining in school, when Peter went? I also speculated that, when he was older, he would have been eligible to receive Old Age Security at an earlier age.


I asked my aunt, why were there two different years listed? I offered my speculations at which she chuckled. She revealed that when he was immigrating, there was a special lower rate for children below a certain age, i.e. aged 10. Peter’s mother had the village priest prepare a document indicating that he was born in 1897, which qualified him for the special children’s rate. I imagine that this was probably a very common practice, which would have had the ship’s bursars scratching their heads, wondering about these very tall Ukrainian children roaming the decks.

Example #2
Searching for my grandmother’s (Mary DUTKA, nee BOJACZUK) date and place of birth, I found two different birth localities and two different birth dates.


The mystery is was Mary born in Storo Siolo or in Canada as was related by the daughters? If she was born on January 14, 1898, then she would have been born in Galicia (now Ukraine). If she was born January 14, 1899, this would place her in Canada. There is no record of Mary immigrating to Canada, which means that she was born here. Since the Census records and her marriage records indicate a Canadian birth then she would have been born January 14, 1899, 6 months after her parents arrived in Canada.

Often you will be unable to explain the difference and may never be able to say with a degree of certainty which date or location for an event is correct. There are cases where almost every document or record gives a different age or place of birth and determining which one is correct can be nearly impossible. The purpose of discrepancy charts is to summarize the conflicts between different record sources and to indicate the source for each conflicting piece of data. Using discrepancy charts will more easily allow you to weigh the evidence.

Primary and Secondary Sources

While analyzing conflicting pieces of information; researchers need to be aware of the

differences between primary and secondary sources. A source is considered to be primary if it was an original record recorded close to the time when the event actually took place, such as a Birth/Baptism Record and the informant had a logical reason to know the information and was likely present at the event. A source that is not primary is considered secondary.

Classifying a source as primary or secondary does not comment about its accuracy. Secondary sources can be correct and primary sources can be wrong. However, more credence is placed in primary sources for an event, especially when there are two or more primary sources that corroborate each other.

In some cases, you may not be able to determine who provided the information and therefore not know for certain if it is a primary or secondary record. Some records have a place for informant, but many do not.

In the examples listed above, the sources all listed are secondary sources for birth dates and birthplace. This does not mean that they are wrong; however, in this case since they all provide different birthdates, some of them are obviously incorrect.

Sources do not always agree, and the sources can easily be wrong. For these reasons, you need to access more than one record or source where possible and focus on primary sources if available. However, there are times when primary sources are not available and we are left to rely on a number of secondary sources. In my examples, I have no primary sources to call on, namely the birth certificates for Peter or Mary that lists their date and place of birth.

One Last Important Note

You should never change a source to correct it. If you are not fortunate enough to

determine the cause of the discrepancy, or at least be able to explain it, indicate that in

your notes. If not, leave it to others to solve this mystery.

Persistence Finally Pays Off

The Mystery of Mary Boyachuk’s Birth Records: Persistence Finally Pays Off
By Jim Onyschuk

The birth date of Mary Dutka (nee Boyachuk) has been a source of some confusion. Starting with the Certificate of Birth for Helena Dutka, my mother, her mother’s maiden name is listed as Maria Bujachok and her Birth Place is listed as Storo Siolo, Austria, Galicia.

Mary was supposedly born on January 14, 1898. Later, that same year her father Yendruch/Andrew Bujaczek and mother Paraska came to Canada, sailing from Hamburg, May 21, 1898 and arriving at Halifax on June 3, 1898. He was 28 at Continue reading

The Mystery of my Grandparent’s Death

By Jim Onyschuk

At a recent meeting the Toronto Ukrainian Genealogy Group, the speaker, Dr. Romana Bahry, who spoke on “Sources for the Genealogy of Dr. Kindraczuk, Galician Scientist and Pharmacist” pointed out that the 1918 Spanish Flu, which ravaged Russia and Galicia was significantly different from other influenzas. The unusual feature of this pandemic was that it mostly killed young healthy adults. The data showed that 99% of pandemic influenza deaths occurring in people under 65, and more than half in young adults 20 to 40 years old.This is noteworthy, since influenza is normally most Continue reading