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Birth registration query Update

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Maurice Report 9 Oct 2013 10:16

Is it possible that a ww2 widow having an illegitimate child could register the child in her deceased husbands surname and the actual fathers name put on the birth certificate. Dob of the child 1943.

Hope this makes sense.
Thank you for any replies

I recieved the birth certificate from my brother which unfortunately was only the short version.
I took you advice DET and ordered and have now recieved the full version
My brothers memory must be fading.
The fathers is name on the certificate is William Brown deceased not our actual father Alan Green

The birth was not re registered under the surname Green, my brother did however change his surname by deedpoll shortly before his marriage age 20

He has also used the surname Green all through his school life and on his driving licence age 18 also his passports ( which i have seen) and has had no trouble.

Thank you all for your help and replies.

Best wishes


Potty Report 9 Oct 2013 10:29

Yes, as long as the actual father was there at the registration.

All children are registered under the mother's surname at the time.


Maurice Report 9 Oct 2013 10:40

Thank you Potty but i think i may have posted my question incorrectly.

Ficticous names.
Widow Mrs Brown registered childs name as William Brown
The fathers name on the birth certificate is named as Alan Green

Hope this makes more sense.



Penny Report 9 Oct 2013 10:41

child is usually given the surname of its mother, irrespective of her status. If she was mrs Smith, that's the babies given surname.

If the babies father went to the registration, his name can go on the cert, but he has to be there to say so,


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 9 Oct 2013 10:41

The listing on the gro index (if the father was present) would be duplicated
- once with the father's surname
- once with the husband's surname

In both cases, the mother's maiden name would be the same.


Reggie Report 9 Oct 2013 10:44

The surname of the child is not recorded on the birth cert............only the forename(s)


Maurice Report 9 Oct 2013 10:49

Thank you Penny and Detective

There is no duplication on the gro for this birth.

I have not seen this birth cert but as the persons birth in question is my brother i have been assured by him that our father Alan Green is the registered fathers name on his birth certificate.
Yet his name on the cert is registered as William Brown. ( ficticous names)
Guess i will ask him to send me a copy.

Best wishes


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 9 Oct 2013 10:57

If he doesn't want to send you a copy, if the birth was more than 50 years ago it might be possible for you to order your own copy from GRO


Porkie_Pie Report 9 Oct 2013 11:01

As Reggie said; The surname of a child is not recorded on the birth cert

The childs surname is infered usualy from the fathers name where the parents are married, but when the parents are not married to each other then the childs surname is infered from the mothers name at the time of registration, The fact she was a widow does not automaticaly change her name, Most widows keep their previous spouses surname unless they get married again.



Maurice Report 9 Oct 2013 11:05

Thank you DET

I was talking to him last night but as from today he is on holiday, but i will have no problem getting a copy from him.

It was only this morning thinking about it i decided to post my query.


DazedConfused Report 9 Oct 2013 11:36

Am I reading this all wrong

Birth Certificate

Surely at the when you 'register' a birth that is when you get the 'certificate' and they are not 2 seperate things?

Yes I know you can amend them after and get another certificate.


Maurice Report 9 Oct 2013 12:32

Hi D/C

I am also confused, my brother has his original birth certificate given to him by our mother.

My brother told me his birth name on the cert is William Brown, the surname being that of our mothers deceased husband.
In the column fathers name is Alen Green the name of our father.
If this is true i find it strange the registrar did not query it or at least raise his eyebrows.
I will update this when i recieve a copy of the cert from him.
Please excuse my late reply as i was expecting any further comments and had switched off.


Porkie_Pie Report 9 Oct 2013 14:45

Nothing ODD about it, Your mother also had the name of her deceased husband and so that was recorded as "her" name, children were not given a surname on a birth cert, Take a look at your own birth certificate, ......column 2 "childs name" only gives Forenames, column 5 is for the mothers name and previous names if any, Column 4 is for the Father's Name, The registrar asked these questions and wrote down the answers, illegitimate births happen and are registered all the time so i doubt the registrar would have batted an eye lid let alone raise his eyebrows or questioned it and wether he/she did or not only the registrar or the person registering the birth can answer that question




Reggie Report 9 Oct 2013 16:43

As already explained, the child's surname is NOT recorded on his/her birth cert

Please acknowledge that you have read earlier post was ignored

Tenerife Sun

Tenerife Sun Report 9 Oct 2013 17:04

So your mother Mrs Brown was not married to Mr Green therefore your brother took his mothers surname ie Brown but his father was actually Mr Green who she was not married to, she continued to use her deceased husbands name which is usual.

If Mr Green had wanted it and your mother had agreed your brother could have been registered with the name of his father, Green. To do this Mr Green would have to have been present at the time of your brothers registration.


rootgatherer Report 9 Oct 2013 18:17

While I realise here the discussion refers to an English birth registration, in Scotland the child's surname is recorded on the birth registration. In the case of the mother's husband not being the father and another father named ( again only if he is present and signs the registration) there is usually a note stating to whom the mother was married and that she has stated that he is not the father.


Maurice Report 9 Oct 2013 19:24

Thank you all for your replies and please accept my apology Reggie for not aknowledging your earlier post.
Thank you Porkie also for the link.

Tenerife Sun this is what is confusing me at the moment, as i have yet to see the birth certificate i can only rely on what my brother told me.
In column 4 is our fathers name Alan Green . so he must have been present at the registration.
Yet the gro records my brothers name as William Brown with my mothers original maiden name.

I am not sure if i am confusing myself here or other people, either way i will wait until i have the copy to satisfy my curiosity and update my post.

Thank you all again for your replies as they are allways helpful and informative as usual.

Kind regrds


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 9 Oct 2013 19:43

Has the index been transcribed on Freebmd? If so, find 'your' William Brown, then click on the page number. That will show the other names originally recorded on the same page.

You might find William Green also there, suggesting that was the surname recorded in the 'fathers' column.

Groups of FreeBMD transcribers are allocated different sections of the index. It could be that the 'B's have been transcribed, but not the 'G's.

When/if you do get a copy, please come back and satisfy our curiosity :-)


mgnv Report 9 Oct 2013 19:44

RG - yes, I've seen this on Scottish b.certs, but only when she's still marr to her non-fathering husband, not when she's a widow.

Maurice - check your own b.cert - your surname is not mentioned in col 2 (rarely, col 10 might be used). If Wm's col 2 entry is William Brown, then those are his given names. The inference is his name would be either William Brown Brown, or William Brown Green, or even William Brown Green or Brown.

Of course, under English common law, a person can change their name at any time, so long as it's not done for fraudulent purposes. One simply stops using the old name, and starts using the new name. In the case of minors, this decision would be the parent or guardian's decision. If Wm was known as Wm Green early enough in life, he'ld have none of the bothers that could arise with a later name change, like Wm Brown's bank account, pilot's licence, journey man's ticket as a goldsmith, 9 GCEs and a PhD in Nuclear Physics really belong to Wm Green.


Maurice Report 9 Oct 2013 19:55

Thank you for your replies DET and MGNV.

I will do as you suggest MGNV and see what happens.
I will of course return to the board DET when i see the cert.