Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Most Common Date:  October 9

I have less than 500 names in my family history program.  About a quarter of them don't have exact birth and death dates yet, just years, and some are the names of living people.  So to me the phenomenon of five different events happening on one date seems amazing.  There may be other dates with two events but none with as many as October 9.  It is the most common date in my family's history.

The following events happened on October 9.

My sister was born on October 9.  Celebrating her birthday when I was a child was my first awareness of the date.

Brendice Gerner Davis
When I was in my teens I was surprised to learn that our great-aunt Brendice's birthday was the same date.  Brendice Gerner Davis was born in 1895 in Butler County, Pennsylvania.  She is the youngest sister of my paternal grandmother, Beulah Gerner Doyle.  I didn't know the year of her birth until I began working on family history a few years ago.

Ida Adelia Gerner
Then I learned that Brendice's oldest sister, 31-year-old Ida Adelia, died of consumption in 1904 on Brendice's birthday.  How sad, I thought.  Brendice was just 8 years old at the time.  If she was like most 8-year-olds, the eager anticipation of a birthday celebration, however small, must have been dashed when Ida died.  Perhaps during the days before her birth she suspected there would be no birthday celebration when extra care was probably devoted to Ida.  How sad for Brendice to remember her birthday in conjunction with the death of a sister.

Christian Gerner (younger)
Brendice's paternal uncle, Christian Gerner, died of cerebral degeneration in Anaheim, California, on Brendice's 40 birthday in 1935.  Christian and his wife Amanda had moved from Butler County sometime before 1910.  Chances are Brendice and Christian didn't have much contact after he moved.  She had moved to Ohio where she was living at the time of his passing and may not have received word of his death until days later.  Christian was 81 and left his wife, Amanda (Daubenspeck) Gerner, and their two sons, Maurice L. and Russell D.

Josephine Bell
On my maternal side of the family my great-grandmother's aunt, Josephine Bell, passed away of chronic myocarditis in 1932 in New Alexandria, Jefferson County, Ohio.  She was the 73-year-old widow of Eli Porter.  She left five adult children and two sisters.

Do you have a date that appears more frequently than any other among your ancestors' events?



  1. That is interesting about that particular date. I really have a thing for dates/events. I used to be a secretary at a Youth Center and so I printed out the kid's birthdays for each month. If all things were average, around one twelfth of them should be born in a given month, but it never worked that way. And then the days--with about 6-10 birthdays per month, you wouldn't expect too many duplicates, but that happened really often too. Like I said, I find it fascinating.... Anyway, when I first began entering our records into Family Treemaker (probably the first edition, lol) I noticed that my cousin was born on the same day as our 2G Grandmother--100 years later. I thought that was really neat, and it was funny that no one noticed it.

  2. My grandmother was born on Oct 9, 1904, the same day Ida Adelia passed away. I haven't done a search in my database to see how many events happened on a given day, but I must do that. It's interesting.

  3. I found that 18 people in my database had a birth or marriage date of November 20. I ran the Birthday and Anniversary List in RootsMagic and saved it as a .txt file. I opened it in Excel and did some text-to-column work to separate the month and day from the year. Then I did a Pivot Table to get a count of the names for each date. I think I will do my own post about this topic. Thanks for the idea!


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