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Here's something I did for work the other day. I thought I'd share it because it shows how I put my training to some practical use!

  • The issue

I've seen "oldest person" stories before, but the records aren't always there to back them up. Here's a story from the news that you can verify with the Drouin collection.

  • The news

Supercentenarian Cecile Edith Klein of Côte Saint-Luc, Que., died 13 Jan 2022 at the age of 114. Before her death, she was Canada’s oldest person and the 16th oldest in the world.

  • The challenge: Can we prove her age? Yes. There is a birth registration in the Drouin collection; her first appearance in a Canadian census provides an early source for her age; and her marriage registration confirms her identity as it documents the change of her name upon marriage. 

Proof 1: Birth registration


Cecile Efros birth. Quebec, Canada, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1968. M Montréal, Jewish Beth Hamedrash Hagadol, 1926, at Page 10. Image 11 of 53. 

( : accessed 17 Jan 2022)


“Registration of birth

Cecile daughter of Louis Efros and Rebecca

Pearson his wife was born on June the fifteenth one

thousand nine hundred and Seven and was

registered by me on April the nineteenth one thousand

nine hundred and twenty six 844 Notre Dame West

parents: /s/ Louis Efros    /s/ R Efros

                                                 /s/ E Flaxman


But there's an issue. The informants here are reliable; the registration bears the signatures of the mother and father, who would have been direct witnesses to the birth (or at least the mother). Yet this is a delayed registration (1926 or 19 years after the birth. It's not a contemporary record, so we need corroboration. I looked to the 1911 Census of Canada, which would likely be the first official source to document her after her purported 1907 birth. 

Proof 2: 1911 Census of Canada


Louis Efros Household, 1911 Census of Canada. Quebec, Montreal St. Laurant, St. Laurant Ward 4, page 26, family 149. Cecila at line 23.


Cecila Efros, 37 Cote St., F, daughter of Louis and Rebecca, born June 1907, age 4, born in Quebec. 


The enumeration date was 1 Jun 1911, and the age recorded is supposed to be the age at last birthdate. If 15 Jun 1907 was her birthdate, and the form was accurately completed, she should have been three years old, as she would not yet have had her fourth birthdate. However, if her age was accurately recorded, and she was indeed four on the enumeration date, then either she had just turned four (and the 15 Jun birthdate is incorrect) or she was actually born 15 Jun 1906, not 1907. In either instance, that would make her older than she was documented to be. Therefore, she was indeed 114 at the time of her death. 

Proof 3: Name change due to marriage

Cecile Efros and Cecile are one and the same because we have their marriage record.


Irwin I. Klein and Edith Cecile Efros marriage. M; Montréal; Shearith Israel Congregation, Spanish, Portuguese; 1932. Quebec, Canada, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1968. M Montréal, Jewish Beth Hamedrash Hagadol, 1926. Image 9 of 19. 

( : accessed 18 Jan 2022)




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