Author Topic: Illigitimate births in 1880s and was there any poor relief?  (Read 3815 times)

Offline worth

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Illigitimate births in 1880s and was there any poor relief?
« on: Sunday 23 September 12 15:29 BST (UK) »
Hi all
I am looking for 4 illigitimate births between the years 1838 and 1851 in Selkirk Scotland and i cant find anything. The mum Jessie/Janet Thorburn is at home with her parents in 1841 and her 1st illigitimate daughter Janet/Jessie Heatlie is with her. Jessie went on to have 3 more illigitimate children with the same man Andrew Heatlie but for what ever reason they never married and Jessie died a single woman in 1889, Andrew married Isabella Fairgrieve in 1860 but he died in 1865 no more children. I know their father was Andrew as he is written on each of the death certificates. What i am asking is, is this unusual for none of the children to be registered at that time and was there any kind of poor relief in Scotland at that time that maybe Jessie could have applied for. Also Andrew is know where to be found on either the 1841 or 1851 census.

Offline vivdunstan

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Re: Illigitimate births in 1880s and was there any poor relief?
« Reply #1 on: Monday 24 September 12 22:28 BST (UK) »
Have you looked in the kirk session minutes for references to the illegitimate births? In my experience it's much more normal for an illegitimate birth to be recorded in there, and unusual for it to be recorded in the usual baptism registers.

There was poor relief at this time, but you had to be absolutely destitute. More likely people would be supported by family. Generally a kirk session would pursue the father to make him support the children.

Kirk session minutes are held in the National Records of Scotland in Edinburgh (http://www.nas.gov.uk). These are quite separate from the baptism registers held in the next door General Register Office and online at ScotlandsPeople.

Offline vivdunstan

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Re: Illigitimate births in 1880s and was there any poor relief?
« Reply #2 on: Monday 24 September 12 22:29 BST (UK) »
Oh and I think at the time you're looking at any poor relief would have been managed by the appropriate Parochial Board. These records for the Borders are held in the Heritage Hub in Hawick. I found lots of references to my - rather destitute - relatives in Hawick getting poor relief from the Wilton board.