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A mothers maiden name different from child!

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Florence61 Report 16 Nov 2021 20:39

Can anyone explain how a child born out of wedlock would be registered in a different surname from the mother but show on records the mmn? Would it have been possible perhaps that the child was given the fathers name and bought up by another member of the family?

I dont want to put details here as person is elderly but still alive.

It came up in a conversation this evening and i cant fathom it out.
Any suggestions?

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it Report 16 Nov 2021 21:03

Not sure if I,m reading it correctly but on the face of it the father is named on the birth certificate as if the parents were married

If the registrar wasn’t informed the parents weren’t married then the cert will be reg as it they were


Florence61 Report 16 Nov 2021 21:33

The childs mother was unmarried about 17 years old.The birth surname registered is not that of the mother so i thought, maybe child was adopted. But when i search, i find the birth with a different surname( i was told the surname as had forgotten from years ago) but it shows the mmn as it is.

So they cant be adopted can they because with a new surname you wouldnt be able to find that in the records because that isnt the name they were given at birth?

I think if i order the birth certificate, I think the fathers name will actually be blank. I thought maybe another family member took the child in and just gave them their family name but still doesnt explain how it shows the mmn.

Sorry if im confusing, ive been trying to get my head around this all day but not making sense.

Not to worry, It may come to light in the next few days so i shall wait & see. I was just curious as never come across this situation before in my research.

On second thoughts, you could have a point about them pretending to be married?

Thanks for your reply Shirley.


Florence61 Report 16 Nov 2021 21:37

Just a thought, what time of year was the 1939( Q) register made please


Florence61 Report 16 Nov 2021 21:41

Shirley do you have access please to the 1939 register?


ArgyllGran Report 16 Nov 2021 21:44

The 1939 Register was taken on 29 September 1939.

If the father took responsibility for the child , the child would be registered in his surname even though the parents weren't married.
If so, his name will be on the birth cert.

I don't quite understand what you say about adoption.
The birth cert is just that - a BIRTH cert - and gives the info as it was at the time of birth.
If the child was later adopted, an adoption certificate would have been issued in the child's adopted name - but we can't find that online, as it's confidential.


ErikaH Report 16 Nov 2021 21:49

That is the way with all the births nowadays to unmarried parents


Florence61 Report 16 Nov 2021 21:53

Thankyou ArgyllGran. Thought i may order the marriage cert as that would almost certainly have the fathers name on that.The child was born 2q 1939 so was curious to know where the mother was staying but of course the record would be closed for the child as they are still living so that actually wouldnt give me anything new.

But I do know that the mother married someone else when that child was 8 and they did not bring it up!


Florence61 Report 16 Nov 2021 21:55

Thanks for your help & suggestions, no more questions to ask so I will leave this query as answered.


ArgyllGran Report 17 Nov 2021 09:02

Just a final thought, in case you happen to look at this thread again -

It sounds as if you know the mother's name.
Even though the child's name won't be open on the 1939 Register, the mother's presumably will be.

I'm happy to have a look, if you let me know the mother's name, and DOB if possible.

But remember the searchable 1939 Register is for England and Wales only.


ErikaH Report 17 Nov 2021 09:36

Why don’t you send one of us a PM with the mother’s name and birth year. We could at least tell you if there is a closed record for the household

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it Report 17 Nov 2021 09:43

Yes I can look at the 1939 register.however you said the lady is still alive so her records would be closed

Seems you may have already seen the birth mum on the 1939 register?

Gwyn in Kent

Gwyn in Kent Report 17 Nov 2021 10:03

Have you looked at the birth register to see if the birth was registered in both surnames, ie. both mother and father?

The child's surname was not declared on the birth certificate at that time, it was usually assumed to be that of the father, if that was recorded.
Was the child raised with his surname ?
For his name to be on the birth certificate, he would either have to have been present at the registration or made a declaration that he was the father or as previously said,the parents might have not divulged that they were unmarried.

I'm happy to look at 1939 list for you, if you like.


Florence61 Report 17 Nov 2021 11:08

PM sent Argyll Gran..ty for all your suggestions


ErikaH Report 17 Nov 2021 11:20

OK.............. :-S :-S


ArgyllGran Report 17 Nov 2021 12:04

Thanks, Florence.

I've PMd a detailed reply.

For public thread purposes -

I don't see the child's mother named in 1939 (let's call her Mary for ease - not her real name).

Florence says that "Mary" died yesterday (if I've understood correctly) - so her 1939 record will still be closed.

I see her parents in Kent, with a closed record, followed by Mary's younger brother.

As there was no sibling born between Mary and the brother, I think the closed record must be Mary.

But if so, there's not another closed record in the household which could be Mary's child.

EDIT: But see also my next post.


ErikaH Report 17 Nov 2021 12:11

I thought it was the child which was 'alive' when the thread was started............the mother would have been almost 100 - not impossible, I know!

But, if you haven't found her, AG, she can't be there ;-)


ArgyllGran Report 17 Nov 2021 12:24

The paragraph in Florence's PM, which I took to mean that "Mary" had just died says (edited):

"[Mary] married in 19xx to [xxxx] and had 2 siblings [brother] and [sister]. She sadly passed away yesterday. "

But perhaps Florence meant that the sister died yesterday.

EDIT: Yes, I think she meant the sister, as later in her PM she mentions someone organising the sister's funeral, as if that is ongoing.

However, I don't see Mary anywhere, unless she's that closed record.

Mary was the eldest child, and actually had 4 younger siblings, all born before 1939..
The brother who's named in 1939 was the next in age to Mary.
Of the three youngest, one died in childhood , before 1939 - but the remaining two are not listed with the parents in 1939.


The two remaining children are indeed with the parents - at least one is, followed by another closed record.
They're not on the Ancestry transcription, but are there on the image.

So the final closed record could be either Mary's youngest sibling - or could be Mary's child, I suppose. But if it's Mary's child, then the youngest sibling is missing.
The closed record seems most likely to be the sibling.

"Mary" died a good number of years ago, but I don't see her in 1939 under either her maiden name, her married name, nor another possible name which Florence has suggested.
Nor by searching with first name only, nor surname(s) only, or variations - with and without YOB.


ErikaH Report 17 Nov 2021 14:57

Presumably, Florence doesn't want anyone else to look.................


ArgyllGran Report 17 Nov 2021 15:29

I'm erring on the safe side:.

She said,
"I have to be discreet here as people are still living and don't want to upset anyone in the family."

The child was registered under an unexpected surname.
Florence has now sent for the birth and marriage certs.