Author Topic: An illegitmate birth -a couple of questions  (Read 867 times)

Offline sharv22

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 6
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
An illegitmate birth -a couple of questions
« on: Saturday 27 January 18 17:03 GMT (UK) »
Good afternoon from a very wet & windy Bristol. I think I may have found an illegitimate birth in my family tree & have a couple of general questions. The year is 1867 & the place is the West Country mill town of Trowbridge. The mother is Ann Lindsey, aged 20, who gave birth to a son, Frederick, in November of that year but there is no father's name on his birth certificate.
My first question is: If he was illegitimate, would there have been any stigma surrounding the mother or the child?

In 1888, when Frederick was 20 years old, he was baptized and the register shows his father's name as James, occupation of school teacher.

Frederick becomes a teacher at a local school he married in 1895 but there are blank spaces where his father's name & occupation on the marriage certificate.

My second question is: Could Frederick's mother, Ann, have invented a father's name & occupation for his baptism ceremony? Incidentally, Ann's father's name was James.

RootsChat is the busiest, largest free family history forum site in the country. It is completely free to use. Register now.
Also register instantly with Facebook or Twitter (and other social networks). Start your genealogy search now.


Online rosie99

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 24,318
    • View Profile
Re: An illegitmate birth -a couple of questions
« Reply #1 on: Saturday 27 January 18 17:14 GMT (UK) »
School admission lists in April 1874 and 1877 give parent/guardian as Ann Lindsey of Cross Street.

Census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

RootsChat is the busiest, largest free family history forum site in the country. It is completely free to use. Register now.
Also register instantly with Facebook or Twitter (and other social networks). Start your genealogy search now.


Offline avm228

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 19,160
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: An illegitmate birth -a couple of questions
« Reply #2 on: Saturday 27 January 18 17:16 GMT (UK) »
In short:

1.  Yes, there was a stigma associated with illegitimacy.
2.  Yes, because of the stigma a fatherís name might well have been invented to save blushes in the church context.  On the other hand, Ann might have misunderstood what was being asked for and thought she being asked for the name of her own father, rather than the babyís.
Ayr: Barnes, Wylie
Caithness: MacGregor
Essex: Eldred (Pebmarsh)
Gloucs: Timbrell (Winchcomb)
Hants: Stares (Wickham)
Lincs: Maw, Jackson (Epworth, Belton)
London: Pierce
Suffolk: Markham (Framlingham)
Surrey: Gosling (Richmond)
Wilts: Matthews, Tarrant (Calne, Preshute)
Worcs: Milward (Redditch)
Yorks: Beaumont, Crook, Moore, Styring (Huddersfield); Middleton (Church Fenton); Exley, Gelder (High Hoyland); Barnes, Birchinall (Sheffield); Kenyon, Wood (Cumberworth/Denby Dale)

Online rosie99

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 24,318
    • View Profile
Re: An illegitmate birth -a couple of questions
« Reply #3 on: Saturday 27 January 18 17:18 GMT (UK) »
If he was baptised when he was 20 it is possible Ann was not even present.
Census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline avm228

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 19,160
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: An illegitmate birth -a couple of questions
« Reply #4 on: Saturday 27 January 18 17:19 GMT (UK) »
Oops sorry - hadnít noticed his age at baptism! So yes, entirely plausible that he made up a father so as not to have to own up to his own illegitimacy.
Ayr: Barnes, Wylie
Caithness: MacGregor
Essex: Eldred (Pebmarsh)
Gloucs: Timbrell (Winchcomb)
Hants: Stares (Wickham)
Lincs: Maw, Jackson (Epworth, Belton)
London: Pierce
Suffolk: Markham (Framlingham)
Surrey: Gosling (Richmond)
Wilts: Matthews, Tarrant (Calne, Preshute)
Worcs: Milward (Redditch)
Yorks: Beaumont, Crook, Moore, Styring (Huddersfield); Middleton (Church Fenton); Exley, Gelder (High Hoyland); Barnes, Birchinall (Sheffield); Kenyon, Wood (Cumberworth/Denby Dale)

Offline sharv22

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 6
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: An illegitmate birth -a couple of questions
« Reply #5 on: Saturday 27 January 18 18:42 GMT (UK) »
Thanks for all the helpful replies. rosie99: I hadn't thought of that. 

Offline jfchaly

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 12
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: An illegitmate birth -a couple of questions
« Reply #6 on: Saturday 27 January 18 18:55 GMT (UK) »
Oops sorry - hadnít noticed his age at baptism! So yes, entirely plausible that he made up a father so as not to have to own up to his own illegitimacy.

A few suggestions
Had his mother married, he may have named his stepfather.
Biological father may have become acquainted with son.

Offline Tin man

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 4
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: An illegitmate birth -a couple of questions
« Reply #7 on: Saturday 03 February 18 15:23 GMT (UK) »
On the subject of illegitimate births, if the father is not named on the birth certificate what is the possibility of finding out who he was? And how could I find out?
My great grandmother was born in 1865, at Helston workhouse, father not named.  ???
Cornwall: Bailey, Bilkey, Collins, Ivey, Martin, Michell, White.
Lancashire: Hilton, Livsey.

Online Viktoria

  • RootsChat Aristocrat
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,604
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: An illegitmate birth -a couple of questions
« Reply #8 on: Saturday 03 February 18 23:37 GMT (UK) »
We think of Baptism as a baby being received into the family of the church,but not all babies were Baptised very young.It is not really a naming ceremony,I know the minister says "I name Thee=="
Baptists believe that someone being Baptised should fully understand what it is they are doing,hence for them it is adult Baptism by total immersion as John The Baptist did.
Is it possible your young man was a Baptist?It would account for his age but also being Baptised was a requirement in certain circumstances. Perhaps his apprenticeship with a firm with strong Christian values,or a school founded by a devout Christian.He would not have  been allowed to attend if he was not baptised.
Even today church Schools require a pupil to have been Baptised,attend Sunday School and the parents to be regular churchgoers.
He may have joined a Christian fellowship group as many young men did in those days so again Baptism may have been a requirement.
Best of luck with your enquiries. Viktoria.