Bill Muster Mystery

The original birth certificate lists Bill Muster's birthdate as June 18, 1925. However, Bill's older half-brother, Ed Miller, stapled a note to the birth certificate noting the correct birth date, June 18, 1926.

In 19xx Emma visited Valparaiso to secure the birth certificate



                                                                          October 5, 1942

Bureau of Vital Statistics
State Department of Health
Indianapolis, Indiana.

Dear Sirs:

        I am writing to ask what steps may be taken to correct an error in a birth record.
        William Muster was born in Valparaiso on June 18, 1926. Thru neglect the doctor failed to record this birth and a few years later died. On September 5, 1931 this birth was recorded by the nurse who had attended at the time—however she made an error in the date of 1 year—entering the birth as June 18, 1925.
        As I am now legal guardian of this boy I would like to have this error rectified. I can furnish evidence in the form of local newspaper announcements, affidavits from the nurse, and friends and neighbors at the time of the boys birth.
        Will you kindly advise me of how to go about straightening this matter out.

                                                                          Respectfully yours
                                                                          Edward A. Miller
                                                                          R#1 Box 122F
                                                                          La Grange,

Beginning of the search for answers to the mystery posed by my father's birth certificate, a letter to a genealogy sleuth friend:

On Thursday, December 24, 2015 10:26 AM, Nori Muster wrote:

Hi Carl - Merry Christmas. . . . I have a genealogy question for you. My father's birth certificate (enclosed) indicates he was born June 18, 1925, and says his father was fifty-seven and his mother was thirty-nine.

In 1942, my father's older half-brother Edward A. Miller attached a note to the birth certificate stating that he was actually born in 1926.

If you have any insights about this mystery, please write back.

Meanwhile, enjoy a safe and fun holiday!


On December 24, 2015 at 10:03:54 PM MST, Carl Jones wrote:

This is my guess on your problem, the Indiana birth certificate for William Newton Muster was not filed until 1 September 1931 and them by the attending nurse, Cora Hachbaum, the attending doctor being dead. The Feb 6, 1930 local paper said that Emma Muster was visiting for a day from Chicago in Valparasio. I am guessing that she was in town to see if she could find the doctor or nurse or other evidence of William's birth thus the late filing.

What one needs to find is the June 1926 local paper with the birth announcement. That should settle the question.

William (sr) in 1900 was a Constable and from 1910 he was a rural mail carrier.


On Saturday, January 9, 2016 2:20 PM, Nori Muster wrote:

Hi Carl - the library's genealogy clerk came through with a birth announcement, solving the mystery!
Here's my grandfather's obituary followed my father's birth announcement five months later. It even mentions that his father had died previously.

Subject: Re: Valparaiso Public Library
Date: January 9, 2016 at 8:31:52 PM MST
To: Nori Muster
Reply-To: Carl Jones

If one knocks on the right door you can get the information you need. Glad I was able to suggest where to find the answer to the mystery or did you come to that conclusion on your own. Too many research projects going on.
Carl Jones



The Porter County Public Library sent William N. Muster, Sr.'s obituary, followed by his son's birth announcement in the Valparaiso Daily Vidette (transcribed below). I thanked the librarian and sent along the payment along with a donation.



Valparaiso Daily Vidette
Monday Evening, February 1, 1926
Veteran Rural Mail Man Dies

       William N. Muster, a veteran rural route mail carrier at the Valparaiso post office and well known Valparaiso man, died Sunday afternoon at 5 o'clock at his home, 305 East Indiana avenue, following a three months' illness from a nervous affliction. For the last two weeks he had been bedfast.
       Mr. Muster was born in Morgan township, Porter county, January 18, 1868, and was a little past 58 years of age. All his life was spent in the county.
       On January 1, 1902, he took a position with the local postoffice at the time the rural free delivery service was instituted by the government, and continued in this capacity until illness forced him to give up work about three months ago. In years of service he was the oldest of the local rural mall employes.
       Surviving are a widow; his mother, Mrs. Barbara Muster, of this city; three brothers, Louis of Rensselaer, Ind.; Albert, of Battle Creek, Mich., and Jack, of Los Angeles, Cal.; and five sisters, Mrs. Elizabeth Stansell, Mrs. George Howser and Miss Minnie Muster, of this city, and Mrs. Nellie Perry and Mrs. Ida Stoner, of Portland, Ore. He was a member of the Sons of Union Veterans of this city.
       Mr. Muster was also well known throughout Indiana and other states as a race horse developer. During his long connection with the racing game horses owned and driven by him participated in harness events at county fairs and race meets in many of the central states with marked success. In one race he suffered serious injury when his horse stumbled and fell, throwing him under the cart of another driver. It is believed the injury was one of the causes of the illness which resulted in his death.
       Funeral services will be held Tuesday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock from the Christian church, conducted by Rev. E. Richard Edwards. Internment will be in Graceland cemetery.

William N. Muster, Jr. birth announcement
Published June 18, 1926
Local Squibs and Personals

A son was born this morning to Mrs. William Muster, of East Indiana avenue. Mr. Muster, who was a rural carrier at the Valparaiso postoffice, died early this spring.

genealogy index

page footer