When looking for clues, you have to start with the known facts. Those facts are going to be found where the person lived. I have mentioned this before, but I am reminded of the old Bazooka Joe comic, where Mort, is looking for something at night under a street lamp. Joe asks Mort what he looking for and is told that Mort lost a quarter. Joe asks, "Where did you lose the quarter?" Mort says over there half a block away. Joe says, "Why are you looking here then?" Mort says, "The light is better."
I think a lot of times we go looking for clues where we think the light is better and the most common mistake is looking for information about an ancestor where we "think" the ancestor lived. The person who is looking for a birth date in Missouri is looking there because the "light is better." That is, they believe that is where the information is located so that is where they look.
There are several possibilities and I cannot name them all, but here are some things to think about:
- The ancestor was not born in Missouri at all, the unsubstantiated information is wrong.
- The ancestor was born in Missouri but the no record was made of the birth because of the early date.
- The ancestor was born in Missouri but moved as an infant to some other area.
- The ancestor was born somewhere else, but carried to Missouri at an early age and thought he was born there.
What kinds of records should this researcher be looking for? Practically anything, from a birthday card or announcement to an obituary, from insurance records to medical records. In short, anyplace someone would have given their date and place of birth in conjunction with any kind of transaction, legal or otherwise in their entire life.
Don't be like Mort and look where it is convenient. Spend the time to find out about this person's family in great detail. The more you know, the more likely you are to find the birth parents, even if you never find the birth date or place.