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Early 19th century - illegitimate children

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


jax Report 21 Sep 2013 14:08

Welcome to the boards Jenifer

As Rupert posted this over a year ago he may not be checking for replies now.

Click on his name and send a private message, if his email address is still the same he will be notified.

Also could you please remove your email address


Rupert Report 7 Feb 2012 11:56

Great - thanks both! Very interesting....


JustDinosaurJill Report 6 Feb 2012 21:03

Would someone use their stepfather's name on the marriage cert? Yup. Two of mine did. One of them has three possible fathers (that I know of) and my maternal grandmother used the name of the man her mother married a couple of months after she was born. No idea at all who her biological father was or that of her also illegitimate brother who was two years older. Maybe when genealogists use Mytrochondrial DNA as casually to do their family history as I am sitting here at my computer compared to long hours in a records office, I shall have the answer.xJ


Shipshape Report 6 Feb 2012 20:10

Hi Rupert.Just to say my great grandfather was born 1859 and he was registered by his mother Ellen Hall as James Hall she was un married at the time however when she married his father in 1860 he took on his father.s
surname of Grimshaw This only came to light when I applied for a marriage
certificate for him and it was in the name of Hall so you can understand the
confusion this caused,as when he had his family they were all sons he put
Joseph Hall James Hall their names,as I understand if you was not married you could not put the fathers name onthe cert.You should read
some of the parishes on line records its sad as they would put bastard son
or daughter of so and so on the register there would be a an outcry to day


Rupert Report 4 Feb 2012 12:31

Thanks all!

~~~Secret Red ^^ Squirrel~~~  **007 1/2**

~~~Secret Red ^^ Squirrel~~~ **007 1/2** Report 4 Feb 2012 12:26

sorry Ken and Brummie Jan, I was a bit slow with the typing lol

~~~Secret Red ^^ Squirrel~~~  **007 1/2**

~~~Secret Red ^^ Squirrel~~~ **007 1/2** Report 4 Feb 2012 12:24

Also sometimes they wouldn't list the father's name if the child was illegitimate. they sometimes listed the mother instead.

With a Scottish ancestor, the mother took out a deed of paternity which named the father (they didn't live together). The child went by her father's name until she was marriedwhich again listed her father. However, that was probably rare.

I think in England, they were called bastardy bonds. I don't know if they worked differently to Scotland.

Another Scottish relative who was born before their parents married was christened with their father's name as a middle name,

For England and Wales, this is is the site where you can purchase them direct:

Some sites charge a lot more so be careful.

It should cost about £9.25 if you have the GRO index reference. (if you are struggling with finding that - sometimes people on here can help).

Free bmd is a good place to look for the reference number. People can find the details on other sites too such as ancestry.

Sometimes you can get similar details from baptism records so depending on the area you're looking for, it may be best to check for a baptism before you spend just under £10 for a certificate.

Also some marriage records in churches are exactly the same as the marriage certificate so it may be worth exploring that first.


brummiejan Report 4 Feb 2012 12:21

Problem is, people sometimes used stepfather's name on marriage certs if illegitimate.

Marriage certs for England/Wales can be obtained from GRO - they cost £9.25:

You need details to order which you can get from Freebmd, but of course you need to be able to pin down their marriage first!



Rupert Report 4 Feb 2012 12:03

I thought someone would ask that! I haven't got those yet but I believe that these don't show a father. Would a marriage certificate from around 1860ish show father's name? Where can I obtain actual marriage certificates from?

(Also, one person on a thread has said that the kids were born in a workhouse.)

~~~Secret Red ^^ Squirrel~~~  **007 1/2**

~~~Secret Red ^^ Squirrel~~~ **007 1/2** Report 4 Feb 2012 11:40

Did you manage to find their baptisms & did they reveal anything? Or did they reveal their father on their marriage certificate?


Rupert Report 4 Feb 2012 11:30

OK, thanks. Just wondering if there was a covention in those days....


Penny Report 4 Feb 2012 10:08

Who knows! Anyone can call themselves anything they like.

So in answer to a) No, although they may
b) I guess they used whatever name they grew up with.

There really is no definative answer to your questions


Rupert Report 4 Feb 2012 09:39

Would someone know please: In the 1830s/40s - if a woman had a child in England, actually 3, out of wedlock... if she married someone say 4/5 years after the youngest is born and had kids with him:

a) would her illegitimate kids always keep her surname and not take the stepfather's?
b) If they were actually the 'stepfather's' anyway - he and the woman had had the kids out of wedlock - would these illegitimate kids still keep their mother's name, or would they naturally take on his now, the parents were married? Or was there some unwritten code that these kids were born out of wedlock so they always keep the mother's name?

If anyone can throw light on this, I'd be grateful!

Thanks, Rupert Sayer

(The woman in question is Maria Bingham, born 1816 in Boughton, Notts - died 1902, Mansfield, Notts, who had George (my relation), Charles and Rebecca out of wedlock. She later married George Smith and looks like she had 3 daughters by him. Was George Smith possibly the father of the first 3 anyway, that's what I'm trying to find out? - some of you have helped immensely already with tracing some of these and other ancestors, so thanks a lot!)