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?

  • 3
    Someone 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. Jan 11 '20 at 17:36
  • 2
    Dealing with conflicting evidence is part of genealogy. Is "how did this come about" the question you really want to ask?
    – Jan Murphy
    Jan 11 '20 at 17:41
  • 3
    genealogy.stackexchange.com/q/256/6485 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?
    – user104
    Jan 11 '20 at 18:05
  • 1
    @ColeValleyGirl The gravestone has clearly been renewed as it has a second death entry from 1998. Maybe it happened then. Jan 12 '20 at 8:32
  • 2
    If 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.
    – user104
    Jan 12 '20 at 8:42