How did a person go about getting a delayed birth certificate? The person filled out an “Application for Certificate of Hawaiian Birth”. This application asked for basic details such as name, place of birth, date of birth, current address, race of father and mother, father’s name, mother’s name, and any physical identifying marks.
The applicant then appeared before the Court. The applicant was interviewed by a representative of the Secretary of Hawaii. At that time, the applicant gave testimony about their birth, parentage, siblings, etc. They presented any documentation that proved they were born in Hawaii. This might include baptismal or other religious records, their parents’ immigration reocrds, or parents’ marriage records.
Next, witnesses gave testimony on the applicant’s behalf. The witnesses might be family members or friends. They had to have first hand knowledge of the applicant’s parentage, birth, and details of their early life. This information was needed to corroborate the applicant’s story.
After the witnesses gave testimony, the applicant might be called back to clarify any discrepancies. The case was reviewed and an official ruling was made. This delayed birth record could then serve the purpose of a real birth certificate.
The delayed birth record provides a wealth of information for family genealogists. First, you’ll find testimony from the applicant and witnesses. Many of the questions can resolve questions about parentage, spouses, children, and siblings. Second, copies of documentation or typed notes from the documentation are included. This is very helpful especially if you need to locate the church that your ancestors were members of or need to know where your ancestors parents were from.
The delayed birth record is a valuable tool for genealogists. It fills many gaps that other Hawaiian records leave behind. It also provides information straight from your ancestor’s mouth. That’s invaluable indeed!
More resources for understanding delayed birth records:
Genealogist and writer. Creator of the Portuguese Hawaiian Genealogy and Heritage website, yourislandroutes.com