Author Topic: Divorce and Name Change for Children  (Read 758 times)

Offline klmadz2301

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Divorce and Name Change for Children
« on: Wednesday 17 January 18 03:23 GMT (UK) »
Hi all

Im posting this in the Australia forum, because it is regarding my Australian ancestors.

I was just wondering if it was common practice when a mother remarried, for the children from the first marriage to take the surname of the second husband.

My ancestors John Richard Thompson married Caroline Agnes Geale in 1897 in Temora, New South Wales. They had two children, Thomas Henry and Arthur James. John was granted a divorce from Caroline in 1904-1905 on the grounds that Caroline committed adultery. Caroline remarried Harold T Gaffey some time after. Caroline and Harold had three kids together: Ellen, Alfred and Alexander (all mentioned in this post have passed away).

Arthur James Thompson/Gaffey is my great grandfather. When I originally started this line, I thought that John Richard Thompson had passed away and that is why Arthur and his brother Thomas had taken on the surname Gaffey. But that wasn't the case. I just wanted to know, if it was common for children from a first marriage, to take on the surname of the second husband, even if the first husband is still alive at the time of the second marriage? Wouldn't John Richard Thompson have had to have some say in whether his sons names stayed Thompson or changed to Gaffey?

The family line from Arthur down, used the surname Gaffey, and the family is researching that line, despite Thompson being the blood line.
Fisher - Australia, England
Redhead - Australia, England
Banks - Australia, England
Offord - Australia, England
O'Dwyer - Ireland
Thompson - Australia
Mitchell - Australia, Ireland
Dinte - Australia, England, Poland

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Offline cando

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Re: Divorce and Name Change for Children
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 17 January 18 03:46 GMT (UK) »
Not unusual.  Actually had this situation in extended family and the children of the person's first marriage used the second husband's surname.  The first husband was still alive at that time.  He married again and I understand there were several children.  I didn't research this as it was a bit 'twiggy' for my tree.

Perhaps in your situation it sounds like the second husband was supporting the chn from his wife's first marriage.

Cando
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Offline cando

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Re: Divorce and Name Change for Children
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday 17 January 18 03:52 GMT (UK) »
The decree nisi was in 1905.  The petitioner prayed for a divorce ::)
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article14672114

And absolute in 1906
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article114228195

Cando

Edit to add 1906 item
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Offline klmadz2301

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Re: Divorce and Name Change for Children
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday 17 January 18 03:53 GMT (UK) »
I haven't researched the situation completed, but I do know that John Richard Thompson went off to fight in WW1 as I have found his army transcripts and records, etc. I do know that, from the Trove database, (i seriously love Trove), that Arthur, the second son, was in a lot of trouble throughout his life but my mother has told me that he was a wonderful grandfather. My grandmother hasn't got nice things to say about him though. But both my grandmother and my mother have said that they had no idea about his criminal background until i stumbled across the newspaper articles.

I haven't found anything to support it yet, but would it have been an official name change? If it was an official name change, wouldn't the father have had to agree to it? Arthur went by Gaffey his whole life after his name change. He never went back to Thompson, which is why i asked if it was official.
Fisher - Australia, England
Redhead - Australia, England
Banks - Australia, England
Offord - Australia, England
O'Dwyer - Ireland
Thompson - Australia
Mitchell - Australia, Ireland
Dinte - Australia, England, Poland

Offline klmadz2301

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Re: Divorce and Name Change for Children
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday 17 January 18 03:54 GMT (UK) »
I'm going to guess that in that time, adultery was a good excuse for a divorce???
Fisher - Australia, England
Redhead - Australia, England
Banks - Australia, England
Offord - Australia, England
O'Dwyer - Ireland
Thompson - Australia
Mitchell - Australia, Ireland
Dinte - Australia, England, Poland

Offline cando

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Re: Divorce and Name Change for Children
« Reply #5 on: Wednesday 17 January 18 03:56 GMT (UK) »
Doubt there would have been an official name change.  There are those on the board who are far more knowledgeable about name changes than I am. 

Cando
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Offline klmadz2301

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Re: Divorce and Name Change for Children
« Reply #6 on: Wednesday 17 January 18 03:58 GMT (UK) »
Thanks Cando for you help.

Just one of those things i discovered and wondered about. Now days to change a child's surname, it has to be official because you have to supply a birth cert for everything, but i wasn't sure if it was the same in the early 1900's.
Fisher - Australia, England
Redhead - Australia, England
Banks - Australia, England
Offord - Australia, England
O'Dwyer - Ireland
Thompson - Australia
Mitchell - Australia, Ireland
Dinte - Australia, England, Poland

Offline majm

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Re: Divorce and Name Change for Children
« Reply #7 on: Wednesday 17 January 18 04:05 GMT (UK) »
No need for official paperwork to change name.  Best to remember children became known by MUM 's  surname ... so if mum has a new partner she becomes known by his surname so the children with her become known by that surname ... if that domestic relationship changes then children may experience several surnames during childhood.  Birth certs in NSW did not have surname of baby recorded on them until 1969.   

JM
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Offline klmadz2301

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Re: Divorce and Name Change for Children
« Reply #8 on: Wednesday 17 January 18 04:23 GMT (UK) »
Thanks JM

As i said, something i was just curious about :)
Fisher - Australia, England
Redhead - Australia, England
Banks - Australia, England
Offord - Australia, England
O'Dwyer - Ireland
Thompson - Australia
Mitchell - Australia, Ireland
Dinte - Australia, England, Poland