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General => The Common Room => Topic started by: LAURIE81 on Monday 22 March 21 18:17 GMT (UK)

Title: Still recorded as illegitimate at death
Post by: LAURIE81 on Monday 22 March 21 18:17 GMT (UK)
I've just discovered (finally!) my 3rd great grandfathers death certificate of 1873. Even at 71 years of age he is still recorded as 'illegitimate'! In the space for his occupation it is recorded as "mason (illiegitimate) married to Mary Johnstone." Plus his Fathers name is missing and only his Mothers name is recorded.
So either he was an illegitimate mason??? or the stigma of being illegitimate was that strong.

Any clarification of this type of recording is very welcome.

Laurie
Title: Re: Still recorded as illegitimate at death
Post by: KGarrad on Monday 22 March 21 18:22 GMT (UK)
In which country was this?

Death certificates from England & Wales don't mention parents.
Title: Re: Still recorded as illegitimate at death
Post by: Millmoor on Monday 22 March 21 18:50 GMT (UK)
I have seen similar in Scotland. My gg grandmother died in 1897 in Enzie, Banffshire. Her death cert records her as single and illegitimate. The informant was her son in law who had married her also illegitimate daughter. He did not know the first name of her father but did know that her mother had married someone other than her father. When I first came across this death cert I was to say the least somewhat surprised and actually saddened to see her illegitimacy recorded in this way.

William
Title: Re: Still recorded as illegitimate at death
Post by: suey on Monday 22 March 21 19:02 GMT (UK)
I have seen similar in Scotland. My gg grandmother died in 1897 in Enzie, Banffshire. Her death cert records her as single and illegitimate. The informant was her son in law who had married her also illegitimate daughter. He did not know the first name of her father but did know that her mother had married someone other than her father. When I first came across this death cert I was to say the least somewhat surprised and actually saddened to see her illegitimacy recorded in this way.

William

It does seem harsh, takes away their last bit of dignity. But as they say ‘times were different then”
Title: Re: Still recorded as illegitimate at death
Post by: GR2 on Monday 22 March 21 20:08 GMT (UK)
Now that the minutes of the kirk sessions are available on ScotlandsPeople, you will be able to look to see if there are details of his father there.
Title: Re: Still recorded as illegitimate at death
Post by: oldfashionedgirl on Tuesday 23 March 21 09:43 GMT (UK)
Good point GR2
I’m intending to delve into that newly digitised resource next rainy day  :)

Yes I it does seem very harsh to carry that stigma all your life, especially since it was the ‘sin’ of your parents!
Title: Re: Still recorded as illegitimate at death
Post by: josey on Tuesday 23 March 21 09:47 GMT (UK)
Maybe 'Illegitimate' was just written to explain the absence of a father's name so the official recording the death would not be questioned about the blank column?
Title: Re: Still recorded as illegitimate at death
Post by: scotmum on Tuesday 23 March 21 09:49 GMT (UK)
Quote
.   Discontinuation of the word illegitimate
On 26 December 1918 James Patten MacDougall, Registrar General for Scotland, issued a circular to registrars which stated that:

'... it has been resolved to discontinue the use of the word "(Illegitimate)" in dealing with the registration of the births of illegitimate children, as also in the registration of deaths of persons of illegitimate births'.

The amended instructions came into operation on 1 January 1919. As the change applied retrospectively registrars were authorised to omit the word '(Illegitimate)' when issuing certificates (extracts) of 'births of illegitimate children and deaths of illegitimate persons registered in past years'. If you order an official copy of a statutory birth or death record with an RCE it will be supplied with any corrections or insertions applied. Digital images of statutory birth records and RCEs that you can view on this website are as the original register pages.

bold and underline added by me for emphasis in this thread

per https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/guides/registering-illegitimate-births
Title: Re: Still recorded as illegitimate at death
Post by: Millmoor on Tuesday 23 March 21 11:04 GMT (UK)
Thank you, Scotmum. That is interesting reading. I quoted my gg grandmother's death cert in an earlier reply. She herself had 2 illegitimate children, each having a different father. Her son, my g grandfather, predeceased her. He died in Edinburgh in 1889. The word illegitimate does not appear on his death cert although from the way his parents' names are recorded it can easily be inferred that they never married.

William
Title: Re: Still recorded as illegitimate at death
Post by: LAURIE81 on Wednesday 24 March 21 10:52 GMT (UK)
Thanks everyone. It is a Scottish certificate. Ive had a look at the new Kirk sessions on Scotlandpeople, no luck yet but its quite alot of information to go through! 
Title: Re: Still recorded as illegitimate at death
Post by: Fogmoose on Tuesday 30 March 21 20:31 BST (UK)
Occasionally you will see "Unknown" or simply a line across instead of  the fathers name, rather than "Illegitimate", on pre 1919 DC's. BC's of course would more commonly state "Illegitimate", but it all depends on the individual registrar I think. Some may have been more "moral" than others!
Title: Re: Still recorded as illegitimate at death
Post by: brigidmac on Tuesday 30 March 21 22:35 BST (UK)
I don't know how much stigma the word illegitimate actually carried
My grandmother was recorded as "bastard child of" on an affiliation order

But maybe the son in law was doing future generations a favour by saving them from researching her m father unknown msound kinder but is unclear if unknown to the informant or the decreasedother's husbands line my leaving a blank could lead you to assume that he didn't know the name of the father + you w
age