Author Topic: Could a widow be referred to as a singlewoman?  (Read 403 times)

Offline mijath

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Could a widow be referred to as a singlewoman?
« on: Saturday 23 January 21 10:44 GMT (UK) »
One of my ancestors had two illegitimate children born after the death of her husband. I know this from her will and one baptism record.

I had assumed an 1816 bastardy examination to be about the child I don't have a baptism for - except it refers to her as a "singlewoman". This may be a silly question but has anyone ever seen a widow referred to as such? Obviously I've seen spinsters referred to as singlewomen but is there any grey area where it was used to mean a woman unattached due to widowhood?
Thorpe, Feak & Townsend (Norfolk) / Ormandy & Slater (Dalton-in-Furness) / Corner (Liverpool) / Wray (Lincolnshire) / Fidler, Bridge & Turner (Derbyshire)

Offline Flemming

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Re: Could a widow be referred to as a singlewoman?
« Reply #1 on: Saturday 23 January 21 11:39 GMT (UK) »
Not on a bastardy record, but several marriages where the bride was recorded as single when she was a widow, particularly if the marriage was outside of her usual parish. It may have been that the clerk/vicar just assumed her status and, if the couple couldn't read, they may not have spotted the mistake, or may not have been concerned by it.

Online jim1

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Re: Could a widow be referred to as a singlewoman?
« Reply #2 on: Saturday 23 January 21 11:55 GMT (UK) »
Apart from the above it may be inferred that the dead husband was the father if her status was widow at a Baptism.
Entering single woman removes that inference & indicates someone else (other than a husband) is the father.
I would say that the same applies on a bastardy order. The husband having died more than 9 months prior to the birth.
Warks:Ashford;Cadby;Clarke;Clifford;Cooke Copage;Easthope;
Edmonds;Felton;Colledge;Lutwyche;Mander(s);May;Poole;Withers.
Staffs.Edmonds;Addison;Duffield;Webb;Fisher;Archer
Salop:Easthope,Eddowes,Hoorde,Oteley,Vernon,Talbot,De Neville.
Notts.Clarke;Redfearne;Treece.
Som.May;Perriman;Cox
India Kane;Felton;Cadby
London.Haysom.
Lancs.Gay.
Worcs.Coley;Mander;Sawyer.
Kings of Wessex & Scotland
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Offline Marmalady

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Re: Could a widow be referred to as a singlewoman?
« Reply #3 on: Saturday 23 January 21 12:29 GMT (UK) »
Not a singlewoman but one of my ancestors was recorded as a "Single man" in the marriage register having buried his first wife in the churchyard only 5 months previously.
Wainwright - Yorkshire
Whitney - Herefordshire
Watson -  Northamptonshire
Trant - Yorkshire
Helps - all
Needham - Derbyshire
Waterhouse - Derbyshire
Northing - all

Offline ms_canuck

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Re: Could a widow be referred to as a singlewoman?
« Reply #4 on: Thursday 28 January 21 18:59 GMT (UK) »
I believe I also saw it once in a Probate document.  The beneficiary (daughter) had Singlewoman after her name in brackets, and the surname was not her maiden name.  Once I researched the daughter, it turned out that she was divorced at the time of her mother's death.

Ms_C
1. Paul - Guernsey 1801
2. Ettenton / Eltenton - Guernsey 1806