Always check the census records first.
Burton Lee Roberts’ military records say he was born in 1917. His amended birth record says 1919. The 1920 census supports his birth record of 1919 as the correct date. Here is part of the census record from Brownwood, Texas and what we learn about my father and his family in 1920.
The household record actually begins on the previous page. It is probably difficult for you to see this page (and you certainly can’t see the previous page because I haven’t included it), so I’ll try to accurately relate the information. This information is available at Ancestry.com and the National Archives.
Gus and Emma L. Roberts are living at 1009 Booker St. in Brownwood City (Today called simply Brownwood), Texas. They are living in the household of Edward and Grace Mohn. Gus is Edward’s brother-in-law. We know from other sources that Grace is Emma’s sister. The Mohn’s have two sons, Edward age 4 and John age 2 1/2. Edward Sr. is working as a machinist in an auto shop.
Gus Roberts is a 21-year-old married white male. He is able to read and write. He was born in Texas. He, or whoever spoke to the census taker that day, gives his father and mother’s birth place as the United States. (I don’t believe Gus, my grandfather, knew the birthplace of his father or mother. Therefore he could not have told his wife or a census taker. He’s able to speak English, works as a machinist helper in an auto shop as a wage earner and is enumerated on the farm schedule at #620.
Emma L. Roberts is a 21-year-old married white female. She is able to read and write. She was born in Texas. She, or whoever spoke to the census taker that day, gives her father’s birthplace as California and her mother’s as Tennessee. (I tend to believe she was the source of this information. What’s interesting is she was wrong about her father and right about her mother. Most “tree builders” online are usually right about her father and wrong about her mother.) Her work is listed as “none” and that makes me laugh.
Burton L. Roberts is enumerated as the only child of Gus and Emma living in the household. He is the nephew of Edward Mohn, the head of the household. He is a ten month old white male who was born in Texas, as were his parents. He could not read, write or speak English. Awww, those were the days. And while he did not work according to the census, I bet he kept his mother busy!
This census record supports Burton Lee Roberts’ birth year as 1919. His amended birth certificate supports this. His Social Security records support this. He told me this was his correct birth year and that he had lied about his birth date to enlist in the Army.
After you interview all of your living relatives, begin your next research with the U.S. Census. Happy backtracking!