RootsChat.Com

General => The Common Room => Topic started by: CaroleW on Wednesday 09 June 21 11:25 BST (UK)

Title: Registering an illegitimate birth
Post by: CaroleW on Wednesday 09 June 21 11:25 BST (UK)
My cousin has just discovered via DNA that she had a half brother born 1936 died 2017.  She was b 1948

His mother was married & although his birth was registered under her married name it is said that my uncles name is shown as his father on the birth cert.

If that is true - would I be right in saying that my uncle would have had to be present at the birth registration & therefore had full knowledge of the child's birth?

A copy of the birth cert is being forwarded to my cousin.  The child was raised by the woman's husband who knew he was not the child's father
Title: Re: Registering an illegitimate birth
Post by: PaulineJ on Wednesday 09 June 21 11:45 BST (UK)
See what the birth certificate says before jumping to any conclusions or assumptions. .
Anything else would be pure conjecture.

Pauline
Title: Re: Registering an illegitimate birth
Post by: brigidmac on Wednesday 09 June 21 12:21 BST (UK)
Do you mean the mother left the child with first husband ? Though your uncle was on birth certificate as father .

If she went on to have your cousin with your uncle .the children would be full *siblings  modified
(+ he would have been your cousin too)

If the husband was actually the birth father they would be half siblings .

Maybe the paternity was in doubt

Have i misread the scenario .

As Pauline says see exactly what it says on certificate .

husbands or partners didnt have to be present at birth registration
Some of them could have been away in WW2.






Title: Re: Registering an illegitimate birth
Post by: Guy Etchells on Wednesday 09 June 21 12:35 BST (UK)
My cousin has just discovered via DNA that she had a half brother born 1936 died 2017.  She was b 1948

His mother was married & although his birth was registered under her married name it is said that my uncles name is shown as his father on the birth cert.

If that is true - would I be right in saying that my uncle would have had to be present at the birth registration & therefore had full knowledge of the child's birth?

A copy of the birth cert is being forwarded to my cousin.  The child was raised by the woman's husband who knew he was not the child's father


If the baby was not the husbands then registration would come under the following procedure though the mother would give her married name as her name rather than her maiden name.

Rules for unmarried parents to register a birth after 1875.

The details of both parents can be included on the birth certificate if one of the following happens:
They sign the birth register together.
One parent completes a statutory declaration of parentage form and the other takes the signed form to register the birth.
One parent goes to register the birth with a document from the court (for example, a court order) giving the father parental responsibility.

The above indicates if no father's name is shown and only the mother signed the birth was illegitimate, or if the father's name is not the mother's husband the birth is illegitimate.
Cheers
Guy
Title: Re: Registering an illegitimate birth
Post by: CaroleW on Wednesday 09 June 21 16:06 BST (UK)
The mother stayed with her husband & went on to have 2 more children by her husband.  The illegitimate son stayed with her & was brought up by her & her husband hence my reference  to him being my cousin's half brother. 

My uncle was single at the time of the birth & married in 1941.  My cousin & her brother were born to that marriage.

There was a suggestion that my uncle may not have known of the 1936 birth hence my question.  If his name is on the birth cert as the father & either his presence (or signed admission of paternity) was needed at the registration - it rules out any lack of knowledge of the birth.

The person who has contacted my cousin is the grandson of the illegitimate son and has his birth cert hence the info that my uncle is named as the father.

Title: Re: Registering an illegitimate birth
Post by: brigidmac on Wednesday 09 June 21 16:37 BST (UK)
That makes sense to me now so your cousin would have had same father but different mother to her half brother !

Added
* Did the husband definitely know the child wasnt his
He may never have seen the birth certificate
Title: Re: Registering an illegitimate birth
Post by: Jon_ni on Wednesday 09 June 21 16:43 BST (UK)

Rules for unmarried parents to register a birth after 1875.

The details of both parents can be included on the birth certificate if one of the following happens:
They sign the birth register together.
One parent completes a statutory declaration of parentage form and the other takes the signed form to register the birth.
One parent goes to register the birth with a document from the court (for example, a court order) giving the father parental responsibility.

husbands or partners didnt have to be present at birth registration
Some of them could have been away in WW2.

Added
* Did the husband definitely know the child wasnt his
He may never have seen the birth certificate

Although Guy has stated the 1874 date, for 1874 through to 1960's, should really just be the first line. "The details of both parents can be included on the birth certificate if the following happens: They sign the birth register together."

So yes, for the 1936-1948 mentioned if the uncles name is shown as his father on the birth cert the uncle would have had to be present.

Husbands did and do not have to be present to be recorded but for an unmarried couple ie an illegitimate birth in WW2 no fathers details would be written in the box unless he was present, it would be left blank.

If the mother did not want the husband to know the child had a different father it would have been easy & safer to just register him as a child of the husband even if untrue, she did not have to take the uncle to the GRO.

Births and Deaths Registration Act 1874 [and exactly the same wording in Births and Deaths Registration Act 1953]
"7 Saving for father of illegitimate child
In the case of an illegitimate child no person shall, as father of such child, be required to give information under this Act concerning the birth of such child, and the registrar shall not enter in the register the name of any person as father of such child, unless at the joint request of the mother and of the person acknowledging himself to be the father of such child, and such person shall in such case sign the register, together with the mother."
https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Vict/37-38/88/section/7/enacted/data.pdf
https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Eliz2/1-2/20/section/10/enacted

There must have been an amendment in the 1960's inserting (a) & (b) allowing "One parent completes a statutory declaration of parentage form and the other takes the signed form to register the birth" [edit - was Family Law Reform Act 1969] as (c) the Court Order was inserted under the Children Act 1975
https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1975/72/section/93/enacted
and again revised again under the Children Act 1989 to become https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1989/41/schedule/12/paragraph/6#schedule-12-paragraph-6-2
futher re-wording occurred in the 2000's to allow for civil partnerships, 2nd female parent etc

As an aside
A campaign in the 1920s resulted in the passage of the Legitimacy Act in 1926. This enabled children to be legitimated by the subsequent marriage of their parents, provided that neither parent had been married to someone else at the time of conception (that is, that the relationship was not an adulterous one - this one appears to have been). The birth could be re-registered such that it appeared as if they were married prior to the birth ie not under both mother's and father's surnames, just the fathers.
There was a qualification regarding re-registration from 1926 that BOTH parents had to be present at the GRO revision UNLESS the father's details had previously been included on the illegitimate birth.
The Legitimacy Act 1959 extended legitimacy to the children of parents who had not been free to marry at the time of their birth, but who had married subsequently. Effectively allowing re-registration of births of children born as a result of adulterous relationships.
The later 1959 Act was also retrospective "In relation to an illegitimate person to whom it applies by virtue of this section, the Legitimacy Act, 1926, shall have effect as if for references to the commencement of that Act there were substituted references to the commencement of this Act."
But the Legitimacy Acts do not apply here as there was no re-marriage & the "child was raised by the woman's husband who knew he was not the child's father".
Title: Re: Registering an illegitimate birth
Post by: markheal on Wednesday 09 June 21 16:54 BST (UK)
My cousin has just discovered via DNA that she had a half brother born 1936 died 2017.  She was b 1948

His mother was married & although his birth was registered under her married name it is said that my uncles name is shown as his father on the birth cert.

If that is true - would I be right in saying that my uncle would have had to be present at the birth registration & therefore had full knowledge of the child's birth?

A copy of the birth cert is being forwarded to my cousin.  The child was raised by the woman's husband who knew he was not the child's father


If the baby was not the husbands then registration would come under the following procedure though the mother would give her married name as her name rather than her maiden name.

Rules for unmarried parents to register a birth after 1875.

The details of both parents can be included on the birth certificate if one of the following happens:
They sign the birth register together.
One parent completes a statutory declaration of parentage form and the other takes the signed form to register the birth.
One parent goes to register the birth with a document from the court (for example, a court order) giving the father parental responsibility.

The above indicates if no father's name is shown and only the mother signed the birth was illegitimate, or if the father's name is not the mother's husband the birth is illegitimate.
Cheers
Guy

GUY
"Rules for unmarried parents to register a birth after 1875."

Do you have Chapter and Verse for these rules please?

I wonder if an unmarried couple, who stated that they were married or were presumed to be married, would be required to show any proof of marriage?

If these 'Rules' were in fact followed, I shall have to review and re-interpret the registrations for all my great uncles and aunt only one of which was registered by the supposed BENNETT father, several of whom were registered after your 1875 date.

I do know that my great grandmother had a 1866 first born son Edgar CROCKFORD in Liverpool, whose father  Frederick is named along with his occupation as Ship Steward. 
If this couple were ever married, they MIGHT have married in USA or on board ship on the return journey to Liverpool.  By 1871 and 1881  Edgar assumed the surname BENNETT along with his half-siblings,

Mark
Title: Re: Registering an illegitimate birth
Post by: Guy Etchells on Wednesday 09 June 21 18:03 BST (UK)
My grandfather was married but separated when he met my grandmother, his first wife refused to give him a divorce which meant he and my grandmother did not marry until she died in Jun. 1933. He and my grandmother married in Feb. 1934.

Their 4 children were born in
1912 both signed the register
1915 both signed the register
1919 Grandad signed alone, grand mother was named as Guy, formerly Berrey as if the were a married couple.
1922 Grandad signed alone, grand mother was named as Guy, formerly Berrey as if the were a married couple.

This shows the rules were not always followed, no evidence was required until about the 1970s
Cheers
Guy
Title: Re: Registering an illegitimate birth
Post by: Jon_ni on Wednesday 09 June 21 18:18 BST (UK)
Do you have Chapter and Verse for these rules please?

I wonder if an unmarried couple, who stated that they were married or were presumed to be married, would be required to show any proof of marriage?
Mark I inserted the links you have just requested from Guy in my comment 1874 Births & Deaths Act. If you want an original of the full 1874 Act is https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1874/88/pdfs/ukpga_18740088_en.pdf and the 1953 is https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1953/20/pdfs/ukpga_19530020_en.pdf

No evidence was required. The Acts were writted at at time when the population was illiterate, hence all the spelling variations encountered with Surnames written as sounded. As I commented above to hide the fact the husband was not thought to be the biological father would be easy to lie. We see many Fathers on marriages named for illegitimate births were no father was entered and the mother never lived with the father on any census and people saying they were married on census when they were 'partners'. Have seen re-marriages where the groom has stated stating different ficticious fathers and his brother another one.
A couple could well live together and say they were married when registering a birth when they had not had a ceremony or bigimously re-marry and say they were bachelors or spinsters. The chances of being found out were fairly slim. In the case of a bigimous remarriage [perhaps, may mave been allowed after 10 years provided he did not know if wife was alive still, but think he knew she was, as appears she did] the couple appear to split c.1892 when the groom signed up to the Army and went to Malaya, Sudan & India. Husband re-married in India 1902 and wife ran off with another married man 1896 from Belfast to Hartlepool leaving 2 children from 1st partnership with her parents. Raised a family under #2 surname in Hartlepool, but she did not re-marry until the 1st husband had died WW1.

The original one for start of civil registration is transcribed on HistPop http://www.histpop.org/ohpr/servlet/View?path=Browse/Legislation%20(by%20date)&active=yes&mno=4044
on Guys site http://freepages.rootsweb.com/%7Eframland/genealogy/acts/actind.htm and https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/1836_(33)_Registration_of_Births_%26c._A_bill_for_registering_Births_Deaths_and_Marriages_in_England which ever you prefer
Title: Re: Registering an illegitimate birth
Post by: AntonyMMM on Wednesday 09 June 21 19:29 BST (UK)
No proof of marriage is required when registering a birth, even today ... it is sufficient for the informant to confirm it verbally.

GRO suggest that registrars "encourage" relevant documents to be brought to the appointment but it isn't a legal requirement.
Title: Re: Registering an illegitimate birth
Post by: Rosinish on Thursday 10 June 21 15:14 BST (UK)
My cousin has just discovered via DNA that she had a half brother

His mother was married & although his birth was registered under her married name it is said that my uncles name is shown as his father on the birth cert.

If that is true - would I be right in saying that my uncle would have had to be present at the birth registration & therefore had full knowledge of the child's birth?

Carole, yes, the father who was not the husband would have had to be present at registration or "a statutory declaration of parentage form signed" & presented.

Is it possible there was an understanding with all 3 i.e. mother, husband & legitimate father, the child be raised in the 'marital' home as the husband's child with no contact with legitimate father which may be a reason your cousin was never told?

Is it possible the mother was already pregnant when she met her future husband who was willing to take on the child as his own?
I know of a similar case in my own family where the mother was pregnant when she met her future husband but he signed as the father, knowing he wasn't although I'm unsure if the legitimate father was ever informed?

Annie

Title: Re: Registering an illegitimate birth
Post by: CaroleW on Thursday 10 June 21 19:38 BST (UK)
Hi

The mother married in 1930 & had a child by the marriage who died shortly after birth.  It appears her husband may have been in the forces & always knew the child born 1936 wasn’t his.  They went on to have 2 more children & he brought my uncles child up as his own.

My uncle married in 1941 & died in 1989 and as far as we know - his wife was unaware of the childs existence.