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Finding fathers of children born out of wedlock??

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date

Maggie in Leics

Maggie in Leics Report 2 Feb 2004 11:35

Great Grandma Georgina Greek (Born 1862, Little Torrington, Devon) and her brother Charley were born to unmarried Mum Elizabeth Greek. Elizabeth married a Mr Kelly many years later, but have no reason to think that he is the father of Charley and Georgina. Does anyone have any tips for trying to find out who the father(s) of children born out of wedlock might be? Thanks, Maggie


Margaret Report 2 Feb 2004 11:39

Maggie I would think that this depends if the mother actually told anyone who the father was. If she didn't then the info died with her. You could try the parish registers. Some vicars do record the name of the father in the baptism register. Some just write base born or even bastard. There are bastardy bonds. These were if the father was made to pay for the upkeep of a child. Like maintainance. Try the local county record office. Margaret


Linda Report 2 Feb 2004 11:44

Unless any living descendants can tell you, your only option is if the father is named on the birth certificate. If it is not then you have reached a dead end. My grandfather was born illigitamately in 1898 and rumours are rife amongest the family as to who his father was, but there is no name on the birth certificate. there is a line of thiking that suggests that only the mothers line should be traced as paternity is not always easy to establish Linda P

Maggie in Leics

Maggie in Leics Report 2 Feb 2004 11:44

Margaret, Thanks for that. Have found some bastardy bonds for Devon on a2a, but had not thought of parish registers as a possible source. Linda, Will also try the birth cert option - guess I had assumed that the name of the father would not be recorded!! Guess both of the options assume that the mother knows who the father is!! Guess it's possible that there could have been more than one candidate!! It would also be interesting to know if both of the children born out of wedlock shared the same father. It does look as if that part of my family tree might end in an impenetrable brick wall!!! Maggie


Unknown Report 2 Feb 2004 12:02

have read that in the parish registers the clerk often puts clues as to the paternity of the child - sometimes by adding a middle name - usually a surname - by looking at other records you usually find that the name ties in with near neighbours!

Maggie in Leics

Maggie in Leics Report 2 Feb 2004 12:11

Thanks She!! Guess on that basis, getting hold of the 1861 census might provide a clue - it would certainly provide a list of possible suspects!!!!!!! Hope you had a good anniversary - we hit 25 this year - less for murder and all that!! Maggie


BobClayton Report 2 Feb 2004 14:19

It is possible for a father to be named on the later marriage certificate of the child, but often they aren't. In 1862 the mother could name the father on the birth certificate without his consent so if he wasn't on then this becomes even more unlikely. Bob


Kim Report 2 Feb 2004 14:32

check the census too you may find she was a "housekeeper" for a single man ..... happened in one of my ancestors cases did not mary the Father until 3rd child came along, they all bore her surname but on marriage cert gave father with father's surname on name of father, but did not use it themselves. KIM

Maggie in Leics

Maggie in Leics Report 2 Feb 2004 14:48

Bob and Kim, Thanks - two more angles I hadn't thought of - can see I have some detective work ahead of me!! Maggie

Maggie in Leics

Maggie in Leics Report 20 Aug 2013 13:44

All things come to those who wait it seems!! Newspaper record has come to light of Elizabeth Mary Greek taking George Hill Leverton of Merton (who soon after went to Australia) to court for support of baby - think I've found my man!! ;-)

Chris in Sussex

Chris in Sussex Report 20 Aug 2013 15:23

Well done Maggie.

Patience and tenacity must be your middle names :-D


Maggie in Leics

Maggie in Leics Report 30 Aug 2013 10:15

Thanks Chris - have to confess I had help - tho would probably have found it eventually - the record in question came up when searching find my past - obviously always pays to revisit brick walls - this line had been researched by someone I think of as more expert than me and had thought that if she couldn't find it it wasn't there to be found - it probably wasn't when original research was done, but now that so many things are coming online things that were previously hidden are coming to light!! :-)