EE 4th Edition Birth/Death Certificate Template

I see that the 4th Edition of EE has changed the template for birth and death certificates (#12 in Ch. 3) in some ways that make the citation longer, and I have some questions. 

Why is the reporting county included when citing a state-level certificate with a state number?  

Why is the full date included along with the year?

I understand the rationale of including date issued and name of recipient.  If the recipient moves or changes their name, should the citation be updated?     

Are these added elements now considered best practice or pertinent only when other identifying information is unavailable? 



Submitted byEEon Sun, 04/07/2024 - 08:53

Jenn, for starters, here are two reasons:

  • Typos are soooo easy to make. If we record nothing but the state-level certificate number and we (or someone copying us) accidentally drops, adds, or alters a digit, we're left with inadequate identification to relocate the record.
  • Many people share the same name. With common names, there may be numerous children born in that state, that year, with that name—or multiple individuals of the same name who died in that state that year. As the population grows and as more and more records become available, the problem grows. Identifying the date and the county is basic to ensuring that we identify the correct record.

And now, I'll ask a couple of questions: Why would we not want to include this information? Why would the date a certificate was issued to us be more important than the certificate's date for the event which ensures we have the right record?

Submitted byjmguimondon Sun, 04/07/2024 - 19:09

Thanks for clarifying.  I tend to lean toward parsimony and avoid repetition, but I see your point.