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Entering illegitimate births etc on Trees.

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margaret Report 21 Jun 2020 10:29

I am following a family c 1800-1850, (so some of it pre- registration .) on the Family Search site.

The couple married in 1825, so the Bride gave her surname as the one she knew.. It turns out that her parents married after her birth.

The first child is born 1826 so need for the mother maiden name in the parish register. This process continues until the 6th child is born in 1838, when in the official registration shows the mothers MMN as her birth name.

In all- of the 12 children born to this couple the first 6 dont have a MMN, And the last 6 have her birth name.
This has led to some contributors splitting the family into to 2 mothers...because it is not the name on the marriage certificate.

When in the parish register they are clearly all the same female.

What is the recommended procedure for dealing with this situation?


ArgyllGran Report 21 Jun 2020 11:05

I don't know that there's anything specifically recommended.

In that particular instance, if it were my tree, and if I were reasonably sure that all the children had the same father, I would enter them under the father's name, assuming that's the one they were using most often during their lives, but add a note to explain. I would also include the relevant parish register entry (or the birth record for the 1838 child) in the note.

I assume that any surviving to 1841 or beyond (and unmarried in the case of girls) were using their father's name in censuses?
If any daughters married before 1841 - did they marry under their father's name?


ArgyllGran Report 21 Jun 2020 11:30

On re-reading your post - am I understanding it properly?

You say the last 6 children "have" their mother's birth name.
Do you mean they are registered under their mother's name, or do you mean that they are registered under their father's name, and that their mother's name is also shown on the record?

In my first reply I was assuming they were registered under the mother's name.

However, whichever is the case, my reply stands -
I would enter all 12 under their father's name, but with added notes, and copies of the parish register entries, to explain about their mother.

I would also enter the mother under the name she used, with a note to explain about her birth name.


ErikaH Report 21 Jun 2020 11:54

The first 6 (or 5) were born before Civil registration, so no MMN would be on records

I think - if I interpret your post correctly - that it’s the MOTHER”s name you’re concerned about in view of the fact the SHE was the illegitimate one in question.

You will have to decide whether you think the man her mother married was her father, in which case, make entries in your tree to show that. If not, enter her as her mother’s child only, and show the mother’s husband as a second spouse

Make your own judgement - based on your own research, rather than taking notice of other peoples’ trees, which may not have been researched carefully enough.