Truth. Why does it matter? Maybe part of it is that when we communicate with each other, we need a level playing field. What you say and what I hear should be at least approximately the same thing. We all fib sometimes, and probably everyone has told a whopper at least once. But when you look things up in official records, you expect that what you find will be factual. Nowadays there’s reason to suspect that what’s bandied and blared by pundits and spokespersons might be less than grounded, but a marriage license or birth record or death certificate is assumed to be factual.
This is yet another shoe dropping in my search saga. I searched for decades for a mama named Mary Fuller, because the Brooklyn birth index for 1940 listed me as Elizabeth Fuller, and my mother’s name on the adoption decree was Mary Fuller.
There never was a Mary Fuller. My mother’s name was Elizabeth Day. Coincidentally, the New York attorney who arranged the adoption was named Joseph Day Lee.
Once an adoption is finalized, the original birth certificate is sealed (in most states), and is forever hidden unless a court order is obtained. But in my case, somebody went the extra mile of filing false information, and had the power to do that in official governmental records.
I’m way less concerned about who bent the truth than I am that it was possible and accepted. They say we’re now in a post-truth world. I say it’s been a long time coming.