How can a gravestone and death certificate be a year out?


Of a death certificate and a gravestone, which record should be trusted more in determining birth date? is a similar question and I was interested in rolling out my own question on this subject.

My family in Spain provided this photo of my Great Great Grandmother's tombstone:


As you can see it clearly states that she died on 27-4-1943. Now, today I received her death certificate directly from the Spain Registry Office and the date that her death was reported was:

Date of Informing Death

This says in part:

... del dia veintiocho de abril de mil novocientos cuarenta y cuatro, ...

In English that means 28 April 1944. Further down the certificate it states that she died ayer which means yesterday. This would make her date of death 27 April 1944.

Thus the date of her death is exactly a year out.

How can this kind of major difference come about?

Andrew Truckle

Posted 2020-01-11T14:26:21.267

Reputation: 1 983

Question was closed 2020-01-11T18:05:46.850

3Someone made a mistake? The question is now, "who made the mistake?" If you can find an obituary, published in a newspaper in 1943 - that would tell you who made the mistake. – Marshall Clow – 2020-01-11T17:36:47.037

2Dealing with conflicting evidence is part of genealogy. Is "how did this come about" the question you really want to ask? – Jan Murphy – 2020-01-11T17:41:13.407

3 has the answer you need -- the death certificate contains primary information; the gravestone contains secondary information. What do you want to know that isn't answered there? – ColeValleyGirl – 2020-01-11T18:05:37.493

@ColeValleyGirl How on earth can a death record be wrong? Surely it was written on the date it stated? Else they are breaking the law? My ancestor must of died in 1944 surely and the stone wrong. – Andrew Truckle – 2020-01-12T08:30:14.013

1@ColeValleyGirl The gravestone has clearly been renewed as it has a second death entry from 1998. Maybe it happened then. – Andrew Truckle – 2020-01-12T08:32:08.627

2If you read the answers to the duplicate question, you'll understand that (generally speaking) records created close to an event (such as a certificate) are more likely to be accurate than those created sometime after the event and/or by people with less knowledge of the original events. Somebody made a mistake when they had the gravestone engraved -- they knew the day and month but got the year out by one. – ColeValleyGirl – 2020-01-12T08:42:25.873

I recommend 2 checks: contactact the graveyard admin and ask them for the death date in their registers, second, in the certificate that you have received there should be an stamp or/and information about the actual book or register that has been used, contact the Spanish registry about the period of times the book the record is located contains, this will be very reliable and usually they were ending a book before starting one. – Trebia Project. – 2020-01-19T01:46:01.943

No answers