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Leon's Birth and Amendment ~ 1916 and 1972

Our daddy was born on this day 97 years ago. His mother and dad, Bob and Willie, obviously weren't ready with a name, since the birth record found on FamilySearch recorded none.

Knowing that August 26, 1916 was my father's birthday, and that his parents were John Robert Richards and Willie Laura Homsley, AND that he was born in Peaster, Texas, it was not a stretch to believe that this digital file found on FamilySearch is indeed a copy of his Certificate of Birth from the Texas State Board of Health. It gives us only a few more pieces of information: the child was a white, legitimate, male American child; a J. A. Williams, M. D., of Peaster, Texas reported the birth and possibly delivered him; the father was a farmer; and the certificate was numbered 33682. Aside from that, there isn't any other new information here.

But then I ran across this piece of information that none of us children can figure out ~ a case of "why didn't we talk to them more when they were still alive?"

Remember that Birth Certificate that did not list daddy's name? I was so glad when I located this Amendment to Certificate of Birth. I thought, Well, of course, grandma and grandpa finally got around to going to the Parker County courthouse and making daddy's name official.

But then, I did a double take ~ What! Why would grandpa have waited until daddy was 52 years old to sign an affidavit stating that his son's name was Leon Freemont Richards? Not until August 29, 1972 was it entered into the County Clerk's office of Erath County, Texas, where they both were living at the time.

I have tried to think of why it might have been necessary for daddy to have a birth certificate at the age of 52 years: was this close to the time he got divorced, was this near the time he remarried, was it time to file for Social Security benefits, was this when he went to work for Tarleton University, did he need it for insurance purposes or a land transfer or some other unknown reason to us? Most of these reasons do not seem to "fit".

If any of you have a suggestion or if you know, I would love to have you contact me. I'm sure it is a very simple thing. It just surprised us.

Leon Fremont Richards
April 4, 1964

Happy 97th Birthday, daddy!


Private Collection of Judith Richards Shubert, Digital Format


Peggy Duke said…
What a mystery indeed! Did you ever ask Sue? She lived closer to Daddy and Mildred than the rest of us at that point in time, and might have some insight.

What a sweet picture of Daddy; I don't remember this one. Who's wedding was it taken at?

Love as always all your genealogy that you share with us...our keeper of the bones :-)

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